South Dakota News

Custer mourning death of 2-year-old girl in septic tank
CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — The western South Dakota community of Custer is in mourning after a 2-year-old girl fell into an underground septic tank and died. KOTA-TV reports residents are tying ribbons around town in memory of Evelyn Ferraro, and preparing for a Wednesday memorial service. The girl was reported missing Friday morning from the mobile home court where she lived with her family. Rescue officials drained the nearby tank and found the unresponsive girl, but weren't able to save her. Custer County Search and Rescue Director Rick March tells KOTA the death of a small child is "as tough as it gets." Sheriff Rick Wheeler told The Associated Press authorities assume the girl drowned. An autopsy isn't planned. Wheeler isn't releasing details of the incident but said no criminal charges are likely.

Bollen indicted for role in EB-5 financial misconduct case
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The man who once ran South Dakota's scandal-ridden investment-for-visa program has been indicted on felony charges stemming from a financial misconduct investigation. Attorney General Marty Jackley says Joop (yohp) Bollen is to be arraigned this month. The charges deal with SDRC Inc., a company Bollen founded that previously handled South Dakota's participation in the EB-5 visa program. Bollen allegedly diverted more than $1.2 million from an account created as part of a contract with the state to protect it against costs or liability from the program. Authorities say the money was mostly replenished. Bollen faces five counts, each punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine. There's a presumption of probation if convicted for Bollen's class of felony. Bollen's attorney didn't immediately return a telephone message.

Bernie Sanders schedules Thursday rallies in South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has scheduled a trip to South Dakota. Sanders is competing with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic endorsement. Whoever gets it likely will run against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Sanders on Thursday has scheduled a 10:45 a.m. rally at the New Gym of Pine Ridge School in Pine Ridge and a 2 p.m. rally at Memorial Park in Rapid City. Admission to both events is free and on a first come, first served basis. Doors open in Pine Ridge at 8:45 a.m. and in Rapid City at noon. Officials say RSVPs are encouraged at both events.

Sioux Falls restaurants struggling to find enough workers
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Sioux Falls' growing appetite for new restaurants is leaving food service managers starved for workers. The number of restaurant job openings in the city has tripled in the last five years. The Argus Leader reports that far exceeds the growth in vacancies in the health care and construction fields, which also are struggling to find workers. Cafe owner Ryan Brickner calls the situation "a nightmare." Greg Puls owns five sandwich restaurants and says he's always hiring. Job openings at Sioux Falls restaurants have risen from about 500 in 2011 to nearly 1,500 last year. State Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman says business owners who are struggling to find staff need to look not only at the wages they're offering but also at benefit packages and overall work environment.

Signatures ready for measure aimed at crime victims' rights
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that they believe will bolster the rights of crime victims in North Dakota say they have enough signatures to bring their proposal to a public vote in November. Backers of the so-called Marsy's Law intend to turn in more than 27,000 signatures to the North Dakota Secretary of State's Office on Tuesday. North Dakota and South Dakota are among several states where national victims' rights advocates are pushing the measure, now in effect in California and Illinois. Groups representing North Dakota defense attorneys and prosecutors say changing the constitution to include the proposal is a bad idea and will have unintended consequences. They say North Dakota already has laws on the books that protect victims of violent crimes.

2 race horses euthanized after breaking legs in Fort Pierre
FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Two race horses were euthanized after being injured during a weekend event in Fort Pierre. Track Manager Dennis Booth says the two quarter horses collided during a race Saturday and both went over the rail, each breaking a leg. They were humanely put down, following protocol. One horse was owned by a ranch near Firesteel, South Dakota, and the other by a couple from Keene, North Dakota. Booth says the jockeys were not seriously hurt, and both rode again on Sunday.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press