East Water Tower Finish2South Dakota’s water development districts are looking at methods to help rural residents test their well water.  Run off of nitrates and other pollutants can make those wells unusable.

Jay Gilbertson is Manager of the East Dakota Water Development District and says those tests can help people find and fix problems with their well water…

Gilbertson says they would not be tracking issues found with well water…

Gilbertson says the water districts are still working out details of the testing program.

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MoneyLow commodity prices and dropping land prices are combining to put stress on producers, and the banks that finance them.  Curt Everson, President of the South Dakota Bankers Association, says this is a unique ag cycle…

Everson says some of the financial impacts to banks will be more apparent by early next year….

Everson says most banks have a good percentage of reserves…

Everson says the FDIC and the Federal Reserve also have resources to back up any bank under financial strain.

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DaugaardAfter vetoing a bill earlier this year that would have allowed a tax break for those that employed buffer strips on their farms, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is back with his own proposal…


Daugaard says his bill identifies those waters where the buffer strips could be located…


Daugaard says the bill would give the same property tax cut to all buffer strips…


The buffer strips, mostly planted to grass, would help filter out pollutants before they got into the water. The bill was presented to the Ag Land Advisory Task Force at their last meeting. That group will meet again in mid-October.

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voteElection Day is fast approaching.  Less than seven weeks from today, polls across the country will be open as voters choose a new president along with many other state and local officeholders.  South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says all the prep work that goes into an election started months ago….

Krebs says voting by absentee ballot is becoming more popular….

Krebs says there’s one demographic group in South Dakota where voter turnout is low, and needs improvement….

Overall, Krebs expects voter turnout in South Dakota for the general election to be between 60 and 70 percent. Absentee voting begins tomorrow.

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South DakotaWhile summer is the busy time for travelers, the South Dakota Department of Tourism is trying to extend that.  Secretary Jim Hagen says they are working to expand visitation beyond the traditional months…

Hagen says they want to keep their message top of mind through the year…

Hagen says they also have some targeted promotions…

Hagen says it looks like the tourism tax will be up again this year. Those official numbers will be released later this fall.

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Rounds 2016 HYPCongress is struggling to find agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government past the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, and that could keep members in Washington longer than they had planned.  A number of polls shows control of the Senate could be up for grabs in November.  South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says they are all aware of that…

Rounds says the Presidential campaign has a lot of influence on the control of the Senate…

Rounds says it doesn’t look like either party will come close to the sixty votes needed to overcome filibusters.

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hpdaniterideThe US Justice Department announced a new round of cooperative programs to help states battle the increasing use and abuse of opioids and heroin across the country.  This week is “National Heroin and Opioid Abuse Awareness Week.”  South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the extra attention is needed…


Jackley says the help from the US Justice Department continues an established partnership….


Jackley says his office and the legislature has attempted to be proactive to try and head off the growing drug abuse epidemic…


Jackley says while opioids and heroin are both problems in the state, the number one drug problem continues to be meth.

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Noem HYPOne of the planks passed by this summer’s Republican National Convention calls for SNAP, or the food stamp program, to be removed from the US Department of Agriculture, and out of the Farm Bill.  South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem says that’s a problem…

Noem says having the SNAP program in the Farm Bill gets more urban support…

Noem says while the GOP platform may have the provision, it doesn’t mean it extends to House republicans…

Due to dropping commodity prices, there is increasing talk of modifying the farm bill early next year.

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first snow 2010The fading of the predicted La Nina in the Pacific Ocean will have an impact on weather in the northern plains.  Dennis Todey former South Dakota State Climatologist, and now Director of the USDA Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, Iowa, says the La Nina watch has now been dropped…

A La Nina means sea surface temperatures are cooling, and can bring a cooler winter and dry spring to the region.  Todey, during the monthly central region climate update, says the ninety-day outlook show the uncertainty of the changes in the Pacific Ocean…

Todey says the forecast for the winter months, January, February and March shows a fairly normal trend…

Todey says the same outlook for precipitation shows it to be about fifty fifty for snow.

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MoneyNew federal rules dealing with workers and employers will become effective later this year.  Shawn Lyons, Executive Director of the South Dakota Retailers Association, says these rules will have an impact on most businesses in the state…

Lyons says there are also changes in state rules and regulations…

Lyons says smaller businesses will take the brunt of the changes…

Lyons says his group is sponsoring three Employment Law Workshops to present the updated information. They will be held September 27th in Watertown, the 28th in Sioux Falls, and the 29th in Rapid City.

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