Associated Press

Overall Drought Conditions Improve In South Dakota Over Week

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Overall drought conditions have improved in South Dakota, though spotty rain over the past week led to improvements in some areas and worsening conditions in others. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows 77 percent of the state in some stage of drought, down from 82 percent last week. The Drought Monitor says there was…

Disney Reports $177M Payment After ‘Pink Slime’ Suit Settled

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Disney has reported spending $177 million on a legal settlement during the quarter that its subsidiary ABC and a South Dakota meat producer announced a settlement in a high-profile defamation lawsuit. Disney’s filing this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission doesn’t give other details. Disney didn’t immediately respond to an email requesting comment….

Man To Change Plea To Guilty In Deadly Iowa Jail Escape

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Prosecutors say a man charged with killing a sheriff’s deputy and wounding another while escaping from an Iowa jail will plead guilty. The Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office says an attorney for Wesley Correa-Carmenaty informed officials of the change Wednesday. A news release from the prosecutor’s office says no plea bargain was made and that Correa-Carmenaty…

Stein Reaches Plea Deal On Pipeline Protest-Related Charges

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Court records show former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors to resolve criminal charges filed against her in North Dakota nearly a year ago for protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Stein faces misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief for spray-painting a bulldozer at a construction site…

Minnesota Sees Growing Wind Energy Capacity

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – New data from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that Minnesota’s wind energy capacity increased nearly 10 percent last year. The Minnesota Public Radio reports that wind power accounts for nearly 18 percent of the electricity generated in the state. The data shows that Minnesota ranks seventh in the nation for wind energy. The report says the…

Report: Hunting, Fishing Vital To South Dakota Economy

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A new report indicates that South Dakota’s hunting and fishing industry majorly influences the state’s economic health. The Colorado-based Outdoor Industry Association released the report last month. It says the outdoors industry brings about 48,000 jobs to South Dakota, generating $1.2 billion in wages and salaries, $4.7 billion in consumer spending and $255 million in…

Drought Hay Donation Lottery Program Now Offered In 3 States

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A hay donation lottery program set up in North Dakota to help drought-stricken ranchers is being expanded to producers in South Dakota and Montana. The effort was launched last week by North Dakota’s Agriculture Department , North Dakota State University and the Michigan-based nonprofit Ag Community Relief. Officials set up a site near the NDSU campus…

Tribes Want Dakota Pipeline Shut, But Offer Fallback Plan

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – American Indian tribes fighting the Dakota Access pipeline want a federal judge to shut down the line while more environmental review is done. Judge James Boasberg in June ordered federal officials to do more study on the pipeline’s impact on the Standing Rock Sioux – even though the $3.8 billion line began moving North Dakota oil…

Gift Of $6.5 Million For Planned Parenthood

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – An unnamed couple has donated $6.5 million to Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. The organization says the donation is lead gift in a three-year initiative to expand and update 19 health care clinics throughout the region, including its Uptown location in Minneapolis. The clinic serves 13,000 people and Planned Parenthood says demand for services has…

Piedmont Man Pleads Not Guilty In Rapid City Shooting

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A Piedmont man accused of attempting to kill a Rapid City man has pleaded not guilty to felony charges. The Rapid City Journal reports that 48-year-old Michael Wisecarver faces alternative charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault and one count of commission of a felony with a firearm. Wisecarver pleaded not guilty Monday in…

Mitchell City Council Rejects Proposal To Allow Pet Pigs

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) – Mitchell’s City Council has unanimously rejected a proposed ordinance to allow miniature pigs in the city. The proposal to allow pet pigs smaller than 50 pounds in city limits arose from the efforts of a city resident to keep her six pet pigs. The Daily Republic reports that the idea drew opposition, including from the resident’s…

Bipartisan Experts Urge Next Steps On Health Care Push

WASHINGTON (AP) – A group of conservative and liberal health policy experts are pressing Congress and the Trump administration to quickly shore up coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law. They say lawmakers should continue federal subsidies to insurers that President Donald Trump has threatened to block. The money helps low- and middle-income people afford coverage. They want the…

Data Firm: Flynn Advisory Role Never Materialized

WASHINGTON (AP) – A firm connected to a data mining and analysis company says former national security adviser Michael Flynn considered taking an advisory role shortly before Election Day. SCL Group tells The Associated Press that Flynn signed a “statement of work” about “possible advisory work.” But the company says Flynn didn’t take the position after President Donald Trump won…

Director Says Bombed Mosque Doesn’t Have Security Cameras

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) – The executive director of a Minnesota mosque that was bombed over the weekend says the building doesn’t have outside security cameras. Mohamed Omar, of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, told The Associated Press on Monday that his community doesn’t have the money for security cameras. He also says they didn’t receive any threats before…