Local News Archives for 2019-02

Two men arrested in Rapid City in connection with shooting murder

Two suspects have been arrested in relation to a shooting death late Tuesday night in Rapid City.  According to Rapid City police, Andre Martinez and Cole Waters, both 19 and from Rapid City were detained Wednesday.  They are believed to be involved in the death of 17-year-old Emmanuel Hinton of Box Elder.  The shooting is believed to have taken place in an alleyway behind the 700 block of Blaine Avenue. 

Arizona woman sentenced in South Dakota on identity fraud charges

An Arizona woman has been sentenced in South Dakota for identity theft.  According to the US Attorney’s office for South Dakota, 31-year-old Lauren Montgomery of Phoenix Arizona used names, birth dates and social security numbers of other people to file false income tax returns and obtain fraudulent refunds.  She was sentenced to three years and five months in prison and orderd to pay $105,605 in restitution. 

Two suspects arrested in Rapid City fatal shooting

Rapid City police say they have two suspects in custody in relation to the shooting death of a teen late Tuesday night.


In a release, police say Andre Martinez and Cole Waters, both 19 and from Rapid City, were detained Wednesday.


Police say the arrests are in connection to the death of 17-year-old Emmanuel Hinton of Box Elder. Hinton died at Rapid City Regional Hospital overnight.


Police say they received a report of a male subject who had just been shot shortly after 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. The reporting party was inside a vehicle, which was transporting the victim to the hospital.


Police say witnesses indicate the shooting took place in an alleyway behind the 700 block of Blaine Avenue.


Investigators believe the shooting is the result of attempted robbery in which the occupants of the vehicle made contact with two males in the alleyway.


Police say Waters was taken into custody voluntarily and Martinez was taken was into custody at his residence following a brief callout of the Rapid City/Pennington County Special Response Team.


Authorities say the investigation into the shooting is open and ongoing and charges of homicide and robbery are pending against Martinez and Waters.

Gov. Noem announce plan to permanently hang tribal flags in capital rotunda

Governor Kristi Noem today announced her plan to permanently display the flags of South Dakota’s nine tribal nations in the State Capitol rotunda.  


“South Dakota has a unique opportunity for a new beginning between the state and tribal governments. Bringing tribal flags to the rotunda is a sign that we are unified and working together to create policies for the next generation,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “I want our rotunda to be a place that represents the culture of South Dakota, and we can’t do that without the symbols of all nine tribes. May this be a sign to all that South Dakota is united, that we have common ground, and that we truly embrace the meaning of the word Dakota. We are allies.”  


“Displaying each of the nine South Dakota tribal flags in the Capitol rotunda is a great step in strengthening State-Tribal relationships,” said Secretary of Tribal Relations David Flute. “The Department of Tribal Relations looks forward to coordinating with the Governor’s office and tribal leaders to set a time and date to hold a formal flag display ceremony.” 


The announcement took place during State-Tribal Relations Day in the Capitol. This year’s events are a collaboration between the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations and the South Dakota Department of Education to emphasize “Culture in the Classroom,” an effort to cultivate traditional knowledge in education.  

SD Game Fish and Parks extends ice house removal deadline

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks has announced the deadline to remove ice fishing houses off South Dakota lakes has been extended.  The department made the announcement via its twitter account Wednesday.  The deadline was February 28th, but has been extended past march because of heavy snow and drifting conditions.  A new official deadline has not yet been set. 

Brown County auditor-elect Cathy McNickle expresses opposition to shortening early voting period

Brown County auditor-elect Cathy McNickle spoke in front of the Brown County Commission Tuesday, expressing her opposition to House Bill 1178.  The bill would shorten the early voting period in South Dakota from its current 46 days to the first Friday in October prior to a general election.  That would leave the early voting period at about 30 days. 


Originally, the bill cut the voting period from 46 days to 14 days, but it has since been amended.  The bill as amended passed the House 36-33 on February 21st and is scheduled to be heard in senate committee this week.


According to McNickle, if the early voting period is shortened, an extra financial burden will be placed on the counties…





McNickle is not alone in her opposition to HB 1178.  Current Brown County auditor Maxine Fischer is also against the legislation and says all 66 South Dakota county auditors, along with the Secretary of State and Association of County Commissioners Association have all publicly opposed this bill.


McNickle also explained how this bill creates two early voting periods.  Currently, as required by federal law, 46 days of early voting is needed to provide enough time for military members overseas and in remote locations to cast their ballots.  This bill would keep that in place for the military but shorten the period for everyone else.  McNickle says that is confusing…





The bill specifically would affect Brown County as 37 percent chose to early vote in the last general election.  According to McNickle, that is not insignificant…   


Brown County Dems to hold regular meeting Thursday

The Brown County Democratic Party will be hosting their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Feb 28 at 7:00 PM in the Aberdeen Public Library. District 1 Representatives Susan Wismer and Steven McCleerey will be on hand to give an update on the 2019 Legislative Session. They will host a question and answer session along with their update.

House votes to block President Trump's emergency declaration

The House of Representatives Tuesday voted in favor of a measure to block President Trump’s emergency declaration to use military money to build a border wall along the southern border.  The measure passed 245 to 182 with 13 Republicans joining Democrats in the effort. South Dakota representative Dusty Johnson was one of those 13 Republicans.  By law, the Senate now has 18 days to vote on the same measure and it is looking more likely that it is going to pass.  North Carolina Republican senator Tom Tillis came out Tuesday and said he would vote to block the declaration.  He is the third Republican in the Senate to do so with many more on the fence about what to do.

Aberdeen man arrested for using counterfeit money

An Aberdeen man has been arrested in connection with counterfeit money according to police.  Officers responded to a call shortly before noon Monday in the 500 block of South Main Street when the suspect tried to make a purchase with a fake $100 bill.  33-year-old Keriik Kitalong of Aberdeen was charged with possession of a forged instrument.  He was taken into custody after a short chase with police. 

SD House of Representatives vote down skeptical science measure

The South Dakota House of Representatives voted 46-21 against a bill which would have given teachers more leeway in injecting skepticism into scientific subjects.  Similar legislation failed in 2017 as well.  Proponents of the legislation say it would protect teachers to allow them to explore ideas critically and help develop student critical thinking skills.  Opponents say the legislation is a backdoor for special interests to enter the classroom by allowing teachers to go against the overwhelming scientific consensus on topics such as climate change or evolution. 

One person killed in two vehicle crash near Humbolt

One person died and another was seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash Friday afternoon north of Humboldt.


The names of the two people involved are not being released pending notification of family members.


A 2018 Honda Accord was northbound on South Dakota Highway 19 and was the third vehicle behind a South Dakota Department of Transportation snowplow. The driver of the Honda Accord traveled into the southbound lane in an attempt to pass the two vehicles and the snowplow. It collided with a southbound 2011 Chevy Silverado K3500 pickup.


Pronounced dead at the scene was the 45-year-old male driver of the Honda Accord. He was wearing a seatbelt.


The 60-year-old pickup driver received serious non-life threatening injuries. He was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital. He was not wearing a seatbelt.


South Dakota’s Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash. The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.


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


With wall battle likely in the past, Senator Thune talks priorities moving forward

The federal government’s back to work following a lengthy shutdown. The Senate’s number-two Republican says there’s plenty to do starting with trade….

Senator John Thune says the Senate will continue to process judicial nominees and vote on the Green New Deal environmental resolution….


Thune is also keeping an eye on President Trump’s upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Yong Un and is hoping for progress regarding nuclear weapons.

Two people mostly uninjured in small plan crash near Richmond Lake

Two people were uninjured after a small plane crash near Richmond Lake Saturday.  According to the Brown County Sheriff’s department the pilot and co-pilot were trying to perform a “touch and go” and misjudged the depth of the snow.  The plane then flipped upside down.  The names of the two men have not yet been released, but according to the Associated Press the two are experienced flyers, the pilot being 65-years-old and the co-pilot 41. One of the two involved did sustain some minor injuries.

Gov. Kristi Noem urging President Trump to negotiate on trade with China

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem spoke at POLITICO’s State Solutions Conference Friday and urged President Trump to wrap up his trade negotiations with China quickly.  According to Noem she agreed with the President’s strategy of getting tough on China to try and force the country to follow fair trade practices, but the tariffs the President has placed on China and their retaliation has devastated the state.  Noem was in Congress less than a year ago and chose to do nothing in her official capacity to try and end this trade war.

Complete list of Oscar winners

List of Oscar winners


Best picture: "Green Book"

Best actress: Olivia Colman, "The Favourite"

Best actor: Rami Malek, "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Best director: Alfonso Cuaron, "Roma"

Best supporting actress: Regina King, "If Beale Street Could Talk"

Best supporting actor: Mahershala Ali, "Green Book"

Foreign language film: Mexico's "Roma"

Original screenplay: "Green Book," Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly

Adapted screenplay: "BlacKkKlansman," Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and
Spike Lee

Original Song: "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born," music and lyrics by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson,
Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.

Cinematography: Alfonso Cuaron, "Roma"

Best animated film: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

Original Score: "Black Panther," Ludwig Goransson

Costume design: Ruth Carter, "Black Panther"

Production design: "Black Panther"

Sound Editing: "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Sound Mixing: "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Film Editing: John Ottman, "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Animated short film: "Bao"

Documentary short subject: "Period. End of Sentence"

Visual effects: "First Man"

Live action short film: "Skin"

Documentary feature: "Free Solo"

Makeup and hairstyling: "Vice"

Horse racing bill making its way to the House floor

A bill to help recharge South Dakota’s horse racing industry in Fort Pierre and Aberdeen is moving on to the floor of the South Dakota House after gaining approval of the House State Affairs Committee Wednesday.  House Bill 1251 Y-T-B is an amended version of two similar bills which have been withdrawn.  Shane Kramme of Fort Pierre testified on behalf of the South Dakota Horseman’s Association.  He says would be somewhat a kin the Wayfair Supreme Court case on Internet sales taxes….





“The inaction of the is bill would allow us to impose a source market fee on out-of-state providers who receive wagers from South Dakota citizens on live horse racing events that occur outside of state boundaries.  I believe this process would be facilitated to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming just as simulcast is now.  These generated revenues would then be reinvested into South Dakota horse racing just as simulcast funds are through the live racing accounts and overseen by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming.”


Five others testified in favor of the bill.  The lone opponent was David Wiese the Deputy Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Revenue.  He called the fees associated with the bill a tax…





“My testimony is pretty simple and straight forward.  House Bill 1251 as amended in amendment 1251 Y-C, and I want to say that because I think I saw a different version of the amendment earlier.  It licenses a new group of people, it imposes a brand new tax that is not on the books today, so this is a new tax bill, again we’re opposed to any new tax.”


Representative Steven McCleerey of Sisseton says he sees opportunity with the bill….






“And I too, coming in the door this evening, wasn’t going to be in favor of this, but I’ve turned around, I’ve turned my attitude and opinion and I think, done right and done properly, I think it could end up being a tourist attraction, if you work that properly, so I will be voting for it.”


The bill passed out of the House State Affairs Committee on a nine to two vote. 

Gov. Kristi Noem announces $2.5 million to the SD School for the Blind

Governor Kristi Noem today awarded a $2.5 million state grant for the construction of the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SDSBVI), part of the school’s joint Educational Impact Campaign with Northern State University (NSU).


The grant comes from the Governor's Office of Economic Development Future Fund.


“I’m grateful for the leadership and partnership of Northern State University and the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired,” said Noem. “I’m confident their shared vision for success will create an even stronger powerhouse for education in the northeast part of our state. This grant will ensure the continued legacy of quality education and excellent student engagement for years to come.”


The grant follows the same amount awarded last year from the same fund by former Governor Dennis Daugaard. Together, they match the city of Aberdeen's pledge of $5 million to the Educational Impact Campaign.


“Each of these gifts hinged on the other, and this type of interconnected giving is a perfect example of the all-encompassing support we’ve received for the Educational Impact Campaign,” said NSU President Dr. Tim Downs. “We’re grateful to both governors, the city and to the donors around the region for their continued commitment to Northern and the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.”


“It’s wonderful to receive this level of support from not one but two governors along with the city, and I can’t thank them enough,” said SDSBVI Superintendent Marje Kaiser. “I’m thrilled that they recognize how beneficial this project will be not only to our students but also to the region, as a new facility will ensure we’ll be able to remain in Aberdeen.”

Snow alert for the city of Redfield

City of Redfield



Gov. Noem signs bills into law

Governor Kristi Noem signed the following pieces of legislation today:


  • HB1010 – An act to recodify, to make certain form and style changes, to clarify, and to repeal certain provisions related to the South Dakota Retirement System                  
  • HB1027 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding vote centers and precinct workers
  • HB1064 – An act to authorize temporary appointments to the State Government Accountability Board
  • HB1098 – An act to revise provisions regarding publication of official ballots in a legal newspaper
  • HB1121 – An act to repeal certain provisions regarding health inspections of food service establishments
  • SB22 – An act to place certain substances on the controlled substances schedule and to declare an emergency

Presumptive probation deferred in committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee defers action on a bill that would reserve the state’s law on presumptive probation for lower-level felonies.


Presumptive probation has been credited with helping avert expensive prison-population growth but has been criticized by some for tying judge’s hands. 


The bill is a priority for new attorney general Jason Ravnsborg.  He says the costs have shifted to counties in what amounts to an unfunded mandate…





The bill is also supported by the state’s sheriff’s and police chief’s associations. 

The measure was opposed by members of the Noem administration including the department of corrections.  Britanni Skipper of the bureau of finance and management says it will mean building new prisons and greater ongoing costs...




Judiciary committee chair Lance Russell of Hot Springs apologized to the attorney general for having to defer the bill…




The committee will take action on the measure Thursday.   

Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders announced 2020 Democratic presidential bid

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders announced Tuesday on Vermont Public Radio, he will be running for president in 2020 as a Democrat.  This is Sanders second consecutive bid for the White House after 2016 where he eventually fell to Hillary Clinton  for the Democratic nomination.  Despite that, Sanders garnered tons of grassroots support, winning 23 state primary and caucuses including Wisconsin and Michigan.  Sanders known for his progressive policies, but will have a tougher time separating himself from the field this time because there are more candidates with more progressive ideas.

Senate postpones hearing on industrial hemp legislation

The South Dakota  state senate announced a decision Monday, that the committee scheduled to hear testimony on a bill which would legalize industrial hemp production has been delayed.  The measure was scheduled to be debated today.  Governor Kristi Noem’s office reached out to lawmakers formally asking them to delay debate so more information, including a fiscal note, could be delivered to lawmakers.  Governor Noem has come out and asked the legislature to shelve the legislation because she feels it is a gateway to legalizing marijuana, despite hemp and marijuana’s differences.  The legislation passed the house already by a resounding 65-2 mark.

16 states sue Trump administration over emergency declaration

16 states across the country have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for the emergency declaration announced by Trump late last week to try and get his border wall with Mexico built.  The decision will divert approximately $8 billion from other military projects.  California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia have joined in on the suit, claiming there is no emergency and Trump’s move violates the constitution. 

Noem signs bills into law

Noem approved the following pieces of legislation:

  • HB1008 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the required notice for biennial state political party conventions
  • HB1020 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding state building committees for capital improvement projects
  • HB1024 – An act to authorize certain species of game fish to be used as bait                   
  • HB1043 – An act to require the Department of Social Services to collect and report certain information regarding the military affiliation of a parent whose child is subject to a report of abuse or neglect
  • HB1044 – An act to authorize certain children who are subject to a pending military relocation to apply for enrollment in a school district
  • HB1045 – An act to revise the definition of campus security officers for purposes of the South Dakota Retirement System
  • HB1052 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the notice given to county commissioners for special sessions
  • HB1075 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the authority of conservation district governing boards
  • SB32 – An act to revise the composition of the South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners
  • SB37 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding association health plans
  • SB51 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding trusts

Senator Rounds calling for investigation of Indian Health Services

South Dakota senator Mike Rounds has authored legislation calling for a broad assessment of the US Indian Health services.  Rounds has been a long time proponent of Native American relations and filed this bill after an expose on IHS failures done by PBS’s frontline program and the Wall Street Journal.  Accusations that lead the criticism is that IHS knowingly mishandled allegations of sexual assault by a pediatrician in its employment for decades, and regularly hired doctors with troubled backgrounds. 

Aberdeen Ag Expo kicks off Tuesday at the Best Western Ramkota

This week is the annual “Aberdeen Ag Expo” hosted by Dakota Broadcasting.  The show runs from Tuesday to Thursday at the Best Western Ramkota and features venders and speakers to help your farming operation.  Doors open at noon Tuesday and the show goes until 6 p.m.  Wednesday the day runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guest speakers at this year’s event include South Dakota’s lone representative to congress Dusty Johnson, February 20th at 10:00 a.m. The event is free for all those attending.

Garbage pickup to change due to holiday

Due to the President's Day holiday on Monday February 18th, city garbage pick-up will change.  Residents who normally have their garbage picked up on Monday are asked to have their garbage out for pick-up by 8:00 a.m. Tuesday February 19th.  Both Monday's and Tuesday's garbage will be picked up on Tuesday.  Recycling remaining on the normal five day schedule.  Dependable Sanitation will be picking up recyclables on Monday.  

3 Doors down to perform Friday August 16th at the Brown County Fair

The rock band 3 Doors Down will perform at the Brown County Fair, Friday August 16th.  This rounds off the headlining announcements for 2019's fair.  3 Doors Down originated out of Mississippi and have been active since 1996.  The band has six studio albums and is known for hits such as "Kryptonite", "Be Like That", "When I'm Gone", "Here Without You",  "Let me Go" and many more.  

Gov. Noem again calling on legislature to shelve industrial hemp idea

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem is again calling on the legislature to shelve an industrial hemp bill, which already passed the house by a resounding 65-2 vote earlier this week.  Governor Noem says the state is not ready to allow the farming of hemp because the state does not have the funds in the budget to create a pilot program.  She also says officials do not have the roadside tests used to measure THC levels in the crop.  Noem did not say if she would veto the bill.

Bill to shorten early voting period passes out of committee

House Bill 1178 passed out of committee Thursday, which if passed, will cut the early voting period in South Dakota by half.  Currently early voting starts 46 days before an election, this legislation will cut that down to 21.  The original legislation called for early voting to be cut down to as few as 14 days.  Opponents include several county auditors who worry about more work and longer lines on election day with a shorter voting period.  Other concerns are those with disabilities and elderly voters could be disenfranchised by this legislation. 

Noem signs 11 bills into law

Noem approved the following pieces of legislation this afternoon:

  • HB1007 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the exemptions from the twelve-month residency requirement for university students
  • HB1011 – An act to revise certain provisions relating to the South Dakota Retirement System
  • HB1012 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding state laboratory services
  • HB1018 – An act to transfer the collection of various fees from the Department of Revenue to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • HB1023 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the sale and purchase of big game animal parts
  • HB1033 – An act to revise provisions regarding transaction of business by trust companies
  • HB1038 – An act to authorize the demolition of a South Dakota State University building and to make an appropriation therefor 
  • HB1040 – An act to establish certain provisions regarding the opportunity scholarship program
  • HB1048 – An act to authorize a public body to conduct certain deliberations in an executive or closed meeting
  • SB10 – An act to update references to certain federal motor carrier regulations
  • SB25 – An act to revise the authority of Department of Revenue special agents

Big and Rich to perform Saturday of the Brown County Fair

The Brown County Fair has announced the country music duo Big and Rich will perform at the grandstands Saturday August 17th.  The group will feature Cowboy Troy as part of the performance as well.  This will be the first time Big and Rich will perform at the Brown County Fair.  The duo is known for songs such as “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”, “Lost In This Moment”, and “8th of November”, which is about a South Dakota airman during the Vietnam War.    

Aberdeen man sentenced in incest case

An Aberdeen man was sentenced Wednesday on two incest-related charges.  60-year-old Gregory Rutherford pleaded guilty to avoid additional charges in up to four different counties.  Authorities allege Rutherford engaged in a sexual relationship with his step-sister’s daughter for approximately seven years.  Brown County state’s attorney Chris White requested the judge sentence Rutherford to the maximum 15 year sentence and he serve that sentence  consecutively with a sentence in Brookings county.  The judge agreed, but suspended five years from the sentence and gave Rutherford credit for eight days served. 

Dylan Scott and Jordan Davis to perform at the Brown County Fair Thursday

The Brown County fair has announced Dylan Scott will be performing at Grandstands during the 2019 fair.  Scott will be joined by co-headliner Jordan Davis and will perform Thursday August 15th.  Scott is known for songs such as "My Girl", "Hooked", "You Got Me" and "Nothing to Do Town".  More entertainment announcement will be made as the week goes on.

Frankie Ballard to play this summer at "Trail Days"

Country-blues-rocker Frankie Ballard will headline Ipswich Trail Days Saturday June 8, 2019. After recent appearances at the Grand Ole Opry and a world tour featuring sold out venues in Europe and Japan, Frankie Ballard will bring his country-rock anthems to Ipswich for the annual Trail Days celebration. Ballard has charted three number 1 hits so far in his career: “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Helluva Life,” and “Young & Crazy,” with “It All Started With a Beer” also hugely popular on the radio.

Originally from Michigan and winner of Kenney Chesney’s Next Big Star competition in that state, Frankie Ballard is now a singer/songwriter based in Nashville. He has toured with Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Big and Rich, and Bog Seger, to name a few. Ballard has his “own brand of American music. There is rock & roll, country stories, country lyrics & country songs. And there’s a lot of blues swagger & blues guitar playing. It’s all those things together!”

Bill which would make gun-free zones illegal on college campuses passes senate committee

The Senate judiciary committee passed a bill that would prevent public universities and technical schools from restricting guns on their campuses. 


According to the legislation, these public institutions cannot restrict the carrying or possession of a firearm within the boundaries of the institution.


There was less than two minutes of testimony in favor of the bill. 


During committee discussion, Senator Stace Nelson spoke in support of the measure.  He says the gun-free zone is a violation of the South Dakota constitution…




Student associations from the School of Mines, USD, and SDSU spoke against the measure as did the board of regents and technical school board. 


Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown says this bill is a bad idea…




The Measure passed on a four-three vote and now heads to the Senate floor. 

Eagle Butte woman faces prison time for conspiracy to distribute meth

According to a release from the US Attorney’s office, an Eagle Butte woman faces federal drug charges from an incident dating back as early as January of 2017.  37-year-old Jocelyn Chasing Hawk has been indicted on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.  She has pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial which has been scheduled to take place April 2nd.

Blackhawk, Restless Heart and Shenandoah to perform Wednesday of the Brown County Fair

Brown County fair board manager Derrick Ricci announced Tuesday some of the entertainment that will grace the grandstands at the 2019 Brown County Fair. 


The acts include country artists Restless Heart, Blackhawk and Shenandoah.  The three are coequal headliners as part of their “Triple Threat” tour.


Blackhawk has played Brown County twice including 2007 and 1995.  For Shenandoah this will be their first time performing at the Brown County Fair.  Restless Heart will be returning for a fourth time to the Brown County Fair, including other performances in 1991, 1993, and 2007.   


The three will perform Wednesday August 14th

Fire in Watertown bar likely started in the basement

Assistant Fire Chief Don Rowland says the investigation ended quickly after it was determined it was too unsafe to do a more thorough examination of the rubble….


Rowland says investigators agree that the fire most likely started in the basement, possibly from a furnace, and burned for several hours before it was discovered early Thursday morning.


The building, which was the former Harbor Bar, was being used for storage at the time of the fire.


A meeting was held Monday with city officials to begin the process of “condemning” the building, so it can be demolished.

Reporter shield law passes House

The South Dakota House has approved a bill that provides protections for journalists who refuse to disclose information or sources.


Representative Jon Hansen of Dell Rapids sponsored the legislation. He says a free press is essential to transparency and government functioning effectively….




Representative Taffy Howard of Rapid City spoke against the measure saying the Bill of Rights is sufficient…..



The final vote was 47-20 in favor. The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

Juvenile killed in west river snowmobile accident

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office says a juvenile has died from a snowmobile accident over the weekend.

According to a press release, the juvenile from North Dakota was a passenger on a snowmobile being driven by a family member. The crash happened on trail #7, about a half mile west of U.S. Highway 385. The trail is part of the Mickelson Trail running out of Deadwood.

The sheriff's office says the accident happened on Saturday and the youth died from injuries sustained in the crash on Sunday.

The identity of the youth is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

The crash is under investigation by several law enforcement agencies.

Industrial hemp bill passed overwhelmingly by the state house despite Noem objections

State representatives have overwhelmingly advanced legislation to legalize industrial hemp in South Dakota just days after Gov. Kristi Noem asked lawmakers to end those efforts this session.


     The House voted 65-2 Monday to send the bill to the Senate. House Majority Leader Lee Qualm says it's time to move forward with hemp.


     The vote comes after Noem was at the Watertown Winter Farm Show over the weekend telling reporters South Dakota isn't ready for the production of industrial hemp. She says questions remain about enforcement, taxpayer costs and effects on public safety....



Governor Noem says she's been talking with officials about hemp in North Dakota, where a pilot program to grow the crop has been in place...




The 2018 federal farm bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Gov. Noem appoints Webster man to Game Fish and Parks committee

Governor Kristi Noem today announced that she has appointed Travis Bies of Fairburn and Robert Whitmyre of Webster to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission.


“Travis and Robert have proven their commitment to South Dakota and will bring new perspectives to outdoor recreation and habitat resources,” said Noem. “I appreciate their willingness to serve and make our state a better place to live and work – not only for today, but for the next generation.”


Bies is a third-generation commercial cow/calf producer and has seen the way wildlife plays a role in his ranch's ecosystem. He lives in Custer County and has five children.


"Every day, we see mule deer, whitetails, prairie dogs, birds and more. Seeing wildlife on the ranch is a sign that we're managing our resources properly, not only for our livestock, but also for the wildlife and the next generation of ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts," said Bies. “I look forward to serving South Dakota in this new role.”


Whitmyre is an East River farmer and has lived in Day County for more than 50 years. He and his wife, Tonia, have been married for 29 years and have three children.


“I am honored to accept this appointment from Governor Noem,” said Whitmyre. “Outdoor recreation and caring for the land are not just things we do around here; it is who we are. Serving for the next generation is important to me to ensure that we are continuously enhancing the quantity and quality of outdoor recreational opportunities with a peaceful and respectful approach.”


Bies will replace Barry Jensen of White River. Whitmyre will replace Cathy Peterson of Salem. Both will attend their first commission meeting on February 28 in Pierre. Their terms expire on January 10, 2023.


The GFP Commission serves as the advocate and liaison between the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and its stakeholders – the people of South Dakota. The Commission consists of eight members, appointed by the Governor for four year terms. For more information on the Commission and the 2019 meeting schedule, please visit

Woman injured when gun discharged by accident

A woman had only minor injuries after her neighbor cleaning a gun accidently fired a shot and the bullet went through the wall.  The accidental discharge happened in an apartment at Graduate Avenue and 54th street north.


Officer Sam Clemens explains...






The 27 year old woman was taken to the hospital and cleared with only minor injuries.

No charges have been filed, although the investigation is ongoing.  Alcohol was not believed to be a factor in the accidental discharge, which took place Sunday afternoon at 2:45. 

Debate over Industrial hemp production to take place today in Pierre

A bill that would help establish an industrial hemp industry in South Dakota has bi-partisan support from legislators in Pierre but Governor Kristi Noem thinks lawmakers should pause.  House Bill 1191 was brought by District 28 Representative Democrat Oren Lesmeister of Parade who says support is growing and businesses are ready to step in….

The Department of Public Safety testified against the bill Thursday, but Lesmeister says a number of amendments have been considered to ease law enforcement concerns…

House Majority Leader Republican Lee Qualm of Platte says he supports the idea if it’s done correctly…

Meanwhile, Noem says the state is not ready for industrial hemp…

Noem was noncommittal about vetoing any industrial hemp legislation if it makes it to her desk.  She would prefer to look at such legislation during next year’s session.  Lesmeister says he wouldn’t expect actual production of industrial hemp, if his bill becomes law until 2020.

Gov. Noem signs host of bills into law

Governor Kristi Noem signed the following pieces of legislation this afternoon:  


  • HB1013 – An act to require criminal background investigations for certain vital records employees
  • HB1025 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding voter registration
  • HB1026 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding petitions, notices, and statements of convention nominees and certifications of party officials
  • HB1036 – An act to revise provisions related to the Board of Technical Professions
  • HB1037 – An act to authorize the Board of Regents to contract for the construction of a regional sports complex at Northern State University and to make an appropriation therefor
  • SB12 – An act to revise certain provisions pertaining to the disqualification of commercial driver license holders for failure to consent to chemical analyses
  • SB23 – An act to revise certain references to repealed or obsolete provisions regarding the Department of Education
  • SB30 – An act to remove certain unnecessary federal references and dates from certain provisions relating to the Department of Social Services 
  • SB31 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding criminal background checks for assistant behavior analysts and paraprofessionals

President Trump orders flags at half staff in honor of the late former Representative John Dingle

President Donald Trump today ordered flags nationwide to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Saturday, February 9, 2019, to honor the life of former Representative John David Dingell, Jr. of Michigan. 


Dingell served in the United State House of Representatives from 1955 to 2015. According to the House historian's office, he served with 11 presidents and cast 28,551 votes. He is the longest serving member of Congress on record.


Dingell passed away on February 8. He was 92 years old.


Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar enters 2020 presidential race

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced Sunday she was entering the race to be the Democratic nomination for President in 2020.  Klobuchar is a three-term senator who enjoys strong popularity statewide, winning re-election in 2018 with 60.3 percent of the vote.  Klobuchar gave a speech Sunday outside, in the snow where she said she touched on an array of topics including healthcare to cyber security.  Despite the excitement, entering the race draws more scrutiny, as reports have come out recently that Klobuchar is a mean boss and could be verbally abusive to staff.     

Watertown man dies due to exposure during blizzard

Authorities in Codington county say a rural Watertown man died Thursday after leaving his stuck vehicle during a blizzard.  The Codington County sheirff’s department received a call around 6:00 p.m. Thursday with reports of a man who was having trouble breathing after walking in 40 below zero temperatures and blowing snow.  Authorities responded to 172nd Street and 445th avenue west and found an individual trying to revive the victim, 46-year-old Joseph Persall, with CPR.  A path had to be plowed to the victim so the ambulance could reach him.  Crews got him to the Prairie Lakes Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Gov. Noem calls for flags at half staff in honor of late lawmaker

Governor Kristi Noem today ordered flags at the South Dakota State Capitol to be flown at half-staff from 8am until sunset on Friday, February 8, 2019, to honor the life of former state legislator Carol Fitzgerald of Rapid City. 


Fitzgerald served in the State House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000.


A memorial service for Fitzgerald will be held on Friday, February 8, at 11am at Rimrock Evangelical Free Church in Rapid City.


DOT reopens I-29

Officials are opening the entire previously closed portion of Interstate 29 from Sioux Falls to the North Dakota border effective immediately.


Motorists are reminded that winter driving conditions still exist with compacted snow and ice from yesterday’s blizzard and the continued below zero temperatures . Slow down and plan extra time for reaching your destination today.


State highways, especially some of the east and west routes in the northeastern part of the state, saw very heavy drifting overnight and crews are still working to get them safe for travel. If you see a snowplow, stay back at least 8 car lengths and never pass in a snow cloud.


Be sure to check or call 5-1-1 for any No Travel Advisories that may still be posted and stay off those routes until they are clear and safe for travel.


If you must travel, officials advise having an emergency winter survival kit including a charged cell phone. Slow down, turn off cruise, buckle up, pay attention and allow plenty of time to reach your destination safely.

Parks and rec cancels activities

Parks and Rec has canceled the following activities:

Activities Cancelled

Outdoor Ice Rinks are closed

YAPAtorium Closed

Recreational Skating at Odde Ice Arena

Skate Lessons

Open Gyms

ARCC Dance Classes

ARCC Classes & Activities

Shopko in Aberdeen to close May 12th

According to Shopko’s website, the Aberdeen Shopko has now been included on a list of stores that will be closing across the nation as the store declared bankruptcy last month.  Aberdeen’s Shopko announced its pharmacy would be closing recently, but it was still up in the air if the store would remain open or not.  The Shopko web site puts the closing date on May 12th.  Once Shopko closes there will be no retail stores on the north or west side of Aberdeen.

Sports gambling in Deadwood passes out of committee

A South Dakota Senate panel has approved a measure that would ask voters to legalize sports betting in Deadwood.  The push comes after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way last year for all states to offer legal sports betting.


Republican Senator Bob Ewing, the sponsor, says lawmakers should allow South Dakota residents to decide the issue.



Deadwood Gaming Association Executive Director Mike Rodman says sports betting would be a marketing opportunity to boost the city's less-busy seasons.


The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 5-4 on Wednesday to send the proposal to the full chamber.

Gov. Noem nominates Christina Klinger to sixth circuit court

Gov. Kristi Noem today announced the selection of Christina Klinger to serve as judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.  


“I am confident Christina is committed to equal justice under the law,” said Noem. “Her background and experience have prepared her well for this position, and I know she will uphold the law.”


Klinger was born in Wagner, South Dakota. After graduating from Wagner High School, Klinger attended the University of South Dakota where she obtained a degree in psychology and criminal justice as well as her Juris Doctor from USD School of Law. 


While in law school, Klinger served as a volunteer with the East River Legal Services pro bono project and was active in the Women in Law Society. She was admitted to the South Dakota Bar in 2003 and worked as a law clerk to the judges of the Third Judicial Circuit until August 2004 when she joined May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson. 


Klinger is a member of the State Bar of South Dakota and is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of South Dakota, the US Federal Court District of South Dakota and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is also a member of the South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association and previously served as President of the Sixth Circuit Bar Association. 


Klinger resides in Pierre where she has pursued a general area of law practice with an emphasis on criminal law, family law, worker’s compensation, and insurance defense. 


The Sixth Judicial Circuit Court is served by four circuit judges and one magistrate and covers fourteen counties. The administrative services for the court is based in Pierre.? 

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to make presidential announcement Sunday

Minnesota senior senator Amy Klobuchar tells MSNBC she will make an announcement Sunday in Minneapolis whether or not she plans to run for president.  Klobuchar would seek the Democratic nomination and be considered a moderate if she got in.  Klobuchar is popular in Minnesota, according to Morning Consult she is the third most popular senator in the United States with a 58 percent approval rating. 

Gov. Noem signs host of bills into law

Governor Kristi Noem today approved legislation to expand South Dakota renewable energy production. HB1031, which Noem signed today, will streamline wind and solar development on state-owned lands. The bill will go into effect July 1, 2019. ? 

“Our economy and security are reliant on an energy supply that is accessible, abundant, and affordable,” said Noem. “This bill takes a step toward expanding the potential of South Dakota wind and solar energy. I’m proud to sign it into law today.”  

Noem signed the following pieces of legislation this afternoon:  

  • HB1014 – An act to repeal certain provisions regarding payments of the tax imposed on financial institutions and banks 
  • HB1015 – An act to revise certain references to the Internal Revenue Code 
  • HB1031 – An act to authorize certain wind and solar easements and leases by the commissioner of School and Public Lands 
  • SB0005 – An act to codify legislation enacted in 2018 
  • SB0011 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the granting of work?permits to minors who refuse to submit to chemical analyses 
  • SB0020 – An act to update certain provisions regarding consumer protection. 
  • SB0021 – An act to authorize certain tobacco manufacturers to assign to the state the interest of the manufacturer in any money in a qualified escrow fund 
  • SB0035 – An act to revise and repeal provisions regarding revocation of occupational licenses 

Aberdeen Police investigate shots fired at apartment complex

The Aberdeen Police Department is investigating multiple shots fired which damaged an apartment building early Sunday morning.  According to police, they received a call around 5:15 p.m. Monday to investigate damage to a building in the 2100 block of 4th ave SE Monday.  Police say they received no reports of shots fired, but speculate the shots were fired between 5:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.  No one was inside the apartment at the time of the shooting and the incident remains under investigation. 

Federal agents seeking information on dead golden eagle

U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents in South Dakota are seeking information about the recent killing of a 2-year-old golden eagle found in South Dakota.  Authorities are offering up to $2,500 for information leading to the conviction of those involved in shooting the bird.  Agents believe the bird was shot in central South Dakota within the previous five days.  Golden eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection act and Migratory Bird Treaty act.  

President Trump to give the state of the union address tonight

President Donald Trump will give his state of the union address tonight to a joint session of congress.  The speech had to be put off from weeks ago as Trump was uninvited to speak by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi due to the Government Shutdown.  In exerpts of Trump’s speech released to the media, The president is expected to call for unity during the address.  If so, this might leave many skeptical how serious the President is as during his time in office he has preferred to be combative rather than easy going.  Former Georgia representative and voting activist Stacy Abrams will give the Democrats rebuttal following Trump’s speech. 

Flu cases top 1,000 for the season

According to numbers released by the South Dakota department of health, flu diagnosis are on the rise.  More than 500 cases of flu have been reported in the past two weeks, bringing the total number of to 1,000 for this flu season.  The flu is easy to spread this time of year as most people are confined indoors due to the bitter temperatures outside.  The flu spreads through respiratory droplets meaning you should cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and be sure to frequently wash your hands.  You can still get a flu shot as the flu seasons is expected to last into March and possibly April.

Gov. Noem to visit Aberdeen February 15th

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will visit Aberdeen Friday February 15th as part of her 2019 Priorities tour.  This will be Noem’s first trip to Aberdeen since being sworn is as governor.  The event is hosted by the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce Community Affairs Committee.  She will visit the Agtegra Innovation center at 39278 1134rd street and the doors will open at 7:30 a.m.  There is no cost to attend, but you are encouraged to RSVP for reservations by contacting the chamber at 225-2860. 

Sobriety checkpoints scheduled for the month of February

A total of 17 sobriety checkpoints are planned for 14 South Dakota counties during the month of February.


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


Counties where checkpoints will be held in February are: Brown, Butte, Codington, Davison, Day, Lawrence, Lyman, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington, Roberts, Sanborn, Stanley and Walworth.


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

New Jersey senator Cory Booker announces presidential bid

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has announce he is running for president in 2020 and seeking the Democratic Nomination.  Booker chose the first day of Black History Month to announce his candidacy.  Booker made the announcement through a video post on social media and already joins a crowded field including approximately eight top tier candidates with more expected to announce.  Booker has been prominent in Democratic politics for years and was on the short list to be 2016 Dem nominee Hillary Clinton’s vice president. 

State senate committee passes legislation to randomly drug test legislators

A South Dakota Senate committee advances a bill to impose random drug testing on state legislators but it hits a snag later in the day.


The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 Thursday to send the measure to the floor. No one testified against it.


The bill would require the state Division of Criminal Investigation to set up random drug tests for three to 10 legislators each week of session. A positive test would be reported to the presiding officer of the lawmaker's chamber for possible disciplinary action.


The Senate Thursday afternoon voted to send the measure to appropriations to determine it's financial impact. That angered the bill's sponsor, Senator Stace Nelson of Fulton.  He says it's an unfair way to try and bury the bill...




Senator John Wiik of Big Stone City chairs the Appropriations Committee... 




Senator Lance Russell of Hot Springs chairs the Judiciary Committee and says he's offended by this move... 




The Senate voted 19-14 to send SB 104 to appropriations.

Congressman Johnson looks to deal to keep the government open

To avoid another partial federal government shutdown, negotiators in Washington, DC, have about two more weeks to come up with a federal budget both Pres. Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will agree on.


South Dakota republican Representative Dusty Johnson says the environment now is very different from what it was before and during the 35 day shutdown.




Johnson says they’re giving the conference committee time to work.





Johnson says it doesn’t matter whether it’s the republicans or the democrats who bring a compromise solution forward first.



Gov. Noem signs permitless carry legislation

Governor Kristi Noem stuck pen to paper Thursday in signing the first of many new laws during her term as Governor Thursday.  Noem also made good on a campaign promise by signing into law during a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda Senate Bill 47, which allows for the permitless carry of firearms in South Dakota…





Noem says the legislation will give South Dakotans options…





Noem says South Dakota’s permitting system remains intact…





Noem signed the bill into law at a large desk that was moved from the Governor’s office Reception Room to the base of the Grand Staircase as legislative supporters gathered in the background.  Just because the Governor signed the bill doesn’t mean you can conceal carry anywhere quite yet.  The law goes into effect on July 1st.

Gov. Noem signs slew of bills into laws

Governor Kristi Noem today signed her first bill into law. SB47, which Noem signed today, will further protect the Second Amendment rights of South Dakotans by allowing constitutional carry. The bill will go into effect July 1, 2019.  


“More than 230 years ago, the Founding Fathers of our country penned the Constitution that has since laid the framework for centuries of policies. They so firmly believed in the importance of the freedom to bear arms that they enshrined it into the Constitution’s Second Amendment,” said Noem. “This constitutional carry legislation will further protect the Second Amendment rights of South Dakotans.”


Furthermore, Noem signed the following pieces of legislation today:

  • HB1004 – An act to review parole date calculation provisions
  • HB1006 – An act to revise the time requirements for parole reports and plans
  • HB1016 – An act to revise certain provisions of the alcoholic beverages code
  • HB1030 – An act to allow the Office of School and Public Lands to accept internet bidding for the leasing of state minerals
  • HB1002 – An act to provide for criminal background checks for certain applicants and employees of the Department of Public Safety
  • HB1005 – An act to authorize a hearing panel of the Board of Pardons and Paroles to make clemency recommendations
  • HB1017 – An act to provide for the destruction of certain cigarettes
  • SB0026 – An act to clarify certain provisions regarding the regulation of limited gaming in Deadwood, South Dakota
  • SB0013 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding authorization for transportation assistance grants

State Senate approves Northern sports complex

Northern State University’s proposed on-campus regional sports complex is one step closer to reality thanks to approval from the South Dakota Senate.


On Thursday, the Senate approved House Bill 1037, which authorizes the South Dakota Board of Regents to contract for the construction of the sports complex on the NSU campus. The bill now moves to the governor for approval.


“We’re so pleased to have the support of both the House and Senate,” said NSU President Dr. Tim Downs. “This project, along with the entire Educational Impact Campaign, will enhance the student experience and also be a tremendous boost for the entire region, and we’re grateful that legislators recognize its importance.”


At the bill’s recent hearing before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations, Sen. Justin Cronin said the fact that the whole region is supporting this project is immense.


“You should be very proud of your alumni and of your community,” said Cronin, R-S.D.


Cronin pointed out that Northern came to the committee with a bill that’s fully funded, with a commitment to fund maintenance and repair. “How can a person sit here and say no?”


Sen. Brock Greenfield echoed Cronin’s sentiments, saying the area has invested countless millions of dollars into this project.


“Here’s a case in point in which the people have said this is how they want to spend their money,” said Greenfield, R-S.D. “I wholly support and endorse that, and I wish the folks at Northern well with this project, and the folks of the region well because a lot of people will be benefiting from this for years and years to come.”


The sports complex is one of three projects of the Educational Impact Campaign, a collaborative effort between Northern and the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The other two projects are the Athletic and Recreation Fields project, which opened in fall 2018, and a new SDSBVI, currently under construction.


The Legislature and governor approved bills last year moving these two projects forward. That included authorizing a land swap – relocating the SDSBVI to the former site of NSU’s Jerde Hall and allowing Northern to use the current SDSBVI site for the regional sports complex.


“All of the Educational Impact Campaign projects were made possible thanks to the support of our legislators,” Downs said. “We can’t thank them enough for their continued commitment to students at Northern and SDSBVI, and to all of northeast South Dakota.”


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