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WARNER (AP) — A South Dakota elementary school has purchased 17 ukuleles for its music program, thanks in part to a group of anonymous Eagles fans from Texas. Warner Elementary School teacher Jennifer Barkmeier decided to launch a fundraiser to buy her students ukuleles after purchasing one for her own child. She thought ukuleles would serve as a great introduction to string instruments.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Sioux Falls animal control officials are working to update the city's exotic pet ordinance, saying the rule is broad and needs clarification. Local reptile owners grew concerned earlier this month after Animal Control visited a Sioux Falls family to notify them their snakes weren't allowed in city limits, the Argus Leader reported.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A Sioux Falls man has pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the death of his wife more than two years ago. Thirty-five-year-old Garrett Michael Solorzano entered his plea Friday to first-degree manslaughter in the death of Jennie Lee Smith-Solorzano. As part of a plea agreement, charges of first- and second-degree murder and possession of a controlled substance were dismissed.
RAPID CITY (AP) — South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks commissioners are considering a proposal to decrease elk hunting licenses in the Black Hills. The proposal would lower the number of licenses available for both any elk and antlerless elk for all of the Black Hills over the next two years, the Rapid City Journal reported . The agency would decrease licenses to 425 any elk and 700 anterless elk, from the 443 any elk and 1,150 anterless elk licenses available last year.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A Sioux Falls health care system plans to open an $8 million facility to provide care for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
RAPID CITY — Federal and state regulators are entrusting a water pollution study at an abandoned South Dakota gold mine to a company that is potentially interested in reopening the mine. The Environmental Protection Agency and the South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources have signed an agreement with Agnico Eagle Mines, a publicly traded company based in Toronto, Canada. Agnico is trying to determine whether there's enough remaining gold to reopen the Gilt Edge Mine near Lead.
PIERRE — Highway traffic fatalities in South Dakota last year were up about 11 percent over 2016. The Department of Public Safety says there were 129 fatalities in the state in 2017, up 13 from the previous year. Office of Highway Safety Director Lee Axdahl says the state was on target to finish the year with fewer than 100 traffic fatalities for the first time in history, but there were 42 fatalities in the last three months of the year — about one-third of the yearly total.
BROOKINGS — South Dakota State University football coach John Stiegelmeier has pleaded no contest to drunken driving. Stiegelmeier was arrested Jan. 27 and later apologized for what he said was a poor decision. Brookings County prosecutor Teree Nesvold tells the Argus Leader that Stiegelmeier pleaded no contest in a March 5 court appearance, and the judge granted a suspended imposition of sentence. If Stiegelmeier complies with the terms of probation, the case eventually will be wiped from his record. Nesvold says the arrangement is common with first-offense DUIs.
PARMELEE — The FBI says a tribal officer has fatally shot a man on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in Parmelee. The Argus Leader reports the officer was confronted by a man with a weapon just before midnight Wednesday and when he failed to respond to commands he was shot. The man later died of his wounds. The FBI says there are no other injuries and there is no further danger to the public. FBI spokesman Jeffrey Van Nest said Friday there are no other details the agency is releasing.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The father accused of leaving his infant outside overnight in Sioux Falls has pleaded guilty to child abuse. Thirty-nine-year-old Ronald Harrison entered the plea Thursday to abuse or cruelty to a minor under 7. Harrison and the child's mother are accused of leaving the baby outside the Faith Family Church for 18 hours in October 2017.