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Local News Archives for 2019-11

Sobriety checkpoints announced for December

Sobriety checkpoints are scheduled for 14 counties statewide during December.

 

The checkpoints, announced by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, are done each month in different counties as a way to discourage drivers 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.

  

Counties that have checkpoints scheduled for December are: Beadle, Brown, Brule, Clay, Codington, Custer, Douglas, Hutchinson, Kingsbury, Lawrence, Minnehaha, Pennington, Roberts and Stanley.

 

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


Brown county burn ban extended to Dec. 17th

The burn ban put into effect by the Brown County Commission will remain active through midnight on December 17th.  Brown County Emergency Management Director Scott Meints spoke in front of the commission Tuesday, revisiting the ban and says there is still need.  The ban remains in effect due to how wet Brown County is and that moisture can prevent first responders from reaching certain areas of the county.  Exceptions of the ban include campfires in camp fire rings or pits, burning barrels 55 gallons or less that are equipped with a screen or bbq grills. 


State DPS urges safe travel over Thanksgiving holiday

Thanksgiving is a time for traveling and the South Dakota Department of Public Safety wants citizens to get to their destinations safely.

 

The Thanksgiving Day holiday period is expected to be a busy travel period. DPS officials encourage motorists to obey all the rules of the road – especially to slow down, don’t drink and drive, don’t get distracted by electronic devices and for all vehicle drivers and passengers to wear seat belts.

 

“Alcohol and speed remain the top reasons for motor vehicle crashes in South Dakota and almost 54 percent of this year’s fatalities involved people not wearing seat belts,” says Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “It just takes one bad decision to impact many people and families.”

 

This year’s 102-hour Thanksgiving Day Holiday Period for reporting motor vehicle traffic crashes starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, and ends at midnight Sunday, Dec. 1. Last year during the same safety period, there were 279 motor vehicle crashes resulting in three fatalities and 35 injuries. Two of the fatalities were not wearing seat belts.

 

As is tradition, the Highway Patrol will conduct an “Operation Safe” Wednesday in an effort to encourage those already out on the roads to be careful. Col. Miller says troopers also will be out on the roads through the holiday weekend as well, enforcing traffic laws and encouraging people to be careful.  

 

“We know people are anxious to get where they are going; but it doesn’t mean anything if something tragic happens along the way,” Miller said. “It is not just about being safe drivers getting to your holiday destination, but also when you are traveling to other activities during the holiday period and  then returning home. Whether traveling just a few blocks or several hundred miles, staying safe is a must.”

 

Weather also could be a factor this year. The latest forecasts calls for snow Tuesday and Wednesday and even more snow after Thanksgiving and into next weekend. Col. Miller encourages motorists to watch for possible changing weather conditions and to pack a winter safety kit. Travelers should stay updated with the latest forecasts and check road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or clicking onto http://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/.

 

So far this year, there have been 94 motor vehicle fatalities compared to 116 at the same time last year.


State Dept. of Health announces new interactive infectious disease map

The South Dakota Department of Health has released a new interactive dashboard that can be found at its website doh.sd.gov which goes over infectious disease statistics.  Highlights include cases of Gonorrhea are up 64 percent compared to the 5-year baseline, Pertussis is up 721 percent with 115 cases reported this year and finally West Nile is down 86 percent with 10 cases reported this year. 

 

You can find the map here:

https://doh.sd.gov/statistics/surveillance/


Names released in Lyman county fatal crash

Names have been released of the two people who died in a one-vehicle crash that occurred early Tuesday morning north of Kennebec.

 

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

 

All three occupants were thrown from the vehicle. Damion Young, the 18-year-old driver from Spearfish, and Antonio Gunhammer, the 17-year-old passenger from Sioux Falls, were pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Angel Stands, the 18-year-old passenger from Sioux Falls, suffered serious non-life threatening injuries. He was taken to the Chamberlain hospital and later flown to a Sioux Falls hospital.

 

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

 

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


Two dead and three injured in Spink County fatal crash

No one was injured in a semi-truck accident in Deuel County.  According to the Deuel County sheriff’s office, a semi heading south on South Dakota Highway 12 went into the ditch and rolled, ending up on the passenger side.  The semi was carry cattle which had to be rounded up by local farmers before eventually being brought back to the farm.  The accident remains under investigation. 

 

*Update*
From the Department of Public Safety:
 

A 2007 Chevrolet Impala was northbound on U.S. Highway 281 when it crossed the centerline and struck head-on a 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 281.

 

Both female occupants of the Impala were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was 15 years old and the passenger 18 years old. Both were wearing seat belts.

 

All three occupants of the pickup received serious non-life threatening injuries. Both male passengers, ages 29 and 65, were taken to the Huron hospital and later airlifted to Sioux Falls. The 28-year-old female driver was taken to the Huron hospital. Two of the three occupants were wearing seat belts; the 65-year-old passenger was not.


SD Farm Bureau votes for resolution against industrial hemp

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) South Dakota Farm Bureau delegates debated resolutions regarding industrial hemp and livestock zoning at their annual convention in Sioux Falls over the weekend.  President Scott VanderWal says their organization is not supporting the legalization of industrial hemp in South Dakota, even though USDA has released federal rules...

 

         

 

 

 

He says there are many questions that still need to be answered about the market for industrial hemp before South Dakota farmers start producing the alternative crop...

         

 

 

 

VanderWal says delegates also voted down a resolution to develop a statewide matrix for livestock zoning...

 

         

 

 

 

He says they want some type of standardized zoning that will provide certainty for livestock producers.   So, they don’t invest large amounts of money to get a conditional use permit and have it turned down even though they meet the requirements...

 

         

 

 

They also discussed ways to more fairly assess property taxes on land based on its use, but not action was taken. 


South Dakota residents facing disaster in certain counties can now register with FEMA

Residents of 11 South Dakota counties and two reservations may now register with FEMA. Registration opens the door to a number of federal disaster assistance programs, as well as referrals to other forms of aid.

 

Residents who suffered damage from the tornadoes, severe storms or flooding in Brookings, Charles Mix, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody, Yankton counties and the Flandreau and Yankton Indian Reservations are eligible to register.

 

There are several ways to register:

  •          Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov or DisasterAssistance.gov/es (for Spanish).
  •          Use the FEMA mobile app in English or Spanish.
  •          Call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY) anytime from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.

 

It is important that people complete the registration process with FEMA even if they have previously called their local emergency manager, 2-1-1, or a local voluntary agency like the Red Cross to report disaster damage.  FEMA also encourages individuals to contact their insurance agent to report any losses.


Road closures planned for Monday in Aberdeen

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

 

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

 

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


Custer businesswoman Whitney Raver announces candidacy for US House

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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


Two teens die in Lyman county fatal crash

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Both Price and Fayant remain jailed.


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

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


Road closures planned for Wednesday in Aberdeen

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

 

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

 

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


Aberdeen man dies in Tripp County hunting accident

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


President Trump approves another disaster relief request

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


Road closures planned for Tuesday in Aberdeen

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

 

South Main Street from 6th Avenue to 5th Avenue

&

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

 

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


Northern announces $5 million raised in student scholarships

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

NSU Foundation President and CEO Todd Jordre agreed.

 

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

 

Campaign Project Updates

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Name released in Brookings County fatal crash

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Name released in Brookings County fatal crash

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


District 19 Senator Stace Nelson announces resignation

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


Wind turbine blades no longer in use may pose problems

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

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 


One person killed in Brookings county fatal crash

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


SD Senator Rounds' wife Jean undergoes successful cancer surgery

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


Former Sanford surgeon sued for fraud and unnecessary surgeries

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


Aberdeen man arrested following shotgun discharge

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Incentive funding recipients, occupations and funding award include:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Brown County Commission enacts burn ban

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


Cause of Malchow's fire a homemade vanity mirror

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


Sioux Falls resident Clara Hart declares Senate candidacy

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


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

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


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Two people arrested on drug charges in Day County

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


Five arrested following drug distribution investigation

The Aberdeen Police Department announced Wednesday officers had arrested five people following a month long investigation into methamphetamine distribution.  Officers executed a search warrant in the 1600 block of 10th avenue southwest and arrested:

34-year-old April Paw of Aberdeen (charged with distribution of a controlled substance and multiple counts of conspiracy to distrubte methamphetamine)

33-year-old Taw Taw of Aberdeen (Charged with ingesting controlled substance, 7 counts of distribution of a controlled substance and contributing to the abuse and neglect of minor children) 

31-year-old Mar Soe Bi of Aberdeen (Charged with contributing to the abuse and neglect of minor children)

27-year-old Lay Htoo of Aberdeen ( Charged with ingesting controlled substancea nd distribution of a controlled substance)

26-year-old Moo Pway Doh Htoo of Aberdeen (arrested on a warrant involving assault)

 

 According to the Police Department, this wwas a joint effort involving the Brown County Sheriff’s office, South Dakota DCI, Aberdeen Fire and Rescue and Brown County Emergency management. 


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem comes out against marijuana initiative possibly on the ballot next election

(Dakota Radio News Group) Marijuana reform groups submitted petitions containing over 80,000 signatures to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office this week (Nov. 4), hoping to qualify two separate ballot initiatives for next year’s election.

 

One initiative would establish a medical marijuana program for qualified patients with debilitating health conditions. The other would legalize marijuana for adults aged 21 and older and require the state legislature to enact a hemp cultivation law.

 

Gov. Kristi Noem is against both initiatives.

 

 

 

 

Noem says recreational marijuana is unregulated and is dangerous for our next generation.

 

 

 

 

Noem says research shows marijuana does more harm than good.

 

 

 

 

The South Dakota Secretary of State must now verifying the validity of the signatures to determine if the issues will be placed on the 2020 ballot.

 

Eleven states have legalized marijuana for adults and another 22 states have enacted medical marijuana laws. South Dakota could become the first state to enact both policies on a single ballot.


Senator John Thune talks upcoming public impeachment hearings

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) Public hearings on the possible impeachment of President Trump will begin next week in the US House.

 

If articles of impeachment are passed, the Senate would then sit as the jury to hear the case and pass judgement.

 

South Dakota Senator John Thune says he is trying to focus on his work...

 

 

 

 

Thune says Senators would have an obligation to take the process seriously...

 

 

 

 

 

Thune says the voters will have a say next year no matter what happens in Washington this year...

 

 

 

 

Thune was a Member of the House in 1998 and voted to impeach President Clinton.


Name released in Roberts County fatal crash

A Sisseton, S.D., woman has been identified as the person who died Friday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash south of Browns Valley.

 

A 2012 Toyota RAV4 was southbound on Valley Avenue traveling around a curve when it drifted across the center and collided head-on with a northbound 2000 Kenworth W900 semi-truck.

 

The Toyota went into the west ditch and rolled. The driver, 35-year-old Leanne Heminger, was thrown from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. She was not wearing a seatbelt.

 

All three passengers, ages 36, 27 and 20, sustained life-threatening injuries. Two of the passengers, 20-year-old Jeremiah Rodlund of Sisseton and 36-year-old Amber Rodlund of Sioux Falls. were transported to Sioux Falls. The other occupant,. 27-year-old Sasha Owen of Sisseton, was transported to Fargo, N.D. Seatbelt use by the three passengers is under investigation.

 

The 37-year-old male driver of the semi-truck received minor injuries. He was wearing a seatbelt.

 

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

 

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


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem releases statement on USDA's hemp regulations

Governor Kristi Noem today issued the following statement regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new regulatory guidelines for industrial hemp:

 

“USDA’s guidelines are out, but my position on legalizing industrial hemp has not changed. I remain opposed to industrial hemp in South Dakota because of the impact it will have on public safety and law enforcement’s ability to enforce drug laws.

 

USDA does not preempt a state’s ability to adopt stronger requirements or prohibit production. South Dakota state law prohibits industrial hemp production, and that statute still stands. The guidelines do require the State to permit interstate transportation of hemp. My team is working to ensure we have proper procedures in place so this doesn’t become something that weakens our drug laws.

 

Conversations around hemp will continue, and I will continue to make the case that legalizing hemp will legalize marijuana by default.”


Rhines executed by the State Monday night

The State of South Dakota went through with its execution of 63-year-old Charles Rhines last night at 7:39 p.m., hours after its initial scheduled time of 1:30 p.m.  Rhines had several appeals still alive Monday, looking for a stay of execution.  In the end both the State Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court rejected his please and he was ultimately put to death by lethal injection, the only way the State of South Dakota allows itself to conduct an execution.  Rhines was put to death for the murder of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer, an employee of a Rapid City donut shop Schafer was robbing.  He becomes the 20th person in the state’s history put to death. 


Two South Dakota marijuana measures receive necessary signatures to get on the ballot

Two South Dakota activist groups have received the required amount of signatures to get medical and recreational marijuana on the ballot for the 2020 election.  New Approach South Dakota turned in 30,000 signatures to create a medical marijuana program for patients with serious health conditions, while South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws submitted over 50,000 signatures to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and require the state Legislature to enact a hemp cultivation law.  The Secretary of State will now begin the process of certifying signatures. 


State scheduled to execute Charles Rhines at 1:30 p.m. Monday

The State of South Dakota is scheduled to execute its 20th day row inmate in the state’s history today.  63-year-old Charles Rhines is scheduled to be put to death at 1:30 p.m. today for the murder of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer, a doughnut shop employee in Rapid City during a 1992 burglary.  Rhines was sentenced to death for the murder back in 1993.  It is possible the execution could be delayed as Rhines has two petitions for stay of execution working through the courts, one protesting the drug which will be used in the execution “pentobarbital” and another citing anti-gay bias amongst the jury at the time of the trial. 

 

Update:  The State Supreme Court has denyed Rhines stay of execution request.

 

Read it here.


One person killed, four others injured in Roberts County fatal crash

One person died and three others were seriously injured Friday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash south of Browns Valley.

 

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

 

A 2012 Toyota RAV4 was southbound on Valley Avenue traveling around a curve when it drifted across the center and collided head-on with a northbound 2000 Kenworth W900 semi-truck.

 

The Toyota went into the west ditch and rolled. The 35-year-old female driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

All three passengers, ages 36, 27 and 20, sustained life-threatening injuries. Two of the passengers were transported to Sioux Falls and the other to Fargo, N.D. Seatbelt use by the three passengers is under investigation.

 

The 37-year-old male driver of the semi-truck received minor injuries. He was wearing a seatbelt.

 

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

 

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


2020 Health Insurance enrollment now open

The South Dakota Division of Insurance reminds consumers the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment for 2020 coverage runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2019, for consumers with individual policies. 

 

Open enrollment offers South Dakotans the opportunity to review and/or purchase health insurance coverage from options available in the general market, as well as the federally facilitated exchange, known as the Marketplace.

 

Your local health insurance agent can provide assistance in identifying any changes in health insurance needs, as well as discuss plan benefit options available for 2020,” said state Insurance Director Larry Deiter. “Consumers can search for Marketplace-certified producers and brokers in their area through the ‘Find local help’ link at healthcare.gov.”

 

Consumers should:

  • Check dlr.sd.gov/insurance for additional information, including carriers selling insurance in South Dakota.
  • Be aware healthcare.gov is the official website for the federal Marketplace. The site has information on the ACA, qualified health plans and comparisons of Marketplace plans available in 2020. 
  • Remember no one offering comprehensive health care coverage will ask about pre-existing conditions.
  • Ask for written information about the policy, including premiums. Get the facts up front, before buying, in order to understand what the policy will and will not do.

 

If you currently have coverage through the Marketplace, your insurance carrier should have provided notice of the auto re-enrollment option in your same plan or a similar plan if you do not actively choose a plan for 2020.

 

Two health insurance carriers, Avera Health Plans and Sanford Health Plan, were approved by the Division to sell individual comprehensive health policies during the 2020 open enrollment.  Any other company offering health coverage is not approved to sell comprehensive coverage in South Dakota.

 

Questions or concerns can be directed to the South Dakota Division of Insurance at 605-773-3563 or by email at insurance@state.sd.us.


New safety protocols to be implemented at state capital in Pierre

Secretary Craig Price and the Department of Public Safety today announced that a new safety measure designed to keep South Dakota’s state Capitol building safe and accessible to the public will begin this fall.

 

A security screening room will be constructed near the Capitol’s north entrance and located in office space currently occupied by the Bureau of Human Resources Classifications Division. Those employees have relocated to another space in preparation of the project.

 

“This is a proactive step in working to protect the Capitol and those who use it,” said Price. “We have designed the screening process to be the least intrusive as possible and allow people to go about their Capitol business. These improvements will enhance public safety while preserving the accessibility of the statehouse.”

 

“Our State Capitol is the people’s house and this project ensures everyone who visits the building has a safe, positive experience while enjoying its historic beauty,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Safety is always our top priority, and this modernized approach to Capitol security will help us best serve the hundreds of kids and thousands of visitors who visit the Capitol every year.”

 

Once the security screening room is completed, visitors will enter through the north doors and be directed into the screening room. Signage will help direct visitors what to do and inform them of what items are not allowed in the Capitol. This information is also available online here.

 

More information on the security screening process will be announced later.


One person killed in crash near Howard

One person died Thursday morning in a two-vehicle crash west of Howard.

 

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

 

A 2019 Kenworth W900 truck, pulling a grain trailer, was eastbound on South Dakota Highway 34 near the intersection of South Dakota Highway 25. It was struck by a 2016 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 box truck that was northbound on South Dakota Highway 25 and failed to stop at the stop sign.

 

The 35-year-old male driver of the box truck was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver, a 51-year-old male, was not injured. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts.

 

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

 

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


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