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Suspect charged in killing of Mendota Heights cop


     MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Prosecutors have charged a man suspected of killing a Mendota Heights police officer with first-degree murder.
 
     39-year-old Brian George Fitch Sr. also was charged Friday with several counts of attempted murder and assault for firing at police officers during a standoff eight hours after the killing.
 
   

SD pine beetle initiative removes 441,000 trees


     PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - More than 441,000 trees infested with mountain pine beetles have been removed since the state of South Dakota launched its Black Hills Forest Initiative in August 2011.
 
     Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he's pleased with the progress, but there's more work to do.
 
     State Forester Greg Josten says there

Harley-Davidson resumes production of touring bike


     STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - Harley-Davidson plans to resume sales of its most popular model.
 
     The company says it will start selling two Road Glide touring models on Aug. 26 when its full 2015 lineup is released.
 
     It's previewing the Road Glide and Road Glide Special on Friday at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota

Preps in full swing for Sturgis Motorcycle Rally


     STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - Preparations are in full swing for this year's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota's Black Hills, and officials are already looking forward to next year's 75th Diamond Jubilee.
 
     This year's rally gets underway Monday, and motorcycle enthusiasts are already flocking to Sturgis. The state Highway Patrol is

Stolen credit card scam operating in South Dakota


     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Sioux Falls police are searching for two women who are believed to have used stolen credit cards to buy $66,000 in gift cards from numerous businesses.
 
     Police say the women are working with at least six men, hitting stores around the region, including in Madison and Flandreau.
 
     Police say

Rapid City man pleads not guilty in knife attack


     RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A man accused of using a knife to cut the throat of his partner in Rapid City has pleaded not guilty.
 
     Thirty-seven-year-old Joseph Red Star is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in the alleged attack on Cody Two Lance on June 25. Police say Two Lance told officers that Red Star was jealous over another

Former county prosecutor ordered held without bond


     PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A former South Dakota county prosecutor charged with rape has been ordered held without bond.
 
     Former Walworth County State's Attorney Christopher Jansen faces three counts of rape involving a child younger than 13 in Hughes County. The 34-year-old Selby resident appeared in court Thursday in Pierre. 
 
 

Minnesota gay marriage law reaches anniversary


     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - It's been a year since Minnesota's gay and lesbian couples got the right to legally marry.
 
     The anniversary of the state allowing same-sex marriage arrived Friday. It was a quieter scene than last year when couples lined up to exchange vows at the stroke of midnight.
 
     Thousands of gay

Pen used to make South Dakota a state on display


     PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The pen that President Benjamin Harrison used to sign proclamations to create the states of South Dakota and North Dakota is on display in Pierre.
 
     The state says after the Nov. 2, 1889, signing, the pen was given to a land agent and eventually handed down to the sister of Jim Larson's great-grandmother. He was South

More South Dakota statehood celebrations planned


    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - More activities are planned across South Dakota to mark its 125th year of statehood.  
 
     In Minnehaha County, the Historical Society's Statehood Celebration Committee will give magnets to all fourth-graders in September. South Dakota history is typically taught during fourth grade.
 
     Tripp residents

Elvis' guitar donor says he is rightful owner


     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A man who donated to a South Dakota museum a slightly damaged acoustic guitar played by Elvis Presley that is at the center of a custody battle insisted Thursday he had the right to give it away because he owned it.
 
     A federal judge has been asked to determine whether blues guitarist Robert A. Johnson rightfully owned the

Medical pot backers hope to speed task force work


     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Potential users of medical marijuana say they hope to counter police concerns about the drug as they work together on a task force overseeing Minnesota's developing program.
 
     When the Legislature approved medical marijuana this year, it also created a 23-member panel that includes law enforcement officials, patient

SD man found in doghouse after alleged theft


     RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A Rapid City man accused of stealing liquor from a convenience store ended with him being pepper sprayed and dragged out of a doghouse by police.
 
      22-year-old Joseph Decory faces several charges including theft.
 
     Police say the Decory allegedly stole three bottles of liquor Wednesday night from a

Supreme Court overturns Monrose man's DUI charge


     PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Supreme Court has overturned a drunken driving conviction for a Monrose man who accidently bumped his parked truck into neutral while reaching for a cigarette almost two years ago.
 
     Fifty-four-year-old Donald Nekolite was charged with DUI while out dancing with his girlfriend in Canistota in September of

Charges expected Friday in Minnesota cop killing


     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Police say they are searching for no other suspects in the fatal shooting of a Minnesota police officer.
 
     Brian George Fitch Sr. was captured Wednesday night after a manhunt. Police say Fitch was shot and seriously wounded during a shootout with authorities. He was wanted following the fatal shooting of Mendota Heights officer

SD delegation attempts to halt VA hospital closure


     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota's congressional delegation is inviting the new Veterans Affairs secretary to the state.
 
     The invitation to Robert McDonald is intended to prevent the closure of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in the western part of the state.  
 
     Sens. Tim Johnson, John Thune and Rep.

SD inmates donate $3,400 for storm relief


     CANTON, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota inmates are donating more than $3,440 to people affected by severe weather in the state this summer.
 
     State penitentiary inmates raised more than $1,700 for the Lincoln and Union County Relief Fund, which was started following heavy rains and flooding in June. 
 
     In addition to

Suspect in officer's killing has extensive record


     MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The suspect in the killing of a Mendota Heights police officer has an extensive criminal record.
 
     Authorities say 39-year-old Brian George Fitch Sr. is a career criminal who got out of prison in February on supervised release for a burglary conviction and was already a wanted fugitive again on a Department of Corrections

Rapid City School Board imposing teacher contract


     RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The Rapid City School Board is imposing its final contract offer to teachers after months of negotiations failed to produce an agreement.
 
     Rapid City Education Association President Sue Podoll says the teachers union decided it wasn't worth continuing the fight. But she says the imposed contract will mean less take-home