Latest Sioux Falls News

In this photo provided by Cristobal Francisquez, his parents Paulina and Marcos Francisco pose for a photo in front of their house in Sioux City, Iowa, Monday, May 25, 2020. They bought the home after years of working in a meatpacking plant and other food processing jobs. (Cristobal Francisquez via AP)

Worker shortage concerns loom in immigrant-heavy meatpacking

May. 25, 2020 11:33 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — When Martha Kebede’s adult sons immigrated from Ethiopia and reunited with her in South Dakota this year, they had few work opportunities. Lacking English skills, the brothers took jobs at Smithfield Foods' Sioux Falls pork plant, grueling and increasingly risky work as the...

FILE - In this March 18, 2020 file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, left, updates media on the COVID-19 pandemic during a news conference at Monument Health in Rapid City, S.D. While many other governor’s have broken from President Donald Trump on stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of coronavirus or when to restart economic activity, Noem has tracked close to the president.  (Jeff Easton/Rapid City Journal via AP, File)

Noem: Tribes' checkpoints dispute not just about coronavirus

May. 21, 2020 6:07 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said on Thursday that her stance against Native American tribes operating coronavirus checkpoints on federal and state highways isn't just about the response to the coronavirus pandemic, but about setting “precedent” on tribes' ability to...

Sioux Falls residents cheered and held thank you signs to greet employees of a Smithfield pork processing plant as they begin their shift on Wednesday May 20, 2020, in Sioux Falls, S.D. Smithfield called many employees back to work after it closed the plant for more than three weeks because of a coronavirus outbreak that infected over 800 employees. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

Workers cheered as they enter South Dakota pork plant

May. 20, 2020 7:32 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Employees at a Smithfield pork processing plant in South Dakota where a coronavirus outbreak infected over 800 people were greeted at work Wednesday with thank you signs, cheers and waves from about a dozen area residents. “They're putting their health at risk just like the...

In this Thursday, April 9, 2020 photo, Nancy Reynoza, director of Que Pasa Sioux Falls, who organized a protest in solidarity with Smithfield Food, Inc. employees after many workers complained of unsafe working conditions due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Sioux Falls, S.D. The pork processing plant in South Dakota is closing temporarily after more than 80 employees tested positive for the coronavirus.  (Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP)

South Dakota city plans 'thank you' for meatpacking workers

May. 19, 2020 5:05 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota city that was among the earliest to be hit by a major coronavirus outbreak in a meatpacking plant is planning a parade to thank workers, who organizers say have been unfairly stigmatized. Several friends who planned Wednesday's event said they hope hundreds of people...

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2018, file photo, Jordan Allen of Buffalo, Mo., is thrown from this bull during competition at the Extreme Bull Riding Tour stop in Yankton, S.D. Professional Bull Riders has announced a new series of competition that will culminate in South Dakota on July 10-12 with live crowds. Event organizers said they will provide face coverings to fans, space seats four to six feet apart and control the flow of people in and out of the arena to accommodate social distancing. (Kelly Hertz/Yankton Press & Dakotan via AP, File)

Bull riding may be 1st US professional sport to welcome fans

May. 18, 2020 5:21 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — One of the first professional athletic sports to allow spectators to attend as states gradually lift restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus is known for its wild, dangerous action: bull riding. Professional Bull Riders has announced a new competition that will culminate in...

Workers wait in line to enter the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Logansport, Ind., Thursday, May 7, 2020. The plant was expected to Thursday after closing on April 25 after nearly 900 employees tested positive for the coronavirus. Workers won't be able to return to work until they get tested. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Some blame meatpacking workers, not plants, for virus spread

May. 8, 2020 6:07 PM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — As coronavirus hotspots erupted at major U.S. meatpacking plants, experts criticized extremely tight working conditions that made the factories natural high risk contagion locations. But some Midwestern politicians have pointed the finger at the workers' living conditions, suggesting...

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2019 file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem gives her first State of the State address in Pierre, S.D. While many other governor’s have broken from President Donald Trump on stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of coronavirus or when to restart economic activity, Noem has tracked close to the president.  (AP Photo/James Nord, File)

'A resume for future office': Virus tests a GOP governor

May. 5, 2020 1:43 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Kristi Noem had been South Dakota's governor for less than six months when she made clear she wasn’t going to let her job in the sleepy capital of Pierre keep her out of national politics — or off President Donald Trump’s radar. The 48-year-old Republican had a...

People gather for a barbecue at a scenic area in Fangshan district in Beijing, Monday, May 4, 2020, after authorities loosened up nationwide restrictions following months of lockdown over the new coronavirus outbreak. China reported three new coronavirus cases Monday, all brought from overseas, and no additional deaths. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The Latest: China reports 1 new virus case, no deaths

May. 5, 2020 2:09 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — China reports 1 new case of coronavirus, no deaths....

Healthcare workers run a coronavirus testing site for Smithfield employees in the Washington High School parking lot on Monday, May 4, 2020 in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP)

Meatpackers cautiously reopen plants amid coronavirus fears

May. 4, 2020 6:27 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota pork processing plant took its first steps toward reopening Monday after being shuttered for over two weeks because of a coronavirus outbreak that infected more than 800 employees. Employees reporting for work in Smithfield Foods' ground pork department filed through...

FILE - This April 8, 2020 file photo, shows the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D. The union representing employees at the South Dakota pork processing plant says it will partially reopen on Monday, May 4, 2020, after shuttering more than two weeks ago because of a coronavirus outbreak that infected hundreds of employees. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves File)

Some meat plants reopen, but Trump order may not be cure-all

May. 1, 2020 5:34 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Signs Friday that several big meatpacking plants will soon reopen might appear to support President Donald Trump's assertion that he had “solved their problems" in keeping grocery stores' coolers stocked during the coronavirus crisis. But the reality isn’t likely to...