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Stu Whitney

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  1. Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration is seeking the help of economic development groups and top businesses across South Dakota to pay for national ads touting her “Freedom Works Here” workforce recruitment campaign. But some of these groups are still waiting for one of the key elements of the agreement – the names of thousands of prospective employees.
  2. South Dakota’s Hispanic population more than doubled over the past 12 years and now helps keep many small towns vibrant, a trend seen in other rural areas of the U.S., according to census data and experts.
  3. As fairs across the state struggle with funding to keep the rides running, one event remains immune: the Turner County Fair in Parker, South Dakota. Here's how it stays relevant.
  4. Pandemic-related construction delays and cost overrides have hampered Kristi Noem's vision of a new South Dakota State Fair expo complex after the previous building was destroyed by fire in 2020.
  5. Hyde County lost a higher percentage of population (6%) than any other South Dakota county from 2020-22, and it was one of just four counties to see double-digit percentage declines from 2010-2020.
  6. "I’m not sure who’s advising her, but no matter what the issue is, it’s always somebody else’s fault.” Despite the governor’s strong approval ratings, legislators, lobbyists and former cabinet members interviewed by News Watch point to turbulence behind the scenes in the administration with more than three years left in her second and final term.
  7. A trend of surging domestic migration to South Dakota that began during the COVID-19 pandemic could put the state’s total population above 1 million residents as early as 2030.
  8. A federal judge has placed an injunction on Minnehaha County rules that strictly limited where petition gatherers can conduct their work at the county administration building that is a top spot for those who want to collect signatures.
  9. South Dakota's federal judge openings have gone unfilled for the past 20 months, prompting political scrutiny of the process and a shuffling of workloads for other federal judges.
  10. Dakotans for Health founder Rick Weiland thinks the time is right for an abortion amendment because of the unsettled nature of South Dakota’s ban.
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