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Top Stories of 2011



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2011 has been a year of ups and downs with the economy and Mother Nature playing major roles in the top stories of the year. We take a look back, starting with number ten.

On June 9 fans flocked to the 900 slots and 28 gaming tables at the grand falls casino. Located only 20 minutes from Sioux Falls, supporters convinced the Iowa gaming commission it was a revenue maker for the state of Iowa. Susie Viereck and Vicki Kraemer...both from Larchwood were two of the casino's first customers playing the slot machines.

"I already did, they let me win a little bit but then I lost so I quit". Said Viereck.
"The whole atmosphere, I mean the architecture down to every detail I mean it's been phenomenal.  Everybody's just got to come and see." Said Kraemer.

The casino also features a 97-room hotel and has hosted some top name entertainment.

At number nine. South Dakota became the last state in the nation to allow cameras in the courtroom. A case in Huron made history, not because of the crime, but rather people at home got to see video from inside a courtroom. Footage shows the lawyers in the case presenting their cases before the judge. Judge Jon Erickson became the first judge to allow full access. The South Dakota Supreme Court has allowed cameras to be present in the past, but this was a first for the lower courts.

At number eight in our list of top stories of 2011 is the proposed closure of small town post offices in towns like Canova, and the fight to keep them open. The United States Postal Service has announced a proposal to close about 3,700 post offices around the country. 80 of those are in South Dakota.

At number seven we find a shocking announcement from South Dakota's longest serving governor.
On November 4, with stitches clearly visible on the side of his head, Bill Janklow revealed he has inoperable brain cancer. The cancer is affecting his speech and emotions and Janklow wanted to reach out to the people of South Dakota while he still could.

"I want them to just understand one thing: I gave a damn about what I did.  I enjoyed it and I did what I felt was right.  And if I had to do it over, I would do everything I did except stop at a stop sign.  And other than that I would do everything that I did.  Because I had a heck of a ride.” Said Janklow.

Janklow has been undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
    
And at number six, a budget disagreement that shut down state government in Minnesota for 3 weeks.
Republican lawmakers and the Democratic governor could not agree on how to tackle a projected 5 billion dollar budget deficit. On July 20, Governor Mark Dayton signed a state budget agreement putting 22,000 people back to work. Most Minnesotans like James A. Masino were happy to see the agreement.

“It’s a big relief I know a lot of people who have been hurt by the shut down and I felt for people who had certain services cut off for them. Said Masino.

On Thursday we will reveal the top 5 stories of 2011.
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