A South Dakota News Watch investigation based on first-hand accounts, public records and independent reviews of injuries has uncovered a decade-long pattern of physical, mental and sexual abuse of residents at the privately run Aurora Plains Academy in Plankinton, S.D.
With the recent discovery of the easternmost case of Chronic Wasting Disease in South Dakota, state officials are embarking on a new plan to control the contagious brain illness that kills deer and elk and is threatening the state's multi-million dollar hunting industry.
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.
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.