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PNS Daily News - October 23, 2020 

President Trump and Joe Biden square off in their final debate; warnings that "dark days" of the pandemic are yet to come; and food assistance now available for some wildfire victims.

2020Talks - October 23, 2020 

The second and last presidential debate was much more controlled than the first; President Trump keeping to his main themes, calmly rebutted by Biden.

Public News Service - SD: Consumer

This fall, 7,177 students are enrolled at South Dakota's four technical colleges. That compares with 7,122 in fall 2019. (Adobe Stock)

PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota's public universities are showing an overall decline in enrollment this fall. But the student population for technical colleges has remained steady, and administrators say their programs are providing a possible balance for people affected by the pandemic. Not all tech

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that between 25 million and 30 million Americans live in

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A South Dakota nonprofit group is working to create "edible forests" to provide lower-income communities greater access to healthy foods. Project Food Forest, based in Sioux Falls, wants to help eliminate "food deserts," areas where there's no grocery store nearby that sells af

In states with spikes in coronavirus cases, some are rolling back reopening efforts. While South Dakota cases are relatively low by comparison, the state largely has avoided hard restrictions on the business community during the crisis. (Adobe Stock)

BROOKINGS, S.D. -- Most of South Dakota has been open for business during the latest phase of the pandemic. But one city has opted to extend business restrictions amid concerns about rising case numbers. The Brookings City Council voted last week to keep in place limits on various businesses, incl

Unemployment fraud has proved costly in some states during the pandemic. For example, in Washington state, $650 million in jobless benefits were distributed to people filing false claims. (Adobe Stock)

PIERRE, S.D. -- The COVID-19 crisis has produced a number of other serious issues, and one is higher cases of unemployment fraud. Bogus claims have surged in South Dakota, and state officials say it slows the process for those who desperately need help. Over an eight-week period, according to the s

South Dakota's Department of Public Safety says 827 crashes across the state last year were attributed to distracted driving with an electronic device. (Adobe Stock)

PIERRE, S.D. - As of this week, South Dakota is now enforcing its new distracted-driving law. Despite tougher measures across the U.S, researchers say there's still a lot they don't know about reducing cell-phone use behind the wheel. South Dakota's new law focuses on texting while driving. It's n

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, long-term care facilities account for nearly one-third of COVID-19 deaths in most states. (Adobe Stock)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - On its website, South Dakota isn't including long-term care facilities in its COVID-19 case reporting. But health officials announced Thursday that testing will ramp up at nursing homes, while a leading nonprofit encourages relatives of those residents to make sure they're safe.

Prior to the pandemic, rural health care systems were already dealing with a variety of challenges, including hospital closures. (Adobe Stock)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Rural areas didn't initially see a lot of COVID-19 cases when the disease first began to surface in the U.S. But that has changed, and rural hospitals in South Dakota might see more demand than they're used to. An analysis by The New York Times says the coronavirus has now b

In addition to closed visitor centers, all interpretive programs at Badlands National Park are canceled amid the coronavirus. However, roads and trails are still open. (Adobe Stock)

KEYSTONE, S.D. - The National Park Service has closed or restricted access at several sites, including in South Dakota, because of the coronavirus. However, a decision to waive entrance fees at some parks isn't sitting well with employees. The Interior Department says the move will make it easier

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