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News 11.9.21

Nebraska recorded a second straight week of increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to creep up. That prompted the state to resume daily updates on the virus instead of providing only weekly numbers. The state reported 5,104 new virus cases last week to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That was up from 4,177 cases during the previous week. Before that, cases had been flat or slightly falling for several weeks. An average of 400 Nebraskans were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the past week, which was up from 386 the previous week. That number of COVID patients, combined with regular patients, continues to strain the state’s hospitals.

South Dakota’s House is investigating whether the state’s attorney general should be impeached for his conduct surrounding a car crash last year that killed a pedestrian.

A sizable majority of the Republican-dominated House voted Tuesday to have a committee recommend whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg should be impeached.

It could take weeks for the committee of seven Republicans and two Democrats to delve into the crash investigation. Ravnsborg pleaded no contest in August to a pair of misdemeanors in the crash that killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever, who was walking along a rural stretch of highway when Ravnsborg struck him with his car.

Legislative redistricting was left stalled in South Dakota. The House and Senate were deadlocked on competing proposals for a new political map. The Legislature convened in a special session for the once-in-a-decade process, but 10 hours of wrangling left Republicans in the House and Senate still divided.

One top lawmaker in the Senate raised the prospect of the state Supreme Court drawing the new legislative map if the House did not budge. If the Legislature is unable to agree to a map by Dec. 1, state law calls for the high court to determine the map.

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Former South Dakota Gov. Frank Farrar was memorialized in a ceremony at the state Capitol. He died last month at the age of 92 after an injury to his head. Farrar was known as the “boy wonder” of South Dakota politics after he became the youngest person ever elected state attorney general in 1962. He became the state’s 24th governor six years later, running unopposed for the Republican nomination and easily winning the general election. He left politics to focus on banking and philanthropy but remained a regular figure at South Dakota political events.

From the Sioux City Journal:

Prosecutors have added another count of child sexual assault to the list of charges filed against a former South Sioux City High School assistant football coach accused of having sex with two female students.

The Sioux City Journal reports 26-year-old Nathan Rogers now faces two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child in a second case filed against him.

Prosecutors also added a charge of tampering with a witness and dropped two pornography-related charges because Rogers now faces child porn charges in federal court.