Associated Press

3 Defendants Sentenced For Roles In Casino Blackjack Scheme

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) – Federal authorities say three people have been sentenced for their roles in a blackjack scheme that involved the theft of about $10,000 from a northeast South Dakota casino. U.S. Attorney Randolph Seiler’s office says 44-year-old Lito Bolocon and 29-year-old Jordon Rondell were sentenced this week to six months in custody and ordered to pay $8,700 in…

Minnesota, South Dakota Farmers Named To Soybean Board

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has named farmers from Minnesota and South Dakota to the United Soybean Board. Lawrence Sukalski of Fairmont, Minnesota, and Marc Reiner of Tripp, South Dakota, are among 19 members and 3 alternates announced this week who have been appointed to serve three-year terms. The board is made up of 73 members…

Governors Association Backs Bid To Collect Online Sales Tax

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Business groups, federal lawmakers and public officials’ associations have signed on to support South Dakota’s legal bid to collect sales taxes from out-of-state internet retailers. South Dakota is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether retailers can be required to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence. The case could have…

Experts Urge Cooks To Remember Food Safety On Thanksgiving

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Experts say it’s important to remember food safety on Thanksgiving. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in six Americans will become ill from a foodborne illness this year. Of those, 128,000 will be hospitalized and 3,000 will die. The traditional main course at Thanksgiving, turkey, can contain salmonella and campylobacter bacteria…

One-Fifth Of Upper Midwest Residents Traveling For Holiday

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – AAA is projecting that about one-fifth of residents in the region that includes the Upper Midwest will be traveling this Thanksgiving. The travel organization says the seven-state region that includes North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota will see the greatest share of people traveling over the holiday – 19.5 percent, compared with 15.6 percent nationally. AAA…

South Dakota County Official Questions Conflict Of Interest

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) – More than half of a southeast South Dakota county’s commissioners have asked to be investigated for possible conflicts of interest with the approval of several hog confinements. Yankton County Commissioner Ray Epp said during a meeting Tuesday that he’s aware of concerns about his connection to the South Dakota Pork Producers Council. He sits on the…

State: Testing Finds No Oil In Ditch Near Keystone Spill

AMHERST, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota official says TransCanada Corp.’s testing of water from a drainage ditch next to the Keystone pipeline’s estimated 210,000-gallon oil spill found no oil. Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said Wednesday the ditch in Marshall County appears to flow into a creek. But Walsh…

Supreme Court Uphold Fatal Aberdeen Stabbing Conviction

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a man who fatally stabbed his ex-girlfriend in Aberdeen. The high court unanimously affirmed both the conviction and the sentence for John Eric Hemminger. Attorney General Marty Jackley says the court upheld law enforcement’s seizure of Hemminger’s cell phone, clothing and DNA. It also agreed it…

USA Gymnastics Doctor Pleads Guilty To Sex Charges

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor who has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven girls says he is “horribly sorry” and that he prays “for forgiveness every day.” Dr. Larry Nassar entered his plea Wednesday in a Michigan courtroom. Some of his accusers attended the packed hearing. Some were crying. Nassar was charged…

$300M For Great Lakes Cleanup Moves Forward In Congress

DETROIT (AP) – A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program would receive $300 million next year under a spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The measure cleared the committee this week and now goes to the full Senate. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the region’s most longstanding environmental problems, such as toxic pollution, farm and urban runoff,…

Mount Rushmore Float To Appear Again In Turkey Day Parade

2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo: South Dakota Department of Tourism.PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – This year’s “Mount Rushmore’s American Pride” float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature legendary rhythm and blues singer Smokey Robinson. This will be the eighth year the South Dakota Department of Tourism float will appear in the New York City parade. The float features…

Trooper Imprisoned For Grand Theft Denied Early Release

CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (AP) – A Davison County judge has denied early release for a former South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper convicted of grand theft. Several dozen supporters of Brian Biehl were in court Tuesday hoping the judge would allow him to get out of prison by Christmas. Biehl was sentenced to five years in prison last March after pleaded guilty…

Man Convicted In Deadly Beating On Reservation Sentenced

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A man convicted of instigating the deadly beating of another man on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in July 2015 has been sentenced to 17 ½ years in federal prison. A jury in June found 26-year-old Calmer Cottier guilty of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit assault in the killing of 30-year-old…

TransCanada: Keystone Oil Leak A Sudden, ‘Immediate’ Event

BRITTON, S.D. (AP) – A TransCanada Corp. official says he believes an estimated 210,000-gallon oil leak discovered last week in South Dakota from the Keystone pipeline was a sudden and “immediate” event. The American News reports that Erik Tatarchuk, a TransCanada vice president, said at a Marshall County Commission meeting Tuesday that it is unlikely oil leaked long enough to…

Customs And Border Protection Caught Off-Guard By Travel Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general says the entity responsible for implementing President Donald Trump’s travel ban was caught-off guard by his executive order. The inspector general’s office says in letters sent Monday to members of the Senate that Customs and Border Protection had “virtually no warning” the order was coming. It also says department leaders…

Spring Trial Set For Ashton Man In Animal Abuse Case

REDFIELD, S.D. (AP) – An Ashton man accused of starving livestock has been scheduled for trial next spring. Sixty-three-year-old Rex Spear was charged with felony animal abuse and misdemeanor animal neglect after four dead cows were found on his property in June. Authorities believe the cows died from lack of food and water. Authorities seized 75 cattle and a horse…

Tribe’s Marijuana Consultant Pays Fine, Court Costs

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) – A consultant charged after he worked with a Native American tribe on its plans to open the nation’s first marijuana resort will have his case dismissed. Defense attorney Clint Sargent said a judge on Tuesday granted Jonathan Hunt’s request for a suspended imposition of sentence. Hunt, 44, of Colorado, paid a $500 fine and about $100…

Fall Harvest In South Dakota Close To Wrapping Up

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The fall harvest in South Dakota is close to wrapping up. The federal Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop report that the sunflower harvest is 89 percent complete, the sorghum harvest 90 percent done and the corn harvest 92 percent complete. The report says weather over the week was favorable for farmers finishing their…