Egg production from South Dakota chickens down 8 percent SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says there was an 8 percent drop in egg production from chickens in South Dakota last year. The USDA released its year-end numbers for 2014 on Thursday. The data show there were 752 million eggs laid in the state during the year ending on November 30. The state also averaged about 2.63 million egg-laying chickens, which is about a 4 percent drop from 2013. While the state saw a decline in the number of egg-laying hens, the total number of chickens in the state on December 1st was 3.43 million birds, a 5 percent increase over 2013. The number excludes commercial broilers. The total value of all chickens in South Dakota on December 1st was $7.89 million, down 27 percent from 2013.
Panel passes resolution stressing civic engagement education PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota education officials want to improve high school students' civics knowledge, but they don't think a mandatory test is the way to do it. The Senate Education Committee on Thursday approved a resolution to help ensure students are learning the content "reflected in" the U.S. citizenship exam. South Dakota Secretary of Education Melody Schopp says the state's graduation requirements already entail students learning civics content but the resolution highlights the importance of it. That's a different direction than North Dakota. Last month it became the second state to require the same test that immigrants must pass to become a U.S. citizen as a prerequisite for getting a diploma. It's part of a national effort to improve civics knowledge among high school students before they graduate.
Governor to sign bill authorizing new games for Deadwood PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Deadwood gambling advocates are claiming victory in their year-long push to allow three new games in the historic outlaw town. The state House on Thursday voted 46-22 to approve the proposal to allow keno, craps and roulette in the historic mining town. Governor Dennis Daugaard's spokeswoman says he will sign the bill. Supporters have pushed the measure as a way to keep Deadwood competitive with other gambling hotspots such as Colorado and Iowa. In November, 57 percent of voters approved constitutional Amendment Q, which gave the Legislature the authority to implement the new games. Republican Representative Timothy Johns told the House on Thursday to follow the lead that voters set when they approved the plan. Opponents argue gambling provokes addictions and causes social and financial problems for families.
Spearfish man wins $9,000 Hot Lotto prize; jackpot at $5.13M PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A Spearfish man has claimed a $9,000 prize he won in the latest Hot Lotto drawing. South Dakota lottery officials say David Hannah ticket matched four of five white ball numbers and the Hot Ball to win the game's $3,000 third prize in the Wednesday drawing. Hannah purchased an option for an additional dollar that tripled the prize. The odds of winning Hot Lotto's third prize are 1 in about 139,000. The game is played in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The jackpot is at $5.13 million for Saturday's drawing.
Box Elder man pleads guilty to burglary, theft in standoff RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Box Elder man has pleaded guilty to burglary and grand theft charges in connection with a six-hour-long standoff with law enforcement officials in July. KOTA-TV reports kidnapping charges against 32-year-old Raymond Cuny were dropped as part of the plea deal. Authorities say Cuny took a 2-year-old boy hostage during the standoff at a Rapid City home that he was trying to burglarize. No one was injured during the standoff. Cuny also pleaded guilty to DUI charges linked to an October car crash while he was out on bond. He's accused of hitting two parked city vehicles. No one was hurt. Sentencing is set for March 26th. He could spend up to 22 years in prison, but his attorneys are asking that Cuny be allowed to serve sentences concurrently.
Trial delayed for woman in fatal Sioux Falls car crash SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The trial of a woman accused of driving through a Sioux Falls parking lot and fatally crushing a woman with her van has been delayed while her lawyers wait for the results of a competency evaluation. The Argus Leader reports that Lois Two Bulls, of Sioux Falls, killed 43-year-old Angel Stevens with her van last July. Stevens had jumped in the path of the van to help a 13-year-old boy. Authorities say she was not intoxicated at the time, but charged the 47-year-old Two Bulls with second-degree manslaughter for "recklessly killing" another person. She's also facing charges of simple assault and reckless driving. Attorneys for Two Bulls are arguing that she has a medical condition and a history of blackouts. The trial date has been rescheduled for April 13th.
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