South Dakota News

Pine Ridge grandmother pleads not guilty in grandson's death
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The grandmother of a 2-year-old boy who authorities say was killed by his mother on the Pine Ridge Reservation has pleaded not guilty to hindering the investigation. Forty-seven-year-old Sonya Dubray is accused of altering or destroying evidence and giving false and misleading information to investigators. She was arrested Monday and appeared in federal court Wednesday. Dubray could face up to 43 years in prison if convicted of charges including accessory to murder and tampering with evidence. Dubray's daughter is 28-year-old Katrina Shangreaux, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse in her son's late-July death. Authorities allege the boy was killed over potty-training issues. The boy was the half-brother of a 1-year-old boy who authorities say was slain in April 2015 by the father of the two boys.

Pierre teen detained after allegedly bringing gun to school
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy is facing charges in juvenile court after authorities say he brought a handgun to school in Pierre. Police Chief Dave Panzer says the student was detained at T.F. Riggs High School on Wednesday afternoon without incident, after another student alerted school personnel. School Superintendent Kelly Glodt says an investigation determined the student did not intend to hurt anyone. The boy was taken to a juvenile lockup on three misdemeanor weapons-related charges. He will get a hearing. He wasn't identified because he's a minor. The school was never placed on lockdown. Families of students at the school were notified of the incident through an automated messaging system.

Forest chief opposes land swap for new South Dakota park
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The supervisor of the Black Hills National Forest is opposing a proposed land swap to pave the way for a new South Dakota state park. Legislation in Congress would authorize an exchange of nearly 2,000 acres of federal land in the areas of Spearfish Canyon and Bismarck Lake for almost 2,000 acres of state-owned land. Forest Supervisor Mark Van Every tells the Rapid City Journal the forest has invested nearly $1.2 million in improvements at the lake and canyon in recent years. He says the Forest Service also would lose about $12,000 in annual net receipts from three campgrounds that would be transferred to the state. Additional opposition is coming from the Rosebud Sioux and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association. The Spearfish Canyon Foundation favors the land exchange.

Nebraska village known for alcohol problems gets broadband
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska village known for selling beer on the border of an alcoholism-plagued American Indian reservation is getting a new broadband tower that officials say could eventually help connect residents to health care and distance learning services. State officials announced Wednesday that Whiteclay now has a cell tower to provide broadband service in the village and parts of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where alcohol is banned. Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln says the tower lays the groundwork for services in the remote area. Whiteclay's beer stores sold the equivalent of 3.5 million cans last year despite having a dozen full-time residents. Public drunkenness and violence have plagued the town for years, but recently the town got a nursing home and a local faith ministry is helping Native American artisans sell their work.

Rapid City police work to improve race relations in city
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The Rapid City Police Department is taking several steps to try to improve relations with the city's Native American community. By November, everyone on the force is to have undergone cultural training. The department also is exploring ways to recruit Native Americans into law enforcement. Officials also have unveiled a new squad car that features a horse-and-feather design done by a Native American artist. An independent study on race relations in Rapid City last year showed friction between the Native American community and the mostly white police force. Racial tensions were strained by several incidents including Native American children being sprayed with beer during a minor league hockey game. The police department formed a community cultural advisory committee in the wake of the study.

US House panel heads to Santa Fe for American Indian hearing
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources is set to hold an oversight hearing in Santa Fe on American Indians and energy development. The "Tribal Prosperity and Self-Determination through Energy Development" is scheduled Tuesday at the New Mexico State Capitol. According to the committee, the hearing will review the impact of energy resource development on tribal economies. It also will examine how tribes manage their energy resources and look at obstacles such as federal regulations.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press