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  1. David Bordewyk, a widely respected media leader for the past 25 years, is joining South Dakota News Watch as its executive director effective Nov. 1, 2019. In a unique partnership with the oldest media organization in the state, Bordewyk also will continue in his role as executive director of the South Dakota Newspaper Association.
  2. National non-profit research group believes decades-old contamination standards need updating and that “legal” limits do not necessarily equate to “safe” limits of harmful contaminants such as lead, copper, nitrates, arsenic, radium and others commonly found in S.D. tap water.
  3. A group of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are heavily used in S.D. and across the world and have been shown in a groundbreaking study by scientists at South Dakota State University to cause deformities in deer. Now, the study is raising questions about the potential for harm to humans -- and ring-necked pheasants -- as well.
  4. From small towns to reservations to urban centers, progress in improving poor dental health — now connected to serious illnesses including heart disease — has stalled in S.D. despite years of education, intervention and charity.
  5. On-field safety measures increase dramatically as game adapts to new concerns and survey data showing that fewer parents and players are willing to accept the risk of potential injury.
  6. Gov. Kristi Noem and state education secretary say improvements in education system are needed to boost test results that did not show a rise after teacher pay was increased.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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