PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard says South Dakota has launched a pardon website for people to go online to seek clemency. The Republican governor said Tuesday that South Dakota is the first state to have an online, paperless pardon process. The governor’s office says the tool is part of Daugaard’s efforts to make government more efficient. The new website offers a guided, interactive process to assist applicants in determining eligibility, completing an application and submitting their request online. Daugaard’s office says the website is mobile-friendly, so people seeking clemency can apply on their phones.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Dakota says authorities are searching for a Pine Ridge man who is among 15 indicted for illegally trafficking eagles and other migratory birds. Office spokeswoman Ace Crawford said Tuesday that 14 people have pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges resulting from the two-year undercover operation. Crawford says officials are still looking for 39-year-old Juan Mesteth, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking and violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Mesteth’s indictment says he sold fans and eagle feathers to an informant. It says that Mesteth in 2015 discussed having connections who would take the informant hunting for eagles. Court records don’t list an attorney for Mesteth who could comment for him.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Tribes representing tens of thousands of indigenous people on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border are signing a declaration against the planned Keystone XL pipeline. Leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Canada and the Great Sioux Nation and Ponca tribe in the U.S. plan a Wednesday ceremony in Calgary, Alberta, where pipeline developer TransCanada is based. Ponca Councilwoman Casey Camp-Horinek says the document will highlight treaty rights and opposition to the proposed $8 billion pipeline to move Canadian crude through the U.S. central Plains. The event also could be a precursor to on-the-ground protests along the pipeline route. Tribes fear environmental harm. TransCanada maintains the pipeline will be safe, create jobs and boost the economy. Spokeswoman Jacquelynn Benson says the company welcomes the views of indigenous communities.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds says that he’s concerned about reports that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials. The Republican senator said Tuesday that the president has the legal right to declassify documents. But based on the information he has so far, Rounds says he’s “concerned that it may not have been done with sufficient care.” Trump’s national security adviser says information the president shared with the Russians was “wholly appropriate.” Sen. John Thune and Rep. Kristi Noem, both South Dakota Republicans, didn’t immediately comment.
GREGORY, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota’s oldest drive-in movie theater will install a new digital projector to replace equipment that has been in place since the theater was built in 1947. The 70-year-old Hilltop Drive-In Theatre in Gregory will install a $71,000 projector this summer. The projector is funded mostly through donations from movie-goers. It will allow the drive-in to show films in higher resolution, better clarity and brighter pictures. Drive-in owner Cecil Harsin says the new projector will help the theater stay open for several years as long as interest remains high. Harsin says between 40 and 50 people attend shows each night the theater is open and that he hopes the new projector will attract more movie-goers.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A Pine Ridge man has pleaded guilty in the shooting death of another man on the reservation. 26-year-old Thomas Brewer this month pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors. Brewer has admitted to shooting Shawn Stevens with a pistol in the early morning hours of Nov. 30, 2016, during an argument in Pine Ridge. Stevens later died from his injuries.
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