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Local News Archives for 2019-03

Tech school's raise prices per hour in 2019

The State Board of Technical Education at its meeting Thursday announced a decision to raise tuition costs by $5 per hour at all four of South Dakota’s public technical institutes.  The change will take affect this year.  Students will now owe $121 per credit hour according to the executive board.  This change will affect Southeast Tech, Mitchell Tech, Lake Area Tech and Western Dakota.  South Dakota has some of the highest costs in the nation on average to attend tech schools. 


ACLU of South Dakota sues state over SB 188

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota has filed  a federal lawsuit against the state of South Dakota for its newly-passed SB 189.  The bill made into law this session, known as “Riot Boosting” makes it easier for authorities to arrest and charge individuals seeking to take part in protests, or people who fund said protestors.  The bill was passed in preparation for a possible protest of the Keystone XL pipeline construction through portions of South Dakota.  According to the ACLU this bill infringes on first and 14th amendment rights.  Gov. Noem said when signing the bill it is to ensure safety and efficiency of pipeline construction. 


Roberts county sheriff Korey Ware surrenderes law enforcement certification

Roberts County Sheriff Korey Ware of Sisseton has voluntarily given up his law enforcement certification and avoided a hearing in front of the South Dakota Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission.  Ware was found guilty by a Brown County jury in February of aggravated assault, stemming from an altercation at the Zoo Bar back in October.  Ware was the sherrif-elect of Roberts county at that time.  Currently, former Day County Sheriff Bary Hillestad is serving as the Roberts County sheriff on an interim basis. 


Roberts county sheriff Korey Ware surrenderes law enforcement certification

Roberts County Sheriff Korey Ware of Sisseton has voluntarily given up his law enforcement certification and avoided a hearing in front of the South Dakota Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission.  Ware was found guilty by a Brown County jury in February of aggravated assault, stemming from an altercation at the Zoo Bar back in October.  Ware was the sherrif-elect of Roberts county at that time.  Currently, former Day County Sheriff Bary Hillestad is serving as the Roberts County sheriff on an interim basis. 


Aberdeen man involved in police shooting in 2016 found guilty of assault

An Aberdeen man has been convicted of felony aggravated assault and drug possession.  According to the Associated Press, 23-year-old Ehkhu Poe was involved in an incident in 2016 where he was shot twice by officers after Poe had threatened some of his family members and charged at police with a  knife.  A State DCI investigation into the shooting determined the officers were justified in their actions.  Poe pleaded not guilty but was convicted Tuesday  with a  sentencing date to be announced later this year.  He could face up to 30 years in prison. 


Single powerball winner sold in Wisconsin for over $700 million

One single ticket sold in Wisconsin matched all six numbers in Wednesday night’s power ball drawing to claim the third largest prize in US lottery history.  According to a press release from the US lottery, this is the first time the jackpot had been won in 2019.  The prize was for $768 million and the winner overcame odds of 292.2 million to one to win. 


Brown County Emergency management offering weather spotting training

The National Weather Service and Brown County Emergency Management will be hosting storm spotter training class. This class will cover topics discussing severe thunderstorms that produce damaging winds, large hail, tornadoes and flash floods.

 

Other types of severe weather and lightning safety will also be discussed.  This class is free and open to the public on the following date:

 

April 18th, 2018
6:00pm-8:00pm
Brown County Courthouse Community Room
25 Market Street Aberdeen
No registration needed.

 

More information call:
Brown County Emergency Management Office
605-626-7122


No horse racing in Fort Pierre this year for the first time in 70 years

For the first time in 70 years, there will not be horse races in Fort Pierre this year.

Fort Pierre race track manager Shane Kramme (cray-me) says the Verendrye Benovolent Association has decided not to host races this year due to lack of funding and several other considerations. He says it was a difficult decision, but the VBA board believes it’s in the best interest of the organization, community, South Dakota horse people and participating equine athletes.

Kramme says whether or not horse races are held next year in Fort Pierre has yet to be determined.

Horse racing is held in two South Dakota towns, Fort Pierre and Aberdeen. Last year, races were held four days in Fort Pierre and another four days in Aberdeen. The status of racing in Aberdeen this year hasn’t been determined yet.

Kramme says the VBA has enjoyed bringing the races to Fort Pierre over the years and thanks the horsemen, sponsors and race attendees for their support.


Gov. Noem signs pipeline protest bills into law

Governor Kristi Noem today signed the Pipeline Package, SB189 and SB190, into law. Introduced by Noem, these bills are a legislative solution to ensure the safety and efficiency of pipeline construction in South Dakota.

 

“I fully support the freedoms of speech and assembly, but we must also have clear expectations and the rule of law,” said Noem. “My pipeline bills make clear that we will not let rioters control our economic development. These bills support constitutional rights while also protecting our people, our counties, our environment, and our state. I’m proud of this proactive approach that will spread the risks associated with pipeline construction, and I’m glad to sign it into law today.”

 

Noem’s Pipeline Package outlines a two-pronged approach for pipeline construction. First, it creates the Pipeline Engagement Activity Coordination Expenses (PEACE) fund for the coordination of law enforcement expenditures. This includes a transparent process for fees and other funds to be collected through a variety of sources that will pay for the extraordinary costs incurred by the state and counties because of pipeline construction. Secondly, it creates an additional fund and legal remedies to pursue out-of-state money fueling riots that aim to shut down the pipeline build.

 

“I believe this approach could serve as the next generation model of major energy infrastructure development,” concluded Noem

 

SB189 and SB190 go into effect immediately.? 


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

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


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


Gov. Noem signs host of bills into law

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

 

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

 

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

  

Noem signed the following bills today:  

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

British Prime Minister Teresa May seeks extension on "Brexit"

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


Sisseton man charged with embezzlement

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


Street widening planned for parts of Aberdeen today

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


Fox sells entertainment division to Walt Disney for $71 billion

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


Sisseton man charged with sexual contact with a minor

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


VP Mike Pence to visit Nebraska and oversee flood damage

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


Missing Yankton woman found dead in Michigan

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


Shopko to close nationwide

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


DOT announces spring load limit restrictions

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

 

2019 STATE HIGHWAY SPRING LOAD LIMIT RESTRICTIONS

 

Highway

Location

Begin/End MRM

Length

Posting

Region

US 16A

Custer State Park east gate to SD 244

26.25 to 55.76

29.6

7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 36

US 16A to SD 79

36.00 to 45.01

9.0

7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 40

Hayward to Cheyenne River

38.26 to 69.00

30.7

7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 87

Wind Cave Nat’l Park to US 16/385

47.27 to 79.36

30.8

7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 71

Neb Line to 2 mi. S of Cheyenne River

0.00 to 21.00

21.0

7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 89

US 16A to SD 87

58.51 to 64.58

6.0

7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

SD 471

Provo to US 18

19.60 to 24.00

4.4

7 Tons/Axle

Rapid City

 

 

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

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

            http://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/

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

http://www.sddot.com/travelers/loadlimits/Default.aspx

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

            https://listserv.sd.gov/scripts/wa.exe?A0=DOTSPRINGLOADLIMITS

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


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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


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

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


Rep. Dusty Johnson to visit Redfield Monday

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


Gov. Noem signs emergency declaration

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


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

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


Interstates now reopened

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

§    Change travel plans as weather conditions warrant

 

If you do get stranded:

§    Stay in your vehicle

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

Gov. Noem reopens state offices in all but 17 counties

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

                                                                        

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

 

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

 

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


Highway Patrol Issues Highway 12 Update

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


DOT pulling plows from Brown County roads

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


Brown County Courthouse closed Tuesday

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


USD Cancels classes due to weather

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

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


Roads closed in parts of Aberdeen

The Aberdeen Police Department has announced the following road closures: 
 

Milwaukee Avenue from Roosevelt east is closed.

24th Avenue (Fairgrounds) is closed from North 5th Street to Roosevelt.
 


Redfield Snow alert

Snow alert 9  a.m. remove vehicles from streets


Three dozen Northern Electric customers near Redfield without power overnight

Approximately three dozen Northern Electric Cooperative customers were without power overnight as freezing rain damaged power lines.  Those customers were south of Redfield in Spink County.

 

According to a Facebook post from Northern Electric, crews were out working on the problem, but were called back as conditions continued to worsen.  

 

Northern Electric is encouraging residents to avoid downed power lines and to report any damages or outages to 1-800-529-0310.  

 


Gov. Noem closes all government offices across the entire state

Gov. Kristi Noem has ordered the closure of state government offices in all South Dakota counties Thursday (today) due to the snowstorm and flooding that continue to impact the state.

 

Only essential personnel within state offices in all counties should report to their work stations.

 

This storm now features blizzard conditions in much of the state. Interstate 90 remains closed from the Wyoming Border to Chamberlain-Oacoma. “No Travel Advisories” have been posted on other highways. Heavy rain has caused flooding in south central and southeast South Dakota with water covering some roads and highways.

 

Officials are monitoring the storm closely. People are being urged not to travel today. It is uncertain when many roads will be reopened.

 

The public is encouraged to continue monitoring updates from state and local governmental entities and the media about the changing weather and road conditions.

 

 


Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke joins 2020 presidential race

Failed Texas Senate candidate and former congressman Beto O’Rourke formally announced his candidacy for President in 2020, seeking the Democratic nomination.  O’Rourke rose to prominences trying to unseat Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who across the country is one of the least popular political figures in Washington.  He was known for powerful speeches and raising millions of dollars in that race.  However, despite the excitement of Beto in the senate race, little is known about the former congressman’s voting record and he has not fully flushed out a lot of his political positions. 


Industrial hemp veto override fails in the Senate

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s veto of the industrial hemp legislation managed to survive an attempted veto override Tuesday.  The South Dakota House was able to accomplish the override with a 55-11 vote, but the override attempted died in the senate, failing to receive the necessary 2/3rds vote.  The final vote was 20-13, four votes short of the mark.  Despite claims from Governor Noem, South Dakota is not ready for industrial hemp, the state of Wyoming has passed an industrial hemp bill and North Dakota has been operating a pilot program for five years now.


Mathern sentenced to 10 years in prison following armed standoff with police in Redfield

31-year-old Matthew Mathern of Redfield has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $312 in court costs following his sentencing Tuesday.  Mathern was involved in a armed standoff with police back in June at the Community Memorial Hospital Avera in Redfield.  Six patients and approximately 40 workers were evacuated after Mathern entered the premisis with his son and a handgun.  No one was injured and the standoff ended peacefully. 


Chamber postpones Ag Day activities due to poor weather predicted

Due to the predicted winter storm this week, the Aberdeen Chamber’s Ag Committee will postpone its National Ag Day activities from, Thursday, March 14, to Wednesday, March 27. Committee members will be in Kessler’s from 9 am to 1pm and Ken’s Super Fair Foods from 2 pm to 7 pm. Shoppers are encouraged to visit with them about agriculture in South Dakota, take advantage of Beef Bucks & pork certificates, sample products and sign up for a grilling basket giveaway. This event is sponsored by BankNorth, Concord Grain, Farm Credit Services of America, Jakober Limousin, Plains Commerce Bank, RDO Equipment and Wells Fargo Bank.


Wiley Park master plan meeting postponed due to predicted bad weather

The open house to receive input from the public on the update of the Wylie Park Master Plan has been postponed from Wednesday, March 13 to Wednesday, March 20. The open house will be held on Wednesday, March 20th from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Library Auditorium at the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center (ARCC), 225 3rd Avenue SE in Aberdeen.

 

The proposed draft of the Wylie Park Master Plan will address a full range of options and issues related to future improvements under consideration at Wylie Park. The purpose of the master plan is to guide the future development of Wylie Park over the next ten years. The purpose of the open house is to introduce the master plan to the public, presenting an overview of improvements under consideration in the beach and lake area, Circle of Flags, Storybook Land, picnic areas, zoo and the campground. To learn more about the master plan, view the plan online at www.aberdeen.sd.us/wylieparkmasterplan. A copy of the master plan is also available for viewing at the K O Lee Aberdeen Public Library. A brief survey to solicit feedback on Wylie Park and future improvements, is also available online at

www.aberdeen.sd.us/wylieparkmasterplan until Friday, April 5.

 

For more information, please contact the Aberdeen, Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department at 605-626-7015.


Safety officials urge residents to be ready for major snowstorm

South Dakota state government officials urge citizens to make preparations now,  which includes adjusting travel plans, for a late-winter storm this week that will cover most of the state with several inches of snow, high winds and freezing rain.

 

The latest National Weather Service forecast calls for the heaviest snow to begin falling in western and central South Dakota Wednesday morning. At the same time, portions of eastern and south central South Dakota will see freezing rain or heavy rain, which could result in downed power lines and flooding. Overnight Wednesday into Thursday, central South Dakota can expect winds as high as 70 miles per hour, which will bring blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibility. Snow is expected throughout most of South Dakota by Thursday before finally ending that afternoon and evening. Up to two feet of snow could fall in some areas.

 

Those staying at home are encouraged to make sure they have enough supplies on hand, including needed medication. Citizens also are urged to check on elderly neighbors, pets and livestock.

 

Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be heavy traffic days with many people attending state high school basketball tournaments starting Thursday in Aberdeen, Rapid City and Sioux Falls.  State Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price says people should start to adjust their travel plans now.

 

“There are still a lot of questions about the timing and direction of this storm, but for now we encourage people going anywhere in western South Dakota to be at their place of destination by Tuesday night,” he says. “For those headed elsewhere in South Dakota, you should get to your destination by sometime Wednesday afternoon. The current forecast indicates travel will likely be very difficult by Thursday morning.”

 

Department of Transportation Operations Director Greg Fuller says crews are preparing now to keep highways open as much as possible.

 

“Motorists need to keep updated with latest weather and road conditions,” he says. “This appears to be a fast-moving storm that could quickly impact roads and driving conditions.”

 

Drivers are reminded to check safetravelusa.com/sd or call 5-1-1 before they begin their trip. Motorists also are urged to take the following steps:

 

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

§    Change travel plans as weather conditions warrant

 

If you do get stranded:

§    Stay in your vehicle

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

Gov. Noem vetos industrial hemp legislation

Despite being passed 58-8 by the House of Representatives, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem used her veto power to stop legislation that would have legalized industrial hemp.  In a letter sent to the House of Representatives, Governor Noem says the state is not ready for industrial hemp and worries this will eventually lead to medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.  Lawmakers now have the chance to override the Governor’s veto, but the bill did not receive the necessary 2/3rds support in the Senate when it passed, meaning some minds will need to be changed in order for that to happen. 

 

The following is the letter Gov. Noem sent to the House of Representatives:

 

Dear Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives,

 

I respectfully return to you House Bill 1191, with my VETO.  House Bill 1191 is an Act to legalize the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp and derivative products in the state.

 

South Dakota must stand as an example for the rest of the country, not simply go along with others.  Our focus must be on leading for South Dakota’s next generation.  Our state is not yet ready for industrial hemp.

 

Foremost among the many defects of this bill are the challenges it creates for law enforcement.  HB 1191 complicates law enforcement searches and provides a ready-made defense for those breaking our drug laws.  This poorly drafted bill changes the definition of marijuana with little regard for the implications elsewhere in our Code.  It would create uncertainty for prosecution under our ingestion statute because the source of THC is placed in doubt when industrial hemp products that contain small amounts of THC, such as cannabidiol or CBD, are legalized.  As Governor, I will not leave it to our courts to interpret how this bill impacts our prohibition on the active ingredient in marijuana, and I do not believe the Legislature intended to complicate enforcement of our ingestion statute in this way.

 

Although proponents claim hemp has a wide variety of uses, the legislative debate makes it clear that this bill is less about helping farmers and more about commercial interest in one product:  CBD.  No other type of hemp producer or processor retained paid lobbyists this Session.  HB 1191 rejected critical parts of the amendment my Administration discussed with the bill’s sponsors.  It would instead allow the immediate, widespread production and use of CBD, as well as other hemp derivatives, even though the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has yet to approve them as safe for therapeutic use or for interstate commerce.  In fact, the FDA has not yet begun its regulatory process on hemp derivatives, including CBD.  South Dakota should be guided by the FDA on these issues, not special interests.

 

As I first stated many weeks ago, HB 1191 is premature.  There is no urgent problem requiring an immediate solution this session.  Until the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issues its own rules, the regular growth and interstate transport of hemp cannot begin.  No industrial hemp will cross into South Dakota without those rules, which USDA has announced it will not issue until late 2019.  We have no way of knowing today what those rules will require.  What limited structure HB 1191 does create to regulate industrial hemp in our state could very well be in conflict.

 

Finally, I am concerned that this bill supports a national effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use.  I do not doubt the motives of this bill’s legislative champions.  However, an overwhelming number of contacts I have received in favor of this bill come from pro-marijuana activists.  There is no question in my mind that normalizing hemp, like legalizing medical marijuana, is part of a larger strategy to undermine enforcement of the drug laws and make legalized marijuana inevitable.

 

This issue was never ripe for discussion during this legislative session, and our state government’s efforts and resources should be focused elsewhere until the federal government’s approach on this issue is clear.

 

For these reasons, I oppose this bill and ask that you sustain my veto.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Kristi Noem
Governor 


SDSU extension warns about flood outlook for spring

The National Weather Service has released its flood outlook for this coming spring.  The outlook has been updated to show an increased risk of flooding across eastern South Dakota. 

 

Laura Edwards, climatologist with the South Dakota State extension office, explained why the flood risk has risen over the past month...

 

 

 

 

On Average Aberdeen experiences around 30 inches of snowfall any given winter.  Already this winter, Aberdeen is over 60 inches of snow according to the National Weather Service and there is more coming. 

 

Edwards compared conditions this year to a year many South Dakotan’s remember, 1997...

 

 

 

 

Edwards also gave a worst case scenario when it comes to prime flooding conditions...

 

 

 

 

Edwards says no matter what the flood conditions will be when the snow finally melts now is the time to act...

 


One person arrested in Sioux Falls stabbing death

One person has been arrested following a stabbing death early Sunday morning in Sioux Falls.  According to police, the incident occurred in the area of West 9th Street and North Evergreen Drive shortly before 8:00 a.m.  Upon arrival officers found a 38-year-old male victim with multiple stab wounds.  40-year-old Christopher Lee Adams was located nearby and taken into custody.  He has been charged with 2nd degree murder and 1st degree manslaughter. 


DOT reopens interstates in South Dakota

Officials are opening Interstate 90 effective at 7 a.m. this morning (Sunday) between Wall and Mitchell.

 

Interstate 29 remains closed from Watertown to the North Dakota border as winds are still high and causing heavy drifting in the northeast part of the state. Please do not anticipate the reopening of I-29 and park on the Interstate. This creates a traffic hazard for DOT crews working to clear the roadway as well as other motorists.

 

Motorists are cautioned to remember winter driving conditions still exist. Crews are out plowing and applying chemical, but roads are still icy and snow-packed and slippery.

 

Drivers are also asked to check safetravelusa.com/sd or call 5-1-1 before travelling this morning as there are still numerous No Travel Advisories along with some road impassable notices in the north western and north central part of the state.

 

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

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

§    Change travel plans as weather conditions warrant

 

If you do get stranded:

§    Stay in your vehicle

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

 


Aberdeen Parks and rec now accepting summer job applications

The Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is accepting applications for summer seasonal positions.  A variety of positions are available, including baseball, softball and tee ball coaches, baseball and softball umpires, Park, Forestry, Cemetery and Golf maintenance workers, Wylie Park and Aquatic Center concession workers, tennis instructors, lifeguards, aquatic center cashiers, cultural program instructors and Storybook Land theatre actors.  Information is also on line at www.aberdeen.sd.us/jobs.

 

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 15. 

 

For further information, job listings, or to turn in your application, contact the department office at 225 3rd Avenue SE or call at 626-7015.


Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announces

Longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek announced Wednesday following the game show he has been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.  Trebek made the announcement in a YouTube video posted to social media.  According to Trebek he wanted to let fans know from him his situation rather than let them learn through rumors.  The cancer does not have a high survival rate, but there are treatment options, which Trebek says he will use to continue fighting. 

 

 


Federal wildlife officials may remove protections from the Gray Wolf

US federal wildlife officials have announced plans to remove protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states.  According to US Fish and Wildlife spokesman Gavin Shire, the wolf species has seen a resurgence in some areas, but not others over the past century.  The species at one point was near extermination.  More than 5,000 gray wolves are estimated to exist throughout the United States. 


Amended industrial hemp bill passes the senate, must go back to the house

A day after the legislation initially failed in the Senate, a bill legalizing industrial hemp passed the senate floor by a 21-14 vote.  The bill had to be amended in order to avoid senate taxation rules which would require the bill to get  2/3rds majority to pass.  Because of the amendments, the bill will need to be returned to the house for debate and passage before making its way to Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk.  Gov. Noem is against legalizing industrial hemp and has asked the legislator to hold off on passing this legislation.  However, she has stopped short of a veto threat. 


A bill to allow conceal carry in the capital heads to Gov. Noem's desk

A bill which would allow people with enhanced conceal carry permits to carry their weapon in the state capital has passed the house and is on its way to Governor Kristi Noem’s desk.  The house voted 44-19 in favor of the legislation Monday.  The bill would require those seeking to carry their weapon in the capital that they notify security before doing so.  This legislation would not cover the Supreme Court chamber or private officers that have controlled access such as the governor’s office.  Capital security is provided by the South Dakota Highway Patrol who has come out against this legislation.  According to the Secretary of State’s office, 1,615 enhanced conceal carry permits were issued last year. 


Actor Luke Perry dies due to stroke

Actor Luke Perry, best known for his work on Beverly Hills 90210 and Riverdale died Monday after suffering a stroke in recent days.  He was 52-years old.  Last week Perry had been hospitalized and his publicist told reporters he would be staying in the hospital to remain under observation.  Many people have come out and expressed their love for Perry, especially those who found him to be a heart throb during their teenage years while he was on 90210.    


Brookings man facing child pornography and rape charges

A Brookings man has been accused of sexually assaulting two children.  According to Brookings county authorities 23-year-old Dalton Lenger faces 15 charges including three counts of first degree rape, two counts of fourth degree rape, sexual contact with a  child under 16 and nine counts of possessing, manufacturing or distributing child pornography.  The charges stem from an incident involving two girls between July 2017 and February 2019 who were both under the age of 13 during that time. 


Industrial hemp to be debated in the Senate this week despite Gov. Noem's objections

A bill to legalize industrial hemp production in South Dakota passed out of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee yesterday (Thurs.) and is now headed the Senate floor.

 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem continues to ask legislators to hold off on passing the bill until federal regulations have been ironed out, but stopped short of threatening a veto.

 

Noem says she spoke with US Ag Sec. Sonny Perdue about it while she was in Washington, DC, last weekend.

 

 

 

 

Noem says the bill "gravely concerns" her.

 

 

 

The 2018 federal farm bill legalized cultivation of industrial hemp nationally, but US Department of Agriculture officials say the rules governing the crop won’t be ready for the 2019 planting season.

 

Noem says she’s had discussions with legislative leadership about an amendment that would win her support for the bill, but declined to elaborate. If the bill passes the Senate without changes, it would head to Noem's desk.


Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper joins presidential race

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced Monday he is entering the race for president, seeking the Democratic nomination.  Hickenlooper is the second governor or former governor entering the race, after Washington Governor Jay Inlsee announced last week.  The field of major candidates is now at 14. 


Industrial hemp bill passes out of Senate Ag committee

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee passes a measure to legalize the growth of industrial hemp in South Dakota.

 

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has asked lawmakers to hold off on the effort, saying the state isn't ready. The House voted 65-2 in favor of the bill just days after Noem first requested a delay.

 

Bill sponsor, Oren Lesmeister of Parade, says industrial hemp could have a significant impact as a value-added crop in South Dakota...

 

 

 

 

Several members of the Noem administration testified against the bill including Senior Policy Analyst Aaron Scheibe (shy-bee)...

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Deb Soholt of Sioux Falls says she still has concerns with the bill but it believes it's worse to wait. She says the bill wouldn't even become law until July... 

 

 

 

 

The measure passed out of committee on a 7-2 vote and now heads to the Senate floor.


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announces 2020 presidential bid

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced he will seek the Democratic nomination to run for President in 2020.  Inslee joins an already crowded field of candidates looking to take on President Donald Trump in the general election.  Inslee announced his bid Friday in Seattle.  He is 68-years-old and has already begun making his campaign about battling climate change.  Other prominent Democrats likely to make a decision to run or not in the coming days include failed Texas senate candidate Beto O’Roruk and former vice president Joe Biden. 


Roberts county sheriff Kory Ware found guilty of felony aggravated assault

28-year-old Roberts County Sheriff Korey Ware of Sisseton was found guilty of felony aggravated assault Thursday.  Ware will be sentenced at a later date.  Ware is accused of assaulting a 30-year-old man in an Aberdeen Bar on Oct. 6th 2018.  He was a sheriff-elect of Roberts county at that time.  Despite the charges brought against him, Ware was still sworn in as sheriff in January with limited responsibilities.  He will be sentenced at a later date, which could pose a problem for Ware to continue serving as Roberts County sheriff. 



Sobriety checkpoints planned for March

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety has scheduled 25 sobriety checkpoints in 19 counties statewide during the month of March.

 

The checkpoints are designed to discourage people from drinking and then driving. Monthly checkpoints are funded by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and conducted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol with the help of local law enforcement.

 

March checkpoints will be held in the counties of: Brown, Beadle, Brule, Butte, Charles Mix, Codington, Davison, Fall River, Hughes, Lake, Lincoln, Meade, Minnehaha,  Pennington, Roberts, Sanborn, Spink, Stanley and Union.

 

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


Gov. Noem appoints judge to seventh district

Governor Kristi Noem today announced that Joshua Hendrickson will serve as judge for South Dakota’s Seventh Judicial Circuit.  

 

“Josh is a respected attorney and a leader in his community,” said Noem. “I’m confident his commitment to service and justice will make him an excellent judge.”

 

“I am truly honored to be selected to this position by Governor Noem,” said Hendrickson. “I have enjoyed serving the community that I love over the last 15 years as a Deputy State’s Attorney, and I look forward to continuing my service as a Circuit Judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit.”

 

Hendrickson is a native of Kearney, Nebraska. After graduating from Kearney High School, Hendrickson attended the University of Nebraska where he obtained a degree in anthropology as well as his Juris Doctor from the University of South Dakota’s School of Law.

 

Hendrickson has served as a prosecutor for the Pennington County State’s Attorney Office in Rapid City since 2003, where he works on high level felony cases and victim-based crimes. In 2016, he was a recipient of the Victims Champion Award for his work on cases related to domestic violence. Hendrickson is a member of the South Dakota State Bar Association, National District Attorneys Association, and South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association.  

 

Hendrickson lives in Rapid City with his wife, Dr. Kari Scovel Hendrickson, and three kids. In his free time, he enjoys coaching his sons in little league baseball.

  

The Seventh Judicial Circuit Court covers Pennington, Custer, Fall River, and Oglala Lakota counties.   


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