Local News Archives for 2019-06

US Supreme Court rules against citizenship question on the US census

The United States Supreme Court ruled Thursday against the Trump administration and will not allow a citizenship question to be added to the 2020 census for now.  According to the decision, the job of the census is not to count how many citizens live in an area, rather how many people in total live in said area.  Critics argue a citizenship question could depress responses from certain groups of people, making them go uncounted and it will hurt how the government proportions representation and federal money.  Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the court for the decision.

First term Republican representative Scyller Borglum announces senate run

First term Republican representative Scyller Borglum has announced plans to run for the US Senate representing South Dakota in 2020.  Borglum is a Republican representing District 32 in Pennington County and will be primarying incumbent senator Mike Rounds.  Borglum will officially kick off her campaign July 1st with three events including one in Rapid City, one in Chamberlain and another in Sioux Falls.  Borglum has long been rumored to run and even claims there have been attempts from within the party to disway her desire to primary a fellow Republican. 

$600,000 lottery ticket sold in Rosholt

A $600,000 lottery ticket was sold at the CrossRoads C-Store in Rosholt in Roberts County.  The drawing was Wednesday and according to a release from the South Dakota lottery, the winner will bring home $594,260.  The odds of winning this amount of money was 324,632 to one. 

Dangerously hot conditions for northeast South Dakota this weekend

Residents should be aware it could get dangerously hot and humid today as humid air will combine with winds this Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon.  Temperatures will climb into the 90s and combine with that humid air to create a heat index which could top 95 to 109 degrees.  Be sure not to leave pets or children in hot cars, drink lots of water and stay in shade where possible.

FEMA warns of potential disaster relief scammers

Recovery officials urge South Dakota residents to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud from scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals who may try to prey on those who suffered losses in the severe winter storms and flooding from mid-March to late April.


Common post-disaster fraud practices include:


  •          Fake offers of state or federal aid:
    •    Beware if anyone claiming to be from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the state visits, calls or emails asking for an applicant’s Social Security number, bank account number or other sensitive information.
    •    Avoid scam artists who promise a disaster grant and ask for cash deposits or advance payments in full.
    •    Know that federal workers do not solicit or accept money. FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) staff never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections or help in filling out applications. Do not give out information and report people claiming to be government workers to local police.
    •    Provide your Social Security number and banking information only when registering for FEMA assistance, either by calling 800-621-3362, TTY 800-462-7585, or going online at or the smart phone FEMA App. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time seven days a week.


  •          Phony housing inspectors: Owners/applicants may be especially vulnerable to phony housing inspectors claiming to represent FEMA or SBA. An applicant should always:
    •    Ask to see the inspector’s identification badge. All federal employees and contractors carry official, laminated photo identification.
    •    Inspectors also have each applicant’s nine-digit registration number.
    •    FEMA inspectors never require banking information.


- more -


It is important to note that FEMA housing inspectors verify damage, but do not hire or endorse specific contractors to fix homes or recommend repairs. They do not determine your eligibility for assistance.


  •          Fraudulent building contractors: When hiring a contractor, be sure to:
    •    Use licensed local contractors backed by reliable references.
    •    Demand that contractors carry general liability insurance and worker’s compensation.


  •          Bogus pleas for post-disaster donations: Unscrupulous solicitors may play on the sympathy for disaster survivors. Disaster aid solicitations may arrive by phone, email, letter or face-to-face visits. Verify legitimate solicitation:
    •    Ask for the charity’s exact name, street address, phone number, and Web address, then call the charity directly and confirm that the person asking for funds is an employee or volunteer.
    •    Don’t pay with cash.
    •    Request a receipt with the charity’s name, street address, phone number and Web address (if applicable).


Anyone with knowledge of fraud, waste or abuse may call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission at

You may also send an email to

The Office leaving Netflix in 2020

Fans of the series “The Office” or those who have been meaning to watch it now for years, may want to get on that ASAP.  The online streaming service “Netflix” announced Tuesday the hit NBC show will be pulled from its lineup after 2020.  NBCUniversal is planning to launch its own streaming service and is bringing in its own popular properties to entice customers.  NBC’s announcement is just the latest in the streaming wars which will now include a Disney streaming platform and a CBS streaming platform. 

Night two of the Democratic debate takes place tonight

The first of two Democratic primary debates took place Wednesday night and featured 10 candidates looking to make a splash.  Despite the set up being random, night one featured only one person polling above 2 percent and that was Massachusets senator Elizabeth Warren.  Tonight’s debate will feature many more prominent candidates including current front runner Joe Biden.  The rest of the field includes Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.  The debate will begin at 8:00 p.m. and can be seen on NBC MSNBC and telemundo.

Former Augustana athlete found guilty of assaulting fellow student

A former Augustana student-athlete has accepted to a plea deal which will result in him being expelled from school among other punishment.  19-year-old Peyton Zabel was accused of entering another student’s dorm room and grabbing her.  Zabel pleaded guilty to simple assault, surreptitiously entering a room and purchase of alcohol by a minor.  A felony first-degree burglary charge was dropped upon accepting the plea deal.  The incident occurred in an Augustana dorm May 11th around 4:30 a.m.  Zabel had a blood alcohol level of .163 at the time.  He will serve 12 days behind bars with the rest of his two year term suspended.  Zabel played both football and baseball for the Vikings. 

First Democratic Primary debate takes place tonight

The 2020 Democratic primary unofficially kicks off tonight with the first debate of the election cycle.  The debate will take place in Miami Florida and can be seen on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.  The debate will feature 10 candidates and be the first of two debates, the other being Thursday.  The debate will begin at 7:00 p.m. central time and feature candidates including Massachusets senator Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey senator Cory Booker, Former HUD secretary Julian Castro, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Washington governor Jay Inslee, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Ohio congressman Tim Ryan. 

Mosquito spray scheduled for Thursday night

A Mosquito spray has been planned for tonight in Aberdeen.  The spray will begin at 8:30 p.m. and go until 1:30 a.m.  The mosquito spraying equipment is noisy and moves at about 10 miles per hour.  Trucks can be identified by their flashing yellow lights.  Should winds be higher than 10 miles per hour or inclement weather the spray will be postponed.  If you have any questions on the city mosquito program you can contact 626-7015.

Brandon teen makes "Teen Jeopardy" finale

A Brandon South Dakota team qualified for the Teen Jeopardy final and will compete for $100,000 during a two day finale beginning this Thursday and ending Friday.  8th grader Ryan Presler finished with just $1,500, but that was enough to win the wild card round as none of the three competitors answered the final jeopardy question correctly.  The final can be seen at 3:30 p.m. on ABC both Thursday and Friday.  Jeopardy is taped in the morning so if interested be careful to avoid spoilers. 

South Dakota Judge to hear arguments on death row inmate

A South Dakota Judge will hear arguments today in the case of a death row inmate and whether or not to set an execution date.  Charles Rhines is scheduled to be executed in early November for a murder he committed 27 years ago during a burglary of a donut shop in Rapid City.  Rhines attorneys argue the execution should be delayed pending two lawsuits including one challenging the state’s letha injection protocol.  Rhines has tried to appeal his case to the South Dakota Supreme court before on different grounds.  

SD Dept. of Health announces grants to fight mosquitoes

The South Dakota Department of Health has announced cities, counties and tribes will share $500,000 in grant money intended to go towards mosquito control and further prevent the spread of West Nile.  Applying communities can receive anywhere between $500 to $20,000 in grant money based on population and its history with the West Nile Virus through 2018.  Aberdeen Mosquito control received the maximum $20,000 while Brown County received $15,000.  Groton received $2,000 and Warner received $1,741. 

Aberdeen police arrest suspects involved in intentional damages

The Aberdeen Police Department says it has solved the case of an outbreak of intentional damage around the city.  The suspects were using BB guns to shoot out vehicle and residential windows.  According to a release, police have arrested an adult and four juveniles in the case.  Authorities have released the identity of the adult, 18-year-old Lain Douglas Leddy, but have not released the name of the four male juvenile accomplices.  All involved faced felony intentional damage charges.   

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveils new plan to cancel student debt

Just days before the first Democratic Presidential debates, candidate Bernie Sanders made waves Sunday unveiling a new policy proposal that would cancel student debt in the United States.  According to Sanders, the proposal would impact 45 million Americans as it would cancel $50,000 of debt for individuals making less than $100,000 per year.  Sanders says the plan would be paid for in a number of ways including a series of taxes on things such as stock trades, bonds and derivatives.  He says this move will also help with economic growth as young people would no longer be shackled by burdensome debt, able to invest, by homes and start new businesses. 

Gov. Noem names new director of social services

Governor Kristi Noem today announced that Laurie Gill will serve as Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS). She will begin serving in this capacity on July 9, 2019.


“Laurie is committed to excellence in everything she does,” said Noem. “I’ve been impressed with her leadership at the Bureau of Human Resources (BHR) and the ways she places value in people. Her experience, compassion, and work ethic will be incredibly valuable as we work to educate the state about the need for foster families, adoptive families, and safe homes for every child.” 


“I’m deeply honored to continue serving South Dakota with Governor Noem at the Department of Social Services,” said Gill. “I’ve been blessed to build my career in State Government, and I look forward to using my experiences to strengthen families and protect the next generation of South Dakotans.”


Laurie Gill has served as commissioner of BHR since 2013. Previously, she served as Secretary of Human Services and has held leadership roles in the Department of Health. Gill also served for nine years as the mayor of Pierre.


An interim commissioner for BHR will be announced in the coming days. 

One person killed in motorcycle crash in Brookings county

One person died Friday night when a motorcycle crashed east of Brookings.  According to the Department of Public Safety a 2015 Harley Davidson FLTRXS was westbound on Highway 14 when the cycle drifted off the roadway to the right and entered the northbound ditch.  The cycle went airborne throwing the 52-year-old driver from the bike.  He was pronounced dead at the scene and was wearing a helmet.  The name of the victim has not yet been released pending notification of family. 

Ride sharing app Uber now active in Sioux Falls/Rapid City

The ride sharing service Uber is now in operation in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.  It becomes the second such service to be active in South Dakota after Lyft launched within the state in 2017.  It is likely Uber will make its way to Aberdeen as the service becomes more widely available.  In order to use the service, customers will need to first download the Uber app from their cell phone online store. 

Police update situation on body found on the banks of the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls

Authorities have updated the public in regards to a body found by fishermen on the banks of the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls earlier this week.  According to police the body was in a quote very advance state of decomposition.  Officials believe the body had been dead for at least three weeks.  The remains are that of an adult female and were found just north of the farmers market shell near Sioux Falls Park.  It is also believed the woman had been under water at some point.  An autopsy will be performed but officials say it will likely take weeks to identify the person with DNA and dental records. 

South Dakota Senator John Thune to visit Aberdeen Friday

South Dakota senator John Thune will visit Aberdeen today for an agriculture roundtable and meeting with the Aberdeen Homebuilders Association.  The roundtable will begin at 2:30 p.m. at Agtegra in Aberdeen.  The Homebuilders Association meeting will be at the group’s office at 3:45 p.m.

President Trump approves, then cancels retaliatory attack on Iran

The New York Times reports, the United States had plans to retaliate against Iran for the downing of a US surveillance drone, but the operation was canceled just hours before deployment.  According to the paper citing an unnamed senior administration official, President Donald Trump approved the strikes Thursday night, but called them off hours later.  Had the president gone through with the mission, it would undoubtedly further escalated tensions between the two nations and risk of war. 

No youth B league baseball and no AM Tennis lessons

No youth B league baseball and no AM Tennis lessons.

Police arrest Kansas man after short chase near Groton

The Aberdeen Police Department reports officers were involved in an early morning pursuit of a Kansas man Thursday.  Police observed a Toyota Tacoma southbound in the northbound lane of the 2300 block of north highway 281.  The driver refused to stop and a chase began.  Stop sticks were deployed by police near the Bath Quick Stop, but the vehicle continued on its rims for a time before coming to a rest east of Groton.  The suspect continued to be non compliant and officers used pepper balls to get him out of the truck.  Upon searching the vehicle police discovered methamphetamine and a slew of firearms.  31-year-old Grant Michael Harris of Overland Park Kansas faces charges of aggravated eluding, reckless driving, DUI possession of a controlled substance and obstructing law enforcement.

ARCC cancels morning activities

ARCC cancels morning activities including youth baseball, teeball, tennis lessons and tennis league.


NO Youth Baseball or Youth Softball  games or practices for the afternoon of 6-20-19.  

Sioux Falls police respond to reports of a dead body

Police in Sioux Falls were on location Wednesday night around 7:00 p.m. to respond to the discovery of a body on a riverback.  According to police, the body was discovered by two fishermen on the east riverback of the Big Sioux River, north of the Farmers Market shell near Sioux Falls.  Police are trying to figure out the person’s identity and cause of death.  The public is not considered to be in any danger and the investigation remains ongoing. 

Police in Vermillion discover card skimmer at gas station

Police in Vermillion are investigating two credit card skimmers found at a gas station in the southern South Dakota city Sunday.  According to police, the skimmers were discovered at the Pump & Park on the 600 block of Stanford Street.  Customers apparently commented on how the top card reader looked strange and brought it up to an employee.  Upon further investigation, eye witnesses found what is called a “second face” had been installed over the top of the reader.  The devices were removed by noon on June 16th, but it is not known exactly when they were installed. 

Parks and rec events canceled Wednesday

NO Youth Baseball, Tee Ball games or practices for the morning of 6-19-19. There also will not be morning Tennis lessons for 6-19-19.

NO Youth Softball, Baseball games or practices for the afternoon of 6-19-19. There also will not be afternoon Tennis lessons or league for 6-19-19.

Aberdeen Police arrest two Florida men on credit card fraud scams

The Aberdeen Police Department says it has arrested two Florida men on stolen credit card charges.  According to a release, officers located one suspect in the 200 block of 6th ave. sw. and another located during a traffic stop in the 1600 block of 6th ave. sw.  Police seized six cloned credit cards linked to stolen accounts and an unspecified amount of cash.  30-year-old Pedro Pablo Pastrana of Miami was arrested on grand theft and obtaining property with a false credit card charges and 29-year-old Miguel Moreno Vazques also of Miami was charged with grand theft.

Pierre man sentenced to federal prison on child pornography charges

A 32-year-old Pierre man convicted of multiple child pornography charges has been sentenced in federal court.


A federal jury found Amin Ricker guilty of two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child, one count of Travel With Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct and four counts related to Transporting, Distributing, Receiving and Possessing Child Pornography during a trial in March.


Ricker’s sentence for the child pornography charges will be served consecutively to the sentence for the remaining counts. The effect is a combined sentence of 50 years in federal prison. When he gets out of prison, Ricker will be on supervised release for the rest of his life. He was also ordered to pay $84,600 restitution.


Court information says in late 2014 and early 2015, Ricker traveled from Huron, SD, to Texas on multiple occasions for the purpose of sexually abusing twin-seven-year-old girls, who resided in Texas with their mother. In January 2015, and again in March 2015, Ricker created photos and videos of the sexual abuse, which he later saved and cataloged on other media storage devices.


In February 2017, law enforcement in Pierre received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children suggesting a local individual was involved in the sexual abuse of minors and the manufacture, possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography. Further investigation revealed Ricker, who moved from Huron to Pierre sometime in 2015, was using Instagram to engage in sexually explicit conversations and share child pornography with other users, including minors.


Ricker was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

SD Senator Mike Rounds announces wife Jean to undergo cancer treatment

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today released the following statement regarding news that his wife, Jean, will begin cancer treatment:


“Many families have successfully dealt with this and we are no different. Jean is resilient and strong, we have the support of friends and family, and Jean will receive treatment from a highly-qualified team of doctors. However, prayer has the power a human hand does not. To the countless South Dakotans who have generously asked how they can help, we are grateful for prayers for Jean and for our family as Jean begins cancer treatment.”


After numerous tests over the course of several weeks, Jean was diagnosed with having a malignant high-grade aggressive tumor near her sciatic nerve. Following consultation with her doctors in South Dakota, Mike and Jean will travel to Rochester, Minnesota, this week to begin her treatment at The Mayo Clinic. Specific treatment is unknown at this time.

CASSP dental van coming to Aberdeen

Dental care is available to children ages 0 to 21 when the CASSP (Children and Adolescent Service System Program) Dental Van comes to Aberdeen July 8 – 19, 2019..


Appointments can be made now by calling 211. The Dental Van is happy to be a part of this new information line available to the Aberdeen community.   It’s so convenient and “easy to use.”  Call today!


The CASSP Dental Van will be located at Avera Dakota Medical Square  815 1th Ave, SE (directly east of the Family Y). No child is turned away for inability to pay.

Children can qualify if:

  • They do not have a dental home
  • They have not seen a dentist  for two years or more in the Aberdeen area

Name released in Codington County fatal crash

A Canadian woman has been identified as the person who died Tuesday, June 11, in a pickup-motorcycle crash north of Watertown.


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


The 67-year-old female motorcycle driver, Vivan Kenderdine of Sifton, Manitoba, Canada, was thrown from the motorcycle and into the interstate median. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She was wearing a helmet.


Not injured was the pickup driver, Marcia Schmidt, 64, of Rosyln. She was wearing a seatbelt.


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


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

Facebook announces plans to create online currency

Facebook announced Tuesday its plans to unveil a new online currency which could be made available to its more than 2 billion users worldwide.  In a statement, Facebook says the plan would be to create a digital currency, similar to Bitcoin which would be used globally for e-commerce.  The currency will be called Libra and it is a partnership with other online companies and banks including PayPal, Uber, Spotify, Visa and Mastercard.  Details are still being worked out but according to Facebook, the currency’s value will be pegged to other already established currencies such as the US Dollar, euro, yen and more.

Tornado touches down in Deuel County Saturday

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado in Deuel County Saturday evening.


Forecaster Steve Fleegel says it was around dinner time when it happened near Estelline…..





He says the tornado appears to have touched down in a field before ascending back up into the clouds. He says without a debris field, it’s difficult to say what kind of winds it had in order to give it a rating….




He says based on video from eyewitnesses, it looks to have been on the ground for less than a minute….





Fleegel says that was the only tornado report they had on Saturday night, but there were reports of small hail and strong thunderstorm winds of 60 miles an hour in other parts of northeastern South Dakota.

Mosquito spray scheduled for Tuesday night

A Mosquito spray has been planned for tonight in Aberdeen between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. Wednesday.  The Mosquito spraying equipment is noisy and travels at 10 miles per hour.  The truck can be identified by its flashing yellow lights.  If winds are higher than 10 miles per hour or there is inclement weather the spray will be rescheduled.  For any questions regarding the spray contact the Aberdeen mosquito control program at 626-7015. 

SD Senator Mike Rounds tells Axios SD has lost half a billion dollars due to Trump's trade war

South Dakota senator Mike Rounds tells Axios, a news website, President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has cost the South Dakota economy half a billion dollars.  Specifically, Senator Rounds sites soybeans crashing 20 percent as the main problem.  Rounds, along with his fellow delegates to Washington, Senator John Thune and Representative Dusty Johnson, have stuck by the President as the trade war continues. 

DOT announces receives funds for local bridges

The South Dakota Department of Transportation has received an apportionment of Highway Infrastructure Program funds to be used for the Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program based on the percentage of total deck area of bridges classified in poor condition.


The allocation was distributed to states that have greater than 7.5 percent of their bridges in poor condition, with South Dakota being one of 19 states receiving the funds. 


The department received a total of $20.786 million, with the local share being $17.313 million. The state will convert the local share to State Highway Funds and distribute the funds to counties and cities on a pro-rata basis based on the percentage of deck area in poor condition as reported on the National Bridge Inventory as of Dec. 31, 2017. 


There are 62 counties and 22 cities and towns across South Dakota that will be receiving funds. 


With the potential damage to bridges many may have experienced this spring due to flooding, eligible expenditures of the funds will be allowed on the following:


  •   Bridge replacement, rehabilitation or preservation on those bridges listed in poor condition;


  •   Funding match for a Bridge Improvement Grant (BIG) on those bridges listed in poor condition;


  •   Funding match to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds on those bridges listed in poor condition;


  •   Funding match for Emergency Relief (ER) program funds on those bridges listed in poor condition.



For more information regarding the funding allocation and disbursement, contact Tammy Williams at 605-773-8149.

Former governor Dennis Daugaard comments on his statue on the Trail of Governors

Former Governor Dennis Daugaard returned to his former work place Friday to see the unveiling of his statue that joins others of former South Dakota Governors that are speckled across Pierre on the Trail of Governors.   Daugaard joked that his statue joined the elite group too soon…






Sculptor James Maher fashioned the likeness of Daugaard holding a shovel, representing his hard work ethic, gripping a penny in a nod to his fiscal responsibility and making the American Sign Language sign for the phrase “I love you”…




Daugaard became emotional at times during the presentation in the Capitol Rotunda, which surprised him…




Many of Daugaard’s Cabinet were in attendance Friday along with the 32d Governor’s children and grandchildren.  Joining Daugaard in the 2019 Trail of Governor’s class were 5th Governor Samuel Elrod and 22nd Governor Archie Gubbrud.

One person killed, three other injured in accident near Phillip

One woman died and three others were seriously injured Friday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash that occurred east of Philip.


Names of those involved are not yet being released pending notification of family members.


A 2007 Ford Edge, pulling a boat on a trailer, was westbound on U.S. Highway 14 when it slowed down in an attempt to pull into a driveway. A 2005 Chevrolet Silverado, which was also westbound, attempted to pass the first vehicle. The two vehicles collided. The Silverado tripped and rolled, eventually landing on its roof.


There were four passengers in the Silverado. A 36-year-old female was pronounced dead at the scene. The other three occupants – the 32-year-old male driver and two passengers, a 12-yer-old female and a nine-year-old male, all received serious non-life threatening injuries. They were transported to the Philip hospital.


The 30-year-old female driver of the Ford Edge was not injured.


All of the people involved in the crash were wearing seatbelts. That section of U.S. Highway 14 was closed to traffic for a time.


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


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

Identity of body found in Missouri River in Pierre identified

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




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




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




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




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

Uber coming to South Dakota

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

DNC announces 20 candidates who qualified for first televised debate

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

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

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

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

Assault and kidnapping charges levied against Pennington County man

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

Body found in vehicle in the Missouri River in Pierre

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


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




He says the investigation is ongoing.





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

Castlewood man identified in Hamlin county fatal crash

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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






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






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


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

Citywide mosquito spray scheduled for Thursday

The City of Aberdeen has scheduled a city wide spraying for Thursday, June 13, 2019 between the hours of 8:30 pm and 1:30 AM.


The Adulticiding equipment is noisy and travels at 10 mph.  The mosquito control trucks are identified and travel with a flashing yellow light. 


To ensure spray effectiveness during the spraying operations, the wind must be 15 mph or less and no inclement weather present.  Winds higher than 15 mph or inclement weather will result in the spraying being suspended until conditions improve. 


For more information, contact Aberdeen Mosquito Control Program at 626.7015

One woman killed in Tuesday in crash near Watertown

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Fire destroys home at Park Village mobile home park

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



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

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

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

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

SD delegation to Washington praises Trump administration for disaster relief

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

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

Senator Thune:

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


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



President Trump approves disaster relief for the state of South Dakota

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

One person killed in Hamlin county fatal crash

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

Two Florida men arrested in Brookings ATM theft

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


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


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


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


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


Gebers says others are likely involved and the investigation continues.

Chamberlain couple facing child abuse charges

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


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


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


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

Trooper Baumann named AAA South Dakota State Trooper of the year

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Volunteers needed for state High School clay shooting tournament

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


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


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

Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Friday

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

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


The Public Works department suggests that residents in the affected area collect and store water for personal and restroom use.  Water is estimated to remain off all day, work will be completed as quickley as possible.  

Newcomers win big in Tuesday's local election

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

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

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

House of Reps passes billion dollar disaster relief package

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

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

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

Sobriety checkpoints scheduled for June

South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety has released its schedule of sobriety checkpoints to be conducted during June.


The June schedule calls for 28 checkpoints in 24 counties. The checkpoints, held monthly in different counties, are designed to discourage people from drinking and then driving.  The checkpoints are funded by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and conducted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol with the help of local law enforcement.


Checkpoints are planned for June in the counties of: Beadle, Brookings, Brown, Butte, Day, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Custer, Davison, Day, Hamlin, Hughes, Lake, Lincoln, Meade, Minnehaha, Moody, Pennington, Roberts, Sanborn, Stanley, Walworth  and Yankton.


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


Pierre man found guilty on first degree rape charges

A Hughes County jury found a Pierre man guilty on eight counts of First Degree Rape and four counts of Sexual Contact with a Minor under 16.  The jury of nine men and three women deliberated for nearly three hours before finding 36 year-old Brandon Snodgrass guilty on the charges.  Snodgrass looked own as the verdict was read then began looking toward family as his lips became clenched.  As Snodgrass was being shackled by Hughes County Deputies he told family members quote “I love you all more than you know.  They’re putting a good man away”.  The verdict was emotional for Snodgrass’s family…




Hughes County States Attorney Roxanne Hammond says the now 10 year-old Victim in the case was critical in getting unanimous guilty verdicts….




Hammond says she felt relief as the guilty verdicts rang out….




Sentencing has not been set for Snodgrass, who could be facing at least eight life terms in prison…




Security was heavy as the emotional verdicts were read with at least three uniformed Hughes County Sheriff’s Deputies and two uniformed and two plain-clothed Pierre Police Officers in the courtroom.

(Photo and story courtesy of Zach Nelson/KCCR)

Flags at half staff in memory of 11 victims in Virginia Beach Virginia mass shooting

Flags are to remain at half staff until sunset June 4th in honor of the 11 victims killed in a mass shooting in Virginia Beach Virginia May 31st.  Governor Kristi Noem mad the order June 2nd at the request of president Donald Trump.  A gunman opened fire in a municipal building late last week, killing 12 people and injuring several other before being killed in an extended shootout with police.  The suspect, 40-year-old DeWyane Craddock was a veteran city engineer who resigned the day of the attack.  Little more is known about his motivation. 

Two Aberdeen residents killed in Minnesota accident

Two Aberdeen residents died in a motorcycle accident in Minnesota Saturday.  According to the Minnesota State Patrol 60-year-old Marvin Duane Fandrich and 61-year-old Kathy Lynn Fandrich were on a motorcycle when they struck a farm trailer that had become detached westbound on Highway 19.  The trailer entered the eastbound lane where the motorcycle collided with it.  The driver and passenger on the motorcycle were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.