Local News

Gov. Daugaard takes part in 9th annual Ag Summit

(KBHB - Sturgis, SD) The Governor’s 9th annual Agricultural Summit is taking place in Rapid City this year, and state officials are not only weighing in on this year's ag outlook, but also the tariff dilemma.


Governor Dennis Daugaard was among Thursday’s speakers…




Jeremy Freking with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture said it's concerning -- especially for corn and soybean farmers.




The tariffs come at a time when producers should be celebrating a positive growing season and cooperative weather in much of the state thus far.  Freking says the latest estimate from USDA shows 70-percent of the corn and soybean crop in South Dakota is good to excellent.


Another positive note is the Farm Bill. Currently, it has passed both houses of congress and needs to be confirmed by a joint committee before final approval.


Meanwhile, potential tariffs loom over an otherwise ideal year for South Dakota producers, and that has Daugaard concerned…




It has also caught the attention of the state’s congressional delegation. They sent a letter to President Trump urging him to make U.S. ag a priority during trade negotiations.

One head in Hanson County fatal crash

A 29-year-old woman has died in a one-vehicle fatal crash that happened sometime early Sunday east of Mitchell.


The name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of family. She was the driver of the vehicle and the only occupant.


A 2006 Chevrolet Malibu was northbound on 413th Avenue when it drifted across the roadway and into the west ditch. The vehicle eventually entered Rock Creek and ended up on its top.


The driver was not wearing a seatbelt. She was pronounced dead at the scene.


While the vehicle was discovered Sunday afternoon, the crash appears to have happened sometime earlier on Sunday.  


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


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

Road construction scheduled to begin in parts of Aberdeen today

Five city street sections will be closed today to thru traffic due to road construction.  Work is expected to begin at 8:00 a.m. according to the Public Works Department. 

Work is expected to last four weeks with some streets being periodically open. 

Areas affected include Third Aveneu Southeast from South Kline Street to South State Street, South Washington Street from Third Avenue Southeast to First Avenue Southeast, Second Avenue Southeast from South Second Street to South Washignton Street, 15th Avenue Northeast from North Dakota Street to North Harrison Street and North State Street from Eighth Avenue Northeast to 15th Avenue Northeast. 

South Dakota delegation to Washington sends letter to the president on ag markets

South Dakota’s delegation to Washington has sent a letter to President Donald Trump, requesting he keep agriculture in mind as the trade war he started with China and other countries threaten the already weakened ag markets.  The letter, signed by Senators John Thune, Mike Rounds and Representative Kristi Noem, goes out of its way to acknowledge the representatives support for the administration before requesting agriculture be protected against any existing or future tariffs.  China’s tariffs affecting agriculture directly include taxes on soybeans, cotton, rice, sorghum, beef, pork, dairy, nuts and produce. 


The following is the full letter:

Dear President Trump:

Over the past several months, we have expressed serious concern that the steep drop in commodity and livestock prices linked to current U.S. trade policies and recently effectuated sanctions could push an alarming number of our state’s farms, ranches, and rural areas to the brink of economic collapse.

According to a recent CoBank news release, “uncertainty around trade presents escalating concern to U.S. agriculture. Seventy percent of U.S. agriculture exports are to destinations that are in current negotiation or trade disputes, according to the most recent Rural Economic Review from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.” Further, a July 2, 2018, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) report provides, “Lower commodity prices in the near future could likely further reduce farm receipts, making it more difficult for some farmers to meet their loan obligations and pay for production expenses.”

Against this backdrop, the 2018 winter wheat harvest has begun in South Dakota, with other crop harvests to continue over the next four to five months. Harvest typically marks the beginning of a very critical period of economic uncertainty for farmers and ranchers in a normal year, as operating loans and production and harvest expenses are coming due before year’s end. Unfortunately, this uncertainty is now unnecessarily exacerbated by U.S. trade policies.

Agriculture is South Dakota’s number one industry and the cornerstone of its economy. South Dakota ranks in the top ten states in producing cattle, hogs, corn, wheat, and soybeans with more than 11 million acres of these three crops planted in 2018. Because of our state’s dependency on agriculture exports, our producers can no longer continue to “wait and see” what happens with U.S. trade in the global arena. Trade uncertainty over just the past few months has cost South Dakota farmers and ranchers hundreds of millions of dollars they could not afford to lose.

We appreciate and support your administration’s efforts to address a broad spectrum of trade inequities. We do not support, however, making agriculture exports, which have been the exception to such trade inequities, bear the brunt of retaliatory actions in response to current U.S. trade policies.


CDC links 100 cases of Salmonella to Honey Smacks cereal

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is advising the public for the time being to avoid Kellog’s Honey Smacks cereal due to a possible salmonella outbreak.  According to the agency 100 people since March have been affected by the illness, believed to be linked to the cereal.  Florida and Colorado are the latest of 33 states affected by the outbreak. 

Two Marshall county men sentenced in underage sexual abuse case

The Marshall county case involving five men sexually abusing a teenage girl has come to an end, with the final two men being sentenced earlier this week. 


20-year-old Michael Mejilla and 28-year-old Dustin Purcell, both of Britton each received 10 years in prison on conditions of a plea deal.  All five men were accused of illegal sexual intercourse with a Marshall County teenager younger than 16 at the time.  Some also faced child pornography charges as they had inappropriate pictures of the teen as well. 


They were arrested in October of 2017. 

SD PUC approves windfarm in northeast South Dakota

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Tuesday approved an estimated 300 megawatt wind farm to be located in Grant and Condition counties.  The project is estimated to cost $380 million and is expected to be completed by 2021.  Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy will build and own the project they are calling the “Dakota Range” wind project.  It is expected to consist of 72 turbines across about 44,500 acres of land. 

Gov. Daugaard declares July 26 Americans with Disabilities Act day

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed July 26 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Day in South Dakota.


The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services.


“The ADA has helped our state and nation to develop and promote the equal opportunity, independence and full participation of people with disabilities within our state,” said South Dakota Department of Human Services Cabinet Secretary Gloria Pearson.


Celebratory town events from public mayoral proclamations, socials, drives and picnics will continue throughout the month.


For more information on the ADA, please visit


The proclamation coincides with the 28th anniversary of the signing of the ADA by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Citywide mosquito spray scheduled for Wednesday

The Mosquito Control Division of the City of Aberdeen will do a city wide spraying for Mosquitoes on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 between the hours of 8:00 PM and 1:00 A M.  If the weather is not favorable to spray on Wednesday we will spray Thursday.  The adulticiding equipment is noisy and travels at 10 mph.   The mosquito control trucks are identified and travel with a flashing yellow lights.  

To ensure spray effectiveness during the spraying operations, the 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.   

West Nile virus has been identified in Aberdeen and city officials urge citizens to take extra precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.  The Mosquito Control Division’s surveillance program has tested Mosquito Pools that were positive for West Nile Virus. You can reduce the risk of getting West Nile virus by eliminating mosquito habitat around our property, applying insect repellents and wearing proper clothing when outdoors.  Protect yourself and loved ones from West Nile virus.

For more information on the Aberdeen Mosquito Control Program call 626.7015.

Northern announces funding nearly 75 percent complete for new campus upgrades

The Educational Impact Campaign is gaining momentum, with pledges totaling more than $33 million so far for the collaborative effort between Northern State University and the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


“We are extremely pleased with the progress of the Educational Impact Campaign,” said NSU President Dr. Tim Downs. “Since announcing the capital campaign at Northern Night, our committee has worked tirelessly to line up meetings with potential stakeholders.”


Downs said pledges for the campaign – which includes a new SDSBVI facility, the Athletic and Recreation Fields project and on-campus regional sports complex – have come from private individuals, the city of Aberdeen and organizations throughout the region.


“We continue to have great conversations with multiple organizations and groups,” Downs said. “More good news is on the horizon.”


Recent Contributions


Most recently, the city of Aberdeen pledged $185,000 from the annual 2019 promotion fund allocation. Along with that total, the city is expected to commit additional funding, for a total multi-year gift of $5 million – though that amount isn’t yet finalized and is expected to be confirmed during the city’s annual budget process.


While campaign officials are pleased with the progress, fundraising is ongoing.


“I’m very proud of the committee and what we’ve been able to accomplish,” said South Dakota Board of Regents member Jim Thares, co-chair of the Educational Impact Campaign Committee. “That being said, we still have a lot of work left. We want this campaign to exceed $45 million.”


Downs explained that fundraising $45 million is a process.


“It takes time and several meetings with potential stakeholders,” Downs said. “Once we explain what we’re doing as a university and how it affects future students and the community, people buy in.”


Project Updates


Meanwhile, work has begun on the Athletic and Recreation Fields east of NSU’s Jerde Hall. This project, which will be finished by fall, includes a soccer competition field, football practice field and pavilion.


The final design will be revealed this week for the new SDSBVI building. The facility will be constructed at the current site of Jerde, which is currently being demolished. After that point, construction will start on the new school, which has a projected completion date of fall 2019.


Once SDSBVI moves to its new building, the current school will be demolished. According to Northern’s campus master plan, by spring 2020, construction will begin on the sports complex, which will include Dacotah Bank Stadium and Koehler Hall of Fame Softball Field. Completion is expected no later than 2022.


Looking Ahead


Moving forward, campaign officials are confident in the success of the projects.


“The bottom line is this is going to happen,” Thares said. “This fall, we will have a ribbon cutting for the new Athletic and Recreation Fields and a groundbreaking for the new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Initial renderings for the on-campus regional sports complex will also be announced later this year.”


Thares also expressed his gratitude for all who have supported the campaign.


“On behalf of the campaign committee, I want to thank our stakeholders and the organizations who believe in the Educational Impact Campaign,” Thares said. “We also need to thank our city officials and the City Council members. Their support was critical.”


For more information about the Educational Impact Campaign or to make a donation, visit NSU Campus Master Plan or Educational Impact Campaign.

Name released in Harding County fatal crash

A Sturgis, S.D., woman has been identified as the person who died Saturday afternoon in a one-vehicle crash north of Buffalo.


A 1997 Toyota Corolla was southbound on U.S. Highway 85 when the driver lost control. The vehicle went into the east ditch and rolled.


Grace Glos, 55, was the driver. She was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.  


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


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

SD Dems must reconvene due to technical issue

The South Dakota Democratic party must reconvene following a challenge from the South Dakota GOP in relation to their statewide candidates.  Secretary of State Shantel Krebs sent a letter to the Democrats, informing them their candidates were invalid because documentation was not submitted within the deadline in state law.  The Democratic Party of South Dakota has announced it will reconvene August 10th and plans to re-affirm those who were elected for statewide office earlier this summer. 

National Weather Service issues heat advisory for most of Wednesday

The National Weather Service in Aberdeen has issued a heat advisory for Aberdeen and much of northeast South Dakota today.  The advisory is expected to last from 1 to 8:00 p.m. Heat index values could reach temperatures up to 102 degrees due to temperatures already being in the 90s and the dewpoints reaching the upper 60s lower 70s.  For your safety be sure to drink plenty of fluids, stay in doors if you can and reduce outdoor activity.  Also, do not forget children or animals in parked cars during hot summer days. 

Update: Aberdeen Police locate missing teen

Update: The Aberdeen Police Department has released a statement, it has located the missing teen. 

The Aberdeen Police Department is seeking the public’s help in looking for a juvenile runaway.  15-year-old Abygail Repp is a white girl approximately 5’9 115 lbs. brown hair and brown eyes.  Little further information about the situation was released by police.  If you have any information about Repp’s whereabouts you are urged to contact police at 626-7911.   

55-year-old killed Saturday in Harding County fatal crash

A 55-year-old woman died Saturday afternoon in a one-vehicle crash north of Buffalo.


The name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of family.


A 1997 Toyota Corolla was southbound on U.S. Highway 85 when the driver lost control. The vehicle went into the east ditch and rolled.


The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.  


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


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

President Trump selects Brett Kavanaugh as potential next Supreme Court Justice

President Donald Trump Monday announced his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the United State’s Supreme Court.  Brett Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old DC Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, was the pick.  Kavanaugh is a well known figure in Republican politics working in the Bush White House and working with Ken Starr during the investigation into President Bill Clinton.  It will be up to the Senate now to confirm Kavanaugh and Democrats are likely to try and block the pick, despite what little power they wield to do so.  Both South Dakota senator’s John Thune and Mike Rounds have released statement’s praising the pick and seem excited about a rigorous nomination process.

Senator Thune Statement: 

“I commend President Trump for his selection of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial career has demonstrated his commitment to impartiality and faithful application of the Constitution. I look forward to sitting down with Judge Kavanaugh as we go through the confirmation process.


“Senate Democrats have already made it clear that they intend to listen to the far left of their party and fight this nominee regardless of his credentials. I encourage all of my colleagues to carefully review the qualifications of this nominee instead of trying to solicit his opinions on political issues, and to remember that the responsibility of a Supreme Court justice is to interpret the laws as written, not substitute political opinions for the law.”


Senator Mike Rounds Statement: 

“The president has announced his nominee, and now the Senate has a constitutional role of advice and consent. I take this responsibility very seriously. Confirming conservative, fair-minded judges who will adhere to the Constitution is one of the most important responsibilities of the United States Senate. I look forward to a thorough and rigorous confirmation process.”

SD Supreme court justice Mark Satler sworn in

The South Dakota Supreme Court swore in its newest member Monday at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.  Justice Mark Salter becomes the 51 justice in the State’s highest court history, dating back to its founding in 1889.  He completes the five justice panel.  Satler was appointed by Governor Dennis Daugaard last May after spending time as a circuit judge, Navy Reserve and Turner County Deputy State’s Attorney. 

President orders flags at half staff in honor of Annapolis victims

President Donald Trump has called for flags at half-staff out of respect for the victims whose lives were taken by the violence perpetrated in Annapolis, Maryland, last week.


In accordance with the President’s order, Gov. Dennis Daugaard asks that flags across the state be lowered immediately and remain at half-staff until sunset today, July 3.

Scheibe named 2018 Gov. Ag Ambassador

Roger Scheibe of Brookings has been named the 2018 Governor’s Ag Ambassador Award recipient. The recognition will take place Thursday, July 12, at the annual Governor’s Agricultural Summit in Rapid City.


Scheibe grew up on a dairy farm near Wolsey, South Dakota, and earned a B.S. in dairy science and manufacturing from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a dairy farmer, a dairy inspector, a director of dairy development programs for South Dakota and an agricultural lender for First Bank and Trust. From 2009 until his retirement in 2017, he served as Industry Relations Manager for the Midwest Dairy Association in South Dakota, as well as the Executive Director of the South Dakota Dairy Producers Association. 

Key Achievements of the Ag Ambassador:

  • Provides visionary leadership to South Dakota’s agricultural industry.
  • Champions growth and prosperity of the state’s number one industry.
  • Advocates for agricultural practices and responsible stewardship of livestock and land.
  • Highlights the significance of South Dakota agriculture to our global food system.
  • Influences decision makers to develop and implement sound agricultural policies.


“Whether assisting at a Breakfast on the Farm event or helping a family expand their farm to allow their child to come back home, Roger has been a great advocate for the dairy industry,” stated South Dakota deputy secretary of agriculture Kyle Holt. “His passion has helped to shape the future of the dairy industry and agriculture in South Dakota.”


To learn more about the Ag Ambassador Award visit register for summit go to


Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect and preserve South Dakota agriculture for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at or find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Highest volume of traffic in years expected over 4th of July according to AAA

AAA projects nearly 47 million Americans will travel this Independence Day, the highest Fourth of July travel volume on record, since AAA began tracking holiday travel 18 years ago.


“Even with national gas prices 60 cents higher over last year, more of us than ever will be traveling this Independence Day holiday,” said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. “And it’s not just auto travel numbers that are higher – we’re predicting air travel will take off, also.”


A record-high 137,400 South Dakotans are expected to travel over the Fourth of July holiday, according to AAA. Eighty-five percent will drive, eight percent will fly and the rest will be traveling by other means, including ship, train, bus and multi-modal.


“We are well on our way for 2018 to be a record-breaking year for summertime travel,” said Buskohl. “This is welcome news for all of those in the travel industry, from hotels and attractions to restaurants and local shops.”


With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be aware of the “three deadly D’s” while driving over the fourth:

  • Driving Drunk. Over the holidays, up to 40 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involve alcohol. Use designated drivers, call a cab, or use a ride-sharing provider.  And as you drive, bear in mind that many of the vehicles you encounter on the road are going to be piloted by drivers under the influence. Drive defensively.
  • Driving under the Influence of Distractions. Diversions in a vehicle are many and varied: cell phones, iPods, GPS systems, food, beverages, other passengers – the list goes on. Limit all of these distractions as you drive and if you’re a passenger, help improve your safety margin by allowing drivers to give their full attention to what they’re doing – driving. Remember that when drivers take their eyes off the road for as little as two seconds, their crash risk doubles.
  • Driving Drowsy. Falling asleep at the wheel is much more common than we think. Fatigue robs us of the power to make quick, smart decisions as we drive. And in the summertime, drowsy driving is an even greater threat as warmer temperatures make us sleepier. Get plenty of rest before driving, stop frequently to stretch your legs and don’t try to drive too many hours in any one day; six or seven hours is about the limit if you want to be safe.

Allow extra time to get to destinations, pack an extra dose or two of patience and always buckle up.

Canada officially imposes retaliatory tariffs on US imports

July 1st was not only the annual celebration of “Canada Day” for our neighbors to the north, it also marked the day Canada officially imposed tariffs on US exports worth $16.6 billion Canadian, $12.5 billion American.  The move comes in retaliation against the United States and President Donald Trump’s trade ware which hit Canadian steel and aluminum with tariffs June 1st.  More than 40 SU steel products have been hit by Canada’s new taxes and a 10 percent tax has been levied on over 80 other items. 

Garbage pickup schedule changed for the holiday

Due to the July 4th Holiday observance on Wednesday July 4th, city garbage pick-up will change. 


Residents who normally have their garbage picked up on Wednesday are reminded to have their garbage out for pick up by 7:00 a.m. Tuesday. 


Both Tuesday and Wednesday’s garbage will be picke dup Tuesday.  Recycling will follow the same schedule.  Dependable Sanitation will be picking up both Tuesday and Wednesday’s recyclables on Tuesday. 


Residents are also reminded that City Solid Waste garbage pickup service starts at  7:00 a.m.  All garbage should be placed out for pick up by 7:00 a.m. on their garbage day and the garbage pickup can be any time during that day. 

Five people killed in mass shooting at newspaper in Maryland

Five people were killed in a mass shooting at a Maryland newspaper Thursday.  According to authorities the attack took place at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis Maryland and the shooter did not target any individual employee, just the paper as a whole.  Several outlets have reported the suspect is Jarrod Warren Ramos, a late 30’s white man who had a history of complaints against the paper.  Ramos used smoke grenades and a shotgun to carry out his attack until police were able to arrive and apprehend the suspect.  President Donald Trump tweeted thanks to the first responders in this case and sent his thoughts and prayers to the victims. 

Glacial Lakes Energy offering discounts on ethanol

Glacial Lakes Energy has announced plans to lower the cost of E30 at the pump to spur more use.  At a town hall meeting Thursday, plans to lower the cost of E30 by 30 cents in Aberdeen was announced and will begin July 13th.  E30 is not officially approved for all vehicles, but is approved for certain flexfuel vehicles.  Despite this, Glacial Lakes Energy ethonal marking manager Brad Brunner tells the Aberdeen American News tests the company has done tests and showed E30 has no negative effects on standard fuel vehicles. 

Aberdeen Police Department looking for two stolen trucks

The Aberdeen Police Department are investigating two pickup thefts from Wednesday morning.  According to a release from police, one vehicle is a 2000 black Chevy Silverado extended cab pickup with the license plate reading NG6561.  The truck also had a 12-gauge stager M3500 camouflage shotgun and ammunition inside the vehicle.  The other pickup is a white 2018 Chevy K1500 with South Dakota plates 66871v.  The 2000 Silverado is believed to have been taken by two 15-year-old runaways who went missing Tuesday evening.  It is unknown if the white Chevy taken is in relation to the runaway investigation as well.  If you have any information you are urged to contact dispatch at 626-7911.



Photos courtesy of the Aberdeen Police Department's Facebook page

Hubers trial continues from Gear Up scandal

(KSOO - Sioux Falls, SD) In the third day of the trial of Stepahnie Hubers verses the State of South Dakota, audio was played to the jurors, along with a written transcript.  The audio came from two separate incidents, one where Hubers knew she was being recorded by South Dakota DCI agents at the Mid Central Educational Cooperative Office 13 days after the Westerhus' family deaths, and another where she was not informed of the recording in her home five months later. 

The audio ran through various experiences Hubers had with the Westerhuis family and her work for them through several organizations under the direction of Scott and Nicole Westerhuis.

Hubers claims she was not aware of all seven organizations or corporations that had been formed by Scott Westerhuis.  Her discovery of at least one of them, Chita Corporation, came shortly after the death, suicide and burning of the Westerhuis home in Platte, when Hubers was walking on the newly charred yard and saw business cards for organizations she had not heard of, with Scott Westerhuis's name on them. 

Describing herself as an employee, Hubers said she was the "Ideal, ignorant employee" who did what Scott or Nicole  Westerhuis did without question, despite the times she wondered how they could afford certain purchases. A host of other people were hired privately by Westerhuis to pick up items Westerhuis purchased, according to Hubers.  Her father was a long distance driver for Scott Westerhuis who had purchased a car in Michigan, flew Hubers father to pick it up and drive it back, paying $1,000 for the errand.

The Westerhuis and Hubers families shared what was described as a friendship, going to staff meetings together at Disney world, with spouses and children along.  "We were a family, we were a posse" said Hubers in the audio.  Memories of enjoying family times on a large pontoon style boat and grilling out were relayed to the agents, who recorded the audio on what sounded to be muffled by fabric rubbing against the microphone's surface.

The prosecutor for the state, under the direction of Attorney General Marty Jackley questioned DCI agent Brett Spencer, one of approximately eight agents on the Westehuis case, regarding Hubers being paid $10,000 annually for research.  Spencer said they did not find any evidence of research being submitted to Westerhuis, who allegedly had contracted for Huber to do the research after hours on her phone while watching television at night.  Marty Jackley asked Spencer if he could find justification to receive $55,000 in extra income.  Spencer replied, "Legitimate reasons? No sir."

Defense Attorney Clint Sargent confirmed with Spencer that all payments made to Huber were paid via check, signed by Scott Westerhuis, indicating that the money was paid to Hubers with full knowledge of Westerhuis. Sargent also asked numerous questions about being a paid employee verses a contract worker.  Hubers claimed she had received part of the income as a contract worker and received at 1099 for that work, rather than a W2.

Hubers did recall the numerous times they had outings and events with Native American Children, which was to be the main purpose of Gear Up, and the many organizations also formed.  Hubers described her entire family being active in those events, and the appreciation she developed for another culture due to that interaction.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement

Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy shocked the nation Wednesday announcing his retirement effective in July.  The decision opens up a Supreme Court seat and gives President Donald Trump the ability to reshape the court for a generation.  Kennedy was a conservative justice, not afraid to side with the liberals on the court in some of the most consequential decisions of the past decade including upholding a woman’s right to an abortion in 2016 and legalizing same sex marriage in 2015.  Democrats are calling for the nomination to be delayed with an election just over 100 days away, while Republicans, despite using that excuse not to seat nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 plan on moving forward. 

NSU to offer new major/minor this fall

Northern State University has received permission from the State Board of Regents to approve a new major and minor.  The decision came Wednesday and Northern now plans on offering a bachelor of fine arts in digital media and a minor in legal studies.  The digital media degree will replace graphic design specialization, while a legal studies minor should provide a base for students who seek to attend law school.  Both will begin being offered this fall semester.   

Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Tuesday

Beginning at approximately 8am on Thursday, June 28, 2018 water will be off in the following areas to replace a fire hydrant:


South Lincoln Street from 9th Avenue SE to 11th Avenue SE


The Public Works department suggests that residents in the affected area collect and store water for personal and restroom use.  Water is estimated to remain off most of the day.  Work will be completed as quickly as possible.

Sobriety Checkpoints scheduled across the state for the month of July

Sobriety checkpoints will be done in 22 counties during the month of July, according to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


The checkpoints are designed to discourage motorists from drinking and then driving. The checkpoints are funded by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and conducted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol.


July checkpoints are scheduled for the counties of: Beadle, Brookings, Brown, Butte, Codington, Custer, Day, Fall River, Gregory, Hughes, Hutchinson, Jackson, Jerauld, Lawrence, Lincoln, Meade, Mellette, Minnehaha, Moody, Pennington, Roberts and Yankton.


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

Supreme Court upholds President Trump's travel ban

The Supreme Court Tuesday delivered a win for President Donald Trump and his administration, upholding the third version of the administration’s travel ban.  The ban limits travel from six Muslim majority countries, as well as Venezuela and North Korea.  The 5-4 court decision to uphold the ban was controversial as many detractors feel the justices did not adequately take President Trump’s rhetoric about Muslims into account when deliberating.  President Trump celebrated the decision tweeting about it Tuesday afternoon.   

Two of the State's largest employers announce merger plans

Two of the state’s largest employers Tuesday announced plans to merge their operations.  The members of the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society voted in favor to merge with Sanford Health.  The move will need to get regulatory approval before becoming final.  According to the non-profit, The Good Samaritan Society employs 19,000 people in 24 states, while Sanford employs 28,000 people in nine states.  The companies hope to complete the merger by January 1st 2019. 

Charges filed against Redfield man involved in hostage situation Monday

Charges have been filed against a Redfield man who entered a hospital in Redfield Monday, brandishing a firearm and taking a 10-year-old child hostage.


30-year-old Matthew Mathern faces aggravated assault, child abuse and aggravating eluding for his actions Monday.  According to authorities, Mathern first led police on a high speed chase before entering the hospital and barricading himself in a room with the child.


Upon lengthy negotiations, authorities were able to convince Mathern to peacefully surrender the child, then later peacefully surrender himself.  No one was injured in the standoff.

State fire marshal urges safety over 4th of July

Even though there has been more rain this month in parts of South Dakota, the state’s Fire Marshal is reminding people still to be careful with fireworks as they prepare for the July Fourth holiday.


Sale of fireworks in South Dakota begins this Wednesday, June 27, and can be purchased until Thursday, July 5. It is legal to discharge fireworks through Sunday, July 8.


State Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says most years, the concern is about discharging fireworks in dry conditions. But he says people also need to be careful in areas which have received rain as well.


“Unintentional fires started by fireworks can start in any type of conditions regardless of rainfall amounts,” he says. “It still comes down to common sense, following the instructions on the fireworks and not discharging fireworks around people and buildings.”


Since some individual cities may adopt fireworks limits that are stricter than state law, Merriman suggests that citizens check local ordinances and regulations.  Merriman offers a few simple safety tips:


*** Follow the instructions on the product;

*** Avoid using fireworks in places where a fire could start;

*** Keep a source of water handy; and,

*** Many fireworks such as sparklers, which are popular with younger children, can cause painful burns and should be used with adult supervision.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the state Department of Public Safety.

Standoff ends peacefully in Redfield Monday

A standoff in Redfield lasted over six hours Monday, but ended with no one injured and the suspect in custody.


According to authorities, the suspect 30-year-old Matthew Mathern of Redfield entered the Community Memorial Hospital Avera in Redfield around 8:30 a.m. with a 10-year-old boy and a weapon.  He barricaded himself in a room with the child and with that it became a hostage situation.


Officers from the Aberdeen Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s office, Spink County Sheriff’s office, DCI Game Fish and Parks, FBI and state highway patrol were all on scene to try and negotiate a peaceful resolution.  Around 11:25 a.m. negotiators were able to get Mathern to release the child without incident.


Talks continued until about 1:30 p.m. when negotiators were able to get Mathern to surrender and end the standoff.  Along with the handgun Mathern used in the incident, he also had an AK-47 and two clips with 30 rounds in each stashed in his vehicle.

Names released in Grant County fatal crash

Two people from Big Stone City, S.D., have been identified as the two people who died in a two-vehicle crash Monday afternoon north of Milbank.


A 2016 Chevrolet Equinox was northbound on South Dakota Highway 15. A 1994 Mack Ch600 Dump Truck was westbound on 145th Street and failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection with South Dakota Highway 15. The two vehicles collided in the intersection.


Both occupants of the Equinox were pronounced dead at a Milbank hospital. They were the driver, 79-year-old Arlo Hurley, and the passenger, 71-year-old Kathleen Hurley.


Gerald Boerger, 82, of Milbank was the truck driver. He sustained life-threatening injuries and was later airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital.


All three people were wearing seatbelts. Charges are pending against the truck driver.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


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


Fire at Dano's near Watertown Sunday causes significant damage

A fire at Dano’s Marine West highway 212 in Watertown Sunday caused significant damage to the frontal area of the building and the inventory inside.  Don Rowland (ROW-lund) is the Assistant Watertown Fire Chief...



Rowland says firefighters were able to control the blaze before it could expand into a larger rear building.  He says a firewall between the two buildings helped contain it.  All of the contents in the office section of the Marine dealership were lost, however the rear building and merchandise inside were saved.  The fire department was alerted by a passing motorist who saw smoke coming from the building late Sunday morning.  The investigation is underway to determine the cause.  No injuries were reported.

Rally planned for Saturday as part of nationwide demonstration, protesting family separation

A rally is being planned for Saturday June 30th at Anderson Park to help support the reunification of families, separated at the border.  Dr. Marie Schwab of Presentation College is organizing the rally in a bipartisan effort as part of the nationwide Families Belong Together Demonstration.  The rally will begin at 10:00 a.m. and all are welcome.  The rally is in response to immigrant families at the U.S./Mexican border being separated by the Trump Administration’s policies as they seek legal asylum claims or try to cross the border illegally. 

SD Cattlemen's Association raises over $200,000 for charity at annual gala

The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation raised $228,602 at its prime time gala this past weekend.  The money earned will go to the non-profit group Feeding South Dakota.  Their mission is to help fight hunger across the state.  This was the fifth annual prime time gala, and since its inception in 2014, the Cattlemen’s foundation has raised almost  a million dollars for feeding South Dakota.  The gala was followed by a concert featuring country music star Justin Moore. 

Rapid City man sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges

A Rapid City man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography and child molestation charges.  According to the U.S. Attorney’s office 38-year-old Chance Williams was convicted on two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.  He has also been ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release upon completing his sentence. 

ABC orders 10 episodes of Roseanne Barr free "Roseanne" spinoff

ABC Network has confirmed the network has ordered a “Roseanne” spinoff, without its star character Roseanne Barr.  ABC has ordered 10 episodes and Barr has agreed to release any creative or financial participation in the new show.  The show “Roseanne” saw a renaissance this year as all characters of the original 90s show returned for a continuation of the series to much fanfare.  However, after the star, Roseanne Barr tweeted racially insensitive things at former Obama Administration assistant Valerie Jarrett, the show was promptly canceled.

Alleys in parts of Aberdeen closed to thru traffic Friday for road construction

Beginning at approximately 7:00 a.m. today Friday June 22nd, the following alley will be closed to thru traffic for construction work:  Alley between 12th avenue SE and 11th avenue SE between South Washington St and South Jay Street.  Work is expected to last through Friday.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.  For further information contact the Public Works office 626-7010.

West Nile virus found in Aberdeen mosquito population

According to Aberdeen Parks and Rec, mosquitoes in Aberdeen have tested positive for the West Nile virus.


Tests have been conducted on the mosquito populations for weeks by the parks department, specifically geared toward the Culex Tarsalis mosquito which is the most common carrier of the disease.


The city sprays for mosquitoes, but there are things residents can do to help battle the bugs.  That includes limiting outdoor activity, especially near dusk, wear long sleeve and pants while outside, wear bug repellent and remove standing water from your property.

Jackley celebrates Supreme Court victory

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a Supreme Court ruling that states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax is a win for South Dakota and Main Street businesses across the country.





He says implementation should begin by the end of the summer.





Jackley says the decision is big for him as well.





The Supreme Court vote was 5-4.

House passes its version of the 2018 Farm Bill

The United States House of Representatives finally passed its version of the farm bill Thursday.  The legislation passed by just two votes.  Preliminary reports say the plan keeps in place crop insurance and livestock assistance programs while increasing CRP acreage.   The bill was controversial due to the changes it makes to the federal food stamps program.  Opponents say the bill is too tough on the poor and needy families it is meant to help, while others, including South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem, argues the changes are meant to make the program operate more efficiently. 


Noem released a statement on the bills passage:



South Dakota wins supreme court case related to internet sales tax

The United States Supreme Court this morning announced its decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., ruling in the state’s favor, 5-4, in a decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy.


The Court overturned Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, holding that “the physical presence rule is not a necessary interpretation of the requirement that a state tax must be ‘applied to an activity with a substantial nexus with the taxing State.” The Court further held that, with South Dakota’s law, “the nexus is clearly sufficient based on both the economic and virtual contacts respondents have with the state.”


“This is a great day for South Dakota. We have long fought the battle to defend Main Street businesses and now with today’s ruling, all businesses will compete on a level playing field,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “Thanks to all who helped us achieve this victory for tax uniformity – Sen. Deb Peters and all of the legislators who played a role, Attorney General Marty Jackley, and the national groups and 41 states that offered support.”


The case stemmed from a bill passed by the State Legislature and signed by Gov. Daugaard in 2016 which requires online sellers without a physical presence in South Dakota to collect and remit sales tax. The law applies to online sellers with more than $100,000 in sales to South Dakotans or 200 or more transactions.


Department of Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach says the state will issue guidance in the coming days.


“We intend to do all we can to ensure compliance. Once we have thoroughly reviewed the opinion, the Department will offer specific guidance on how out-of-state online retailers that meet the threshold can comply,” said Secretary Gerlach. “The Department of Revenue will also continue to be a resource for in-state businesses that may be affected by the court’s decision.”

SD DOT closes I-90 in the southern part of the state due to flooded roadways

South Dakota Department of Transportation officials say the Minnesota Department of Transportation has closed Interstate 90 seven miles inside the Minnesota state line because of flooding on roadways.


The South Dakota DOT says eastbound I-90 traffic is being detoured off at Minnesota Exit One to Minnesota Highway 23.


Motorists are asked to watch for detour signs as they approach the state border. DOT also encourages motorists to slow down and to not try to drive through flooded roads.


Get the most up-to-date information on road conditions at or by calling 5-1-1 before heading out.

Senator Thune questions commerce secretary Wilbur Ross on brewing trade war

South Dakota Senator John Thune recently questioned Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on the trade policy currently put in place by the Trump administration.  Tariffs on our largest trading partners, including China and Canada among others, has led to market uncertainty in an already fragile farm economy.


Thune says though he appreciates the effort to put pressure on China to act in good faith in international trade, he is worried these decisions could hurt consumers…



Thune spoke specifically about the farm issue specifically…



Thune also spoke about the President’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP trade deal.  That decision, mixed with this brewing trade war, left Thune skeptical how willing the administration is to allowing better access to markets for South Dakota farmers…



Game Fish and Parks continues to work in Day County to handle non-meandered waters issue

The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department is continuing to work on access agreement terms to non meandered lakes in Northeast South Dakota. Most recently the staff has been working out an arrangement on a controversial agreement with a landowner at Reetz Lake in Day County. The popular lake is currently closed to anglers. Game, Fish and Parks Regional Supervisor Mike Klosowki (CLOH-sow-ski) at Watertown says House Bill 1001, which was approved by the legislature, opened all non meandered Waters unless they’re marked.  He’s hopeful this arrangement and others can be worked out:




if approved by the Game Fish and Parks Commission in July, the trophy lake, located South of Webster in northeast South Dakota, would be reopened but with specific conditions.  He says the rub for anglers is the specific window of fishing time, limits and size length of fish:



Other negotiations have also been ongoing with landowners in other area, but to date no new agreements have been reached. Klosowski says that nearly 3,800 acres of non-meandered acres of water have been opened for recreation this summer in areas marked private in South Dakota:



The Game Fish and Parks Commission hearing July 11th begins 10 a.m. at the Ramkota in Pierre. Klosowski says the public is welcome to testify in person or by written comment.  The original Open Waters Compromise approved by the legislature in 2017 was intended to strike a balance between the public’s interest in recreation and respect for private property rights. The legislation was crafted by sportsmen, women, landowners, attorneys and policy experts.

SD Dept. of Revenue offers new personalized licenses plates July 1st

The South Dakota Department of Revenue will begin offering new personalized rear only, woman veteran and original historical motorcycle specialty license plate options to qualifying applicants July 1.



The personalized rear only plate will be available for vehicles with an annual mileage less than 7,500 miles that are not used for general or commercial use as authorized by 2018’s House Bill 1116. Applicants must pay a $25 special plate fee and a $5 mailing fee in addition to annual vehicle registration fees. Personalized plate messages are subject to the department’s personalized plate policy.



A woman veteran plate will be available to any female veteran owner of a motor vehicle or motorcycle who has a valid South Dakota driver’s license or identification card per 2018’s Senate Bill 97. Applicants must sign an affidavit stating that she is an honorably discharged veteran who has served on active duty in the armed forces of the U.S. Applicants must pay a $10 special plate fee, a $5 mailing fee and annual vehicle registration fees.



South Dakotans may also now utilize an original South Dakota motorcycle license plate with the passing of 2018’s House Bill 1117. The original plates must be in good condition and from the same year as the vehicle. Applicants must include color photographs of the plates, along with a one-time fee of $10.



“With the addition of the personalized rear only plate, woman veteran plate and the original historical motorcycle plate, South Dakota now offers 142 different license plates,” Motor Vehicle Division Director Lisa Weyer said.



Residents may apply for these license plates at their local county treasurer’s office or online at during their renewal period.

President Trump acts to end family separation at southern border

President Donald Trump reversed course late Wednesday afternoon and signed an executive order to end family separation of asylum seekers and immigrants who illegally cross the border.  The President, and members of his administration, said multiple times only congress could end this practice at the border.


Despite this, the president took action following days of criticism of this separation policy from both Democrats and Republicans as well as from other countries and national bodies.  New families taken in by border enforcement will now be held together, but the order does nothing to reunite the already 2,300 families or more separated during the height of the policy.


Mosquito spray scheduled for Thursday night

The City of Aberdeen has scheduled a city wide spraying for Thursday, June 21 between the hours of 8:30 pm and 1:30 AM.

The Adulticiding equipment is noisy and travels at 10 mph.  The mosquito control trucks are identified and travel with a flashing yellow light.

To ensure spray effectiveness during the spraying operations, the wind must be 15 mph or less and no inclement weather present.  Winds higher than 15 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

Recreational marijuana to be legal across Canada in September

The Canadian Senate Tuesday in a 52-29 vote passed a resolution to make recreational use of marijuana across the country legal.  Recreational marijuana use will no longer be a crime come September.  This shift in policy was championed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who after taking office in November of 2015 expressed the desire to create a legal taxable market for marijuana across Canada and keep it out of the hands of minors.  Canada becomes just the second county in the world, and first of the G7 to legalize recreational marijuana.

Police beat released 6/19/18

Police beat released 6/19/18

All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

At approximately 8:23 am on 06/11/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 200 block of 5th Avenue SW for the report of an attempted break-in.

Lonnie Alvin Smith, age 64 of Aberdeen, was arrested and charged with entering or remaining.

At approximately 3:27 am on 06/12/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to a reported fight in the 500 block of N Washington Street.

Cody James Miller, age 36 of Aberdeen, was arrested and booked on a Brown County warrant involving bond violation.

At approximately 7:13 am on 06/12/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 2900 block of 3rd Avenue SE for the complaint of a disruptive subject.

Georgy R. Charles, age 29 of Aberdeen, was arrested and charged with simple assault, reckless driving, violation of a no contact order, (2) counts of bond violation, no valid drivers license, and failure to maintain financial responsibility.

At approximately 1:32 pm on 06/14/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 1200 block of 3rd Avenue NE for a welfare check.

A parole search was conducted and resulted in the discovery and seizure of several packages of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, cash, and a loaded revolver.

Shanda Lee Carder, age 36 of Aberdeen, was arrested and charged with parole violation, possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substance, and ingesting a controlled substance.

Francisco Rodriguez-Ayala, age 33 of Aberdeen, was arrested and charged with possession of controlled substance, ingesting a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Judy Ann Locke, age 54 of Aberdeen, was arrested and booked on a Codington County warrant involving DUI and driving under suspension.

At approximately 8:22 pm on 06/14/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 600 block of S Grand Street for the report of an assault.

A 29 year-old female was arrested and charged with domestic assault and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

At approximately 9:48 pm on 06/14/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 2900 block of 3rd Avenue SE for the report of threats.

Joseph Darwin HorseChief, age 44 of Yale, OK, was arrested and charged with simple assault. He was also booked on Oklahoma warrants involving DUI and bail jumping.

At approximately 10:20 pm on 06/14/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 500 block of N Highway 281 for a complaint of trespassing.

Mary Elizabeth Wald, age 35 of Aberdeen, was arrested and charged with trespassing.

At approximately 6:29 am on 06/15/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to a domestic fight in the 100 block of 3rd Curve.

Zachary Richard Wald, age 35 of Aberdeen, was arrested and charged with probation violation.

At approximately 1:40 am on 06/16/2018 Aberdeen Police initiated a traffic stop in the 900 block of S Main Street.

Mark Alan Kelley, age 28 of Pierpont, was arrested and charged with DUI 2nd, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and failure to maintain financial responsibility.

At approximately 8:40 am on 06/16/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 700 block of S Congress Street for an unconscious male in a vehicle.

A search resulted in the discovery and seizure of a small container of methamphetamine.

Matthew VonBrook, age 38 of Aberdeen, was arrested and charged with possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

At approximately 2:15 am on 06/17/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 1600 block of 10th Avenue SW for the report of an assault.

The investigation led to the discovery and seizure of 10 baggies of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a stolen handgun.

Joshua Brady Bowker, age 25 of Martin, was arrested and charged with distribution of marijuana, simple assault, ingesting substance, and possession of stolen property.

At approximately 4:40 pm on 06/17/2018 Aberdeen Police initiated an investigation into an assault which occurred on 06/16/2018.

A 33 year-old male was arrested and charged with domestic assault.

At approximately 4:50 am on 06/18/2018 Aberdeen Police responded to the 800 block of S McCoy Street for a complaint of drug use.

Allen Derraine Schuyler, age 43 of Aberdeen, was arrested and charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer and probation violation. He was also booked on (3) Minnehaha County warrants involving the possession of controlled substance.

County commission approves purchase of building at Tuesday's meeting

The Brown County Commission Tuesday approved a lease to own plan for the building at 122 and 124 s. First Street, which formally served as the Student Loan Finance Corp.  It is located north of Wells Fargo in Aberdeen.

The county will be required to make a $170,000 down payment followed by annual payments of $210,000 for three years.

According to County Commission chairman Doug Fjeldheim, the county could either purchase the building at a cost effective price, or embark on an expensive remodel of the Millim Building.  The new space is 7,100 square feet and helps alleviate cramped conditions.  Commissioner Duane Sutton says this extra space will come in handy…

Moving into the new space will include but not be limited to the Well fair director and 24/7 program.

Fjeldheim admitted budgets are tight at the county, but despite this he believes the county will not find a more affordable option to fit its needs…

Commissioner Tom Fischbach voted against the purchase, citing the recent controversy of trying to pay back overtaxed landowners.  Fischbach says it’s not a good look for the county to be spending excess money at this time…



2018-07 | 2018-06