Former New Mexico State NCAA college basketball player Deuce Benjamin breaks down in tears while speaking at a news conference in Las Cruces, N.M., in May. Benjamin and Shak Odunewu discussed the lawsuit they filed alleging teammates ganged up and sexually assaulted them multiple times, while their coaches and others at the school didn’t act when confronted with the allegations. Some states have bolstered anti-hazing laws, but definitions and punishments aren’t uniform. (Andres Leighton/The Associated Press)

South Dakota one of six states without anti-hazing laws

BY: - September 27, 2023

Max Gruver spent the early morning hours of Sept. 14, 2017, heavily intoxicated and passed out on a couch inside the Phi Delta Theta chapter house at Louisiana State University. He had been forced to repeatedly chug 190-proof Diesel liquor in a hazing ritual called “Bible Study,” during which pledges are quizzed on fraternity facts. […]

The monument to Hugh Glass, as seen today, at its new location. (Courtesy of Joseph Weixelman)

Family of famed poet plans to breach century-old monument to unlock mystery inside

BY: - September 25, 2023

LINCOLN, Nebraska — After gaining federal permission, the family of a famed poet/author plans to trek to a remote corner of northwest South Dakota in October to retrieve a century-old monument dedicated to a heroic mountain man. The goal is to finally unlock a mystery hidden inside the monument, erected at the direction of writer […]

Joe Fiala, partner relations director for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, speaks Sept. 21, 2023, at an Early Learner Summit in Brookings. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

State unveils $3 million grant program for community child care solutions

BY: - September 21, 2023

BROOKINGS — Child care is a workforce issue. Providers, business professionals and experts have been saying that for years. On Thursday, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Department of Social Services announced a $3 million grant program to expand child care in the state. The Community Based Child Care Grant, which uses federal […]

From left, Tamara St. John of the Lake Traverse Reservation and Spirit Lake Tribe Chairwoman Lonna Street talk with Chris Koenig and Meredith Hawkins Trautt, Army Corps of Engineers archeologists and tribal liaisons, at the Carlisle Barracks Post Cemetery in Pennsylvania. The Sisseton Wahpeton representatives were in the state to begin the reinterment process for two children who died at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the late 1800s. (Courtesy of Tamara St. John)

‘Just a knee bone’: Reinterment brings pain and healing to Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate

BY: - September 20, 2023

They only found a knee bone. That was all that was left of Amos La Framboise in his grave at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where the 13-year-old Sisseton Wahpeton boy was sent to assimilate to white culture in 1879. He died just three weeks after arriving at the school. ‘They are important […]

From left, Nancy Renville, Justine La Framboise, John Renville, Edward Upright and George Walker pose on the bandstand on the Carlisle school grounds in the late 1800s. Amos La Framboise is not pictured. The six children were members of the Spirit Lake and Lake Traverse bands of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate. (Photo by John Choate, courtesy of Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center)

‘They are important to us’: Remains of Sisseton Wahpeton children returning home

BY: - September 19, 2023

Amos La Framboise and Edward Upright didn’t know that they’d never see their homes and families again. The boys, of the Spirit Lake and Lake Traverse bands of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, set off to Pennsylvania in 1879 to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.  They didn’t know they would die at the school before […]

Supporters tour Panther Cubs Academy in Platte during a fundraiser weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Child care shortage drives construction contractor to create his own solution

BY: - September 17, 2023

Platte has been good to Tyler Samuelson and his family.  Over the past 15 years, the owner of Summit Contracting has seen his family’s business grow into the largest employer in the south-central South Dakota town.  Lately, Platte’s meager 1,300 population has become a problem for the growing business, which manufactures “anything on the farm […]

The "World's Largest Pheasant" greets visitors to Huron. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Desperation and renewal: How Huron embraced new Americans and thrived

BY: - September 15, 2023

That Huron came to be a major hub of Karen culture in the Midwest was at least partially a side effect of desperation. What began as desperation for workers morphed into desperation for a school system struggling to manage its migrant population and the community’s response to it.  Today, about a decade after the dust settled […]

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 […]

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10,700 South Dakotans enroll in student loan repayment program; Thune files opposition measure

BY: - September 5, 2023

WASHINGTON — More than 4 million federal student loan borrowers — including 10,700 in South Dakota — are enrolled in the Biden administration’s new repayment program, according to figures released Tuesday by the Department of Education. With the pause of more than three years on federal student loan repayments coming to an end in October, […]

Arrows are embedded in a target during practice for the women's individual eliminations match on Aug. 17, 2004, during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, Greece. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Gun law raises funding concerns for school hunting programs

BY: - September 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers are concerned that the Biden administration is interpreting last year’s bipartisan gun safety law to cut funding for school archery and hunting programs, though programs themselves say they haven’t been affected. A provision in the law – a bipartisan effort to curb gun violence that established new criminal offenses, and expanded background […]

A person tries out a semi-automatic pistol at The Gun Store in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Commission moves to close loophole in armed school sentinel program

BY: - August 30, 2023

Current eligibility rules for the state’s armed school sentinel program don’t disqualify people who are barred from possessing firearms, according to Hank Prim, executive secretary for the Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission. But the commission endorsed a rule change Wednesday in Pierre that would close that “loophole,” as Prim called it.  The Legislature […]

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Here’s what to know about new federal policies for repaying student loans

BY: - August 22, 2023

WASHINGTON — Following the Supreme Court’s summer ruling against 40 million federal student loan borrowers who would have qualified for debt relief, the Biden administration crafted a year-long delay in repayments. The policy, known as an on-ramp, is set to begin next month. Additionally, hours after the Supreme Court’s decision, the Department of Education unveiled […]