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10 results for "Rural issues"
  1. Peter Smith, CEO of the Rural Office of Community Services, remains director of the South Dakota non-profit social services agency despite being the subject of a workplace sexual harassment and retaliation investigation by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Investigation that resulted in a $320,000 settlement payment to several former female employees.
  2. 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.
  3. The new investment of $350 million into a Virtual Health Initiative by Sanford Health of Sioux Falls comes at time that experts say the potential has never been higher for the expanded use and revenue generation of telemedicine. Sanford and other healthcare groups saw a major spike in use of telemedicine services during the COVID-19 pandemic that many expect will continue well into the future.
  4. Mirroring a national trend, churches across South Dakota are experiencing consistent declines in church affiliation and attendance, which has led some churches to close and is leaving religious leaders concerned about potential weakening of church influence. As they work on strategies to reverse the declines, some church leaders believe they are fighting to not only save their churches but also to save the souls of South Dakotans and their state.
  5. As prices for food, gas, housing and other necessary goods and services continue to rise due to inflation, the resulting economic hardships are being disproportionately felt by people in entry-level jobs and those with fixed or low incomes. While some South Dakotans are suddenly facing difficult choices to remain safe and stable, agencies that help low-income residents are seeing fewer donations and less volunteers to help those in need.
  6. 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.
  7. Increasing difficulty in finding new volunteers and adequate funding have put rural ambulance services in South Dakota at risk of closure, leaving rural residents in danger of enduring longer response times in emergencies or even a total loss of access to emergency transportation. When a Meade County service collapsed in 2020, it meant some people were an hour away from getting emergency help.
  8. A legislative battle is heating up in Pierre between municipal electric utilities and rural electric co-operatives over a law that allows cities to take over rural electric customers and infrastructure when annexations take place. The co-ops are supporting a bill that would give them more rights when cities expand and take customers and revenues away from the rural providers. Municipalities say the law helps them attract development; the co-ops say the taking of more customers could lead to higher rates for rural customers.
  9. Residents in wide swaths of rural South Dakota do not have access to primary medical care, let alone specialist care. Medical schools, including the University of South Dakota, are graduating more doctors than ever, but those young doctors do not have enough residency opportunities to complete their training to work on their own. The problem has heightened barriers to access to health care in rural areas of the state.
  10. New national study ranks South Dakota top five in need for improvements, but educators say small, rural schools bring intangible benefits as a result of closer relationships between students and staffs.