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    SIOUX FALLS | The South Dakota attorney general's office on Tuesday said it will launch an investigation into whether state campaign finance disclosure laws were broken by a political organization that sponsored billboards to push state lawmakers to impeach Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

      PIERRE | Republicans on a South Dakota House committee want to clear the state's attorney general of impeachment charges for his actions surrounding a 2020 fatal car crash, arguing that anything wrong he did was not part of his work “in office.”

      The Douglas School Board received a presentation from Ann Petitt, executive director of elementary curriculum and instruction, on Acadience data — a program that gathered student data on K-5 reading, at its regular board meeting Monday evening.

      At first glance, Rexy is a normal American dog. He loves people, ear scratches and his favorite dog bed. But Rexy’s story is one of survival, and, as his owner puts it, “love, determination and commitment.”

      South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says that President Joe Biden had granted the state’s request for a presidential disaster declaration to aid the recovery from May storms that included over a dozen tornadoes. Gov. Kristi Noem requested the declaration, which allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in recovery efforts. The storms hit the eastern part of the state on May 12  with tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding. Two people were killed, roads were temporarily closed and thousands of people were left without power.

      South Dakota’s interim attorney general has dismissed two of former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s top appointees who were involved in the aftermath of Ravnsborg’s 2020 fatal car crash. Ravnsborg was removed from office last week after the Senate convicted him on impeachment charges for his conduct surrounding the crash. He struck and killed a pedestrian but initially said he might have hit a deer or other large animal. Gov. Kristi Noem appointed the lead prosecutor in the Senate impeachment trial, Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo, as interim attorney general. Vargo quickly dismissed Ravnsborg’s chief of staff, Tim Bormann, and the Director of the Division of Criminal Investigation, David Natvig, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.

      Proposed changes in veterans’ healthcare facilities in South Dakota and elsewhere are on hold for now. Some U.S. senators, including South Dakota’s Mike Rounds and John Thune, have agreed to dismantle a commission tasked by the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out closures, downsizing and other significant changes to medical facilities. That means the VA Hospital in Hot Springs will remain open. The commission was considering moving VA medical services from Hot Springs to Rapid City. Those programs include inpatient and outpatient care, nursing home and rehabilitation services. The senators are choosing not to confirm appointees to the commission. Rounds says that means the commission will expire and not have enough time to review recommendations.

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      A federal judge in Rapid City sentenced a Louisiana man to prison for attempted possession of child pornography. The man was apprehended during a multi-agency 2020 sex trafficking sting during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. 

      HOT SPRINGS | U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., announced Monday that the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs has found a way to stop the proposed closure of several U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, including the hospitals at Hot Springs and Fort Meade.

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