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Court rules search unwarranted

PIERRE | The South Dakota Supreme Court has sided with a man who said police did not have a warrant or consent to search him for drugs.

The high court has reversed a Pennington County ruling that denied Gene Kaline's attempt to suppress evidence, specifically three bags of methamphetamine that was found in his pockets in Rapid City in September 2016. The Argus Leader says the arresting officer had testified that Kaline consented to the search.

Kaline served eight days of a suspended sentence in jail. The state Supreme Court ruled prosecutors failed to prove that Kaline had consented to the search. It said the search was done without a warrant or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

Johnson files campaign finances

PIERRE | South Dakota congressional candidate Dusty Johnson closed out June with roughly $151,000 in the bank after easily winning the Republican primary earlier that month.

A federal campaign finance report filed this week shows Johnson, a former public utilities commissioner, raised about $120,000 from May 17 through June 30. Johnson beat Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and state Sen. Neal Tapio in the June 5 primary.

Johnson is competing against candidates including Democrat Tim Bjorkman, a former judge, in the November general election. Bjorkman's campaign hasn't yet filed its campaign finance report ahead of the upcoming deadline.

Bjorkman had about $183,000 in the bank on May 16. He didn't face a primary opponent.

State crops in good condition

SIOUX FALLS | The majority of most major crops in South Dakota are rated in good to excellent condition as summer progresses.

The federal Agriculture Department also says in its weekly crop report that sunflower planting is wrapping up, at 96 percent complete. That's just slightly behind the average pace.

Topsoil moisture supplies statewide are rated 82 percent adequate to surplus, with 77 percent of subsoil moisture in those categories.

Pasture and range conditions statewide are mostly rated fair or good.

Wheat production in South Dakota this year is expected to be up substantially over 2017.

The Agriculture Department's latest estimates put South Dakota winter wheat production at 38 million bushels, up 83 percent from last year. Both acres and average yield are expected to be up.

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Spring wheat production is projected to double, to 41.8 million bushels.

Oat production also is expected to be up in the state.

Construction impacts Corn Palace

MITCHELL | Street construction in Mitchell is impacting visitation at the city's main tourist attraction.

The Daily Republic reports that Corn Palace Director Scott Schmidt says visitor numbers were at 113,760 from May 1 to July 9, down about 13,000 from the same period last year.

Board member Jeff Smith cites an ongoing road project that's expected to be mostly complete next week.

The Corn Palace bills itself as the world's only palace dedicated to the commodity. It features murals made of hundreds of thousands of ears of corn and draws about 200,000 tourists each year.

— Journal staff and wire reports

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