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  1. A student government leader explains what life is like on campus, and how exciting it is to experience a more normal semester even as the pandemic continues to hover over campus life.
  2. Many aspects of living and learning on South Dakota college campuses appear more normal this fall, but as COVID-19 cases rise statewide due to the highly transmissible delta variant, aggressive efforts are still being made to keep students, faculty and staff safe and some students are feeling the strain of anxiety caused by the pandemic.
  3. The award honors a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in the greater Sioux Falls areas.
  4. A former South Dakota wildlife official took a hard line against the Nest Predator Bounty Program during an online panel discussion this week, saying the program was ramrodded into existence by Gov. Kristi Noem and is not ethical or effective. Current state wildlife leaders on the panel disagreed, and said the program is protecting pheasants and getting more children engaged in the outdoors.
  5. Recent poll results show that Republicans in South Dakota are far less likely than Democrats to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and that many GOP voters are taking cues on the pandemic from state and national political party leaders. As vaccine hesitancy remains entrenched in the state, South Dakota health and medical officials fear that "herd immunity" and a return to normal may be increasingly out of reach.
  6. Studies show that high stress during the COVID-19 pandemic has led many Americans to gain weight, and health experts in South Dakota are concerned that adults and children who put on weight may suffer long-term negative physical and mental health outcomes.
  7. Native American government advocates are pushing to ensure that South Dakota's largest minority group is not cut out of the ongoing legislative redistricting process and that the end result of the process does not make it harder for Natives to get elected or have influence at the voting booth.
  8. South Dakota is a top destination for pheasant hunters, but the state has seen a steady decline in the lucrative hunting industry and the Nest Predator Bounty Program is one way the state hopes to increase bird numbers.
  9. No scientific evidence exists to show that the controversial South Dakota Nest Predator Bounty Program is working to boost pheasant and duck populations. Yet some state officials insist the program, in which adults and children have been paid $1.2 million to trap and kill more than 134,000 animals, is helping wildlife and preserving trapping traditions.
  10. A long-range nursing shortage in South Dakota only got worse during the COVID-19 pandemic as more nurses than usual exited the field, left the state or retired early. Now, as the delta variant raises concern over the potential for higher COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, healthcare experts worry patient care could be affected at South Dakota hospitals.
Inform. Enlighten. Illuminate.
About News Watch
South Dakota News Watch is a non-partisan nonprofit organization producing in-depth coverage that sheds light on the issues and concerns of all citizens. As we undertake our fourth full year of operation, we would like to thank our supporters for their generous contributions — during the year-end matching funds campaign and at other times of the year. Because of you, South Dakota News Watch will continue to fulfill its mission of bringing important issues to light, throughout 2021 and beyond.