Military furloughs affect Ellsworth Air Force Base
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The military's plan to furlough civilian employees to save money will affect an estimated 566 workers at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.
The Defense Department announced this week that it will furlough about 680,000 civilian employees across the country for up to 11 workdays. The move is in response to federal spending cuts.
Ellsworth Colonel Kevin Kennedy says the furlough notices are expected to start going out May 28th. Workers will have several days to seek appeals. The actual furlough period won't start until July 8th.
Kennedy says the furloughs will impact the base's ability to carry out its mission.
USA Today founder honored at memorial service
VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) - Colleagues and friends paying tribute to USA Today founder Al Neuharth are remembering him not as a driven media giant but as a loyal South Dakotan who never forgot his roots.
Neuharth's autobiography was titled "Confessions of an S.O.B.," but close friend Jack Marsh - president of the Al Neuharth Media Center - said Friday that he knew his boss as a different man.
Marsh says Neuharth was a free spirit, a visionary and a tenacious leader who was as thoughtful as he was tough.
Neuharth died at his Cocoa Beach, Florida home on April 19th at the age of 89.
Television journalist Tom Brokaw, who spoke in a video, said Neuharth went on to become 1 of the most transformative figures in American journalism.
Convicted SD optometrist publicly apologizes
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A former South Dakota optometrist has publicly apologized for committing Medicaid fraud over a period of more than three years.
Cary Feldman of Spearfish pleaded guilty last October after reaching a deal with prosecutors under which he received a suspended prison sentence, a short jail term and community service. He also was ordered to pay more than $363,000 in restitution to the government.
Attorney General Marty Jackley on Friday released Feldman's letter of apology. Feldman says he wrote it as part of his effort to "rehabilitate myself and deter others from similar wrongdoings."
SYNTHETIC DRUG PLEA
SD man pleads guilty in synthetic drug conspiracy
SIOXU FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota man has pleaded guilty to selling synthetic drugs.
Federal authorities say 24-year-old Brandon Morrison sold the hallucinogens to businesses in Sioux Falls. The drugs were then sold to customers.
Morrison pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and one count of money laundering. He allegedly deposited the illegal proceeds into his personal bank account.
Authorities say Morrison knew customers were ingesting the substances to get high.
Morrison faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on the two charges. Sentencing is scheduled for August 2nd.
A large synthetic drug case in North Dakota has resulted in more than a dozen arrests, including a Texas man accused of supplying the substances that led to two the overdose deaths of 2 teenagers.
Judge sentences SD man to prison on assault charge
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota man has been sentenced to six years in prison on an assault charge.
Twenty-3-year-old Isiah Mesteth, of Eagle Butte, pleaded guilty in February on a federal charge of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
Authorities say the assault happened in October 2011. Mesteth allegedly hit and kicked the victim in the face several times, causing bleeding, bruising and swelling to her face and arms.
U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange ordered Mesteth to serve two years of supervised release when he completes his prison sentence.
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