PIERRE — The lease for the resort at Roy Lake State Park is back on the market with a lower asking price. The state Game, Fish and Parks Department didn't receive any proposals when the resort lease was first offered for $975,000 on Nov. 9 and offered again on March 5 at the same price. Jan Pitzl has operated the convenience store, lodge, cabins, fuel and boat rentals since 1993. She recently agreed to seek $795,000. The complex is five miles south of Lake City and 25 miles north of Webster. Local roads connect from SD 10 and SD 25.
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard made a rare appearance before a state board Monday. He asked the South Dakota Board of Education Standards to provide more flexibility for students to earn high school diplomas. More than two hours later the board unanimously agreed. The board added a requirement that the new rules be reviewed after Jan. 1, 2026. All of the diplomas would continue to require 22 credits. But the basic diploma would become more flexible in some subjects. Three new endorsements also would be added. They are advanced, advanced career and advanced honors.
PIERRE — Protecting livestock owners was one reason South Dakota put laws about branding on the books long ago. Protecting landowners against people being on property without permission was one reason our Legislature passed laws against trespassing. Yet you still hear about livestock gone missing and about people being where they shouldn't be. Many of us who live in towns and cities shrug it off. But these things matter to thousands of men and women who make their livings off the lands that start at the edges of our cities and towns.
PIERRE — The July 31 summit the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department plans for operators of private shooting preserves is part of a series, a spokeswoman said Friday. The department held a gathering April 21 for leaders of sportsmen groups. Later this year come separate summits for recreational users and agricultural producers. The finale is a general event planned for a date still to be set for early 2019, according to Emily Kiel. She is the agency's director of strategic engagement and public relations.
PIERRE – The owner of Wild Oak Golf Club at Mitchell got a mulligan Thursday from the state Water Management Board. Board members gave Dave Backlund permission to put a temporary barrier across Firesteel Creek during low-flow periods. The purpose is to pool water that can be diverted to holding ponds. The water then can be used to irrigate parts of the course.
PIERRE — Reetz Lake, a trophy fishery for walleyes and other game fish in Day County, could re-open very soon. But paying $1,600 per month for public access, for at most May through September, was more than some anglers said they would swallow. Many also didn't like restrictions the Reetz family insisted be part of the one-year deal.
PIERRE — A South Dakota State University faculty member gave the Legislature's task force on agricultural land assessments an early look Tuesday at recommendations he'll deliver to the panel for its next meeting Sept. 10. Matthew Elliott, an assistant professor of economics, said he's nearly finished two years of analyzing South Dakota's system for valuing agricultural property for tax purposes.
PIERRE — The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed big changes Wednesday for hunting deer with firearms in South Dakota. The current lottery system allows a firearm hunter to apply separately for up to six seasons and draw multiple licenses. Under the proposed changes, a firearm hunter would choose one preferred season for the first draw. Hunters who didn't get their first choice would be the only applicants allowed into the second draw. Hunters could still get multiple licenses in the third and fourth draws. They also could buy licenses left after the draws.
PIERRE — The Legislature's Rules Review Committee didn't allow several sets of rule changes to move forward Monday. The six lawmakers blocked a state Health Department proposal affecting international medical graduates who come to South Dakota using J-1 visas. Legislators said they didn't like that a discount schedule for Medicaid patients would be removed. Sen. Craig Kennedy, D-Yankton, and Rep. Julie Bartling, D-Gregory, led the 6-0 effort. "All we're sending back is the proposed amendments," Kennedy said.
PIERRE — Public records are one place where the public comes up short in South Dakota. There was good intention, back in 2009, when the Legislature rewrote South Dakota's laws on public records. But laws can come with loopholes. We have some big loopholes. They must be closed. Here are specific examples: Public officials don't have to make public their official correspondence. They also don't have to make public their personal correspondence. These documents are among the many exceptions in the 2009 rewrite.