Local News

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin arrested on murder/manslaughter charges

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested on murder and manslaughter charges in the death of 46-year-old George Floyd.  Floyd died Monday after being place under arrest for alleged forgery charges and Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck.  Floyd was handcuffed on his stomach and begged Chauvin to remove his knee, saying he could not breath.  He was pronounced dead at a hospital.


Video recorded by bystandards has led to massive unrest including protests, riots and more in Minneapolis and other Minnesota cities, as well as protests accross the country.  Chauvin was one of four officeres involved in what Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called "an abject failure" of police work.


It has come to light in days following the death of George Floyd, former officer Chauvin has a long history of complaints filed against him and has been involved in the death of suspects in the past. 

YAPAtorium to reopen Monday

The YAPAtorium is excited reopen its facility to patrons on Monday, June 1st 2020. In order to ensure a safe atmosphere we will be implementing the following changes:


Masks Required: Patrons must wear a mask or face covering that securely covers mouth and nose.

Maximum Occupancy: The youth center will only admit 15 youths at any given time.

Temperature Checks: before admittance, youths will have their temperatures taken.

Amended Hours: Monday – Saturday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Parents, please wait for us to admit your young person before leaving, as these changes might affect our availability.

Further extension of driver's license expiration date granted

A temporary extension of the expiration date for certain South Dakota driver licenses has been extended until March 30, 2021 by Gov. Kristi Noem.


The Governor this week signed an executive order that extends the state’s emergency declaration through Dec. 30, 2020. That means the expiration date for driver licenses is extended through the duration of the emergency declaration plus an additional 90 days or March 30, 2021.


“This is good news for those South Dakotans whose licenses expired on or after March 13, 2020 when the Governor first issued the emergency declaration,” said Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Craig Price. “This means driver license holders now have even more time to renew their licenses.”


The extension covers driver licenses, motorcycle operator licenses, restricted minor’s permits, motorcycle restricted minor’s permits, non-driver identification cards, commercial driver’s licenses or commercial learner’s permits.


Driver licenses can be renewed online at But state Driver Licensing Director Jane Schrank asks those license holders not to schedule renewal appointments at exam stations at this time.


“We are asking people with those licenses to wait until late summer or early fall to make those appointments,” she said. “We need time to process the backlog of tests that accumulated from the last couple of months.”


Currently, 10 driver exam stations are open by appointment only for those applying for new driver or commercial driver licenses and ID cards. The exam stations are located in Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Mitchell, Mobridge, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton.


Appointments for new driver or commercial driver licenses and ID cards can be made at Due to heavy website traffic, please be patient.


The Driver Licensing Program is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

Aberdeen fire and rescue responds to house fire Thursday

Press Release - On May 28, 2020 at 1241 hours, Aberdeen Fire Rescue responded to a structure fire involving a single family home at 925 S 10th Street.  On arrival crews found light smoke coming from this residence.  The fire was quickly located by firefighters and contained to the porch and a small addition of the home. There was minor smoke damage throughout the rest of the home.  An adult occupant was home at the time of the fire and made it out safely after being alerted by a neighbor.  Fire crews were on scene for about 2 hours.  The fire is currently under investigation.

Road work to begin in parts of Aberdeen Friday

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Friday May 29th, the following intersection will be closed to thru traffic for road work. 7th avenue SE and South Washington Street. Work is expected to last through Wednesday June 3rd. Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.

City of Aberdeen to begin mosquito spray Thursday night

The City of Aberdeen has scheduled a city wide ground spray for mosquitoes on Thursday, May 28th between the hours of 7:30 pm and 1:00 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 spray being suspended until conditions improve. 

For more information, contact Aberdeen Mosquito Control Program at 626.7015

First death reported in Brown County due to COVID-19

The State Department of Health confirmed the first death in Brown County as a result of COVID-19 Wednesday.  State health officials confirmed four deaths across South Dakota, bringing the total to 54. 


The deaths included two men and two women and were in the age ranges of 30-39, 50-59, and two 60-60. 


57 new cases of COVID-19 were reported as well, putting the state’s total of active COVID-19 cases to 1,037.  Two new cases were confirmed in Brown county, putting the counties active cases at 75. 

SD Senator Mike Rounds comments on tribal COVID-19 checkpoints

(KCCR - Pierre, SD) Two South Dakota Native American Tribes continue to post health safety checkpoints on state and U-S highways even after state officials sent evidence to federal officials claiming checkpoints are illegal.  The evidence, which includes easements signed by the tribes and video footage of the checkpoints, has also been sent to the state’s Congressional legislation. 


Senator Mike Rounds says the Cheyenne River and Oglala Lakota Sioux may be within their rights to establish the stations…




Rounds says there isn’t much he can do but play mediator…




Rounds says he is ready to help coordinate a discussion between the Tribes and state officials if and when both sides are ready to meet.

Aberdeen man arrested following chase Monday

An Aberdeen man is facing second-offense drunken driving, aggravated eluding, hit and run, failure to stop, speeding and driving on a suspended license following a pursuit with police Monday afternoon. According to a release from the Aberdeen Police department 60-year-old David Michael Jorgenson fled officers after police tried to conduct a traffic stop following calls about a possible drunk driver. The chase ended when the pickup Jorgenson was driving left the street and hit a tree and the curb.

Aberdeen City Council supports park board's decision not to open the Aquatic Center this summer.

The Aberdeen City Council discussed at its Tuesday meeting the Aberdeen Parks and Rec board’s decision not to open the aquatic center this summer.  The meeting was held on a Tuesday rather than Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.  The item was discussed despite the fact there was nothing on the agenda about it.


The board decided to close the pool citing multiple reasons including financial, health and logistics of operating a pool during this time.  Parks and Rec Superintendent Mark Hoven says all those concerns are real, but staffing would be the real issue in actually opening the pool this summer…





The parks and rec board last week at a special meeting discussed the option of opening the pool at half capacity due to COVID-19.  If it were to do that, officials estimate the aquatic center would lose anywhere between $75,000 to $150,000.   Hoven also said pools around the state and country are not opening for the same reasons Aberdeen is facing.


Mayor Travis Schaunaman has been an advocate for the pool opening, even starting a gofundme effort to help make up any revenue shortfall.  The city is sitting on a multimillion dollar reserve fund that could be appropriated by the council to cover any shortfall the aquatic center may experience.  Mayor Schaunaman supported that very idea in a video he posted on his mayoral Facebook page…





City council members pushed back on the idea of using reserve funds to operate the aquatic center for a number of reasons.


Councilman David Bunsness said there are other projects the city abandoned due to revenue shortfalls that could be restarted…




In the end, the council also thought the decision of the parks board needs to be respected.  Councilman Clint Rux explained…     


Homeowners in Blackhawk, SD sue the state and others over sinkhole issue

(KOTA - Rapid City, SD) Homeowners affected by the Black Hawk sinkhole from past gypsum mining are banding together to sue the state, Meade County, and individuals involved in the development and sale of that property for 75-million dollars.  


The suit seeks over $35-million in compensatory damages, and $40-million in exemplary damages.  The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial.   John Fitzgerald of Rapid City is the attorney for the homeowners.  


A 32-page document, dated May 24th, outlines fourteen counts of negligence and endangerment against a host of defendents.  The document gets officially filed in circuit court today.  


The document names the governments, people and companies involved in the current housing development, and outlines the use of the land for mining dating back to 1891. It also specifies the mining done on the land by the state, and by private companies, as well as the chain of knowledge of the unreclaimed underground cavity which they say has posed an ongoing public danger for decades.  


A total of 15 families have been evacuated from homes over the underground cavity since a sinkhole opened up in late April.  

Dakota Broadcasting enters new era

Dakota Broadcasting has been in operation in Aberdeen South Dakota, serving the greater northeast area, for the past 12 years and now the company has moved into a new era.


Since its founding Dakota Broadcasting has operated two 100,000 watt radio stations including Dakota 105.5 and 107.7 KABD FM.  Dakota 105.5 plays some of the best country music throughout history, while also exploring its own unique sound while 107.7 KABD FM pleased everyone with its mix of hits from the 80s, 90s and today.


To keep up with an ever changing market and to continue to remain a leader in entertainment, sports and information across the listening area, Dakota Broadcasting has rebranded these two stations.  Beginning Memorial Day weekend Dakota 105.5 will now be known as 105.5 Maverick FM “Country With a Kick”, and 107.7 KABD FM will be known as 107.7 The Shark “Killer Hits.”

“We went through a lot of ideas, but ultimately landed on Maverick FM,” Operations Manager for Maverick FM Lucas Quail said.  “It’s a way to pay tribute to the station’s outlaw reputation while also signaling a new direction.”


“107.7 has always sought to try and appeal to everyone, the kind of music you can shop to or listen to while tinkering in the garage,” said 107.7 Operations Manager Mike Johnson.  “We hope to modernize the sound with this change and make that enjoyment more consistent for the listeners.”


Dakota Broadcasting LLC is owned by Community First Broadcasting. 


Dennis "Mike" Olson hopes to represent all of Aberdeen if re-elected

The Aberdeen City Council election will take place June 2nd and absentee voting has already begun.  The race for a southeast seat on the council features three candidates including business owners Tiffany Langer and Dave Welling and incumbent Dennis “Mike” Olson.


Olson’s first name is Dennis, but growing up friends called him Mike and he still goes by that name today.


He first got on the council filling a vacancy left by Lori Swanson, finishing her first term and winning a special election to remain in the seat.  Olson says the learning curve is steep when on city council and he hopes to continue learning by winning re-election…





Mike has spent much of his professional life in both law enforcement and elected office.  Originally from the Ipswich area, Olson served as an Aberdeen police officer before winning the Edmunds County Sheriff seat and serving in that capacity for 17 years.  He would then retire from law enforcement and went into private investigation work.


The city has taken action which affects businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic.  The council first past stricter regulations, which have now been rolled back partially.  Olson has been an advocate for stricter restrictions during this time and defends that position by citing public health concerns…




Olson says if he is re-elected he hopes to represent the entire city of Aberdeen, not just the people of the southeast district…


Hamlin county sheriff continues to investigate elevator death in Hazel, SD

(KXLG - Watertown, SD) The Hamlin County Sheriff's Office is continuing their investigation into an incident at the Elevator in Hazel, SD that took the life of a 50-year-old man.


Sheriff Chad Schlotterbeck says at 10:50 am, Friday morning, emergency responders were dispatched to the Elevator for a male who had fallen about 50 feet.


The man was working, who was working for a construction company, was working on a grain bin when his equipment failed, causing him to fall. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 


The Hamlin County Sheriff's Office, Hamlin County Coroner's Office, Lake Norden Ambulance, and Hazel Fire Department were on scene.  


The name of the 50-year-old man will not be released pending notification of family members.


Aberdeen Moose Lodge to begin bingo again

The Aberdeen Moose Lodge has announced bingo games iwll start again June 4th and will then take place every Thursday.  


The Moose Lodge is located at 410 9th ave SW.  Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and Bingo starts at 6:00 p.m.  Food and drink will be available.


The Moose lodge will be accepting donations during the month of June and July for the Journey Home of Aberdeen.  Items needed include ceral, oatmeal, granola bars, canned fruit, canned meat, peanut butter, mac and cheese, pasta sauce, hamburger helper, coffee and more.  


If you bring five items you can receive five bingo sheets each week.  



One person killed in Gregory county fatal crash

One person died and another person was seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash Friday night east of Burke.


Names of the two people have not yet been released pending notification of family members. They were the only persons involved.


A 1996 Chrysler Eagle Vision was eastbound on South Dakota Highway 18 when it crossed the center line and collided head on with a westbound 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup hauling a flatbed trailer.


The 16-year-old male driver of the Chrysler was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt.


Sustaining life-threatening injuries was the 29-year-old male driver of the pickup. He was transferred by ambulance to the Burke hospital and then airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash. All information is only preliminary at this point.


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

Senator Thune calls for halt of coronavirus aid

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) The US House returned to Washington last week and quickly passed the “HEROES ACT,” another economic rescue plan totaling about three point three trillion dollars.


South Dakota Senator John Thune made a Senate floor speech explaining the oversight of previous emergency spending...





Thune says its time to take a pause in the massive spending...





Thune was critical of what he called unneeded extras in the HEROES act...






The bill, in its current form, is not expected to be approved in the Senate. Both Houses of Congress adjourned until sometime in June.


Governor Noem alleges illegal activity at tribal checkpoints, asking feds for help

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says she has sent evidence to federal authorities alleging unalwful activity at the tribal COVID-19 checkpoitns.


Governor Noem says she has tasked South Dakota Attorney Jason Ravnsborg with investigating this matter...




Noem says all the information she has collected can be seen by the public at





Originally, the governor sent a letter threatening legal action if the tribes did not take down the checkpoints.  Since then, Noem has walked back the legal threats and has sought to work with the tribes to come to an understanding, but the tribes have been less than willing to communicate with local government.  

Aberdeen Fire and Rescue chief Randy Meister to retire

Aberdeen Fire and Rescue chief Randy Meister will retire from his position. Meister became eligible for retirement this year through the state retirement system at the age of 48 years old. Meister has been the chief for three years and worked his way up the ranks since starting at the department in 1994. His job will be posted in June with interviews taking place in August.   


Parks and Rec decides not to open aquatic center this summer

The Aberdeen Parks and Recreation board met Wednesday night in a special meeting to address the status of the Aberdeen Aquatic Center this summer. The Parks and Rec board decided to recommend not to open the pool this summer citing both financial and health concerns due to COVID-19. The proposal discussed, but ultimately decided against, was to allow the pool to open at a maximum capacity of 300 people at a time, well short of its 1,400 max capacity. Operating at half capacity would likely lead to a loss of an estimated $75,000 to $150,000 that would need to be made up from elsewhere in the budget.

Game Fish and Parks looking into poaching incident in Hamlin county

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks are looking for information into a possible poaching situation.  According to the Department’s Facebook page, six pelicans were shot on the north side of Lake Marsh in Hamlin County.  The birds were shot from west of Hayti on 188th street between Saturday and Sunday evening.  If you have any information leading to an arrest you are urged to contact the Hamlin county conservation office at 605-881-0018 or turn in poachers hotline at 1800 683 7224.  A possible reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest. 

Milbank man identified in Grant county fatal crash

A Milbank, S.D. man has been identified as the person who died Saturday night in a motorcycle crash in Big Stone City.


A 2019 Kawasaki ZX636GKFA was southbound on South Dakota Highway 109 when it went through the intersection with U.S. Highway 12, left the roadway, went into a yard and hit the wall of a garage.


Alex Hughes, who was the driver, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet. He was the only occupant.        


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash. All information is only preliminary at this point.


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

Rep. Johnson says China should be held responsible for COVID-19 response

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) President Trump has said he may take strong steps against China after accusing them of covering up the extent of the coronavirus pandemic.


South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson says China should be held responsible...





Johnson says it is time to restart critical manufacturing in the US...





The President has said cutting off all trade with China is under consideration. Johnson says he hopes it doesn’t come to that...





The President didn’t set any timeline on taking those actions

Fire hydrant flow testing to take place Wednesday in Aberdeen

The Aberdeen Fire department will be flow testing fire hydrants Wednesday beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Weather permitting. Hydrants will be tested in the following areas: Railroad Avenue South to City Limits between South 5th Street and South Washington Street. Residents in these areas may experience water pressure changes during this time and water could be disturbed to the point of discoloring or appearing rusty.

Aberdeen Parks and rec to hold special meeting to discuss aquatic center tonight

The Aberdeen Parks and Recreation board will hold a special meeting this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. In the Eagles Nest at the Ark.


The only item on the agenda will be discussing whether or not Parks and Rec will open and operate the Aberdeen Aquatic Center this summer. The issue was discussed at length at Monday night's Aberdeen City Council meeting with Parks superintendent Mark Hoven in attendance.


While everyone on the call Monday seemed to be in agreement it is ideal to open the pool, doing so without requiring it to operate at half capacity would not allow for proper social distancing. And operating at half capacity may not make financial sense.