Thursday, October 21, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and the minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; the latest cyber security concerns.


The White House scrambles to quell supply chain backlogs, Republicans block another voting rights bill, and a majority of Americans now believes the Supreme Court bases decisions on politics, not the constitution.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

COVID-Relief Program Helps with Internet Bills


Friday, June 4, 2021   

PIERRE, S.D. -- Even though the pandemic is easing, households are still trying to recover from the crisis, and to help, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is providing direct payments toward internet bills to people who sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Marty Newell, chief operating officer at the Center for Rural Strategies, said if you're eligible, internet service providers will deduct $50 from your bill every month, until the program runs out of money or the pandemic is declared over by health officials.

He added the program is a step toward equalizing broadband access, but pointed out it's a stopgap solution to a systemic problem.

"What we really want to do in this country is make it so, in the same way that we did with telephones and with electricity, everybody has access to a reasonably affordable option," Newell explained.

People who lost income during the pandemic and make less than $198,000 dollars per year could be eligible. For help on finding out if you're eligible and how to apply, visit or call the program's hotline at 833-511-0311.

Beyond emergency aid, responding to broadband gaps has been a priority for lawmakers from both parties. Gov. Kristi Noem recently touted the state's $100 million investment in expanding high-speed internet.

Jessica Schaap, a rural South Dakota resident, said the effort has been a big help for her family after struggling with spotty connections.

"My kids had to go into, during the pandemic, they had to go into town and sit in the parking lots to be able to do their homework," Schaap recounted.

Advocates of boosting online access say those stories of seeking out Wi-Fi hotspots have been common during the crisis.

According to the FCC, 95% of South Dakota residents have high-speed internet access, but that falls to 89% for rural populations.

get more stories like this via email
California, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia were selected for the REACH Collaborative for their efforts to serve and support adult learners and demonstrated commitment to equitable student success. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DENVER - On Wednesday, leaders from Colorado's 13 community colleges joined a national effort to help more of the state's adults get credentials and …

Social Issues

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Today, a virtual summit hosted by the Las Vegas Mayor's Faith Initiative looks at the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous …

Social Issues

HOUSTON -- Many U.S. communities with bustling downtowns were better prepared to weather economic fallout from the pandemic, thanks to a decades-old …

Some labor experts estimate that about 300,000 jobs are outsourced annually by companies based in the United States. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- A Wisconsin group that advocates for working families is launching a new campaign, which connects federal policy to the …

Social Issues

SEATTLE - Constructive conversations online can seem few and far between. Research from the University of Washington explores how the design of …

Advocates for Iowans with disabilities say the caregiver shortage could erase decades of progress in self-advocacy. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Advocates for Iowans with disabilities are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a caregiver crisis, pleading with …


BRAINERD, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners are storing their watercraft for the winter. But that isn't stopping the conversation about responsible water …

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- As finding a career becomes more difficult for young people, a new report said the U.S. needs a more comprehensive approach to …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021