Local News

Identity of body found in Missouri River in Pierre identified

The Pierre Police Department has released the name of the person found inside a car that was submerged in the Missouri River.   The vehicle was  recovered after a South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks side-scan sonar united detected a possible vehicle in the water near the exit area of Down’s Marina in Pierre….




Captain Bryan Walz with the Pierre Police Department says White Thunder hasn’t been heard from in nearly a year and a half…




Walz says the investigation into how White Thunder and the vehicle ended up in the river is far from over…




One of the biggest questions for police is how the vehicle was not discovered for so long in such a heavily used area in Pierre…




The cause of White Thunder’s death is still pending and Walz says it is too early in the investigation to determine if the death is criminal in nature or accidental.  The Pierre Police Department Crime Tips line is 605-773-7420.

Uber coming to South Dakota

The ride-sharing service Uber has announced it will be opening operations in South Dakota.  The San Francisco based company released a statement saying they were coming to the “Mount Rushmore State” but did not specifically announce what cities they would be operating in. 

DNC announces 20 candidates who qualified for first televised debate

The National Democratic Party has released the names of 20 of 23 declared candidates who have qualified for the first presidential primary debate which will take place June 26th and 27th in Miami.  Those qualifiers in alphabetical order include:

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet
Former vice president Joe Biden 
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker
South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former Maryland Rep. John Delany
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabard
New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand 
California Senator Kamala Harris 
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders 
California Rep. Eric Swalwell
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
Self help guru Marianne Williamson
Former tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang

The debate will take place over two days and feature two events with 10 candidates each.  The candidates will be selected at random who is on the stage with who including a mixture of five top polling candidates and five lower polling candidates. 

The four candidates who failed to qualify for the first debate include:
Former Montana Gov. Steve Bulluck 
Miramar Florida mayor Wayne Messam
Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton. 

Assault and kidnapping charges levied against Pennington County man

Pennington County authorities say assault and kidnapping charges have been filed against a Rapid City man after a Tuesday pursuit.


According to a release, Steven Jackson, 38 years old of Rapid City, abducted and assaulted a woman at a truck stop near I-90 Exit 61, Tuesday.  Law enforcement was notified by a third party of the kidnapping and assault. The woman was eventually able to get out of the vehicle, but their infant child was left unrestrained in the vehicle.


Law enforcement worked for several hours to locate and follow the vehicle.

Due to the severity of the crimes, a pursuit was initiated. The pursuit was terminated several times when speeds became excessive, at times over 100 miles per hour.


Finally Pennington County Deputies successfully deployed road spikes slowing the vehicle.

The vehicle continued off road until it crashed in a ditch. Jackson ran from the vehicle and the baby was found unharmed.


After a foot chase, Jackson was arrested in Meade County north of New Underwood.

A temporary protection order had been issued ordering removal of the child from Jackson’s custody. The victim of the assault and kidnapping is the mother of the infant as she was attempting to regain custody of the child. The victim met with Jackson prior to law enforcement being able to serve the temporary protection order.


Jackson faces charges of 2nd Degree Kidnapping, Aggravated Eluding Law Enforcement and Simple Assault Domestic Violence. There may be other possible pending charges from this event in other counties.


Other charges from a previous assault with the same victim include interference with Emergency Communication and Simple Assault Domestic Violence.

Body found in vehicle in the Missouri River in Pierre

An autopsy is being done today (June 12) on a body found inside of a vehicle pulled out of the Missouri River at Pierre yesterday afternoon.


Pierre Police captain Bryan Walz says South Dakota Game Fish and Parks alerted them about a submerged object near the exit of Down’s Marina.




He says the investigation is ongoing.





Walz would not release details about the make, model or color of the car, but did tell DRG news and farm it had “a local plate.”

Castlewood man identified in Hamlin county fatal crash

A Castlewood man has been identified as the person who died in a two-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon south of Watertown.


A 1996 GMC Yukon was westbound on South Dakota Highway 22 when it made an illegal lane change to cross U.S. Highway 81. The vehicle collided with a 2013 Ford F-150 pickup which was traveling southbound on Highway 81.


Roy Boughton, 82, was driving the Yukon. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


The other driver, 63-year-old Mary Ogren of DeSmet, was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured. There are no charges pending against her.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.


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

Gov. Noem announces Governor's annual pheasant hunt will move from Pierre to Sioux Falls

The 2020 Governor’s Hunt and Sportsmen’s Showcase will be based out of Sioux Falls rather than Pierre, a disappointing move for the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Gov. Kristi Noem announced yesterday (Mon.) the Governor’s Hunt is being transformed into an industry showcase for the nation.


Director Lois Ries (reese) says accommodations could’ve been made here.






Ries says they’ll be checking into what other opportunities may be wanting to pheasant hunting in the Pierre-Fort Pierre area.






Noem’s announcement says major events planned for the 2020 Governor’s Hunt and Sportsmen’s Showcase include a public sportsman industry vendor fair; a banquet for state leaders and business prospects; a public concert; and pheasant hunting in southeastern South Dakota.


This year’s Governor’s Hunt will still be based in Pierre.

Citywide mosquito spray scheduled for Thursday

The City of Aberdeen has scheduled a city wide spraying for Thursday, June 13, 2019 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

One woman killed in Tuesday in crash near Watertown

One woman died Tuesday morning in a pickup-motorcycle crash north of Watertown.


Names of the deceased and the other person involved are not being released pending notification of family.


A 2008 Harley Davidson FLST was southbound on Interstate 29, trailing two other motorcycles. The motorcycle was rear-ended by a 2016 Ford F 150 pickup.


The 67-year-old female motorcycle driver was thrown from the motorcycle and into the interstate median. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She was wearing a helmet.


Not injured was the pickup driver, a 64-year-old woman. She was wearing a seatbelt. Charges are pending against her.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.


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

Fire destroys home at Park Village mobile home park

A fire was reported Tuesday morning at the Park Village mobile home park south of the Starlight convenience store in the west part of Aberdeen.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  Aberdeen rural fire was called in originally, but that call was canceled according to officials on site.  Instead Aberdeen Fire and Rescue was at the scene battling the flames.  Paramedics did take some of the residents to the hospital, but the extent to the injuries or their current condition was not known.  The fire was contained to one home and no other surrounding homes were damaged.



Gov. Noem says no plans to build a fence around governor's mansion

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem took to twitter Monday to address rumors that have been reported in the media and swirling around the state about the possibility of a fence being constructed around the governor’s mansion.  According to Noem’s tweet the governor did look into building a fence after public safety exports in the state recommended investigating the idea further.  Noem says that work is done and there are no plans to build a fence.  Estimated costs of said fence were reported to be almost half a million dollars. 

Police arrest two on methamphetamine charges, one more wanted for questioning

The Aberdeen Police Department announced the arrest of two people Monday on charges of distributing methamphetamine.  According to authorities, the Sheriff department, Department of Criminal investigation and Aberdeen Police Department initiated a narcotics investigation in the 900 block of south 2nd street on June ninth.  Authorities found evidence in the search to arrest 57-year-old Antonio Longoria and charged him with parole violation, possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distrubte and keeping a place for the use or sale of a controlled substance.  Police also arrested 27-year-old Austin Alexander Sisneros on a Brown County warrant.  42-year-old Jennifer Lee Noltner is wanted for questioning.

SD delegation to Washington praises Trump administration for disaster relief

The following are statements released by Rep. Dusty Johnson and senators John Thune and Mike Rounds released statements on the Trump Administration awarding disater relief to the state of South Dakota:

Dusty Johnson:
“South Dakotans need relief,” said Johnson. “This declaration will allow our state to access recently passed disaster assistance to move forward from the unprecedented and ongoing flooding, and I’m grateful the Trump administration recognized this expediently. When times got tough, South Dakota’s leadership, first responders, and local and state officials stepped up to the plate and for that I’m extremely grateful.”

Senator Thune:

"I’m grateful for the administration’s action to help ensure that hard-hit South Dakota communities will be able to get back to normal as fast as possible following these devastating storms,” said Thune. “I want to thank Gov. Noem for her leadership and Sen. Rounds and Rep. Johnson for their support in urging the administration to act quickly and give our state the assistance it needs.”


Senator Rounds:
“I thank President Trump for recognizing the need to provide disaster assistance to South Dakota communities impacted by recent storms. This will help communities and families across the state rebuild critical infrastructure, homes and businesses that were severely damaged.”



President Trump approves disaster relief for the state of South Dakota

State’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration. This will allow federal money to be used to help citizens and local governmental entities recover from property damage sustained during the statewide winter weather and flooding this spring. The President signed the declaration late on June 7, 2019. The state made the request May 22, 2019.


“This is great news for our state as it means that those still recovering from the severe weather will get much needed assistance,” said Noem. “We thank the President for his actions.”


The declaration means FEMA teams will soon be coming to the state to document all damage sustained to both individual and public properties. More details on that process will be announced at a later date.


In May, the Governor requested FEMA assistance to help with repairs for damage done to both public property as well as to individual homes and businesses. A preliminary damage assessment indicates about $43 million in damage to public infrastructure in 58 counties and on three reservations. The preliminary damage assessment for individual assistance is about $3 million covering 12 counties and three reservations.


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


Individual assistance has been approved for the counties of: Bennett, Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Dewey, Hutchinson, Jackson, Mellette, Minnehaha, Oglala Lakota, Todd, Yankton, and Ziebach counties as well as the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud Indian Reservations. Individual assistance was not approved for Brookings, Kingsbury, Hamlin, and Turner counties as additional information is needed. It is possible those counties could be added at a later time.


In her letter requesting a disaster declaration, Noem said the severe weather this spring affected all parts of the state. People had to be rescued from their flooded homes, highways and roads were damaged, city infrastructure systems were overwhelmed by the high water, and the state’s agricultural industry was impacted.


“South Dakotans, as they always do, have helped each other recover from the winter storms and flooding,” Noem said. “But this federal assistance is the extra boost individuals, businesses, and governments need to recover from this disaster.”


South Dakota last received an Individual Assistance declaration in 2011 for widespread damage from Missouri River flooding. The last Public Assistance declaration was granted in 2016 following a Christmas ice storm.

One person killed in Hamlin county fatal crash

One person died Saturday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash south of Watertown.


Names of the deceased and the other person involved are not being released pending notification of family.


A 1996 GMC Yukon was westbound on South Dakota Highway 22 when it made an illegal lane change to cross U.S. Highway 81. The vehicle collided with a 2013 Ford F-150 pickup which was traveling southbound on Highway 81.


The 82-year-old male driver of the Yukon was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver, a 63-year-old female, was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.


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

Federal judge rules against Flandreau Santee injunction to begin growing industrial hemp

A federal judge has denied a request by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe for a preliminary injunction so the tribe could begin its desired industrial hemp operation while a lawsuit about the operation makes its way through the courts.  Currently, the Flandreau Santee are involved in a lawsuit with the United State’s Department of Agriculture.  According to the tribe, proper paperwork was filed back in March to seek permission to begin cultivating hemp, but the USDA did not complete its review within 60 days.  The tribe claims the USDA is in violation for failing to provide an answer within that 60 day period. 

Two Florida men arrested in Brookings ATM theft

Two Florida men have been arrested in connection to a series of ATM debit card thefts in Brookings.


Police Lt. Marci Gebers says Brookings police detectives working with other law enforcement in South Dakota, Minnesota and Florida were able to identify and issue warrants for two suspects.


The two, 33-year-old George Enescu and 26-year-old Teodor Bobe, were arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and are being held in the Broward County Jail pending extradition to South Dakota. It's believed Enescu is the man in the ATM security footage that has been online.


The two will be charged in Brookings County with grand theft, possession of forged or counterfeit instruments and identity theft.


Gebers encourages people to continue to monitor their accounts for possible withdrawals by the thieves.  She also thanks the public for their help in identifying the suspects.


Gebers says others are likely involved and the investigation continues.

Chamberlain couple facing child abuse charges

A Chamberlain couple is facing felony child abuse charges following a fire in their apartment Monday. According to court documents first responders found smoke when they arrived and obtained a master key to get in.


They found a pan of rice burning on the stove and a man identified as 28 year old Tyler Harmon sitting in a chair apparently heavily intoxicated and unconscious. Responders heard a small child crying in the bedroom and found the 11 month old female infant laying on the floor, a 7 year old male child laying on the bed and an adult female later identified as 28 year old Katrina Harmon unconscious on the bed. Officers found two empty whiskey bottles.


The children were taken to a hospital as a precaution. The infant had a temperature of 102 degrees.


Tyler and Katrina Harmon were medically cleared and taken to the Brule County Jail. Tyler Harmon’s PBT was .216% and Katrina Harmon’s PBT .229%. They’re each charged with abuse or cruelty to a minor seven years or younger. Each count is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and or a $30,000 fine. Bond was set at $4,000 cash for each plus the 24/7 program and no contact with the victims. The children were placed in the custody of the department of social services.

Trooper Baumann named AAA South Dakota State Trooper of the year

South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick Bumann, who colleagues praise for his hard work and dedication, has been named the 2018 South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year.


Trooper Bumann, who is a member of the Sioux Falls squad, was honored during a Wednesday awards luncheon in Sioux Falls. The award, which is sponsored by AAA South Dakota, is presented to a trooper for their continued demonstration of exceptional service to the agency, citizens and communities.


“Trooper Bumann has performed at a high level since he joined the Highway Patrol in 2014,” said Maj. Rick Miller of the Highway Patrol. “He is always willing to take on new challenges and responsibilities.”


A Sioux Falls native and graduate of Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School, Bumann has worked in the areas of crash investigation, drug recognition and technology. He also has helped train new Highway Patrol recruits as a field training officer and is involved in the South Dakota Special Olympics.


The nomination received for Trooper Bumann stated: “It is not just the extra activities that Trooper Bumann does that make him worthy of this award, It is how he does the job each day, every year. He consistently meets and exceeds the expectations set by forth by the agency and himself every year.”


Those who supported Trooper Bumann’s nomination also praised his willingness to help others. Capt. Jason Husby, who leads the Sioux Falls Highway Patrol Office, called Trooper Bumann a positive influence.


“I feel fortunate every day to have such a talented and hard-working group of troopers, sergeants, lieutenants and civilian staff,” Capt. Husby wrote.  “When I look at the people who work here, it makes me want to work harder to provide the best work environment I can for them. Trooper Bumann is one of the troopers that pushes me the hardest.”


This is the sixth year that AAA South Dakota has sponsored the Trooper of the Year Award. Marilyn Buskohl, manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA South Dakota, says the organization is honored to be part of the award.


“Every year, I am reminded how fortunate we are in South Dakota to have so many outstanding law enforcement officers working for us every day,” Buskohl said. “We are honored by their call to duty and this award is a way to recognize those who protect and serve us.”


Other finalists for this year’s award were Sgt. Ryan Lantz of the Chamberlain Squad and Trooper Jeremy Biegert of the Northern Plains Squad.


Past winners of the award are Sergeants Rob Mayer, Josh Olson, Todd Albertson, and Troopers Cody Jansen and Jerry Kastein.


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

Volunteers needed for state High School clay shooting tournament

The South Dakota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament will be held at the Aberdeen Gun Club Saturday and Sunday, June 8 & 9.


Event organizers are still in need of volunteers to help with range safety, trash removal and crowd control.


If you, or your organization, would be willing to donate some time on Saturday or Sunday please contact Jerry Brick at 228-2449.

Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Friday

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Friday June 7th water will be shut off in the following area to install a storm sewer:

South 1st Street from 3rd avenue SW to Railroad Avenue.


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 all day, work will be completed as quickley as possible.  

Newcomers win big in Tuesday's local election

Tuesday’s election was a good night for newcomers to local government.  Two elections took place Tuesday, one for Aberdeen mayor and another for Aberdeen City Council representing the northwest district.  Local businessman Travis Schaunaman defeated incumbent Mike Levsen 2,557 votes to 1,286.  Levsen was seeking a fourth term.  Challenger Josh Rife defeated incumbent Jennifer Slaight-Hanson for the city council seat 708 votes to 306.  According to the Brown County Auditor Cathy McNickle, 3,852 of the 16,186 registered voters in Aberdeen showed up to cast a vote, just shy of 24 percent. 

California Gov. Newsom denies parole of Manson cult member Leslie Van Houten

California Governor Gavin Newsom overruled the state parole board’s decision to grant Leslie Van Houten early release Monday.  Van Houten was the youngest member of the infamous Charlie Manson cult who in the late 1960’s carried out gruesome murders of a wealthy Los Angeles grocer and his wife and pregnant actress Sharon Tate.  Van Houten was 19 at the time and is now 69 years old.  Newsom becomes the second governor to overrule the parole board’s decision to free Van Houten and this becomes the third time overall.

House of Reps passes billion dollar disaster relief package

The US House of Representatives Monday approved a long-delayed $1.9 billion disaster relief bill aimed at helping communities recover from hurricanes, floods and fires.  This will be a boon to many farmers and families in the Midwest battling flooding due to heavy snowfall and a wet spring.  The bill passed via a 354-58 margin.  Republican lawmakers held up the legislation when one or two of them would not vote on a procedure portion of the lawmaking process to give full consent to begin debate on the legislation.  President Donald Trump also at time opposed the measure, but now it is believed he will sign the bill. 

Sioux Falls woman charged with sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy

A Sioux Falls woman has been arrested on charges including sexual contact with a minor.  38-year-old Samantha Lynn Eberle was taken into custody Saturday when her vehicle was found near the North Drive area of town.  When police arrived they found Eberle in the back seat with a 13-year-old boy.  Police also found drug paraphernalia including a marijuana pipe and methamphetamine.  She also had sex toys in the car.  She faces one count of possession of a controlled substance, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual contact with a child under 16 and sexual exploitation of a minor.