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Police arrest Oregon man Wednesday on drug charges in Aberdeen

A Portland Oregon man has been arrested in Aberdeen on drug and weapons charges.  According to a release from the Aberdeen Police Department, 42-year-old Charles Anthony Stewart was arrested following an incident Wednesday.  Police responded to a call at approximately 11:00 p.m. Wednesday of an armed individual consuming alcohol in the 100 block of South Main Street.  Upon investigation police found Stewart along with five baggies of marijuana and a firearm.   Stewart now faces distribution of marijuana, commission of a felony while armed, obstruction of law enforcement, resisting arrest and possession of a firearm in an alcohol establishment. 


Rep. Johnson talks trade dispute with China

South Dakota congressman Dusty Johnson spoke with local media Wednesday and highlighted what work was getting done in Washington D.C.

 

Partisanship is a problem in the nation’s capital, but Democrats and Republicans are working with one another to pass smaller legislation that doesn’t get widespread attention according to Johnson.  The President recently walked out of infrastructure talks with Democrats due to their several investigations into his conduct. 

 

Johnson says he hopes the president can continue to work with the other side…

 

 

 

 

Farmers across the country are hurting due to the trade war with China and Johnson is aware of that.  He talked about the administration’s new trade deal with neighbors Mexico and Canada and says he is more confident the USMCA will pass. 

 

However, when it comes to China, there currently appears to be no way out unless one country backs down.  The administration plans on providing a second handout to farmers to help offset losses due to tariffs.  Johnson explained how he thinks this will work this time…

 

 

 

 

Johnson also talked about this trade war in more detail.  He explained why it is important to go at China head on; despite what hurt it may cause farmers…

 


Gov. Noem requests federal relief for natural disaster

Governor Kristi Noem today requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration to help South Dakotans and local governmental entities recover from property damage sustained during the statewide winter weather and flooding this spring.

 

The request is for FEMA assistance to help with repairs for damage done to both public property as well as to individual homes and businesses. A preliminary damage assessment indicates about $43 million in damage to public infrastructure in 58 counties and on three reservations. The preliminary damage assessment for individual assistance is about $3 million covering 16 counties and three reservations.

 

In a letter to President Trump, Noem wrote that “a historic severe winter storm of rare intensity” began in South Dakota March 13. She said the snow was followed by a rapid snowmelt and flooding. The severe weather continued through April 26.

 

“The winter weather and flooding caused many issues with public and private infrastructure throughout the state as well as the extreme emotional toll on impacted citizens,” wrote Noem. “Citizens continue to experience ongoing issues with their homes and businesses because of the flooding.”

 

Public property damage assistance is being requested for the counties of: Aurora, Beadle, Bennett, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brown, Brule, Buffalo, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Codington, Davison, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Douglas, Edmunds, Fall River, Faulk, Grant, Gregory, Hamlin, Hand, Hanson, Hughes, Hutchinson, Hyde, Jackson, Jerauld, Jones, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Lyman, Marshall, McCook, McPherson, Mellette, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Perkins, Potter, Roberts, Sanborn, Spink, Sully, Todd, Tripp, Turner, Union, Walworth, Yankton, and Ziebach, as well as the Cheyenne River, Lake Traverse, and Rosebud Indian Reservations.

 

Individual damage assistance is being requested for the counties of: Bennett, Bon Homme, Brookings, Charles Mix, Dewey, Hamlin, Hutchinson, Kingsbury, Jackson, Mellette, Minnehaha, Oglala Lakota, Todd, Turner, Yankton, and Ziebach counties as well as the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud Indian Reservations.

 

Noem noted the severe weather impacted all parts of the state. The governor wrote that people had to be rescued from their flooded homes; city wastewater treatment plans and sewage lagoons were overwhelmed from high water; highways, ranging from the interstates to the county roads, were closed and damaged by both snow and water; power outages occurred in different parts of the state; and, the state’s agricultural industry was impacted by damage to fields and livestock.

 

In her letter to the President, the governor stressed that the impacts of this storm will be felt for a long time. She added that federal assistance is needed.

 

“South Dakotans pride themselves on being a hardy group of citizens, and we pull together to help one another, especially in times of disaster,” Noem wrote. “However, with the availability of federal assistance, combined with state, local, and voluntary assistance provided, it will help individuals, businesses, and government inch closer to recovering from this disaster.”

 

The governor’s request does not guarantee federal funding will be made available to South Dakota and its citizens. South Dakota last received an Individual Assistance declaration in 2011 for widespread damage from Missouri River flooding. The last Public Assistance declaration was granted in 2016 following a Christmas ice storm.

 

South Dakota currently has six open Presidential disaster declarations for other events and is working with FEMA on the recovery process for each of those disasters. 

 


Police respond to Minnihaha County jail for officer involved shooting Tuesday

Police responded to an officer involved shooting at the Minnehaha County Jail Tuesday afternoon.  According to the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s department a 44-year-old man with a glass bottle in hand was hitting a window near the front of the jail.  When backup arrived to deal with the suspect, he became violent and according to authorities charged at them with a knife in hand.  The deputy in question fired two shots, one hitting the suspect.  He was transported to a hospital and his condition was unknown.  An officer received minor injuries due to broken glass. 


Danger von Dempsey's has grand opening today in Aberdeen

The new restaurant “Danger Von Dempsey’s” will have its grand opening in Aberdeen today.  The restaurant will open at 11:00 a.m. and be open until 10:00 p.m. daily.  Danger Von Dempsey’s is an offshoot to the “Dempsey’s Irish Pub” in Watertown. 

 

According to “Dempsey’s” owner Sean Dempsey, this new restaurant is similar, but still different than the sister restaurant in Watertown…

 

 

 

 

The restaurant is known for its pizza and beers, with the dough being made in house and the beer brewed on location as well.  Dempsey says what sets their pizza apart from others in town is how they make the dough…

 

 

 

The restaurant is located in the old “Last Chance” bar, right next to “The Zoo” on Main Street.  Because of the unique design of the building, Dempsey says the restaurant has a one of a kind feel to it…

 


Former SD senator Tom Daschle joins worldwide cannabis company

Former South Dakota senator and one time Senate minority leader Tom Daschle has accepted a position with Northern Swan Holding on their board of advisors.  Northern Swan is an international cannabis industry.  Daschle is an Aberdeen native and served in the United State’s senate from 1987 to 2005.  He was also a candidate to be part of the Obama administration as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, but withdrew his candidacy. 


Smoke inhalation cause of death in Tolstoy fire

According to the Edmunds County Sheriff’s office, the two victims in the Tolstoy fire over the weekend, died as a result of smoke inhalation.  The victims have also been identified as Jerald and Shirlee Schack, a married couple who were the only residents of the home.  According to authorities, the fire was accidental and cause by a wall-mounted heating unit.  The fire was first reported around 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning.   


Gov. Noem names interim director of social services

Governor Kristi Noem today announced that Amy Iversen-Pollreisz will serve as Interim Secretary of Social Services. This follows the resignation of current Secretary of Social Services Greg DeSautel, which is effective May 22. 

 

“I’m thankful for the ways Amy has served South Dakota through her various roles at DSS over the years,” said Noem. “I’m confident she’ll continue moving the department in the right direction during this interim period.”

 

“I am honored to serve the department in this capacity,” said Iversen-Pollreisz. “I look forward to continue working with Governor Noem and the diligent staff at the Department of Social Services.”

 

Iversen-Pollreisz currently serves as deputy cabinet secretary for the Department of Social Services where she has led extensive system change initiatives and infrastructure development for behavioral health services. Previously, she served in various roles within the Department of Human Services, including work as the director of the Division of Mental Health. She also served as an elementary school counselor in Stanley County.

 

Iversen-Pollreisz is a Pierre resident. 


SD Dept. of Safety encouraging safe travel over memorial day

South Dakota Department of Public Safety officials are urging drivers to make sure this Memorial Day holiday is remembered for all of the right reasons.

 

This weekend’s Memorial Day holiday is considered the start of the summer travel season. That means with more people on the highways, there is an increased risk of roadway vehicle crashes.

 

“Especially with the hard, late winter we had this year in South Dakota, many people are anxious to get out on the roads in good weather and travel,” says Office of Highway Safety Director Lee Axdahl. “But it is important for drivers to remember they are not the only ones on the road. They need to always be careful, watch for others and most importantly wear their seatbelts.”

 

This year’s Memorial Day crash reporting period starts at 6 p.m. Friday local time and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday local time. During the 2018 Memorial Day report, there were 112 total crashes, 25 injury crashes, 35 people injured and one fatality.

 

As of today (Monday), May 21, there have been 19 vehicle fatalities so far this year compared to the 43 fatalities at the same time in 2018. Fatal crashes also are down from 35 last year to 17 so far in 2019.

 

South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers also plan to be out on the highways, making sure motorists are obeying the law. One focus will be seatbelt use.

 

“Troopers will be out throughout the holiday weekend, making their presence known,” says Highway Patrol Major Rick Miller. “We know people are anxious to get where they are going for the holiday, but it does not do anyone any good if they don’t get there safely.”

 

Gov. Kristi Noem, along with state and local law enforcement officers, will stress a similar message Friday at a Safe Summer Driving event starting at 11 a.m. at the Sioux Empire Mall.

 

Both the Office of Highway Safety and the Highway Patrol are part of the Department of Public Safety.  

 


Man arrested in Spearfish McDonalds attempted robbery

Police in Spearfish say a man was arrested after allegedly holding up the Spearfish McDonald's restaurant.

 

Police say 20-year-old Brandon Allen Aldrich was arrested on the campus of Black Hills State University shortly after the robbery.

 

The restaurant reported the robbery at around 11:17 p.m. Sunday night. Staff say the man, who had disguised his face, came in to the business holding what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money. He left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

 

A person fitting the description of the robber was seen walking on the BHSU campus and police apprehended him around 11:42 p.m. Police say the suspect had an O.C. Spray that resembled a handgun, clothes consistent with the robbery and cash.

 

Authorities say Aldrich was an employee at the restaurant.

 

He is charged with robbery, grand theft and kidnapping.


Cause of Tolstoy fire released

The cause of the fire in which two people lost their lives in rural Edmunds County has been identified.  According to the Edmunds County Sheriff’s Office a wall-mounted gas heating unit near a doorway was the sources of the fire.  That information came following an investigation by the state fire marshal.  The home was located in rural Tolstoy.  According to the Aberdeen American News, citing a death notice, the two people involved included 81-year-old Jerry Schack and 74-year-old Shirlee Schack both of Tolstoy. 


Agency Village man indicted on attempted murder charges

An Agency Village man has been indicted on federal charges she committed assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  According to the US Attorney’s office 48-year-old John Matthew Pilcher has pleaded not guilty to the charges.  Allegedly Pilcher assaulted the victim with a knife or sharp-edged object with the intent to murder the individual during an incident on Nov. 19th.  He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  A trial will take place June 25th.


Man fishing killed when hit by a vehicle in western Minnesota

A man fishing on shore of a western Minnesota lake was killed last Wednesday when a vehicle veered off the road and crashed won an embankment.  According to the Stevens County Sheriff’s office 32-year-old Nicholas Hervin of Morris Minnesota was struck by a vehicle driven by 40-year-old Joshua Dewald of Brooten Minnesota.  He was fishing on Long Lake in Stevens County. The case remains under investigation, but Dewald was arrested on several outstanding warrants. 


SD GFP considering removing wake restrictions from popular Black Hills lake

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks is considering the idea of ending a longstanding no-wake restrictions on Deerfield Lake.  The Lake is a popular location in the Black Hills.  The regulation as it stands limits speeds up to five miles per hour for boats on the lake.  The proposed change would increase that limit to 25 miles per hour.  The proposal will be considered at GFP’s June sixth meeting in Pierre.  The five miles per hour restrictions have been in place for the past 55 years at least. 


Republican Rep. Justin Amash becomes first Republican to say President Trump committed impeachable offenses

Republican congressman from Michigan Justin Amash tweeted over the weekend after reading the Mueller report in full, President Donald Trump did in fact engage in acts worthy of impeachment.  Amash also said Attorney General William Barr deliberately misrepresented findings in the Mueller report to protect the president.  Amash becomes the first Republican in either the House or Senate to take this stance, leading some allies of the president to wonder if this could lead to more in the future.

 

 


Two people injured in Sioux Falls apartment shooting Saturday

Sioux Falls police report two people sustained serious injuries after shots were fired in an apartment complex parking lot Friday night.  The Shooting took place around 9:30 p.m. at the Hidden Hills Apartments in Sioux Falls in the 900 block of Cliff Avenue.  Eye witnesses tell police a confrontation occurred in the parking lot before shots were fired.  An adult victim sustained serious non-life threatening injuries while a juvenile was seriously injured but expected to pull through.  No arrests have been made as of yet, but the public is not considered in any danger.


Two people killed in a rural house fire near Tolstoy

Two people were killed Saturday in a rural house fire in Edmunds County.  According to Edmunds County Authorities the fire was reported just north of Tolsty, or South of Bowdle Saturday morning.  Names of the victims in this case, or cause of death have not yet been released.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 


State of Maine passes bill eliminating Native American mascots from public schools and universities

Maine governor Janet Mills signed a bill Thursday which bans public schools and universities from using Native American depictions as mascots.  Mills’ office released a statement on the new law saying other states such as California, Oregon, and Wisconsin have similar restrictions and cited South Dakota as a state who has called for an end to the use of Native Americans as mascots. 


Aberdeen police investigate car hitting business

Police in Aberdeen are investigating a vehicle crashing into a Aberdeen business Thursday morning.  The crash was reported around 2:30 a.m. Thursday in the 700 block of South Main Street.  Sergeant Tanner Jondahl with the Aberdeen Police Department tells the Aberdeen American News the crash appears intentional.  No injuries were reported and the incident remains under investigation. 


Aberdeen Chamber announces wellness symposium

The Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce’s Health and Wellness Committee hosts its next Wellness Symposium on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at the Johnson Fine Arts Center on the Northern State University campus. The topic will be opioid addiction.

 

There will be a four-speaker panel beginning at 6 pm. Speakers include:

  • Dr. Shawna Schmidt, speaking about what opioid addiction is and the science behind it
  • Detective Brad Jung with the Aberdeen Police Department, addressing the impact on our community
  • Jamie Milbrandt, CAC, with the Avera Addiction Center, speaking about the treatment process
  • Melanie Weiss, OD, sharing her personal story of addiction

 

Doors open at 5 pm and information tables will be available for attendees to ask questions and receive information. Speakers will begin at 6 pm. This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by AvoidOpioidSD.com, a program of the South Dakota Departments of Health & Social Services, and Avera Health.


SD PUC grants construction permit for Deuel Harvest North Wind Farm

South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioners voted to approve a permit, with conditions,  for the construction of the Deuel Harvest North Wind Farm, a wind energy facility in Deuel County capable of producing up to 310.1 megawatts of energy. The action was taken at the commission’s regular meeting in Pierre on May 14.

 

The proposed project is expected to include up to 112 wind turbines and associated facilities, including a 345-kilovolt transmission line with an associated 345-kV interconnection substation located in Glenwood Township. Deuel Harvest expects to complete the $400 million project, spanning an approximately 48,730-acre project area, in 2020.  A buyer for the power produced by the project has not been announced.

 

PUC staff and Deuel Harvest proposed more than 40 permit conditions that addressed issues including road conditions during construction, habitats of threatened or endangered species, assignment of a public liaison officer, land restoration, shadow flicker, detecting and reacting to ice conditions on turbine blades, and avian and bat mortality. The commission delved into other proposed conditions and made changes to those dealing with sound levels, cultural resources reporting, aircraft detection lighting systems, decommissioning, and turbine distances relating to both Lake Alice and Homan Air Field.

 

“Recently we’ve had too many arduous wind applications to deal with simultaneously, so we appreciate the patience of everyone participating in this docket,” noted PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. “Speaking for the commissioners, we really appreciate the citizen intervenors and PUC staff for all of their insight,“ Hanson said.

 

PUC Vice Chairman Chris Nelson commented on the commission’s authority in granting the permit with conditions. “The commission has to base its decision on what has been presented in the record and what state law allows us to do. Sometimes the supporting evidence we’d like to see isn’t there, but I think we were able to develop appropriate conditions with the information we have,” he stated. 

 

“These dockets are difficult,” Commissioner Kristie Fiegen explained. “It’s so hard to balance the interests of landowners and wind developers. When I’m looking at an application as a commissioner, I really have to look at safety and welfare. I want to make sure that we’re protecting citizens to the best of our ability.”

 

Deuel Harvest filed its application with the PUC on Nov. 30, 2018. State law currently requires the commission to make a decision within six months of receiving a wind energy facility application. A public input meeting was held in Clear Lake in January. A four-day evidentiary hearing was held in Pierre in April. Parties to the docket included Deuel Harvest Wind Energy, PUC staff and seven intervenors. Intervenors John Homan, Watertown; Jon Henslin, Clear Lake; Will Stone and Heath Stone, Gary; Otter Tail Power Co.; and Minnesota residents Christina Kilby, Burnsville; and Garrett Homan, Hermanville, were active participants at the formal hearing and related proceedings.

 

The Deuel Harvest North Wind Project docket can be viewed on the PUC’s website at www.puc.sd.gov, Commission Actions, Electric Dockets, 2018 Electric Dockets, EL18-053 – In the Matter of the Application of Deuel Harvest Wind Energy, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility and a 345-kV Transmission Line in Deuel County.


State of Alabama passes near complete abortion ban hoping to challenge Roe v. Wade

The State of Alabama passed a near-total abortion ban Tuesday night.  The bill now heads to the Alabama Governor’s desk where Republican Governor Kay Ivey says she is undecided on whether or not she will sign it.  However, if she does veto the legislation, Republicans have the numbers to override said veto.  If passed this would be the nations strictest abortion law, banning all abortions except for in the case of the mother’s safety.  The bill would also make performing an abortion punishable by up to 99 years in prison.  Sponsors for the bill have outright said they hope this legislation will make its way to the supreme court where the new conservative majority will decided in its favor, effectively overturning Roe V. Wade. 


Gov. Noem orders flags at half staff in honor of peace officer memorial day

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has called for flags to be at half staff from sunrise today Wednesday May 15th to sunrise on Thursday May 16th in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day.  The call comes from even higher office, as President Donald Trump made a proclamation directing all US Flags across the nation to be flown at half-staff. 


Police in Aberdeen investigate man who threatened a woman

Police in Aberdeen investigated an alleged attack on a woman Tuesday afternoon.  According to police a man approached a woman in southwestern Aberdeen Tuesday asking for money.  The man then threatened physical harm.  The incident occurred around the 900 block of Sixth Avenue Southwest at approximately 12:45 p.m.  The suspect was cited for an alcohol related violation and taken into custody. 


Iowa Gov. signs gambling bill into law

Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Monday which established legal ways within the state to bet on professional, collegiate and international sporting events.  The bill also legalizes gambling on fantasy sports, internet fantasy betting and will eventually allow gambing on college sporting events statistics.  Those taking part gaming in Iowa must be 21 years or older.  Iowa becomes one of the first state’s in the nation to expand gambling after the United State’s Supreme Court ruling in 2017 cleared the way for such activities. 


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