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  1. Even with record high gas prices, officials and operators within the South Dakota tourism industry are hoping for another banner year in terms of number of visitors and revenues. They say a post-COVID wanderlust, combined with South Dakota's deep roster of attractions and strong sense of hospitality, will override visitor concerns about fuel costs.
  2. Inadequate enforcement by federal agricultural agencies is allowing some farmers in South Dakota and across the Great Plains to illegally convert wetlands into croplands. As a result, states are seeing a continuing decline in wetlands and ponds that are crucial for breeding and hosting of wildlife, including South Dakota’s lucrative pheasant population.
  3. Hundreds of landowners in eastern South Dakota are watching closely to see where two proposed carbon-dioxide pipelines will be built between now and 2025. Landowners with prior experience with underground pipeline construction say the process is invasive to their land and their lives, can prevent future development of their land and carries the potential for leakage of a dangerous chemical.
  4. As healthcare providers and abortion advocates begin to consider that Roe v Wade could be overturned, they're increasingly concerned that terminating a pregnancy will be harder than ever for Native women in South Dakota who already face significant logistical barriers to reproductive services.
  5. Two proposed multi-billion dollar underground carbon dioxide pipelines that would run more than 500 miles in South Dakota have drawn strong landowner interest and opposition. But the pipeline projects have also brought to light a fundamental debate over whether carbon capture and sequestration technology is worth the immense investment and risks, and if it is the right approach to reducing carbon emissions and slowing global climate change. Part 1 of a two-part South Dakota News Watch series.
  6. Ravnsborg, Jackley, Seiler: Three viable candidates for attorney general are in play as intrigue swirls around the upcoming race to be South Dakota's next top legal officer. The race features an impeached incumbent facing possible removal, a former AG running against him, and a Democrat keeping a close eye on who emerges from the GOP convention in June.
  7. A record level of new federal funding will help the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System expand and provide more drinking water to southeastern South Dakota. The expanded system will be better equipped to provide clean water from the Missouri River to the greater Sioux Falls region, even with continued population growth and extended drought conditions.
  8. The long-range staffing crisis within South Dakota nursing homes is playing out with devastating consequences in Ipswich, S.D., where the town's only nursing home will soon close and an inspection from 2021 revealed serious deficiencies in how residents were cared for and treated.
  9. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional stress on students in South Dakota and across the country, many who were already suffering mental health issues. School counselors are playing a larger role in helping students remain healthy and avoid pressure that can lead to health problems and even suicide.
  10. Opposition and threats of financial consequences were lower in the 2022 South Dakota Legislative session for lawmakers and Gov. Kristi Noem as they successfully passed a ban on transgender athletes participating in female athletics. Part of the political cover came from a collegiate athlete from Pennsylvania, who eventually became the first openly transgender person to win a national championship, awarded in women's swimming.
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