The 15th Annual Wheel Jam will be held May 31 – June 3 at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds in Huron

HURON, S.D. – Wheel Jam hosts the Wheel Jam Truck Show, car show, motorcycle show, Make it Mine Show ‘n Shine and Pick Up Party, the Original SD BBQ Championships and two nights of stock car racing featuring the Iverson’s Late Model Challenge and the Prostrollo Motors Challenge Cup.

“Wheel Jam is three big days, three big shows and thousands of wheels,” said State Fair manager Peggy Besch. “Come check out the car, truck and motorcycle shows, as well as numerous other events. Wheel Jam offers free event admission. It’s a weekend you don’t want to miss.”

Throughout the three days, there will also be activities specifically geared toward trucks, cars or motorcycles. Activities include the truck show light show, poker run, biker games, parade, vendors, audio sound competition and classic car auction. Thomas Carnival and a kayak pond will be set up for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Wheel Jam also features live musical entertainment. On Friday, the Weston Frank Band and Jerry Scheckle and the Midnight Ramblers will be playing on the 18 Wheel Stage at the Wheel Jam Truck Show. Also taking place on Friday is the Big Jim Jam Fest featuring the Black Water Band and Shades of Air. ZZ3 and Dustin Evans and the Good Times Band will perform Saturday night on the Freedom Stage. Leland Harding III will play on Sunday morning as cars and motorcycles register.

Camping is available at Wheel Jam and is $25 per night. For more event details and a full schedule of events, check outwww.wheeljam.com.

Interior Announces Share the Experience 2017 Photo Contest Winners

 

WASHINGTON,DC – The U.S. Department of the Interior today, along with the National Park Foundation and other participating federal recreation land agencies, announced the winners of the 2017 Share the Experience photography contest on Interior’s popular Instagram account and launched the 2018 contest.

 The grand prize winner of the annual contest is a captivating starry night at Acadia National Park by Manish Mamtani of Peabody, Massachusetts. The image will be featured on the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

 

This annual contest invites amateur photographers to submit their favorite views, moments, and adventures from America’s national parks and public lands. The 2018 Share the Experience photo contest is now accepting entries through December 31.

“Many times before you visit a national park, you first experience it through an iconic photograph,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “While most think of historic images of Yosemite and Grand Teton captured by Ansel Adams, amateur photographers like the winners of the Share the Experience contest help tell the story of our public lands. As we continue to work at providing greater access and recreation opportunities, it’s important that a love of these places is shared through amazing photos. They showcase that these places are truly for ‘the benefit and enjoyment of the people.’ Hopefully they inspire some young people to get outside and enjoy it.”

The grand prize for the winning image is $10,000, followed by $5,000 and $3,000 for second and third place. Winners also receive outdoor gear provided by Celestron and Osprey Packs, hotel packages courtesy of Historic Hotels of America®, and an annual National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

“I have always been a great fan of America’s national parks,”said Mamtani, who took the winning image while visiting Acadia National Park with his wife last summer. “I love the way beauty and wilderness is preserved in the parks. I always feel a close connection to nature in the national parks. My love for night sky is the reason I ventured into astrophotography. Hiking in the night sky not only fulfills my appetite for adventure, but also makes me appreciate my existence among billions of galaxies, where our planet itself is no more than a tiny dot. Some of the national parks like Death Valley, Big Bend, Natural Bridges, Acadia and Arches provide the darkest night skies.”

A photograph of the red walls of the Fort Union National Monument by Kristy Burns from Livingston, Texas, took second place.

Third place went to Dorrie Henderson of Lafayette, Indiana, for a photograph of Red Rock Crossing at Coconino National Forest.

Prizes are also awarded for fan favorites and the following six category winners:

  • Adventure and Outdoor Recreation
  • Historical and Cultural
  • Scenic, Seasons, and Landscapes
  • Family, Friends, and Fun
  • Wildlife
  • Night Skies

More than 16,000 photos were submitted to the contest, which ran from May 4, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

The 2018 Share the Experience photo contest is hosted by the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and Recreation.gov. Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreational lands, showcasing the more than 500 million acres of federal lands and drawing entries from across the United States. For a full listing of prizing and rules, or to submit a photo, please visit www.sharetheexperience.org. All entries have the chance to be featured on the Interior Department’s popular TwitterInstagram and Facebookaccounts.

Share the Experience is a great example of the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque — a public awareness and education movement to inspire people from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. #FindYourPark invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation’s natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.

Check out all of the winning photos.

Sustained Effort Needed to Reduce Infant Mortality In South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s infant mortality rate increased in 2017, according to new data released today by the Department of Health. There were 12,128 births in 2017 and 94 infant deaths for a rate of 7.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The state reported its lowest ever American Indian infant mortality rate of 8.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. The white infant mortality rate was 7 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2016, South Dakota reported a rate of 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. Although the state’s infant mortality rate increased in 2017, the average infant mortality rate for the five-year period from 2013 to 2017 is the lowest ever recorded at 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births.

“Infant mortality is a complex and multi-faceted issue, and the latest data demonstrates that sustained effort is needed to ensure more South Dakota babies celebrate their first birthday,” said First Lady Linda Daugaard, who chaired the 2011 Governor’s Task Force on Infant Mortality. “We must continue to promote safe sleep guidelines for infants, help pregnant women stop smoking and encourage early prenatal care.”

South Dakota data shows babies are twice as likely to die before their first birthday if their mothers smoke during pregnancy. In 2017, 12.6 percent of pregnant women smoked while pregnant, down from 19.4 percent in 2007. The data also shows 72.2 percent of pregnant women in South Dakota received prenatal care in the first trimester.

“Infant mortality is considered a gold standard for measuring the health of a population,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “The Department of Health, in cooperation with partners, is committed to offering statewide services and providing community support to improve the health of all South Dakotans.”

The First Lady noted the state’s Cribs for Kids program has distributed 9,759 safe sleep kits to families in need since its launch in 2012. The kits include a Pack ‘N Play crib, sheet, infant sleep sack, pacifier and safe sleep educational materials.

Learn more about healthy pregnancies and safe sleep guidelines at ForBabySakeSD.com.

South Dakota Department Of Public Safety Officials Encourage Driving Safety During Memorial Day Holiday

 

PIERRE, S.D. – With the number of motor vehicle fatalities, especially those not wearing seatbelts, already higher than last year, officials of South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety are encouraging drivers to be careful as the summer traveling season officially begins Friday.

This weekend is not only the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but it is also considered the start of summer. And with more vehicles on the road comes an increased risk of roadway crashes.

“Roadway safety is important at all times of the year, but especially during the summer,” says Lee Axdahl, director of the state Office of Highway Safety. “With more people out on the roads, it is even more important that you be careful.”

As of Tuesday, May 22,  there had been 40 motor vehicle fatalities this year in South Dakota, including 10 already in May. That is a 60 percent increase from the same time last year.  Even more concerning is that of the 33 fatalities where seatbelts could have been used, 64 percent of the fatalities did not.

“There is no downside to using seatbelts,” Axdahl says. “They help keep you in the vehicle which gives you a better chance to survive crashes from the minor ones to the terrible ones.”

Besides seatbelts, Axdahl encourages people to slow down, put down the distractions like cell phones, watch for others and don’t drink and drive.

“This should be a fun time of the year,” Axdahl says. “By being a safe driver, you can get to your destination and make pleasant memories, not tragic ones.”

South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers also plan to be out on the highways, making sure motorists are obeying the law. The Highway Patrol is conducting a joint I-90 safety operation with Minnesota and Wyoming for a 23-hour period that starts Friday morning and ends early Saturday.

Both the Office of Highway Safety and the Highway Patrol are part of the Department of Public Safety.

South Dakota State Fair Centennial Stage Seeks South Dakota Talent

The South Dakota State Fair and entertainer Sherwin Linton are in search of guest entertainers for one of Linton’s fifteen shows on the AARP Centennial Stage during the 2018 South Dakota State Fair, which runs Aug. 30 through Sept. 3. Those interested in being considered should send information to the South Dakota State Fair office. The AARP Centennial Stage features South Dakota musicians and entertainers as opening acts for each of Linton’s shows.

“We are now inviting South Dakota talent to submit CDs, DVDs, photos and bios for consideration to be included as a guest on the 2018 AARP Centennial Stage,” stated Sherwin Linton. “We welcome people of all ages and skill levels to submit.”

Materials can be sent to:

South Dakota State Fair

Attn: AARP Centennial Stage

1060 3rd Street SW

Huron, SD 57350

The 2018 South Dakota State Fair will run from Thursday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 3. Channel Seeds Preview Day will be Wednesday, Aug. 29. This year’s theme is “Experience the Magic.” For more information on State Fair events, contact the fair office at 800.529.0900, visit sdstatefair.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Minority Business Development Agency Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) with a day-long celebration Tuesday, May 15 featuring remarks from White House officials, panels focused on supplier partnerships and procurement, as well as discussions on the successes and challenges for millennial Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

Karen Dunn Kelley, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, performing the nonexclusive duties and functions of the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, delivered a keynote address at the 2018 National AAPI Business Summit that discussed the many contributions AAPI-owned businesses have made to the U.S. economy. Kelley noted that from 2007 to 2012, Asian-owned businesses in the U.S. increased 24 percent, while the number of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander-owned businesses expanded 45 percent.

“Secretary Ross and this administration believe minority-owned businesses play an important role in communities and in creating jobs and growth in the American economy,” Under Secretary Kelley said.

Under Secretary Kelley also highlighted two standout Asian-owned businesses supported by local MBDA business centers: Leasa Industries, a Miami-based bean sprout and tofu company, and Mellish Island, a sea cucumber processor and exporter to China with a U.S. headquarters in San Dimas, California.

After remarks from Holly Ham, Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Mercedes Schlapp, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Strategic Communication, MBDA National Acting Director Edith McCloud joined Ham on stage to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support and advocate for AAPI-owned businesses.

Two of the most notable Asian Americans serving in U.S. government also gave remarks at the National AAPI Business Summit: Elaine L. Chao, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and the highest-ranking Asian American cabinet member, and Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

MBDA closed out the National AAPI Business Summit with a celebration by celebrity Asian chefs. The aroma of Chinese, Filipino and Indonesian cuisine filled the air, as the Department of Commerce lobby transformed into a bustling food court. Chef Widjiono (Yono) Purnomo of Yono’s Restaurant in Albany, New York, Chefs Michael Chen and Rusong Dai of New China Taste in Alexandria, Virginia, and Chef Patrice Cleary of Purple Patch in Washington D.C., prepared sample dishes for attendees, showcasing a variety of Asian dishes.

From left to right: George Mui, MBDA, Chef Widjiono (Yono) Purnomo, Chef Patrice Cleary of Purple Patch, Jan-Ie Low, Golden Catalyst, LLC and Celebrity Chef event organizer, Chef Michael Chen and Chef Rusong Dai of New China Taste.

CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL – MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND OPEN HOUSE

Crazy Horse, SD – Crazy Horse Memorial will host their annual Memorial Day Weekend Open House. The public is invited to Crazy Horse Memorial May 25th through the 28th. Visitors will enjoy waived admission with the donation of 3 cans of food per person for the KOTA Care and Share Food Drive. Crazy Horse Memorial offers three museums, a historic video, Korczak’s Studio-Home and Workshop, sculptures, artwork and antiques.
Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the summer festivities at the Memorial. New displays have been created in THE INDIAN MUSEUM OF NORTH AMERICA® and NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL CENTER®. featuring hands on displays.

Visitors to the Crazy Horse Memorial facilities will also enjoy Native American Dance performances during the day, every day through September 30, 2018. Guests can visit with the artists working on and selling their works. A visitor favorite, the nightly Laser Light Show starts this weekend, May 25th at dark (weather permitting). See the Mountain drenched in spectacular laser lights with wonderful narration and animation.

About Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation’s mission is to honor, protect, and preserve the culture, traditions, and living heritage of the Indians of North America. The Memorial fulfills its mission by continuing the progress on the world’s largest mountain sculpture, acting as a repository for Native American artifacts, arts and crafts through the INDIAN MUSEUM OF NORTH AMERICA® and the NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL CENTER®; by establishing and operating the INDIAN UNIVERSITY OF NORTH AMERICA®, and when practical, a medical training center for American Indians.

Federal Reserve Board issues Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households

The Federal Reserve Board’s latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Householdsfinds that economic well-being has generally improved over the past five years. The report notes that 74 percent of adults reported they were doing at least OK financially in 2017‑‑up 10 percentage points from the first survey in 2013. Even so, notable differences remain across race, ethnicity, education groups, and locations and many individuals still struggle to repay college loans, handle small emergency expenses, and manage retirement savings.

The report draws from the Board’s fifth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED) and examines the economic well-being and financial lives of Americans and their families. In November and December 2017, more than 12,000 people participated in the survey. They described their experiences on a wide range of topics, including income, employment, unexpected expenses, banking and credit, housing, education, and retirement planning.

Among the new topics covered in this year’s report is the relationship between the opioid epidemic and local economic conditions. One in five adults personally knows someone who has been addicted to opioids, and those who do have somewhat less favorable assessments of economic conditions. Still, over half of adults exposed to opioid addiction say that their local economy is good or excellent, suggesting a role for factors beyond economic conditions in understanding the crisis.

“This year’s survey finds that rising levels of employment are translating into improved financial conditions for many but not all Americans, with one third now reporting they are living comfortably and another 40 percent reporting they are doing ok financially,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard. “Even with the improvement in financial outlook, however, 40 percent still say they cannot cover a $400 emergency expense, or would do so by borrowing or selling something. We learned that about one in five adults knows someone with addiction to opioids or painkillers; whites are about twice as likely to have such exposure as blacks and Hispanics; and exposure does not vary much by education level or by local economic conditions.”

The Board’s SHED data looks at how individuals are managing their finances and making decisions vital to their financial lives and futures. Alongside the economic gains observed since the Great Recession, this report also notes challenges faced by people who are trying to piece together multiple jobs or who are struggling to establish emergency savings. The Board will continue to follow these developments.

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • Individuals of all education levels, races, and ethnicities have shared in the economic expansion over the past five years, although reported well-being remains lower for racial and ethnic minorities and those with less educational attainment
  • Most workers are satisfied with the wages and benefits from their current job and are optimistic about their future job opportunities. Even so, challenges including irregular job scheduling remain. One in six workers have irregular work schedules that they did not request, and one in ten receive their work schedule less than a week in advance
  • Many adults are struggling to save for retirement, and less than two-fifths believe that they are on track with their savings. While preparedness for retirement increases with age, concerns about inadequate savings are still common for those nearing retirement
  • Four in 10 adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would either not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money. This is an improvement from half of adults in 2013 being ill-prepared for such an expense

Other data on urban and rural geographic differences and national and local views are also in the report. Survey data files from the report are available for download. The report, downloadable data, and a video summarizing the survey’s findings may be found at: https://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerscommunities/shed.htm.

Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Rural Health Care Delivery

 

Washington,DC— U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) to introduce the bipartisan Rural Health Liaison Act. This legislation would improve coordination among the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other health care stakeholders through the creation of a rural health liaison. This legislation is supported by the National Rural Health Association.

“Making sure all South Dakotans, including those in rural areas who live far away from a major hospital or clinic, have access to the same quality of care as those living in big cities is a priority of mine,” said Rounds. “Creating a position within USDA that is solely focused on improving health care in rural areas will help us address the unique health challenges facing our small, sparsely-populated communities. It will also help bridge gaps between USDA and other federal agencies like HHS.”

“As the rural hospital closure crisis and the opioid epidemic escalate in rural America, we need to seek new ways to help struggling rural economies and increase opportunities for rural patients and providers,” said Alan Morgan, CEO, National Rural Health Association. “USDA has experience with working to keep struggling hospitals from closing and is the home to a number of programs critical in providing telehealth services and other rural health resources. Now more than ever, we need a Rural Health Liaison at the USDA to ensure better coordination and streamlining of rural health programs.”

USDA plays a significant role in federal rural development efforts. The agency has the capability to finance the construction of hospitals, to implement telehealth programs, and carry out health education initiatives. The Rural Health Liaison Act would establish a rural health liaison to make sure USDA is fully coordinated and leveraged with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as well as other important stakeholders.

Under the Rural Health Liaison Act, the newly established Rural Health Liaison would:

  • Consult with HHS on rural health issues and improve communication with all federal agencies;
  • Provide expertise on rural health care issues;
  • Lead and coordinate strategic planning on rural health activities within the USDA; and,
  • Advocate on behalf of the health care and relevant infrastructure needs in rural areas.