IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-SOUTH DAKOTA
21 unaccompanied children placed with SD sponsors
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A federal report shows that 21 unaccompanied immigrant children have been placed individually with sponsors in South Dakota this year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a state-by-state list Thursday showing the total number of children who arrived at the southern border illegally and were united with sponsors from Jan. 1 to July 7. Texas, New York, Florida and California received the most children.
The U.S. has been grappling with a surge in the number of unaccompanied children arriving on the border from Central America fleeing violence.
Children caught at the U.S. border are placed in government shelters and then reunited with sponsors, who are usually parents, relatives or family friends. The children are then placed in deportation proceedings.
Insurers owe $2,600 in refunds in South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The federal government says insurers owe South Dakota customers about $2,600 in refunds because of a provision in the nation's health care law.
The Health and Human Services Department released figures Thursday showing that 867 Dakotans will be getting refunds, averaging $5 per family.
The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they collect on patient care and quality improvement or return the difference to consumers and employers.
Employers can apply refunds in ways that benefit workers or take a discount on future premiums. Individual policyholders owed refunds will get checks, reimbursements to their credit card accounts or see reductions in future premiums.
Refunds nationwide total more than $332 million, with an average of $80 per family.
Man charged in death of Peterson's son in court
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A man accused of killing the 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has pleaded not guilty for an alleged attack on the boy's mother.
Twenty-eight-year-old Joseph Patterson was arraigned Thursday in Sioux Falls on charges of aggravated assault and kidnapping. He's accused of attacking the mother of Tyrese Ruffin in June and holding her against her will for over an hour.
Patterson is facing second-degree murder, manslaughter and aggravated assault charges for the boy's death in October 2013. Trial on those charges is scheduled for October.
Last defendant sentenced for defrauding programs
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A fourth defendant accused of stealing funds that belonged to the Oglala Sioux Tribe has been sentenced in the case.
Forty-five-year-old Wayne Cortier pleaded guilty in March to theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. A judge earlier this week ordered Cortier to serve one year of probation.
Thirty-five-year-old Joe Garcia and 33-year-old Samone Milk were each sentenced earlier to more than a year in prison. Thirty-one-year-old Heather Garcia received five years of probation.
More than $110,000 in restitution was ordered among the defendants.
Milk was the executive secretary for a tribal energy assistance program and Heather Garcia was a technician in the tribe's accounts payable department. Joe Garcia and Cortier were contractors for the tribe.
Authorities say the defendants drafted fake invoices for contract work that was never performed.
SD museum, collector dispute Elvis' broken guitar
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - An acoustic guitar Elvis Presley smashed during his final tour has sparked a custody fight between a South Dakota museum and a collector who insists he's the rightful owner.
Now a federal judge must sort out whether blues guitarist Robert A. Johnson even technically owned the broken instrument last year when he donated it to the National Music Museum along with one of Bob Dylan's harmonicas and a guitar made for Johnny Cash.
The National Music Museum insists in a lawsuit that it is the legal owner of the guitar the rock-and-roll king played during his 1977 tour. He gave it to a fan in St. Petersburg, Florida, after he broke it when a strap and string snapped.
Collector Larry Moss says Johnson sold him the guitar earlier.
Former NBC News anchor returns to boyhood home
PICKSTOWN, S.D. (AP) - Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw says a part of him will always be in his boyhood home in South Dakota.
The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan reports that Brokaw recently returned to the southeastern South Dakota community of Pickstown for a town reunion and the dedication of the Pickstown and Fort Randall Dam Museum.
Brokaw moved to Pickstown as a 7-year-old when his father helped construct the dam on the Missouri River. He spent eight years there before the family moved to Yankton, where his father worked on the Gavins Point Dam.
Pickstown was created by the government for the dam construction. Brokaw says he feels fortunate to have lived in a special place during a special time in history.
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