South Dakota News

Rounds says he didn't know details of EB-5 revamp
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds says he was aware in 2007 that a state investment-for-green card program was being privatized but he wasn't aware of specifics. Rounds tells the Argus Leader he wasn't aware that EB-5 investment program leader Joop (yohp) Bollen had founded the private company that two years later would take over the state-run program, with Bollen as its president. South Dakota Democrats have tried to link problems with the EB-5 program to Republican Rounds, who is running for an open Senate seat that could be important to the national fight for control of the U.S. Senate. Rounds says the emphasis of 2007 briefings he received on the privatization efforts was on what South Dakota needed to do to compete with other programs around the country.

Superintendents say teaching positions remain open
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A new survey of school superintendents shows that more than 20 percent of school districts in South Dakota had at least one teaching position open on the first day of school. The School Administrators of South Dakota has released the follow-up results of a survey it conducted of superintendents in June. The survey says about 91 percent of the state's 151 districts responded. Education advocates and school officials have been petitioning legislators to address the teacher shortage in the state. They cite low pay as a main factor. About half of survey respondents say they had four or fewer candidates for open teaching positions in their school. About 50 superintendents say they filled a teaching position with someone who was not fully certified to teach.

SD climbs on ranking for human trafficking laws
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota has climbed from the bottom of an advocacy group's annual state-by-state ranking that analyzes how forced prostitution and slave labor cases are handled. The Argus Leader reports the Washington, D.C.-based Polaris Project says South Dakota earned credit this year for new laws that give police the authority to seize sex traffickers' assets and allow victims to collect civil damages. South Dakota ranked lower than any other state last year because it lacked such a law. Still, the group says the state needs more laws to protect victims. The state's ranking this year was hurt for not having laws forcing law enforcement to undergo training to better address sex trafficking cases. Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel says his officers have been trained to identify signs of trafficking.

Opening statements made in murder trial of teen
WINNER, S.D. (AP) — Attorneys' opening statements in the trial of a Pierre teenager accused of killing a classmate focused on the sole witness to the shooting. Eighteen-year-old Braiden McCahren has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the December 2012 shooting death of 16-year-old Dalton Williams. McCahren was 16 at the time of the shooting at his home but he's being tried as an adult. KCCR radio reports prosecutor Micheal Moore told the jury that a third juvenile who witnessed the shooting will testify that McCahren intentionally loaded the shotgun. Defense attorney Michael Butler told jurors that the juvenile witness has said the shooting was accidental. The trial in Winner is scheduled to last through next week. McCahren could face life in prison if convicted.

15-year-old scooter driver injured in crash cited
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A 15-year-old girl who was run over by a sports utility vehicle while she was driving a motor scooter in Sioux Falls has been cited. Police spokesman Sam Clemens says the girl was cited for failure to yield for a left turn and no driver's license. A 25-year-old woman was driving the SUV that ran the girl over Tuesday. The woman told police she couldn't see the girl right away because the sun rays were affecting her visibility. The girl was hospitalized with two broken ankles and other injuries that were not life-threating. The driver of the SUV was not injured.

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