SD JOB RECRUITING
Initiative to recruit SD jobs, workers falls short
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - An initiative by Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gahrd) that was intended to draw 1,000 workers to the state has come up far short. The Argus Leader reports that Daugaard announced the New South Dakotans initiative in January 2012.
Daugaard told lawmakers he would sharply scale back the program this week, after only about 100 employees had come to South Dakota, at a cost to taxpayers of about $1 million.
Under the program, companies with jobs they had failed to fill in South Dakota could sign a contract with the state. The state would then pick up half the cost of the recruiting fee charged by international recruiting firm.
Tony Venhuizen, a senior adviser to Daugaard, says the "program was used a lot more slowly than had been hoped."
SD lawmakers will be urged to expand Medicaid
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Some lawmakers and health care groups plan to ask the South Dakota Legislature to expand the state's Medicaid program over Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gahrd)'s objections.
The Medicaid expansion is available to states as an option under the federal health care overhaul. Daugaard is not recommending an expansion of Medicaid at least for now because he has doubts the federal government can meet its pledge to pay most of the cost of the expansion.
But supporters say an expansion is needed to improve health care for poor people who now don't get medical care until they are seriously ill.
An expansion would add 48,000 people to South Dakota's Medicaid program.
House Democratic Leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says the state faces a moral imperative to expand Medicaid.
Public vote on Spearfish annexation set this week
SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) - A special election is being held in Spearfish this week to determine the fate of a proposed annexation of land spanning more than a square mile.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Spearfish Senior Citizen Center.
The Rapid City Journal reports that the annexation of 658 acres would increase the town's size by 6 percent and bring an estimated 1,635 new residents to the community. But some residents in the annexation area who don't want to pay for city services submitted petitions to force a public vote.
Some 7,100 residents in the city's three wards and about 1,100 registered voters in the area proposed for annexation are eligible to cast ballots.
Minnesota-based company expanding to South Dakota
HOWARD, S.D. (AP) - Officials say Donnerite Incorporated a Minnesota-based company, will be expanding its operations to the eastern South Dakota city of Howard.
Donnerite operates a truck and heavy equipment repair company and manufacturing business. It specializes in custom design and fabrication of a wide range of projects.
Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gahrd) says Donnerite's decision to expand its operations to South Dakota indicates that the state offers a business-friendly environment.
Bill Donner, co-owner of the company, says Donnerite will be hiring local residents and will encourage others to relocate in Howard.
Donnerite was started in 1996 and now has grown to six businesses that employ nearly 100 people throughout Minnesota.
Campaign to help people with hearing, vision loss
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - This new federal program promises to help South Dakotans with combined loss of hearing and vision better connect with family, friends and community.
The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program provides support for the local distribution of a wide array of accessible communications technology. It was mandated by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act and established by the Federal Communications Commission.
In South Dakota, the Department of Human Services wil lead the iCanConnect Campaign. It seeks to educate people about the availability of communications technology - from screen enlargement software and video phones to off-the-shelf products that are accessible or adaptable.
iCanConnect will be conducted jointly by Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., and Helen Keller National Center in New York City, New York.
TRIBAL VIOLENCE TASK FORCE
No. 3 Justice Department official to visit Dakotas
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The third-ranking official in the U.S. Department of Justice says he's coming to the Dakotas to listen and learn about ways to improve public safety for tribal nations.
U.S. Associate Attorney General Tony West is scheduled to represent the agency in Bismarck Monday for the first public hearing of a national task force that aims to examine the impact of exposure to violence on American Indian and Alaska Native children.
The task force is co-chaired by former North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan, a longtime advocate for Native American issues.
West says he has made half a dozen trips to tribal lands during his time with the Justice Department and all have been productive.
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