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Local News

Gov. Daugaard orders flags at half staff Friday

Gov. Dennis Daugaard is ordering flags to fly half-staff at the State Capitol on Friday, Sept. 21, to honor the life of former state legislator Dorothy Kellogg.

                                                                                                                                         

Kellogg, of Watertown, represented her district in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1981 to 1984 and the South Dakota Senate from 1987 to 1992.

 

Kellogg was 98 years old and passed away on Saturday, Sept. 15. Visitation will be held on Thursday and the funeral is scheduled for Friday in Watertown.

 


Mike Rowe from Discovery's "Dirty Jobs" to visit Watertown Thursday

Lake Area Technical Institute gets a special visitor today.

 

Mike Rowe—the host of the “Dirty Jobs” television series on the Discovery Channel, and the man whose done television commercials for Ford Motor Company among others—will be in Watertown today for an invitation-only event.

 

Rowe is a staunch supporter of technical education, and getting people trained in the skills they need to enter the workforce.

 

Joining Rowe will be Governor Dennis Daugaard and Dana Dykhouse—the CEO of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, which is sponsoring Rowe’s visit.

 

They’ll be making stops in Brandon and Watertown this morning, and in Sioux Falls this afternoon.

 

Unfotunately, you won’t see or hear much about Mike Rowe’s visit. He’s instructed local media there are to be no photos taken during his Watertown appearance, and the comments he makes during his address at LATI cannot be recorded.


Mitchell man sentenced following robbery guilty plea

A Mitchell man has been sentenced after admitting to robbing four people at gunpoint earlier this year.  According to Dakota Radio Group in Mitchell, 20-year-old Christopher Kindle has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for first degree robbery and attempted robbery charges.  Ten felony counts were dismissed as part of a plea deal with the prosecution.  The robberies occurred at the Plaza Center Cleans May 16th.  Kindle used a gun to rob unsuspecting victims. 


Senator Thune to visit northeast South Dakota today

South Dakota senator John Thune will be in northeast South Dakota today visiting high school assemblies.  First, Thune will address students at Sisseton high school at 10:45 a.m.  and will later address Summit High School at 2:00 p.m.


Early voting begins Friday Sept. 21st

Early voting for the 2018 midterm elections begins tomorrow in South Dakota.  Voters can vote anytime at their county auditor’s office up until election day Nov. 6th 2018.  In order to vote, voters will need to provide a photo id such as a drivers license or state identification card.  On the ballot this time includes races for governor, house of representatives, local legislatures, county commission and a slew of ballot measures.  Voters can read up on the ballot measures at the secretary of state’s website. 


County honors for long time serving employees

dfaThe Brown County Commission Tuesday honored four county workers for extended years of service.  The men include Larry Hardy from the highway department for 25 years of service, Mike Scott at the Brown County landfill for 25 years of service, Sheriff Mark Milbrandt for 30 years of service in the sheriff’s department and finally David Bruckner for 40 years in the highway department. 


Protest planned in Aberdeen against anti-Islamic speaker

A grassroots organization is planning a protest against a speaker coming to Aberdeen Tuesday.  The group “Brown County Progressives for Change,” is looking to peacefully protests what it sees as misinformation and fear mongering in the Aberdeen Community. 

 

Another organization, Act! For America is welcoming Aynaz Anni Cyrus to Aberdeen Tuesday September 18th.  She will be speaking at the Krikac Auditorium.  Cyrus will be speaking about her own experience growing up under Islam.

 

Progressive’s for change spokesperson Josh Halsey says this type of event will spread misinformation about the Islamic faith as a whole...

 

 

 

 

According to Northern State University guidelines, protestors are allowed to demonstrate and speak to individuals who chose to attend the event, but they are not allowed to interfere with protestors entering the auditorium.

 

According to Hasley, it is important to be tolerant of others, especially in a growing community...

 

 

 

 

Act! For America is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, founded in 2007 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 


Kavanaugh and accuser to testify before Senate Monday

Senate Republicans have scheduled a public hearing to investigate allegations of sexual assault against President Trump’s most recent supreme court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  The hearing will take place Monday and should feature both Kavanaugh and the women who has accused him Chrstine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at the University of California.  Ford claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party when the two were both about 17 years old. 


Attorney General's office investigating officer involved shooting in Vermillion

Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that the Division of Criminal Investigation, at the request of the South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the officer involved shooting that occurred Sunday, September 16, 2018, at approximately 10:00 p.m. (CDT). 

 

Vermillion Police Department responded to a call to service at a Vermillion residence that resulted in a short vehicle pursuit. Vermillion Police Department discontinued the pursuit when speeds increased in a residential neighborhood.  Shortly after, a South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper located the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop when the situation escalated resulting in the Trooper firing a duty weapon at the subject.  

 

The male subject identified as Kuong Gatluak, 21, Vermillion. was transported to a local hospital.

 

At the completion of the investigation, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation will issue a case report and shooting summation to be reviewed by the Attorney General for a final determination on the officer’s action. The release of the summary is anticipated within 30 days.


Northern Minnesota experiences record setting heat Sunday

Northern Minnesota experienced record setting temperatures Sunday.  According to the national weather service, temperatures reached 89 degrees in Brainerd Sunday, beating the old record of 82 set in 2015.  The average temperature for northern Minnesota at this point of the year is 69 degrees.  International Falls also hit a new high Sunday with 87 degrees, up from 85 degrees set back in 1922.  Colder temperatures are expected to push that heat out of the area this week.


Body of a South Dakota man found in Nebraska

The body of a South Dakota man has been found in a northeast Nebraska cornfield after crashing his vehicle.  According to the Wayne County Sheriff’s office in Nebraska, the body was discovered Thursday along Nebraska highway 35 about three miles east of Wayne.  22-year-old Parker Mitchell was identified as the lone victim.  He was reported missing from North Sioux City earlier in the week.  He was last seen September 10th


Man accused of killing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbets arraigned Wednesday

The man accused of killing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbets is set to be arraigned Wednesday in the Powshiek County District Court.  24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera is accused of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of the 20-year-old Tibbets.  The case has been the center of a political firestorm as Rivera’s immigration status in the United States has been called into question by authorities.  Rivera remains in jail on a $5 million cash-only bond. 


Congressional candidate Tim Bjorkman in Groton Monday

Democratic congressional candidate Tim Bjorkman will be in Groton today for a meet-and-greet fundraiser.  He will be at the Groton American Legion 12 North Main Street in Groton from 5:30 top 7:00 p.m.  All are welcome.  Bjorkman is running to be South Dakota’s lone representative in the House of Representatives and is taking on Republican Dusty Johnson, Libertarian George Hendrickson and Independent Ron Wieczorek.  The Election will take place Nov. sixth.


17 inmates indicted on marijuana charges

Attorney General Marty Jackley announced the following inmates of the Durfee State Prison have been indicted by a Bon Homme County Grand Jury.  Each of the inmates has been indicted on one count of possession of article of indulgence, marijuana, class 6 felony, punishable by up to two years in the state penitentiary and/or $4,000 fine and one count of ingesting substance, except alcoholic beverages, for purpose of becoming intoxicated, class one misdemeanor.
 

Thomas Never Miss a Shot, 22 
James Elmer Shaw, 41
Delano James Brafford, 26
Christopher Lee Chipps, 35
Trynn Dale Andersen, 26
Dylan Boyd Brown, 28
Benjamin Nicholas Hunt, 28
Levi Ambrose Locke, 27
Mitchell Dennis Amundson, 23
Elliot Blaine Bluebird, 25
Randy Lee Ramsey, 40
Sheldon Tyrone Two Bulls, 32
Theodore James Redwing, 36
Michael Ryan Larson, 36
Matthew Tyler Fritz-Chappell, 23
Benjamin Charles Carter, 37
Jesse Allen Opatz, 24


Miller student identified in death at U of M fraternity death

St. Paul Minnesota police have identified the young man who died at a University of Minnesota fraternity house early Wednesday.  According to authorities, 20-year-old Dylan Fulton was found at the Alpha Gamma Rho house on the U of M’s campus.  He was a native of Miller South Dakota and valedictorian of his graduating class in 2017.  The incident remains under investigation, but as of now foul play or hazing do not appear to be involved.  However, alcohol is suspected to have played a role. 


Two Democrats attack opponents for not debating enough

Two of South Dakota's Democratic candidates for high, statewide office have attacked their opponents for either not debating or not debating enough.

 

Gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton has accepted at least 10 debates with his main opponent, Republican Kristi Noem. Noem has accepted two televised debates.

 

Attorney General candidate Randy Seiler has accepted a number of debates. Meanwhile, Republican opponent Jason Ravnsborg has accepted a handful and says he cannot debate during most of October because he's involved in trials. 

 

Both Seiler and Sutton have made it an issue in their races, particularly Sutton.

But is it a winning strategy to paint your opponent as a debate-a-phobe?

 

KELO.com News asked a number of the state's political pundits and those who have worked in politics as staff or candidates to get their opinions on whether the "debating debates" is a viable campaign strategy.

 

  • Troy Jones, Republican, former staffer to Sen. Jim Abdnor: "The easiest way to get an opponent to get distracted away from issues that don’t matter is to announce you won’t debate your opponent."
  • Tom Lawrence, Democrat, press secretary to Congressional candidate Tim Bjorkman: "There is a long history of SD politicians involved in races with few or no debates. Nixon over McGovern, 1972. Abdnor over McGovern, 1980. Herseth Sandlin in both 2006 and 2008 over Bruce Whalen and Chris Lien. Tim Johnson over Joel Dykstra. The ones who sought debates tried to make it an issue ... and failed."
  • Rick Hauffe, Democrat, former S.D. Democratic Party executive director: "I think there is a way to make it work, but it requires the right hook and a lot of firepower behind the right way to frame an opponent's arrogance. Least effective is to allow it to sound like whining. With an open seat, I think there is more merit in the issue." 
  •  K.C. Capra, former KTWB disc jockey, aspiring Libertarian talk show host: "Some people can’t debate facts, that’s why they won’t debate."
  • Peter Pischke, Republican, unsuccessful Sioux Falls School Board candidate, podcaster, The Happy Warrior: "Unfortunately I think that (not debating as to not make a gaffe) is a new piece of prevailing wisdom."
  • John Tristan, political party unidentified, blogger, The Constant Commoner: "On that one fact alone,  I can't recall.  It probably has some political value for Sutton's campaign though, and it should be frequently brought up as part of his overall message. 
  • David Newquist, Democrat, retired Northern State University journalism professor, blogger, Northern Valley Beacon: "I don’t think there has ever been a poll or any study that has examined the effect that a refusal to debate has had on an election.  In my old home district in Illinois, a former newspaper colleague thought it played a role in the 2014 election.  In 2010, a Tea Party candidate named Bobby Schilling became the first Republican to be elected to Congress in many years.   In 2012, he was challenged by Cheri Bustos, who won.  In 2014, Schilling challenged Bustos.  They had one televised TV debate during which Bustos fact-checked some of Schilling’s ads against her and overwhelmed him with her command of information. He avoided further debates, and my former colleague said that led to a 10-point defeat by Bustos.  My colleague thought the refusal to debate again was seen by voters as a tacit admission of inadequacy.  However, that was his perception gained through campaign coverage, not any hard data."

Two bills signed out of special legislative session

After leading the U.S. Supreme Court victory in taxation of remote sales, South Dakota will soon be among the states benefiting from the Wayfair decision.

 

Gov. Dennis Daugaard this afternoon signed into law a measure which removes the imposition of an injunction against collection of sales tax on remote sales. Senate Bill 1 will go into effect on Nov. 1, 2018, allowing the state of South Dakota to enforce sales tax collections from those who meet the $100,000 in sales or 200 transaction threshold.

 

“This has been more than 50 years in the making. Today is the culmination of efforts by many South Dakotans over the years and I thank all who have played a part,” said Gov. Daugaard. “We have finally succeeded in leveling the playing field for all who do business in our state – and we have paved the way for any other state that wishes to pursue tax uniformity.”

 

Gov. Daugaard convened the Legislature today for a special session to consider Senate Bill 1 as well as Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 1001. All three bills received legislative approval and were signed by the Governor this afternoon. SB 2 requires marketplace providers to attain a sales tax license and remit sales tax on behalf of sellers utilizing their services. HB 1001 clarifies the start date of the next governor to allow for a clear transfer of authority in January.


DOT reminding residents political signs not allowed in right-of-way

The South Dakota Department of Transportation reminds the public that political campaign and ballot-issue signs cannot be placed on state highway rights of way.

 

“With election season coming up, election signs are showing up along the state’s roadways,” says Kristi Sandal, public information officer. “Illegal signs create a safety hazard and may distract motorists from seeing important regulatory or directional signing.”

 

Illegally placed signs in the state’s right of way will be removed. DOT staff will attempt to contact the owner of the signs to pick them up.

 

The use of right of way is reserved for official highway signage. All signs in the right of way that are not required for traffic control, as authorized by law (SDCL 31-28-14), are prohibited and will be removed. That includes both candidate and ballot-issue signs.

 

Municipal ordinances regulating placement and removal of campaign signs within towns and cities do not have precedence over state jurisdiction and supervision of state highway rights of way within municipalities.


Warrant issued in Roberts county fatal crash

Warrants have been issued for a Watertown, S.D. man who was involved in a one-vehicle fatal crash that occurred last week near Sisseton.

 

Evidence indicates Robert Keoke, Jr., was driving a 1996 Ford Explorer southbound on 460th Avenue when he lost control. The vehicle went off the gravel road into a ditch and eventually rolled.

 

One passenger, Dennis Brant, 73 of Peever, S.D., was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

 

A second passenger, 50-year-old David Keeble of Sisseton, received minor injuries. He was wearing a seatbelt.

 

The crash occurred sometime on the evening of Tuesday, September 4.

 

Keoke, Jr., 52, left the crash scene and has not yet been located. Anybody who knows the location of Keoke, Jr., is asked to call law enforcement.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

  

The Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


Pierre man arrested on first degree rape charges

A Pierre man was arrested Tuesday morning on a charge of First Degree Rape.  Captain Byran Walz with the Pierre Police Department says the arrest of 35 year old Brandon Snodgrass is the result of an ongoing investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a juvenile under the age of 13 in the City of Pierre.   Snodgrass was taken into custody after law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence.  Snodgrass was transported to the Hughes County Jail on the charge where he remains in custody.  Citing the on-going investigation, additional details will not be released.  First degree rape in South Dakota involves a victim at or under the age of 13 years old.  It is a Class C felony, punishable with a penalty of life in prison and  up to a 50-thousand dollar fine if convicted of the charge.


Senator Rounds talks Kavvanaugh confirmation

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh completed the hearings stage of his confirmation process on Friday.  South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says he and his Republican colleagues have been impressed with Kavanaugh.

 

 

 

 

 

Kavanaugh has come under close scrutiny for his views on abortion, detention and treatment of terrorism suspects, warrantless wiretapping, and other issues.  Rounds says he is impressed with Kavanaugh’s approach to the job.

 


 

 

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Thursday.  It is expected that Democrats will delay the vote until next week.


Gov. Daugaard asks for flags at half staff in honor of David Fischer

Gov. Dennis Daugaard asks that all flags in the state be flown at half-staff on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 8 a.m. until sunset, in honor of David Fischer, assistant chief of the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service. Fischer died Friday, while responding to a house fire in Tilford.

 

“Linda and I offer our sincere condolences to the Fischer family. David’s service as a 22-year firefighter and South Dakota National Guard staff sergeant will not be forgotten,” Gov. Daugaard said.

 

Fischer’s funeral service will be held Saturday at the Sturgis Brown High School gymnasium. Public visitation is scheduled for Thursday at the Sturgis Community Center from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. MDT.


Democrat Billie Sutton endorsed by SD teacher's union

South Dakota Democratic gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton received the endorsement from the South Dakota Education Association.  The SDEA is a teacher’s union and believe Sutton will be an advocate for teachers. 


Aberdeen man sentenced in standoff case

An Aberdeen man has been sentenced for his involvement in a standoff with police last March.  37-year-old Christopher Rowell pleaded guilty to felony domestic aggravated assault.  He will serve five years in prison with three years and nine months suspended.  He will also be forced to pay a $879 fine. 


Democrat AG candidate Seiler to file complaint with Accountability Board

Democratic Attorney General Candidate Randy Seiler says he plans to file a complaint with the Government Accountability board against his opponent, Republican Jason Ravnsborg.  Ravnsborg was recently given unfair support by the Department of Public Safety at the state fair, which the Department has since apologized.  However, Ravnsborg has done nothing to correct the record.  Seiler made the announcement while speaking to Brown County Democrats at a picnic at centennial village this past Sunday.


Redfield school district votes on opt out today

Voters in the Redfield school district will head to the polls today in order to weigh in on an opt-out and whether is passes or not.  An opt-out gives school districts the ability to wave state caps on property taxes in order to raise funds for the school.  According to Redfield Superintendent the opt-out benefits the general fund which goes towards school activities, teacher salaries, benefits and more.  This does not have to do with the current construction already underway in Redfield.  Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Redfield Armory, the Frankfurt Community Hall and Zell Saint Parish Hall. 


Pierre man faces rape charges

A 45-year-old Pierre man faces 3rd Degree Rape and drug possession charges after being arrested early yesterday morning (Sun.) in Pierre.

 

The Pierre Police Department reports officers being called to the 600 block of West Dakota Avenue for a sexual assault. After the conclusion of the investigation, Eleghba Lipsey was arrested for 3rd Degree Rape, Possession of Under 2 ounces of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was taken to the Hughes County Jail.


Gov. Daugaard calls for flags at half staff to remember Sept. 11th attacks

President Trump is calling for the flag of the United States to be displayed at half-staff on Tuesday in observance of Patriot Day, and he has invited governors of the United States to join in the observance.

 

At the President’s request, Gov. Dennis Daugaard asks that all flags in the state be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 8 a.m. until sunset in honor of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.


LATI has 15 consecutive years of enrollment growth

Lake Area Technical Institute continues to see enrollment growth.

 

The school reports that 2, 245 students were enrolled for the fall semester. That’s a record high number, and an increase of 190 students, or about nine percent higher than last fall.

 

The overall increase is driven by a strong return of upper classmen, and several programs that are at capacity.

 

With enrollment growing for 15 consecutive years, LATI is running out of classroom space. They’ll begin to address that need when construction begins next spring on the Prairie Lakes Healthcare Center of Learning.

 

Lake Area Tech won the 2017 National Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which goes to the top-ranked two year college in the country.

 


Name released in Stanley County fatal crash

A 20-year-old Pierre woman has been identified as the person who died Tuesday night in a one-vehicle rollover north of Hayes.

 

A 2002 Ford Expedition was westbound on Sansarc Road when the driver lost control trying to avoid a deer that had entered the roadway. The vehicle went into the ditch and rolled, coming to rest on its roof.

 

Romy Rabbit, who was the passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, 45-year-old Ravae Bowman of Pierre, suffered minor injuries and was transported to a Pierre hospital.

 

Both occupants were wearing seatbelts. No charges are pending against the driver.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

 

The Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


Worthington MN man dies in hunting accident Saturday

A Worthington Minnesota man died Saturday as a result of a hunting accident.  According to reports 39-year-old Jeffrey Dean Nickel was the lone victim in an incident in Graham Lakes Township reported around 6:42 a.m. Saturday.  The Nobles county sheriff’s office, Fulda ambulance, Brewster Fire and Rescue and Department of Natural resources all responded to the call.  No further information was released immediately. 


District 4 Fall Legion meeting to be held Sept. 23rd

The annual District 4 Fall Meeting of the South Dakota American Legion will be held Sunday, September 23, 2018 in Stratford for Legionnaires from Brown, Campbell, Edmunds, McPherson, Walworth, Faulk and Spink counties.

           

The Legion business session will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Stratford Community Center.  A social will begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by a meal at 5:30 p.m. also in the Stratford Community Center.

           

State Commander Denny Brenden of Watertown will conduct the meeting and will outline his “WE WILL LEAVE NO VETERAN BEHIND” program for the 2018 - 2019 American Legion year. State Commander Brenden will be assisted by State Adjutant Travise Flisrand of Watertown and State Membership Chairman Gene Opbroek of Rapid City.

           

The District 4 Auxiliary will hold its meeting at 6:30 p.m. the same day in the Stratford Community Center.


DOT reminding residents to remove hay from ditches

The South Dakota Department of Transportation reminds land owners hay remaining in highway ditches after Oct. 1 is deemed illegal.

 

After Oct. 1, the department will remove or authorize the removal of any illegal hay bales remaining in the public right of way.

 

Any person wishing to claim ownership of illegal bales must obtain a permit from the South Dakota Department of Transportation. Those permits are issued on a first-come first-served basis and allow permit holders to take ownership of any illegal hay bale.

 

Permits are available at Department of Transportation area offices in the following communities: Aberdeen, Belle Fourche, Custer, Huron, Mitchell, Mobridge, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Winner and Yankton. Phone numbers can be found on the website at http://www.sddot.com/dot/region/Default.aspx.

 

For more information, contact the Division of Operations at 605-773-3571.


Actor Burt Reynolds passes away at 82

Legendary actor Burt Reynolds passed away Thursday at the age of 82.  Reynolds was an actor known for his iconic mustache and manly type of roles.  He was known for such films as Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, the Cannonball Run and he was nominated for an academy award for best supporting actor in  the film “Boogie Nights.”


President Donald Trump will make his first visit to South Dakota as president today.  The president is scheduled to arrive in Sioux Falls at 2:55 p.m. He will host a roundtable with supporters at 3:20 p.m. before his joint fundraiser with republican gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem.  To attend that fundraiser will cost participants $500 per person, $1,000 per couple or $5,000 to get your picture with the president. 

The following is the president's public schedule:

 

2:00 PM

President Schedule The President departs Fargo, ND en route to Sioux Falls, SD

Hector International Airport, Fargo, North Dakota

2:55 PM

President Schedule The President arrives at Sioux Falls Regional Airport

Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

3:05 PM

President Schedule The President departs Sioux Falls Regional Airport en route to Denny Sanford Convention Center

Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

3:15 PM

President Schedule The President arrives at Denny Sanford Convention Center

Denny Sanford Convention Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

3:20 PM

President Schedule The President hosts a roundtable with supporters

Denny Sanford Convention Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

4:30 PM

President Schedule The President delivers remarks at a Joint Fundraising Committee Reception

Denny Sanford Convention Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

5:05 PM

President Schedule The President departs Denny Sanford Convention Center en route to Sioux Falls Regional Airport (5:05 PM Local)

Denny Sanford Convention Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

5:15 PM

President Schedule The President arrives at Sioux Falls Regional Airport

Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

5:25 PM

President Schedule The President departs Sioux Falls, SD en route to Washington, D.C.

Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota


President Trump to visit South Dakota today

President Donald Trump will make his first visit to South Dakota as president today.  The president is scheduled to arrive in Sioux Falls at 2:55 p.m. He will host a roundtable with supporters at 3:20 p.m. before his joint fundraiser with republican gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem.  To attend that fundraiser will cost participants $500 per person, $1,000 per couple or $5,000 to get your picture with the president. 

The following is the president's public schedule:

 

2:00 PM

President Schedule The President departs Fargo, ND en route to Sioux Falls, SD

Hector International Airport, Fargo, North Dakota

2:55 PM

President Schedule The President arrives at Sioux Falls Regional Airport

Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

3:05 PM

President Schedule The President departs Sioux Falls Regional Airport en route to Denny Sanford Convention Center

Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

3:15 PM

President Schedule The President arrives at Denny Sanford Convention Center

Denny Sanford Convention Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

3:20 PM

President Schedule The President hosts a roundtable with supporters

Denny Sanford Convention Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

4:30 PM

President Schedule The President delivers remarks at a Joint Fundraising Committee Reception

Denny Sanford Convention Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

5:05 PM

President Schedule The President departs Denny Sanford Convention Center en route to Sioux Falls Regional Airport (5:05 PM Local)

Denny Sanford Convention Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

5:15 PM

President Schedule The President arrives at Sioux Falls Regional Airport

Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

5:25 PM

President Schedule The President departs Sioux Falls, SD en route to Washington, D.C.

Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota


Update: No shots fired at Sanford Aberdeen

1:30 p.m. Update: upon further investigation no shots were fired and no gun was present in the suspects room.  It is likely the banging of a cain was mistaken for shots fired.  A 54-year-old Webster man has been taken into custody and charges are pending.  

 

Authorities responded to the Sanford hospital in Aberdeen early Thursday morning after receiving reports of an active shooter.  Aberdeen Police captain Eric Duvan provided what information he could once the situation was fully under control…

 

 

 

The report came in around 9:09 a.m. and the suspect was in custody by about 9:30 a.m.  The shots fired took place on the second floor of the hospital and sent the entire facility into lockdown.  Along with Sanford Aberdeen, Mike Miller Elementary school was also put into lockdown as a precautionary measure. According to Duvan, Sanford was evacuated as best police could…

 

 

 

 

 

No one was injured in the incident a male suspect was taken into custody, though he did not cooperate.  Three shots were fired according to police, but the weapon used or motive for the shooting was not discussed.  Following the situation, Sanford employees were allowed to return to the building…

 

 

 

 

The incident remains under investigation and Aberdeen Police will be releasing more information as the time comes.


Brown County democrats to host public forum Monday

Brown County Democrats have scheduled a forum including guests speakers to be held Monday at the Pizza Ranch.  The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and feature Justin Roemmick of Aberdeen who is seeking the District 3 legislature and Paul Register of Redfield who is seeking the state Senate from District 2.  Both are Democrats.  Meals will be available  for purchase. 


Name released in fatal accident near Viborg

Two people from Viborg, S.D. have been identified as those killed late Friday night in a two-vehicle crash near Viborg.

 

A 2002 Chevrolet Silverado K2500 pickup was northbound on 455th Avenue. A 2015 Dodge Dart SXT was westbound on 290th Street. Neither vehicle stopped at the uncontrolled intersection and the two collided. Both vehicles came to rest in the northwest ditch.

 

Pronounced dead at the scene – were Kelley Fox, the 17-year-old passenger in the pickup, and Brady Patterson, the 19-year-old driver of the vehicle.

 

Austin Jensen of Viborg, the 17-year-old driver of the pickup, sustained life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital. Charges are pending against him.

 

Neither occupant in the pickup was wearing a seatbelt. The driver of the Dart was wearing a seatbelt.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

 

The Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


Candidate Seiler partially accepts apology from State Dept. of Safety

The democratic candidate for attorney general in South Dakota says he has partially accepted an apology from the state Department of Public Safety's leader for inviting the republican attorney general candidate to introduce a Highway Patrol event at the state fair last weekend.

 

Randy Seiler, of Fort Pierre, tells DRG news and farm he has talked to Sec. Trevor Jones about Jones’ invitation to Jason Ravnsborg (rounds-berg) to introduce a canine demonstration.

 

 

 

Seiler was alerted to the situation through social media and Ravnsborg’s campaign website.

 

 

 

 

Jones said in a statement that the spur-of-the-moment invitation was a "lapse in judgment" and wasn't meant to show support for any particular candidate. He also sent an apology letter Seiler.

 

 

 

 

At this point, Seiler thinks any investigation into the matter will be handled by the Government Accountability Board.

 

 

 

 

Seiler, who has served as the federal US Attorney for South Dakota, says this is a complicated situation.

 

 


Mosquito spray scheduled for Thursday night

The Mosquito Control Division of the City of Aberdeen will be spraying for Mosquitoes.

On Thursday September 6 City Wide Spraying for Mosquitoes will be done between the hours of 7:30 PM and 11:00 PM.

            In case of inclement weather, spraying will be done the following night.

The Adulticiding equipment is noisy.   The mosquito control trucks are identified and travel with a flashing yellow light.    

To ensure spray effectiveness during the spraying operations, temperatures must be above 55 degrees and wind must be 10 mph or less and no inclement weather present.  Winds higher than 10 mph or inclement weather will result in the spraying being suspended until conditions improve.  

For more information, contact Aberdeen Mosquito Control Program at 626.7015


South Dakota victims of mass shooting in Las Vegas urged to seek reimbursement

South Dakotans who were victims of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting in Las Vegas have until Oct. 1 to apply for reimbursement for current or future out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from the event.

 

The Nevada Victims of Crime Program says records indicate 57 tickets for the concert were sold to South Dakotans. So far only four of those ticket holders have applied for reimbursement.  Out of the total 21,210 tickets sold both within and outside of the United States, 79 percent of the ticket holders have not yet applied.

 

Stephanie Pierson, the director of the South Dakota Victims’ Services Program, says this is a national outreach effort by the state of Nevada to ensure shooting victims have an opportunity for reimbursement. She said her program has not received any calls from South Dakotans who attended the concert, but says shooting survivors should not hesitate to apply.

 

“Funds from the program can be used by survivors for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills or counseling co-pays that are not covered by insurance,” she says. “Even those survivors who don’t have any eligible expenses now are still encouraged to apply for the program before the Oct. 1 deadline just in case they incur any future expenses that might be covered by the program.”

 

Ticket holders are encouraged to apply to the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center website VegasStrongRC.org or by calling 1-833-299-2433.

 

The Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting left 58 people dead and 851 injured.

 

South Dakota’s Victims Services Program is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate LaVallee to headline fundraiser Sept. 9th in Aberdeen

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michelle LaVallee will headline a fundraising picnic in Aberdeen Sunday Sept. 9th.  The event will take place at Centennial Village on the Brown County fairgrounds.  Cost to attend is $10 per person and children 12 and under eat for free.  The Democrats will start serving at 12:30 p.m. and LaVallee is scheduled to speak at 1:00 p.m.  LaVallee is a Sioux Falls businesswoman and longtime Republican who crossed the isle at the request of Democratic candidate Billie Sutton to run as a Democrat.   


Northern to hold ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday

Northern State University will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its two new residence halls at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, during the annual Gypsy Days celebration.

 

Great Plains East and Great Plains West both opened this fall on the Northern campus. The ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held on the Great Plains East Patio.

  

Great Plains East, located south of the Gerber Building, features a pod-style design and also includes a Provisions on Demand (POD) convenience store and a Papa John’s Pizza.

 

Great Plains West, which was built at the former site of Lindberg Hall, includes suite-style rooms as well as a multi-purpose room that can be used for game cleaning.

 

These two halls as well as Wolves Memorial Suites, which opened in fall 2017, offer a total of almost 450 new beds on campus – meaning more than half of Northern’s residence hall occupants now live in new facilities.


Dept. of Safety apologizes politicizing event at state fair

The Department of Public Safety has issued an apology after unintentionally politicizing an event at the state fair. 

 

Safety director Trevor Jones invited Republican candidate for Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg to introduce a canine unite demonstration, which is illegal under South Dakota cotified law. 

 

After the situation was pointed out as unethical by Democratic candidate for AG Randy Seiler, Jones issued an apology saying the decision was a lapse in judgment and “was not intended to demonstrate support for any particular candidate and should not reflect on the hard working employees of the department of public safety.”


Police investigate broken vehicle windows in Aberdeen

Police in Aberdeen are investigating a rash of broken vehicle windows which occurred Sunday.  According to the Police Department, 15 reports of broken windows were made at Lakeside Estates and Park Village Sunday.  Nothing was reported missing from the vehicles and police captain Eric Duven tells the Aberdeen American News, the suspect or suspects likely used a rock to break a window in at least one instance.  If you have any information about the situation, you are urged to contact police dispatch at 626-7911. 


Amazon reaches net worth of $1 trillion

Amazon.com, the online giant retailer has become the second publicly traded company in history to reach a reported worth of $1 trillion.  The first company to reach such a wealth is Apple.  The companies owner Jeff Bezos is considered the world’s richest man worth an estimated $164.7 billion. 


21-year-old man killed in train accident near Brookings

A 21-year-old man is killed when he is run over by a train in Brookings.

 

Assistant Police Chief Derrick Powers says it appears the man was lying down on the tracks just east of Main Avenue when a Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern train came through.

 

Powers says they were contacted by the railroad at about 3:20 Sunday morning.

 

The man killed has been identified as Travis D. Pinnick. Powers says Flandreau was listed as his home address.

 

The Brookings County Sheriff's Department and Brookings Ambulance also responded.


Former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl picked to serve out McCain's term

Arizona governor Goug Ducey has announced former US Senator Jon Kyl will replace the late John McCain in the US Senate.  Kyl will serve out the remainder of Senator McCain’s term which ends in 2020. 


Kyl served as a senator from Arizona from 1995 to 2013.  During that time he also served as the senate minority whip from 2007 to 2013.  Kyl has already said he will not seek reelection in 2020.   


Man arrested following Sunday standoff in Mitchell

A man is in protective custody following a four-hour armed standoff in Mitchell early Sunday morning.  Just before 2:30 AM, officers responded to the area of 1000 Court Merrill for a report of an armed suicidal male in a residence.  The Mitchell Emergency Response Unit was notified and responded to the scene.  A perimeter was established and several residences were evacuated.  Abbott House staff was also notified and told to stay in the building.  Negotiators attempted to make contact with the individual.  The situation was resolved at around 6:30 AM when the subject exited the residence without incident.  No one was injured in the standoff.


Name released in accident near Bonesteel Friday

A 36-year-old man from Edmonton Alberta, Canada, has been identified as the person who died Friday in a one-vehicle crash east of Bonesteel.

 

Jagdish Singh was the passenger in a 2014 Volvo semi-truck and trailer which was northbound on U.S. Highway 281 when the driver lost control as the vehicle entered a curve. The semi-truck and trailer rolled into the west ditch.

 

The deceased was thrown from the truck and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

 

Gurpreet Brar, 32, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was the driver. He sustained serious non-life injuries.  He was wearing a seatbelt and was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Wagner. Charges are pending against the driver.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

 

The Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


Kavanaugh confirmation hearing to begin this week

The United States Senate is scheduled to begin hearings this week in regards to President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next Supreme Court Justice.  Today, Brett Kavanaugh will make opening statements in the hearing and questioning from Senators will begin Wednesday.  A Vote in the committee to send his nomination to the full senate for confirmation could happen as quickly as late September.  Kavanaugh has been selected to replace the retired justice Anthony Kennedy.  Democrats have criticized this process as access to Kavanaugh documents during his time working in the George W. Bush administration, approximately 129,000 documents, are being withheld by the white house for different reasons. 


Asphalt overlay to begin Wednesday in parts of Aberdeen

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Wednesday traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction on parts of eighth avenue Northeast.  Crews will be working on asphalt overlay during this time.  Traffic will be restricted from Country Road 19 to County road 14.  Work is expected to last approximately two days. 


Sturgis high school shutdown due to threat Thursday

STURGIS, S.D. – Schools in Sturgis were placed on a soft lockdown Thursday morning after law enforcement received a report that a parent was threatening self-harm.

 

Sturgis Police Chief Geody VanDewater says a grandparent heard the threat and was concerned the parent would visit the student at school.

 

VanDewaater says as they worked to verify the threat, they spoke with the Meade 46-1 School District and decided it was best to go on a soft lockdown. That is where classroom doors are locked, but the school curriculum continues.

 

VanDewater says after determining the parent in question wasn’t in Meade County, and the threat was no longer there, the lockdown was lifted.

 

Meade 46-1 Superintendent Jeff Simmons says it was good opportunity to work on the continuing professional partnership they have with Sturgis Police and the Meade County Sheriff…

 

 

 

 

Simmons explains the protocol for a soft lockdown…

 

 

 

Simmons says there was never a threat to students.

VanDewater says they are following up with a welfare check on the parent


President Trump to visit South Dakota Sept. 7th

President Donald Trump will visit South Dakota for the first time as President next week.  Trump will be coming to Sioux Falls September 7th and speak at a campaign even in support of gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem.  The location and time were not provided on the invite which has circulated across the internet, but attendees will need to pay $500 per person, $1,000 per couple or $5,000 per couple which includes a photo with the President.   


Northern names Curt Fredrickson Gypsy Day Parade Marshall

Northern State University has named Curt Fredrickson its upcoming Gypsy Day Parade marshal.  The 103rd gypsy day parade will start at 9:00 a.m. on September 29th.  Fredrickson was the longtime women’s basketball coach at Northern, who retired this past spring after 39 seasons at the helm.  He is the winningest coach in Northern history with 846 wins and two NAIA National championships. 


KSFY to host congressional debate Sunday

KSFY Has announced it will host a four-candidate debate Sunday at the South Dakota State Fair.  The debate will take place at 2:00 p.m. at the freedom stage, be broadcasted on TV and be streamed at KSFY.com.  The debate is between the four candidates for South Dakota’s lone seat in the house of representatives including Republican Dusty Johnson, Democrat Tim Bjorkman, Libertarian George Hendrickson and independent Ron Wieczorek. 


Aberdeen woman indicted on alternate murder charges

An Aberdeen woman has been indicted by a grand jury in the death of another Aberdeen woman Mitchelle Ladner.  38-year-old Tanisha Renee Jordan-Mondo faces alternate counts of murder following a stabbing incident July 19th.  Jordan-Mondo was arrested following a month long investigation by police.  She is being held without bond while waiting to stand trial.


One dead in Meade county fatal crash

One person died and another was injured late Tuesday afternoon in a one-vehicle crash west of Piedmont.

 

Names of the two people involved are not being released pending notification of family members.

 

A 2010 Dodge Ram pickup was eastbound on Interstate 90 at a high rate of speed. The vehicle entered the transition area into a construction zone where the driver lost control. The vehicle struck several construction cones before it entered the median area and rolled several times.

 

The 39-year-old male driver was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. The 39-year-old male passenger was taken by ambulance to the Rapid City hospital. Neither man was wearing a seatbelt.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

 


Congresswoman Noem says new Mexican-US trade deal good for producers

Congresswoman Kristi Noem thinks the recent trade agreement with Mexico bodes well for ag producers and the nation.

 

 

 

Noem is also running for governor against Democrat Billie Sutton and Libertarian Kurt Evans.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem says there's some very good news in the trade agreement President Trump negotiated with Mexico.
 

 

 

Noem says the agreement with Mexico should put more pressure on Canada to come to a trade agreement with the United States.

 


Death toll on Puerto Rico rises following independent study into Hurricane Maria

The Puerto Rican government Tuesday released numbers showing the death toll from Hurricane Maria is much larger than initially reported.  Shortly after the hurricane hit the Caribbean island in September of 2017, and estimated 64 people were killed.  That number has risen to 2,975 after the release of an independent study and included individuals who died as a result of the desperate situation and lack of response months after the storm.  Senators Kristen Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are calling for an independent investigation into the federal governments response. 


SD Right to life endorses three state wide Republican candidates

South Dakota’s chapter of “Right to Life”, one of the oldest anti-abortion activist groups in the country, has announced endorsements for three statewide races come November.  The group has endorsed Republicans Kristi Noem for Governor, Dusty Johnson for congress and Jason Ravnsborg for Attorney General.  In a statement, the group says it chose to endorse these candidates due to their commitment to protecting the unborn. 


Mosquito spray scheduled for Thursday night

A Mosquito spray has been planned for 8:00 p.m. tonight to 1:00 a.m. Thursday in Aberdeen.  The adulticiding equipment is loud and drive slowly so be aware while on the road.  The West Nile virus has been found in Brown County so keeping yourself safe from mosquitoes is important.  To do that experts encourage residents to avoid outdoor activity during dawn and dusk, wear long sleeves and cover your body while outdoors, wear bug repellent, and remove standing water from your property that can be a breeding ground for mosquito eggs.  Should winds be above 10 miles per hour or inclement weather present, the spray will be rescheduled. 


SD Dept. of Safety urging safe driving over Labor Day

Officials of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety are encouraging motorists to end summer on a safe note by being safe on the road.

 

The Labor Day weekend is considered the end of the summer. That means more people are expected on the road as they head to the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, athletic or school events and those final family summer gatherings.  This year’s 78-hour Labor Day holiday period for reporting motor vehicle traffic crashes starts at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, and continues until midnight, Monday, Sept. 3.

 

“As we know, motor vehicle crashes can happen at any time of the year, holiday or no holiday,” says Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety. “The important thing is that motorists remember those basic safety rules – wear a seatbelt while in a vehicle or helmet on a motorcycle, slow down, watch out for others, don’t drink and drive and don’t get distracted by electronic devices. We ask motorists and passengers to make smart safety choices.”

 

When traveling on South Dakota highways this holiday weekend, motorists will likely see the  Highway Patrol as well. Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Craig Price says the Patrol will conduct its standard high visibility operation.

 

“Fatality crashes in South Dakota are up this year when compared to last year. It will take all of us, citizens, visitors and public safety officials alike, to reverse this trend,” Col. Price says. “To kick off Labor Day weekend all available troopers, including me, will be out enforcing our traffic laws. I hope you all have a safe weekend.” 

 

During the 2017 Labor Day reporting period, there were 133 motor vehicle crashes resulting in one fatal and 32 injuries. Out of the 32 injured, 22 were occupants of motor vehicles and 18 were reported to have worn safety restraints.

 

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


Trump administration announces potential new trade deal with Mexico

The Trump administration Monday announced a preliminary agreement with the government of Mexico on an update to the North Atlantic Free Trade agreement or NAFTA.  President Trump is calling this the end of NAFTA and beginning of something new, while observers say this is more a revision of NAFTA, updating provisions in relation to the digital economy, automobiles, agriculture and labor unions.  The largest change in the new agreement would affect the auto industry, requiring car companies to manufacture at least 75 percent of an automobile’s value in the US, up from 62.5 percent.  It is not known as of now if Canada will be included in this new agreement. 


SD Pheasant brood numbers up in 2018

According to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP), this year’s pheasant brood survey shows a 47 percent increase over last year. The 2018 statewide pheasants-per-mile (PPM) index is 2.47, up from the 2017 index of 1.68.

“A substantial increase in the pheasants-per-mile index is an exciting prospect for South Dakota’s 100th pheasant hunting season this fall,” stated Kelly Hepler, GFP Secretary. “Weather conditions continue to play a significant role when it comes to bird numbers and better weather helped this year with the average pheasant brood size increasing 22 percent over last year.”

From late July through mid-August, GFP surveyed 110, thirty-mile routes across the state’s pheasant range to estimate pheasant production and calculate the PPM index. The survey is not a population estimate, but rather compares the number of pheasants observed on the routes and establishes trend information. Statewide, 85 of the 110 survey routes had a higher PPM than 2017.

“We are pleased to see pheasant numbers improve across the state; particularly in the far eastern part of the state where hunters will have more opportunities to harvest birds than in recent years,” stated Hepler. “The full report provides an overview of upland habitat; which remains a concern for all wildlife across the state. Just as changes in landscape-level habitat conditions have produced peaks and valleys in the pheasant population for 100 years, habitat will again be the key to preserving pheasant hunting for another century."

The Walk-in Area (WIA) program added 39,000 new acres in addition to 8,000 new acres last year. With 1.1 million acres of public hunting land within the heart of South Dakota’s pheasant range, great opportunities remain for public access to pheasant hunting. Hepler said hunters should notice far fewer disturbed CRP fields compared to last year when emergency haying and grazing was authorized in response to severe drought conditions.

The annual hunting atlas and a web-based interactive map of public lands and private lands leased for public hunting can be found at https://gfp.sd.gov/hunting-areas/. In addition to printed and interactive maps, hunters can utilize GPS downloads and smartphone applications to locate public hunting lands throughout the state. Hunters are again asked to hunt safely and ethically, respect private landowners and those public hunting areas scattered across the state.

“Challenges exist to maintain habitat, desirable pheasant population levels, and to recruit a new generation of hunters to preserve this truly special sport of pheasant hunting. Take time this fall to celebrate the hunt, the sense of community and comradery while appreciating how deeply rooted the tradition of pheasant hunting has been for the last 100 years,” concluded Hepler.  

South Dakota’s traditional statewide pheasant hunting season opens on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, and runs through Jan. 6, 2019.


Gov. Daugaard calls for flags at half staff in honor of the late John McCain

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has called for flats to be at half staff to honor the life of the late Senator John McCain.  The Governor has called for flags to follow the proclamation announced by the president, to keep flags at half staff until sunset on Sunday Sept. 2nd when McCain will be interred. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has called for flats to be at half staff to honor the life of the late Senator John McCain.  The Governor has called for flags to follow the proclamation announced by the president, to keep flags at half staff until sunset on Sunday Sept. 2nd when McCain will be interred. 


SD PUC to hold classes on avoiding phone scams

The best defense against scams, particularly those that come over the phone, is to be informed and cautious. That’s the message the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is sharing with consumers at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron this week.

 

PUC commissioners and staff will meet with fair goers at the PUC display booth in the Expo Building on the State Fairgrounds from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3. PUC representatives will offer tips about how to prevent falling victim to numerous telephone scams that are prevalent.

 

“Education, awareness and information — those three things are the best tools South Dakotans can use to fight off scams,” said PUC Chairperson Kristie Fiegen. “Telephone scammers are particularly nefarious and, unfortunately, very difficult to catch. The PUC wants to help South Dakotans protect themselves by learning how to identify and steer clear of scams.”

 

New content on the PUC’s website, www.puc.sd.gov, offers basic information about scams, tips and tools to avoid scams and what some common scams are.

 

“Staying connected with friends, family, community and business associates through telecommunications is a tremendous asset,” said Commissioner Gary Hanson, vice chairman of the PUC. “But, when scammers use telecommunications in an attempt to defraud, trick and otherwise make good folks’ lives miserable, it makes one wary about answering their phone.”

 

PUC Commissioner Chris Nelson suggests South Dakotans shrug off their niceness when dealing with telephone scammers. “If you answer the phone and the caller or offer sounds suspicious, hang up immediately. Don’t engage the caller in conversation. This defense method seems to go against our character as friendly South Dakotans, but it’s best to stop trouble before it starts,” Nelson said.

 

Find more information about avoiding telephone scams on the PUC’s website at www.puc.sd.gov/scamcalls.


Dusty Johnson releases trade plan if elected

Republican Dusty Johnson, through his campaign for congress, has released a three point plan to address trade for farmers if elected to congress.  The plan calls for three specific actions that Johnson says will help short-term and long-term farming stability.  Those changes are; increase negotiating force, boost domestic demand for commodities, require authorization for some future tariffs.

Johnson has been criticized by his opponents, specifically Democrat Tim Bjorkman, for failing to stand up for South Dakota farmers as billions of dollars in tariffs are currently dragging down commodity prices and demand.  Despite the criticism, Johnson says he is a free trade guy and now the US needs to be in it for the long haul…

 

 

 

Johnson believes the goal is to be tariff free and to allow more market access when this trade war plays itself out.  When that finally happens, Johnson sees a role congress can take up to help repair damaged trade relationships…

 

 

Johnson also talked about leadership in the House of Representatives.  Current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is stepping down at the end of his term in January and new leadership will need to be named.  That is if Republicans can keep control of the house come the November midterm elections.  Johnson described the kind of person he would want to see the new leader of the Republican caucus in the house be…

 

 


One person killed in Pennington County fatal crash

One person died Sunday afternoon in a motorcycle-vehicle crash that occurred near Hill City.

 

The name of the deceased, along with the names of two others involved, are not being released by state officials pending notification of family members.

 

A 2003 Kawasaki L Cruiser motorcycle was southbound on U.S. Highway 385 when the male driver lost control as the vehicle went into the northbound lane. A northbound 2015 Chevrolet Equinox ran over the motorcycle and driver.

 

The 57-year-old motorcycle driver was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet.

 

Both the male driver and female passenger of the vehicle suffered minor injuries. The two occupants, each 75 years old, were wearing seatbelts.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

 

The Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


Gov. Daugaard encouraging residents to get out to the state fair beginning this week

The South Dakota State Fair begins its annual run with Channel Seeds Preview day on Wednesday.  The State Fair and State Fair Park were not immune to 10-percent across-the-board cuts mandated by Governor Dennis Daugaard after he took office to eliminate continual structural deficit that hung over the state budget.  The Fair has seen a resurgence in the years since…

 

 

 

Daugaard says the increase in off season events has helped increase revenues…

 

 

 

Those increases in revenue are helping the Fairgrounds on much needed upkeep and maintenance…

 

 

 

Daugaard is looking forward to one more fair as Governor…

 

 

 

The last two years, the South Dakota State Fair in Huron has surpassed the 200-thousand visitor plateau.


Car collides with home in northern part of Aberdeen

First responders were on the scene Sunday evening when a Honda drove into a home in the north part of Aberdeen.  The incident occurred at 524 North State Street around 7:00 p.m.  No one in the home was injured.  Officers worked to put a temporary fix to the foundation as some of it had been pushed in by the vehicle.  The incident remains under investigation. 

 

 


Longtime Arizona senator, one time Republican Presidential nominee and war hero John McCain passed away Saturday at the age of 81. 

McCain had been battling brain cancer and just last week announced he would no longer undergo treatment to try and fight the disease. 

The country has collectively mourned the loss of McCain, who earned the title of Maverick in the Senate for his willingness to buck his own party and cross the political isle in the interest of getting legislation passed.  

Senator Rounds statement on the passing of McCain:

“John McCain was a true American hero who spent his life serving our country,” said Rounds. “Our men and women in uniform had no better ally than John McCain, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served alongside him on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He leaves behind a legacy of leadership we can all admire. Jean and I send our deepest condolences to Cindy and the entire McCain family during this difficult time.”

Senator Thune statement on the passing of McCain:

“Sen. McCain leaves behind a legacy as big as his personality,” said Thune. “As a son, midshipman, Navy captain, war hero, congressman, father, senator, and maverick, he’s filled his many roles with integrity and has always been driven by dedication to his country. John served the nation he loved until the very end, and he will be missed. Kimberley and I are praying for Cindy and the McCain family as they cope with the loss of their beloved husband and father.”


Gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem releases veteran plan

Kristi Noem today released her veterans initiative while visiting the State Veterans Home in Hot Springs, which is known as The Veterans Town. The effort, which she’s coined as OPERATION: RALLY POINT, focuses on improving customer service within the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, expanding employment opportunities, and addressing some of the everyday challenges veterans face, including transportation and digital literacy.

 

“Before any patrol or battle, service members will often establish a Rally Point, a safe place to reassemble if they have a problem, need to refit, or just need rest,” said Noem. “Similarly, I believe the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs should operate as a Rally Point, providing resources, support, and guidance to the state’s 72,000 veterans. Like many aspects of state government, South Dakota does a lot right in this area, but there is room for improvement too.”

 

Prioritize customer service within SDDVA. While our nation has promised veterans certain benefits, such as healthcare, retirement and education, the systems created to deliver this assistance are often complex, counterintuitive, and slow. Most of these programs are under federal jurisdiction, but states can play a powerful role in representing veterans and ensuring each receives the benefits to which they’re entitled. That’s why it’s critical we continue to have a stand-alone SDDVA. Additionally, with efficiency and service in mind, my administration will:

  • Employ pro-active Veteran Service Officers (VSOs), providing them with sufficient training and instilling a culture of customer service;
  • Better educate County Commissioners and Tribal Councils of the resources offered by VSOs and the responsibilities County Commissioners and Tribal Councils have in supporting VSOs;
  • Work to ensure the SDDVA is connecting veterans with the mental health resources they are eligible for; and
  • Foster greater collaboration between VSOs and the congressional delegation, each of whom employ caseworkers that specialize in navigating the VA and other federal bureaucracies.

 

Expand employment opportunities for veterans. Most service members take up second careers after their military service. As we grow the state’s economy, we must work to help veterans find their place in the private sector. As governor, I will:

  • Lead by example. The state of South Dakota already employs more than 1,000 veterans. I will continue to seek out qualified veterans, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserves, to serve within the state government.
  • Actively support veteran hiring programs. In part because of legislation I fought for, employers can receive benefits for hiring veterans or supporting those serving in the National Guard and Reserves. The South Dakota Department of Labor must continue to help employers and veterans better understand and utilize these programs.
  • Give credit where credit is due. The South Dakota Board of Regents has been active in giving graduation credit to veterans for the training they received during their time in the military - something I will continue to support and encourage.
  • Recruit veterans to fill South Dakota employment needs. Many industries face tremendous difficulties recruiting skilled labor. In many cases, veterans can fill those gaps.
  • Review licensing requirements. As outlined in my Kickstarting the Economy proposal, my administration’s review of state licensing requirements must explore, among other things, options to fast-track veterans and military families, letting their experience count so it’s easier to work in South Dakota.

 

Support public-private collaboration to address transportation shortfalls. Especially in rural communities, transportation to and from appointments is a challenge for veterans. While most areas cannot support a robust public transportation network, we’ve seen multiple partners successfully band together in some areas of the state to offer more reliable options. More specifically, the same system that gets veterans to appointments at the VA, takes kids to after-school programs at the Boys and Girls Club; it also assists disabled and low-income individuals in getting to and from work. We must encourage alliances like this. Additionally, my administration will work to continue leveraging South Dakota’s tremendous volunteerism rate, actively encouraging folks to fill remaining transportation gaps.

 

Expand digital literacy among veterans. The average age of an American veteran is 61 years old. While many are tech savvy, some struggle with computer skills that could make accessing benefits and resources easier, particularly in rural areas where it’s difficult to get to Pierre or Sioux Falls. As governor, I will work to build partnerships between local libraries, schools, and veterans groups to improve digital literacy among veterans.

 

Maintain Hot Springs as The Veterans Town. There is no community in America so dedicated to delivering what our veterans have earned than Hot Springs. Tucked in the Black Hills, the Hot Springs VA hospital provides a level of serenity that aids in the healing process – especially for those facing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury, and similar illnesses. Despite all this, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was incrementally depleting the services offered in Hot Springs and pushing forward a plan to close the facility altogether. Alongside many South Dakota veterans, I’ve battled the VA to keep the facility open. While we’ve made significant progress, this fight is far from over. As governor, I’ll be just as committed to saving the Hot Springs VA Hospital. Additionally, I will continue to ensure the State Veterans Home in Hot Springs is a world-class facility for South Dakota veterans and their families, making certain The Veterans Town can continue delivering the services veterans have earned.

 

Preserve a final resting place for South Dakota veterans. In May 2018, President Trump signed legislation I helped write to triple the Black Hills National Cemetery’s size. The mere fact that the cemetery needs expansion is a testament to the astounding number of South Dakota patriots who have answered the call to serve. But more can be done. More than two-thirds of South Dakota veterans live on the eastern side of the state, yet the closest cemetery to the area is more than 200 miles away in Minnesota. I am deeply supportive of the state legislature’s efforts to establish an East River Veterans Cemetery and will work as governor to bring the project to completion.


Gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton releases ag plan

RAPID CITY, S.D. – South Dakota Democratic Candidate for Governor Billie Sutton was at the Central State’s Fair in Rapid City today to introduce his plan for agriculture.

Sutton calls it the “Planting Seeds for Growth” Ag plan.

Sutton says it outlines his priorities in advocating for the state’s family farmers and ranchers…

 

 

 

Sutton touched on the current tariffs situation, and believes they do more harm than good to the state’s farmers and ranchers. However, Sutton says he too, believes in fair trade and doesn’t want the U.S. to be taken advantage of.

He also wants to see some changes in the state’s ag assessment program, touching on property tax relief…

 

 

Sutton says his plan is all about preserving the way of life for farmers and ranchers for generations to come. Sutton is a 5th generation rancher and says agriculture is key to growth in the state.

Sutton is running against Republican Kristi Noem and Libertarian Kurt Evans.


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