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  1. Each year, trains carry nearly 11 billion pounds of chemicals through South Dakota's cities and countryside, much of it on century-old tracks, a South Dakota News Watch analysis has revealed. Meanwhile, state officials and the public are mainly kept in the dark when it comes to knowing what specific chemicals and hazardous materials are being shipped through their communities and neighborhoods.
  2. As larger programs reap benefits of billion-dollar TV deals, mid-major athletic programs struggle to spark revenue and enrollment despite competitive success. “It’s just a hard slog and you have to work at it,” said SDSU booster Dana Dykhouse.
  3. South Dakota received nearly $14 billion in federal stimulus funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, which helped the state, businesses and individuals survive and recover from the greatest health and economic disaster to hit the U.S. in nearly a century. In this exclusive report from South Dakota News Watch, find out where the money came from and where it went.
  4. South Dakota taxpayers are being asked to spend millions of dollars more than expected to complete state construction projects that were approved in prior years. High inflation and rising labor costs are major reasons that the Legislature is considering nine separate bills that would approve higher spending on projects to build new labs, dorms and classroom buildings, an athletics complex and the state health lab.
  5. South Dakota lawmakers appear poised to pass at least one significant tax cut during the 2023 legislative session, but with negotiations ongoing, it is unclear which tax will be cut and who will benefit. Making that choice — to cut the food tax, to cut the overall sales tax or to reduce property taxes — will depend on political considerations and whether the state's revenue surplus is seen as temporary or more permanent.
  6. Supporters of the "cottage foods" industry in South Dakota say a new law will make it easier for producers of homemade food products to legally and safely sell their wares directly to consumers by eliminating costly and time-consuming food testing requirements.
  7. Though the state pheasant hunting industry remains on a historic downward slide -- and hunting has become more difficult for residents who access public lands -- hunters, state officials and business owners report that the 2022 season is off to a strong start.
  8. In order to keep the American Dream of homeownership obtainable in South Dakota, more affordable housing is needed to allow for entry into the housing market, especially for first-time homebuyers, a group of experts said in a News Watch panel discussion held Dec. 15, 2022.
  9. A NEWS WATCH SPECIAL REPORT: Is the American Dream of homeownership fading in South Dakota? While that is open to debate, a combination of several economic and market factors has added volatility and uncertainty to the typically stable South Dakota real estate market and unquestionably made it harder for many South Dakota residents to obtain homeownership.
  10. Click on the headline above to learn details of news coverage and an online panel discussion on the current state of the real estate market in South Dakota, and an in-depth analysis of why homeownership is increasingly elusive for many state residents.
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