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  1. Recent extreme weather -- and possibly more to come -- has caused flooding that decimated eastern South Dakota farms and its rural transportation network. As a result, significant costs await townships and counties that already face fiscal challenges, possibly leaving some roads never fully repaired.
  2. Thirty-four districts have adopted alternative schedules to save transportation and other costs. Administrators and parents like flexibility and access to individual time with teachers.
  3. U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota shares his views on legal immigration programs that Rounds says could be improved but are now mired in the intense debate over illegal immigration in America.
  4. Facing a low unemployment rate and an inability to fill open jobs, many seasonal South Dakota businesses rely on visa programs that provide temporary foreign workers. But the intense debate over illegal immigration has cast a pall of uncertainty over the programs that help some businesses survive.
  5. All-terrain machines are legal on most state roads even though manufacturers warn against on-road use and studies show injuries and deaths are more frequent than during off-road use.
  6. Recruitment is particularly difficult in rural areas, but low pay, high stress and image issues have affected the number of law enforcement applicants in larger cities across the state and nation.
  7. E-cigarettes will be treated the same as tobacco products and be prohibited in public places beginning July 1. Opponents of the ban say the law infringes on the rights of business owners and adults who legally use vaping products.
  8. Despite extensive public education and media campaigns to prevent it, infant mortality due to sleep-related causes is higher in South Dakota than in neighboring states. State and tribal health officials are trying new approaches to lower the rate.
  9. Flooding has been added to the list of economic challenges for South Dakota farmers and ranchers. Five straight years of commodity price declines, lingering trade wars and other factors are exerting great pressure on farmers, ranchers and main street business owners.
  10. A recent university study showed some rural residents don't have the network coverage or speed for business or personal needs. Gov. Noem has pledged changes while federal agencies work to get providers to improve access, cost.
Inform. Enlighten. Illuminate.
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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.