Associated Press

Inmate Pleads Not Guilty To Killing Escapee

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A state prison inmate has pleaded not guilty to killing another inmate who had walked away from a minimum security facility in Rapid City. Thomas Lucero is charged with first-degree murder and an alternative second-degree murder count in the death of Moses Dubray. His body was found last January along state Highway 89 in southwestern South…

Hunter Shot When Dog Steps On Shotgun Trigger Guard In Iowa

WOOLSTOCK, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a pheasant hunter in north-central Iowa was accidentally shot when a dog stepped on shotgun trigger guard and the gun fired. The Iowa Natural Resources Department says the shooting occurred around 1:20 p.m. Wednesday at a public hunting area near Woolstock in southwestern Wright County. The department says four hunters and two dogs were…

Autism, Sleep Apnea Added As Medical Pot Qualifiers

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota health officials say they’re adding autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says there is increasing evidence that medical marijuana can help people with severe autism or obstructive apnea. The state health department takes public input each year on conditions that might be…

Prisons Struggle With South Dakota’s Meth ‘Epidemic’

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota corrections officials say they’re struggling to manage a growing prison population due to the state’s methamphetamine epidemic. Corrections Secretary Denny Kaemingk told a state corrections commission Wednesday that South Dakota’s current prison population stands at nearly 3,910 men and women, compared to about 3,560 in 2015. Kaemingk says the meth epidemic has contributed to…

White House Considers Replacing Secretary Of State Tillerson

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is discussing a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo. That’s according to two administration officials. They were not authorized to publicly discuss internal thinking and spoke on condition of anonymity. U.S. officials and individuals familiar with White House plans have spoken about the possibility of a broad…

Report: Sen. Franken Groped Army Veteran During USO Tour

WASHINGTON (AP) – An Army veteran has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of inappropriately touching her more than a decade ago while she was on a military deployment to Kuwait. She’s identified in CNN’s Thursday report as Stephanie Kemplin, 41, of Maineville, Ohio. She is the fifth woman in the last two weeks to accuse the embattled Franken of sexual…

Yankton Man Dies Of Injuries Suffered In Fire

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) – A Yankton man has died of injuries he suffered in a residential fire earlier this week. Yankton County Sheriff Jim Vlahakis says 44-year-old Arthur Lehe died Tuesday, a day after broke out at a Yankton trailer home. One person was able to escape from the home, which was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Lehe was…

Environment Groups Want Pipeline Company’s Lawsuit Dismissed

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Environmental groups being sued by the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline have asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit. Greenpeace and BankTrack argue in court documents that their opposition to the $3.8 billion project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois is protected free speech, not an illegal effort to undermine the developer. Texas-based…

Regional Health Plans New Health Campus Serving Spearfish

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) – A Rapid-City based health system is fundraising to build a more than $100 million new health care campus to serve the Spearfish area. Regional Health’s announcement comes after a 40-acre land donation from a Spearfish company planning a 700-acre residential and retail development. With the land donation, Regional Health embarked on a fundraising campaign with a…

Garrison Keillor Says Fired Over Alleged Improper Behavior

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Garrison Keillor says he was fired because he put his hand on a woman’s bare back as he tried to console her. The longtime radio host announced Wednesday he’d been fired by Minnesota Public Radio. Keillor retired from his popular show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” last year but had still worked for MPR on a variety of…

3 Iowa Public Universities Request Funding For Financial Aid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Presidents of Iowa’s three state universities are asking for funding to pay for more financial aid for undergraduate students. But stagnant tax revenue could make additional spending unlikely. The university presidents requested $12 million on Tuesday from Gov. Kim Reynolds. Iowa State University and the University of Iowa each requested $5 million, while the University…

Lawmaker, Brother-In-Law Met Rough Ocean Before Drowning

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Authorities say a South Dakota state representative and his brother-in-law encountered high tides and rough seas before they drowned in a kayaking accident last week off an island in the South Pacific. Cook Islands police say 68-year-old Rep. Craig Tieszen and his brother-in-law, 61-year-old Brent Moline, were paddling kayaks at a reef Nov. 22 when…

$4.5 Million School Plan Voted Down In Wessington Springs

WESSINGTON SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) – Voters have narrowly defeated a $4.5 million bond issue to upgrade the century-old high school in Wessington Springs. 59 percent of the 751 voters in Tuesday’s election favored the project, but it needed 60 percent approval to pass. The difference was just seven votes. The project would have included upgrades to heating and cooling systems,…

Fall Harvest In South Dakota Nearly Wrapped Up

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The fall harvest in South Dakota is nearly wrapped up after another week of unseasonably warm weather. The federal Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop report that the sunflower harvest is 94 percent complete, the sorghum harvest is 95 percent done and the corn harvest is 97 percent complete. The state’s winter wheat crop…

Woman Sentenced For ID Theft, Bank Fraud In 3-State Region

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Marshall, Minnesota, woman has been sentenced in federal court in South Dakota to nearly three years in prison for an identity theft and bank fraud scheme. Authorities say 27-year-old Angelica Hatch-Pequin and co-conspirator Jason Fagin would steal mail from mailboxes in Minneapolis to obtain personal banking information of other people. They would use the information…