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  1. With barely 20% of court-ordered restitution being paid in South Dakota, some experts wonder if requiring criminals to pay victims money they do not have is doing more harm than good for both sides of the equation.
  2. South Dakota lags behind the nation in vaccination rates of children against the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease in America that can cause cervical cancer in women and throat cancer in men later in life.
  3. Eight major wind farms were approved in South Dakota in a recent 13-month period and two more are being considered by regulators. The rush of wind energy projects is driven by a need for more electricity, a lucrative federal tax credit, construction of two major power transmission lines and a push toward renewable energies.
  4. A state-run debt collection program threatens debtors with the loss of driving, hunting and fishing privileges if they do not pay up. Though the program has collected $8.7 million in unpaid debts since 2016, critics and debtors say it disproportionately affects low-income people.
  5. A new congressional study shows that despite years of efforts, South Dakota is still seeing its most highly educated residents flee for better jobs, higher pay and expanded cultural opportunities in other states. The so-called "Brain Drain" slows economic and entrepreneurial growth and causes greater political polarization.
  6. Thousands of U.S. college graduates, including many in South Dakota, worry that they won't receive the debt relief they were promised as part of a federal program that encouraged them to work in public-service fields. This is the final installment of a South Dakota News Watch series examining the high college debt burdens on South Dakota college graduates.
  7. Tributes roll in for Maricarrol Kueter, veteran S.D. journalist and founding executive director/editor of South Dakota News Watch, who died on Aug. 10, 2019. Kueter was revered by many for her knowledge and kindness.
  8. A SPECIAL REPORT BY SOUTH DAKOTA NEWS WATCH -- In a two-part series, News Watch will reveal the high student loan amounts carried by college graduates in South Dakota and examine the outcomes of carrying such large debt loads well into adulthood. This week, we show how in a low-wage state that ranks among the worst in the nation for student debt loads, many South Dakota college graduates endure high levels of debt that inhibit home ownership, entrepreneurship and the pursuit of a financially stable lifestyle. Next week, we will explore the broken promises of the federal public service loan forgiveness program that so far has failed to deliver debt relief for those who took jobs in government or community service to hasten repayment of their college loans.
  9. Anxiety, worry and hopelessness are part of the emotional toll -- and difficulty owning a home or planning for the future are real-world consequences -- that are endured by some college graduates who carry tens of thousands in student loans they may never be able to pay back.
  10. Poor participation rate on CDC-funded survey leads to four-year data gap on unhealthy behavior trends involving South Dakota youth; state health officials hope 2019 survey will yield valid results.
Inform. Enlighten. Illuminate.
About News Watch
South Dakota News Watch is an independent, non-profit organization reporting stories that shed light on the issues and concerns of all citizens.