South Dakota News

Sioux Falls resident crowned Miss South Dakota
A Sioux Falls resident has been crowned Miss South Dakota 2014. The 19-year-old Meridith Gould earned the title this weekend as well as a $500 scholarship. She is a sophomore at University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Fourteen young women participated in the contest. The first runner-up was Jade Possail of Brookings. Gould will represent South Dakota at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in September. The pageant will be televised on ABC.

SD GOP picks nominees to appear on November ballot
Delegates to the South Dakota Republican Party convention have chosen the party's nominees for constitutional officers who will appear on the November ballot. The delegates selected the nominees during the convention in Rapid City this weekend. The party endorsed Matt Michels for lieutenant governor, Marty Jackley for attorney general, Steve Barnett for auditor, Rich Sattgast for treasurer, and Shantel Krebs for secretary of state. The state GOP also endorsed Gary Hanson for commissioner of public utilities and Ryan Brunner for commissioner of schools and public lands.

Not all in rural SD can access high-speed Internet
In the era of Googling this and Googling that, high-speed Internet connection is a necessity for education and economic development. Yet in some small towns in South Dakota that connection is practically non-existent. Reports say communities such as Mission Hill need the speed of broadband Internet connectivity to cope with the growing flood of data generated through farm equipment, cellphones and other technologies. But supporters of expanding broadband access say it isn't easy to convince service providers to spend money to bring the technology to homes in areas where the cost would be far higher than it is in more populated regions of the U.S. For many in Mission Hill connecting to the Internet is seemingly impossible when students are off for the summer and browsing endlessly.

Highway 34 and 44 work likely to tests drivers' patience
Public safety officials say Highway 34 east of Howes will likely be closed Monday to allow crews to repair damage caused by the torrential rains during the past several days. The section likely to be closed is about halfway between Pierre and Sturgis, just east of the Highway 34 junction with Highway 73 North. Officials say a public announcement will be made if the closure goes into effect. It's unclear how long the repairs will last. Westbound travelers will be detoured north on Highway 63 to Highway 212, then west on Highway 212 to Highway 73 at Faith and south on Highway 73 back to Highway 34. Eastbound travelers will be detoured north on Highway 63, east on Highway 212 and south on Highway 63 back to Highway 34. The ongoing resurfacing project of a stretch of Highway 44 in western South Dakota is testing drivers' patience. Reports say the $5.2 million project kicked off earlier this month and is expected to be completed by October 1st. But with Highway 44 being the most direct route from Rapid City into the Black Hills, the project is already slowing traffic and causing delays. The newspaper reports that "stop" and "slow" signs have being set up to warn motorists about changes in traffic patterns on the road. Officials say they are trying to limit drivers' delays to 10 minutes. Aside from the new asphalt, the project is also expected to add safety features to the east-west road from Rapid City to the junction with U.S. 385.

South Dakotans promoting bioscience at conference
Governor Dennis Daugaard and several other South Dakotans are promoting the state's bioscience industry in San Diego at the BIO International Conference. Groups represented include the Graduate Education and Applied Research Center, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls Development Foundation, South Dakota Biotech Association, Governor's Office of Economic Development, South Dakota State University, South Dakota Technology Business Center, University of South Dakota and the Vermillion Area Chamber & Development Co. The conference runs Monday through Wednesday.

Firm to look into event center's exterior issue
The city of Sioux Falls has hired a design firm to look into an issue with the metal paneling on the exterior of the Denny Sanford Premier Center. Reports say that the flat horizontal metal panels are bulging where they join along the curved face of the building. The city borrowed $115 million to build the facility that will host hockey, football, basketball, rodeos and concerts. Sanford Health contributed $2 million for an electronic scoreboard. The newspaper reports the city expects a report from the design firm by early July. The firm is to analyze how the panels were installed and specifications from the city's design and bidding process. Mayor Mike Huether says officials will make sure that the city gets its money's worth.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press