Local News Archives for 2018-11

Structure fire burns garage and home on 14th ave SE

A structure fire burned the garage and home of a house on 14th ave SE Friday morning in Aberdeen.  No visibile flames were scene, but smoke bellowed out of the home and the smell of burning wood was in the air.  It was not immedatily known if there were any injuries, but ambulance and firefighters were on scene.   

Congressman-elect Dusty Johnson names leadership team

Congressman-elect Dusty Johnson today announced the appointment of five leadership team positions: Andrew Christianson as Chief of Staff, Courtney Heitkamp as State Director and Communications Advisor, Darren Hedlund as Legislative Director, Chelsea Schull as State Operations Manager and Katie Murray as West River Director.

“These individuals bring a wide variety of experience and knowledge to the table,” said Congressman-elect Johnson. “I’m incredibly excited to hit the ground running on January 3 and this team will be an integral part to ensuring I serve the people of South Dakota to the best of my abilities.”

Andrew Christianson, Chief of Staff: Christianson will oversee all office operations and serve as chief policy advisor to Congressman Johnson. A Tea, S.D. native, Christianson has served as Congresswoman Noem’s Chief of Staff since 2017. Christianson also served as Legislative Director and Deputy Chief of Staff since joining Rep. Noem’s staff in 2011.

Christianson graduated from Lennox High School and the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science. He will be based in Washington, D.C.

Courtney Heitkamp, State Director and Communications Advisor: Heitkamp will oversee constituent service efforts and community outreach strategy for all state offices, as well as advise and coordinate communications priorities. Heitkamp joins Congressman Johnson’s office after spending five years at POET, where she worked in public affairs and media relations. Heitkamp’s prior experience includes serving as Congresswoman Noem’s Press Secretary and Political Director.

Heitkamp graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D. and received her bachelor’s degree in political science and humanities from Valparaiso University. She later received her Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Dakota. Heitkamp will be based in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Darren Hedlund, Legislative Director: Hedlund will oversee Congressman Johnson’s legislative
priorities and committee work. Hedlund comes from Sen. Rounds’s office where he served as
Legislative Assistant. Hedlund graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science and international studies. He later received his Master’s in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Hedlund will be based in Washington, D.C.


Chelsea Schull, State Operations Manager: Schull will oversee state scheduling and operations needs for the state offices. Schull has worked for Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49) since 2013 in a variety of roles, most recently as Budget Manager and Director of Operations. She also spent time as a Field Representative for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Schull received her undergraduate degree from Washington State University and later received her Master’s in Political Science from the University of Texas at Dallas. Schull will be based in Sioux Falls, S.D.


Katie Murray, West River Director: Murray will oversee constituent service and community
outreach efforts for the Rapid City office. Murray previously served as West River Campaign Manager on the Dusty Johnson for Congress campaign and also served as a Constituent Services Representative for Sen. Rounds. Murray graduated from St. Thomas More High School and later received her degree in political science and history from Black Hills State University. She will be based in Rapid City, S.D.


Congressman-elect Johnson will be sworn in on January 3, 2019.

Prosecutors in Aberdeen will not seek death penalty in Jordan-Mondo case

Prosecutors in the case of an Aberdeen woman accused of murder will not seek the death penalty.  According to court documents, Brown County state’s attorney Chris White will not seek the death penalty in the case of 38-year-old Tanisha Renee Jordan-Mondo.  Jordan-Mondo is accused of murder in the death of 370year-old Michelle Ladner.  Ladner was found dead in her apartment in the 1500 block of South Grant Street.  She had stab wounds to the neck and arms.  Ladner would die July 25th at Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls.  Jordan-Mondo has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and has asked for a Jury trial.  That trial has been set for February 19-22nd

Police investigate assault Thursday

Police in Aberdeen responded to a reported physical assault Thursday evening.  According to police scanners, a domestic dispute was reported around 5:00 p.m. the suspect was last seen just north of Eighth Aveneu Southwest and South Kline Street, just north of Northern’s campus, prompting the University to alert students.  The suspect is male, 5’9 sandy blond hair and he was believed to be intoxicated.  Police also say the victim and suspect know one another. 

US Senate passes resolution to end US Support in Saudi led war in Yemen

The United States senate Wednesday voted 63-37 in favor of a resolution to end the United State’s involvement in a Saudi led war in Yemen.  The move is seen as a rebuke of the Saudi regime in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the President himself who has sided with the Saudis in this case.  The advancement sets the stage for a possible final vote on the measure in the coming days.  The current war in Yemen is considered by many the worst humanitarian crisis currently on the planet with disease and starvation rampant in parts of the country.  South Dakota senators Mike Rounds and John Thune voted against the resolution.

Authorities identify lone victim in Brookings county fatal crash

Authorities have identified the lone victim in a sing-vehicle crash near Brookings Sunday.  According to the Department of Public Safety 24-year-old Bryce Keegan of Yankton died Sunday when the vehicle he was driving drifted towards the ditch and hit an approach.  Keegan was eastbound on 216th street about a  mile south of Brookings when the accident occurred.  The vehicle rolled and Keegan was not wearing a seatbelt and eventually ejected from the vehicle.  He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Dems nominate Nancy Pelosi to Speaker

Democrats on Capital hill who will hold the majority in the House of Representatives when they return to Washington in January nominated California Representative Nancy Pelosi to be the next speaker of the House.  She will now need a confirming vote by a majority of representatives before the move is made official.  Pelosi ran unopposed for the position, despite some in her own party calling for change as Pelosi is 78 years old and has been in office representing one district or another since 1987. 

Roberts county sheriff enters no plea while in court Wednesday

Roberts Coutny sheriff-elect Korey Ware made no plea in a count appearance Wednesday in Aberdeen.  The 28-year-old Sisseton resident faces multiple felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor simple assault charges in Brown County.  Brown County state’s attorney Chris White confirmed to the Aberdeen American News the charges stem from an incident on Oct. 6 in the 1000 block of South Main Street in Aberdeen. 

Faulk county sheriff's office warns about possible social security scam

The Faulk county sheriff’s office is warning residents of a possible social security scam.  According to the department’s facebook page, the office received a  call from a number with an 860 area code.  The call was a recorded message claiming to be from the Social Security Administration and the person’s number was being used for illegal activity.  Faulk county chief deputy Brent Koens did speak with someone on the other side of the call and they tried to get his social security number from him.  This is a reminder residents should not give personal information over the phone including social security information.  You are urged to contact police if contacted by this number or have concerns with a stranger’s legitimacy when they call. 



AFT investigating firearms in Hartford

KSFY reports the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms were in rural Hartford Tuesday searching a property.  The investigation took place near the intersection of 261st street and 464th avenue.  The search was conducted to track down stolen weapons, though it was not immediately known what kind of weapons agents were searching for. 

SD National Guard deploying to middle east

Neraly 70 Soldiers with the South Dakota Army National Guard's 152nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion have received a mobilization order for deployment to the Middle East beginning in July 2019.


The Pierre-based unit is scheduled for a nine-month deployment where they will provide multifunctional logistics and support operations.


The unit will report to Fort Hood, Texas, to complete several weeks of theater-specific training prior to deployment overseas.


This will be the second mobilization for the 152nd CSSB since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The unit first deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2013.

Name released in Gregory county fatal crash

A Winner, S.D. man has been identified as the person who was killed in a one-vehicle crash early Sunday night, Nov. 18, near Dallas, S.D.


A 2002 Ford F-150 pickup was westbound on U.S. Highway 18 when the pickup went onto the road’s right shoulder. The driver, 61-year-old Albert Davis, overcorrected, sending the vehicle back to the left across both lanes, off the roadway and into the left ditch where it rolled.


The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant.


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


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

Avera St. Luke's Foundation announces "Deck the Halls" Christmas party

Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, together with the St. Luke’s Foundation, is holding its first annual Deck the Halls event on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Don and Carmen Meyer Center for Excellence, located at 310 S. Penn St. in Aberdeen.


Held in the beautiful Avera Cancer Institute inside of the Don and Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence, “Deck the Halls will welcome over 300 guests from the Aberdeen region and across the state.


Beginning at 7 p.m. Deck the Halls is a traditional Christmas party with guests welcome to come and go as they please. The evening begins with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by live music and a tree auction, which starts at 8:15 p.m.  Funds raised from the sale of the 12 decorated trees and other decor will go to help area cancer patients.


“Because cancer touches each of us in some way, this event will celebrate the champions who fight cancer in every capacity. From the patients and their loved ones, to the care teams, researchers and philanthropists, we are all championing the same cause,” said Dr. Kathleen Schneekloth, Avera Medical Group Radiation Oncologist and event Chair.


Area designers, including  Aberdeen Floral, DeVilliers Designs, Lily’s, The Boston Fern, Beadles Floral and Nursery, Jerry Trefz and Kathy Stuck, have spent the week decorating a large assortment of tree in the lobby of Avera Cancer Institute, with the trees on display until December 15.


“At Avera, we are committed to improving the lives and communities where we live and work and we are proud to be involved in bringing cancer awareness to the community,” said Amy Blackstone, Foundation Director. “Thanks to the kindness of our employees, community members, donors and especially our designers and decorators.  We have already made great strides in raising funds and reaching our goals for this year’s Deck the Halls event.” 


Find tickets for “Deck the Halls” at Avera Cancer Institute, the St. Luke's Foundation, St. Luke's Hospital administration, or online at


For more information, contact the Avera St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation at 605-622-5887.

Dept. of Health reports first death from flu this season

The South Dakota Department of health reports the first death of the season due to the flu.  According to the Department the victim was a Pennington County resident between the ages of 60 to 69.  State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton says flu activity across South Dakota is sporadic as South Dakota has experienced 35 lab-confirmed cases of flu and eight flu-related hospitalizations.  Dr. Clayton also says this is a reminder to residences that the flu is a very serious illness and that its not too late to get a flu shot.  The flu vaccination is recommended for everyone age six months and older. 

City council approves sale of Alexander Mitchell Public Library building

The Aberdeen City Council at its meeting Monday night approved the sale of the old Alexander Mitchell Public Library building and property.  The sale will be for no less than $525,000.  Because the sale is still pending and until all papers have been signed, the council has decided to keep the buyer anonymous.  Dakota Plains Commercial Real Estate, the group listing the property, had it listed at $699,900.    

Gov. - elect Kristi Noem announces transition team

Governor-elect Kristi Noem today announced three key leadership team positions for her Governor’s office.


Herb Jones will serve as Chief of Staff. In this position, Jones will oversee operations and administration of the Governor’s staff. The policy team will also report to Jones. Jones was deputy campaign manager for the Kristi for Governor campaign. Jones' extensive government experience includes work in the Janklow, Mickelson, and Miller administrations and as chief of staff to then-Congressman John Thune. Jones also has leadership experience at the Department of Energy and in the railroad industry.


Joshua Shields will serve as Chief of Communications. Shields will manage the communications and media-relations team as well as other external engagement priorities. Shields managed the 2010 and 2016 Kristi for Congress campaigns and served as her communications director in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011-12. Shields also served in campaign and public policy roles with Senator John Thune and Black Hills Corporation.


Liza Clark will serve as Chief of Finance. Clark will oversee and implement the Governor’s agenda on budgetary and financial matters. Clark is currently commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management, the state's chief financial officer. Clark joined BFM in 2005, including six years as chief budget analyst. She spent three years in Governor Daugaard's office as a policy advisor, advising on issues relating to labor and regulation, workforce development, human resources, and higher education.


These three leaders will all report directly to the Governor and manage their appropriate teams and functions.


“This team has a lot of great experience, but just as importantly, they understand what it means to serve and produce real results for South Dakota,” said Governor-elect Noem. “These leaders will have an immediate impact as we begin advancing our agenda to grow our economy, keep taxes low, and make government more transparent.” 

Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos must report to prison

A former President Trump campaign aid George Papadopoulos must report to federal prison today to serve a two-week prison sentence for lying to federal investigators.  Papadopoulos had sought to avoid his jail sentence by filing an appeal calling into question special council Robert Mueller’s appointment, but it was dismissed by a judge.  Papadopoulos’ drunken bragging to a Australian diplomat in London about advanced knowledge of Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election helped kicked off the FBIs initial investigations into the Trump campaing. 

Aberdeen City council to discuss sale of old library building

The Aberdeen City council plans to discuss the future of the old Alexander Mitchell Public Library building tonight at the city council meeting at 5:30 p.m.  The meeting will take place in the city council chambers at 123 S. Lincoln Street in the municipal building.  According to the city council’s agenda, an offer of $525,000 was received and deemed acceptable and will be discussed further.  The offer includes the former library building, parking lot and overflow parking lot.  The city attempted to sell the building in September of 2017 but was unsuccessful. 

One person killed in Brookings county fatal crash

A 24-year-old man died Sunday morning in a one-vehicle crash on 216th St., one mile south of Brookings, S.D.


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


A 2014 Buick Regal was traveling east on 216th street when it drifted into the south ditch. The vehicle hit an approach, vaulted and rolled. The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


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

NASA to reach mars with new rover Monday

NASA will attempt to land another robot on Mars this afternoon.  According to officials with NASA the InSight is completing  a sixth month, 300 million mile journey coming to an end.  It is the first time NASA has tried to land on Mars in six years.  Earth’s overall success rate at reaching and landing on Mars is 40 percent , but the US has managed seven other successful touch downs on the planet the past three decades.  InSights mission is to further study the inside of the planet.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton out of the hospital following complications with back surgery

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has returned home following a lengthy stay in the hospital following back surgeries.  Dayton returned to the Governor’s mansion Wednesday.  The 71-year-old released a statement saying he looked forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with his family.  According to the statement Dayton suffered lung damage from post-surgical complications.  He did not seek a third term and will be replaced by fellow Democrat Tim Walz who won the election in November. 

Three charged in vandalism of Wagner football team bus

Three teens have been charged in Spink County for vandalizing the Wagner football team bus when they came up to play Redfield/Doland in September.  According to court documents two of the three have already pleaded guilty.  The bus was pelted with paint and eggs.  19-year-old Jorden Zerfoss of Watertown and 18-year-old Hannah Komraus of Zell have pleaded guilty while 19-year-old Johnathan Shottenkirk still faces a misdemeanor count of throwing a substance on a public highway or at a vehicle.  All three went to Redfield high school according to the Aberdeen American News. 

SD PUC approves wind farm in southeast SD

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved, with conditions, the construction permit for Prevailing Wind Park, a 219.6-megawatt wind energy facility in Bon Homme, Charles Mix and Hutchinson counties in southeastern South Dakota. The action came at an ad hoc commission meeting in Pierre on Nov. 20, 2018.


PUC staff and Prevailing Winds proposed more than 40 conditions that address issues such as road conditions during construction, cultural resources, assignment of a public liaison officer, and land restoration after construction, among other conditions. The commission delved deep into discussion on several other proposed conditions, making changes to those dealing with shadow flicker, sound level, avian mortality and decommissioning. The commission’s order with the conditions is expected to be issued by the end of November.


Prevailing Wind Park will include up to 61 wind turbines in a 50,364-acre area. Other components of the project will include access roads, underground collector lines, an operation and maintenance facility and four permanent meteorological towers.


PUC Chairperson Kristie Fiegen noted the commission and staff were faced with a stiff task, processing the complicated construction permit request in six months and giving full weight to the varied considerations of all parties. “It’s not easy to strike a balance between the needs and wants of area landowners and the wind industry. In the end, I believe we followed state statute and the authority given to the PUC by the state legislature,” she concluded.


“We all want to protect property rights and the rights of citizens,” said Commissioner Gary Hanson, the PUC’s vice chair.

“The rights of persons to develop their property is balanced by the rights of other persons to enjoy their own property without excessive intrusion from the development. The conditions we approved came as close as we legally can to resolve intrusion issues,” Hanson stated.


Commissioner Chris Nelson also spoke to the commission’s authority in granting the permit with conditions. “It is important to understand that the commission has to base its decision on what has been presented in the record during these last six months and what the state law allows us to do. Considering that criteria, we have appropriately integrated competing interests,” Nelson said.


Prevailing Wind Park filed its application with the PUC on May 30, 2018. A public input hearing was held in Avon in July. An evidentiary hearing was held in Pierre in October. Parties to the docket included Prevailing Wind Park, PUC staff and eight intervenors. Intervenors Gregg and Marsha Hubner of Avon, Paul and Lisa Schoenfelder of Wagner, Sherman Fuerniss of Delmont, Karen Jenkins of Tripp and Kelli Pazour of Wagner were active participants at the formal hearing and related proceedings. State law requires the commission to make a decision within six months of receiving a wind energy facility application.

The Prevailing Wind Park docket can be viewed on the PUC’s website at, Commission Actions, Commission Dockets, Electric Dockets, 2018 Electric Dockets, EL18-026 – In the Matter of the Application by Prevailing Wind Park, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility in Bon Homme County, Charles Mix County and Hutchinson County, South Dakota, for the Prevailing Wind Park Project.

Health officials urge consumers to avoid romaine lettuce due to E. coli outbreak

Health officials in the United States and Canada are urging consumers to avoid romaine lettuce for the time being due to an E. coli outbreak.  According to the US Food and Drug administration 32 people in 11 states have fallen ill with E. coli while 18 people in Canada in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec have been diagnosed.  Officials urge avoiding romaine lettuce while they trace the source for the outbreak which can be difficult as it is likely the packaging process that causes the infection, which is done by middlemen. 

Aberdeen man sentenced for discharging gun outside the Zoo

An Aberdeen man who discharged a gun outside the Zoo Bar on south main street in Aberdeen wsa sentenced to probation, jail time and the chance to keep the conviction off his record.  According to the Aberdeen American News 22-year-old Jay Maxville received a suspended imposition of sentence after pleading guilty to discharge of a firearm at an occupied building.  To receive a sentence suspension the judge must agree to the terms.  It allows the convicted to avoid a criminal offense on his or her record providing they adhere to rules and probation laid out by the court. 

Sioux Falls woman arrested for driving under the influence with child in the car

A Sioux Falls woman remains in the custody of the Minnehaha county jail after being arrested for driving drunk with a five month old boy in the vehicle.  According to Sioux Falls police, the arrest was made Saturday around 11:00 a.m.  after eye witnesses reported a woman driving eratically.  25-year-old Morgan Renee Ledbetter of Sioux Falls was arrested for her 2nd DWI and contributing to the delequency of a minor. 

Waubay woman injured when her vehicle was hit by a train

A Waubay woman suffered injuries early Sunday morning after the vehicle she was driving was struck by a train.  According to the Department of Public Safety, 35-year-old Elise Barbosa got stuck on the tracks and was hit by an oncoming train.  She suffered serious non life threatening injuries.  Barbosa was first taken to a Webster hospital before being flown to Sioux Falls. 

Former Sioux Falls fire and rescue chief Jim Sideras pleads guilty to one count of child pornography

Former Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Sideras has changed his plea from not guilty to guilty on one count of child pornography possession.  The change was part of a plea deal with prosecutors Monday.  As part of the deal, prosecutors dropped nine other child pornography charges.  He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, though his sentencing hearing has not yet been set.  Sideras was arrested in May of 2017 after authorities raided his home in Sioux Falls. 

Dems nominate minority leadership in Pierre

The newly-elected House and Senate minority parties met in caucus over the weekend to determine legislative leadership for the 2019-2020 Legislative term. House Republicans met November 10, 2018, for the same purpose. The following members were elected to minority leadership positions in the House of Representatives: Minority Leader: Rep. Jamie Smith Assistant Minority Leader: Rep. Steven D. McCleerey Minority Whip: Rep. Oren Lesmeister Minority Whip: Rep. Erin Healy These Senators were elected to minority leadership positions in their chamber: Minority Leader: Sen. Troy Heinert Assistant Minority Leader: Sen. Craig Kennedy Minority Whip: Sen. Reynold F. Nesiba Legislator profiles can be viewed on the LRC website. Information is updated as it is received. A downloadable list is also available from the Legislators tab on the website.

DPS urging South Dakotan's to drive safe over Thanksgiving holiday weekend

Everybody seems to be going somewhere for Thanksgiving and the South Dakota Department of Public Safety is urging citizens to get to their destinations safely.


Once again this year, the Thanksgiving Day holiday period is expected to be a busy travel period. DPS officials are urging motorists to obey all the rules of the road – especially to slow down, don’t drink and drive, don’t get distracted by electronic devices and for all vehicle drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts.


“Alcohol and speed remain the top reasons for motor vehicle crashes in South Dakota and almost 56 percent of this year’s fatalities involved people who were not wearing seatbelts,” says Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety. “These seem like common-sense rules to follow, but unfortunately too many people do not.”


Last year, there were 263 motor vehicle traffic crashes in South Dakota during the Thanksgiving holiday. The crashes resulted in three fatalities and 38 injuries. This year’s 102-hour Thanksgiving Day Holiday Period for reporting motor vehicle traffic crashes starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, and ends at midnight Sunday, Nov. 25.


The South Dakota Highway Patrol is conducting an “Operation Safe Thanksgiving” effort on Wednesday in an effort to encourage those already out on the roads to be careful. Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol, says troopers also will be out on the roads through the holiday weekend as well, enforcing traffic laws and encouraging people to be careful.  


“These are the holidays where great memories are made – provided people get to their destinations safely,” Price says. “We know people are anxious to get where they are going; but it doesn’t mean anything if something tragic happens along the way.”


While weather is not expected to be a major factor this holiday, Axdahl and Price encourage motorists to watch for possible changing weather conditions just in case. They say travelers should check road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or clicking onto


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

SD Gov. Elect Kristi Noem seeking people to work in her administration

South Dakota governor elect Kristi Noem has announced she is seeking applicants to work with her incoming government.  According to a statement released on her web site she is seeking good people who will understand their role and be about producing real results for South Dakota residents.  She along with lt. gov.-elect Larry Rhoden will be sworn into power in January.  She will be succeeding Gov. Dennis Daugaard who is leaving office due to term limits. 

One person killed in Gregory County fatal crash

One person died early Sunday night in a one-vehicle crash west of Dallas, S.D.


The name of the 61-year-old male driver has not yet been released pending notification of family. He was the only occupant.


A 2002 Ford F-150 pickup was westbound on U.S. Highway 18 when the pickup went onto the road’s right shoulder. The driver overcorrected, sending the vehicle back to the left across both lanes, off the roadway and into the left ditch where it rolled.


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


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


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

One person killed in Minnehaha county fatal crash

One person died and four others were seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash that occurred Saturday morning near Humboldt.


Names of the five people involved are not being released pending notification of family members.


A 2005 Chevy Trailblazer was eastbound on Interstate 90 when the driver lost control of the vehicle while traveling across a bridge where the pavement was ice covered. The vehicle ran off the roadway, collided with the guardrail and rolled several times.


Four of the five occupants were thrown from the vehicle. A 15-year-old female passenger was the only one not ejected. None of the five occupants were wearing seatbelts.


The 38-year-old female driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A 14-year-old male passenger sustained life-threatening injuries. The three other three passengers suffered serious non-life threatening injuries. All were taken to a Sioux Falls hospital.


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


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

Dept. of Health reports whooping cough cases on the rise

The South Dakota Department of Health is reporting a rise in the number of whooping cough cases being diagnosed in South Dakota infants.  According to numbers released by the Department 90 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis have been diagnosed.  That is the largest number in a year since 2014 when 109 diagnoses were made.  Whooping cough can be deadly to infants, but is treatable

Garbage schedule to change due to Thanksgiving holiday

Due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday observance on Thursday city garbage and recycling pickup will change.  Residents who normally have their garbage picked up on Thursday are asked to have their garbage out for pickup by 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday Nov. 21st.  Both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s garbage will be picked up on Wednesday.  Dependable Sanitation will be pickup up both Thursday and Friday’s recycling Friday. 

Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Monday

Beginning at approximately 8:30 AM on Monday, November 19, 2018, water will be off in the below development to install a new water main:


          East of North Dakota Street from 25th Avenue NE to 29th Avenue NE - 24th Avenue NE will not be affected.


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

Senator Thune talks new power dynamic with Dems taking back the House

Democrats regained control of the U.S. House in last week’s election while it looks like Republicans may have picked up a couple of seats in the U.S. Senate. Majority Whip-elect Senator John Thune believes it may influence the what happens in the Senate…






He hopes there are some issues where the two parties can come together. Thune says in the past compromises were reached when Republican President Ronald Reagan and a Democratic controlled House passed social security and tax reform. The power-shift occurs when the 116th Congress convenes in early January.

SD firefighters out in California fighting wildfire

Two volunteers from the Rapid City are Red Cross will be joining hundreds of others in California to help with recovery efforts from the deadly Camp Fire, which all but wiped out the town of Paradise.


Volunteer Becky Eisenbraun will be joined by Denise Parker as they help pass out some much needed supplies at the evacuation shelters.

Eisenbraun says along with handing out the supplies comes some much needed emotional support as well…




This is eisenbraun’s third national deployment, assisting in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Michael in Florida.


For Parker, this will be the second time she’s helped in the aftermath of California wildfires. She helped victims last year and says she was eager to do it again.

Former Aberdeen doctor to be sentenced on illegally distributing opioids

A former Aberdeen doctor will be sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to illegally distributing opioids.  47-year-old Dr. Troy Adolfson allegedly wrote prescriptions for oxycodone, a pain killer, which were then filled by a co-worker and sold for a profit.  He worked in Aberdeen at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital as a radiation oncologist from October 2014 to April 2017 according to the associated press. 

Aberdeen woman pleads not guilty by reason of insanity in stabbing death

An Aberdeen woman charged with murder in the death of 37-year-old Michelle Ladner entered a not guilty plea Wednesday by reason of insanity.  38-year-old Tanisha Renee Jordan-Mondo has also asked for a jury trial, which has been scheduled for February 19-22.  Jordan-Mondo is accused of stabbing Ladner in her apartment building back in July.  She died at a Sioux Falls hospital as a result of her wounds.  Police took part in a month long search before arresting Jordan-Mondo who remains in custody at the brown County Jail. 

Senator John Thune seeks to be Senate majority whip

Update: Senator Thune has been named the Senate Majority Whip.  That puts him as the #2 in the Senate. 


South Dakota Senator John Thune is seeking to be made Senate majority whip once the new legislative session begins in January.  According to Thune’s staff, if elected whip, Thune would be the highest ranking Republican senator from South Dakota in the state’s history.  He currently serves as the chair of the conference or third ranking member.  The whip’s job is considered the second ranking member and is responsible for corralling votes during legislative debates.  The GOP conference will meet this morning in Washington D.C.   

Senator Gosch on being name President Pro Tempore

South Dakota house republicans met over the weekend to choose their leaders for the 2019 legislative session.


District 23 representative Spencer Gosch of Glenham was elected as speaker pro-tem.





Gosch says being elected feels good, but it’s time to get to work.




The South Dakota Legislature begins the 2019 session January 8.

POET biorefining in Groton looking at possible merger

The POET ethanol plant just outside of Groton is considering a merger with its parent company POET Biorefining LLC.  According to the Aberdeen American News investors in the POET plant will be the ones to decide yes or no on the merger.  There are other POET sights that operate under an independent model from the parent company.  19 of those individual plants have voted to merge with the parent company.  According to Jeff Lautt, chief operating officer and president of POET Biorefining LLC, the merger allows those individual plants to have better accesses to resources for expansion efforts and more. 

Dept. of Corrections releases transcript of the Rodney Berget execution

The South Dakota Department of Corrections has released the transcript of the execution of Rodney Berget.  Berget was put to death on Oct. 29th for the murder of corrections officer Ronald R.J. Johnson during a botched escape attempt in 2011.  He was put to death following a delay as activists fought all the way to the supreme court to try and issue a stay of execution, but ultimately unsuccessful.  The transcript reads as follows...

Prison Warden Darin Young: “You can open the blinds.”

Corrections Secretary Denny Kaemingk: “We have contacted the Governor of South Dakota, the Chief Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court, and the Attorney General’s office. No appeals are pending, and no motions have been filed to set aside the warrant of death sentence and execution in the matter of the State of South Dakota vs. Rodney Berget. Therefore, you may proceed to carry out the order of the court.”

Young: “Rodney Berget, you have been convicted of the crime of First Degree murder of Ronald ‘R.J.’ Johnson. You have been sentenced to death by lethal injection for this crime. This is the time and place for the execution of that sentence. Do you have any last words? Now is that time.”

Berget: “Sorry for the delay, I got caught in traffic. But seriously, I want to thank everybody that was there for me. I love you all. Uh.” (shaky voice) “Uh, I love you Tammy. I know you’re here with me. And sonny boy. I love you, and I’ll meet you out there. I love you Gigi.”

Berget: “Is it supposed to feel like that?” (groaning) “Ahh.” (heavy breathing, snoring)


Young: Please retrieve the coroner.

Young: Would you please perform an exam?

Coroner: The time of pronouncement is 7:37 (p.m.). Thank you.

Young: You can now close the blinds.

Comic book legend Stan Lee dies at 95

Comic Book writer and pop culture legend Stan Lee passed away Monday at the age of 95.  Lee rose to prominence working on superhero comic books during the 1960s and 70s, creating some of the most iconic characters with his collaborators including Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.  Some of those characters include The Fantastic Four, Ant-Man, the Incredible Hulk, The X-men, and possibly his most successful character Spiderman.  Later in life, Lee’s cameos in the Marvel films which really took off in the mid to late 90s became a staple of the genre. 

14-year-old girl injured when trying to exit moving vehicle

A 14-year-old Girl was injured Monday afternoon when she tried to exit a slow moving vehicle.  According to the Aberdeen Police Department, the incident occurred around 1:34 p.m. The extent of the injuries were not included in the report, but according to police the victim was 14-year-old Amirah LaPlant.  She along with 15-year-old Olivia Bertsch was the driver in the vechile.  Both are from Aberdeen.  Citations are pending according to the report. 

Ortonville, MN man arrested in high speed chase near Big Stone City

41 year old Ryan Beery of Ortonville, Minnesota was arrested Friday night following a high speed vehicle chase that began at Big Stone City in northeast South Dakota and ended west of Watertown. The chase began with local law enforcement at Big Stone City but expanded to include the South Dakota Highway Patrol. South Dakota troopers caught up with Beery north of Watertown on Interstate 29 near mile marker 189. They attempted to stop Beery’s car, however he managed to flee the scene at a high rate of speed. His vehicle was eventually stopped on U-S Highway 212 approximately three miles west of Watertown. The driver exited the vehicle and was arrested without further incident. The chase was reported about 9:47 p.m. Friday evening. Beery was the only occupant of the vehicle. He wasn't hurt and charges are pending against him.

29 people killed in northern California fires

Officials in Northern California say 29 people have been killed in the wild fires around Paradise California.  That matches the current record of the books as the most deadly wildfire in state history.  The death toll state wide is 31 people and investigators need to use DNA in order to identify the bodies.  More than 220 people remain unaccounted for in Northern California as the fire continues to spread. 

Sioux Falls sets records in methamphetamine confiscated

The Sioux Falls area drug task force has announced a record setting year in seizing drugs from users.  According to the task force, officers this year have seized more than 52 pounds of methamphetamine, 27 times more than last year, as well as eight pounds of heroin.  The task force has also responded to 50 calls of an individual overdosing, 16 of those calls ended in death.   During these raids, more than $161,000 has been taken by police which will go towards the future of the drug task force. 

Rep. Haugaard named speaker of the House

South Dakota Republicans, who will again be in the majority when lawmakers return to Pierre in January, have nominated Representative Steve Haugaard to serve as the next speaker of the house and re-elected Representative Lee Qualm to another term as majority leader.  Haugaard will replace the retiring Mark Mickelson who served as speaker last term.  In the South Dakota state senate District 23’s Spencer Gosch, who represents Campbell, Edmunds, Faulk, McPherson, Potter, Spink and other counties as the speaker pro tempore. 

Federal judge blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline in Montana

A federal judge in Montana has once again blocked construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline in an effort to allow more  time to study the project’s potential environmental impact.  The project is being built by the Calgary based energy company Trans-Canada and is expected to cost an estimated $8 billion.  The pipeline would run through northern Montana, mostly west river South Dakota and down to Texas, transporting tarsands oil. 

Police in Yankton believed foul play involved in woman's death

Police in Yankton are investigating the death of a Yankton women whose body was found in Nebraska.  According to authorities foul play is believed to be involved.  The body of 59-year-old Phyllis Hunhoff was found in rural Knox County.  It was found in a car on the Santee Sioux Reservation.  She had been reported missing Monday.  According to eye witnesses she was last seen leaving her mother’s home in Utica and did not show up for work the next morning.  No further details were released at this time.  

Gov. Daugaard calls for flags at half staff in honor of the victims of southern California mass shooting

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has called for flags to be at half-staff until sunset Saturday in honor of the victims of the shooting in Thousand Oaks California Wednesday.  12 people were killed when a man open fired at a country music bar in southern California.  According to government records the Thousand Oaks shooting is the 304th mass shooting in America in 2014 and largest in 12 days, as the Pittsburgh tragedy was just over a week ago. 

Jeff Sessions out as Attorney General

President Donald Trump Wednesday, just one day after the midterm elections, asked for the resignation of attorney general Jeff Sessions.  Sessions did as he was told and resigned as the chief law enforcement officer in the United States.  Session’s chief of staff Matt Whitaker has been named the acting attorney general until Trump can nominate a permanent replacement.  Sessions has fairly or unfairly received tons of public criticism from President Trump after he recused himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation looking into any links between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

Gunman kills 13 in southern

A gunman opened fire on a Southern California bar Wednesday night leaving 13 people dead.  According to reports included in the 13 killed was the shooter himself, but police at this point are not sure how he died.  At least 12 other people were injured in the shooting as well.  The bar was busy as it celebrated “college night” and welcomed anyone 18 years or older.  Among the dead includes a Ventura county California sheriff deputy.  That was 29-year deputy Sgt. Ron Helus. 

Gunman kills 13 in southern California mass shooting

A gunman opened fire on a Southern California bar Wednesday night leaving 13 people dead.  According to reports included in the 13 killed was the shooter himself, but police at this point are not sure how he died.  At least 12 other people were injured in the shooting as well.  The bar was busy as it celebrated “college night” and welcomed anyone 18 years or older.  Among the dead includes a Ventura county California sheriff deputy.  That was 29-year deputy Sgt. Ron Helus. 

IM 24 likely to face court challenges

South Dakota voters on Tuesday passed Initiated Measure 24 which bans out of state money to be contributed to ballot questions committees in order to help activities get questions on the ballot.  This legislation will likely be challenged according to an official with “American’s for Prosperity” a conservative activist group originally funded by the Koch brothers.  Don Haggar, South Dakota state director for the group, tells the associated press the ban on out-of-state money will likely be challenged calling it “clearly unconstitutional.” 

Brown County races results

Brown County Auditor
(R) Cathy McNickle – 54%
(D) Lynn Heupel – 46%

Brown County Commission Possible Recout
(R) Mike Wiese – 18%
(R) Doug Fjeldheim – 19%
(R) Larry Lovrien – 12%
(D) Dennis Feickert – 18%
(D) Tom Fischback – 18%
(D) Michael Nehls – 14%

Local legislative races

District 1 Senate
(D) Susan Wismer unopposed

District 1 House Possible Recount
(R) Tamara St. John – 36%
(D) Paul Dennert – 31 %
(D) Steve McCleery – 33%

District 2 Senate
(R) Brock Greenfield – 67%
(D) Paul Register – 33%

District 2 House
(R) Lana Greenfield – 33%
(R) Kaleb Weis – 28%
(D) Janae Hansen – 22%
(D) Mike McHugh – 18%

District 3 Senate
(R) Al Novstrop – 58%
(D) Corey Heidelberger – 42%

District 3 House
(R) Carl Perry – 29%
(R) Drew Dennert – 32%
(D) Brooks Briscoe – 21%
(D) Justin Roemmick – 18%


Ballot question results

Supreme Court Retention Justice Janine M. Kern
Yes – 83%
No – 17%

Constitutional Amendment W
No – 55%
Yes – 45%

Constitutional Amendment X
No – 54%
Yes – 46%

Constitutional Amendment Z
Yes – 62%
No – 38%

Yes – 56%
No – 46%

No – 55%
Yes – 45%

Statewide midterm results

US Congress
(R) Dusty Johnson – 60%
(D) Tim Bjorkman – 36%
(I) Ron Wieczorek – 2%
(L) George Hendrickson – 1%

(R) Kristi Noem – 51%
(D) Billie Suttton – 48%
(L) Kurt Evans – 1%

Secretary of State
(R) Steve Barnett – 65%
(D) Alexandra Frederick – 35%

Attorney General
(R) Jason Ravnsborg – 55%
(D) Randy Seiler – 45%

State Auditor
(R) Rich Sattgast – 64%
(D) Tom Cool – 36%

State Treasurer
(R) Josh Haeder – 62%
(D) Aaron Matson – 38%

Commissioner of School and Public Lands
(R) Ryan Brunner – 62%
(D) Woody Houser – 38%

Public Utilities Commissioner
(R) Kristie Fiegen – 65%
(D) Wyane Frederick – 35%

Noem hoping to be South Dakota's next "CEO"

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem has been on a path towards the highest office in the state for years.  First elected to the South Dakota legislature in 2007, Noem moved up from there to be South Dakota’s lone representative in congress in 2011 serving there until 2018. 


With all that experience Noem is confident she is qualified to serve as the next “CEO” of the state…





Noem has advocated for a low tax, low regulation climate in South Dakota in order to help spur business investment.  In Washington Noem voted for a large tax cut, favoring greatly the wealth and corporations.  According to her, that money is placed back in the economy spurring economic growth.  She wants to do something similar in South Dakota…






Despite criticism from the Associated Press and other fact checkers, Noem is consistent in attacking her opponent Billie Sutton and his alleged desire for an income tax.  According to Noem South Dakota does not need a state income tax and Sutton would implement one…      


Billie Sutton sees himself as a unifier if elected

Democrat candidate for governor Billie Sutton has the chance to do what no Democrat has done in South Dakota since the 1970s and that is become governor.  As the polls open on Election Day, polling of this election puts the race between him and Kristi Noem at a dead heat. 


Sutton is a Burke native and former rodeo champion who has served in the South Dakota state senate since 2011 and senate minority leader since 2015.  According to him the momentum is behind his campaign at this point…





One the campaign trail, Sutton has advocated for the expansion of Medicare under the Affordable Care Act, supporting education by increasing teacher pay and doing what he can to stomp out corruption in Pierre…





Sutton is widely seen as a moderate democrat doing what he can to bridge the political divide that seems to be growing across the nation.  He even went as far to select a register republican, Sioux Falls businesswoman Michele Lavallee, to be his running mate.  According to Sutton he feels he is the candidate to bring unity to the state… 



Noem pulling out all the stops at rally before midterm election

South Dakota congresswoman Kristi Noem will be in Rapid City today for a get out the vote rally to support her candidacy for Governor.  Announced late last week Vice President Mike Pence would be joining Noem at the West Jet Air Center, hanger #4  in Rapid City, but Noem has not stopped there.  Added to the event over the weekend includes South Carolina senator Lindsay Grahm and Colorado Senator Cory Gardener.  On top of the visit, President Trump’s daughter Ivanka tweeted her support for t he Republican candidate Sunday.  Doors open to the rally at 1:00 p.m. and things will get going at 3:00 p.m.

78,780 absentee ballots requested in South Dakota this cycle

According to the South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, a total of 78,780 absentee ballots have been requested as of Monday Nov. 5th, one day before the actual election.  The total is up from the 2014 midterm election when 55,292 absentee ballots were cast.  According to the New York Times 22 states and Washington DC have outpaced early voting totals from the 2014 midterms.  Two of those states include North Dakota and Minnesota.  The election is tomorrow, polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Brown County Auditor Maxine Fischer says she expects roughly 80 percent of Brown County voters to turn out in this election. 

Sobriety checkpoints scheduled for 23 counties in November

A total of 23 sobriety checkpoints have been scheduled statewide for November by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


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


Checkpoints will be held in 18 counties. They are: Brookings, Brown, Butte, Charles Mix, Codington, Day, Hamlin, Hughes, Lawrence, Lincoln, Minnehaha, Pennington, Roberts, Sanborn, Stanley, Tripp, Union and Yankton.


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

Names released in McPherson County fatal crash

Names have been released of the six people involved in a two-vehicle fatal crash that occurred Sunday afternoon west of Leola.


Two children died in the crash and four others were injured.


A 2001 Buick Park Avenue was eastbound on South Dakota Highway 10 when the vehicle left the roadway and entered the south ditch. The driver overcorrected back onto the roadway where the vehicle collided with a westbound 2004 Cadillac Deville.


Two child passengers in the Buick died at the scene. They were Josephine Van Duysen, 4, and Michael Van Duysen III, 2. Both were in safety restraints.


The two other occupants in the Buick, both females, suffered life-threatening injuries. The 28-year-old driver, Breannah Van Duysen, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle. A seven-year-old female passenger, Raelynn Van Duysen, was wearing a seatbelt.


All four are from Wagner, S.D.


Both occupants in the Cadillac were wearing seatbelts. Marion Hoffman, the 83-year-old driver, suffered minor injuries while Marvin Hoffman, the 83-year-old passenger, sustained serious, non-life threatening injuries. Both are from Leola.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


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

Vice President Mike Pence to visit South Dakota Monday to campaign with Noem

Vice president Mike Pence will visit South Dakota Monday to help campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Kristi Neom.  He will be at the West Jet Air Center hanger #4 in Rapid City.  Doors open at 1:00 p.m. and all atendees should be in place by 3:00 p.m. 


The event is free, but you must register which you can do by following this link...

Bjorkman makes final push before election

Candidates are making their final pitch to voters this weekend and among them is Democratic House Candidate Tim Bjorkman.  At a rally in Watertown late Thursday the former circuit judge turned politician told supporters that an authentic voice is needed again who will put country over politics and country over a political career...





Bjorkman says this election is about who controls America Today...




Bjorkman’s remarks were made at a rally Thursday afternoon held at the Redlin Art Center.  He made stops in Madison, Brookings, Watertown, and Aberdeen Thursday and heads west river for the weekend before ending his campaign in Sioux Falls.

New poll gives Noem slight edge in Governor's race just days before the election

The Argus Leader along with Kelo TV has released a new poll which again shows the gubernatorial race as a tight one.  According to the numbers released Noem leads Sutton amongst likely voters 47 percent to 44 percent with eight percent of voters remaining undecided.  However, the pollsters admit there is most likely a 4.5 percent margin of error, larger than your average poll.  The poll comes from contacting 500 likely voters. 

South Dakota State releases info about gun which went off on campus

South Dakota State University has released information on a gun that went off on campus.  According to the University a student could face disciplinary action after a gun accidentally fired in his dorm room.  The student claims he brought the gun into his dorm  to clean it after hunting with it.  No one was injured in the incident, but having a gun on campus is against University policy. 

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate release statement calling for Roberts County sheriff-elect Kroey Ware to step down

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oayte Sioux Tribe has released a statement calling Attorney General of South Dakota to review the law enforcement credentials of Roberts County Sheriff-elect Korey Ware.  Ware is currently facing assault charges steming from an incident in Aberdeen on Oct. 6th.


The 28-year-old Ware who resides in Sisseton was arrested for allegedly assaulting a 30-year-old man in Britton.  


Accorind to a letter released by the Tribal Chairman Dave Flute, there is aprehension amongst tribal members and non-indians living on the reservation within Roberts County.  


Read the full statement below: 



Dem AG candidate Randy Seiler comments on death penalty with the execution of Rodney Berget

Rodney Berget was executed by lethal injection this week (Monday night) at the South Dakota State Penitentiary.


Democratic Attorney General candidate Randy Seiler (sigh-ler) of Fort Pierre says in this case, the death penalty was a warranted punishment.




Seiler says experience in the courtroom—which his republican opponent Jason Ravnsborg (rounds-berg) doesn’t have-- is crucial for the leader of the state’s legal system.




The execution was delayed about six hours while the US Supreme Court considered—and denied-- a last-minute request for a delay. Seiler says having the nation’s high court involved was a good thing.





Berget was one of two men sentenced to death for killing prison guard Ronald “R.J.” Johnson in 2011 during an attempted escape. The other man, Eric Robert, was executed in 2012.

State to begin collecting sales tax Thursday

Today is the beginning of a new tax era in South Dakota.  The state will begin requiring many out of state online retailers to collect South Dakota Sales taxes starting today.  This comes after the state one a case in front of the US Supreme Court and legislation was passed last legislative session.  Some retailers have already begun paying sales taxes on a volunteer basis, but the new requirements will be for companies to remit sales taxes that do more than $100,000 of business in the state or more than 200 transactions annually. 

Alexandria man sentenced after sending police on a high speed chase over 10 days

An Alexandria South Dakota man has been sentenced to nine years in prison after leading police on three high speed chases over a 10 day period in July.  According to the Daily Republic in Mitchell 22-year-old Logan Sapp was sentenced Tuesday for eluding as well as drug charges, probation violation and violation of a protection order.  Sapp was also ordered to pay $1,000 in fines, $317 in court costs and $250 in restitution.  In court Sapp blamed anger issues, pushing him to drugs.