Mark Vargo

A photo of Abbey Lynn Steele on display during a vigil on Dec. 6, 2022, outside the Pennington County Jail in Rapid City. (Photo by A.J. Etherington/Rapid City Journal)

Justice coalition aims to force change after death of Native American mother

BY: - January 9, 2023

A group of Native American activists and their supporters have refined their demands for Pennington County officials following the death of a young woman who’d been arrested in Rapid City, and they plan to meet weekly all winter long to push for their demands to be met. Tuesday will mark four weeks of group meetings, […]

Mark Vargo, right, shakes hands with members of the Wambli Ska Society on Sept. 13, 2022, in Pierre. (Courtesy of SD Attorney General's Office)

Native American outreach marks Attorney General Vargo’s short term in office

BY: - January 6, 2023

Attorney General Mark Vargo stepped away from his post on Friday with a six-month legacy he hopes will serve as a building block to stronger relations between law enforcement and South Dakota’s nine tribal nations. Vargo was appointed by Gov. Kristi Noem following the impeachment and removal of former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, who hit […]

Allison Morrisette, left, the state's new Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons coordinator, and Mary Beth Holzwarth, right, the state's new human trafficking coordinator. (Courtesy of Attorney General's Office)

Attorney general makes new hires to address human trafficking, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons

BY: - November 30, 2022

Attorney General Mark Vargo announced two new hires Wednesday to address human trafficking and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons. Allison Morrisette is the state’s inaugural Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons coordinator. Morrisette is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe who last served as adult diversion coordinator for the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s […]

Gov. Kristi Noem showed this image of a state-owned airplane in 2021 when she proposed selling two older planes and buying a new one as part of her annual budget proposal. (Image from Gov. Noem's FY22 Budget Slides)

The key words and missing definition in the Noem airplane controversy

BY: - October 31, 2022

When authorities announced the conclusion of a recent investigation into Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of a state airplane, their news release included a potentially key phrase. The news release said, in part, “there were no facts to support a criminal prosecution under current law.” Those last three words – “under current law” – leave some […]

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 […]

Mark Vargo (Courtesy of SD Attorney General's Office)

Q&A: Consider primaries for attorney general nominees, Vargo says

BY: - October 25, 2022

Attorney General Mark Vargo said the state should consider a new method of choosing political nominees for the office he holds. “I will say that I do think it would be smart to consider whether or not that nomination process should be through a convention or through a primary,” Vargo said. Currently, delegates at political […]