Former SD senator charged in illegal hunting case
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Authorities say a former state senator is facing a misdemeanor charge after illegally killing a mountain lion that was caught in a bobcat trap.
The Rapid City Journal reports that Gordon Howie is facing the charge following the January 31st incident near Hill City.
Howie served in the Legislature between 2005 and 2010. He ran for governor in 2010.
State law prohibits killing big game caught in traps. The violation goes against the concept of "fair chase," in which animals have a reasonable chance to evade hunters.
Howie says he is deeply remorseful about his actions.
Authorities discovered Howie's violation when he took the carcass to a Game, Fish and Parks office. A biologist noticed the animal had marks around its leg, a sign that it had been trapped.
FLOOD CONTROL UPGRADES
Flood-control project almost done in Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Construction crews in Sioux Falls are working on the last piece of a flood-control upgrade project that has lasted almost 15 years.
But, the Argus Leader reports, the work being done in the city's west side was not part of the original project.
Last summer, marked the end of the last phase of the project as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers final inspection of the Big Sioux River's levee system. But outside the original project, the corps found eight rusting culverts that might not hold up to a major flood.
A local official now worries about how that inspection may affect homeowners' wallets.
The work is costing about $3 million. It's being paid through a bond the city took out to fund the previous levee work.
NURSING HOME BEDS
Health officials give SD nursing homes 20 beds
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The state Department of Health has awarded 20 additional beds to nursing facilities in western South Dakota.
The South Dakota Department of Health says the 20 beds going to two Rapid City nursing facilities are the first awarded under a 2012 law.
The state has had a moratorium since 1998 that prohibits the construction of new nursing homes unless they are replacement facilities. The moratorium has also prevented existing nursing homes from adding more beds. But a law approved in 2012 has given the department the ability to identify areas that are in need of additional beds and transfer them there from other places.
The beds will be divided between Golden Living Prairie Hills and Golden Living Bella Vista.
International group honors BIA's police chief
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The police chief of the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation has been named the 2013 Indian Country Officer of Year by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The U.S. Attorney in South Dakota says the award was given to David Lawrence for the nearly 18 years he has worked in Indian Country.
U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson says Lawrence has worked in numerous complex cases involving murder, kidnapping, violent sexual assaults and child abuse. Johnson notes that for several years Lawrence was the only criminal investigator in the reservation at a time when the area saw an increase in teen suicides.
The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation straddles the border between North and South Dakota.
FORT PIERRE-DISTRICT RANGER
New district ranger to be presented at Fort Pierre
FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The Fort Pierre Ranger District has scheduled a public gathering to formally introduce its new district ranger.
Officials say attendees will be able to interact with the new District Ranger Daniel Svingen. The meeting is scheduled for Monday at the district's office in central South Dakota.
Svingen has been serving as acting district ranger since May. He has worked for several agencies in 10 different states during his career.
Officials say Svingen is an expert in grassland and ecological resource management including timber, range, wildlife and fish. He was the wildlife program manager on the Dakota Prairie Grasslands for more than a decade.
He has a master's degree in wildlife biology from the University of Wyoming.
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