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Behind the badge

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
BROOKINGS, Ben Quam and Rachel Holm say going through Citizens Police Academy not only helped them understand how law enforcement does their jobs, but helped the two of them in their own careers as social workers.
The eighth annual Citizens Police Academy, hosted by the Brookings Police Department, will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 6, and run through May
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Two file for school board run

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
BROOKINGS, There are now two contenders for a single Brookings School Board seat currently held by Larry Rogers.
Kevin Sackreiter and Jennifer Lacher-Starace submitted their petitions earlier this week, ahead of the 5 p.m. Feb. 24 deadline.
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SD bill leaves evolution skepticism up to teachers

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
PIERRE (AP), South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change.
A House committee on Wednesday is set to consider the measure, which would give legal protection to teachers who want to discuss "in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses"
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US shutting down Dakota Access protest camp

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP), The Army Corps of Engineers' plan to close a Dakota Access pipeline protest camp that's been around for more than six months isn't likely to be the demise of on-the-ground opposition in North Dakota.
Wednesday's deadline for the protesters to leave also may not spell the end of the heavy law enforcement presence near where the Dallas-based
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SD lawmakers advance concealed carry bills to both chambers

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
PIERRE (AP), Two nearly identical bills aiming to eliminate penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in South Dakota are moving forward in both the House and Senate.
The Senate bill cleared a panel hearing Tuesday 5-2 after its companion passed through a House committee last week. Lawmakers have to take up the two bills by Thursday, which
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30 years of Hillfest fun

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 21st, 2017
BROOKINGS, The fun is still six weeks away, but Hillfest organizers are well into planning, fundraising, rounding up volunteers and selling tickets for the 30th annual event.
The annual PTA-sponsored fundraising carnival will be held at Hillcrest Elementary School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1.
This longstanding family-friendly fundraiser generates thousands of dollars and boasts children's
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Abortion, finance measures in Pierre

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 21st, 2017
PIERRE (AP), South Dakota lawmakers are set to consider measures on abortion, campaign finance and the governor's emergency response powers this week. Here's a look at some of the proposals they plan to take up after they return to Pierre on Tuesday:

Crossover day
Lawmakers face an important deadline Thursday, which is the final day to pass bills out
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SDSU a boost for Brookings

Posted: Monday, Feb 20th, 2017
BROOKINGS, South Dakota is $2.66 billion richer thanks to the state's six public universities, and Brookings benefits from South Dakota State University, too.
That's according to data from a study sponsored by the South Dakota Board of Regents and the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry, led by Mike Algrunn, associate professor of economics at the University of South
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More SD teachers retiring, fewer recruited

Posted: Monday, Feb 20th, 2017
MITCHELL (AP), Statistics from the South Dakota Department of Education show that most of the state's teachers are nearing retirement at a faster pace than first-year teachers are being recruited.
The statistic has some educators wondering if the South Dakota Legislature's 2016 move to boost teacher pay came soon enough, The Daily Republic reported.
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SDs vehicle fatality rate among lowest in nation

Posted: Monday, Feb 20th, 2017
PIERRE, South Dakota had the nation's fourth lowest motor vehicle fatality rate in 2016, according to a national organization.
The National Safety Council says in its annual report released last week that the number of motor-vehicle deaths in the United States during 2016 totaled 40,200, an increase of 6 percent. But South Dakota's 116 traffic fatalities was a decrease
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Habitat heads indoors

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
BROOKINGS, When A Brush with Kindness started, it tackled outside home fixes. Now Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity is expanding the program to include minor inside home repairs, according to Dan McColley, executive director of Habitat.
"A Brush with Kindness was designed to be an external home painting project, initially," McColley said.
It started years ago as a partnership between
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Wet spring ahead?

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
BROOKINGS, Wetter-than-average conditions are expected across South Dakota through the spring, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Climate Outlook released Feb. 16.
"Beginning in March, the outlook shows an increased probability of wetter-than-average conditions, especially in western and central South Dakota," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension state climatologist.
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DSU students learn to think like a hacker

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
MADISON (AP), Cybersecurity is a lot like the common cold.
There's no cure for either, but there are ways to combat both.
"Security is all about layers," said Sam Coome, a 23-year-old Dakota State University graduate student.
At a time when Russian hackers, WikiLeaks and threats of cyber-warfare make national headlines daily, those layers of security are critical.
And the
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Hartmann gets grooming

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
BROOKINGS, "I love to help people; it's just one of my passions," said Sarita Hartmann.
She's chosen to help people by taking care of their pets at her new business, All Creatures Small and Great, located at 312 Main Ave. S. in Brookings, in a space she shares with Heartland Veterinary Clinic.
Hartmann does grooming for dogs and cats, but
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Fertilizer distribution facility opens in Brookings

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
BROOKINGS, Fertilizer manufacturer and distributor Midwestern BioAg has announced the opening of its newest distribution facility in Brookings.
Midwestern BioAg, based in Wisconsin, focuses on helping growers increase soil health as a lasting way to increase crop yields.
The 12,000-square-foot facility, an existing facility that Midwestern BioAg is renting, is on Second Street South in Brookings.
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SD bill inspired by unflattering teacher memes passes panel

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
PIERRE (AP), Parents in South Dakota may need to mind their phones in schools if a bill banning pictures and videos of unsuspecting teachers passes the Legislature.
The House Education Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would make it a Class 2 misdemeanor for non-students to use electronic listening or recording devices in classrooms.
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SD House panel passes bill on industrial hemp

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
PIERRE (AP), South Dakota residents who pass background checks and get a license from the state agriculture department would be allowed to cultivate industrial hemp under a measure a House panel approved Thursday.
The Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 9-2 to approve the plan, which now heads to the full chamber for consideration. Supporter Rep. Elizabeth May, a Republican,
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Suspicious person report was hoax

Modified: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
BROOKINGS -- A report of a stranger trying to lure a boy into his van earlier this week was a false report, according to the Brookings County Sheriff's Office.
"Through further investigation, it has been determined that the incident reported on Tuesday the 14th of February, near the Volga school, didn't happen and that it was a false report," said
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Time for reform?

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
BROOKINGS, Thanks to approval from the Brookings School Board Monday night, a new pilot program called Mass Customized Learning for Young Learners will come to Medary Elementary in a limited fashion during the 2017-2018 school year.
"(In) the Industrial Age, everything was about mass producing, how can you do that most efficiently," Medary Principal Jessica Enderson said, explaining the
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Niemeyer files for another term on council

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
BROOKINGS, Ope Niemeyer is running for his third term on the Brookings City Council and filed his petitions for re-election Feb. 3.
Niemeyer was elected to his first term six years ago and is running again because "I've enjoyed what I've done. I felt it was important that somebody that has a business, that they be involved in the city
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North Dakota pipeline protest spurs South Dakota legislation

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
PIERRE (AP), Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office is pursuing legislation to make it clear that the governor's emergency response powers apply to destructive protests, create new trespassing penalties and make it a crime to obstruct highways based on lessons North Dakota learned from large demonstrations over the Dakota Access pipeline last year.
Officials including Daugaard have talked with Gov. Doug Burgum's
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