Health overhaul critics tread lightly on Medicaid
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senator John Thune and Representative Kristi Noem are two of the federal health overhaul's most consistent critics. But the South Dakota Republicans are mostly silent on a key provision of the law in their own state.
Both Thune and Noem say they want the law repealed.
But when asked this week about the state's debate over whether to expand Medicaid coverage, both simply said state officials need to consider the best options and what they can count on in terms of federal money.
Federal officials told Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gahrd) this week that they couldn't accept a proposed compromise that would see South Dakota expand Medicaid coverage to 100 percent of the poverty line.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INVESTIGATION
SD lawmakers look at economic development agency
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Allegations of misconduct in the state's economic development agency focus only on a former employee, the head of the agency told state lawmakers Friday.
Pat Costello, commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, talked at length with a legislative committee looking into the agency and its involvement in issues relating to the financing of a failed beef packing plant in Aberdeen.
State and federal investigations have focused on the agency's former commissioner, Richard Benda, who was found dead October 22nd with a fatal shotgun wound. His death was ruled a suicide.
The legislative panel spent much of Friday's meeting hearing summaries of accounting reviews that were released earlier. Two reviews by private accounting firms and an audit by the state Department of Legislative Audit were ordered by Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gahrd), who said he sought those reviews after finding about alleged misconduct in the GOED before he took office.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT-NEW INVESTIGATIONS
SD development office faces new federal queries
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The head of South Dakota's economic development agency says his office is dealing with new inquiries from three federal agencies.
Pat Costello, commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, says the new inquiries have come from the federal departments of Treasury, Energy and Housing and Urban Development.
Costello says he doesn't know for sure what sparked the request for information, but he suspects it was caused by the attention his agency has received because of state and federal investigations into the financing of a failed beef packing plant in Aberdeen.
Costello says the three federal departments want information about development programs they have helped finance in South Dakota.
CONVENIENCE STORE ROBBERY-INDICTMENT
SD men indicted in convenience store robbery case
HURON, S.D. (AP) - Two eastern South Dakota men accused of staging an armed robbery at a convenience store have been indicted.
A Beadle County grand jury has indicted 27-year-old Sydney Malone and 26-year-old Donnell Williams.
The prosecutor in Beadle County says the investigation into the robbery found that the men worked together to take more than $3,000 from the Northstar Corner Pantry in late January.
The men were employees at the store. Malone, of Huron, was arrested February 12th. Williams, of Cavour, was arrested February 15th in Nebraska.
Both men have been charged with grand theft. Williams also faces a commission of felony while armed charge. KOKK-AM in Huron reports the men are free on bond.
Malone is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. Williams' hearing is scheduled for April 8th.
SIOUX FALLS SHOOTING-INDICTMENT
Slain Sioux Falls man's girlfriend indicted
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The girlfriend of a Sioux Falls man killed in December has been indicted in federal court for conspiring to sell more than 220 pounds of marijuana.
Twenty-year-old Faith Rasmussen dated 20-year-old Jordan LeBeau, who was shot and killed during a botched drug robbery.
The Argus Leader reports Rasmussen along with her mother and two others were indicted Wednesday in Sioux Falls. The case was sealed until Friday.
Rasmussen was also indicted on a conspiracy to commit money laundering charge.
Drugs and more than $88,000 was found in LeBeau's Sioux Falls home after the shooting that also wounded his father.
The newspaper reports four people have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with LeBeau's death.
Rasmussen in January pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs.
Mother and son die as results of late Feb. crash
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A mother and her young son have died as the result of a two-vehicle crash late last month in Gregory County in southeastern South Dakota.
The Highway Patrol says 1 ½-year-old Adryan Jones died Wednesday in a Sioux Falls hospital.
The boy's mother, 21-year-old Sarah Mozley of Gregory died last Sunday from her injuries. She and her child were passengers in one of the vehicles involved in the February 24th crash.
Bond set at $1M for Yankton homicide suspect
YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - Authorities say a Yankton man has been charged with second-degree homicide as murder in connection with his uncle's death.
The Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan reports 28-year-old Joshua Hudson is also charged with aggravated assault and grand theft.
Hudson was arrested Friday after a chase that started in Iowa and ended in South Dakota. Hudson asked for an attorney during a court hearing. His bond was set at $1 million.
Authorities say Hudson was driving his uncle's truck when arrested. They say officers found a blacksmith hammer in the truck that they believe Hudson used to apply blunt-force trauma to the victim's head.
Forty-six-year-old Todd Hudson was found dead in his Yankton home after police received a call for a welfare check. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
HOSPITAL PRESIDENT RETIRING
Yankton-area health care leader retiring
YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - The longtime president and CEO of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton is retiring.
Pamela Rezac says she plans to step down June 27th, after 17 years leading the hospital.
Rezac began her decades-long career in health care as a registered nurse at a hospital in Mitchell. In 1997 she was named to lead Avera Sacred Heart Hospital and to serve as regional president of Avera. The region includes 15 counties in southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska and serves more than 150,000 people.
TRUST FUNDS-STATE PARK
Trust gives $1M for Custer State Park project
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A $1 million grant from a charitable trust will be used to build a new visitors center and theater at a state park in southwest South Dakota.
KCCR in Pierre reports that the grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will be spent in the Custer State Park project.
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gahrd) on Friday said a local foundation will receive the grant.
Daugaard says visitors entering the park from the east will see the new facility near the game lodge and group camp area.
The project is expected to cost $5 million. The Legislature last year allocated $2 million. The South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation pledged to raise private funds to meet the project's budget.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.