Searchlight staff

Searchlight staff

(John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

South Dakota ranks fourth in payments from conservation program

By: - October 17, 2023

South Dakotans are the fourth largest recipients this year from a federal program that pays agricultural landowners to keep environmentally sensitive land out of production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Conservation Reserve Program has sent $129.5 million to South Dakotans. That trails Iowa ($402.5 million), Illinois ($172.7 million) and Minnesota ($150.8 million). […]

Bison graze on a snow covered pasture in Corson County. (Makenzie Huber, South Dakota Searchlight)

Federal pilot project will buy local bison meat for tribal food aid

By: - October 12, 2023

A federal pilot project to put more locally raised bison on the plates of Native American people is starting with meat produced in South Dakota. The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the announcement Thursday in Rapid City. The department has awarded contracts to four producers — totaling nearly $500,000 — with connections to tribal reservations […]

The logo of the South Dakota NewsMedia Association.

Statewide group representing news organizations rebrands

By: - October 11, 2023

The association representing the state’s newspapers and other news media outlets has changed its name to the South Dakota NewsMedia Association (SDNA), according to a news release. For the past 35 years, the association was known as the South Dakota Newspaper Association. “The change in the name of our association reflects the changes occurring in […]

South Dakota ACT scores decline but remain higher than national average

By: - October 11, 2023

South Dakota students’ average ACT score is down for the third consecutive year, but it remains higher than the national average. The national nonprofit that administers the college readiness exam released new results Tuesday from the class of 2023. South Dakota students earned an average composite score of 21.1. The highest possible score on the […]

Riders herd bison during the 2022 Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park. (Photo by Travel South Dakota)

State says 2023 Buffalo Roundup set attendance record

By: - October 3, 2023

A record 22,590 visitors attended the 58th annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park on Friday morning, according to the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks. The previous record was 22,078 visitors set in 2015 during the 50th anniversary event. This year, 60 horseback riders wrangled the herd of 1,500 bison into the corrals […]

James "Jim" Dover, president and CEO of Avera Health. (Courtesy of Avera)

South Dakota-based health system chooses new leader

By: - September 20, 2023

One of the state’s major health systems has a new leader. James “Jim” Dover has been named the next president and CEO of Sioux Falls-based Avera Health, one of the largest not-for-profit rural health care systems in the Midwest. His first day with Avera will be Oct. 23. Dover joins Avera following Bob Sutton’s resignation […]

University of South Dakota Law School Dean Neil Fulton speaks to students. (Courtesy of USD)

Enrollment grows by 2% at state universities

By: - September 13, 2023

Enrollment is up 2% this fall across the state’s public university system, according to the South Dakota Board of Regents. It’s the second consecutive year of enrollment growth. “Back-to-back years of increased enrollment is a testament to the commitment of our faculty, staff and administration to providing an exceptional educational experience,” said Regents Executive Director […]

Blurred hands are typing on a laptop computer in the dark with illuminated keyboard and illegible mystic program code visible on the screen.

Jackley calls for study and new laws to protect children from AI exploitation

By: - September 5, 2023

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and colleagues from 53 states and territories are asking congressional leaders to create an expert panel on how artificial intelligence is to used to exploit children. “Artificial intelligence has its benefits, but there is also potential for serious harm that we are now experiencing with several investigations in South […]

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 22, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Courtesy of Attorney General's Office)

South Dakotans can now sign up for consumer alerts, attorney general says

By: - August 30, 2023

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Wednesday that the public can now receive consumer alerts via email from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. The alert system will provide subscribers with information about consumer scams and tips on how to protect against scams, Jackley said in a news release. People can register for the […]

Signage at an early voting center on Sept. 23, 2016, in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Democratic voter registration falls behind ‘other’ category in South Dakota

By: - August 21, 2023

Historic shifts in South Dakota voter registration have culminated in a milestone: The number of voters registered as independents or without a political affiliation has surpassed the number of Democrats. Independent and non-politically affiliated voters (those who leave the political affiliation blank when they first register) have been growing steadily in number since the 1990s. […]

An aerial view of a cornfield. (Getty Images)

Harvest projection includes 21% more corn, 14% more soybeans in SD

By: - August 14, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest forecast predicts South Dakota farmers will harvest 21% more corn and 14% more soybeans this year. The corn harvest projection is 798 million bushels. The increase is attributed to farmers harvesting 10% more corn acres, reaching 5.5 million, and an expected yield of 145 bushels per acre, up 13 […]

South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Jordan Melius stops a motorcyclist during the 2023 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. (Courtesy of South Dakota Highway Patrol)

At least 11 die in motorcycle accidents before and during Sturgis rally

By: - August 14, 2023

Three more people died in motorcycle crashes over the weekend as the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally ended, bringing the total number of traffic deaths officially and unofficially connected with this year’s rally to at least 11. The rally began Aug. 4 and ended Sunday. Traffic counters recorded roughly 458,000 vehicles in Sturgis, which was down […]