Changes Coming to Powerball Game


Better overall odds, increased prize amounts and a chance for players to multiply most winnings by up to 10 times during certain jackpot runs are among changes to the Powerball lotto game approved today by the Legislative Rules Review Committee.

The South Dakota Lottery Commission unanimously approved the rules on July 30, 2015. With today’s action, the game changes will take effect beginning Oct. 4, 2015.

Under the new rules, the overall odds of winning a prize will go from 1:31.8 to 1:24.9 while the odds of winning the jackpot increase from 1:175 million to 1:292 million. The game’s $10,000 third prize is being boosted to $50,000 and the Power Play option will be expanded to multiply most prizes (except the jackpot and the Match 5 prize) by up to 10 times whenever Powerball’s annuitized jackpot is at $150 million or less. The starting jackpot will remain at $40 million.

Farmers Union: An Advocate for Ethanol Since the Beginning

by Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union

Although his corn has a ways to grow before harvest 2015, like most corn farmers, Orrie Swayze knows where his crop will go once it leaves his Wilmot farm.

“Most all of my corn goes into ethanol. Our local elevator supplies a local plant,” says Swayze, 71, who only farms part-time these days, entrusting most of the fieldwork to his son, Patrick.

The Swayze’s corn is among more than 361 million bushels of South Dakota corn converted to ethanol and its co-products each year; supplying an industry which contributes almost $4 billion to the state’s economy annually, according to a 2012 South Dakota State University study.

Swayze played a significant role in the grassroots efforts to welcome the budding industry to South Dakota in the mid-80s – a time when, as Swayze puts it, “The whole state’s economy was in the doldrums and our farmers and rural communities were hurting.”
Working closely with South Dakota Farmers Union, an organization he has been a member of since 1972, and a few local Legislators, Swayze was one of four farmers who dedicated themselves to advocating for the renewable fuel.
“Governor Janklow called the four of us the ‘Ethanol Missionaries,'” he says, recalling the work that he, Roland Pester, Jim Pufhal and Roland Schnable did to get a state-based cash incentive passed. Dollars were raised through a pipeline tax on all petroleum products to encourage ethanol plants to build in South Dakota. “We were always there, lobbying committee meetings and testifying.”
New to advocacy, Swayze says he was driven by the knowledge that ethanol could help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. “I’m a Vietnam Vet.
My brother was killed over there. I knew oil was at the center of nearly every conflict and I thought, at least I can do this to end this type of war,” says Swayze, a pilot who flew 100 missions over North Vietnam.

Electric Cooperatives React to President’s Clean Power Plan

Electric cooperatives in South Dakota are bracing for what they describe as the negative financial and reliability impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newly released Clean Power Plan regulating existing power plants.
Acting under what the EPA says is its authority given to them by Congress under the section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the agency today released a final rule that will seek to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. South Dakota Rural Electric Association General Manager Ed Anderson says the new regulations are a clear overreach by the EPA that will dramatically reshape how America generates and uses electricity.

“This rule will have a dramatic impact on the electric bills paid by every South Dakotan,” Anderson said. “We’ve worked extremely hard to control costs and keep electricity affordable, but the EPA’s plan will simply increase the cost of electricity for every consumer.”

Anderson said his members have for years been working to lessen the impact on the environment by adding renewable generation and lower-emitting resources while saving consumers money on their electric bills through energy efficiency programs.
“Electric cooperatives have been steadily reducing the environmental impact of power generation while adding natural gas and renewable resources,” Anderson said. “And our members have been engaged in energy efficiency and demand response programs for decades to keep consumers’ electricity bills affordable. The EPA’s regulations won’t give us credit for all of the investment we’ve already made in renewable generation and punish electric consumers even more with higher bills.”
As consumer-owned utilities, electric cooperatives will be disproportionately affected by the rule by increasing electricity prices and jeopardizing reliability. By shutting down coal-fired generation, the EPA will remove a vital safety net in emergencies or times of extreme power demand. Anderson said consumers will be hit with higher electric bills while the rule impacts reliability of the power grid.

“Co-op employees and directors live in the communities they serve and they care about the members at the end of the line who will be footing the bill to comply with these overreaching regulations,” Anderson said. “The EPA admits that the rule would prematurely shut down more than one quarter of electric cooperative’s coal-fired generation capacity across the country. The burden of paying off the remaining debt on those plants and paying for electricity from other sources would fall on the backs of our consumers in South Dakota.”

During the EPA’s rulemaking process, end-consumer members of South Dakota’s electric cooperatives sent in more than 28,000 comments to the EPA calling on the agency to abandon their overreaching regulations.
“South Dakotans made their voice heard loud and clear during the public comment period, and we appreciate their efforts to tell the EPA their concerns,” said Anderson.

BHSU Alum Establishes Scholarship in Memory of Teammate

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More than 40 years after they ran track for Black Hills State University, Barry Grossenburg of Winner still keeps a photo of his teammate Roy Borreson in his office.  Grossenburg established the Roy Borreson Memorial Scholarship recently in honor of Roy, a Yankton native, who lived courageously with Huntington’s disease before passing away in 2008 at the age of 55.

South Dakota’s First Poet Laureate Captured Life in the American West

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Badger Clark turned four years of cowboy life into a career as one of America’s most successful cowboy poets.
Charles Badger Clark Jr., was born Jan, 1, 1883, in Albia, Iowa. His father, a minister, moved the family to the Plankinton area three months later. The family later lived in Mitchell, Huron and Deadwood. Clark attended Dakota Wesleyan University for one year and then lived in Cuba for two years before returning to the Black Hills to work for the Lead Daily Call. When he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, he followed a doctor’s advice to move to a dry climate. He went to Arizona, where he tended a small herd of cattle at a ranch near Tombstone.

Chip Seal and Fog Seal Projects in the Winner Area

Chip and SealPIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Transportation says chip seal and fog seal applications will be applied to several highways in the central area of the state beginning Wednesday, July 29, 2015, weather permitting.
The contractor plans to chip seal the following routes in the following order with fog sealing closely following.
1.      Highway 63 – 28 miles, from the Highway 18/63 junction north to the Highway 44/63 junction, (includes BIA Route/Norris Road).
2.      Highway 44 – 14 miles, from the Highway 83/44 junction to Wood.
3.      Highway 248 – 19 miles, located between Murdo and the Highway 83/248 junction (Vivian).
4.      Highway 49 – 12 miles, from Hamill to the Highway 47/49 junction.
5.      Highway 47 – 16 miles, from two miles south of Iona to the Highway 47/49 junction.
Traffic will be reduced to one lane and guided through the work zone with the use of flaggers and a pilot car.  Delays of up to 15 minutes can be expected while traveling through the work areas during daytime hours.
Loose gravel and fresh oil will be present for a period of 36 to 72 hours after each day’s chip seal application. It is recommended that traffic reduce speed to 40 mph or use an alternate route during this time.
Hills Materials from Rapid City is the contractor on this $1.8 million contract. The overall completion date for the project is Sept. 26, 2015.
For more information, contact Doug Sherman or Brad Norrid at 605-842-0810.
Road construction information is available at or by dialing 511.

Speed Limit Changes During the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally


Due to the expected increased traffic volumes during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and the anticipated reduced operating speeds, speed limits will be reduced on the following highways effective Friday, July 24, 2015.

•Interstate 90 speed limit will be reduced from 75 mph to 65 mph from west of the Deadwood Avenue Exit 55 in Rapid City to east of the Lazelle Street Exit 30 in Sturgis.
•Highway 34 speed limit will be reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph from Blanche Street in Sturgis to 3.8 miles east of Sturgis.
•Highway 79 speed limit will be reduced from 65 mph to 45 mph from the junction of Highway 34 to 1.5 miles north.

The reduced speed limits will be in effect through at least Aug. 10, some may remain in effect until Aug. 15 depending on traffic volumes.

“Reducing the speed limit in these areas is intended to keep motorists safe, reduce rear-end collisions and keep traffic moving in and around Sturgis, says Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist. “Patience will be key for everyone to enjoy their time at the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”

For complete road construction information, visit or dial 511

Rounds Launches New Official Website

Mike_RoundsU.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) announced the launch of his new, permanent website,

“My new website is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it convenient for South Dakotans to contact me with their issues,” said Rounds. “Visitors to my website can send me their thoughts and concerns, receive help with a federal agency, learn how I’ve voted on legislation and much more.”

Rounds website was designed to better serve South Dakotans by giving them easier access to services and resources provided by his office. Suggestions on website improvements are welcome and can be submitted at

Hilger’s Gulch Getting A New Look

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard is embarking on an initiative to bring back the native landscape of South Dakota to Hilger’s Gulch and save taxpayer money.
“This is a planned transformation and it’s going to save us time and money,” Gov. Daugaard said. “On average the state has spent around $36,000 annually for irrigation and $23,000 annually for mowing, fertilizing and weed treatment. In dry years, the water bills have approached $50,000. We’re taking this project on as an effort to be better stewards of that money.”

Vacationers: Protect Your Assets Using Online and Offline Methods

July and August are target months for residential break-ins– Nothing is more exciting than packing and getting ready for that much needed summer vacation to “get away from it all.”  Unfortunately, some vacationers will find “it all” no longer there when they return home. The FBI warns that July and August are the worst months for home break-ins. According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 2.15 million burglaries occur each year and more than 65 percent of them are residential break-ins. Before taking that well-deserved trip, AAA South Dakota advises travelers to prepare their homes against burglary.
“Summer vacation plans can quickly turn into a disaster for travelers who fail to execute a plan to protect their home while they are away,” warned Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. “AAA advises homeowners to safeguard all property while away from home, including not posting detailed status updates online in social media forums and making their homes as burglar-proof as possible.”