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Service has been restored to South Dakota 911 system

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Service has been restored to South Dakota 911 system


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The South Dakota Department of Public Safety says that 911 service has been restored after localities reported outages Tuesday evening.

A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety told The Dakota Scout that service had been restored less than two hours after a number of cities and counties across eastern South Dakota began reporting issues with cell phones attempting to call the emergency line.

Social media posts from the city of Sioux Falls, Union County Sheriff’s Office, and Yankton city officials all reported experiencing issues. Attempts to call 911 from a landline or to text the number were still working.

Its the second 911 outage already this year for South Dakota. In April, the state was one of a handful across the country to experience a period of outages after a company installing a light pole in Kansas City, Missouri triggered one.

NEWS: High-powered South Dakota groups gunning for food tax proposal

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South Dakota

Defense secretary orders review of Wounded Knee Massacre medals • South Dakota Searchlight

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Defense secretary orders review of Wounded Knee Massacre medals • South Dakota Searchlight


The medals awarded to soldiers who participated in the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre will be subjected to a review, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Wednesday.

The department said the review’s purpose is “to ensure no awardees were recognized for conduct inconsistent with the nation’s highest military honor.”

The move comes after years of activism by Lakota people — including descendants of massacre survivors — who want the medals rescinded. 

Oliver “OJ” Semans, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, has been active in the effort with his wife, Barb, and their Four Directions nonprofit. He said it’s gratifying to see some momentum after a long struggle, including failed attempts to rescind the medals through congressional legislation.

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“This issue is moving right now, and there are a lot of people involved in it,” Semans said. “We’re all trying to get to the same conclusion, and that’s justice for the descendants.”

We’re all trying to get to the same conclusion, and that’s justice for the descendants.

– Oliver ‘OJ’ Semans, Rosebud Sioux Tribe member

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The memorandum ordering the review is from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. He directed his undersecretary of defense and personnel readiness to convene a panel of five experts, including two from the Department of the Interior. The panel must send a written report to Austin no later than Oct. 15 with recommendations and rationale to retain or rescind each of the medals. Austin will then provide his recommendations to the president.

The department said “approximately 20” soldiers received a Medal of Honor for participating in the massacre. Historians have noted that the records associated with some of the medals are incomplete or unclear.

In a news release, the Defense Department attributed comments to “a senior defense official” who said “it’s never too late to do what’s right.”

“And that’s what is intended by the review that the secretary directed,” the official said, “which is to ensure that we go back and review each of these medals in a rigorous and individualized manner to understand the actions of the individual in the context of the overall engagement.”

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The massacre occurred on Dec. 29, 1890. Lakota people were camped near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota, where they were surrounded by hundreds of Army soldiers. A shot rang out while the soldiers tried to disarm the camp, and chaotic shooting ensued.

Fewer than 40 soldiers were killed (some by friendly fire, according to historians), while estimates of Lakota deaths ran from 200 to 300 or more, depending on the source. After some of the bodies froze on the ground for several days, a military-led burial party dumped them into a mass grave.

The politics and racism of the day influenced the Army’s decision to support medals for some of the soldiers, even though Maj. Gen. Nelson Miles condemned the massacre. He led the Division of the Missouri, which included the soldiers who were responsible for the incident.

“I have never heard of a more brutal, cold-blooded massacre than at Wounded Knee,” Miles wrote in an 1891 letter that’s now held in an archive at Yale.

 

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Noem, others urge Congress to pass legislation on tribal child support

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Noem, others urge Congress to pass legislation on tribal child support


Gov. Kristi Noem is joining other state governors urging Congress to pass the Strengthening State and Tribal Support Act.

Supporters of the bill say it would provide tribes with direct access to tax refund offsets to utilize in child and family support. It also gives broader contract access to federal tax information.

Currently, direct access to federal tax information by tribal support programs is prohibited.

Noem signed the letter asking for the change along with a bipartisan group of 20 other state governors.

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Ag Education Camp carries on South Dakota’s #1 industry

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Ag Education Camp carries on South Dakota’s #1 industry


HURON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – A major industry for South Dakota is agriculture. One part of the Farmer’s Union’s mission is to prepare youth to carry on the agricultural heritage of the state.

Early morning is very quiet at the Farmer’s Union Agricultural Industry Camp, but not for long. Nearly 30 children, up to age 12, start their day with a gathering around the flag pole for songs and a flag raising.

Education Specialist Samantha Bowman, who is the lead, shares the mission of this Farmer’s Union-backed camp.

“We’re hoping that it leads them down a path within the agriculture industry especially, but just leadership in general. It’s important for them to realize that even at such a young age that they do have a voice and that their voice has room at the table as we see the generations continue on,” said Bowman.

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Much of the time at the camp is spent on education slanted toward the ag industry.

“There’s a lot of education behind what we do, but we try to do it all hands-on. So, kids are learning, but they’re having fun at the same time. So when they go home to tell their parents how much fun they had, they’re really telling their parents everything that they learned,” said Bowman.

Among other things, campers learn about co-ops, retail, handling money and animal science. Cadence Konechna, one of the current counselors, started as a camper herself. We asked what the most rewarding part of her position is.

“Watching kids go from being like, socially, they don’t want to participate in anything, they’re hiding in the corner, to having a large friend group and being in the center of everything and then having a huge smile on their face,” said Konechna.

The program has been going on since the 1930s.

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