Governor Noem Signs Executive Order to Increase Producers’ Access to Hay

PIERRE, S.D. –  Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order declaring a statewide state of emergency for drought conditions and allowing ditch mowing in Eastern South Dakota to begin effective immediately. As drought conditions continue to negatively impact feed availability for livestock across South Dakota, this order will increase access to hay for farmers and ranchers.

“Growing up on the family ranch, I know how difficult it can be to feed cattle during dry times,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “This increased flexibility will allow producers to immediately gain access to hay for their livestock. With a mild winter and early spring, most of the pheasant hatch is well behind us, and we do not expect this move to affect pheasant numbers.  Reports from the field look fantastic for the upcoming pheasant hunting season.”

Executive Order 2021-09 is effective immediately and will remain effective through Aug. 31, 2021.

Department of Health Announces Preliminary List of Conditions for Medical Cannabis Program

PIERRE, S.D. –  The South Dakota Department of Health announced a preliminary list of conditions that will be covered by the state’s medical cannabis program, which went into effect on July 1 following the voters’ passage of IM-26 last November.

“Under the law passed by the voters, patients must be experiencing a ‘debilitating medical condition’ and be certified by a doctor that medical cannabis will help alleviate their condition,” said South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon. “This preliminary list of conditions meets the definition as passed by the voters, and is a result of feedback the department has already received. A process will be available for South Dakotans to petition to add more conditions to this list in the future.”

 The preliminary list of conditions includes:

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease;

Multiple sclerosis (MS);

Cancer associated with severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting;

Crohn’s disease;

Epilepsy and seizures;

Glaucoma; and

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

These conditions are in addition to the definition of “debilitating medical condition” as passed by the voters in IM-26, which is defined as, “A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.” The conditions listed above will be included in the final rules package proposed by the department.

For more information on South Dakota’s medical cannabis program, visit

Kristina Schaefer, David Bangasser, David Nelson and Steve Bumann Elected as SDBA 2021-2022 Officers

Submitted Photo
David Nelson, President/ CEO, First Fidelity Bank in Burke, elected Vice Chair for its 2021-2022 Board of Directors

PIERRE, S.D.– The South Dakota Bankers Association (SDBA), the professional and trade association for South Dakota’s financial services industry, elected officers for its 2021-2022 Board of Directors. The SDBA is honored to have the following individuals serve as officers:

•  Chair: Kristina Schaefer, General Counsel & Chief Risk Officer, First Bank & Trust, Sioux Falls

•  Chair-Elect: David Bangasser, Southern Region President, Dacotah Bank, Sioux Falls

•  Vice Chair: David Nelson, President/CEO, First Fidelity Bank, Burke

•  Immediate Past Chair: Steve Bumann, CFO, BankWest, Inc., Pierre

The official election took place at the SDBA’s Annual Business Meeting held on June 15 in Rapid City. The term for the new officers is effective now through next year’s Annual Business Meeting.

Vice Chair David Nelson:

David Nelson is president and CEO of First Fidelity Bank in Burke. Before joining the bank in 1995, he worked as an investment representative for American Express. Nelson has a bachelor of science degree in business administration and a master of business administration from the University of South Dakota and attended the Graduate School of Banking in Wisconsin. He has Series 7, 63 and 65 national securities licenses.

Nelson is a member of the Burke Business Promotion Corporation and the Platte Area Foundation Board. He is past president of the Platte Development Corporation and previously served on the Platte Chamber of Commerce Board, St. Peter’s Catholic Church Council and the Platte Black Panther Booster Club Board. Nelson is a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

Nelson and his wife, Bernadette, have been married for 42 years. They have three grown daughters and seven grandchildren.

Highway 44 Platte-Winner Bridge Project Update

Engineering design is underway for the proposed Highway 44 Platte-Winner Bridge over the Missouri River.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) design team is in the process of developing designs for the new bridge and associated new roadway alignment on either side of the river. Starting in May 2021, this design process has included the collection of geologic information about the new alignment.  In order to collect information in the river, SDDOT contracted with a barge company to provide access for our drilling equipment on the water. That work on the river was completed in June.  Our design team has moved out of the water to collect geologic information for the portions of the project on land. Recognizing that much of the sampling work is set to take place in the Snake Creek Recreation Area, we are trying to limit our work to weekdays and avoiding the July 4th holiday, when recreational activity is at a peak. Current plans are for the sampling to be complete in mid-July.

Overall progress on the project remains on track for completion of environmental studies later this year.  When the project’s Environmental Assessment is completed, SDDOT will conduct public meetings to share findings of the study and present related mitigation items such as improvements at the Snake Creek Recreation Area.  Construction of the new bridge is still planned to begin in late 2024.

Project documents, including the Corridor Study, are available for viewing on the project web site

Governor Noem Launches Website for Medical Cannabis Program

PIERRE, S.D. –  Governor Kristi Noem, along with the South Dakota Department of Health and the South Dakota Department of Education, launched, a website to answer questions and provide information about the upcoming medical cannabis program set to take effect on July 1, 2021. “One of my jobs as governor is to make sure that the will of the people and all constitutional laws are enforced,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “I want South Dakota to have the best, most patient-focused medical cannabis program in the country. I’ve heard from people who are hurting and are hopeful for relief. My team is 100% committed to starting this program as quickly and as responsibly as possible for South Dakota.”

Medical cannabis will be legal on July 1, 2021, after the voters of South Dakota passed Initiated Measure 26 in November 2020. The medical cannabis program is on schedule. The Departments of Health and Education are creating and will operate the new regulatory program to ensure the safety of patients, students, and the public in this new industry.

 “We are working hard to streamline the process to get medical cards out to people,” continued Governor Noem. “Other states have made mistakes that we do not want to repeat, so we have been careful in our approach.“    In conjunction with the website, Governor Noem also launched a new public service announcement (PSA) to tell the people of South Dakota where they can find more information about the medical cannabis program.

Schramm inducted into Winner Baseball Hall of Fame

Brad Schramm, left, was inducted into the Winner Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday
afternoon at Leahy Bowl. Making the presentation is John Calhoon, president of
the baseball association. Schramm will have his name on the outfield fence along
with other hall of fame members.

Brad Schramm has been a staple in the Winner baseball community from coaching to umpiring, to taking care of the field and is a regular fan in the stands.

Schramm was inducted into the Winner Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Schramm played a large role in helping to form the Winner Baseball Association that funds and supports the high school, VFW American Legion and amateur baseball teams.

Schramm has been the life blood of South Dakota High School baseball since its inception serving on the original committee that brought baseball to club status in South Dakota. In 2004, South Dakota High School Baseball Association was formally organized election Schramm as its first president and executive director.

He served in that role for 12 seasons before retiring.

He was instrumental in instituting the pitch count limit and transiting to wood bats.

Under Schramm’s leadership, high school baseball flourished. There were over 52 teams that represented 80 different schools across the state.

He was also the VFW region commissioner for 10 years.

Schramm was honored by the South Dakota High School board of directors as the 2017 friend of baseball.

He starting umpiring in 1998 and umpired in five state legion tournaments and four state amateur tournament along with four state VFW tournaments.

He served as the South Dakota Umpire Association secretary for 10 years.

For all of his accomplishments, time and effort he was inducted into the 2020 inaugural South Dakota High School baseball hall of fame class and in 2018 he was inducted into the South Dakota Umpire Hall of Fame.

Schramm will have his own baseball on the outfield wall at Leahy Bowl  along with other Winner hall of fame inductees.

The Winner Baseball Association thanks Schramm for all he has done for the game of baseball across the state and most importantly here in Winner.

Covid-19 Update

There were no new cases of COVID-19 in Tripp County as of May 3.

There are seven active cases in Tripp County.

The number of recovered cases since COVID started is 731.

The total number of deaths in Tripp County is 17.

Statewide, there were 69 new cases reported on Monday. There are 17 new probable cases.

The active cases total 1,512.

In the state, there have been 119,263 persons who have recovered.

Currently, there are 105 persons hospitalized.

The number of deaths in the state is at 1,967.


The number of active cases of COVID-19 in Tripp County is declining.

As of Monday, there were 7 actives cases and no new confirmed cases.

The number of recovered cases is 726.

The total persons tested for COVID is 2,328.

There are 17 deaths in Tripp County.

Statewide, there were 102 new confirmed cases on Monday and 31 new probable cases.

The number of active cases in South Dakota is 2,153.

There are 112 persons hospitalized with COVID.

The state has administered 528,055 doses of the vaccine to 314,649  residents in the state.

Around 52 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.


There was one new probable case of COVID-19 in Tripp County as of Monday, April 12.

There were no new cases and 14 active cases. The total confirmed cases since the pandemic started is 629.

Statewide, there were 135 new cases as of April 12 and the probable cases are at 52.

The active cases in South Dakota are 2,425. There are currently 96 persons hospitalized.

The total deaths in the state is at 1,947.