As organic farming in the U.S. has evolved into a $63 billion a year industry, some farmers have turned to fraud and others have exploited loopholes in the organic regulatory system in order to make millions. But legitimate farmers in South Dakota and beyond are working to protect their reputations and build more trust in organic labeling by pushing for more regulation, oversight and transparency within the industry.
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.
The shortage of teachers in South Dakota has gotten worse in recent years as classroom educators have increasingly felt the pull of politics and the ongoing culture wars add new stress to an already difficult job. As criticism of teachers mounts, and questions about curriculum become more common, some experts worry the public education system in South Dakota may begin to falter. This is Part 1 of a two-part series.
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.
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.
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.
Standardized test scores and graduation rates remain stubbornly low for Native American children attending South Dakota public schools, but a new effort is underway to incorporate Lakota Indian language, history and culture into state-funded charter schools modeled on successful immersion programs elsewhere.
Anger and violence toward healthcare workers has been a concern for years, but the frequency of inappropriate behavior has risen significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless tensions ease, experts worry that individual patient care will suffer and that the industry may see even greater worker shortages as healthcare workers continue to suffer burnout.
Vague and outdated laws regarding the disposition of corpses is causing high stress and expenses for families and funeral directors when a dispute arises. Lawmakers in South Dakota are moving quickly on a bill to clarify so-called "disposition" laws to make the process more clear and ease tension for families and funeral directors.
Sinte Gleska University in South Dakota may work with NASA and experts on 3D design of homes to create a new high-tech curriculum at the college, provide affordable housing in high-need reservation areas and also develop homes that could someday be built on the moon or Mars.
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