South Dakota News

Thune, Rounds vote to send Keystone XL bill to Obama's desk
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's U.S. Senate delegation has voted to approve a bipartisan bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a portion of which would run through the state. Republican Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds were two of the 62 senators who voted in favor of sending the bill to President Barack Obama's desk. The president has said he will veto any Keystone legislation that comes to him. The pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corporation would transport Canadian oil through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry the oil to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Following the passage of the bill Thune said the president is "out of excuses" and needs to sign the bill. Rounds said the approval of the pipeline is long overdue.

Yellowstone oil spills fuel arguments over Keystone line
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — As Congress presses the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, government records show oil pipeline accidents have become increasingly frequent in the U.S. An Associated Press review shows accident numbers growing steadily since 2009, reversing a decade-long decline. Keystone would go from Canada to the Gulf, passing near where 30,000 gallons of crude spilled into Montana's Yellowstone River earlier this month. The recent breach became the latest in a string of spills to highlight ongoing problems with maintenance of the nation's crude pipeline network. After the U.S. Senate voted Thursday in favor of Keystone, Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington state cited the increase in spills in calling for Obama to veto the measure. Keystone supporter North Dakota Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp (HYT'-kamp) said building it was preferable to using older pipelines.

Senate passes raw milk bill to make regulating easier
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The state Senate has passed a bill that would put raw milk in its own category under state law, which would allow it to be more easily regulated by the state. The legislation is a result of a workgroup set up by the Department of Agriculture following a stalemate in last year's legislative session. The bill doesn't legalize retail sales of raw milk. The bill puts raw milk in the same regulatory category as Grade A milk and manufacturing-grade milk. Stacy Revels is a policy adviser for the Department of Agriculture. She says raw milk needs to be in its own category so that the department can better create regulations, like what bacterial testing is necessary. The bill also says that raw milk can no longer be sold at farmer's markets.

Officials: Sioux Falls has added 45,000 people in 15 years
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Officials in South Dakota's largest city say it has grown by nearly 45,000 people in the last 15 years. The Sioux Falls Planning and Building Services department announced Monday the latest population estimate for the city. Officials now speculate that Sioux Falls has nearly 170,000 residents. The city says Sioux Falls has been averaging a 3,000-person increase for more than a decade. And it says the 2015 estimate is a 4,000-person increase over the last 12 months. Preliminary projections estimate that the population will be more than 185,000 by 2020. Officials use population estimates and projections to iron out the city's growth management strategies.

All residents accounted for in Sioux Falls apartment fire
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The American Red Cross says it is providing assistance to a family that was displaced by a fire Thursday morning. The fire prompted the evacuation of a Sioux Falls apartment building. Authorities say all of the residents were accounted for. There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire or the damage it caused. The Red Cross says it's providing assistance with food, clothing, shoes, seasonal garments and emergency housing for two adults and three children.

No new trial for man sentenced to life for homeless killing
No new trial for man sentenced to life for homeless killing PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A Sioux Falls man sentenced to life in prison for using a shovel to murder another man at a homeless camp will not get a new trial. The state Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a lower court's decision to allow certain hearsay evidence in Eugene Martin's original trial and upheld his conviction. Martin was sentenced in 2014 to life in prison for killing 45-year-old Robert Thunder Hawk in 2012. Martin argued in his appeal that the court shouldn't have allowed three pieces of hearsay evidence including a 911 call during his trial. He also disputed there was enough evidence for a first-degree murder conviction. Authorities say Martin and Clint Cottonwood were drinking alcohol with Thunder Hawk when Thunder Hawk made comments about Martin's girlfriend that led to a fight.

IPFW beats South Dakota 66-55
VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) — Steve Forbes scored 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, Joe Edwards added 14 points, including three 3-pointers, and IPFW beat South Dakota 66-55 on Thursday. Max Landis scored 10 for the Mastodons (10-11, 3-5 Summit League), who outshot the Coyotes 53.2 percent to 40 percent. Tyler Larson put South Dakota up 20-17 with a layup, but IPFW ripped a 10-2 run to lead 27-22 on a layup by Landis, then scored six unanswered points to lead 33-24 at halftime. Edwards hit two 3s early in the second half and the Mastodons led 44-35, then used an 8-2 run to pull ahead 54-41 after a layup by Landis. The Coyotes went scoreless for four minutes, but IPFW scored only six points during the drought. The Coyotes finished with an 8-2 run, but it wasn't enough. James Hunter led South Dakota (10-12, 4-4) with 14 points in Vermillion.

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