Tag Archive: South Dakota

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Near-Earth Object

Near-Earth Object (Photo credit: cosmobc)



Megan Raposa
Argus Leader
2015-10-12 16:26:00


Jason Rumpca of Beresford was driving to Sioux Falls from Pierre Sunday night when a bright streak lit up the sky.

“I could see glowing orange debris (and) fragments falling from it as it entered the atmosphere,” Rumpca said.

He wasn’t the only one to catch a glimpse of the meteor-like flash, which prompted social media posts and calls to authorities.

The Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 9:15 p.m. from a Lake Andes woman reporting a bright light in the sky, kind of like lightning. A nearby officer verified the sighting, according to the sheriff’s office.

“(It) looked like a large ball of fire with pieces falling off as it got closer to the ground,” Bobby Mousseau, a police officer in Santee, Neb., said. “It disappeared well before the ground.”

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls heard reports about the flash but was unable to confirm the meteor claim.



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– Sarah Lazare, staff writer

(Image: Honor the Earth)Native American communities are promising fierce resistance to stop TransCanada from building, and President Barack Obama from permitting, the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“No Keystone XL pipeline will cross Lakota lands,” declares a joint statement from Honor the Earth, the Oglala Sioux Nation, Owe Aku, and Protect the Sacred. “We stand with the Lakota Nation, we stand on the side of protecting sacred water, we stand for Indigenous land-based lifeways which will NOT be corrupted by a hazardous, toxic pipeline.”

Members of seven Lakota nation tribes, as well as indigenous communities in Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska and Oregon, are preparing to take action to stop Keystone XL.

“It will band all Lakota to live together and you can’t cross a living area if it’s occupied,” said Greg Grey Cloud, of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, in an interview with Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. “If it does get approved we aim to stop it.”

The indigenous-led ‘Moccasins on the Ground’ program has been laying the groundwork for this resistance for over two years by giving nonviolent direct action trainings to front-line communities.

“We go up to wherever we’ve been invited, usually along pipeline routes,” said Kent Lebsock, director of the Owe Aku International Justice Project, in an interview with Common Dreams. “We have three-day trainings on nonviolent direct action. This includes blockade tactics, and discipline is a big part of the training as well. We did nine of them last summer and fall, all the way from Montana to South Dakota, as well as teach-ins in Colorado and a training camp in Oklahoma.”

“We are working with nations from Canada and British Columbia, as well as with the people where tar sands are located,” Lebsock added.

“As an example of this nonviolent direct action,” explains Lebsock, in March 2012 people at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota held a blockade to stop trucks from transporting parts of the Keystone XL pipeline through the reservation.

In August 2013, members of the Nez Perce tribe blockaded megaloads traveling Idaho’s Highway 12 to the Alberta tar sands fields.

Descendants of the Ponca Tribe and non-native allies held a Trail of Tears Spiritual Camp in Nebraska in November to prevent the construction of the pipeline.

More spiritual camps along the proposed route of the pipeline are promised, although their date and location are not yet being publicly shared.

The promises of joint action follow the U.S. State Department’s public release on Friday of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). This report has been widely criticized as tainted by the close ties between Transcanada and the Environmental Resource Management contractor hired to do the report.

While the oil industry is largely spinning the report as a green-light for the pipeline, green groups emphasize that it contains stern warnings over the massive carbon pollution that would result if the pipeline is built, including the admission that tar sands oil produces approximately 17 percent more carbon than traditional crude.

The release of the FEIS kicked off a 90-day inter-agency review and 30-day public comment period. The pipeline’s opponents say now is a critical time to prevent Obama from approving the pipeline, which is proposed to stretch 1,179 miles from Alberta, Canada, across the border to Montana, and down to Cushing, Oklahoma where it would link with other pipelines, as part of a plan to drastically increase Canada’s tar sands production.

The southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline — which begins in Cushing, passes through communities in Oklahoma and East Texas, and arrives at coastal refineries and shipping ports — began operations last month after facing fierce opposition and protest from people in its path.

“Let’s honor the trail blazers from the Keystone XL south fight,” said Idle No More campaigner Clayton Thomas-Muller. “Time for some action, and yes, some of us may get arrested!”


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BPEarthWatch BPEarthWatch


Published on Dec 27, 2013

Meteor Alert! Large Bolide Meteor Events Expected from 26DEC-12JAN2014
Links http://amsmeteors.org/fireball_event/… http://lunarmeteoritehunters.blogspot…





Security Camera Captures Possible Meteor Thursday Evening


Courtesy the City of North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa – People across the Midwest reported seeing a bright fireball streak across the sky Thursday evening … and it was caught on camera in North Liberty.

The fireball, a possible meteor, was spotted at about 5:40 p.m. Thursday. Reports indicated that it was seen across many Midwestern states, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota. 

Watch Video Here


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State waits on Congress farm bill talks after October blizzard which killed up to a third of some ranchers’ stocks

  • theguardian.com, Monday 28 October 2013 09.48 EDT
Rancher Joe Carley
Rancher Joe Carley works at the Philip Livestock Auction in Philip, South Dakota. Photograph: Chet Brokaw/AP

Joe Carley has nearly finished burying the cattle he lost in a freak early fall blizzard that killed tens of thousands of cattle in western South Dakota. Now, he is figuring out how to dig himself out of the financial hole left after about a quarter of his cows and maybe a third of his calves died in the storm.

“There’s some sleepless nights. There’s a lot of worry. My brain’s always rolling. We’re pulling ourselves out of it, you know. We’re trying to figure things out and step forward,” said Carley, 40, of Philip, during a break from herding cattle at the local livestock sale barn, where he works to help make ends meet.

Other ranchers in the area also don’t plan to give up, despite what state officials have estimated as a loss of 15,000 to 30,000 cattle in the 4-5 October storm that dumped up to 4ft of snow in some parts. The financial loss is staggering, with each calf worth more than $1,000 and each pregnant cow worth $1,500 to $2,000. To make matters worse, most ranchers were only a few weeks away from selling the calves born last spring – their paycheck for the year.

Ranchers like Carley may get low-interest loans or loan guarantees from a US Agriculture Department program and could get some help from a relief fund set up by livestock organizations that have so far collected donations of $400,000 from people in nearly every state and some other countries. A Montana organization is asking ranchers in that state to donate heifers that can be given to help South Dakota ranchers rebuild their herds.

Ranchers also could get a big boost if a federal livestock disaster program that expired in 2011 is revived in a new farm bill. The House and Senate versions of the new farm bill include provisions to do so and to provide retroactive payments, but the two chambers have been unable to agree on a farm bill after passing different versions several months ago. Spurred partly by the disaster, the House and Senate now plan to restart negotiations.

“Anything will help, I guess,” said Carley, who lost 51 cows and 70 calves. “We’re not asking for handouts, either, but there are a lot of people in need around here.”


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South Dakota’s cattle cataclysm: why isn’t this horror news?

South Dakota floor

A dead cow is lifted from flooding in the aftermath of winter storm Atlas in South Dakota. Photograph: Lacey Weiss

If you aren’t in the ag world, you most likely haven’t heard about the devastating loss that ranchers in western South Dakota are struggling with after being hit by winter storm Atlas.

For some reason the news stations aren’t covering this story. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t. This story has heartbreak, tragedy and even a convenient tie into the current government shutdown. Isn’t that what the news is all about these days?

But the news isn’t covering this story. Instead, it is spreading around on social media, and bloggers are writing from their ranches in South Dakota. Bloggers are trying to explain how the horrible happened. And now I am going to join them to tell you the part of the story that I know, and I am going to ask you to help these people, because if you are here reading this, I know you give a crap about these people.

Last weekend western South Dakota and parts of the surrounding states got their butts handed to them by Mother Nature. A blizzard isn’t unusual in South Dakota, the cattle are tough and can handle some snow. They have for hundreds of years.

Unlike on our dairy farm in Wisconsin, beef cattle don’t live in climate controlled barns. Beef cows and calves spend the majority of their lives out on pasture. They graze the grass in the spring, summer and fall and eat baled hay in the winter.

In winter these cows and calves grow fuzzy jackets that keep them warm and protect them from the snow and cold. The cows and calves live in special pastures in the winter. These pastures are smaller and closer to the ranch, and they have windbreaks for the cows to hide behind. They have worked for cows for hundred of years.

So what’s the big deal about this blizzard?


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Up To 100,000 Cows Killed In Early S.D. Blizzard

CBS Evening News CBS Evening News

Published on Oct 14, 2013

Livestock farmers in South Dakota are suffering after a record early blizzard that dumped four feet of snow and killed tens of thousands of cattle. The government shutdown has left ranchers unable to go to the government for help. Manuel Bojorquez reports.



NBC News

Shutdown worsens historic blizzard that killed tens of thousands of South Dakota cattle


Rapid City and many other parts of South Dakota recorded record snowfall totals for the entire month of October in just three days over the weekend.

An unusually early and enormous snowstorm over the weekend caught South Dakota ranchers and farmers unprepared, killing tens of thousands of cattle and ravaging the state’s $7 billion industry — an industry left without assistance because of the federal government shutdown.

As many as 75,000 cattle have perished since the storm slammed the western part of the state Thursday through Saturday with snowfall that set records for the entire month of October in just three days, state and industry officials said.

Across the state, snow totals averaged 30 inches, with some isolated areas recording almost 5 feet, The Weather Channel reported.

The South Dakota Stock Growers Association estimated that 15 percent to 20 percent of all cattle were killed in some parts of the state. Some ranchers reported that they lost half or more of their herds.

The storm was accompanied by hurricane-force wind gusts, especially Friday night, which drove some herds seeking shelter miles from their ranches. A trail of carcasses left a gruesome sight, said Martha Wierzbicki, emergency management director for Butte County, in the northwestern corner of the state.

Parts of South Dakota are in cleanup mode after a strong winter storm pounded some areas. Kirsten Swanson of NBC station KNBN reports.

“They’re in the fence line, laying alongside the roads,” Wierzbicki told The Rapid City Journal. “It’s really sickening.”

Ranchers have no one to ask for help or reimbursement. That’s because Congress has yet to pass a new farm bill, which subsidizes agricultural producers.

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Posted Friday, October 11th 2013 @ 10am  by Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo News

About 100 prison workers at South Dakota’s federal prison camp in Yankton are still showing up to work during the government shutdown, even though their pay is being denied. But in a “Say, what?!” outrage, the inmates they are supervising are still being compensated for the jobs they do onsite.

“There’s a different funding for them,” American Federation of Government Employees Local 4040 Union President Michele Kunkel told a local CBS affiliate.

Kunkel says the 36,000 prison workers employed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons are operating on an IOU system and will most likely get paid whenever the federal government shutdown ends. But the longer the shutdown carries on, the harder it becomes for prison employees to make ends meet.

Kunkel herself knows the sting particularly well, as both she and her husband are employed at the Yankton prison camp.

“We can’t go to the grocery store and buy groceries and give them, ‘Oh, here’s our government IOU,'” Kunkel said.

The prisoners are paid for their work from a separate fund. And since they make considerably smaller wages than a worker outside the prison walls, the Department of Justice says they have enough cash to cover the lapse of funding while parts of the federal government remain closed. The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) program receives about $2.7 million in government funding each year .

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Multiple tornadoes hit three Midwestern states.

The storms struck Nebraska, South Dakota, and Iowa.

The National Weather Service confirmed six twisters struck the states.

Fifteen people were injured in Wayne, Nebraska.

A Nebraska newspaper reported several buildings in Wayne’s industrial park were damaged or destroyed along with several homes south of the city.

One tornado hit just blocks from Wayne State College.


Great Plains Storm Brings Snow, Tornadoes

By CHET BROKAW 10/05/13 10:48 AM ET EDT AP

PIERRE, S.D. — PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — In the span of 24 hours, the scenic Black Hills in South Dakota were coated in up to three and a half feet of wet, heavy snow, one of several Great Plains states walloped by a storm system that’s caused millions of dollars in damage.

Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were recorded in the Black Hills, National Weather Service meteorologist Katie Pojorlie said Saturday morning, but the snow was expected to end later Saturday, giving people a chance to start digging out from the unusual early fall snowstorm that set records.

But wintry weather wasn’t the only thing wrapped into the powerful cold front, as thunderstorms brought heavy rain, hail and tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. No one died in the tornadoes, reports said, but snow was blamed in the deaths of three people who were killed in a traffic accident on U.S. 20 in northeast Nebraska.

Forecasters said the front would eventually combine with other storms to make for a wild — and probably very wet — weekend for much of the central U.S. and Southeast.

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Several states hit hard by storm system, including as many as nine tornadoes in Iowa and Nebraska

South Dakota snow storm

A shopper wades through a large snow drift in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. Photograph: Chris Huber/AP

In the span of 24 hours, the scenic Black Hills in South Dakota were coated in up to three and a half feet (1.1 meters) of wet, heavy snow. South Dakota is one of several Great Plains states to have been hit hard by a storm system that has caused millions of dollars in damage.

A National Weather Service meteorologist, Katie Pojorlie, said the snow was expected to end later on Saturday, giving people a chance to start digging out from the unusual, record-setting early fall snowstorm.

But wintery weather wasn’t the only thing wrapped into the powerful cold front, as thunderstorms brought heavy rain, hail and as many as nine tornadoes to Nebraska and Iowa. Fifteen people in northeast Nebraska were injured in a tornado on Friday, and three died in a car accident on a snow-slicked Nebraska road.

Forecasters said the front would eventually combine with other storms to make for a wild and probably very wet weekend for much of the central and south-eastern US.

Read More Here

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Earth Watch Report  –  Biological  Hazards

Image Source

Today Biological Hazard USA MultiStates, [States of South Dakota and Nebraska] Damage level Details

Biological Hazard in USA on Monday, 22 July, 2013 at 04:24 (04:24 AM) UTC.

Wildlife officials are trying to figure out what killed hundreds of Asian carp in the Missouri River this spring. The answer to the mystery could help protect other fish and might provide clues as to how to deal with the invasive carp. Fisheries biologist Jeff Schuckman said no one has come up with a good explanation for the fish kill yet, the Sioux City Journal reported. The rotting carcasses of hundreds of silver carp were found in the river’s slow backwaters near Vermillion, South Dakota, and Ponca, Nebraska Another incident was reported in Nebraska North Platte River near where it joins the Missouri River. Both those fish kills were reported in May. The unexplained deaths worry wildlife officials even though the carp is an unwanted species that’s competing for food with native fish and growing fast. Silver, bighead and grass carp have all been found in the Missouri River. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, it’s just Asian carp,’ or, ‘It’s just common carp’ that are dying, but that’s a big deal to us,” said Schuckman, who works for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The number of Asian carp found in the Missouri River soared after the record flooding of 2011. Wildlife officials worry about the ravenous carp’s ability to dominate an ecosystem. Silver carp also represent a safety hazard for boaters because they can hurl their bodies into the paths of boaters when startled. Officials don’t think the carp that died near Vermillion, South Dakota, starved because they weren’t thin. “What I observed was a single-species die-off, and that makes me think it was something else involved,” Schuckman said. Disease may have caused the fish deaths, but officials weren’t able to take any samples from this spring’s fish kills. It’s possible that whatever killed carp along the Missouri River this spring could help officials control the Asian carp population, but it’s too soon to know that. And if disease killed the carp this spring, officials might still be reluctant to use that as a control measure because a disease could mutate and affect other species.

Biohazard name: Mass Die-off (Asian and silver carp)
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Status: confirmed

Mystery Carp Killer

By: Associated Press Email
Posted: Mon 6:06 AM, Jul 22, 2013

Wildlife officials are trying to figure out what killed hundreds of Asian Carp in the Missouri River this spring.

The answer to the mystery could help protect other fish, and it might provide clues to dealing with the invasive carp.

Fisheries biologist Jeff Schuckman tells the Sioux City Journal reports that no one has come up with a good explanation for the fish kill.

Read More Here

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Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

by Pete Kennedy, Esq. on June 7, 2013

litigation-milkHerdshares in ND now referred to as “Shared Animal Ownership”

A victory for grassroots efforts!
See Action Alert

NDDA prohibited from restricting herdshares

On April 29 herdshares become officially legal in North Dakota when Governor Jack Dalrymple signed Senate Bill 2072 into law. SB 2072 provides that “it is not a violation [of law] to transfer or obtain raw milk under a shared animal ownership agreement.”

Shared animal ownership is defined in the bill as “any contractual arrangement under which an individual:

      a. Acquires an ownership interest in a milk-producing animal;

b. Agrees to pay another for, reimburse another for, or otherwise accept financial responsibility for the care and boarding of the milk-producing animal at the dairy farm; and

c. Is entitled to receive a proportionate share of the animal’s raw milk production as a condition of the contractual arrangement.

The original version of SB 2072 did not contain a provision on herdshares; the bill only amended the state dairy code to adopt the latest revision of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), which governs the production and sale of pasteurized milk in the U.S.


Read Full Article Here



Rapid City Journal

Raw milk backers say proposed rules too burdensome

June 07, 2013 6:00 am  •  Bob Mercer Legislative correspondent

PIERRE | A public hearing Thursday served as the latest battleground over regulation of raw milk in South Dakota.

The state Department of Agriculture has proposed nine pages of rules regarding bottled raw milk for human consumption.

More than a dozen residents who believe in what they call the natural benefits of drinking raw milk showed up to oppose the regulations, as did several farmers who produce it.

There are five licensed raw milk producers in South Dakota.

Gena Parkhurst of Rapid City, who described herself as a raw milk consumer, said the proposed rules would prohibit consumption of bottled or packaged raw milk produced by anyone without the necessary state permit, whether or not the milk was free or for sale.

“They cannot offer it to their neighbor; they cannot offer it to their family; they cannot give it away to an informed consumer,” said Parkhurst, a volunteer coordinator for Dakota Rural Action in the Black Hills.

She also claimed that testing for tuberculosis and brucellosis was “unnecessary.”

That’s different than the view of state veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven, who spoke in support of the rules. He said raw milk can spread diseases such as tuberculosis.

The state Department of Health tracks illnesses linked to raw milk, while the Legislature allows its sales.

Mellette County raw milk producer Leland Schoon said the proposed requirement of disease testing would be “burdensome and cost-prohibitive” for him since his cows are in a multi-purpose pasture.