Congresswoman Noem’s Weekly Column: Taking a Swing at Breast Cancer

noem press headerTaking a Swing at Breast Cancer
By Rep. Kristi Noem
July 2, 2015

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014I have known Lynn Popham for a long time – more than two decades, I suppose.  We’ve spent hours together at ball games, rodeos, and our kids’ school events.  She’s an incredible mom to two young men, a hard worker, a trusted neighbor, and a tremendous asset to our community.  Last December, Lynn learned she had Stage 2 breast cancer.

This year alone, approximately 230,000 women are expected to learn that they too must fight breast cancer, according to the latest American Cancer Society data.  Just over 2,000 men will also have to battle the disease.  Each of these journeys will come with highs and lows, but I have to say that so far, Lynn has weathered her diagnosis and treatments with an unbelievably positive attitude.  While she has a ways to go in her journey with breast cancer, I believe her strength and perseverance for the first leg of the race deserves recognition.  This summer, I had the opportunity to give Lynn some of that well-deserved recognition.

Each year, women in Congress – both Republicans and Democrats – join to play in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game against female members of the press corps.  We do it as a way to increase awareness about breast cancer and help raise funds for the Young Survival Coalition, an organization that supports the women who have been diagnosed and helps move us closer to a cure.  This year, I was proud to play in honor of Lynn.

Through events like this and the dedication of groups like the Young Survival Coalition, we have increased Americans’ awareness about breast cancer to historic levels.  One of the tangible benefits of that work has been an increase in the number of mammograms. In fact, while just 29 percent of women had gotten a mammogram in 1987, 67 percent of women had gotten one in 2010.  Lynn was one of those women.

The increase in mammography has helped more women detect their cancer early, which in turn has boosted survival rates.  The American College of Radiology reports that mammography has helped reduce breast cancer mortality in the United States by nearly one-third since 1990.

As a result of early-detection efforts and stronger science, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States today.  That’s incredible.  Please join me in taking a swing against breast cancer this summer.  Find a way to support women like Lynn and their families.  Put together an early detection plan for yourself – the National Breast Cancer Foundation has a tool that can help at www.earlydetectionplan.org.  Or support one of the many organizations fighting for a cure.  Together, we can beat breast cancer.

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Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Opening Of The Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center

daugaardheader Opening Of The Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

DaugaardThis week I had the opportunity to attend the dedication of the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center in Lead. The visitor center will be something for South Dakotans and travelers from all over the world to see. Here people will learn about the history of Homestake and the Sanford Lab projects.

The Sanford Underground Research Facility is in the process of partnering with the Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, to prepare for the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility and the associated Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (LBNF/DUNE). This future experiment is a result of groundbreaking research that occurred in the lab while it was still the Homestake Mine.

This research, conducted by Ray Davis from the mid-1960s through the 1990s, sought small, neutral particles called neutrinos which generally pass right through the earth undetected and unimpeded. Because of their lack of interaction, their existence was only theoretical. Ray Davis, through an unprecedented combination of chemistry and physics, developed a way to use the low background radiation environment in the mine to prove the existence of neutrinos.

Initially, other scientists wrote off Davis’ project as a failure because he was detecting just one-third of the neutrinos he had expected to find. Eventually he was proven right when other scientists at SnoLab in Canada discovered that neutrinos spontaneously change, or oscillate as they travel, changing between three types. Davis’ research changed physics forever, and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his neutrino experiment.

Now a new generation of physicists is building on Davis’ research to make their own discoveries deep underground at Sanford Lab. Scientists will use a high-intensity neutrino beam to send neutrinos from Batavia, Illinois, to Lead, South Dakota. Continuing the work Ray Davis started years ago, this experiment will attempt to explain properties of neutrinos, why they change and the nature of their changing states. While for most of us particle physics has many blind spots, the light this experiment can shed on at least one of them could be key to understanding the universe.

Sometimes in South Dakota, because we are small in population, and because we are largely rural, we have a bit of an inferiority complex. We sometimes fall into thinking that we can’t be the best or lead the way.

But that’s not true. And the things happening at the Sanford Underground Research Facility prove that we are a state that explores uncharted territory.

Since 1967, a panel of prominent scientists and academics, the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, has advised the federal government about experimental and theoretical high energy physics. Recently this panel identified three physics projects around the world as high priority: one in Japan, one in Switzerland and the Long Baseline Neutrino experiment right here in Lead, South Dakota. In its P5 report, the panel called that experiment the physics project in America. It’s not hard to imagine that through this project another physicist working here in Lead, South Dakota, could win a Nobel Prize.

This Visitor Center will not only keep the Homestake story alive, but make it so the physics project in America doesn’t just stay below the surface. Updates about the Long Baseline Neutrino, Majorana and the LUX dark matter experiments will be available right here at this visitor center, so that people of all ages can learn about the cutting-edge research being conducted below. This new visitor center will play a role in passing a love of science on to future generations. It has the potential to spark in our young people a hunger for knowledge and a passion for possibilities.

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And in the next ring of the circus, we have Clayton Walker!

From the Associated Press:

A judge has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate charged with election law violations because the Black Hawk man failed to appear in court this week.
Circuit Court Judge John Brown issued the warrant after former independent candidate Clayton Walker didn’t appear at a hearing on Wednesday.

Read it here.

Maybe by the time of the next election, we’ll have the trials of all the scofflaws from this election completed.

Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit Before Legislative Rules Review Committee

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Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit Before Legislative Rules Review Committee

PIERRE – Attorney General Marty Jackley, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and SD Legislative Sponsor Tom Brunner announced today that as of July 1, 2015, South Dakota has begun the process of implementing the program to meet certain other state’s weapons requirements for individuals who have successfully completed a qualifying handgun course and have passed a fingerprint based background check. The enhanced concealed carry option does not replace or affect South Dakota’s existing concealed carry permits, it simply provides an additional and voluntary option for our citizens that wish to satisfy additional heightened requirements of certain other states.

During the last legislative session the South Dakota Legislature enacted an enhanced concealed carry option in order to allow qualified South Dakotans to meet the requirements of the other States carry law for when they travel. South Dakota’s current permit law remains in place for which South Dakota has reciprocity with the following 26 states that recognize our current concealed carry permit: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The administrative rules have been filed with Legislative Research Council for the approval by the Rules Review Committee and that hearing is scheduled for July 20, 2015, 10:00 a.m. at the Capitol in Pierre.

In the Fall of 2015, National Rifle Association (NRA) certified instructors may begin taking courses provided by the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to begin the enhanced concealed carry including the use of force. NRA certified instructors completing the DCI course may offer a qualifying handgun course which includes the safe and responsible use of handguns, use of force and self-defense, and live-fire training. Members of the public who have successfully completed the qualifying handgun may then apply to the local sheriff for the enhanced permit. Applicants must authorize a fingerprint based background check and present proof that the applicant successfully completed a qualifying handgun course. The optional enhanced permit will cost $100 plus fees for processing the background check. The standard concealed pistol permit will remain unchanged and continued to be issued in addition to the enhanced permit.

Attorney General Jackley Joins Other Attorneys General to Protect Religious Freedom

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Attorney General Jackley Joins Other Attorneys General to Protect Religious Freedom

PIERRE – Attorney General Marty Jackley and 14 other State Attorneys General announced today they have sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to take steps to protect the tax-exempt status of nonprofit religious organizations. During oral arguments in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. was asked if religious-affiliated institutions could have their tax-exempt status revoked if they opposed same-sex marriage, Verrilli said “it’s certainly going to be an issue.”

“The newly recognized federal constitutional right to same- sex marriage must and can peaceably coexist with other longstanding constitutional rights of freedom of religion and speech. There is no need to infringe upon either individual or religious freedoms in carrying out the directive of the U.S. Supreme Court. As Attorney General I will work to both ensure common sense solutions and vigorously protect the right to freedom of religion,” said Jackley.

The letter states that by stripping tax-exempt status from religious organizations in this way- a severe consequence that could force groups to exit the public square- would be an unprecedented assertion of governmental power over religious exercise. The letter asks Congress to modify the Internal Revenue Code to prevent the IRS from revoking the tax-exempt status of nonprofit religious organization that disagrees with the decision in Obergefell.

Those signing on to the letter were Attorneys General from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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