CHILD AS SHIELD-SENTENCE
SD man who used child as shield gets 20-year term
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A Rapid City man who authorities say used his 2-year-old daughter as a shield to avoid arrest has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say 37-year-old Virgil Bald Eagle kept two women inside an apartment late last year and held his young daughter against the door, telling police not to kick it down or they would hurt her.
Officers were able to arrest Bald Eagle with no one getting hurt.
He was sentenced Tuesday on convictions for kidnapping and assaulting officers.
Cool, wet spring may ease western Plains drought
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - There are varying degrees of drought conditions in the Plains region, but a National Weather Service hydrologist says predicted above-normal rain this spring might ease some of the problem.
Mike Gillispie in Sioux Falls expects improvement in parts of Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.
Some people in the agriculture industry and with municipal water supplies are still wary.
Nathan Fields with the National Corn Growers Association says that during the 2012 drought, he learned how quickly it can set in and affect crop production.
Parts of eastern South Dakota are abnormally dry. The stretch from southern Minnesota and Iowa through Nebraska is facing moderate drought. Conditions worsen toward the south, as parts of Texas and Oklahoma are in the middle of an ongoing drought. There's no drought in North Dakota.
TRIBAL NATIONAL PARK
Trial set in proposed tribal national park dispute
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A judge has reserved three weeks this summer for trial involving a proposed tribal national park in southwestern South Dakota.
The National Park Service and Oglala Sioux are working to create the park. The plan includes the reintroduction of bison to the South Unit of Badlands National Park and using grasslands surrounding the proposed park to provide forage for the bison.
Ranchers who fear they will be forced off their land have petitioned Judge Mary Wynne to stop the tribal council from canceling grazing leases and expanding the South Unit by condemnation. The Rapid City Journal reports Wynne has scheduled trial to begin July 28.
Meanwhile, the Park Service has scheduled meetings next week in nine reservation communities and Rapid City to take comments on the proposed bison herd.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS FACILITY
$1.9M Special Olympics facility planned in SD
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Special Olympics South Dakota has launched a $1.9 million campaign to raise money for a training facility in Sioux Falls that would give athletes a place to practice without having to compete for gym time with other sports groups.
The proposed 16,000-square-foot Unify Center would be built adjacent to Special Olympics headquarters. It would include athletic training space; a commons, kitchen and concessions area; and handicapped-accessible locker rooms and showers.
Campaign co-chairman Miles Beacom is touting the project as the first of its kind in the nation.
Businesses and people in Sioux Falls will be asked over the next four months to contribute $1 million toward the facility, with the remaining $900,000 coming from donors elsewhere in South Dakota. About one-third of the total already has been raised.
Pierre City Commission rejects chicken proposal
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - City commissioners in Pierre have defeated a proposal that would have allowed residents to keep up to six hens on their property.
The 5-0 decision Tuesday night followed 1 ½ hours of public discussion. More than 100 people turned out, crowding the commission room and two overflow areas.
Supporters of the ordinance said they should be allowed to keep chickens to raise their own food and have the birds as pets. Opponents worried about possible noise and smell issues and the effect on property values.
Many commissioners said they found the proposal too broad, and they worried about the burden it would place on the city to license chickens and enforce the ordinance.
New USD men's hoops coach hires 3 assistants
VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) - New University of South Dakota head men's basketball coach Craig Smith has named three assistants, from schools in North Dakota and Colorado.
Austin Hansen spent last season as an assistant coach at Northern Colorado.
Gameli Ahelegbe (ga-ma-LEE' ah-hehl-LEHG'-buh) was an assistant at the University of North Dakota the past three seasons. He also served as recruiting coordinator at UND and taught classes in the Kinesiology Department.
Eric Peterson was athletic director and head men's basketball coach at Williston State College in North Dakota the past two seasons.
Smith was hired in March to replace Dave Boots, who retired from USD last September after 25 years. The Coyotes played the season under interim coach Joey James, who was not retained. Smith had been an assistant at Nebraska.
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