US Crews make progress on South Dakota fires that closed Mount Rushmore, caused state of emergency
One year later, the magic of March Madness re-emerges
As No. 4 Mount St. Mary’s clinched the school’s sixth NCAA bid in the Northeast Conference title game by upsetting No. 2 Bryant, 73-68, the familiar emotion landed differently. “This is what I do!” star Mount St. Mary’s point guard Damian Chong Qui screamed into a FaceTime call after a few minutes of celebrating with his teammates. Chong Qui is the 5-foot-8, 155-pound Energizer bunny that powers the delightfully unorthodox band of basketball misfits from Mount St. Mary’s (12-10). His bundle of black hair bounces Fraggle-like behind him as he buzzes about, a visceral pulsating movement for the program’s indispensable pulse.
Firefighters continued to make progress Wednesday on containing wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota that earlier forced the evacuation of more than 400 homes,and .
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order Tuesday in response to the severe drought and ongoing fires, declaring a state of emergency through June 1.
The order will allow the state to provide greater assistance to the response efforts of local and volunteer firefighters.
Fire crews have increasedin the Nemo, South Dakota, area to 47%, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post Wednesday. Dubbed the Schroeder Road fire, the blaze has burned nearly 3.4 square miles.
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Law enforcement officers opened some neighborhoods that had been evacuated, but were only admitting people who live there. Residents were asked to remain on their property and not to call 911 unless there is imminent danger from fire flare-ups.
The Schroeder Road fire has crossed into two neighborhoods near Rapid City, according to the sheriff’s office. At least one home has been destroyed, as well as several other structures. No injuries have been reported.
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Two smaller blazes were burning southwest of Rapid City, including one inside the grounds of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which remained closed Wednesday.
Kristi Noem Upset Amtrak Won't Use Infrastructure Money For Rail Lines to Alaska, Hawaii and South Dakota
The president's $2 trillion infrastructure bill proposes $80 billion in funding to improve national railroad services. An Amtrak spokesperson told Newsweek that the company would be willing to expand rail lines into South Dakota if the state expressed interest.Noem, a prominent Republican who some have already proposed as a possible presidential candidate during the next election cycle, disapproved specifically of the bill's intent to expand Amtrak services in certain sections of the U.S. The national railroad service, established decades ago, would receive $80 billion in federal funding under Biden's expansive plan to enhance U.S. infrastructure and prompt economic revitalization.
The fire continued to burn in steep, rough country inaccessible by roads, officials said. Heavy airtankers and helicopters supported ground firefighters as they protected homes and worked to contain the fire.
The wind remained a factor in firefighting efforts, but was not as strong as it was on Monday and Tuesday, fire officials said.
Strong winds and drought conditions also fueled a, where a firefighter was injured in a fire truck crash due to low visibility from smoke. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The fire has burned about 1 square mile north of Richardton, North Dakota, officials said.
An abandoned building burned in the blaze, as did fences, power lines and utility poles. Montana-Dakota Utilities spokesman Mark Hanson said the fire damaged five of the company’s structures, causing one to collapse.
A downed power line was believed to have started the fire.
Minnesota State Rep. Proposes Some Counties Secede and Become Part of South Dakota
Jeremy Munson said the proposed changes will allow Minnesota counties to join a "State that respects Freedom and Liberty."Representative Jeremy Munson introduced a bill on March 25 that would create a constitutional amendment to allow counties to vote on whether to break away from Minnesota and join a nearby state: either South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa or Wisconsin.
Contributing: Alfonzo Galvan of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader; Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK:
Hearing to decide fate of Dakota Access pipeline permit .
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A hearing was scheduled for Friday to determine whether the Dakota Access oil pipeline should be allowed to continue operating without a key permit while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts an environmental review on the project. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wants the Corps to explain how it “expects to proceed” without a federal permit granting easement for the $3.8 billion pipeline to cross beneath Lake Oahe, a reservoir along the Missouri River that is maintained by the Corps. The hearing in Washington, D.C., was originally scheduled for February.