South Dakota man sentenced for wildlife crime
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A Spencer man has been sentenced for illegally shooting 61 double-crested cormorants on a lake island near the southeastern South Dakota town.
Sixty-three-year-old Dennis Rowley was arrested in the summer of 2012 after state and federal wildlife officials received a tip. He was convicted earlier this year on a federal charge of unlawful taking of wildlife.
U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson says Rowley recently was sentenced to three years of probation, a $3,000 fine, $3,050 in restitution and the loss of hunting privileges for three years.
SD panel OKs workgroup study of autism on children
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota legislative panel has passed a bill to study the effect of Autism Spectrum Disorder on children in the state.
The House State Affairs Committee voted 12-1 to support the measure. It goes next to the House floor.
The bill initially addressed another topic, but the committee passed an amendment overhauling its content. It would create a task force to explore the issue and make policy suggestions to the Legislature.
Opponents say the state could order a summer study without a legislative mandate. They say it's late in the process and the bill might not get much input if it changes again.
Supporters say the issue matters to constituents.
A different measure to ensure insurance coverage for the disorder passed the same committee but ultimately failed.
South Dakota lawmakers estimate state revenue
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Legislature's budget-writing committee is working to put the final touches on next year's state budget.
State economists are making projections of how much tax revenue the state will collect in the next year. The Joint Appropriations Committee will use those estimates to decide how much money the state can spend in the budget year that begins July 1.
Senate Appropriations Chair Deb Peters, R-Harford, says the committee will finish its work on the spending plan later this week so the Legislature can pass the approximately $4.3 billion budget by Friday, the final day of the session's main run.
Legislative leaders say they expect to approve Gov. Dennis Daugaard's proposal for 3 percent increases in state aid to schools, reimbursements to Medicaid service providers and state employee salaries.
SD State Veterans Home getting new superintendent
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - An Aberdeen native has been named superintendent of the Michael J. Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home in Hot Springs.
Bradley Richardson is coming from a military medical regional training site in Tomah, Wis., where he has worked since 2010. Before that he worked for a couple of military medical commands. He has degrees from Viterbo University, Minot State University and Northern State University.
Department of Veterans Affairs South Dakota Secretary Larry Zimmerman says Richardson has more than 29 years of leadership, experience and knowledge in military health care and health care management.
Richardson begins his new duties on June 11.
AUTUMN STORM-CALL CENTER
Collapsed Spearfish call center being demolished
SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) - Demolition work is underway on a Spearfish call center that collapsed under the weight of snow during an early October blizzard.
The Black Hills Pioneer reports that the work began last week. Local contractor Johner and Sons received the nearly $50,000 bid to salvage any items of value and then raze the 50,000-square-foot building. The work is to wrap up in mid-May.
The 225 Spearfish workers with Iowa-based TMone have been operating out of the city's recreation center since the collapse of the building during the Oct. 4-5 storm, which dumped as much as 4 feet of snow on western South Dakota's Black Hills. No one was in the building when it collapsed, and computer servers were spared.
USD to break ground on new sports buildings May 12
VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) - The University of South Dakota has set May 12 as the date to break ground for new athletic facilities.
The heart of the $66 million project is a 6,000-seat arena for basketball and volleyball. The facility will be connected to the existing DakotaDome by a Science, Health and Research Laboratory.
The state Board of Regents approved the arena project late last year. The board also gave USD the go-ahead for a $7 million outdoor soccer and track facility.
The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan reports that the project is to wrap up before the start of the 2016-17 academic year.
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