Searchlight staff

Searchlight staff

Former South Dakota House Speaker Debra Anderson dies

By: - November 22, 2022

Flags at the South Dakota State Capitol will fly at half-staff through December 10 in honor of the first and only woman to ever serve as Speaker of the House in Pierre. Former state Rep. Debra Anderson died in her home in Washington, D.C. at age 73. She served in the South Dakota House of […]

SD House Republican leaders for 2023 Session. Front: Assistant Majority Leader Taylor Rehfeldt, R-Sioux Falls, Majority Leader Will Mortensen, R-Ft. Pierre, Speaker Hugh Bartels, R-Watertown, Speaker Pro Tem Mike Stevens, R-Yankton. Middle: Whip Becky Drury, R-Rapid City, Whip Kirk Chaffee, R-Whitewood, Whip Rocky Blare, R-Winner. Back: Whip Gary Cammack, R-Union Center, Whip James D. Wangsness, R-Miller.

Leadership teams lean moderate in South Dakota House, Senate

By: - November 21, 2022

The South Dakota House of Representatives elected its leadership team for the 2023 legislative session over the weekend, a week after their counterparts in the Senate did the same. Members of the 94-member GOP supermajority’s more moderate faction came out ahead in both chambers. Speaker of the House Hugh Bartels, Watertown, was elected to replace […]

Wastewater treatment plant in Buena Vista, Georgia, on July 29, 2020.

Town of Hermosa fined for spraying too much wastewater over farm fields

By: - November 17, 2022

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) has fined Hermosa $13,000 for Surface Water Discharge permit violations. The city of 373, located about 20 miles south of Rapid City, failed to submit documentation before spraying wastewater on agricultural land, the DANR said. It also failed to monitor that wastewater and went over […]

Former DCI supervisor returns to lead state law enforcement agency

By: - November 14, 2022

A longtime law enforcement officer and former second-in-command at South Dakota’s top detective agency will now serve as its leader. Attorney General-Elect Marty Jackley announced Monday that Dan Satterlee will serve as director of the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Satterlee was assistant DCI director during much of Jackley’s first stint as Attorney General, which […]

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

New lifetime pass for veterans provides free entrance to national parks and other public lands

By: - November 11, 2022

Starting today, on Veterans Day, military veterans and Gold Star families can get a free lifetime pass to the nation’s 400 million acres of public lands, national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests. Lifetime access for veterans was part of the  Alexander Lofgren Veterans in Parks Act, which passed in December 2021. The bill authorized free […]

A vote-here sign, pictured on Nov. 8, 2022, at the All Souls Church on Cliff Avenue in Sioux Falls. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

LIVE Coverage: Election 2022

By: - November 8, 2022

Voters headed to the polls Tuesday across all 66 counties in South Dakota. They cast ballots for Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Congressman, and decided on statewide candidates for offices like Secretary of State and Public Utilities Commissioner. On the local level, 105 seats in the South Dakota Senate and House of Representatives were up for […]

Pine trees in the Black Hills National Forest. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

White House signs $50 million deal to conserve Western forests, grasslands

By: - October 28, 2022

The White House announced Friday that the U.S. Forest Service and the National Wild Turkey Federation have signed a 20-year agreement to address Western wildfires and promote healthy forests and grasslands across the U.S. Grassland makes up approximately 50% of all private and public lands in South Dakota, and the state is home to multiple […]

Gov. Kristi Noem attends an event Oct. 12, 2022, at a Sioux Falls grocery store. (John Hult/SD Searchlight)

Poll shows Noem with 19-point lead in governor race

By: - October 26, 2022

New results from Emerson College Polling say Republican Gov. Kristi Noem leads Democratic challenger Jamie Smith by 19 points in the race for governor of South Dakota. Noem has support from 56 percent of poll respondents, while Smith’s support is at 37 percent. Three percent of respondents support Libertarian Tracey Quint, and 4 percent are […]

(Getty Images)

State regulators warn of high natural gas bills this winter

By: - October 26, 2022

South Dakota’s Public Utilities Commission is advising natural gas customers to prepare for rising prices in the coming months. Experts have identified high global demand, growth in the consumption of natural gas that outpaces production, and record exports of liquified natural gas as reasons for rising prices expected this winter, the commission said in a […]

Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at a January 2022 event in the state Capitol at Pierre. (Twitter/Governor Kristi Noem)

No charges against Noem in airplane investigation

By: - October 25, 2022

Hughes County State’s Attorney Jessica LaMie announced Tuesday that no charges will be filed in the investigation into Gov. Kristi Noem’s alleged misuse of a state airplane. LaMie said in a news release that the state Division of Criminal Investigation had ended its inquiry, which included examining whether the plane’s flight records had been tampered […]

Colleen Sullivan, who authored a newly published paper quantifying fossil erosion, is shown here working in a lab at South Dakota Mines on her research. (Courtesy of South Dakota Mines)

Mines student recognized for research on fossil dissolution rates

By: - October 25, 2022

RAPID CITY — A South Dakota Mines graduate student has published research on the rate that fossils erode when they’re exposed to the surface. Colleen Sullivan’s research has just been published in the peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal PLOS ONE. In a news release from Mines, Sullivan said she was studying the effect of rain on […]