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Rapid City’s mobile medic the only of its kind in South Dakota

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Rapid City’s mobile medic the only of its kind in South Dakota


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) – Last year EMS in Rapid City responded to more than thirteen thousand calls, but what about times when someone didn’t need a full ambulance? That’s where mobile medic comes into play.

The program was created in 2013 but didn’t have its first active mobile unit until 2016.

“To have senior individuals who knew the streets. Who were out and could insert themselves out in the community versus taking a fire engine and an ambulance out of a fire station. Leaving those resources available for higher acuity emergencies,” said Ryan Marcks, captain of the Rapid City Fire Department’s mobile medic program.

The unit consists of a group of senior paramedics who go around town, focusing on underserved communities, and providing medical services to anyone in need to prevent 9-1-1 calls.

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Marcks says it is a unique program.

“We’re the only program of its sort within the state of South Dakota. The next closest program is in Denver which is different than ours. Everyone focuses on the needs of the community,” said Marcks.

Marcks added the program is also cost-effective.

“It’s a cost savings for the taxpayers. Instead of sending an ambulance and a fire engine to an unknown problem, we can send a highly trained paramedic with the same equipment to that situation and get there before anyone else,” said Marcks.

Marcks says he and his team, during a regular shift, will encounter everything from someone being intoxicated to life-and-death situations where someone isn’t breathing. He added the job is rewarding.

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“Knowing that, after I have left this planet, something I’ve done has made a lasting difference. That’s, it’s a good feeling. We work very closely with the Police department and all city entities. We all work very very well together towards a common goal,” said Marcks.

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South Dakota

Petition returns Roe v. Wade to South Dakota ballot

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Petition returns Roe v. Wade to South Dakota ballot


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – With Roe v Wade being overturned at the federal level in 2022, the pro-choice community has been working to bring back those rights. At South Dakota’s state level, Dakotans For Health put together a petition with more than 55,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

Rick Weiland, Co-Founder of Dakotans for Health, believes these rights are important to protect women, living in a State that prides itself on freedom.

“We’ve spent millions of South Dakota tax dollars advertising what a free state we are. ‘come here and work in South Dakota, enjoy the freedom living in our state’, and then I look at the hypocrisy, and I think if you’re a woman and you’re raped and you’re pregnant, do you have freedom to make a choice of what to do? No, you’ve lost that,” Weiland said.

Travis Lasseter, executive Director of Black Hills Pregnancy Center, says no matter what happens with this initiative, their center will continue to answer all of their patient’s questions with medical facts, allowing women to make an informed decision.

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Weiland says his group has faced backlash over potential late-term abortions. He went on to say the initiative is simply restoring women’s rights.

“I think this freedom amendment is so important to just restore the rights Women had for 50 years, we’re getting criticized for being too radical, that this goes way beyond Roe, which is just a bold-faced lie,” Weiland said.

Weiland says he is optimistic voters from both sides will bring women’s rights back to the most restrictive reproductive rights state of South Dakota.

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U.S. House panel debates nutrition benefit changes in GOP farm bill proposal • South Dakota Searchlight

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U.S. House panel debates nutrition benefit changes in GOP farm bill proposal • South Dakota Searchlight


WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee clashed late into the evening Thursday over funding for food and nutrition programs as part of Republicans’ sweeping proposal for the new five-year farm bill.

The committee’s $1.5 trillion omnibus farm bill would set policy and funding levels for agriculture and conservation programs for the next five years, as well as for food and nutrition programs for families in need.

House Agriculture Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson, a Pennsylvania Republican, introduced the long-awaited bill last week and his panel undertook a marathon markup Thursday. The committee is expected to vote on a series of amendments and the bill around midnight Eastern.

SD’s Rep. Johnson defends criticized provisions in farm bill draft

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The bill is tied up over disagreements between Democrats and Republicans on a funding calculation that would place limits on the formula that calculates benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, the food aid program formerly referred to as food stamps.

Democrats said Thursday it would lead to cuts in SNAP and kill any future of bipartisan support for the farm bill, which it would need to pass the Senate.

“There is absolutely no way you are going to get a farm bill unless we take care of this business, which is the heart of the matter,” Rep. David Scott of Georgia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said of the SNAP funding mechanism.

As the House committee debated the bill, Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in an interview Thursday that the legislation has no chance in the Senate.

“It tears up the farm and food coalition and does not have the votes to pass on the House floor. And certainly not in the Senate,” Stabenow told States Newsroom. 

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Nutrition programs account for the majority of farm bill spending. There are more than 41 million people who use SNAP benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Dems pan changes to SNAP funding

Thompson’s bill would limit future updates to the Thrifty Food Plan, the formula that calculates benefits for SNAP. This would result in a nearly $30 billion reduction in spending over ten years, based on the estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, lawmakers say.

Democrats say that would significantly reduce food purchasing power for needy Americans.

“Any effort that takes the food off the table for hard-working families takes my vote off the table,” said Rep. Gabe Vasquez, a Democrat from New Mexico.

“If we want a farm bill that is able to pass into law with the bipartisan levels that it requires to pass beyond this committee, it is necessary that we go back to the negotiating table and remove this provision,” said Colorado Democrat Yadira Caraveo.

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Connecticut Democrat Jahana Hayes offered an amendment that would have struck the changes to the program. But after more than two hours of impassioned debate on the issue Thursday night, the amendment failed on a party-line vote, 25-29.

“It is unfathomable that we are once again attacking the most vulnerable in this country, the hungry,” Hayes told the committee. “There are components of the bill that are promising, but that should not come at the expense of the most vulnerable.”

Republicans defend new formula 

The underlying issue is cost projections for the farm bill over the next 10 years. The farm bill has to remain budget neutral, so lawmakers must fit their proposals into a baseline of how much the government would spend if the current farm bill was extended.

Republicans insist the SNAP changes are a cost calculation that would not actually reduce food support for needy families. The change would not kick in until 2027 and would not directly reduce current SNAP levels. Rather, it would freeze the list of products that families can buy with their benefits and the values allowed to purchase them, except for increases from inflation.

As such, the limits would make it more difficult for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to add new items to SNAP or offer more support for certain categories, like the Biden administration did in 2021 when it increased the benefit for fruits and vegetables.

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New York Republican Mark Molinaro said it is “dishonest” to describe the changes as a cut to SNAP benefits and South Dakota Republican Dusty Johnson said the benefits on the electronic benefit cards for SNAP would not go down.

U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, speaks to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on June 14, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy of Rep. Johnson’s Office)

But Democrats pointed to the CBO cost estimates that project a reduction in federal spending for SNAP if the bill became law.

“Let’s not try to make believe that this is no big deal, it is a huge deal… we need to do better,” said Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Jim McGovern.

California Democrat Salud Carbajal said Republicans were trying to “have it both ways.”

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“If the committee’s considering it a paid-for then that is funding you are taking away from hungry families,” said Carbaja.

The farm bill funds programs across 12 titles for five years. The massive bill stitches together support for agriculture producers, energy and conservation programs on farmland and food and nutrition programs for families in need.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack raised concerns this week that the Republican proposal’s adjustment to SNAP benefits threatened that coalition.

The Republican bill would increase farm “safety net” payments for some commodity crops, expand eligibility for disaster assistance and increase funding for speciality crops, organic farmers and dairy farmers.

It is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years. A title-by-title summary of the 942-page bill can be is available online.

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Jennifer Shutt contributed to this report.

 

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Trump up by almost 20 points over Biden in South Dakota

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Trump up by almost 20 points over Biden in South Dakota


Former President Donald Trump

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (SOUTH DAKOTA NEWS WATCH) – Former President Donald Trump leads President Joe Biden by nearly 20 points in South Dakota but is struggling to get more than half of the statewide vote, according to a scientific poll of 500 registered voters co-sponsored by South Dakota News Watch.

Trump was at 50%, well ahead of Biden’s 31% in the poll, which was also sponsored by the Chiesman Center for Democracy at the University of South Dakota.
Third-party challenger Robert Kennedy Jr., who is not yet on the ballot in the state, polled at 11% percent, while 7% were undecided.

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Those holdouts are keeping former President Trump from matching his previous election share of 62% in South Dakota the last two presidential cycles – against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020. Trump won the presidency in 2016 and lost in 2020.
A similar Mason-Dixon poll in October 2020 showed Trump at 51% in South Dakota (with 6% undecided), but the former Manhattan real estate mogul and reality TV star came in 11 points higher than that number on Election Day.

There could also be major movement this time around, said Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University in Aberdeen.
“The support you’re seeing for (RFK Jr.) is not uncommon for a quasi-significant third-party candidate at this stage of the game,” said Schaff. “When you get closer to the election and people realize that candidate doesn’t have a chance of winning, voters tend to drift back to a major-party candidate. And so I suspect that 11% (for Kennedy) will go down.”

The only third-party candidate to reach double-digits in South Dakota in the past century was Texas billionaire Ross Perot, who finished third in 1992 with 22% behind Republican George H.W. Bush (41%) and Democrat Bill Clinton (37%). Clinton won nationally against the incumbent Bush.



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