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South Dakota teens ages 14-19 eligible to register to win $20,000 from Lesson Learned teen safe driving campaign

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South Dakota teens ages 14-19 eligible to register to win $20,000 from Lesson Learned teen safe driving campaign


South Dakota high school students have until the end of next month (April 30, 2024) to enter to win $10,000 for themselves and another $10,000 for a school-sponsored activity or program of their choice through the “Lesson Learned” teen safe driving campaign.

To participate, students must be between 14 and 19 years of age and complete a three-question safe driving quiz. Once completed, their names will be entered into the drawing. The website also tracks participation rates of South Dakota schools.

Lesson Learned is in its eighth year and aligns with spring driver’s education classes. The campaign is sponsored by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and the South Dakota Broadcasters Association, which provides the prize money.

Last year’s $10,000 winner was Robbie Sealey, a freshman at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls.

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The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety is an agency of the state Department of Public Safety.



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Gov. Kristi Noem banned from fourth South Dakota reservation • South Dakota Searchlight

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Gov. Kristi Noem banned from fourth South Dakota reservation • South Dakota Searchlight


The Rosebud Sioux Tribe in south-central South Dakota is the fourth tribal nation to ban Gov. Kristi Noem from tribal lands this year.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe banished Noem in February after she spoke to the Legislature alleging Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated reservations. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe banned Noem earlier this month for comments she made at a town hall in Winner, alleging some tribal leaders are “personally benefiting” from cartels. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Rosebud Sioux Tribe banned Noem this week for her comments and in solidarity.

Five tribes have demanded an apology from Noem since the town hall. She has not issued an apology, but has issued press releases calling on tribes to “banish the cartels.

Coupled with her calls to banish the cartels, Noem has encouraged tribal governments to participate in partnerships with the South Dakota Highway Patrol to provide temporary law enforcement on reservations, and this week she offered a state law enforcement course for prospective tribal police. She has also called on the federal government to audit funding to the tribes to “determine the scope” of underfunding to the nine tribal nations in South Dakota.

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In a news release announcing the banishment, Rosebud Sioux Tribe officials said the ban is justified not just because of Noem’s recent comments but because of a strained relationship since she took office in 2019.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks to members of the public at a town hall in Mitchell on March 13, 2024. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

“Governor Noem claims she wants to establish meaningful relationships with Tribes to improve solutions for systemic problems,” the release said. “However, her actions as Governor blatantly show otherwise. The recent racial disparaging allegations made against Native students, parents, Tribal Councils, and Tribal leaders have led to further division and distrust of Tribal-state relations.”

Examples of Noem’s alleged “disingenuous nature toward Native Americans” during her tenure as governor cited in the news release include:

“Moving forward, we will only acknowledge Governor Noem after she issues a public apology to the Oceti Sakowin,” the release said, “and presents a plan of action for supporting and empowering the Lakota people through policy and legislation.”

The Oceti Sakowin is the collective term for Lakota, Dakota and Nakota speaking Native Americans, most of whom are located in the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada.

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Requests for further comment from Rosebud Tribal President Scott Herman and Noem’s spokesperson were not returned before this article was published.

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South Dakota Army National Guard hosting “Guard Experience Event” tomorrow at Oahe Dam

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South Dakota Army National Guard hosting “Guard Experience Event” tomorrow at Oahe Dam


The South Dakota Army National Guard is holding a public event at the Oahe Dam tomorrow (April 13, 2024) to showcase it’s modern force.

Staff Sgt. Derek Kocer is a Recruiting and Retention Non-Commissioned Officer with the Guard. He says this is what they call their “Guard Experience Event.”

Kocer says the activities will take place from 11am-3pm CT, across the street from the west boat ramp on Lake Oahe.

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Kocer says those who want to participate should keep a few things in mind regarding attire.

The event is free to attend.

For more information, call 605-490-0691.

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$6 million dollars approved to improve literacy rates across South Dakota

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$6 million dollars approved to improve literacy rates across South Dakota


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – According to the South Dakota Report Card, English language arts proficiency was at 50% among all students in South Dakota, with some districts showing rates as low as 20%.

On March 5th, Governor Kristi Noem signed into law a bill appropriating $6 million to expand phonics-based reading curriculum and teacher training. That funding, which will be used over four years, will allow elementary students to learn to read with a more intensive approach that relies on using sounds within words rather than letters.

South Dakota Education Secretary Joseph Graves says the switch to phonics-based, learning is essential to improving literacy rates and says it will work as it has in other states.

“Education researchers have demonstrated very clearly that there is a science of reading and that it means that we need to return a very systematic instruction in phonics. That will get us our best results for our students. This program has been demonstrated that it will work and in fact, it has already been working in other states,” Graves said.

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Mississippi is one of those states to see strides with phonics. However, Mississippi’s director of the Elementary Education and Reading Office Tenette Smith has said she believes it will take South Dakota much more than the four-year, $6 million plan to make this goal long-lasting. Graves, however, says with the progress the state has made with previous funds, four years will be plenty of time to reach the goal.

“This next four years what we believe we’ll be able to do is get everybody else trained beginning after next year to provide the training and create the modules such that they will not only train the people in the field right now but also have the wherewithal to train incoming teach candidates and that way we’ll cover everybody,” Graves said.

Graves emphasized that reading is the core of everything else and says this is a fundamental goal that the state needs to get right and he believes will happen.



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