Police academy for tribal recruits should lead to regional effort, attorney general says

Police academy for tribal recruits should lead to regional effort, attorney general says

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley hopes a new basic law enforcement training course that prioritizes tribal recruits will prove the state could host regional training for Native American officers from the Upper Midwest.

Jackley and U.S. Attorney Alison Ramsdell spoke Monday at the George S. Mickelson Law Enforcement Center in Pierre, in advance of a media tour of the facility and presentations on the ongoing course.

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Is it a federal crime for government officials to accept gratuities? Supreme Court says ‘the answer is no’

Is it a federal crime for government officials to accept gratuities? Supreme Court says ‘the answer is no’

The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that it is not a federal crime for government officials to accept gratuities of appreciation in the aftermath of an official act.

“The answer is no,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the majority opinion regarding whether an anti-corruption law, known as Section 666, prohibited gratuities for government officials, such as gift cards, lunches, plaques, books, framed photos “or the like,” following an official act. Rather, according to the ruling, the law in question solely addresses bribes solicited or promised before an official government act has taken place. Bribes, not gratuities, are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, the court found.

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New laws going into effect July 1 in South Dakota

New laws going into effect July 1 in South Dakota

South Dakota lawmakers passed 234 bills during this year’s legislative session and on Monday, July 1, 208 of those new laws will go into effect.

Some of the laws going into effect allow for $10 million to the Aeronautics Commission for improvement grants for public airports. In June, the commission heard applications from nine public airports, including the Sioux Falls Regional Airport which applied for $15 million to help pay for construction of a new concourse that will provide a minimum of four additional new gates and adjoining terminal apron.

Another law changes the designation of what qualifies for a legal newspaper. In Sioux Falls, the city council designated The Dakota Scout as the city’s legal newspaper starting July 1. One law taking effect stops a person that lives outside the state of South Dakota for at least 180 aggregate days in a calendar year from being eligible for resident hunting and fishing licenses.

Twenty-six bills were declared an emergency and went into effect immediately after Gov. Kristi Noem signed them. Read about those bills here.

One law that was scheduled to go into effect July 1 but won’t be is Senate Bill 201, known as the so-called Landowner Bill of Rights. Opponents believe they have gathered enough signatures to force SB201 onto the November election ballot.

House bills going into effect July 1

HB 1003 updates a reference to the Internal Revenue Code for purposes of higher education savings plans.

HB 1004 updates the official code of laws

HB 1005 revises the manner of citing the Administrative Rules of South Dakota.

HB 1006 increases the amount of time permitted the Interim Rules Review Committee to review final permanent rulemaking materials.

HB 1007 amends the requirement to employ a county veterans’ service officer.

HB 1008 modifies the eligibility for admission to the state veterans’ home and repeal the residency requirement.

HB 1011 revises the membership of the South Dakota Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Commission.

HB 1012 adopts the interstate counseling licensure compact and revises educational requirements to comply with the compact.

HB 1013 adopts the advanced practice registered nurse compact.

You can read the full article at KELO-TV.

South Dakota abortion lawsuit challenged in federal court

South Dakota abortion lawsuit challenged in federal court

A pro-abortion rights organization is asking a federal judge to stop an anti-abortion group from taking legal action and preventing a constitutional amendment from appearing on the ballot.

On Tuesday, Dakotans for Health filed a motion with the U.S. District Court to enforce a previous ruling that invalidates anti-abortion Life Defense Fund’s June 13 lawsuit.

Life Defense Fund filed the lawsuit in an effort to keep an abortion constitutional amendment off the November ballot. It alleges Dakotans for Health committed fraud by failing to give out circulator handouts and misleading petition signers.

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Dakota State University Joins South Dakota Cybercrime Prevention Consortium

Dakota State University Joins South Dakota Cybercrime Prevention Consortium

In a significant move to combat cyber threats, Dakota State University (DSU) has joined the newly formed South Dakota Cybercrime Prevention Consortium. The partnership includes the South Dakota Fusion Center (SDFC) and the state Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT).

The consortium aims to blend the capabilities of each entity to effect cybercrime prevention, intelligence, digital forensics, and open-source intelligence (OSINT) operations. “As cybercriminals increasingly target our local governments and essential services, the South Dakota Cybercrime Prevention Consortium is critical for South Dakota,” said Dr. Ashley Podhradsky, Vice President for Research & Economic Development at DSU.

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Federal Prisoner’s Dilemma, Cell Phone Or Not

Federal Prisoner’s Dilemma, Cell Phone Or Not

In speaking with men and women who have gone to prison, they experience withdrawals from having a cell phone once they are inside, something not allowed in federal prison. They feel imaginary vibrations in their pockets from a cell phone that is not there. They miss the connection with their family and friends. They are disconnected further from society. Loved ones who they used to text or call regularly have seemed to have vanished. The instantaneous access to calls, emails and information are over. It understandably takes a while to get used to. However, access to cell phones, particularly in minimum and low security prisoners is easy.

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Drug cartels: A link in every illegal fentanyl pill in South Dakota, not just on reservations

Drug cartels: A link in every illegal fentanyl pill in South Dakota, not just on reservations

Years ago, domestic methamphetamine users would make their own drugs, sometimes shaking up cold medicine and camp fuel cocktails in plastic pop bottles.

The days of domestic drug production by way of local meth labs are long gone, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2024 National Threat Assessment, as well as interviews with numerous law enforcement sources in South Dakota.

According to the DEA assessment, nearly all the nation’s meth, fentanyl, heroin and cocaine comes from across the southern U.S. border, and the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels in Mexico.

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To preserve our justice system, we need to accept outcomes we dislike

To preserve our justice system, we need to accept outcomes we dislike

Most people go through life never stepping foot inside a courtroom. Most people, that is, except for attorneys, judges, journalists, the few of us chosen to be jurors, and an even more select group, those who are accused of crimes.

If I were talking now with my dear parents, may they rest in peace, I would quickly assure them that my many days spent in courtrooms have been in a professional capacity, not as a defendant trying to avoid the slammer.

As a reporter and later as the boss of reporters, I have had an up-close vantage point to watch our court system as it works. I claim no special expertise. But 50 years in a ringside seat on the judiciary have given me perspective that is worth sharing.

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