South Dakota News

Former US Senate candidate Annette Bosworth avoids jail
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Former South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth has avoided jail time for election law violations during her unsuccessful primary campaign in 2014. She was sentenced Wednesday to 3 years of probation. She had faced a maximum punishment of 24 years in prison and $48,000 in fines. Bosworth, a physician and first-time candidate, was convicted in May of perjury and filing false documents. Bosworth admitted that she improperly attested to witnessing signatures on her nominating petitions, but blamed bad advice from her political consultant. Bosworth said ahead of her sentencing that she was praying the judge would throw out her conviction. Her attorney also planned to appeal the case following sentencing. She finished fourth in a five-way primary won by former Gov. Mike Rounds, who later won the seat.

Sioux Falls human relations official out after just 3 months
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The woman hired to become Sioux Falls' first human rights community coordinator is gone after just three months on the job. Mayor Mike Huether in March hired India native Vandhana Baireddy to bridge the communications gap between City Hall and the city's diverse, underserved populations. Huether wanted Baireddy to go out to places where ethnic and underserved populations gathered to help them better understand how the Human Relations Division could help them in addressing discrimination. The Argus Leader reports that Baireddy is no longer employed by the city. She won't say why, and city officials won't say whether she quit or was fired, citing a personnel matter. Huether says her departure doesn't signal a change in his vision for the position, which is being advertised.

MDU seeks to raise electric, gas rates in South Dakota
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Montana-Dakota Utilities Company is seeking to raise electric and natural gas rates for its customers in South Dakota. The North Dakota-based utility has filed rate increase requests with South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission. MDU says that if approved, the increases would raise a residential South Dakota gas customer's bill by an average of $2.20 a month, and an electrical customer's bill by an average of $16.90. MDU cites increased demand for services, increased operating costs and an increased investment in its facilities as reasons for the rate hike requests. MDU serves about 8,600 electric customers in 30 South Dakota communities and about 57,600 natural gas customers in 25 communities in the state. South Dakota regulators will rule on the proposed rate hikes within six months.

Man shot in Wagner during early morning altercation
WAGNER, S.D. (AP) — A 22-year-old man was shot in Wagner during an altercation on the community's Main Street. The Charles Mix County Sheriff's Office says an altercation involving several people started about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, and Donovan Patterson, of Wagner, was shot in the lower abdomen. He was taken to a local hospital and then flown to a Sioux Falls hospital for more treatment. The Sheriff's Office and Wagner Police Department are investigating.

Rapid City's parks crews checking all parks for razor blades
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Crews with the Rapid City Parks Department are inspecting all city parks to ensure no razor blades are attached to playgrounds after a woman claimed on social media that she was injured going down a park slide. The city's police department is investigating the alleged incident at College Park. The department on Wednesday morning said it takes the razor blades "claims seriously" and officers are trying to get in contact with the woman. Police are advising parents to check playground equipment before allowing their children to use them. Police also ask anybody who witnesses suspicious activity at the parks to contact the department.

Court records show driver in fatal crash was legally drunk
MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — Court records related to the crash that killed a 14-year-old boy show the driver was legally drunk at the time of the incident. The Daily Republic reports the blood alcohol level of driver Karla Martinez was 0.148 when the crash took place. The legal limit is 0.08. Martinez's sports utility vehicle rolled in the ditch off a gravel road west of Mitchell Thursday. The boy, identified as Lenard Boyer, of Mitchell, was a front-seat passenger. Two 14-year-old boys and a 12-year-old boy sitting in the backseat suffered minor injuries. The newspaper reports none of the vehicle's occupants were wearing seatbelts and Boyer was the only one ejected. The 22-year-old Mitchell woman is facing several charges including drunken driving and vehicular homicide. It's unclear whether she has an attorney.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press