Local News

Diocese of Sioux Falls releases list of priests credibly accused of sexual assault

The Catholic diocese of Sioux Falls has published the names of 11 clergy members credibly accused of sexual abuse against a minor.  The diocese posted the information on its web site Thursday.  According to the release, the priests with accusations against them in these cases were substantiated by police, the diocese or in some cases both.  Nine of the 11 priests are dead.  According to the Aberdeen American News six of the priests named have ties to northeast South Dakota in one way or another.  Bishop Paul Swain of the dioceses hopes making this list public will encourage victims to come forward. 

Gov. Noem declares March 29th "Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day"

At the request of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed Friday, March 29, 2019, as “Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day,” calling on all South Dakotans to recognize the courage, service and sacrifice of the men and women who served during the Vietnam War.    


Some served as ground troops in a combat capacity in country, some were a mile off shore in a Navy ship providing gunfire support, some were air support, while others provided the necessary support roles both in Vietnam, other nearby posts and some back in the States that are so vital during a foreign engagement. Whatever the specific method of service, all were affected in some way by that experience.


“More than 27,000 South Dakotans served valiantly under difficult circumstances during the Vietnam War and 210 made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Through the establishment of an annual statewide Vietnam Veterans recognition day, South Dakotans can express their appreciation and honor the men and women who served during the Vietnam War”


“It is America's veterans and their families who keenly understand the meaning of the word sacrifice,” said Greg Whitlock, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs. “For some of them, sacrifice has meant living with serious injuries. For all of them, it meant missing holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the small but irreplaceable memories that come with normal everyday life.”


“On this special day, we encourage our fellow Americans to join us in remembering and honoring those who served during the Vietnam War with the gratitude and respect that they deserve,” said Whitlock.

Gov. Noem closes recreation access to southeast waters due to flooding

Governor Kristi Noem has closed portions of three waterways in southeast South Dakota to recreational use because of flooding.


The Governor’s executive order bans all recreational uses on the Big Sioux River, Skunk Creek, and Split Rock Creek, including their tributaries, in the counties of Lincoln, Minnehaha, and Union. Noem signed the order Tuesday and the order took effect immediately.


“With so much water and ice starting to flow through those rivers, the danger level has increased,” said Noem. “It is not safe for people to be using those portions of the rivers at this time. Safety of people needs to be our top priority.”


The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks is in charge of enforcing the closure of the designated river areas.


People who violate the closure order are subject to criminal penalties.


Gov. Noem signs host of bills into law

Governor Kristi Noem today signed HB1087, a bill to increase intellectual diversity on college campuses.   


“Our university campuses should be places where students leave their comfort zones and learn about competing ideas and perspectives,” said Noem. “I hope this bill lets the nation know that in South Dakota, we are teaching our next generation to debate important issues, work together to solve problems, and think independently.”


The bill directs the Board of Regents, which oversees our state universities, to ensure that each and every state-run institution of higher education is maintaining a commitment to the principles of free expression and encouraging the discussion of topics in an environment that is intellectually and ideologically diverse. The Regents are also required to submit a report to the governor and legislature on the topic. 


Noem signed the following bills today:  

  • SB3 – An act to create the Special Education Interim Legislative Committee
  • SB4 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the classification of agricultural land for property tax purposes  
  • SB16 – An act to establish certain provisions regarding financial security for the decommissioning of wind turbines
  • SB48 – An act to authorize certain improvement districts to issue convention facility on-sale licenses to sell alcoholic beverages
  • SB54 – An act to regulate the use of care and maintenance funds by perpetual care cemeteries
  • SB56 – An act to revise certain provision regarding the regulation of fireworks
  • SB61 – An act to provide certain provisions regarding nursing facility closures
  • SB64 – An act to require certain wind energy facilities to include aircraft detection lighting systems
  • SB66 – An act to establish an interim legislative committee to study issues related to electric services in an annexed area
  • HB1022 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the limitations on indemnification by the state
  • HB1034 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding unemployment insurance contribution rates
  • HB1035 – An act to rename the unemployment insurance program to the reemployment assistance program
  • HB1046 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the attorney recruitment assistance program
  • HB1087 – An act to promote free speech and intellectual diversity at certain institutions of higher education
  • HB1090 – An act to repeal certain provisions regarding the exercise of certain powers over certain property
  • HB1110 – An act to establish a penalty for certain persons who fail to file a birth certificate or who fail to provide the notice required for the filing of a death certificate

British Prime Minister Teresa May seeks extension on "Brexit"

British Prime Minister Teresa May is heading to Brussels today to ask the European Union for an extension to Brexit which has thrown the United Kingdom into chaos.  The United Kingdom is set to leave the EU in just nine days, but May is looking for an extension as her Brexit deal continues to fail in parliament.  May and her government are doing everything they can to avoid a “no-deal” Brexit, where the United Kingdom would leave the EU with no preconditions, resulting in supply shortages, lack of protection for British citizens living in the EU and much more. 

Sisseton man charged with embezzlement

A Sisseton man is facing embezzling charges according to the US Attorney for South Dakota’s office.  46-year-old Dustin Martin Kirk faces two counts of embezzlement and theft.  He was indicted on March 5th.  The two charges stem from an incident with his own business which is no longer in operation Siouxland Lumber and Materials.  Kirk has pleaded not guilty and is set to stand trial May 14th.  The maximum penalty if found guilty is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

Street widening planned for parts of Aberdeen today

Street widening is planned to begin in parts of Aberdeen this morning at 8:00 a.m.  According to a release from the Aberdeen Public Works Department, residents are asked not to park in the following areas to allow for snow removal: fifth avenue southwest from south second street to west of south fourth street.  Willow Drive from North fifth street to olive drive.  Work is expected to be completed by the end of the day. 

Fox sells entertainment division to Walt Disney for $71 billion

Walt Disney and Fox’s entertainment division have come to terms of a $71 billion acquisition, bringing huge entertainment options over to Disney.  According to reports with this buyout, Disney will own the rights to such properties as “The Simpsons” the X-Men and more.  According to Disney, they hope the move will help the company better compete with tech companies such as Amazon and Netflix as the groups fight for streaming dominance. 

Sisseton man charged with sexual contact with a minor

A Sisseton man is facing federal charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and abusive sexual contact.  According to a release from the US Attorney’s office for South Dakota, 25-year-old Storm Gaylord Blue was indicted in December and made his initial court appearance March 5th.  He has pleaded not guilty and will stand trial May 14th.  According to prosecutors Blue was involved in forcing sexual acts with a child in October of 2017.  He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. 

VP Mike Pence to visit Nebraska and oversee flood damage

Vice president Mike Pence will visit Nebraska today, scheduled to tour communities devastated by flooding that is expected to continue through this week.  At least four people have been killed between the Nebraska and Iowa flooding.  Currently, 74 Nebraska cities have issued an emergency declaration amid flooding and hundreds of people have been displaced because of the rising water, which is expected to remain crested into next week. 

Missing Yankton woman found dead in Michigan

The Yankton county sheriff’s department has announced the body of a missing woman, Tammy LaFramboise has been found.  LaFramboise had been missing since March 1st and her body was discovered in a river in a rural area of Menominee Township Michigan.  45-year-old Stephen Robert Falkenberg has been arrested in connection with LaFramboise’s death.  He was taken into custody in Sioux Falls and has been charged with 2nd degree murder.  Little more information was made available by authorities. 

Shopko to close nationwide

According to a release from the corporate headquarters, Shopko will be closing all of its stores nationwide.  The company failed to find a buyer which would lead the retail outlet out of bankruptcy.  Aberdeen’s Shopko was already set to close, but the company tried to keep other stores going including in Mobridge and Watertown.  Those stores will likely close sometime in June.  The store filed for bankruptcy on January 16th

DOT announces spring load limit restrictions

Effective at 10 a.m. MDT, March 20, 2019, Spring Load Limit Restrictions will apply to the road segment and at the indicated weight limit shown in the table below.






Begin/End MRM




US 16A

Custer State Park east gate to SD 244

26.25 to 55.76


7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 36

US 16A to SD 79

36.00 to 45.01


7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 40

Hayward to Cheyenne River

38.26 to 69.00


7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 87

Wind Cave Nat’l Park to US 16/385

47.27 to 79.36


7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 71

Neb Line to 2 mi. S of Cheyenne River

0.00 to 21.00


7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 89

US 16A to SD 87

58.51 to 64.58


7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 471

Provo to US 18

19.60 to 24.00


7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City



The effective date of the load restrictions is determined by weather and road conditions.

A spring load restriction report is usually issued in advance of any major load restriction change.  This report is issued for guidance only and does not take precedence over load restriction signs in place. For further information or a copy of a Spring Load Restriction Map, please contact the DOT at 605-773-3571. Spring Load Limit Information may also be found on the Internet at:


Click on Commercial Vehicle Restrictions on Base Layer then truck icon for current restriction

Individuals can subscribe to an email list to receive Spring Load Limit Restriction information electronically. To subscribe go to:


Click subscribe located on the right side of the screen and follow the instructions. A valid email address is required. If you would like to unsubscribe at any time from the list, visit the same site, click Unsubscribe and enter the information and email you subscribed with.

Gov. Noem encourages those in the Big Sioux River valley to prepare for flooding

Governor Kristi Noem today encouraged people living in the Big Sioux River Valley in eastern South Dakota to start preparing for record flooding. 


Winter snowmelt and rain have raised the water levels in Big Sioux River Valley areas north of Watertown to south of Sioux Falls. At this time, the National Weather Service predicts that when flooding starts sometime this weekend or next week, the flooding levels could reach historic levels, some levels not seen since 1969.


“Flooding is not a matter of if, but when,” said Noem. “These levels will impact homes, businesses, roads, and farms. It’s important that those living in the Big Sioux River Valley start their flooding preparations now.”


Noem last week ordered the opening of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in the Mickelson Law Enforcement Center in Pierre to help coordinate the state’s response to last week’s blizzard and flooding. Several state agencies are working within the SEOC to prepare for upcoming flooding.


Residents in the area where flooding is expected to occur are urged to take the following basic precautions to protect themselves and their property from flooding:


  • When driving, avoid going through flooded roads and do not drive around barricades. Take alternate routes. Check or call 5-1-1 for the most up-to-date information on state highways. Check with your county law enforcement or emergency management office for county and township road closures.
  • Make sure you have enough supplies, including needed medication, on hand.
  • Safeguard your possessions. Put copies of insurance policies, financial records and other critical documents in a waterproof container, along with an inventory of major household items.
  • Make sure the sump pump is working and consider a battery-operated backup. Consider adding a sewer plug to your system.
  • If possible, move furniture and valuable items such as photo albums and family keepsakes to a safe place.

SDHSAA to research the use of replay following controversy at AA boys basketball tournament

The South Dakota High School Activities Association has released a statement on the idea of adding instant replay options in limited circumstances for future athletic events.  The statement stems from an incident at the end of the Yankton vs. Sioux Falls O’Gorman semifinal game at the Class AA boys basketball tournament in Rapid City.  An O’Gorman night got a shot off at the last second, but upon a second viewing it was obvious the ball had not left the players had in time to count as a basket.  The SDHSAA in the release did say replay will go through the same rule change process as any other proposed change. 

SDHSAA to research the use of replay following controversy at AA boys basketball tournament

The South Dakota High School Activities Association has released a statement on the idea of adding instant replay options in limited circumstances for future athletic events.  The statement stems from an incident at the end of the Yankton vs. Sioux Falls O’Gorman semifinal game at the Class AA boys basketball tournament in Rapid City.  An O’Gorman night got a shot off at the last second, but upon a second viewing it was obvious the ball had not left the players had in time to count as a basket.  The SDHSAA in the release did say replay will go through the same rule change process as any other proposed change. 

Rep. Dusty Johnson to visit Redfield Monday

South Dakota’s lone congressman in the House of Representatives Dusty Johnson will visit northeast South Dakota Monday.  Johnson will be holding several events in Redfield and the public is welcome to attend.  First, at 9:30 a.m. Johnson will tour Redfield Energy at 38650 171st Street in Redfield.  He will then hold what he calls office hours at Leo’s Good Food at 602 North Main Street in Redfield from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Gov. Noem signs emergency declaration

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has signed an emergency declaration due to the blizzards and flooding the state suffered last week.  The declaration allows the use of additional state funds to help counties recover.  The money comes from the South Dakota Disaster Fund.  The city of Yankton and Sioux Falls are currently battling flood conditions.  Gov. Noem visited the location to assess the damage herself over the weekend.  South Dakota is not the only state battling floodwaters.  Northeast Nebraska is currently underwater with two people losing their lives in the flood. 

49 people killed in attack on a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand

49 people were killed and 20 others seriously injured Thursday in a mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand.  Four people were detained originally, three men and one woman, in the attack, but one person is being charged.  That man is a 28-year-old Australian and described by New Zealand police as anti-immigrant.  His identity has not yet been released.  The shooter did have an 87 page manifesto on him, describing his motivation for such an attack and lived stream his attack on Facebook.  New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attack “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Interstates now reopened

Officials say Interstate 90 is now completely open, with the last stretch from Wall to Chamberlain opened at 10 a.m. CDT, both east and westbound lanes.


At the same time, DOT crews continue to clean up blizzard-impacted state and local highways located through the central and northeastern parts of the state. Heavy drifting and stalled vehicles have hampered efforts. Officials say that work will continue through Friday.


Significant flooding continues in the south central, southeastern and eastern parts of the state. Drivers are asked to turn around and not drive through floodwaters as the roadway may be washed away underneath.


Even as travel advisories are lifted, motorists are cautioned to remember winter driving conditions still exist across the state and if you must travel to slow down, keep the cruise off and give plow drivers and emergency responders room to work.


Drivers are reminded to check or call 5-1-1 before travelling to view road conditions, No Travel Advisories, flooded roadways and roads marked as impassable.


If you are travelling today, the departments of Transportation and Public Safety recommend motorists also take the following steps.

  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Travel during the day
  • Drive with your headlights on (not daytime running lights) so you can be seen by other motorists from the front and rear
  • Don’t use cruise control on icy or snow-covered roads
  • Use highly traveled roads and highways
  • Keep family and friends informed of your travel schedule and route
  • Call 5-1-1 or visit for road conditions
  • Keep a winter weather survival kit in your car. The kit should include blankets, warm clothing, water, energy bars, a flashlight, a distress flag, a shovel and matches
  • Travel with a charged cell phone, but don’t rely on it to get you out of a bad situation

§    Change travel plans as weather conditions warrant


If you do get stranded:

§    Stay in your vehicle

  • Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes an hour to stay warm
  • When the engine is running, open a window slightly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.  Periodically clearing snow from the exhaust pipe will also help prevent carbon monoxide buildup
  • When it’s dark outside, turn on the interior light so rescuers can see you
  • Put up a distress flag, or spread a large colored cloth on the ground to attract attention from rescuers

Gov. Noem reopens state offices in all but 17 counties

Gov. Kristi Noem has ordered that state government offices open Friday morning at the regular time in 17 South Dakota counties while offices in the other counties will open at noon.


Counties where state offices will open at the regular time are Bon Homme, Butte, Clay, Custer, Douglas, Fall River, Harding, Hutchinson, Lawrence, Lincoln, McCook, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington, Turner, Union and Yankton.


State offices in the other South Dakota counties are scheduled to open at noon Friday.


Most state government offices have been closed for the last two days by order of the Governor due to the heavy snowstorm and flooding.

Highway Patrol Issues Highway 12 Update

The South Dakota State Highway Patrol has issued an updated weather announcement deeming eastbound US Highway 12 between Bath and Groton IMPASSABLE.  

DOT pulling plows from Brown County roads

Brown County has received word from the SD DOT that they are pulling the state snow plows off all State highways in Brown County.  They have claimed the state roads impassable.

Brown County Courthouse closed Tuesday

Brown County Courthouse Non-essential offices will now be closed for the entire day (Thursday).  Offices will reopen at 8:00am Friday.

USD Cancels classes due to weather

USD has canceled classes at its Vermillion campus due to the State of South Dakota’s current travel advisory and forecasted wind and snow. Any class absence from this morning is considered a university-approved absence. Campus will remain open.

Please continue to check the USD website for information about tomorrow’s classes.