South Dakota News

Rain, high grain moisture hampers some South Dakota farmers
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Rain last week hampered the harvest in some parts of central and southeastern South Dakota. The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop report that high grain moisture on late-planted corn and soybeans also is slowing progress for some farmers. The corn and soybean harvests remain behind the average pace, at 47 percent and 89 percent complete, respectively. The sunflower harvest is ahead of average, at 56 percent done. The winter wheat crop is 82 percent emerged, well ahead of average. Pasture and range conditions in South Dakota are rated 35 percent good to excellent. Stock water supplies are 70 percent adequate to surplus.

SkyWest pilot suspected drunk, arrested in South Dakota
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Police in South Dakota have arrested the pilot of a SkyWest Airlines plane on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol. Rapid City police were notified shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday that the pilot smelled of alcohol. Police say they determined the 38-year-old pilot from Salt Lake City was in violation of a South Dakota law prohibiting the operation of an aircraft with a blood-alcohol content above 0.04 percent. The flight was bound for Salt Lake City. SkyWest said in a statement that it holds its employees "to the highest standards of professionalism," and apologized to passengers for the delay. The airline based in St. George, Utah, says the pilot has been placed on administrative leave and removed from flying duties during an investigation.

2 young brothers die, man injured in Aberdeen area home fire
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Two young brothers are dead after a mobile home fire on the outskirts of Aberdeen. The blaze occurred about 5 a.m. Tuesday. Brown County Coroner Mike Carlsen identifies the victims as 5-year-old Chesney Hoffman and his 4-year-old brother, Brendan Hoffman. Carlsen says the two boys lived at the mobile home. The preliminary cause of death for both brothers is smoke and soot inhalation, and both bodies had significant burns. A man in the home was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined. Local and state officials including the South Dakota State Fire Marshal's office are investigating.

Lincoln County planners set wind development restrictions
CANTON, S.D. (AP) — Lincoln County planners have effectively voted to ban wind development by requiring a 1-mile setback for turbines and noise rules that wind backers call unattainable. The Argus Leader reports that the zoning recommendations represent a major victory for opponents of Dakota Power Community Wind's effort to create the largest industrial wind project in South Dakota. The full County Commission must still weigh in. Readings are scheduled for Nov. 1 and Nov. 22. Cindy Thomas, a member of We-Care SD, a group that's organized against the wind project since early 2015, says the planning commission made the right decisions on setbacks from homes and sound restrictions. Wind development investors urged commissioners to rely on research that cites no negative impact on property values or health.

Oil pipeline protesters brace for confrontation with police
CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — Protesters trying to stop construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline are bracing for a confrontation with police after the demonstrators refused to leave private land in the pipeline's path. A months-long dispute over the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline reached a crisis point when some 200 protesters set up camp on land owned by pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners. Law enforcement officers demanded that the protesters leave on Wednesday and they refused. It appeared that only thick fog and cloudy skies kept a large contingent of law enforcement officers from moving in. Officials have frequently monitored protesters by air. Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney said Wednesday that the rule of law must be enforced.

South Dakota chef revitalizing Native American cuisine
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A chef with roots on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is eager to bring the food of his culture to a bigger audience. Sean Sherman is preparing to open a restaurant in the Minneapolis area with a big boost from online fundraising. Sherman is an Oglala Lakota who says food is a "cultural identifier" that makes American Indians who they are. His menus have featured such dishes as maple- and cedar-stewed bison; smoked walleye and fried sunchoke crisps; and sumac-stewed rabbit. Sherman has a cookbook due out next fall. He hopes his style of cooking can become a model to improve nutrition in tribal communities that sometimes lack food options.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press