GOED head: Northern Beef will reopen within two years

By Bob Mercer State Capitol Bureau PIERRE – The Aberdeen processing plant formerly known as Northern Beef Packers will be back in business with “a lot of jobs” within two years, according to Pat Costello, the governor’s commissioner of economic development. Costello told a legislative panel Friday that state government … Read Article

State paid bundle to Benda without supporting receipts

By Bob Mercer State Capitol Bureau PIERRE – The former state official that pioneered recruitment of Asian investors for a handful of South Dakota projects received many tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursements for expenses in a two-year period that weren’t backed up receipts or other proof, a special … Read Article

State withdraws offer to loan $5 million to Northern Beef

By Bob Mercer State Capitol Bureau PIERRE – The state Board of Economic Development canceled a $5 million loan commitment to Northern Beef Packers on Tuesday. The arrangement originally was approved Jan. 28, 2010. The board subsequently extended the commitment multiple times. The board granted its most recent extension at … Read Article

Jackley: Didn’t talk with Benda, $550,000 restitution “not my call”

By Bob Mercer State Capitol Bureau PIERRE – State investigators didn’t talk with Richard Benda before his death last month about their findings that he double-billed and received double payments from state government in 2009 and 2010 for three airline tickets while he was a member of Gov. Mike Rounds … Read Article

Death certificate: Benda used stick to push trigger

South Dakota Department of Tourism and State Development Secretary Richard Benda ends months of speculation and reveals Hyperion Resources, Inc., as the “Gorilla Project” that has plans to locate an oil refinery in Union County. Benda addressed a standing-room-only crowd of media and interested citizens at a news conference Wednesday, June 13, 2007, in the Union County Courthouse in Elk Point. (Photo by David Lias)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The death certificate for former state economic development director Richard Benda says he shot himself by pushing the trigger with a stick. The Argus Leader obtained the document Wednesday (http://argusne.ws/1gjA6yy ). The certificate says Benda secured the shotgun against a tree and used a stick … Read Article