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South Dakota Gov. Noem, tribes in virus checkpoints standoff

National News

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)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Two Native American tribes in South Dakota continue to defy orders from Gov. Kristi Noem to take down road checkpoints the tribes had set up to stop coronavirus infections from spreading.

The issue pits a governor who has taken a mostly hands-off approach to restrictions during the pandemic against tribes who say her actions are inadequate to prevent infections.

The tribes say they feel they have to be vigilant to protect tribal members who have underlying health problems and rely on a fragile health care system.

The standoff and potential legal fight comes amid longstanding tensions between Noem and the tribes, most notably over the Keystone XL pipeline.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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