Friday, March 30, 2018

Republican judge continues cover up of Brady Folkens' wrongful death

An activist judge with deep ties to the South Dakota Republican Party is continuing the cover up of Brady Folkens' death at the hands of the state.

Born without a chin and having lost his spine soon after joining the GOP Lawrence E. (Larry) Long was appointed to the Second Judicial Circuit by Governor Mike Rounds in 2009. Long has been a South Dakota Attorney General. In court for a related matter Folkens' grieving mom told him she will dismiss her lawsuit and file a new action against the state.

Folkens died in custody after a botched diagnosis at the now-shuttered STAR Academy on December 21, 2013. In the absence of adequate news coverage by South Dakota media ignoring Brady's wrongful death this blog had urged his mother, Dawn Van Ballegooyen, to attach a lien to the property where he was misdiagnosed.

This case stank from the very beginning. Every Republican from Denny Daugaard's lawyer, Jim Seward to Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels, an Avera lawyer, is involved in obstruction of justice.

Lora Hubbel of Sioux Falls has been a vocal critic of the cover up and of South Dakota's endemic corruption. Her fellow Republican, State Senator Stace Nelson, has called his experience trying to track down documents in the Folkens case fraught with "BS excuses and obfuscation."

As a result, principled conservatives like Hubbel, Nelson and Neal Tapio have been the favorite targets of SDGOP's pernicious porker, Pat Powers.

Stabbed in the back by South Dakota's corrupt medical board, physician whistleblower Dr. Lars Aanning continues to champion Van Ballegooyen's case.
Not one South Dakota State authority and not one physician involved in Brady Folkens medical care has EVER reached out to his grieving mother since her 17-year old died while in juvenile detention. Instead, Dawn Van Ballegooyen has had to suffer from the legal maneuverings and machinations of the State's legal counsel, Gary Thimsen, cleverly guided by Craig Ambach of Risk Management - with Avera's Sulaiman as the MD hostage. We also strongly suspect quid pro quos underlie this sordid drama. [Facebook post]
The state of South Dakota and Sioux Valley Hospital split the burden of a $1.25 Million settlement after the death of Gina Score.

In a related story, after buying the shuttered facility for pennies on the dollar a former Custer mayor is pulling a bait-and-switch and bilking investors.

STAR Academy's predecessor, Custer State Hospital, has a macabre history of its own.

West River roundup: Native edition



Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold C. Frazier is pictured signing a proclamation announcing April 3, 2018 as National Service Recognition Day on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. [West River Eagle]
Native youth will share their stories of leadership during American Indian Awareness Week events at Black Hills State University April 9-13. The 35th annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi (Pow Wow) will take place April 13-14. All events are open to the public. The theme for the week is “Indigenous Leaders of Today Inspiring a Legacy.” American Indian Awareness Week at BHSU is hosted by the Lakota Omniciye student organization as an event dedicated to educating the community about Indian culture. [BHSU News]
From April 9-11, 2018, the Oglala Sioux Tribal President’s office will be hosting a gathering of business minds in Rapid City, SD, at the Best Western Ramkota to discuss economic development on the northern plains. [Lakota Times]
Oglala Sioux Tribe Resolution Demanding BLM Consultation re: Converse County Oil and Gas Project (Wyo.) [Turtle Talk]
At a meeting here on March 29, Custer Gallatin National Forest District Ranger Kurt A. Hansen is slated to talk with the public about protection of traditional cultural properties and uranium mine waste cleanup in the Cave Hills area of Lakota Territory. Meanwhile, in the Sioux Ranger District, 12 large uranium mines from the 1950s and 1960s are an operating Superfund site, using taxpayer money to clean up in the wake of company bankruptcy. [Native Sun News, via Indianz]
Women in Montana Making History: Elouise Cobell. [KTVH teevee]

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mike Rounds on full freak out about Missouri River


Senator Mike Rounds (earth hater-SD) has been tweeting conditions on the upper Missouri River basin every day and some of his twitter followers are rounding to begin sandbagging below the Oahe Dam.

According to a source close to the Rounds family Mike had been considering resigning from the US Senate but has now settled nicely into the Trump swamp. No stranger to swamps the former governor, after having built a house in a swamp that flooded in 2011, received a generous self-reimbursement from insurance coverage underwritten by his own company knowing Lake Sharpe is filling with silt.

A federal judge has ruled in favor of flooding plaintiffs for each year except for 2011.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, will hold an open house on Tuesday, April 3 from 5 to 7p.m. at the Oacoma Community Center, 100 E. 3rd Street in Oacoma, SD to seek comments on potential opportunities to address erosion that is threatening the town of Lower Brule. There will be a brief, formal presentation at 5:30 p.m. The purpose of this study is to evaluate alternatives for shoreline protection to reduce the continued loss of land which is threatening the town of Lower Brule’s sewage lagoons, roadways and other infrastructure. This feasibility study is being conducted under authority of Section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000, as amended, also known as the Tribal Partnership Program.
Read the rest of that here.

Ice floes are currently bashing bridge moorings in Montana as flood crests move downstream. The US Geological Survey is reporting the Yellowstone River has crested at Glendive but is filling the storage above the Garrison Dam with silt, too. Widespread downstream flooding is not expected unless 2018 La Niña-driven Spring rains exceed those of 2011.

The poisoned Big Sioux River is out of its banks at Dakota Dunes where part-time resident earth hater Dan Lederman is likely preparing another frivolous lawsuit even though litigation costs to federal agencies are straining budgets. Sloppy record keeping continues to plague counties prone to flooding.

The death of the Missouri River ecosystem in South Dakota began with the European invasion, was accelerated by the Homestake Mining Company and sealed with the construction of the main stem dams.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

South Dakota's medical industry monopolies enriching physicians

Sanford, Avera and Rapid City Regional enjoy virtual medical industry monopolies in their markets making South Dakota the best state to practice medicine.
According to the study, South Dakota has the second highest average for annual wages for physicians adjusted for the cost of living, one of the lowest malpractice award payout amount per capita and least expensive annual malpractice liability insurance. [KOTA teevee]
Get the full report here.

During a bipartisan hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) said Congress should take a “solid look” at a single-payer health care system. Tester, who has been listening to various options including some intense lobbying from this blog, asked the panel of experts how to finance the health care system while controlling the costs.
Because of the way hospital networks and private insurers independently negotiate prices with each other in most of the country, rural hospitals are often de facto monopolies with massive leverage. As a result, only insurers that are also effectively monopolies can hope to negotiate for decent prices to drive out competition. Even increasing insurer competition in these concentrated hospital markets could actually make the cost problem worse. [The ACA is Failing Because It Didn’t Account For Hospital Monopolies in Rural Areas]
Recall former Montana Sen. Max Baucus threw President Barack Obama's pick for Health and Human Services Secretary, former Senate Majority Leader and fellow Democrat Tom Daschle, under the bus during a pre-confirmation quarrel in 2009.

Daschle was widely expected to push Congress toward a universal health care plan in the weeks before Big Pharma-backed Baucus soundly rejected single-payer medical insurance and guided the passing of what would become the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Obama later admitted he "screwed up" by pushing Timothy Geithner's confirmation as Treasury Secretary first in a effort to reverse the economic catastrophe left by the previous administration. Daschle withdrew after Obama put off his confirmation hearing and after Baucus stabbed Daschle, the American people and the new president in the back.

In 2013 Obama appointed Baucus, a Democrat who had been a royal pain in the ass, Ambassador to China. Baucus has publicly reversed course and now supports a single payer system.

I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and the Veterans Administration together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax. Reproductive freedoms should be included with conditions just like the military does under TRICARE.

So, if these hospitals are monopolies like utilities are, or even oligopolies in their markets, why isn't there a public commission to regulate pricing?


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Legislature: yes, South Dakotans are fucking nuts

If the South Dakota Legislature had a Homeliest Man on Campus contest Jim Bolin would probably win.
Lawmakers will study access to mental health services in South Dakota and examine the costs at the state and local levels. Republican Sen. Jim Bolin says it's a very important issue that's "not going away." House Speaker Pro Tempore Steven Haugaard supported the mental health study, saying it's an opportunity to direct state resources in that area and to help counties figure out how to address the "burgeoning problem of mental illness."
Read it all here.

I am not convinced that a person's sexual preference is determined at conception or at birth. I have lived with or near more LGBTQ people than many have and every story is different: from hatred of a parent to exposure to hormone-producing environmental contaminants and lack of circumcision. Women bullied or abused by men for most of their lives or men growing up with a cold or absent father have been reasons given for personal choices.

I began life left-handed but my father switched me because of his experience in the military which is geared for the right-handed; and, although I've never had sexual contact with another man so far in 65 years there was a time when androgyny seemed right for me.

i have been chronicling gender bending chemicals in the environment from its beginning. Pfizer's war on humanity is being prosecuted by quacks like Jim Bolin, Allen Unrub, Fred Deutsch, Jeff Monroe, Steve Haugaard and their fellow red state fascists.

It’s all related: a medical industry oligopoly, gender dysphoria, polluted waterways, subsidized agriculture, absence of medical insurance, cancer and a Republican legislature on the dole. South Dakota Republicans don't want schools to talk about the causes of gender dysphoria. Why? Because their campaign dollars come from the very industries that manufacture the products causing it. No serious discussion of issues associated with gender identity can be undertaken without the studying the effects of phthalates and other plasticizers on human genetics.

A study recently published in the Journal of Rural Health found the suicide rate for farmers is not only the highest of any occupation in America, it's spiking because of a lack of ready access to mental health care services. South Dakota writer, Tom Lawrence calls it part of "the insanity of the Farm Bill."

Still another study just concluded cannabis is an effective antidepressant therapy for some patients while keeping it illegal creates paranoia, anxiety and stigmatization. Cannabis is an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

New Approach South Dakota has written on its Facebook page there are still two more initiatives to be verified before they get to the petition that would put legal cannabis for some patients on the 2018 ballot.

Thune admits only socialism can save South Dakota


See those dead zones near the mouth of the Big Sioux River and on the James River near Huron? They're indicators that the chemical toilet is beyond fixing.

In a shot at Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at Betty Olson's Facebook page longtime South Dakota earth hater, Charlie Hoffman implied Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) has been in DC for far too long.

And, at the Rapid City Journal readers can see why. Thune is advocating for socialized ag and livestock production.
More than 90 percent of South Dakota’s farms are enrolled in one or more conservation, safety net, or loan program that’s been authorized by the farm bill. And I’m no stranger to farm bills, as I’ve already written three of them during my time in Congress. The 2018 farm bill will be my fourth. Most recently, I introduced my ninth farm bill proposal. This legislation, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Improvement and Rural Water System Access Act, would make important changes to the conservation program that provides critical habitat to the state’s pheasant population and delivers a large infusion of cash to local economies each year.
Read the rest here.

South Dakota writer, Tom Lawrence calls it part of the "insanity of the Farm Bill."

Thune is already notorious for encouraging moral hazard and adding a layer of government overreach bureaupublicanism on fighting wildfires.

Kristi Noem and Marty Jackley have both panicked outlining radical steps to preserve habitat for the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant, an invasive species that crowds out native wild turkeys.
“Get the youth involved, that’s a big part of it. This is the year my daughter shot her first pheasant at age 11; we should do everything we can to get our youth involved in this tradition,” Jackley said. [KSFY teevee]
They're just employing magical thinking.
Last year, South Dakota landowners applied to enroll more than 42,000 acres during the regular sign-up for CRP, but only two landowners and 101 acres were accepted. That’s right, only two landowners.
Read the rest here.

Which part of ecocide don't you understand?
“Even the good habitat is lacking in birds,” said Eric Rasmussen, a soil conservationist for the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Ipswich. “It’s one of the first years when guys like Tony Julik are seeing it.” Signs of distress are everywhere: dried-out swamps, a sickly corn crop, cattle grazing on the thinnest of stubble and baby pheasant hens so small they look like doves.
Read the rest here.

As this species is wiped out by industrial agriculture revenues in South Dakota continue to slide.
So far this year, about 4,600 fewer people have purchased South Dakota non-resident, small- game hunting licenses, which allow people to hunt ring-necked pheasants in the state. That represents a roughly 9 percent decline in non-resident license sales in the state. It also means a $556,000 revenue shortfall for the state’s Game, Fish and Parks Department. That’s a big deal because the department largely is funded by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.
Read more about red state collapse here.

Real conservatives at the Heritage Foundation have called for subsidy reform for years. Both Kristi Noem and Mike Rounds have taken handouts. Noem frequently calls for a socialized Black Hills timber industry to placate Hulett, Wyoming-based donor, Neiman Enterprises.

South Dakota owns loads of the means of production: part of the very definition of socialism.

Attacks on Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate increasing

As expected, pedantic porker Pat Powers is painting the Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate CJ Abernathey as a lunatic pot head; but, because of his lurid Alt-Right bent and over the top agitprop the LP offering will pull more Republican earth hater voters than Democratic.

In Montana Libertarians have historically taken five votes from earth haters to three Democratic. Abernathey is no threat to Democrat Billie Sutton and if a principled conservative has enough signatures to get on the 2018 ballot as a third party or unaffiliated candidate Sutton could pull off a squeaker.

Pervert Powers, who makes a stopped clock look like a well-greased machine, salts his comment section with a seemingly infinite variety of aliases that threaten or jeer his political enemies. He has long been banned from this and other South Dakota related sites because of a constant stream of bigotry, misogyny and other hate speech.

The toxic Big Sioux River is out of its banks this morning at Brookings polluted with effluent from the Powers household.

Mountain pine beetles still clearing trees from Black Hills


According to the US Forest Service bug counters native bark beetles cleared some 4700 acres of ponderosa pine from the Black Hills in 2017 up from about 2500A. in 2016.
The first recorded pine beetle epidemic in the Black Hills occurred from the late 1890s through the early 1900s. Epidemics also occurred in the 1930s, '40s, '60s and '70s, each lasting eight to 13 years. [Rapid City Journal]
While ponderosa pine reached the Black Hills less than 2000 years ago native limber and lodgepole pine have been mostly extirpated from He Sapa, The Heart of Everything That Is.

Monday, March 26, 2018

FLDS still trafficking minor girls without scrutiny in South Dakota


Sharia Law? Nah. Sons of Perdition.
She was quiet yet kind. I struggled with the fact that my father had married a girl my same age at sixteen and that I had to call her “mother Sheena”, but after a year or so we became friends. Sheena Roundy won the family’s love. She was a hard worker, loved all Warren’s wives and children, and lived a life of sacrifice and giving. In 2013, when I was living in South Dakota with my husband Rich, I went to spend a morning with my sister Melanie at father’s house.
Read the rest here.

This post has been getting traffic and now i know why.

In South Dakota where corruption drives the Republican Party expect public money to be funneled to private parochial schools like the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) uses Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars to bleed the beast.

Recall the mother of earth hater state legislator and candidate for South Dakota Attorney General, Lance Russell sold property to the FLDS Church where minor girls are trafficked and raped.
A secretive religious group linked to national cases of polygamy and the marriage of underage girls may be expanding to the Edgemont area, and there may be little Fall River County officials can do. The property in question was part of the estate of Buddy Heck and was left to Doris Seabeck and to Carolyn Fines. Seabeck is Heck’s sister and is the personal representative of his estate. Seabeck signed the purchase agreement, which is being contested by Fines in the courts. The commissioners said that as Carolyn Fines is state’s attorney Lance Russell’s mother, there may be some conflict of interest on the county’s part. [Rapid City Journal]
In 2011 Russell was censured by the state's judiciary for leaking grand jury testimony.

In a related story the extremist South Dakota Legislature won't investigate white people professing to be christians.
A request by South Dakota District 30 Rep. Tim Goodwin to study the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound in southwest Custer County was denied April 18 at a meeting of the legislature’s executive board. “To be honest, I couldn’t get traction from anybody else,” he said. “Most people have a yellow streak down their back, so I couldn’t get anybody to touch it.”
Get that story here.

Attorneys have been unable to find Seth Jeffs.
“Plaintiff’s counsel believes Mr. Jeffs is in hiding,” the woman’s attorney, Alan Mortensen, wrote in a motion to the judge. “Information about Mr. Jeffs cannot be ascertained with reasonable diligence.” Seth Jeffs was a key figure in the federal government’s case against leaders of the FLDS Church alleging food stamp fraud. In December 2016, he struck a plea deal with prosecutors and was released from jail immediately with no probation or restitution. He was said to have led the FLDS Church’s sprawling compound in South Dakota.
Read it all here.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Pay: Gilt Edge mining disaster falls at SDGOP's feet

In the pre-cellphone days Brohm and this former Twin City Fruit marketing associate shared a radio telephone party line where managers plotting an environmental disaster at the Gilt Edge site unwittingly leaked the news to anyone listening.

Brohm was an Australian company recruited by a Republican governor who gutted environmental protection in South Dakota. Photo is of acid mine drainage on Minnesota Ridge in the northern Black Hills.

With uncanny accuracy the late Gary Heckenlaible predicted the failure of the Gilt Edge Mine south of Deadwood now a Superfund site.

In 2016 Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton toured the Janklow/Brohm mining disaster in the Black Hills calling it "a textbook example of how not to do it."

The Board of Minerals and Environment is an arm of the South Dakota Republican Party that ceded regulatory authority to the US Environmental Protection Agency for uranium mining after the legislature realized there is no competent oversight from state agencies.

Acknowledging there will always be acid mine drainage the board met in Pierre in May of last year to announce its plans to continue the war on the Black Hills Gilt Edge Superfund site as EPA becomes a tool of the extraction industry.

Bob Mercer sat through the meeting so we didn't have to then filed three stories. The following is an excerpt from one.
The problem is acid mine drainage that occurs when sulfide-bearing rocks are exposed to oxygen. The acid drainage led Brohm mining company to walk away from Gilt Edge in 1999, in the process forfeiting its state bond of about $6 million. South Dakota becomes completely responsible for the cost of managing the Gilt Edge site after EPA completes the cleanup. [Mercer 1]
Under the General Mining Act of 1872 Canadian miners have carte blanche to rape the Black Hills, so they are.
I have a few choice words about this. At bottom, this is typical government corruption.

The Superfund program was designed to hold parties responsible for cleaning up the messes they made, so that taxpayers didn’t have to foot the entire bill. Essentially, it was designed to prevent de-privatization (or socialization) of the costs of cleanups. Cleanups are always complicated, far more difficult than doing things right the first time. They do require expertise, some of which is in private consulting firms. As long as these firms are beholden to the people’s interest (ie., the cleanup), and not one of the responsible parties, or a completely different entity with a desire to re-mine the site, then they are just fine.

That’s not what we have here. The State of South Dakota is the responsible party here, since Brohm Mining went bankrupt. It took over the mine site after it failed to properly regulate, which included a vastly deficient bond. Brohm Mining was a shell company designed specifically to take resources out of South Dakota and place the money in Canada, while keeping the US entity purposely poor. Everyone in the Gilt Edge Mine area knew the mine was in an area where acidic conditions prevailed. The State was specifically warned about this during permit hearings, yet the Board of Minerals and Environment handed them a permit anyway. When the Technical Information Project and the Atlantic States Legal Foundation put EPA on notice of a citizen suit to obtain National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permitting for the Brohm Mine, DENR and Brohm Mining opposed it together, always in lock step. The state’s dilly-dallying on that may have increased the problem. So, yes, sorry to say it, but the state ought to be paying the full cost of cleanup because of their failures to listen to citizens and properly regulate.

The state has been lucky to have had EPA footing most of the costs, but the state is chipping in money, too, though I think most of it has been coming out of the bond. That brings us to the fact that the current EPA is shorting the federal contributions to the Superfund program. It has started doing superficial cleanups to make it look like things are getting done. It’s actually sweeping things under the rug. When the Reagan administration did this, people went to jail.

So, South Dakota citizens are now part of the experiment in government corruption, and they are the guinea pigs. Agnico is a Canadian mining concern that wants to re-open the Gilt Edge Mine to mining. The acid rock is still there. The cadmium is still there.

It’s a complicated agreement, but here’s what I think is going to happen: Agnico is going to be paying into the Superfund sub-fund. I think that is going to be to displace the portion of funds that South Dakota is paying into Superfund clean up. Thus, Agnico is essentially paying a bribe to both EPA and the State of South Dakota. For this bribe, Agnico is expecting easy sailing in their effort to open another mine, that may include the portions of the expanded mining area on Forest Service land.

By the way, this agreement was negotiated without any public notice or public input. This mining site has been controversial since 1988, yet no one sought fit to let South Dakota citizens in on what was proposed until there is only a couple weeks to read and understand what is going on.

That’s how corruption works. EPA and the State of South Dakota should hold public meetings on this, and extend the comment period. There is a large backstory to this agreement that needs to be figured out. It has been in the works, in the background, for many months. When I called to try to ask some questions, I was told I had to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to get further information. That will take some time. Until we have all the information and the backstory, and an opportunity to comment based on a full understanding, this agreement should be shelved.

Many Superfund sites have citizen committees to oversee and keep tabs on the work. That should be the next step here, and until that happens, there should be no finalizing of this agreement. [blog comment, Donald Pay]

Friday, March 23, 2018

Want to save the Black Hills? Rewild the West


Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement.

The Industrial Revolution and European settlement in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests. Aspen has been choked out by fire suppression and the timber industry exacerbating climate change. Aspen leaves reflect sunlight and hold snow pack while pine needles absorb heat and accelerate snow melt warming the planet.

Pinus ponderosa is not native to the Black Hills and only reached the region just over a thousand years ago. When the Custer Expedition came through the Black Hills bringing invasive cheatgrass for their horses stands of ponderosa pine were sparsely scattered but a century and a half of poor ranching and land management practices have created an unnatural overstory best controlled by the mountain pine beetle, prescribed fires and periodic wildfires. After a century of destructive agricultural practices invasive grasses infest most of western South Dakota. It's important to remember high-VOC ponderosa pine only reached central Montana a thousand years ago. They're weeds.

More diversity means clearing the second growth ponderosa pine, restoring aspen habitat, prescribing burns, beginning extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, engaging tribes, buying out ranchers, leasing private land for wildlife corridors, turning feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and electing Democrats to lead the way.

Back in May the Trump Organization proposed slashing $10 million and 29 positions from the Interior Department’s wild horse and burro program. Funding for birth control would be cut and the Bureau of Land Management would be allowed to sell horses protected under a 1971 law to be harvested and the meat sold mostly abroad.

In Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and seven other states the BLM adopts out, seeks private pastures for, and feeds the horses. The cost of keeping feral horses in holding pens off wild lands costs taxpayers at least $49 million annually.

Wyoming has the second-highest feral horse population in the country with 7,144 of these horses. The BLM’s target is 3,725.

The United States sends more than 12,000 horses annually across the southern border for slaughter ultimately bound for markets in Europe and Asia. Ironic that in a country that exports more weapons of mass destruction than all others combined and relentlessly hunts nearly anything that moves Equus ferus is still seen as a pet.

In an era when western states are scrambling to preserve habitat for bison, wapiti, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, deer, the threatened Greater sage grouse and all the other wildlife at risk to the Republican Party how is running nurseries for introduced species like wild horses and burros either conservative or sustainable?

Because they have no natural predators feral horse herds double in size every four to five years. “You don’t have wild horses anymore. You have their bodies, but they are … domesticated,” said one researcher. The modern horse was introduced to North America by the Spanish late in the 15th Century and then by other European colonizers.

Acquiring the horse in the 1740s enabled the Lakota to win the Black Hills. Tribal officials say there are an estimated 75,000 feral horses roaming the Navajo Nation, "ravaging the range and depleting water sources."

Historically unserved or underserved by conventional financial institutions Native communities have been largely isolated from the food web. At least one American Indian tribe in South Dakota has shown interest in operating an abattoir as an economic development opportunity. Citi is quietly seeking a piece of tribal gaming announcing a 'major contribution' in support of Native Community Development Financial Institutions.

So, the question remains: should rewilding efforts seek to restore sustainable wild lands to Pleistocene Era conditions or let the Anthropocene lay waste desertifying precious resources changing the landscape forever leaving survivors to cleave out habitable zones forsaking native species?

Some Black Hills schools feeling effects of boycott, SDGOP paranoia

After South Dakota's governor signed a bill into law that discriminates against some couples who want to adopt a California-led boycott is queering Denny Daugaard's pitch.

It's taking its toll on some Black Hills schools, too. Hot Springs schools are facing a $422,000 shortfall.
The Hot Springs School District Administration Building was once again tense Monday evening for the school boards business meeting. The board voted unanimously to eliminate a full time Spanish position, move two counselors from full to half time and to move a librarian from full to half time. In addition to the reduction in force, the board also accepted the resignations of three teachers and two other staff members.
Get that story here.

The Custer School District is under pressure to spend some $62,000 for a part-time cop but teachers are getting screwed.
Custer County Sheriff Marty Mechaley said there have been four different school resource officers in the past several years, which makes it hard for the officer to build a rapport with the students and earn their respect. Some on the board said they had an issue with only one resource officer and felt that all three schools in the district should have an officer.
Read that here.

A Lead-Deadwood school board member believes arming teachers is nuts.

The Belle Fourche School District is pondering a stronger law enforcement industry presence and is expected to spend more money on surveillance.
The school district might have had one of the most emotional school board meetings in months as three teachers were on the agenda to discontinue their service to the Hill City School District. While the context of the the last school board meeting was mostly confusion and unrest about the rest of the decisions, the school board was going to make the meeting on March 13 more about expressing anger about the situation. Howie Euneau, business owner in Hill City, said he heard nothing but negative feedback about what the school district is doing from people.
Read that story here.

More evidence of Daugaard tyranny: a third of qualified teaching grads leave South Dakota while the remainder struggle with certification.

There is a net inbound demographic of white retirees moving to South Dakota where a regressive tax structure pays property taxes with federal Social Security benefits while enriching a medical industry monopoly.
Mike Hanson, superintendent of Hill City school district, said the new funding formula in 2016 was based on lowering taxes and increasing teacher salaries. They are looking at every code in the budget to ensure efficiencies, create exemplary opportunities for students and to be within budget, a budget in which taxpayers will be confident in. The first source of revenue for these school districts is property taxes. Levies have dropped significantly and the school district is receiving less tax revenue than what they had been receiving. The school district saw a loss of $330,000 recently due to a focus on property tax relief that came in 2016. Last year’s general fund budget for the school district was around $4.8 million.
Read the rest here.

As teachers flee South Dakota for blue states Sioux Falls is recruiting cheaper brown skinned educators.

K-12 Achievement: D (65.2), Status: D- (62.5), Change: F (57.6), School Finance: D (66.3), Spending: F (48.6). Read it all at Education Week.

So, police unions get the cash while teachers unions get the shaft: how conservative.

How 65 county seats and their bureaucracies are either conservative or sustainable remains a mystery.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Snow brings some drought relief, elevated runoffs

Some moisture on the upper Missouri River basin is putting off the wildland fire potential for a few days. Click on any image for a better look.

Monday, March 19, 2018

KWAT: Jackley adopts portion of kurtz template

In an interview earth hater Marty Jackley uses The Dakota Progressive's exact language to outline his views on cannabis as therapy.

South Dakota's legislature can write a bill that would adopt legislation similar to Minnesota's medical cannabis law but worthy of Federal Drug Administration scrutiny where real medicine could be sold by pharmacies. In my view edibles should only be available to patients suffering from debilitating diseases, disorders or conditions and be dispensed by pharmacists and taxed like other prescriptions.

Listen to Jackley mouthing my words at KWAT Radio.

In the recent past Marty Jackley has hinted he'd like to see South Dakota reform its ridiculous cannabis laws.
In addition, in September 2017, my office joined 37 Attorneys General asking insurance providers to find ways to reduce opioid prescriptions and make it easier for patients to access other forms of pain management treatment. We have yet to see the impact of these efforts, but we will continue looking for such important opportunities.
Read that here.

Fuzzy Marty says he supports a further look and that he's working with federal agencies to ensure his donors can cut a fat hog institutionalizing pharmaceutical weed.

Several states have amended their therapeutic cannabis rules to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) with a safe and effective alternative.

Heroin use is spiking in South Dakota no doubt fueled by America's most dangerous gateway drug, commercial teevee.

Meth use is a symptom of South Dakota's statewide hopelessness as the state's residents stare down another punishing, relentless, and unforgiving winter.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Open Cut ice climbing park could help complete Deadwood Comprehensive Plan


An ice climbing park in Lead's Open Cut just took a step forward after Chris Pelczarski and Mark Rafferty with the Black Hills Climbers Coalition appeared on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio.





Holly Meyer of the Rapid City Journal says Chris Pelczarski isn't afraid to make a statement:
"I was just sort of in the moment; it seemed like something fun to do," Pelczarski said of his first nude climb. At the very least, he wanted a few people to drive by and get a few laughs out of the sight. "The act of something ridiculous is inspiring -- something so far out of the norm that it's just great," Pelczarski said. "Many people will see that, and it will change their day. They could have been having a terrible day. They could have seen a naked guy on a frozen waterfall, and it changes your entire day."
Deadwood is studying ways to advance its economic development plan even examining second stories in historic properties.
Deadwood had a large chunk of respondents (more than 60 percent) rate employment opportunities, educational opportunities, activities for youth, services for seniors, and as a place to conduct business as “fair” to “poor.” Seventy-three percent of respondents said that the city should develop more trails in and around Deadwood. Respondents listed the top three most important things for strengthening Deadwood’s economy as creating more and better year-round job opportunities, diversifying the economy to incorporate more activity from other economic sectors, and attracting new businesses to Deadwood.
Read the rest here.

Another opportunity is the Grateful Deadwood High Cannabusiness Institute. The building that has been home to the Deadwood High School Bears now Lead-Deadwood Elementary came to mind at my conclusion to make Deadwood an adult destination. This building is perfect for Deadwood's cannabis experiment. Under a compact with tribal nations and Black Hills State University with oversight from the South Dakota Gaming Commission create a campus with degrees in cannabusiness and tourism. Train casino workers and poker dealers.

Friday, March 16, 2018

SDGOP schism coming to a head in Rapid City

Principled conservatives are fighting back against the South Dakota Republican Party insiders in Rapid City.

Republican Mayor Steve Allender, who as police chief managed a "bunch of racists," is facing tremendous resistance for another building boondoggle.
Over the past two weeks, volunteers and members of Citizens for Liberty, a local tea party organization, have been busily collecting signatures to ensure that on June 5, Rapid Citians can decide whether the city should build a new 12,000- to 13,000-seat, $130 million arena or renovate the existing 10,000-seat Barnett Arena for about $25 million. The reason for the referral, Citizens for Liberty leader Tonchi Weaver said last week, is to give Rapid Citians the final say on how their tax dollars are spent.
Read the rest here.

Weaver is an activist who led a petition drive in opposition to increased sewer and water rates. She and her group have the resources, support and political courage to mount third party and unaffiliated runs for statewide office.

Pierre is broken and the only way to fix it is to have Republicans lose several races to Democrats. Fact is: the best way to a strong two party system in South Dakota is for arch-conservatives to launch an alt-right party. South Dakota's most ardent earth haters are still looking for principled conservatives to run in statewide elections.
Independent candidates are automatically put on the General Election ballot and do not have a Primary Election.The deadline to submit an independent candidate nominating petition for the November general election is April 24, 2018 and governor candidates must circulate petitions and collect at least 2,775 valid signatures.
Get more information here.

Tonchi Weaver, Liz May, Steve Livermont, Tim Begalka, Shad Olson, Florence Thompson, Stace Nelson, Gordon Howie, Neal Tapio, Steve Novotny and Scott Jones could be among those candidates.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Apeshit: South Dakota legislature a bunch of greedy cocksuckers

I began playing in Jerry Apeshit Apa's illegal poker games in the basement of the Bodega in Deadwood somewhere around 1985.

It was a seminal time. The late Mike O'Connell was a founding father of legal gambling in the Gulch and every time Apa would go on tilt in a poker game Mike would shout, "he's gone apeshit!" The name stuck.

Apa has split with the Republican establishment again blasting legislative pay raises in Pierre.
The Legislature voted to give the legislators a pay raise effective Jan 1, 2019. The raise has been calculated to be $11,800; thereby costing the taxpayer approximately $650,000. One of the more specious arguments for the pay raise is it will enhance the opportunity for more people to serve. But I ask you how many employers will be able to lose an hourly employee for the better part of two and one half months and how many people working on commission can forego their commission and contacts for that amount of time?

How many citizens in South Dakota know, in addition to their salary, legislators receive per diem of $144 per day tax free. In a 40-day session that amounts to $5,560. In addition, they receive 42 cents per mile for each round trip from their home to Pierre except for the first and last trips.

I thank the 22 legislators that voted “no” and to the 83 who voted “yes” I ask, have you no shame? This bill is not about need it is about greed. If the legislators truly thought they deserved a pay raise it should be on the ballot and the case made to the hard-working, taxpaying citizens of South Dakota.

Jerry Apa

Lead
Lead is where if two people get divorced they're still father and daughter.

Unfortunately (or not), Lead doesn't have a pot to piss in because the bulk of its taxpayers are lining up with their walkers or lying on gurneys awaiting their turns for the various cemeteries splattered throughout town.

The residents are obese, white retirees from somewhere else who fled cultural diversity in their own states taking advantage of South Dakota's regressive tax structure and are now returning in their RVs after the strings below-zero days.

Too many Lead residents are local high school dropouts who married their sisters, are strung out on meth somewhere and are only paying taxes through video lootery, Mickey's malt liquor, cigarettes and fuel.

A former legislator and Lead mayor, a lifelong earth hater and member of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers, Apa's scathing indictment of South Dakota Republican Party leadership and its ownership of SD Game Fish and Plunder helped kill a state land grab in Spearditch Canyon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Guest post: discussing the Walkout with Mr. Talley


The Pine Needle talked with Principal Michael Talley about students’ participation in the National School Walkout as well as how the school is keeping students safe.

By Claire Kurtz

In lieu of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida leading a National School Walkout on March 14th to protest current gun laws, I sat down to talk with our principal, Michael Talley, about students at Central participating.

He told me he’s working with various students to organize a safe experience: “I don’t want students walking out in traffic so I’m working with different students to have a sit-in type of event. We could meet in the auditorium or the gym and students could get up and talk about the gun violence and voice their opinion.” He’s completely supportive and wants kids to get involved, though he does want it to be the students’ movement.

We also talked about the the A.L.I.C.E. training that schools are implementing in their classes. Teachers are training their students to prepare for a shooter: leave the class if the shooter is in the opposite side of the building, barricade the door if he/she is close, and if the shooter manages to break in, grab backpacks, grab chairs, books, computers and hurl them his/her way. The number one rule is don’t do nothing. Your lives are in your hands.

I told Talley that no matter how much we prepare, no one knows how they would react until they’re in that moment. The sheriff deputy during the Florida shooting stayed outside, did not go into the school. If cops with the most training can’t take down an active shooter, how can you ask kids to do that? He reassured me, “Even if you’re not comfortable, I’m sure the majority of the male students in your class will take action and make sure the job gets done.” I also asked him how he felt about arming teachers and he told me that he “could think of more cons than pros. Teachers are here to teach and it’s not their job. We have two armed liaison officers who can report to the scene in seconds.”

The surviving students Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are leading a second National School Walkout on April 20th, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.

Related stories: kurtz woman will join school gun safety walkout and Rapid City Journal editorial: South Dakota's GOP congressional delegation "get small" on gun safety




Earth haters move to block monument name change


With the Oglala Lakota Nation as an interested party Chief Arvol Looking Horse submitted a request to the US Board on Geographic Names saying the words “Devils Tower” are a malapropism.

The tower, part of the Black Hills Land Claim, is the remnant of an intrusive laccolith and has been called Mahto Tipila or Bear Lodge for centuries by the Lakota; but, earth hating Republicans are trying to end indigenous rights.
Tribes and their advocates believe the "Devils Tower" moniker disrespects the sacred nature of the iconic site in Wyoming. But efforts to change the name have never gained significant ground due to a policy at the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, or BGN, a federal body. But Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona), the top Democrat on the committee, said tribal views about the name should be respected. He pointed out that no hearing has ever taken place on H.R.410. "I think we can all agree we would not want the word 'devil' tacked on to our places of worship," Grijalva said at the markup.
Read the rest here.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says that if Confederate monuments are taken down, there’s no telling how far America might go —Native Americans could call for the removal of statues commemorating leaders who orchestrated violence against their ancestors. [Huffington Post]
In the occupied Black Hills of South Dakota descendants of European colonizers were apoplectic over the proposal to restore the state's highest point to its Lakota name, Hinhan Kaga or A Making of Owls but Black Elk Peak won the battle.

The South Dakota Board of Geographic Names spent more of their time on renaming the Squaw Humper Dam than on the proposal to change the name of a local jurisdiction to Oglala Lakota County.

Now, another tribal nation trapped in South Dakota wants to remove a wasicu's name from another county.
State Representative Shawn Bordeaux has begun a petition to change the name of Todd County to Sicangu Oyate County. Needing only 708 signatures at the time of the writing of this article, Representative Bordeaux hopes to use the county name change to educate both Natives and non-Natives in the state as to the history of the original naming of Todd County. Todd County was named after John Blair Smith Todd, a relative to President Abraham Lincoln, and a delegate in Dakota Territory to the U.S. House of Representatives and a general in the Union Army. According to Bordeaux, Todd was present at the Battle of Ash Hollow (Harney Massacre) near present day Garden County, Neb.
Read the rest here.

The Legion Lake Fire reminded America that Custer State Park is named for a war criminal. During the Battle of Greasy Grass George Custer attacked the encampment where the elderly, women and children were hidden and during the Washita Massacre he held a similar contingent as hostages and human shields.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and the US Park Service are doing what Alaskans are asking of Congress urging the body to approve a name change for North America's highest peak to Denali, an Athabascan name meaning “the high one.”

After successes by tribal nations renaming geographical features in Alaska and South Dakota, Yellowstone National Park could see at least two name changes. Hayden Valley memorializes Ferdinand V. Hayden who advocated for “extermination” of tribal people and Mount Doane is named for Lieutenant Gustavus Doane who led a massacre of the Piikani, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. According to US Geological Survey officials the Board on Geographic Names has received no official proposal to change the names to Buffalo Nations Valley and First Peoples Mountain.

At least 23 archaeological sites near Devils Tower National Monument, some of which are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, are at risk to a proposed 8000-acre expansion of Australia’s largest U.S. aquifer uranium mining operation and to Rare Element Resources.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

North Dakota's cannabis plan creeping forward

South Dakota's more forward-looking neighbor to the north is already growing interest in cannabis as therapy.

North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 in 2016 and last year the legislature drafted rules then a Republican governor signed it into law.
The Health Department expects to announce an application period for medical marijuana manufacturers by the end of the week, said Jason Wahl, director of the Health Department’s Medical Marijuana Division. That will be followed by application periods for dispensaries, patients and caregivers. Wahl said North Dakota also is working to devise a system that will pass any federal government scrutiny.
Read the rest here.

In South Dakota, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs’ office is moving through a cannabis ballot petition process at a stoner's pace.

Even the South Dakota State Medical Association contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the fact that it is illegal makes it less effective as a therapy.
Although there are different schools of thought concerning the efficacy of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions and concerning whether its possession and use ought to be decriminalized altogether, the fact remains that it is a violation of federal law and South Dakota law to possess or distribute it for any purpose.
Read that here.

South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse.

Meth use is a symptom of South Dakota's statewide hopelessness as the state's residents stare down another punishing, relentless, and unforgiving winter.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Rounds: South Dakota should be a chemical toilet, sacrifice zone

Senator Mike Rounds (earth hater-SD) is not only freaking out the US Army Corps of Engineers are punishing him for his lawsuit blaming the military for 2011 flooding he's telling voters it's okay that South Dakota is a dumping ground for the ag and livestock industries.

Yes, he's calling out "activist interest groups" er, an "environmental activist group" for the court ruling upholding the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
In 1980, CERCLA was established to manage hazardous waste and respond to environmental emergencies and natural disasters. It was meant to be used to clean up land that was identified by the EPA as hazardous or contaminated, and make sure that local communities are able to safely manage hazardous waste. Animal waste contains ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which are both considered hazardous substances under CERCLA, so in 2008, the EPA amended the rule to exempt animal waste at agricultural operations from CERCLA reporting requirements.
Read the rest here.

Since Rounds doesn't have the language skills to tell constituents how he really feels the staffer writing the column appearing in the Pierre Capital Journal is telling readers South Dakota is the perfect place to dump manure and pollute the environment.

How the National Milk Producers Federation, South Dakota Farm Bureau and the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association aren't activist interest groups remains a mystery.

Does anyone remember the "surplus water" ruse? That's right: suing the corps over surplus water forces We the People to pay for the clean up of a century of mine tailings and organic effluent that have saturated the banks of the Belle Fourche/Cheyenne River system depositing many tons of toxic silt into Lake Oahe and the other downstream dams after 1962 now displacing many acre-feet of water. More silt means less hydropower.

South Dakota's history of ecocide and non-point source pollution is under the 319 federal program microscope.

The Big Sioux River is most at risk from animal feeding operations and overland sediment transport; but, nearly every waterway in the red moocher state is a toxic waste dump.

$1.1 million in federal funds will focus on Moody County where total remediation costs could soar to $12.2 million. South Central sponsors sought $1.3 million in federal and state funds to clean up Lewis and Clark Lake, Lake Andes, Geddes, Academy, Platte Lake watersheds, impaired parts of the Lower James River tributaries, and impaired stretches in the Vermillion River watershed.

As Wyoming threatens the upper Belle Fourche watershed the South Dakota portion will be part of an effort to expunge livestock waste. Sponsors asked for $250,000 from the feds and got it. It should be noted one of the most polluted reaches of the Belle Fourche goes right through Marty Jackley's boyhood ranch.
Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987, establishing a national program to control nonpoint sources of water pollution. Through Section 319, the EPA provides states, territories, and tribes with guidance and grant funding to implement their nonpoint source programs and to support local watershed projects to improve water quality.
Most of the cleanup activity comes as South Dakota's earth hater congressional delegation await the repeal of the Clean Water Act.

Read more about the US Environmental Protection Agency's 319 Grant Program for States, Territories and Tribes here.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Libertarian Party candidate unknown to Bob Newland

Why, yes: there is a Libertarian running for governor of South Dakota.
It's not me committing Civil Treason against the People of South Dakota... That would be Marty Jackley, Kristi Noem, and Billie Sutton. I am a Father, a United States Marine, College Educated, and I am the only one in this race that hasn't violated the Constitution, nor sold out the People of South Dakota. So let these criminals say whatever they are going to say. Their time of getting away with Treason is going to come to an end one way or another, and I look forward to hopefully being the Man for the Job of bringing this to the People. [CJ Abernathey, quote from Facebook]
The catch? Libertarian Party of South Dakota Founding Father Bob Newland has never heard of CJ Abernathey.

The Republicans will paint Abernathey as a lunatic pot head regardless of his choices; but, he is likely to pull more earth hater votes than Democratic because of his lurid Alt-Right bent and over the top agitprop.

Kristi Noem can't win. She should just quit her doomed campaign, bank her cash and move on to her next gig as a Washington lobbyist or Fox News talking head so she can pay off all of the taxes the government socked her with when her father died.

The more The Dakota Progressive condemns Abernathey the more attractive he will become to Marty Jackley's voters but the harder Cory Heidelberger at Dakota "Free" Press tackles him the more it makes his campaign less attractive to Billie Sutton's voters. If TDP supports him Sutton loses for sure.

Abernathey quotes Dakota "Free" Press quite often at his Facebook page but said he has never heard of Heidelberger.

Fact is: Abernathey can serve South Dakota more effectively if he files for the statehouse as a Libertarian candidate. Abernathey said he has filed with the secretary of state's office and expects to be nominated.

Readers should also be aware TDP is recruiting principled conservatives into statewide races as third party and unaffiliated candidates to siphon votes from Republicans. It is unknown at post time whether Newell sovereign citizen Wendal Hiland or Winner resident Steve Novotny have filed.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Powder River Training Complex is not what officials say it is


The Dakota Progressive pressed teevee meteorologist Andrew Shipotofsky to investigate Ellsworth's involvement in geoengineering.

In the name of geoengineering or albedo modification the Air Force routinely sprays an aerosol cocktail of silver iodide, lead iodide, aluminum oxide, barium, frozen carbon dioxide, common salt, water and soot from burning hazardous waste in pits at US Air Force bases including those at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, South Dakota into the atmosphere over the ocean and above parts of at least four states.

Ellsworth AFB is home to a Superfund site so are Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota and FE Warren AFB, Wyoming. All participate during the so-called "Combat Raider" deployments.

Included in the war games are sprayers that disperse chemicals formulated to reduce the effects of climate warming. Chemtrails have been observed by the public and by general aviation pilots in the expanded practice bombing range.

General aviation, private pilots, climate watchers, even some Republican landowners and ranchers are concerned the exercises could exacerbate drought conditions that persist in a region where dried grasses are causing early Spring fire danger.

As South Dakota's senior US Senator chortles over the Trump Organization's plan to spend at least $500,000,000 on each new B-21 bomber and nearly three quarters of a $TRILLION on a proposed Defense Department budget instead of really making America great again.

US Air Force officials are in the process of scheduling another round of aerial exercises over the Powder River Training Complex.


Freakouts over escaped burns unhelpful


Just a hundred and fifty years ago bison would be clearing the grasses driving an ever-earlier Spring wildfire season.

Escaped burns near Rockerville and Piedmont sent South Dakota fire managers scrambling last week for outbreaks there. At post time the Chimney Canyon Fire is still burning in the 2005 Ricco Fire zone but is 100% contained.

After a century of fire suppression, a decades-long moratorium on prescribed burns, a lack of environmental litigators and GOP retrenchment the Black Hills National Forest and surrounding grasslands remain at risk to more blazes like the Legion Lake Fire. But according to one wildfire boss it's far cheaper to fight wildfires than to burn prescriptively.

Volunteer fire departments are irreplaceable as first responders to unexpected blazes and if the Federal Emergency Management Agency survives a Trump presidency it should convince Congress to make sure the resources are there to sustain rural fire departments.
In South Dakota, 92 percent of fire protection is accomplished by volunteers. Many of the volunteer departments surrounding Rapid City broke records in call volume, including Rapid Valley, Rockerville, Box Elder, Hill City, and Black Hawk. Box Elder saw an increase of 3 percent over 2016, while Rockerville saw an increase of 40 percent.
Read more here.

South Dakota's failure to sufficiently clear decades of overgrowth and understory led to the Legion Lake Fire.

More diversity means clearing the second growth ponderosa pine, restoring aspen habitat, prescribing burns, beginning extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, engaging tribes, buying out ranchers, leasing private land for wildlife corridors, turning feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and electing Democrats to lead the way.

South Dakota is a perpetual welfare state and a permanent disaster area, after all. Wildland fire conditions are already returning to South Dakota, most notably in southern Pennington County and at the mouth of the Big Sioux River. Harding County is shaping up to add to the wildfire season in South Dakota any day now.

The fire danger index is in the high category at all reporting stations in the Black Hills.