Local News Archives for 2019-12

Aberdeen Parks and Rec opens outdoor rinks

The Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department are opening the Lincoln and Manor Outdoor Ice Rinks for the season on Saturday, December 21.  Normal weekday hours are 4 – 9 p.m. and 1 – 9 p.m. weekends.


The Holiday hours are:

                        December 21-23                                          1 – 9 pm

                        December 24-25                                          Closed          

            December 26-30                                          1 – 9 pm

                        December 31 and January 1                        1 – 5 pm

            January 2-3                                                   1 – 9 pm

            January 4, Normal Hours Begin                     Weekdays:  4 – 9 p.m.

                                                                                                Weekends:  1 – 9 p.m.


There is no admission charge. Skate rentals are available for $1 and hot chocolate is sold for 50¢ at both rinks. For Further information, contact the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department at 626-7015.


City officials remind residents of garbage changes during holiday break

Due to the Christmas holiday observance, all city offices will be closed at noon on Tuesday the 24th and Christmas Day the 25th.  In order to facilitate garbage and recycling collection, all residents who normally have their garbage and recycling collected on Wednesday are to have it out by 8:00 a.m. on Thursday in order for crews to complete the entire Wednesday’s and Thursday’s route by the end of the day on the 26th.  Residents who normally have their garbage and recycling collected on Tuesday are to have it out by 8:00 a.m on Tuesday the 24th in order to have it completed by noon on the 24th

Flags ordered at half staff in honor of late former legislator

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 Friday, December 20, 2019, to honor the life of Sheldon Songstad, a former legislator.    


Songstad served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1971 until 1974 and the South Dakota Senate from 1975 until 1978 and 1985 until 1988. A memorial service for Songstad will be held at 10:30 a.m. at East Side Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls.

Gov. Noem reaching out to Washington about broken promises over ethanol regulations

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says she is reaching out to the White House following the release of the final ethanol rules from the Environmental Protection Agency...





The rules still allow waivers to oil refineries to not use as many gallons of ethanol as federal law mandates.


Noem says it is not what the President promised...





Noem says they continue to fight political pressure on ethanol...




The law calls for oil companies to use fifteen billion gallons of ethanol a year.

Medical marijuana initiative to be on the ballot in 2020

New Approach South Dakota, a grassroots pro marijuana activist group, has announced via its Facebook page they have received confirmation from the Secretary of State’s office the necessary amount of signatures collected to get a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot have been verified.  This means in 2020 voters in South Dakota will get the chance to decide if medical cannabis is right for the state.


Melissa Mentele with New Approach says this measure residence will be voting on has been crafted with years of research, study, and input from multiple interested parties…






Pass or fail, getting this medical marijuana initiative on the ballot is a success for New Approach.  The group got the necessary amount of signatures in 2018 to get medical marijuana on the ballot, but a discrepancy with the signatures removed it from consideration.  Mentele says that failure only energized the movement more…






The future for marijuana, medical or otherwise, in the state of South Dakota is anything but certain.  Governor Kristi Noem has a hard line stance against the substance, even going so far as to oppose legalizing industrial hemp because she believes it will ultimately lead to legalizing marijuana. 


Despite governor Noem’s opposition to all things marijuana, Mentele is confident the opinion about marijuana, especially when it comes to its benefits medically, is changing to the point that cannot be ignored…


Police arrest two more in connection with now 104 reports of property damage

Less than 24 hours after more than 50 car windows were shot out in random acts of vandalism, police have made an arrest in the case.  According to the Aberdeen Police Department 22-year-old Brenand Dennis Grover of Aberdeen and 19-year-old Dawson Glenn Gahm of Hitchcock were both arrested in connection to the vandalism.  Grover has been charged with felony intentional damage, discharging of an air rifle within city limits and 60 counts of misdemeanor intentional damage.  Gahm has been charged with aiding and abetting felony intentional damage. 



The Aberdeen Police Department Police Department has released an update into the indviduals responsible for at least 104 reports of damage to individual vehciles.  Thursday morning police also arrested 18-year-old Wyatt Benjamin Hammer of Huron and 19-year-old Stetson John Baloun of Aberdeen.  Both face felony intentional damage in the case.  In addtion to vehicles, the suspects were also targeting outdoor christmas decorations.  Police are encouraging those with property damage to contact them at 626-7911.

Small SUV goes through the ice on Waubay Lake

The Day County Sheriff’s office has posted a photo to its Facebook page of an SUV going through the ice Wednesday on Waubay Lake.  The small SUV believed to be a geotracker, went through the ice and is now believed to be 22 feet under water and ice.  Everyone got out of the vehicle safely, but the Sheriff’s office is using this as a reminder to be cautious when out on the ice.  According to the post, it has not been cold enough consistently to create strong enough ice everywhere.  In this location in particular, officials believe ice went from 9-10 inches one day to 4 to 5 inches. 

House votes to impeach President Donald Trump

For just the third time in US history, the House of Representatives impeached a President of the United State’s Wednesday.  The House voted in favor of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump 230-197.  The two articles were for abuse of power and obstruction of congress.  In the end, two Democrats voted against impeach Minnesota’s Collin Peterson and New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew.  Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted “present” rather than in favor or against and former Republican now Independent Justin Amash voted for the measures.  Now the articles head to the Senate where a trial will be scheduled and held to determine if the president should be removed from office. 


Rep. Johnson spoke for a few seconds on the impeachment matter...






Update - South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds released the following statement about the house's impeachment of President Trump:

“The House Democrats have voted to impeach this president, and yet, they still have not provided the evidence to substantiate an impeachable offense. The Senate will execute its constitutional duty, bring this process to a close, and get back to doing the people’s work.”

Police in Rapid investigating armed robbery of a pharmacy

(KBHB - Sturgis, SD) Police are investigating an armed robbery of the Boyds Drug RX Express on the 2600 block of Mount Rushmore Road.


Witnesses say a male suspect entered the pharmacy around 11 a.m., showed a gun and demanded property. Police did not elaborate on what that property was. The suspect then left on foot.


He is described as a man in his 50s, about 6 feet tall with a slim build. The suspect was wearing a dirty tan jacket, blue jeans, square glasses and a surgical mask was over his face.


The robbery prompted nearby St. Thomas More High School to be placed in secure status for a while as police searched the area for the suspect.


The public is urged to be vigilant while police search for the suspect however, Medina says “police don’t believe there is any lingering danger to public safety.”

Crews respond to car fire in Piedmont

(KBHB - Sturgis, SD) Fire crews in the Piedmont area responded to a vehicle fire Monday night.

The fire was located on Telluride Street.


Rapid City Fire tweeted it had sent Truck 3 to the incident to assist Piedmont crews in putting the fire out.


The fire was threatening the structure when authorities arrived. The fire ended up destroying two vehicles parked outside. The fire also damaged the front portion of the home's garage. 

No injuries have been reported.


Cause of the fire was under investigation.

Gov. Noem to try and pass revised riot boosting law

Despite a defeat in the court system months ago, South Dakota Governor Kristi Neom is not giving up on her efforts to pass a riot boosting law for South Dakota.  Governor Noem has sent a new version of the law to legislators in the hopes it will pass and according to her, protect people from violence while also protecting free speech rights.  Noem drew criticism from Native American Tribes and free speech activists when she proposed this law seen as an effort to help quell any protests that may occur during the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and beyond.

Horse racing may be returning following one year hiatus

(Dakota Radio Group News - Pierre, SD) After being canceled this year (2019), horse racing will probably be back in South Dakota next year.


Fort Pierre race track manager Shane Kramme (cray-me) says the South Dakota Commission on Gaming has approved the Verendrye Benovolent Association’s request to hold horse races Oct. 3 and 4, 2020. But, he says the races will be one weekend instead of two; will be held in the fall rather than the spring; and will only be held in Fort Pierre. In previous years, races were held over four weekends, two each in Fort Pierre and Aberdeen.


Kramme says there will be about a dozen Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred races over the two days offering around $110,000 in prize money.


Neither Fort Pierre nor Aberdeen hosted horse races this year due to lack of funding, wet weather and several other considerations.

Police in Watertown take a suspect into custody following standoff

Police in Watertown were able to take a man into custody without incident following a standoff Sunday morning.  According to authorities, police responded to a call about shots fired around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning.  Upon investigating the call, authorities made contact with the suspect Matthew Wolf inside an apartment building but he refused to come out.  The building was evacuated and police ultimately called in a SWAT team to bring Wolf in.  He faces reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of a firearm while intoxicated charges.

Rep. Dusty Johnson talks recent promising news on international trade

(KORN - Mitchell, SD) Things appear to be looking up for international trade. The USMCA agreement is progressing in the U.S. House and President Donald Trump last week announced the first phase of a trade deal with China.


Congressman Dusty Johnson says the USMCA deal is a big boost….





Once the House approves USMCA it goes on to the Senate which may delay action because of a potential impeachment trial of President Trump.


Johnson says progress with China is good news as well….




He says there’s still a lot of work to do before the Christmas recess.

DCI investigating shots fired at officer in Sisseton

Division of Criminal Investigation Director David Natvig today confirmed that DCI agents are assisting with a shooting incident in Sisseton, South Dakota that occurred on Wednesday, December 11.

A Sisseton Police Department officer, conducting a traffic stop, was fired upon by an individual. The officer was unharmed.

At this time both the shooter and driver of the vehicle are in custody. The investigation is ongoing.

Body found in Irene

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) The Clay County Sheriffs Office says the body of a man was found about 9:30 Monday night in an alley intersecting the 200 block of East Main Street in Irene.


While investigating it was determined the man had been hit by a vehicle and was related to a report of a domestic disturbance that had been relayed to the Turner County Sheriffs office.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Highway Patrol are assisting in the investigation.


No names are being released and the Turner County States Attorney will decide if any criminal charges will be filed.

Road closures planned for Monday in Aberdeen

Beginning at approximately 8am on Monday, December 16, 2019 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for work on a water line:


North Kline Street from 3rd Ave. NE to 4th Ave. NE


Work is expected to last through Tuesday, December 17th.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed. 

Former SD lawmaker Tom Daschle to be honored during SDFU convention

Today, one of the state’s largest agriculture organizations, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) recognized Senator Tom Daschle for his dedication to South Dakota agriculture with the 2019 Ag Ambassador Award, during the organization’s 104th State Convention held in Aberdeen Dec. 10-11.


“Senator Daschle is a longtime friend to South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers. For everything he did as a Senator, and all he does today as an ethanol advocate, we honor him,” says Doug Sombke, SDFU President.


Daschle’s connection and service to agriculture began in his childhood. “As a young teenager, I spent my summers working on my aunts and uncle’s farms, and even aspired to be a farmer during those years,” he shares.


His passion for South Dakota’s agriculture industry and its people is evidenced throughout his career by many of his actions. “When I got elected to Congress, given agriculture’s importance to South Dakota and my great respect and admiration for farm families, my decision to seek a seat on the Agriculture committee was an easy one. I made the same decision when I was elected to the Senate,” he explains. “There is no more important profession in society than that of a farmer. Our public policy ought to reflect that.”


To emphasize this fact, Daschle shares a story he borrowed from a former Chair of the House Agriculture committee, Texas Representative, Kika de la Garza.


“Representative Kika de la Garza used to tell a story about a time when he was given the opportunity to spend a day on a nuclear submarine. As they cruised under the surface of the sea, he asked the captain how long the submarine could stay under water. The captain replied, “As long as we have food for our crew.”


“How long can civilization survive on the planet? As long as we have enough food,” Daschle says.


Adding value to agriculture commodities, Daschle adds, is important to sustaining South Dakota’s agriculture. “The ethanol industry is a prime example of what value-added agriculture means to our farmers and our state,” he says. “There is a direct correlation between adding value and adding agricultural viability. As important as all agricultural commodities are, it matters a great deal what we do with them. Farmers are invaluable producers of food, feed, fiber and fuel. But we must continue to find ways to enhance the value of each of these categories rather than be content to simply sell our crops to others to do so. Enhancing value not only creates more profitability on the farm, it has great potential to create jobs and economic viability for our rural communities.”

Senator Thune talks about a bill to bring 5G to the country

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the 5G Spectrum Act, which would ensure mid-band spectrum is quickly made available in the market by requiring a transparent and competitive public auctioning process. The bill would require that at least 50 percent of the first $40 billion in auction revenue be reserved for the American people and that a portion of those proceeds be dedicated specifically for rural broadband build-out.


South Dakota Senator John Thune says this is a critical national issue...





Thune co-sponsored the bill along with Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi...





Thune says he hopes the technical details can be cleared up quickly...





The bill would begin the process of auctioning frequencies now used by satellite providers and prioritize 5G rollout in rural areas.



Aberdeen woman sentenced to 40 years in prison on manslaughter charges

An Aberdeen woman has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in the death of 37-year-old Michelle Ladner.  39-year-old Tanisha Renee Jordan-Mondo was sentenced Wednesday after ultimately pleading guilty to felony manslaughter, but mentally ill.  She was also ordered to pay $11,220 in restitution and court costs.  The victim was found with a stab wound in an apartment building in the 1500 block of South Grant Street in July of 2018.  Ladner would ultimately pass away on July 25th

Brown County Emergency Management offering CERT training in January

Brown County Emergency Management will be offering the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Course starting in January 2020.


The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors in that event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency service personnel may not be able to reach everyone right away. By getting the training in CERT, you will have the skills to help

emergency responders save lives and protect property. While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.


In the CERT training, citizens learn to:

_ Manage utilities and put out small fires.

_ Treat the three medical killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock.

_ Provide basic medical aid.

_ Search for and rescue victims safely.

_ Organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

_ Collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.

Gov. Noem seeking input into District 19 senate vacancy

Governor Kristi Noem is seeking public input for a District 19 Senate vacancy. The opening was created after current State Senator Stace Nelson announced his resignation effective December 10, 2019.


“State legislators are a critical part of our state government.  I look forward to working with the folks in District 19 to find a qualified, dedicated public servant to not only represent this district, but focus on making our state stronger for the next generation,” said Noem.


Those wishing to be considered for the appointment, or to offer nominations, should email Rachel Graves at Nominations should include the candidate’s name, current physical address, telephone number, and relevant background information. All nomination materials must be submitted by December 20, 2019.

Battle of the badges blood drive begins today

The annual battle of the badges blood drive will begin today in Aberdeen.  The event is a competition between the firefighters and police officers to see which group can get more people to donate blood.  The blood drive will run from noon to 7 p.m. today and Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday at the City Lights Bar and Event Center.  Donors can get a free t-shirt for their efforts while supplies last. 

Chronic Waste Disease reported in Meade, Harding and Tripp counties

(KBHB - Sturgis, SD) South Dakota’s Game, Fish and Parks says Chronic Wasting Disease has been reported in Meade, Harding and Tripp Counties.


G.F. & P. Wildlife Program Administrator Chad Switzer says one male mule deer from both Harding and Meade counties tested positive, while three male and one female white-tailed deer were positive from Tripp County.


He says it’s not the news they wanted to hear, but did expect to find the disease in new areas with increased sampling and testing efforts.


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal brain disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. Animals in the later stages of infection with CWD may show progressive loss of weight and body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, loss of muscle control and eventual death.


Chronic wasting disease is always fatal for the afflicted animal. CWD poses serious problems for wildlife managers, and the implications of long-term management for free-ranging deer and elk is unknown.

Wiley campground reservations coming up

Anyone interested in reserving a campsite at the Wylie Park Campground is reminded that reservations for the 2020 camping season will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, January 6.  Reservations may be made online at or by phone calling 626-3512 or 888-326-9693 or in person by stopping in at the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department offices at 225 SE 3rd Avenue.  For further information you may contact the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department office at 626-7015.

South Dakota woman named Miss Rodeo America

(Dakota Radio Group News) Miss Rodeo South Dakota Jordan Tierney from Oral was crowned Miss Rodeo America 2020 yesterday (Sun.) at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.


As Miss Rodeo America, Tierney will travel to events around the country serving as an ambassador for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. During a press conference shortly after she was crowned, Tierney said she’s most looking forward to attending a Sutton Rodeo event in South Dakota.





Tierney came out of a field of 27 contestants to win the crown. She was awarded a $20,000 Educational Scholarship from the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation. The last South Dakotan to wear the crown was Mackenzie Haley in 2011.


Tierney’s father Paul is a PRCA champion in tie-down roping and was inducted into the hall of fame in 2008.


North Dakota county could become first in the nation to ban new refugees

A North Dakota county today at its commission meeting could become the first county in the United States to stop accepting new refugees.  Burleigh County is located in central North Dakota, has a population of about 100,000 people and the state capital of Bismarck serves as its county seat.  The commission was set to vote on the matter last week, but tabled the issue when over 100 people showed up in the commission chambers to protest the decision.  The ability to ban refugees is new after President Donald Trump signed an executive order into law this fall. 

Russia banned from 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup over doping allegations

The World anti-doping agency voted unanimously Monday to ban Russia from major international competitions, including the Olympics and World Cup, due to doping non-compliance.  The ban is set for the next four years.  The ruling came during the WADA’s annual meeting in Switzerland Monday.  Russia now has to either accept the decision or appeal the matter to the court of arbitration for sports.  If upheld Russian will not be allowed to compete in the 2020 summer games or the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

Randy Seiler named new chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party

The South Dakota Democratic party held its regularly scheduled state central committee meeting Saturday in Mitchell.  During the meeting, the party voted interim-chair Randy Seiler to the official chair position and elected Nikki Gronli as vice chair.  The party has undergone turbulence as of late with chairwoman Paula Hawks and her deputy resigning months after a short time on the job due to the parties dire financial situation.  Seiler also said plans are in place to pay off debts of about $47,000 which have accumulated over the years. 

Sturgis man sentenced to life in prison for muder

A Sturgis man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in the murder of his former girlfriend, Jessica Rehfeld.


Jonathon Klinetobe had earlier plead guilty to aiding and abetting first degree manslaughter.

After four days of testimony, a judge handed down the life sentence Thursday.


Before the sentence was handed down, Klinetobe spoke to the court, saying that he was "sorry" for the family of Jessica Rehfeld as well as to his family.


But, in his final statement, Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo said Klinetobe has not shown "one shred of remorse for the murder of Rehfeld."


In connection to the case, David Schneider pleaded guilty to first degree murder in 2017 and Richard Hirth has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.


Michael Frye and Garland Brown have pleaded guilty to being accessories to Rehfeld's murder.

Vermillion man sues retiring state senator Stace Nelson for blocking him on social medai

A South Dakota man is suing retiring state senator Stace Nelson.  According to the Associated Press Vermillion man Jeff Church alleges Nelson blocked him from commenting on the lawmaker’s Facebook page, thus denying him his right to free speech and right to petition government.  Nelson says Church’s comments amount to slander and lies.  Nelson calls the lawsuit frivolous and says he has deleted other people’s comments as well. 

Two people injured in north Aberdeen Tuesday accident

Two people were injured Tuesday afternoon after being involved in a two-vehicle accident in the north part of Aberdeen.  According to the Department of Public Safety the incident occurred around 4:39 p.m. at the intersection of 387th avenue and 24th avenue northeast.  A 70-year-old man was stopped at a stop sign when he was rear-ended by a Dodge Ram.  The driver of  the Dodge has been identified as 23-year-old Daniel Wolf of Aberdeen.  He apparently did not slow down as he approached the stop sign, charges are pending. 

Speaker Nancy Pelsoi calls for judiciary committee to write up articles of impeachment

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spoke at a press conference Thursday asking House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler to move forward writing up articles of impeachment.  The request come a day after testimony was given by constitutional scholars laying out where they felt the President had committed impeachable offenses.  Articles of impeachment are a set of charges drafted against a public official.  Once completed the house will vote on them and if passed, the process will move to a trial in the senate overseen by Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts. 

Mitchell man sentenced in exploitation of a minor case

A Mitchell man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for exploitation of a child.  According to a release for the US Attorney for South Dakota, 36-year-old Walter Jandreau was sentenced Monday to charges stemming from incidents in July of 2018.  Jandreau coerced a minor to take part in sexual activity with him in order to take pictures with his phone.  Jandreau produced the images and shared them via shipping, mail and using a computer.  He was also given 10 years supervised release and ordered to pay $100 to the Federal Crime Victims fund. 

South Dakota legislative research director stepping down

The director of the South Dakota Legislative Research council is stepping down.  Director Jason Hancock confirmed to the South Dakota Broadcasters Association he had submitted his letter of resignation to accept a new position in his home state of Idaho.  Hancock will move on to become the Deputy Secretary of State for the State of Idaho.  Hancock will finish the 2020 legislative session before moving on, he has been the director of the research council for five years. 

Gov. Noem orders flags at half staff in honor of late former state senator

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 Wednesday, December 4, 2019, to honor the life of Kermit Staggers, a former legislator.    


Staggers served in the South Dakota Senate from 1995 until 2002. A memorial service for Staggers was held on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 1 p.m. at First United Methodist

Further updates coming from plane crash which killed nine near Chamberlain

(KWAT - Watertown, SD) We’re learning more details about a deadly plane crash in South Dakota last weekend that took nine lives and injured three others.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says the pilot filed an instrument flight rules plan with the FAA and received clearance to fly direct from Chamberlain to Idaho Falls, Idaho.


The plane departed the Chamberlain Municipal Airport at 12:26 p.m. Saturday, but when the pilot did not activate the flight plan after departure, the FAA issued an alert for a missing airplane.


The NTSB says the plane crashed a mile north of the airport.


Weather conditions at the time showed there was one-half mile visibility with moderate snow and icing, overcast skies and low-level wind shear. Skies were overcast, with a ceiling of 500 feet.


NTSB investigators arrived at the crash site Monday afternoon. They’re expected to complete their work by this weekend.


The entire investigation, which will include a probable cause of the crash, could take up to two years to complete.


The victims of the crash were extended family members from Idaho who were in South Dakota for pheasant hunting.

Mitchell man sentenced on manslaughter charges

(KORN - Mitchell, SD) A 41 year old Mitchell man is going to prison for killing his wife in October of 2017. James Brinker pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in an agreement with prosecutors. Davison County Deputy States Attorney Bob O’Keefe says Brinker was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in prison with 22 years suspended and ordered to pay restitution that’s still being determined. Brinker received credit for 776 days served and was ordered to have no contact with Marie Brinker’s family upon his release from prison.


Brinker was arrested on October 17th, 2017. 


Court documents indicated Brinker wrapped his wife in a blanket, placed her on a mattress, put a sock in her mouth and tied a belt around her head to hold it in place. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxia.


Brinker is in the Davison County Jail awaiting transportation to the state prison.

Gov. Noem announces District 32 Rep replacement

Governor Kristi Noem today announced that she is appointing Helene Duhamel of Rapid City to represent District 32 in the South Dakota Senate. The vacancy was created after the resignation of Sen. Alan Solano. Duhamel will serve during the 2020 legislative session.


“The responsibility to appoint a legislator when a vacancy arises is not something I take lightly,” said Noem. “Helene is a pillar of her community and a trusted voice for Rapid City.  Helene’s experience as a journalist and more recently in the Pennington County Sheriff’s office will position her well to succeed in the State Legislature. I am confident she will serve as an effective Senator for her district.” 


Duhamel is a fifth generation South Dakotan who served as News Director and Anchor for decades at KOTA-TV in Rapid City. More recently she has taken on the role of Public Information Officer for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.  She has also given her time and talent to other volunteer and non-profit organizations in Rapid City and the Black Hills.


Duhamel’s appointment will be effective immediately.

California Senator Kamala Harris drops out of presidential race

California Senator Kamala Harris has ended her candidacy for president of the United States in 2020.  She made the announcement Tuesday.  Harris was once considered by many observers to be one of the top tier candidates in the race, including managing to get 20 thousand people to her campaign announcement speech, a number not matched until Senator Bernie Sanders managed to turn out 25 thousand people for a rally in New York in October.  Harris is one of many candidates to drop out of the race this week including former Montana Governor Steve Bullock and Navy Admiral Joe Sestak. 

Brown County Commission discusses snow removal following 16 inches of snow

The Brown County Commission at its Tuesday meeting discussed complaints commissioners had faced over the weekend following 16 inches of snow being dumped on Brown County.  County highway superintendent Dirk Rogers chose not to send the plows out until Monday in an attempt to better deal with the snow. 


Rogers gave his thoughts on his decision...





Commissioners did not criticize the decision made by Rogers after listening to his reasoning, instead expressed a desire to have better communication between all decision makers so they can better inform the public seeking information. 


Other Brown County residents complained that the job the snow plowers did was not adequate.  According to Rogers, that is because of the amount of snow northeast South Dakota received and the kind of precipitation it was…




This was a unique situation according to Rogers as northeast South Dakota hasn’t seen this kind of snow at one time in almost 10 years…


Rep. Dusty Johnson says he feels attacked following impeachment hearings

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) Representative Elise Stefanik of New York was a strong defender of President Trump during the initial impeachment hearings before the Intelligence Committee. Because of that she was widely attacked on social media.


South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson mentioned her in a tweet saying “We have both been under attack.” He then asked for donations.


Johnson says the attacks ramped up during the hearings...





Johnson says he can’t say where the attacks come from...




Johnson says it was a way to tell people he has been working with Stefanik...




Stefanik was first elected in 2014, Johnson was elected to Congress last year.



Men's basketball league now accepting rosters

The Men's City Basketball League is now accepting rosters for the second half of the 2019-2020 season.  The fee per team is $312.50 for the half season from January to March.  Rosters and entry fees must be received by 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 16.  Roster forms are available at the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Office or online at and should be returned to the office.


If you would like further information or to pick up a roster, please contact the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, 225 SE 3rd Avenue, or call 626-7015.

Minnehaha County state's attorney McGowan to resign

Minnehaha County state’s attorney Aaron McGowan has announced he is stepping down from his position following public criticism of his job performance.  South Dakota Governor earlier this year had issued an investigation into McGowan’s conduct, but did not find enough evidence to charge the sitting state’s attorney.  According to the Argus Leader, this resignation may come from new allegations of sexual harassment by McGowan of a female coworker in the office.

One person killed in Beadle county fatal crash

One person died early Friday morning in a one-vehicle rollover that occurred south of Cavour.


Names of the three males involved are not being released pending notification of family members.


A 1992 Dodge D250 pickup was southbound on 409th Avenue when the driver lost control on the ice-covered road. The vehicle went into the east ditch, rolled and came to rest in standing water in the ditch.


Both passengers had to be extricated from the vehicle. The 37-year-old passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. The 31-year-old passenger received minor injuries and was taken to the Huron hospital. The 31-year-old driver was not injured.


None of the occupants were wearing seat belts. Charges are pending against the driver.


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.

Former Montana gov. Steve Bullock drops out of Dem presidential primary

Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced Monday morning he is ending his presidential campaign.  Bullock a popular Democratic Governor for two terms, failed to garner traction in the large field and qualified for just one televised debate.  His theory for his candidacy was that he was the governor of a red state, one of the few to win re-election in a state President Trump won in 2016.  He also favored himself a moderate looking for compromise to overcome America’s challenges. 

Idaho family killed in plan crash near Chamberlain

KIFI has identified the victims of a small plane crash which killed nine people in Brule County South Dakota.  The victims were members of an Idaho family visiting South Dakota on a hunting trip.  The Pilatus PC-12 plane they were in crashed shortly after takeoff around 12:30 p.m. from Chamberlain on Saturday.  Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board believe weather was likely the main reason for the accident.  Idaho news outlets have identified three prominent Idaho Falls businessmen in the crash including Jim Hansen, Kirk Hansen and Jim Jr.  Six other family members passed away as well while others are currently being treated at a local hospital.