PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — There’s been an explosion of syphilis cases in South Dakota of late, including among babies who contract the sexually transmitted disease through their mothers, and the state Department of Health is trying to fight back.

One of the ways is through increased training for health care providers. The department is coordinating with the St. Louis and University of Washington training centers to present one-hour sessions by webinar that will be open to state and tribal staff from South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota.

The sessions will be available daily at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon CT on Monday, October 30; Tuesday, October 31; Wednesday, November 1; Thursday, November 2; and Friday, November 3. The sessions are free but require advance registration.

The CDC offers a detailed fact sheet about syphilis that notes there’s more at risk: “Congenital syphilis occurs when a pregnant person passes syphilis to their baby. Final 2021 data show more than 2,800 cases of congenital syphilis.” That’s a nationwide total; in South Dakota, there were 40 congenital and three syphilitic stillbirths in 2022, according to SDDOH.

GETTING READY: The Legislative Research Council is accepting applications from high school juniors and seniors who want to serve as pages, an adult who wants to be paid committee secretary and people willing to provide housing for South Dakota’s upcoming legislative session.

The 2024 session officially runs Tuesday, January 9, through Monday, March 25.

The initial deadline for page applications is Friday, October 6, and the final cutoff is October 20. More information about how to apply is available here.

The LRC also is looking for a committee secretary to work during session. More information about to apply is available here.

And the LRC seeks furnished homes, apartments or rooms in the Pierre / Fort Pierre area where legislators and session staff can stay during the 2024 session. More information about how to have your housing listed is available here.

COMING UP: October 6-13 has been declared Manufacturing Week in South Dakota. According to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the $59,036 average annual wage paid to a manufacturing employee in South Dakota in 2022 was 18.5% higher than the statewide average annual wage.

South Dakota had 1,103 manufacturing establishments in 2022. You can learn a little more about South Dakota’s manufacturing sector here.

FACES AND PLACES: The governor has made more appointments to state boards and commissions.

New appointments include Riley S. Boadwine of Baltic to the American Dairy Association of South Dakota Board, succeeding Tim den Dulk of Beresford; Michael A. Plank of Rapid City to the Reemployment Assistance Advisory Council, succeeding Mark Rogers of Dell Rapids; and Amanda J. Doktor of Rapid City to the Workforce Development Council, succeeding Rick Larson of Huron.

Reappointments include Glenn Blumhardt of Bowdle to the Minerals and Environment Board; Diana VanderWoude of Sioux Falls to the Technical Education Board; Jim Schmidt of Sioux Falls to the Economic Development Finance Authority; Jeffrey Burket of Spearfish and Jerry Cope of Rapid City to the Railroad Board; John Johnson of Piedmont to the Banking Commission; and Kory Rawstern of Madison to the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council.

Have a news item or story tip about South Dakota state government and politics? You can reach KELOLAND News reporter Bob Mercer in the Pierre bureau at 605-280-7580 or bmercer@keloland.com or through a direct-message on X (formerly Twitter) to @pierremercer.