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Local News

Road closures planned for Monday in Aberdeen

Beginning at 8am on Monday, November 25, 2019 the following road will be reduced to one lane for construction work:

 

Eastbound Lane of 1st Avenue SW from South 1st St to South Main St.

 

Work is expected to last through the end of day on Monday.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes if possible. 


Custer businesswoman Whitney Raver announces candidacy for US House

Custer business owner and mother Whitney Raver has recently announced her candidacy for the US House of Representatives.  Raver is the first candidate to declare for the Democratic nomination so it still remains to be seen if there will be a primary before a general election.

 

Raver came to South Dakota in 2006 only meaning to pass through on her way to college in New Mexico and never left.  She met her husband, a fourth generation South Dakotan and now resides in Custer. 

 

According to Raver she has always been politically active, but a trip to the US capital in 2011 inspired her to seek public office…

 

 

 

 

 

Raver says her goal is to leave no person behind when it comes to politics.  The first issue she brought up when asked about what needs addressing is climate change… 

 

 

 

Though she’s never held public office before, Raver says her personal story and life experience readies her to serve all South Dakotans.  According to Raver, she came from extreme poverty and raised herself up to a stable fulfilling life.  That is the American dream to her…

 

 

 

Should Raver be the nominee she will likely take on Republican incumbent Dusty Johnson in November of 2020. 


Two teens die in Lyman county fatal crash

Two people died and another was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash that occurred early Tuesday morning north of Kennebec.

 

Names of the three males involved are not being released pending notification of family members. They were the only ones in the vehicle.

 

A 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup was northbound on South Dakota Highway 273 when the vehicle went off the roadway, went into the ditch and rolled.

 

All three occupants were thrown from the vehicle. The 18-year-old driver and a 17-year-old passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. A 18-year-old passenger suffered serious non-life threatening injuries. He was taken to the Chamberlain hospital and later flown 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.


Trail date moved in relation to Brookings couple faces charges in starvation of a child

(KJJG - Brookings, SD) There is a new trial date for the two Brookings residents facing charges in the July starvation death of a three-year-old girl.

 

The two, 25-year-old Renae Fayant and 27-year-old  Robert Price, Jr., were both indicted  on alternate counts of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter as well as abuse or cruelty to a minor under age 7.

 

Trial had originally be scheduled to begin today (Wednesday). It is now set for January 15th.

 

According to authorities, the three-year-old niece of Fayant, under her care for about  two years, had been living in terrible conditions. She died of malnourishment and dehydration.

 

Brookings County States Attorney Dan Nelson says Fayant's lawyer requested a psychological exam for her. That was granted. Price requested a new lawyer and that request was granted.

 

Both Price and Fayant remain jailed.


Brown County Commission names planning and zoning as first call for draining issues

The Brown County Commission at its Tuesday meeting decided to name the planning and zoning department as first contact for draining issues across the county.  The Commission debated for a time which department residents should contact first with draining issues, the highway department or planning and zoning.  Ultimately they went with planning and zoning.  If you have a draining problem you can contact 626-7144.  Your issue will then be brought to the drainage board, which the commission also serves as.  It is possible with all the moisture we already have in Brown County and winter on the way, draining could become a problem in spring. 


Road closures planned for Wednesday in Aberdeen

Beginning at 8am on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for sewer repair:

 

1st Ave NE from North Penn to North Dakota St.

 

Work is expected to last all day.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed. 


Aberdeen man dies in Tripp County hunting accident

According to the Tripp County Sheriff’s department an Aberdeen man died in a hunting accident in Tripp County this past weekend.  Authorities say 32-year-old Matthew Weidner was the victim.  He is a Winner native but had been living in Aberdeen.  The incident remains under investigation and the Tripp County Sheriff’s department only released it was a hunting-related accident. 


President Trump approves another disaster relief request

Governor Kristi Noem today announced that President Donald Trump has approved a presidential disaster declaration for September storm damage done in South Dakota, including the three tornadoes that struck Sioux Falls and the extreme flooding in communities such as Madison and Mitchell.

 

“This is good news for South Dakota communities, and I’m grateful to President Trump for responding so quickly,” said Noem. “Every aspect of our South Dakota way of life has been impacted by this year’s devastating storms. We have a long way to go, but this will be helpful as we rebuild and recover.”

 

The declaration, which includes both individual and public assistance, covers the period of Sept. 9-Sept. 26. Preliminary assessments total at least $17 million in requested federal assistance.

 

Total individual assistance damage is estimated at more than $8 million. Counties included in the request for individual assistance are Brookings, Charles Mix, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody, and Yankton, and the Flandreau Santee Indian Reservation and Yankton Indian Reservation. FEMA’s Individual Assistance program provides grants to individuals and families for expenses related to home repairs and rental assistance.

 

Total public assistance damages are estimated at more than $8.8 million. Counties included in the request for public assistance are Aurora, Brookings, Brule, Charles Mix, Davison, Douglas, Gregory, Hanson, Hutchinson, Kingsbury, Lake, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, Turner, Union, and Yankton and the Yankton Indian Reservation and Flandreau Santee Indian Reservation. FEMA’s Public Assistance program reimburses eligible state and local governments, and some non-profit entities, for damage to publicly owned infrastructure.

 

“Families, business owners, farmers and ranchers have all been affected by these severe storms, tornadoes, and floods that damaged homes and public infrastructure,” said Noem. “Recovery efforts will take years to complete, but these dollars will be incredibly helpful in that process.”

 

South Dakota has now received four disaster declarations this year. The state received a federal disaster declaration in June for severe winter storms and flooding that occurred March 13-April 26 and that affected 58 counties and three reservations. A second disaster declaration for the period of May 26-June 7 was approved in September for flooding and storms that occurred in 25 counties and two reservations. The third declaration was for damage done by severe storms and flooding that occurred June 30-July 21 in six counties and two reservations.

 

FEMA officials are now in South Dakota working on the first three federal disaster declarations and will continue to work on the fourth. More details on the process for the fourth disaster declaration will be announced at a later date.

 

Noem has designated the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Emergency Management as the lead state government agency for the disaster recovery.

 


Road closures planned for Tuesday in Aberdeen

Beginning at 8am on Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 the following roads will be closed to thru traffic:

 

South Main Street from 6th Avenue to 5th Avenue

&

5th Avenue SW from South 1st St. to South Main St.

 

Work is expected to last through Wednesday, November 27th, 2019.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes.  Please call the Public Works office at 605-626-7010 for more information. 


Northern announces $5 million raised in student scholarships

In two years, the Northern State University Educational Impact Campaign has raised more than $50 million—but that’s not the only fundraising success for the university and NSU Foundation.

 

During that same timeframe, $5 million has also been raised for student scholarships, officials announced Saturday at Northern Night.

 

“This just goes to show the unprecedented level of support Northern receives from our community and region,” said NSU President Dr. Tim Downs, co-chair of the Educational Impact Campaign Committee. “Whether it’s scholarship dollars or creating new programs and facilities, it’s all about enhancing the student experience, and we’re thrilled at the generosity the region has shown for the benefit of our students.”

 

The Educational Impact Campaign is now entering its last lap, said Campaign Co-Chair Jim Thares, and that support needs to continue.

 

“I’m proud of how far we’ve come and where we are,” said Thares, a member of the South Dakota Board of Regents. “But we need that momentum to keep going in order to see this campaign through.”

 

NSU Foundation President and CEO Todd Jordre agreed.

 

“We thank our donors for all their generosity, and for their continued support as we make our final fundraising push for this campaign,” Jordre said.

 

Campaign Project Updates

 

Northern is preparing to kick off construction on its Regional Sports Complex project, with final bid numbers expected in mid-December.

 

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in spring 2020, with work on the complex beginning shortly thereafter, pending reaching the fundraising goal of $55 million.

 

The $55 million campaign also includes the completed Athletic and Recreation Fields and a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The new SDSBVI, currently under construction, is scheduled to open in January 2020.

 

Entering this homestretch of the campaign, Downs said he is grateful for continued support from regional businesses and individuals; the city of Aberdeen, including the current and former mayor; numerous state legislators; and the current and former governor.

 

“It’s wonderful to see everything we’ve been working on coming together, with just the final pieces of the puzzle needing to fall into place,” Downs said. “I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported this campaign and who continues to support our university and our students.”

 

For more information about campus improvement projects at Northern, visit NSU Master Plan.


Name released in Brookings County fatal crash

A White, S.D., man has been identified as the person who died Thursday morning in a one-vehicle crash north of White.

 

A 2001 Chevrolet Malibu was southbound on 478th Avenue when the vehicle left the roadway and eventually hit a tree.

 

Sean Blom, who was the 18-year-old driver, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant and was wearing a seat belt.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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


Name released in Brookings County fatal crash

A White, S.D., man has been identified as the person who died Thursday morning in a one-vehicle crash north of White.

 

A 2001 Chevrolet Malibu was southbound on 478th Avenue when the vehicle left the roadway and eventually hit a tree.

 

Sean Blom, who was the 18-year-old driver, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant and was wearing a seat belt.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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


District 19 Senator Stace Nelson announces resignation

South Dakota state senator Stace Nelson announced on his personal Facebook page Sunday he is retiring from politics.  Nelson will effectively leave politics beginning December 10th.  He was first elected to the South Dakota House of Representatives in 2010 serving District 25 for two years before running for the district 19 senate seat.  He assumed office for District 19 in 2017.  In his post on social media he cited military injuries wearing on him more as he ages, a desire to spend more time with family and overall frustration with state elected officials. He closes the post by recommending Pastor Michael Boyle of Parkston to fill his seat by Gov. Kristi Noem. 


Wind turbine blades no longer in use may pose problems

(KWAT - Watertown, SD) It’s not an issue the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is dealing with yet, but might be at some point in the future.

 

Commissioner Chris Nelson says the issue is what to do with wind turbine blades when a wind farm is taken out of service or is being “re-powered” with new, more efficient blades…..


 

 

 

 

 

Nelson says the PUC wants to make sure there are plans in place when a wind farm eventually goes off the grid…..

 

 

 

 

Nelson says there are recycling opportunities for some of these old wind turbine parts….

 

 

 

 

 

Nelson says as technology advances are made, the “re-powering” of wind farms will become more common…..

 

 


One person killed in Brookings county fatal crash

One person died Thursday morning in a one-vehicle crash north of White.

 

The name of the one person involved is not being released pending notification of family members.

 

A 2001 Chevrolet Malibu was southbound on 478th Avenue when the vehicle left the roadway and eventually hit a tree.

 

The 18-year-old male driver was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant and was wearing a seat belt.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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

 


SD Senator Rounds' wife Jean undergoes successful cancer surgery

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds’ wife Jean is recovering after undergoing successful cancer surgery.  According to the senator, the couple is currently at their Fort Pierre Home after Jean underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.  Rounds told the Argus Leader Thursday the “big part” of the cancer treatment is now done and Jean will heal up before undergoing five weeks of radiation treatment.  She was diagnosed with a malignant tumor near her sciatic nerve in June. 


Former Sanford surgeon sued for fraud and unnecessary surgeries

A former Sanford Health neurosurgeon is being sued by the Department of Justice for defrauding the public by performing unnecessary surgeries, one which even left a patient partially paralyzed.  According to the DOJ, Dr. Wilson Asfora enriched himself by using medical devices he invented during surgeries, receiving kickbacks from companies for doing and not disclosing the information.  Asfora worked for Sanford from 2007 to August of 2019 when his activities were outed by a whistleblower.  Sanford paid $20 million to the whisle blower in a lawsuit, but denies any wrongdoing in the Asfora case. 


Aberdeen man arrested following shotgun discharge

An Aberdeen man has been arrested following an early morning investigation into shots being fired.  According to a release from the police department, 25-year-old Zachary T. Sumner was arrested for driving under the influence.  Police blocked off the 100 block of South Main Street near 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning and found an altercation between two men.  The altercation eventually led to one man pulling a shotgun out of a vehicle.  The two men struggled over the gun and a shot went off.  The men left the area, one with minor facial injuries as a result of physical assault.  The investigation into the situation remains ongoing. 


Department of labor announces nearly $350,000 to expand apprenticeships

 

The Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) is providing $370,000 in incentive funding to help businesses and organizations expand the number of Registered Apprenticeships Programs in South Dakota.

 

Businesses could apply for up to a maximum of $20,000 in funding to help offset the initial start-up costs when developing a new program.

 

“Registered Apprenticeships are a great way for businesses to build a quality workforce with the exact skills they need to fill their openings,” said state DLR Secretary Marcia Hultman. “We have a pool of untapped workers ready to learn new skills, and this will expand training opportunities, especially in rural communities.”

 

Incentive funding recipients, occupations and funding award include:

  • 3M, Aberdeen, machine operator, $20,000
  • A to Z Technology, Midland, animal care specialist, $20,000
  • AKG, Mitchell, welder and CNC operator, $20,000
  • Allevity, Aberdeen, family entertainment center manager, $20,000
  • Banner Engineering, Aberdeen and Huron, electrical and electronic equipment assemblers, $20,000
  • The Kitchen at Bear Butte Gardens, Sturgis, commercial kitchen manager, $20,000
  • Black Hills Works, Rapid City, direct support professional, $20,000
  • Claims Associates, Sioux Falls, claims adjuster, $20,000
  • Dell Rapids Veterinary, Dell Rapids, veterinary lab animal technician, $20,000
  • Foltz and Sons, Spearfish, electrician and HVAC technician, $20,000
  • Hot Rod Institute, Rapid City, automotive restoration technician, $20,000
  • Howe Inc., Sioux Falls, mechatronics aHVAC technicians, $10,000
  • Huron Regional Medical Center, Huron, respiratory therapist, $10,000
  • Lake Area Technical Institute and Terex, Watertown and Huron, field services technician and shop services technician, $10,000
  • Lester Robbins, Rapid City, concrete construction form setter, $20,000
  • Mabee Eye Clinic, Mitchell, paraoptometric technician, $20,000
  • Masaba, Vermillion, manufacturing assembly electrician, $20,000
  • Mind Blown Studio, Deadwood, hot glass gaffer, $20,000
  • SD Funeral Directors Association, Madison, funeral director, $20,000
  • TelNet PC, Rapid City, computer bench technician, $20,000

 

A presentation by Secretary Hultman, signing ceremony and orientation will be held on Friday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m. CST in Pierre at the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Programs designed to increase engagement for under-represented populations such as females, Native Americans, limited-English proficient individuals, youth ages 16 to 24 and individuals with disabilities were given priority. 

 

DLR was recently awarded a $1.2 State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information on apprenticeships, visit StartTodaySD.com.


Brown County Commission enacts burn ban

The Brown County Commission at its Tuesday meeting implemented a burn ban at the request of Emergency management director Scott Meints and other first responders.  According to officials, conditions are so wet, infrastructure isn’t reliable enough for fire crews and other emergency personel to get everywhere necessary.  The resolution will be revisited on Nov. 26th.  People can still use charcoal grill or a fire pit, but a burn that won’t fit in a 55 gallon barrel is not allowed.   


Cause of Malchow's fire a homemade vanity mirror

The cause of the fire which burnt down Malchow’s home furnishing on Main Street has been released.  According to Aberdeen Fire and Rescue Chief Randy Meister, investigators believe the fire was caused by a homemade vanity mirror in one of the apartment building which are situated above the furniture store.  Investigators believe the fire started on accident when the mirror fell from the wall, burning through the floor and intensifying between levels.  Investigators say evidence shows the fire was likely burning for hours before it was reported. 


Sioux Falls resident Clara Hart declares Senate candidacy

Sioux Falls resident Clara Hart has announced her candidacy for US Senate, looking to unseat Republican incumbent Mike Rounds in 2020.  Hart will be running as a Democrat which means there will be a primary on both sides of the ticket.  Hart will first need to beat former state representative Dan Ahlers of Dell Rapids who announced his candidacy just last month.  Hart holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sioux Falls and has tried to run for several different seats both at the state and local level. 


City of Aberdeen reminding residents sump pump discharge can go into sanitary sewer system

The City of Aberdeen Public Works Department is reminding residents and businesses as of October 28th, they are allowed to begin discharging water from their sump pumps into the sanitary sewer system for the winter season.  Resident will be notified in the spring when discharge should be re-directed to the curb and gutter outside the property.  All Sump pumps, drain tile, and groundwater being diverted to the sanitary sewer system must meet all applicable city plumbing and building codes.  If you have any questions contact the public works office at 626-7010. 


Gov. Noem orders flags at half staff in honor of the late Gene Abdallah

Governor Kristi Noem has ordered flags at the South Dakota State Capitol to be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. until sunset on Monday, November 11, 2019, to honor the life of Gene Abdallah, a former legislator.    

 

Abdallah served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 2001-2002, and 2011-2012. In 2002, he was elected to the South Dakota Senate where he served until 2010.

 

Apart from his work in the State Legislature, Abdallah was the longest-serving U.S. Marshal in South Dakota history and served as head of the South Dakota Highway Patrol for five years.

 

“Gene was a South Dakota institution," said Noem. "He was a force to be reckoned with and a lifelong supporter of our state’s law enforcement. We served together in the State Legislature... he was a friend. He will be missed.”

 

A funeral mass for Abdallah will be held on Monday, November 11, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sioux Falls.


Two people arrested on drug charges in Day County

According to the Day County sheriff’s office, two people have been arrested on drug charges Tuesday.  Authorities followed up on a 911 hangup call and found the vehicle between Waubay and Webster on US Highway 12.  Upon questioning the suspects in the vehicle, officers received consent to search the car and found drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine and cash.  The names of those arrested have not yet been released as this is an ongoing investigation. 


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