Searchlight staff

Searchlight staff

Jeff Griffin of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, left, talks with U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, at a roundtable discussion May 1, 2023, in Sioux Falls. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Congressional Roundup: Johnson seeks a fix for tribal mortgages

By: - May 27, 2023

Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, introduced legislation this week to streamline the approval process for mortgages on tribal land. Some tribal land is held in trust by the federal government, and mortgages involving property on trust land must be reviewed and approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA Mortgage Handbook establishes timelines for […]

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Sept. 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images)

Congressional Roundup: Rounds seeks solutions for classified document mess

By: - May 21, 2023

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, is a cosponsor of a new bill proposing solutions to high-profile problems with the handling of classified information. The sponsor of the bill is Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia. Four Democrats, three Republicans, including Rounds, and an independent are cosponsors. Rounds said in a news release the bill would “increase accountability […]

The Minnehaha County Courthouse in Sioux Falls, pictured on Nov. 1, 2022. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Ballot question group sues Minnehaha County, alleges new policy undermines First Amendment

By: - May 10, 2023

Dakotans for Health, a health care advocacy network and ballot question committee, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Minnehaha County officials over new restrictions on petition circulators.  The Minnehaha County Courthouse and Administration Building in Sioux Falls are popular locations for collecting signatures to place a measure on the ballot. County officials enacted new regulations on […]

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Checks are in the mail to more than 14,000 South Dakotans for TurboTax settlement

By: - May 8, 2023

More than 14,000 South Dakotans will soon get a check in the mail for their share of a multi-state settlement with Intuit, the owner of the TurboTax online tax preparation service. Eligible South Dakotans are expected to receive about $30 apiece. The state’s total share of the settlement is $444,456.88. The total, nationwide $141 million […]

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, speaks to reporters outside of the Senate Chambers during a vote in the U.S. Capitol on March 14, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Congressional Roundup: Rounds works across the aisle on housing

By: - May 6, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the latest installment in a series of periodic updates on the activities of South Dakota’s congressional delegation. — Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, joined with fellow Senate Banking Committee member Tina Smith, D-Minnesota, to introduce legislation this week that would “improve rural housing programs, cut red tape and increase the accessibility […]

The Hughes County Courthouse in Pierre, pictured in November 2022. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Former legislative candidate sentenced to 10 years for incest

By: - April 11, 2023

Former legislative candidate Joel Koskan was sentenced to 10 years in state prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to two felony counts of incest, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The charges stemmed from sexual activity with an adopted child. Charges were filed against Koskan in November, just days before the general election in which […]

A portion of the Pactola Reservoir in the Black Hills. (Seth Tupper/SD Searchlight)

Federal agencies seek to protect Pactola Reservoir and Rapid Creek from mining

By: - March 17, 2023

Two federal agencies have announced a proposal to protect 32 square miles of the Black Hills National Forest from mining. The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service made the announcement in a Friday news release. The proposal covers the Pactola Reservoir and Rapid Creek Watershed, which are popular recreation destinations that also serve […]

Law enforcement work a crash with no injuries on the northbound side of Interstate 29 north of the New Effington exit on Feb. 21, 2023. (Courtesy of SD Department of Public Safety)

Winter storm updates

By: - February 21, 2023

Information updates on the February 2023 winter storm and severe weather across the state of South Dakota.

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Black Hills foundation awarded $3 million for housing work

By: - February 7, 2023

The Bush Foundation, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is awarding more than $3 million to the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to address affordable housing problems in Rapid City, according to a news release. The award includes a $1 million grant to support a Strategic Housing Initiative, a $2 million investment in the Rapid City […]

The state Capitol in Pierre. (Getty Images)

Senate leaders appoint committee for Frye-Mueller complaint, release more details

By: - January 27, 2023

South Dakota Senate leaders have appointed a committee to hear a complaint against Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, R-Rapid City, and have released further details of allegations that led to her suspension. The new committee could ultimately make a recommendation leading to a Senate vote to expel, censure, discipline or exonerate Frye-Mueller. A news release Friday afternoon […]

Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her second inaugural address Jan. 7, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (South Dakota Inaugural Committee)

Noem’s inaugural address: Read, watch the speech

By: - January 9, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem was sworn in Saturday for her second term. Below is the prepared text of her speech as provided by the Governor’s Office, and video coverage of the ceremony and speech from South Dakota Public Broadcasting.   Jan. 7, 2023 Remarks as prepared and provided by the Governor’s Office: Four years ago, I […]

(Image courtesy of S.D. DOT)

Interstates fully reopen

By: - January 4, 2023

Interstate 90 has reopened westbound from Sioux Falls to Mitchell as of 4:45 p.m. today, according to the state Department of Transportation. Other closed portions of I-90 and I-29 reopened earlier, which means South Dakota’s interstates are now fully open. I-90 travel conditions, as reported by the DOT: Although I-90 is now reopened eastbound and […]