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Christopher Vondracek

South Dakota Correspondent

A native of Wells and Kiester, Minn., Vondracek went west for college in 2003, attending the University of South Dakota on a scholarship named for Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today. After picking up a B.A. in Journalism in Vermillion and writing for the student newspaper, The Volante, Vondracek stayed for his M.A. in English literature. He taught college English in Rochester and Winona, Minn., between 2009 and 2015, and eventually received his MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Hamline University in St. Paul. Since 2017, he has covered legal affairs, education, religion, and politics with various publications from South Dakota to Washington D.C. and back. In 2020, his poetry book — Rattlesnake Summer, a collection of 66 poems for 66 South Dakota counties — was published by Ipso Gallery and Badger Clark Publishingin Sioux Falls. Vondracek moonlights on piano for his Twin Cities-based band, The Golden Bubbles, as well as a traveling radio show in South Dakota, the Rock Garden Tour. He once played The Corn Palace in Mitchell.

One year after vetoing a bill to ban transgender girls from playing sports, Gov. Kristi Noem's team defended a new proposal to allow girls to sue a school if they lose to a transgender girl in sports
The South Dakota Legislature has a menu of infrastructure fixes this year, including some state-owned spillways damaged in flooding and record rainfall in 2018 and '19. But few lawmakers will invoke the words "climate change," which an engineering professor says the state is not prepared to address.
The state of the tribes address has annually been apart of the opening week of the South Dakota legislative session.
Billy Knutson did not enter a plea during his initial appearance in federal court. Federal prosecutors are charging Knutson with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during last year's mob violence.
The annual state of the judiciary address falls on the second day of the 2022 legislative session
Sen. Reynold Nesiba told reporters he tested positive on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 12. The 2022 legislative session kicked off on Tuesday, without a mask mandate in place.
The Argus Leader reports that an inquiry into child pornography charges against the South Dakota billionaire philanthropist has not been closed, according to a filing in an ongoing fight over open records.
The Republican governor kicked off the 2022 legislative session with a rousing speech defending her approach to the pandemic, calls for more social legislation on teaching race in schools and supporting exemptions to COVID-19 vaccines.
The former president had issued a statement lambasting Rounds as a "jerk" for referring to the 2020 presidential election that Trump lost by 7 million votes (and 74 votes in the electoral college) as "fair."
The state's citizen Legislature, less than a year before new elections, will also tackle night-vision hunting for coyotes, electric-powered ATVs, and plans to build a new Rapid City workhouse.