PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley has joined an amicus brief filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by 16 Attorneys General and the Governor of Mississippi. The brief challenges a decision that enjoins a state statute that bans doctors from performing abortions solely because of the gender, race, or disability status of the unborn child and requires abortion providers to either bury or cremate the aborted remains of unborn children.

“The States have a right to prohibit the discriminatory elimination of classes of human beings and to ensure that human remains-including the remains of unborn children- are disposed of in a respectful manner,” said Jackley. “I will continue to forcefully protect the unborn and fight to ensure they are given proper respect.”

Governor Daugaard’s Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Sports Betting

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on sports betting:

“I welcome this decision because it recognizes the right of states to regulate in this area,” said Governor Daugaard. “Our state constitution, however, does not permit sports betting in South Dakota. A state constitutional amendment could be placed on the 2020 general election ballot through the petition process, or by the State Legislature in 2019 or 2020.”

At this time, the state does not have any reliable estimate as to the economic impact or revenue that could be generated by sports betting.

South Dakota Congressional Candidate Neal Tapio Said Terrorist Attack Would Help Him Win Primary

By Kevin Robillard

A GOP candidate running for South Dakota’s lone seat in Congress said last year that a terrorist attack would help him win a contested primary, and also suggested members of the U.S. military are “mercenaries for Saudi Arabia.”

In audio obtained by HuffPost, state Sen. Neal Tapio said in a recorded conversation in the state capitol of Pierre that “there will be one more terrorist attack between now and then and I will be the, just by the Trump effect, I will be the candidate.”

“I can start in a little town like Aberdeen outside of the media glare. I can move it to Watertown, practice a little more, and then by the time I get to Souix Falls, I will have said this thousands of times. And then Dusty is just going to be so far behind, that they won’t even realize we are running for the same race. And then all that has to happen is that there will be one more terrorist attack between now and then and I will be the, just by the Trump effect, I will be the candidate. That’s the way I look at it.”

In another snippet of recorded conversation, Tapio says he wouldn’t let one of his children serve in the military, and implies U.S. military operations in the Middle East are waged for the benefit of Saudi Arabia.

“We both agree that we wouldn’t want our kids to serve in the military even with Trump as president. You just are giving up your life to be mercenaries for Saudi Arabia”

Tapio was the state director for Trump’s presidential bid and is selling “Mt. Trumpmore” T-shirts to support his campaign. He is running against Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and businessman Dusty Johnson, who was chief of staff for former South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, in a three-way primary. The winner of the June 5 primary is expected to win the general election in the heavily Republican state.

Tapio’s comments on the terrorist attack were first reported by KELO, a news radio station. It’s not clear to whom Tapio was speaking. In responses to both KELO and HuffPost, Tapio did not deny the recording was his voice.

In April, Tapio posted a response on his Facebook page to KELO’s questions about the recording. “Terror has something to do with Islam. Nobody dares say this in public. I do,” he wrote.

However, he took issue with a question asking whether he thought a terror attack would help his campaign.

“To suggest I am advocating for a terror attack is a disgusting smear and you should be ashamed of yourself,” he wrote. “Anyone that would even suggest that is a vile and disgusting individual not worthy of being taken seriously.”

In an email to HuffPost, Tapio said his comments on mercenaries were meant to sympathize with U.S. troops, who he said have suffered since the beginnings of the war on terror 17 years ago.

He also said political leaders calling Islam a “religion of peace” meant ceding “the moral high ground of freedom,” and “[u]ntil we face the truth about the root cause of terrorism, we will never win this war.”

“I don’t think it’s controversial to speak the truth about the manipulations and unarticulated objectives of the Obama-Hillary Clinton foreign policy,” he said.

“The result in every conflict in the Bush-Obama era has been regime change that has left the most radicalized and dangerous elements of Muslim leadership in charge of entire nations,” he added.

Here’s Tapio’s full response:

America and the Western world have been fighting an endless war on terror since September 11, 2001. At a cost of nearly $7 trillion, this war has nearly bankrupted our nation. The financial cost fails to account for the heavy long term physical and mental toll on millions of service members and their families.

Shamefully, we don’t even dare call this war by it’s proper name, “the global war against Islamic terrorism.” Failure to properly identify the enemy is a slap in the face to every service member who has served and to all the military families who have sacrificed so much in this endless war. Worse, when our political and religious leaders tell us ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ and ‘terror has nothing to do with Islam,’ America cedes the moral high ground of freedom, and we no longer become a beacon of hope to all those living under a hateful and deadly ideology that punishes or kills them for leaving Islam. Until we face the truth about the root cause of terrorism, we will never win this war.

Many military families are asking, ‘for what purpose are we sacrificing American lives in this war?’ It is our duty as a country to clearly identify the enemy and clearly outline the path to victory. Only then can we ask a service member to place their life in danger.

President Trump is fighting every day to redefine our failed foreign policy of military intervention. He continually battles those who clamor for regime change in the Middle East, including those who want regime change in Syria.

Who is pushing hardest for regime change? I bet a full airing of my conversation would give you a better picture of my thoughts on broader Middle Eastern politics. Here is a brief outline.

For two decades or more, America’s honorable military tradition has been at the beck and call of a policy to rewrite the map of the Middle East, for reasons both evident and secretive.  Interests beyond the disclosure of national security objectives and clear and present danger have placed our nation’s finest young men and women in theaters of battle with objectives that have been concealed from the American public and shielded even from Congressional approval to go to war, as demanded by the Constitution.

I don’t think this is a secret to most Americans to say that our military has faced a rate of deployment and a burden of service that has been unprecedented in our national history.  And I don’t think it’s controversial to speak the truth about the manipulations and unarticulated objectives of the Obama-Hillary Clinton foreign policy.  It’s high time someone spoke the truth about endless wars and the disservice that’s been visited on the finest military tradition and the most effective fighting force in the history of warfare.

Our fighting men and women are always ready and willing to answer the call and to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  We owe to them as leaders and as citizens that that sacrifice never be demanded on false pretense.  In Iraq it was weapons of mass destruction.  In Libya it was humanitarian intervention.  The result in every conflict in the Bush-Obama era has been regime change that has left the most radicalized and dangerous elements of Muslim leadership in charge of entire nations.  With accelerated chaos, increased bloodshed and fewer rights and freedoms as a result.

I think our nation’s soldiers deserve better political outcomes than to watch patches of sand they fought, bled and died for to be given back to an ever encroaching enemy, and in every case, turned over to people who hate the United States, are openly hostile to democratic ideals and have no respect or reverence for essential liberty or the dignity of human life.  The Middle East is not a military failure.  It is a political travesty and a dishonest expenditure of the most valuable resource we have.  The very best and most dedicated of our young men and women in uniform.


By Mark Mills

Custer City, SD, May 12, 2018 – Last Saturday, formal flag ceremonies marked the official season
opening of Custer State Park’s Legion Lake Lodge. Flag raising ceremonies were conducted by
Custer Post #46, American Legion. In recognition of the American Legion’s historic ties to the
lodge, its flag was flown beneath the United States flag for opening day. At the end of the day,
the legion flag was replaced with the South Dakota state flag. Both the national and state flags
were donated to Legion Lake Lodge by Custer Post #46.

Pictured L to R; Don Hone, Dean Mills, Ernie Thornell, Tom Burke, and Ed Thompson. Not pictured, Legion Lake Lodge General Manager Jason Deuhr

Legion Lake is the original home of Custer Post #46. Each year the post ceremonially renews its
ties to its historic home. Following this year’s ceremonies, legionnaires enjoyed breakfast in the
lodge’s restaurant and marveled at the changes to the landscape and facilities of its old home.
Though time marches on, all agreed the spirit of the American Legion remains strong at Legion


Custer, SD A landowner workshop, “Protect your home and property” will be held on Friday, May 18 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Argyle Fire Hall, 12000 Mountain Lion Lane, Hot Springs, SD.

Multiple agencies are working together to reach out to landowners, provide information on land stewardship and encourage management for more resilient forests across all lands.

Experts will discuss: living with fire; insect, weed and pine management; and technical assistance and cost-sharing programs available to landowners; followed by a field trip showing thinning and fuel treatment.

A free lunch will be offered.

The workshop is sponsored by Custer County Conservation District and the South Dakota Family Forest Association.

Cooperating agencies include South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) Resource Conservation & Forestry and SDDA Wildland Fire; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Custer County Weed & Pest; and US Forest Service.

Registration RSVP is appreciated by May 14 with Angie Keierleber, Custer County Conservation District, 605-673-4971 or e-mail custer.county@sdstate.edu.


Influenza activity was at “Sporadic” level in South Dakota again during the past week.  

·      40 new confirmedcases of influenza were reported last week.   5,971 confirmed cases cumulative so far this season:  4,400Influenza A and 1,571 Influenza B.  *Lab confirmed:  PCR, culture or DFA. The number of laboratories using rapid confirmatory tests has increased, which may account for some of the increase in confirmed cases observed this influenza season.

·      10.64% positive rapid antigen tests reported statewide (25 positives out of 235 individuals tested last week).    Total 46,525 tests performed so far this season.

·      2 new influenza-associated hospitalizations reported last week (Brown and Turner counties).  Total of 867 hospitalizations so far this season.

·      Zero influenza-associated deaths were reported last week. Total of 62 deaths so far this season.

·      1.11% of clinic visits were for influenzalike illness (ILI),36.5% of ILI visits were children 4 years of age and younger.

·      1.53% of K12 students were absent due to any illness, range 0% – 9% absent (147 schools reporting).

South Dakota Dept of Health



Dominate virus



Confirmed cases (Culture, PR, DFA)

Peak week






February 3rdweek






February 3rd week






March 2nd week






January 1st week






January 1st week






January 2nd week






March 3rd week






February 3rd week


A(H1N1) pandemic




October 2nd week






March 1st week






February 4th week






February 3rd week




 Not reportable


March 2nd week




 Not reportable


February 3rd week

Median (2004-2017)





February 3rd week

Influenza surveillance website:  http://flu.sd.gov.  

National Synopsis:   Influenza activity has decreased in the United States.

Nationally, 32.6% influenza A and 67.4% influenza B of 86 positive specimens tested in public health laboratories.

Influenza activity by state:

–    WIDESPREAD (highest level) influenza activity in three states;

–    REGIONAL activity in four  States and Guam and Puerto Rico;

–    LOCAL activity in 16 states;

–    SPORADIC activity in 25 states  and the District of Columbia; including South Dakota;

–    NO activity in two states & the US Virgin Islands.

Our neighboring states:

–   LOCAL activity: North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana.

–   Sporadic Activity: Wyoming

SD Dept of Health website:  http://doh.sd.gov/   SD Dept of Health Facebook:  www.facebook.com/SDHealthDepartment

Tourism to Mount Rushmore Adds 177 Million to Local Economy

Keystone, South Dakota In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week Mount Rushmore National Memorial reveals data from a new National Park Service report which shows that over 2.4 million visitors to Mount Rushmore in 2017 spent an estimated $139 million in local communities.  Spending that supported 2,140 jobs in the area and had a cumulative benefit of $177 million to the local economy.

“Doane Robinson to Gutzon Borglum to today Mount Rushmore National Memorial has long served as an active member in the tourism economy of our local communities,” stated Superintendent Cheryl Schreier.  “National Park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.  We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.  The report shows $18.2 billion of direct spending by more than 330 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.  This spending supported 306,000 jobs nationally; 255,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities.  The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $35.8 billion.

The lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs.  The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.

According to the 2017 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging/camping (32.9 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.5 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (10.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.0 percent), and local transportation (7.5 percent).

Report authors also produced an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies.  Users can also view year-by-year trend data.  The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/s ocialscience/vse.htm.  To learn more about national parks in South Dakota and how the National Park Service works with South Dakota communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go tohttps://www.nps.gov/state/sd.

For additional park information, please visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial’s official website at www.nps.gov/moru.




From the kitchen table to the boardroom table, the USDA brings people together across the nation for: healthier
food, natural resources and people; a stronger agricultural industry; and economic growth, jobs and innovation.
Each Friday, meet those farmers, producers and landowners through our #FridaysOnTheFarm stories. Visit local
farms, ranches, forests and resource areas where USDA customers and partners do right and feed everyone.

This Friday, meet Hillary and Diane Dean, boutique wine operators in Caddo, Oklahoma, who are passionate
about wine making. The Deans own and operate Blue River Valley Winery, growing several grape varieties and
producing over 15 varieties of wine.

From Hobby to Business
“It all started with homemade peach wine. A family member had us try their homemade wine, and we couldn’t
believe the quality. We wanted to try our hand at it,” said Diane. “We started off in the kitchen. Our table space
was taken up by small fermenters.”

After making craft beer for nearly 20 years, Hillary and Diane fell in love with making fine wine. Their hobby
quickly became a business, selling more than 15,000 bottles of their handcrafted wine in 2016 and over 19,000 in
2017.“Making wine became a passion. Over the years, we were encouraged to do it commercially,” said Hillary. “It
grew so fast, we couldn’t believe it. We thought it would just be a small mom and pop business, but it just

Growing a Dream
Before opening their boutique winery, they visited the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center where they
learned about the USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) loan opportunities. The Deans visited the Bryan County
FSA office and met with Greg Mathis, farm loan manager, to explore their options.
“We had a dream and it just didn’t seem like it was going to work out. We came to Greg and everything worked
out,” said Hillary. “He was interested in our venture. Greg believed in us and worked very hard to put together our

FSA’s farm loan programs offer opportunities, such as microloans, to farmers and ranchers by providing access to
credit. Microloans focus on financing the needs of new, niche and small to mid-sized family farm operations.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Producing an Oklahoma Wine
The Deans currently grow muscadine grapes and other grape varieties, but they don’t produce enough to supply
their entire wine operation. According to Hillary, 100 pounds of grapes will only make about five gallons of wine.
To keep up with demand, they purchase juice from several vineyards across the country through a wholesaler.
“Our grapes might be grown all over the United States, but our wine is all Oklahoma,” Hillary said. “We ferment
the juice and then it goes through the clarification process. When that is done, we fill the bottle and cork it by
hand. It’s truly a handcraft.”

They currently offer 15 varieties of wine at Blue River Valley Winery, including “Blue River Bliss,” a blackberry
merlot, “Strawberry Blonde,” a strawberry white zinfandel, and “Rio Rosa,” their blackberry and lemon signature
wine. The number of varieties will continue to increase as they keep exploring new flavors.

Agritourism Is an Added Benefit
Since opening, the winery has drawn customers from all over the United States. To increase agritourism, the
Deans recently added a covered outdoor pavilion, where guests can enjoy live music on select evenings, hold
small weddings and other events.

“There are thousands of varieties of wine that you can make. We get a kick out of making our wine the highest
quality that we can,” said Hillary. “This doesn’t feel like a job. It’s something we really enjoy.”

Follow the #Fridaysonthefarm story series and other news you can use on farmers.gov and @Farmersgov Twitter.
View all #FridaysOnTheFarm feature stories.
Story Credit: Lauren Moore
Photo Credits: Blue River Valley Winery; Lance Cheung (USDA), Scott Bauer (USDA)



PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that a federal jury has cleared two Department of Corrections employees of any wrong doing in a civil rights lawsuit.

James Elmer Shaw, 41, an inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary, alleged that Troy Ponto, Associate Warden and Al Madsen, Unit Manager, had failed to provide proper medical care and that Ponto had retaliated against Shaw.

“We are pleased that the jury saw through the inmate’s spurious accusations. We appreciate their service and deliberation,” said Jackley. “I want to thank the prison staff for the difficult work they do and for their assistance during this investigation.”

Ponto, Madsen, and various witnesses presented evidence to the jury to show that Shaw failed to request medical care, that inmates are provided continuous access to medical care, and that Shaw was placed in the Special Housing Unit because he had stolen original medical records, and not for retaliatory purposes.

The employees were represented by the South Dakota Office of Attorney General, with assistance from the SD Department of Corrections and South Dakota Correctional Health Services.

The South Dakota Correctional Healthcare Services was most recently reaccredited in 2015 by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare for all five state correctional facilities.