From the Editor: New apps added, new reporter hired

Farm Forum

From the fields and blinds of Brown County to the statehouse in Pierre, the American News is only an app away.

The hardworking digital team has launched two new iPhone and Android smartphone apps in the past couple of weeks:

• The South Dakota Legislature app is really cool, and the legislative season hasn’t even started.

The app keeps South Dakota government organized with just a swipe of your finger.

Key elements include tweets from lawmakers, bloggers and political reporters; district maps; a bill tracker; and a breakout on the state’s 2014 budget.

There has never been a better way to know who is making the laws in Pierre and how to contact them. You can find your legislator, see what committees he or she is on and send them an email or call them with just one touch. Really impressive stuff.

In many ways, this is the “Bob Mercer app.” So much state capital news is broken or explained by Mercer, the American News’ correspondent in Pierre, that the app can’t help but be influenced by his work.

Find Mercer’s latest tweets, blog posts and stories anytime on your phone by using the app.

• What the legislature app does for state politics, the Outdoor Forum app does for state hunting. Everything you need to know is in one place. Follow the hunter-orange icons for license information, hunting maps, laws and regulations, species IDs or to share trophy photos.

I expect this app will be gaining traction every weekend for the next couple of months.

Both apps are free to download and use. Find them in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

They join the growing roster of American News smartphone apps. On my iPhone, I count eight in my AAN folder: the American News e-edition, Brown County Fair, Access Aberdeen, Farm Forum, Storybook Land, Outdoor Forum and the legislative apps.

Aberdeen native joins staff

We welcome Annie King to the newsroom as our breaking news reporter.

She will handle police and fire news, as well as any other stories that come up. Because she works Saturdays, her beat for the next few months is “pheasants.”

Annie is an Aberdeen native, having graduated from Roncalli. She has degrees in journalism and media studies and communication studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

She is back in town and ready to tell your stories. Reach Annie at her desk at 605-622-2314, email or follow her on Twitter, @AnnieKing_AAN.

Follow @jjperry_AAN on Twitter or email