Associated Press

Trump draws ire of farmers targeted in Chinese trade dispute

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – From Iowa hog producers to Washington apple growers and California winemakers, farmers are expressing deep disappointment over being put in the middle of a potential trade war with China. President Donald Trump announced plans Thursday for tariffs on products including Chinese steel to punish Beijing for stealing American technology. Beijing responded Friday with a threat…

Investigators say missing Iowa family found dead in Mexico

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) – Investigators say the bodies of an Iowa couple and their two children have been found in a rented condo in Mexico. The family was reported missing by relatives in their hometown of Creston early Friday, about a week after the family left for vacation. Creston police contacted the U.S. State Department, and the bodies were found…

Daugaard vetoes 3 bills; lawmakers could override next week

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has vetoed three bills on tuition assistance programs, filing bills before a legislative session and eligibility for a state scholarship. The Republican governor rejected the bills Friday. State lawmakers return next week for the 2018 legislative session’s final day to debate overriding the vetoes from Daugaard. Two of the bills passed through both…

Trump says he’s signed $1.3T budget bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says he’s signed a $1.3 trillion spending measure averting a government shutdown just hours after saying he was considering a veto. Trump has been fuming because the package does not include protections for “Dreamer” immigrants and doesn’t provide enough money for his promised border wall. But Trump is pointing to major increases in military…

Daugaard signs new rules for initiative petition circulators

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a pair of bills requiring ballot question signature gatherers to provide more information to voters or the secretary of state. The Republican governor signed the measures Friday. One requires circulators to provide petition signers their name, email and phone number. The second mandates that circulators give the Secretary of…

Governor signs plan to build new state veterans cemetery

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed off on a plan to build a new state veterans cemetery in Minnehaha County. The Republican executive signed a bill Friday directing the state to submit a grant application to the National Cemetery Administration and build the project. Daugaard says he’s pleased to see the longstanding goal of veterans organizations come…

Spearfish man pleads guilty to manslaughter, drug charge

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) – A Spearfish man indicted with eight others in the drug deaths of two people has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and drug distribution charges. The Black Hills Pioneer reports that 45-year-old Duwayne Littlebear pleaded guilty this week to second-degree manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Carerra Hall and distribution of a fentanyl analog to Marcus Pelletier. Sentencing…

Spending bill rejects Trump effort to gut water cleanups

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – President Donald Trump has gotten nowhere in his push to kill federal support for cleaning up some of the nation’s most prized waterways. A $1.3 trillion spending package approved by Congress includes nearly $448 million for Environmental Protection Agency programs benefiting regional waters degraded by pollution, overdevelopment and exotic species invasions. That’s an increase from…

Rapid City residents to vote on future of Barnett Arena

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Rapid City residents in June will decide the future of Barnett Arena in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The Rapid City Journal reports the city has verified that there are enough valid signatures on a petition calling for a public vote during the June primary election. Residents will decide whether to renovate the arena for…

Interstate traffic stop in South Dakota yields pounds of pot

CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (AP) – A Montana man faces felony drug charges in South Dakota after allegedly being caught with 20 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop. The Daily Republic reports that 33-year-old Scott Whitmore, of Belgrade, Montana, was stopped March 15 for following another vehicle too closely on Interstate 90 in Brule County. Authorities say a search of his…

South Dakota gains population, but North Dakota loses people

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – New population estimates show the Dakotas going in opposite directions. The Capital Journal reports that estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show South Dakota grew about 1 percent between July 2016 and July 2017, to 869,666 people. North Dakota shrunk by 155 residents, to 755,393 people. It was one of only eight states to lose population….

Clinton power plant to close 6 years earlier than scheduled

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) – Officials say an eastern Iowa power plant will be closed six years earlier than scheduled. Alliant Energy said in a news release its M.L. Kapp Generating Station in Clinton will stop operation June 1. The plant was converted from a coal facility to natural gas in 2015. Its 2024 closing date was announced at that time….

Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs off on SDSU precision ag project

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has approved a major new precision agriculture facility at South Dakota State University. The governor signed bills Thursday authorizing and funding the project. The roughly $55 million project includes building a precision agriculture classroom and laboratory, with renovations to an existing building expected later. Lawmakers addressed about $46 million of the cost in…

Helmsley trust gives $1.8M for Custer State Park fire rehab

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota officials say efforts to rehabilitate Custer State Park after a historic wildfire will be helped by a $1.8 million grant from a charitable trust established by the late hotel and real estate baroness Leona Helmsley. The funding announced Thursday will be used over three years to support aerial mapping, tree thinning and stream rehabilitation,…

Supreme Court says drug suspect lawfully detained

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled against a man who claimed he was unlawfully detained by a trooper who stopped him for speeding and discovered a suitcase full of marijuana. Bree Barry argued the drug evidence should be suppressed because the trooper had unlawfully prolonged the traffic stop on Interstate 90 near Sioux Falls without…

Iowa Republicans finalize $35M in midyear budget cuts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Republicans have finalized midyear cuts of more than $35 million to the state’s $7.2 billion budget. The GOP-controlled Senate voted 28-21 Wednesday night for a bill that reduces the budget that runs through June. The Republican-majority House voted for the same plan Tuesday. It now heads to GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds. The bill cuts…

Change on tap for microbrewers after governor signs overhaul

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a bill easing a state production limit and other regulations on South Dakota craft breweries. The Republican governor said Thursday the new law is an “economic development win” that will help the state’s homegrown microbreweries expand and thrive. Daugaard had pushed for the brewing overhaul, contending state regulations are stifling the…

Scotland grocery store to stay in business

SCOTLAND, S.D. (AP) – The owner of a southeastern South Dakota town’s grocery store says it will remain open after months of uncertainty. The Daily Republic reports that Scotland CashSmart owner R.F. Buche said Wednesday he will retain ownership of the store and keep it operating. Earlier this year, Buche closed two other regional grocery stores in Tyndall and Tripp…