HEALTH OVERHAUL-SOUTH DAKOTA
SD health care sign-ups pick up in November
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Federal officials report that only 372 South Dakota residents successfully signed up for a health insurance plan through a federally run marketplace during its first two months in operation.
The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that South Dakota had the second-fewest signups through November 30th among states with federally run marketplaces. North Dakota had the fewest at 265.
But officials say signups in South Dakota have grown significantly since the federal government's reporting date of November 30th. Avera Health Plans now reports enrolling 734 so far through the exchange, Sanford Health Plan has enrolled 173, and DAKOTACARE has enrolled 14.
South Dakota is one of 36 states relying on the federal HealthCare DOT gov website to sign people up for insurance under the national health overhaul.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INVESTIGATION
SD AG won't open Benda investigation file
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says he will not allow members of the media to review investigative records into the death of a former state economic development director because a family member has not given written permission.
Richard Benda was found dead on October 22nd in a grove near Lake Andes with a fatal shotgun wound. His death was ruled a suicide.
Bob Mercer, a Pierre-based reporter who writes for several of the state's daily newspapers, asked Jackley to release the investigative file after the attorney general issued his findings.
Jackley agreed to allow Mercer and one other reporter to review a partially redacted version of the file, but only if a member of Benda's immediate family granted written permission.
Mercer is asking Jackley to drop that requirement.
Pierre airport says fed guidelines lead to cancellations
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Airport officials in Pierre say new federal guidelines that require co-pilots to have more flying hours have been leading to more cancellations and delays.
KCCR radio reports that 17 of 186 flights were cancelled in October, and 37 out of 174 flights were cancelled in November.
Pierre Regional Airport Manager Mike Isaacs says not all of the cancellations have been related to the new regulations, but those are unusually high numbers.
Great Lakes Airlines, which connects Pierre to both Minneapolis and Denver, has been the city's sole carrier since January 2012, when Delta Airlines pulled out of the community. Company officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill says finding an answer to unreliable air service has become the city's top priority.
N DAKOTA ST-LEADERS
NDSU captains say Bohl's departure business as usual
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Veteran players on North Dakota State's football team say news that coach Craig Bohl would be leaving for Wyoming after the playoffs was harder on their younger teammates who haven't grasped the commercial aspect of college athletics.
Bison captains Cole Jirek and Grant Olson said Tuesday that many players, particularly the underclassmen, were stunned when they first heard that Bohl would take over the Cowboys, but have accepted the reality of the coach's move to a higher level of NCAA football.
Bohl will be guaranteed $750,000 in the first year of his five-year contract with Wyoming. His pay will increase each year to $950,000 in the final year. With various incentives, he could earn more than $1 million a year.
Sioux Falls to host several D-II tournaments
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls will host the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Division Two men's basketball tournaments.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that the Pentagon will also host the 2015, 2016 and 2018 NCAA Division Two women's basketball tournaments.
The new $19 million arena made its prime-time debut in October with an NBA preseason game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Milwaukee Bucks that brought former SDSU star Nate Wolters back to South Dakota. The complex's 3,250-seat Heritage Court features a dark parquet floor, side wood bleachers and retro scoreboards.
The arena serves as the home for the NBA D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce.
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