Lighted domes to be installed on Mitchell's Corn Palace soon The mayor of Mitchell expects a renovation project at the Corn Palace to be done by April. Ken Tracy says the most visible part of the project will be new $650,000 domes with LED lighting, which should be installed next month. The iconic domes and turrets were removed last year as part of the $7.2 million makeover project. Other upgrades to the building include larger corn murals and a walk-out balcony above the marquee. Reconstruction inside the city's major tourist attraction will continue until the end of April. The Corn Palace bills itself as the world's only palace dedicated to the grain. About 200,000 tourists visit each year.
FBI: 'No criminal activity' in death of 8-year-old girl PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The FBI has found no criminal activity during its investigation into the November dog-attack death of an 8-year-old girl on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday that the inquiry into Jayla Rodriguez's death is closed. Tribal police have said that Jayla was killed by a pack of dogs while sledding on Nov. 18. Jayla's death certificate described her death as an accident. Danielle Griffith, Jayla's mother, says she's "not happy" with the finding. Griffith says her daughter shouldn't have been outside alone when it was dark and says she wants to know why Jayla was by herself. Loven says the FBI is typically called into investigations on reservations when there's been a death.
South Dakota Senate passes juvenile justice overhaul PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Senate has approved a proposal that attempts to shift juvenile offenders toward community-based services and significantly decrease the number committed to the care of the state Department of Corrections. The chamber voted unanimously Monday to send the measure to the state House, where it will be heard in committee. Republican Sen. Alan Solano is the main sponsor of the measure, which is also a key legislative priority of Gov. Dennis Daugaard for the 2015 session. Solano says the proposal would reduce the number of South Dakota juveniles in state-sponsored care while holding adolescent offenders more accountable. Daugaard is recommending about $3.2 million for the next budget cycle as part of the proposal. Much of that is aimed at expanding access to community services, especially in rural counties.
Judge: Sioux Falls ambulance contract bidding process 'fair' SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — An administrative hearing judge has ruled that the process used by Sioux Falls officials to award a contract for an ambulance service provider is "fair and equitable." The ruling announced Monday allows the city to continue contract negotiations with Paramadics Plus, the provider the city chose in November over three others. Med-Star Ambulance Service was among the bidding companies and it appealed the city's decision citing an unfair bidding process. Sioux Falls Public Health Director Jill Franken says the judge's ruling "recognizes the objective processes used by the city." City council members will have to approve the contract with Paramedics Plus. The contract with the city's current ambulance service provider expires in May.
South Dakota fishing, hunting licenses expire Saturday PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Licenses allowing people to hunt and fish in South Dakota expire Saturday. Fishing, small game, furbearer, predator/varmint and combination licenses will no longer be valid starting Feb. 1. Officials with the state's Game, Fish and Parks Department say new permits can be purchased online and at local authorized license dealers.
Suspects in standoff that wounded trooper in SD indicted PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a father and son on charges stemming from a standoff near Kimball in which a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper suffered gunshot wounds and another was fired upon. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says 42-year-old Donald London was indicted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement officer. He faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted. Meanwhile, 66-year-old Michael London, of Chamberlain, was indicted on two counts of aiding and abetting aggravated assault on law enforcement officer. Authorities say the standoff began when the men threatened officers. An investigation found that over 100 rounds were fired from within the home that was the scene of the Jan. 7 incident. It's unclear whether the men have attorneys.
Ticket sold in Watertown wins $102,417 Dakota Cash jackpot WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) — A ticket sold in Watertown has won the $102,417 Dakota Cash jackpot. South Dakota lottery officials say the ticket matched all five numbers in the Saturday drawing to win. Winning numbers are 11, 18, 22, 26 and 29. The odds of winning the Dakota Cash jackpot are 1 in about 325,000. Dakota Cash is played only in South Dakota. The jackpot starts again at $20,000 for the next drawing, on Wednesday.
Panel approves SD call for federal balanced budget amendment PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A legislative panel has approved a proposal that would add South Dakota's voice to 24 other states' calls for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget. The House State Affairs Committee voted on Monday to send the resolution to the chamber's floor. Republican Rep. Jim Stalzer says the amendment is necessary because federal lawmakers have been unable to address the country's growing debt. Opponents argue the convention could backfire and be used to rewrite many parts of the Constitution. Stalzer says a bill passed from the committee on Monday would address those fears. The measure would restrict a South Dakota convention representative from approving any unauthorized amendments. It takes 34 states to trigger a convention and 38 states to approve an amendment.
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