Some South Dakota meat processors now have the ability to ship their products across state lines.
The state has entered into a Cooperative Interstate Shipping agreement with the federal Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, Gov. Kristi Noem announced Thursday.
The CIS agreement allows state-inspected meat producers to market their products nationwide by allowing them to operate as federally inspected facilities.
“Our food supply is a matter of national security, so we need to increase diversity in the supply chain to offer more options to Americans,” Noem said in a news release. “For too long, meat producers have been shortchanged due to anti-competitive practices in the meatpacking industry. These new opportunities will expand their options and allow them to ship South Dakota meat across state lines.”
Without CIS, a state-inspected facility is limited to in-state sales. There are now 34 state-inspected establishments, including four in Rapid City, that are eligible to apply to participate in CIS, according to State Veterinarian Dusty Oedekoven.
Cutting Edge Meat Market in Rapid City is in the process of joining the program.
Owner Becky Goosen said the market will benefit a lot from CIS. Customers coming from out of state had been asking her for years to ship her products, but only now that the state has joined the federal program can that finally happen.
“This opens up a lot [of opportunity] for me,” Goosen told the Journal. “I think it’s a great program. Most of us have been waiting, hoping and praying this would go through.”
Only the 27 states with an established Meat and Poultry Inspection program can participate in CIS. The state MPI programs must show their inspections of state plants are of the same quality as federal inspections. FSIS oversees the CIS program to ensure all federal regulations and statutes are being followed, which includes verifying that each establishment continually meets these requirements.
CIS establishments are required by law to employ fewer than 25 workers. The state picks establishments to recommend to the FSIS for participation in CIS. Then, the federal agency verifies the state-inspected establishments’ compliance to federal requirements. According to the USDA’s website, compliance includes meeting federal regulatory requirements for sanitation performance standards and developing written Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plans.
Processors interested in the CIS program should contact the Animal Industry Board at 605-773-3321 or visit https://aib.sd.gov/.
“The Animal Industry Board is excited to help bring CIS to South Dakota,” Oedekoven said in a news release. “Our meat processors and producers need options, and CIS gives them another pathway for getting South Dakota products to market.”
In addition to South Dakota, there are eight states currently participating in CIS — Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Monument Health recently completed construction of six new Intensive Care Unit rooms at its Rapid City hospital.
The new rooms were built in response to expanding demand for medical and surgical services, especially cardiothoracic surgery, at Monument Health, according to a news release.
“Bringing six more ICU rooms online fills an important need for our region. We will be able to take care of more people than ever before, and we can care for more patients sent to us from community hospitals in the area,” Paulette Davidson, Monument Health President and CEO, said in the release.
The rooms are on the fifth floor of the hospital in a remodeled and refitted patient care area. Monument invested $2.3 million into the new rooms.
Monument Health cardiovascular specialists, cardiothoracic surgeons, intensivists and other specialists are providing increasingly complex care to patients, which increases the need for ICU rooms, George Sazama, Director of Intensive Care, said in the release.
To accommodate more equipment, monitors and medical staff, the rooms are two to three times the size of a standard hospital room. The new rooms also have extra oxygen lines and other infrastructure to allow for a higher level of care. ICU rooms have large glass doors so nurses can better observe patients in their care.
Police have detained juveniles as young as 12 years old after a number of shots were fired early Thursday morning at the Knollwood Townhouses in North Rapid City.
Captain James Johns of the Criminal Investigation Division said nine to 10 rounds were fired around 5 a.m. into cars and Apartment Building C on the 1700 block of North Maple Avenue. No injuries have been reported, according to Johns.
Officers heard gunshots while responding to a call of "shots fired" around 5 a.m., said police spokesperson Brendyn Medina. He said every available officer responded as well as members of the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.
Johns said the shootings posed a risk to young children.
"There are kids in the neighborhood and little ones wandering around, and we have people that are shooting guns and putting everyone at risk," he said.
Johns said a number of people fled the scene on foot. Police are still working to determine the number of people involved but have detained several whose ages range from 12 to over 18.
Medina said Thursday afternoon that gang activity is known to occur in the area.
"Gangs in Rapid City aren't really that well organized, but we're working to determine the identity of the shooter(s) and won't know until that is determined," he said in an email to the Journal.
Medina said the number of shooters and guns used are unknown at this time, along with the types of guns and where they came from. He said it's also unknown how many people were involved in the shooting and how many juveniles are suspects.
"We're working through those interviews to really ascertain what happened here, find out who's responsible for this terrible act," Johns said.
"I think the situation is we've got those who are responsible moving from apartment to apartment and house to house," he said. "I think there are people here who know exactly what happened and we would ask them to come forward and let us know, tell us what's going on."
Johns asked anyone who has information to call the criminal investigations division at 605-394-4134.
"This is unacceptable behavior in Rapid City," he said. "We have an extensive amount of manpower that is being poured into this to bring the people responsible to justice."
Medina said shootings of this scale are not common in Rapid City and encouraged nearby residents to "remain vigilant and to always contact police if they see suspicious activity taking place."
This is the second violent crime in the area this week.
Ashley Peltier faces a second-degree murder charge after a man was stabbed to death at 10 Surfwood Drive, which is across the street from Knollwood Townhomes. She is being held on a $250,000 cash-only bond.