ABUSE CONVICTION REVERSED
Appeals court reverses sexual abuse conviction
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The U.S. Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of an Eagle Butte man sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison for sexual abuse because jury instructions were incomplete.
Jerry Matthew Chasing Hawk was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2011 and found guilty for the August 2009 sexual abuse of an Eagle Butte woman in Fort Thompson.
Chasing Hawk appealed his conviction, arguing that the government did not prove his knowledge of the woman's incapacity at the time of the assault.
The 3-judge panel from the 8th Circuit on Monday reversed the district court's conviction, saying Chasing Hawk requested but was denied jury instructions that would have required jurors to find that he had knowledge of the woman's incapacity.
The case is remanded back to U.S. District Court.
Co-op agreement finalized for buyback program
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The U.S. Department of the Interior says it has finalized the first cooperative agreement in a $1.9 billion Native American land buyback program stemming from the settlement of a nearly 17-year lawsuit over more than a century's worth of mismanaged trust royalties.
The agreement reached with the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota outlines the strategy and resources to be provided to tribal leaders for outreach and education.
The 10-year buyback program is the largest part of the $3.4 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed by Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mont., in 1996 and finalized last year.
The department says outreach already is underway on Pine Ridge, and the department intends to make the first offers by the end of the year.
ND tops in nation in funding tobacco programs
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A coalition of public health organizations says North Dakota is tops in the nation in funding programs to prevent children from smoking and to help smokers quit. South Dakota isn't far from the top.
The report says North Dakota spends $9.5 million each year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, meeting the funding level recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. North Dakota and Alaska are the only states that fund tobacco programs at CDC-recommended levels.
The report was released by groups including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society.
South Dakota ranked 13th in funding tobacco programs. The report says the state spends $4 million each year, about one-third of what the CDC recommends.
Chamberlain school board votes against honor song
CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (AP) - The Chamberlain School Board has again rejected a request to include a traditional Lakota honor song in the high school graduation ceremony.
The Daily Republic reports the board voted 4-2 against the song Monday night. One board member abstained.
The controversy first arose last spring, when the school board rejected a request for the honor song. Board members said a feathering ceremony the night before graduation honors tribal students and that commencement should be about recognizing academic achievements rather than cultural ties.
More than one-third of the Chamberlain School District's 900 students are American Indian.
Board president Rebecca Reimer voted against the song and said the discussion was about "control and power."
Board member Marcel Felicia voted for the song and says people have told him they support it.
CWD found again in southwestern ND hunting unit
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A mule deer shot by a hunter in western Grant County in southwestern North Dakota has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
The testing done at Michigan State University is being verified by a national lab in Ames, Iowa.
It is the fourth deer killed in the 3F2 hunting unit to test positive for the disease in the past five years, and the first buck. Infected does were killed in 2009, 2010 and 2011, all in the same general area.
CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. The state Game and Fish Department has been monitoring for it since 2002 through samples taken from hunter-harvested deer.
Scientists have found no evidence that the disease can be transmitted naturally to people or livestock.
SD attorney general's annual pie day is Saturday
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley is hosting the 16th annual Pie Day in the state Capitol in Pierre on Saturday.
The annual event includes free pie, cookies, coffee and ice cream. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features free entertainment.
Pie Day began when Mark Barnett was attorney general.
Barnett, now a circuit judge, told workers at a polling place that state law prevented them from offering snacks or goodies to voters. Instead, he invited them to Pierre to have pie, and the event has been held each year since.
WILD CARD WINNER
Wild Card 2 ticket sold in Sturgis worth $6,000
STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - A Wild Card 2 ticket sold in Sturgis is worth $6,000 in the latest drawing.
State lottery officials say the ticket matched all five white ball numbers but missed the Wild Card to win the game's second prize in Saturday's drawing. The odds of winning it are 1 in about 127,000.
The winner has about six months to claim the money.
Wild Card 2 is played in the Dakotas, Montana and Idaho. The jackpot is at $625,000 for Wednesday's drawing.
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