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  1. Thieves use online mapping, Internet sales sites to steal cattle, sheep and hogs. Law enforcement officials turn to surveillance video and DNA testing to solve the crimes.
  2. Corrections officials say the atmosphere at the Women's Prison in Pierre is more relaxed than at the men's prisons. Eighty-five percent of the inmates are sentenced for non-violent crimes, usually drug-related offenses. The average stay is about eight months.
  3. The number of women in prison in South Dakota has grown 35 percent over the past five years. Most are serving sentences for drug crimes and some say addiction treatment rather than incarceration would be more effective in changing behaviors.
  4. Deteriorating streets can hurt economic growth and thwart population growth. But there are few funding options available for small communities hoping to maintain quality roadways.
  5. State's hunting rules allow loaded guns to be uncased in vehicles and permit firing at pheasants and other small game from and across highways. Safety advocates say road hunting is dangerous. But others support the laws because they allow those without access to private land to hunt and eliminate the need for long distance walking.
  6. Republican Kristi Noem and Democrat Billie Sutton offer different approaches to protecting South Dakota river quality. Read their statements here.
  7. A mandatory effort in Minnesota shows regulation can be effective in reducing agricultural runoff. But some say a regulatory approach is unnecessary, citing progress in South Dakota with volunteer methods.
  8. Repairing and replacing aging, overworked treatment plants is an important step in improving the quality of South Dakota rivers, some of which provide drinking water for communities. But costs would fall largely to residents.
  9. Researchers say waterways contain genetic markers for potentially deadly strain of E.coli. In addition, decades-old mining runoff continues to raise arsenic levels in Cheyenne River.
  10. Most attempts to mitigate damage from runoff of agricultural operations and urban construction are voluntary in South Dakota. Few farmers and contractors opt to use sometimes costly pollution-control processes.

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South Dakota News Watch is an independent, non-profit organization reporting stories that shed light on the issues and concerns of all citizens.