South Dakota News

U.S. bans travel from South Africa due to COVID-19 variant

Omicron variant (World Health Org.)WASHINGTON  – Beginning Monday, the United States will ban travel from South Africa and 7 other African nations by non-US citizens following the discovery of a COVID-19 variant. Officials have named the variant “omicron.” A World Health Organization panel has classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern. The variant’s discovery in southern Africa sent…

FDA questions safety of COVID-19 pill during pregnancy

WASHINGTON – Federal health regulators say an experimental COVID-19 pill from Merck is effective against the virus, but they will seek input from outside experts on risks of birth defects and other potential problems in pregnant women. The Food and Drug Administration posted its analysis of the pill ahead of a public meeting next week where academic and other experts…

Justice Dept. to prioritize prosecuting violence on flights

Hector International AirportWASHINGTON – Attorney General Merrick Garland is directing U.S. attorneys across the nation to swiftly prioritize prosecution of federal crimes that happen on commercial flights. The directive comes as federal officials face a historic number of investigations into passenger behavior.  The Federal Aviation Administration said earlier this month that it had launched 950 investigations into passenger behavior on flights…

Update: Situation at Everson Griffen’s home resolves peacefully

MINNETRISTA, Minn. (FOX 9) – A situation at the home of Minnesota Vikings has ended peacefully after an apparent mental health incident led to a response by local police and team staff. The situation had been ongoing since early Wednesday morning before police announced in the afternoon that it had been resolved. Griffen, 33, posted a disturbing video on his…

South Dakota Supreme Court rules against pot legalization

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that nullified a voter-passed amendment to the state constitution that would have legalized recreational marijuana use. Gov. Kristi Noem instigated the legal fight to strike down the amendment passed by voters in November. The Republican governor opposed marijuana legalization, but her administration argued in court that…

Biden asks federal appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Biden administration is asking the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals to wipe away an order from another appeals court blocking its Occupational Safety and Health Administration vaccine mandate. Several lawsuits were brought challenging the OSHA mandate, and last week the cases were consolidated in the 6th Circuit. Before the cases were consolidated, the 5th US…

Target to keep stores permanently closed on Thanksgiving

NEW YORK – Minneapolis-based Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making permanent a shift to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic. To limit crowds in stores, retailers last year were forced to turn what had become a weekend shopping blitz into an extended event with holiday sales beginning as…

Biden to transfer presidential powers during colonoscopy

BETHESDA, Md. – The White House says President Joe Biden will briefly transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris when he undergoes a “routine colonoscopy.” Press secretary Jen Psaki says Biden will be under anesthesia Friday during the procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Harris “will work from her office in the West Wing during this time.”…

T. Denny Sanford was ‘implicated individual’ in child porn investigation

T. Denny SanfordFARGO (KVRR) – Search warrant affidavits indicate that phone, email and computer records were seized as part of a child pornography investigation involving billionaire philanthropist T. Denny Sanford. The investigation into Sanford was reported last year by ProPublica and the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Court documents in the case were initially sealed and referred to Sanford as “an…

Gasoline prices likely to remain high through winter

BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR/KCND) – North Dakota’s mineral resources director says gasoline prices are expected to remain high for the foreseeable future. Lynn Helms says that’s because OPEC decided to stick to its current production plan, even though the Biden administration asked OPEC in November to increase production. “That’s just how volatile this thing can be, which really means prices are…