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Local News Archives for 2020-02

Gov. Noem proclaims Feb. 25th as E-30

Members of S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) and Glacial Lakes Energy (GLE) Cooperative celebrate E30 Day together in Pierre, February 25 after Governor Kristi Noem’s proclamation.

 

“The Governor’s proclamation helps increase public awareness of E30 as the renewable fuel option that also promotes air quality and public health because it replaces cancerous additives,” says Doug Sombke, President of SDFU. “We appreciate her continued support for higher ethanol blends.”

 

In addition to showing her support for higher ethanol blends through proclamation of E30 Day, in 2018 Noem reinforced her commitment by committing to fuel the state fleet of vehicles on E30.

 

“I think the Governor was right on when she said in her State of the State Address that being from a small state means we can do things other states cannot do,” explains Jim Seurer, CEO of GLE. “South Dakota needs to be a leader in our push to increase ethanol consumption through higher blends. We are the leader other states will follow.” 


Tech institutes will be known as technical colleges in South Dakota come July 1st

Governor Kristi Noem today signed legislation to change the names of South Dakota’s four postsecondary technical institutes to better align the schools with other institutes around the nation. HB 1083 renames technical institutes to technical colleges.

 

“South Dakota’s technical programs produce top-quality graduates for South Dakota’s workforce and help ensure our businesses have the leaders they need to thrive,” said Noem. “The bill I am signing today helps align South Dakota’s colleges with the naming standards used across the country and reflects the excellence demonstrated by our schools.”

HB 1083’s prime sponsors are Representative Hugh Bartels and Senator Jim White. The legislation received broad support throughout the legislative process and was supported by the South Dakota Board of Technical Education, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and others. 

The name change goes into effect on July 1 for technical schools in Watertown, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City.


Gov. Noem signs host of bills into law

Governor Kristi Noem today signed the following pieces of legislation:

  • HB1020 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the use of exemption certificates.
  • HB1024 – An Act to make an appropriation for the payment of extraordinary litigation expenses and to declare an emergency.
  • HB1027 – An Act to make an appropriation from the coordinated natural resources conservation fund to the State Conservation Commission and to declare an emergency.
  • HB1029 – An Act to make an appropriation for costs related to suppression of wildfires in the state and to declare an emergency.
  • HB1040 – An Act to increase the frequency of background investigations for certain state employees.
  • HB1055 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the termination of a political committee under certain circumstances.
  • HB1061 – An Act to exempt vehicles owned by improvement districts from certain vehicle registration fees.
  • HB1066 – An Act to revise and repeal provisions regarding aviation.
  • HB1075 – An Act to repeal certain outdated provisions regarding annexation near airports.
  • HB1144 – An Act to remove the requirement for a ballot election in township elections if candidates are unopposed.
  • SB8 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding insurance holding companies.
  • SB14 – An Act to revise registration requirements for motor vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, trailers, and semitrailers.
  • SB15 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the retention of motor vehicle title documents by the Department of Revenue.
  • SB62 – An Act to revise the membership and responsibilities of the South Dakota Board on Geographic Names.

Attempt to repeal video lottery fails in committee

The South Dakota House State Affairs committee Friday voted to kill HB 1250 by referring it to the 41st legislative day via an 8-4 vote.  HB 1250 would have begun the process of winding down video lottery in South Dakota, ultimately repealing it by 2029. 

 

The bill was introduced by Representative John Mills of Volga and this is not his first attempt to repeal video lottery, authoring a similar bill in 2019. 

 

Mills claims video lottery is addictive...

 

 

 

 

 

According to the 2019 report on video lottery, it brought in $144 millino in state revenue.   

 


Emergency sewer repair scheduled for Monday

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Monday, portions of Sixth avenue southeast will be closed to thru traffic for emergency sewer repair.  The repairs will be taking place between South McCoy Street and South Wells Street.  Eastbound traffic will be limited to one lane during these repairs.  Motorists are advised to be aware of this inconvenience and take alternate routes when possible. 


District 23 Sen. John Lake will not seek reelection

District 23 state senator John Lake of Gettsyburg has announced he will not be seeking reelection in 2020.  Lake is a Republican first elected to represent district 23 in 2016, serving three years in the state house of representatives.  He was appointed district 23 senator just months ago when the former senator Justin Cronin announced his resignation.  Lake made the announcement he would not seek reelection at a legislative cracker barrel in Mobridge on February 15th


House fire and explosion leads to one death in Brookings

A house fire and explosion in Brookings left one person dead Thursday.  According to the Brookings county fire department, the incident occurred at 618 sixth avenue in Brookings.  Crews were on the scene fighting flames that were on every level of the home.  Firefighters believe gas cause the explosion in the lower level that blew off the backside of the structure.  The name of the person killed has not yet been released.  The South Dakota DCI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobbacco, Firearms and Explosive and the state Fire Marshal are all taking part in the investigation. 


Jo Dee Messina to perform at the Brown County Fair

The Brown County Fair announced Thursday country music artist Jo Dee Messina will perform at the Brown County Fair Saturday August 15th.  

 

Messina will be part of a historic three act performance at the Brown County Fair.  For the first time in the grandstands the fair will have three performers in one night.  

 

Messina is known for songs such as "That's the Way", "Heads Carolina, Tales California" and "Bye Bye".  

 

Later in her career Messina has move more into the Christian music scene as well as the country music scene.  More announcements are to come later this month.  


Senator Thune comments on President Trump's budget proposal

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) President Trump released his Administrations proposed 2021 budget last week.

 

The plan would spend four point eight trillion dollars and would reduce future spending on Medicaid, Medicare and other safety net programs.

 

South Dakota Senator John Thune says they look at the President’s budget more as a policy statement than as a spending plan...

 

 

 

 

Thune says there are some proposed changes they will look at...

 

 

 

The plan calls for a balanced budget within fifteen years. When the President was campaigning in 2016, he said he would balance the budget in four years.


Police in Brookings arrest man for animal cruelty

Police in Brookings have arrested a man after a video surfaced of him online torturing and killing an injured cat.  The name of the 19-year-old man was not released, but police say they received the video in question Tuesday.  He was arrested Wednesday and faces cruelty to animal charges, a class 6 felony. 


Brown County Commission eliminates chief information officer position

The Brown County Commission at its Tuesday meeting took action to eliminate the chief information officer position with the county.  The move came after a closed door executive session for personell reasons.  The move relieves Paul Sivertsen of his position, a job he has held since 2014.  Two tech specialists are expected to step up and fill responsibilities left by eliminating the position. 


Brother, sister duo McEwyn to headline Ipswich Traildays

Brother-sister country duo Michael and Annmarie McEwyn will headline Ipswich Trail Days Saturday June 13, 2020. Promising an energetic and musically-exciting concert, the band McEwyn’s performances range from high-octane modern mainstream country to a cappella specials and family harmonies. Their first single, Small Town Marilyn Monroe, charted at #7 on the Country Top 20 stream, and their live performances have been dazzling audiences across the United States. Country Music Magazine describes their sound as “a commanding and infectious one, modern in feel, while reminiscing back to the earlier days of country music that are embedded in their musical DNA.”

Ipswich Trail Days is the annual summer celebration in Ipswich, South Dakota, home of the Yellowstone Trail. The second weekend in June will once again be marked by classic small town fun, including bull-riding, bronc-riding, a parade, car show, yard game tournaments, and of course the headline concert and after-party featuring Aberdeen’s own Avenger Joe, bringing their eclectic set list of country rock and pop party favorites. Advance tickets, at $25 for adults and only $10 for children 6-12, will be available starting in April. Watch Ipswich Trail Days on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for developing details.


Brookings county authorities report grain bin death

(KWAT - Watertown, SD) Authorities with the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office are expected to release details today on a man who became trapped in a grain bin on Monday and died.

 

Assistant Sheriff Scott Sebring confirmed the fatality this morning, but would not release any other information until a news release is issued later today.

 

The man’s death comes as U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue issued a proclamation claiming this week “National Grain Bin Safety Week.”

 

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who lost her father in a grain bin accident, is encouraging producers to, “evaluate safety procedures on their farms and ranches. Slow down and be safe, and your family will thank you for it.”

 

The purpose of Grain Bin Safety Week is to promote education and awareness of the hazards and safe work practices in an effort to reduce the number of accidents associated with grain handling and storage.

 


Name released in Lake County fatal crash

A Wentworth, S.D. man has been identified as the person who died Friday night in a one-vehicle crash south of Madison.

 

A 2005 GMC Sierra was southbound on South Dakota Highway 19 when the driver lost control on the slippery roadway. The vehicle went into the ditch and rolled.

 

The driver, 39-year-old Joshua Anderson, was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant.

 

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.


Brown County Fair announces Sara Evans to headline Wednesday at Grandstands

The Brown County Fair announced Tuesday another act for the Grand Stands this coming fair.  County music star Sara Evans will take the stage Wednesday August 12th.  She is known for such hits as “Could Not Ask For More”, “Suds in the Bucket” and “Born to Fly.”  The opening act for that night has not been announced, but according to the post from the Brown County Fair more acts are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. 


A bill to further regulate young drivers filed in Pierre

A bill has been filed in Pierre which would require more experience for first time drivers in order to get their license.  SB 113 was filed by Rep. Deb Soholt, a Republican from Minnehaha county, and would increase the instructional permit period from six months to nine months and require young drivers to have 50 hours fo practice behind the wheel before they can earn their restricted minor’s license.  It would also restrict one young non-family passenger in a car driven by a person with a restricted minor permit. 


Dusty Johnson to announce re-election campaign Wednesday

South Dakota congressman Dusty Johnson plans to officially announce his re-election campaign Wednesday in Rapid City.  Johnson will officially kick off the event at the Alex Johnson Hotel.  Johnson was first elected to congress in 2016 and will have to get through a primary before the general election after west river rancher and grocery store owner Liz Marty May announced her candidacy earlier this month.  For Democrats, Custer business owner Whitney Raver is the only candidate to announce their campaign so far. 


Texas man involved in fatal crash found not guilty of manslaughter

A Texas man involved in a two-vehicle crash on I-90 near Alexandria in September which left a man dead was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter.  32-year old Jason Ingram of Kempner, Texas was found guilty of three misdemeanor charges – reckless driving, operating an oversized vehicle, and driving without a commercial driver’s license.  Ingram was driving a tractor-trailer when he was rear-ended by a Dodge Caravan driven by 52-year old Johnnie Hines of Sioux Falls.  Hines was pronounced dead at the scene.  Prosecutors say Ingram was driving well below the 40 mile-an-hour minimum speed limit on the interstate.  Ingram was given just over a year in suspended jail time.


Veblen man identified in Day county fatal crash

A Veblen, S.D., man has been identified as the person who died early Wednesday morning in a one-vehicle crash east of Veblen.

 

A 2006 Chevrolet HHR SUV was westbound on South Dakota Highway 25 when it went off the roadway and rolled several times.

 

Conrad Dumarce, the 41-year-old male driver, was not wearing a seat belt. He was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

 

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.


Gov. Noem signs eight bills into law

Governor Kristi Noem has signed the following bills during the 2020 legislative session:  

 

  • HB1005 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the use of telehealth technologies. 
  • HB1015  – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding banks.
  • HB1016 – Act to revise certain provisions regarding money transmission.
  • HB1017 – An Act to provide for certain insurer corporate governance disclosure requirements.
  • HB1018 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding life and health insurance insolvencies.
  • HB1030 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the Board of Technical Education.
  • HB1049 – An Act to establish a maximum on the number of words contained in a statement of a proponent or opponent for the ballot question pamphlet. 
  • HB1052 – An Act to change a reference from a secondary election to a runoff election to maintain consistency in terms. 

One person killed in Lake county fatal crash

One man died Friday night in a one-vehicle crash south of Madison.

 

Name of the deceased is not yet being released.

 

A 2005 GMC Sierra was southbound on South Dakota Highway 19 when the driver lost control on the slippery roadway. The vehicle went into the ditch and rolled.

 

The 39-year-old driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant.

 

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.


Divorce numbers down over the past 10 years in South Dakota

Numbers released by the National Health Statistics paint an interesting picture about marriage in South Dakota.  According to the numbers, South Dakota has not only seen a decrease in the number of divorces couples are getting, but less couples are getting married overall.  According to the numbers, in over a 10 year period from 2009 to 2018, South Dakota has a 2.6 per 1000 marriages divorce rate.  That puts the state near the bottom of the nation in lowest divorce rate, coming in at number 10 with 2.6 percent.  This follows a trend with the rest of nation as divorce rates have declined by about 20 percent over the past 10 years.  In South Dakota specifically in 2018 2,265 couples filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences 98 percent of the time. 


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire primary

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the second contest in the Democratic Presidential Primary Tuesday night in the New Hampshire Primary.  The contest went off without a hitch, unlike the Iowa caucuses earlier this month.  Sanders finished with 25.7 percent of the vote, ahead of Pete Buttigieg who came in a close second with 24.4 percent.  Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar finished in a surprise third with 19.8 percent while Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden rounded off the top five respectively.  Following this contest will be the Nevada caucuses February 22nd.  The race should get more interesting as it moves from the predominately white state’s of Iowa and New Hampshire onto more and more diverse states. 


Senator introducing sports betting resolution explains reasoning

(KCCR - Pierre, SD) The South Dakota Senate has shipped a measure over to the South Dakota House that would let the voters of South Dakota decide if betting on sporting events should be permitted at Deadwood casinos.  The bill’s prime sponsor, Senator Bob Ewing of Spearfish says Senate Joint Resolution Five-Oh-One does only one thing…

 

 

 

 

Money made on by betting on sporting events, like other legal gambling in South Dakota would go to the Deadwood Historic Preservation fund for use across South Dakota on historic preservation projects.  The bill would require voters to change the South Dakota Constitution which Senator Jim Bolin says needs to be done carefully…

 

 

 

 

Senator Jeff Partridge says the state voters have already said yes to gambling before this…

 

 

 

 

Senator Lee Shoenbeck of Watertown is ready to put sports wagering to work…

 

 

 

S-J-R Five-Oh-One passed the Senate on a 24 to 10 vote with one excused.  The measure now heads to the South Dakota House for consideration


Senator Thune defends vote not to impeach President Trump

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) The US Senate concluded the impeachment trial of President Trump by voting down two charges that had been brought against him, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

 

South Dakota Senator John Thune voted against both articles and says the punishment didn’t fit the alleged crime...

 

 

 

 

Thune says the House did not bring a good case...

 

 

 

 

The Senate did not allow extra witnesses including former national security advisor John Bolton. Thune says they didn’t think he would add any new information...

 

 

 

Thune says the trial may have holdover effects into the November elections.


New Hampshire Primary to take place tonight

Today is the second contest in the Democratic presidential primary and first real primary of them all.  New Hampshire will casts ballots today with polls closing at 7:00 p.m. eastern time, meaning results should start pouring in after 6:00 p.m. central time.  Coming into this primary contest, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is considered the favorite as he has led in the polling consistently for months. According to fivethirtyeight.com he has a polling average of 25.9 percent in the state and won the state in 2016.  Just behind him however is former South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 21.4 polling average. 


Former IHS doctor sentenced to life in prison

The United States Justice Department says a former Indian Health Services doctor has been sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.  70-year-old Stanley Patrick Weber was found guilty Friday by a jury on all eight counts in the case.  Weber was accused of sexually abusing male patients of his between about 1995 and 2011.  He resigned from his position on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 2016 following allegations of sexual abuse. 


HB 1057 criminalizing gender affirming procedures on children younger than 16 fails in senate committee

The South Dakota Senate Health and Human Services committee voted 5-2 Monday afternoon to table HB 1057 to the 41st legislative day, effectively killing the legislation. 

 

HB 1057 was the controversial transgender legislation that would  ban gender change treatments for children under the age of 16.  Dozens of people from both sides of the issue showed up to the capital for the hearing. 

 

Proponents of the legislation maintain this is a way to prevent children from making life altering decisions at such a young age, while opponents on the committee talked about the wealth of contradictory information and government’s role when facts are not always agreed on. 

 

According to Senator Al Novstrop of District 3 at a legislative cracker barrel Saturday, this outcome was likely, but the bill could still see life through a legislative “Smoke Out”.  That term is used when a house votes to demand a committee send a bill to the floor the following legislative day, but needing 1/3rd of the body to vote in the affirmative. 


One person killed in Hutchinson county fatal crash

One person died early Sunday morning in a one-vehicle crash west of Parkston.

 

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

 

A 2010 Acura TSX was westbound on South Dakota Highway 44 when the driver lost control on the icy-covered road. The vehicle entered the south ditch and rolled.

 

The 30-year-old female driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. She was the only person involved.

 

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.


Senate committee passes resolution on sports betting

Sports betting may become a reality in South Dakota after actions taken by the state senate late last week.  A joint senate resolution passed in Committee Thursday which would allow voters this November whether or not to legalize sports betting in Deadwood.  If this passed, the legislature would have final say whether or not sports betting would expand across the state via kiosks or mobile app, and get final say on what events will be allowed to be bet on. 


Registration now open for Fischgaard film festival

Registration is now open for the annual Fischgaard 48-hour film competition.  The actual event will be held February 14th through the 16th.  Registration is on a first come first serve basis and cost to enter a team is $25.  Teams must be registered by Feb. 13th or register in person at the kickoff event 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 14th at the Red Rooster.  Teams have 48 hours to produce a film and all films will be screened at a public viewing at the capital theater.  For more information checkout fischgaard.com.


SD House passes industrial hemp bill

After agreeing to a major amendment, the State House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved a bill to legalize the growing and processing of industrial hemp. Governor Kristi Noem reluctantly supported the measure…..

 

 

 

It’s up to state lawmakers to come up with funding for the program. The Governor also wanted to make sure it’s done right….

 

 

 

 

House Bill 10-08 is on its way to the House floor.


SD House passes bill to ban commercial surrogacy

The South Dakota House of Representatives voted 46-20 Thursday to pass HB 1096, a bill which would make it illegal to enter into a commercial surrogacy contract.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Jon Hansen of Dell Rapids and says he filed the legislation because children should not be treated as a commodity.  Opponents argue the government should not get involved between consenting adults entering a mutually beneficial contract.  District 3’s Carl Perry voted no while Drew Dennert voted yes.  District two’s Kaleb Weis and Lana Greenfield both voted yes. 


SD legislature considering a bill to remove vaccine mandate from children in school/college

South Dakota House majority leader Lee Qualm has introduced a bill which would do away with vaccine requirements for students entering grade school or college.  The state currently only has vaccine exemptions for students who have weakened immune systems or those who have religious objections.  Doctors have already come out against the bill saying if nationwide immunizations go down, we will continue to see diseases like measles and other infectious organisms affect our communities. 


Police arrest a man for damaging trailer with gunshot

Police in Aberdeen have arrested a man in connection with damage to property.  According to a release from police, authorities responded to a call about trailer damage in the 200 block of 5th Curve around 6:14 a.m. Tuesday.  Upon arrival police determined the damage was from a single gunshot from the exterior of the residence.  Further investigation led to the arrest of 51-year-old Shannon James Kilber of Aberdeen.  He faces aggravated assault charges and discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure.  No injuries were reported from the incident. 


Buttigeg holds slight lead in SDE over Sanders with 71 percent of Iowa caucus vote reported

After the debacle that was the Iowa caucus on Monday we have now moved onto day three waiting for the full results to be released by the Democratic state party.  The first wave of results were released yesterday afternoon showing Pete Buttigeg with a slight lead over Bernie Sanders in State Delegate equivalents.  Later into the night more results were released.  As of Wednesday morning with 71 percent of precincts reporting, Buttigeg’s lead has been cut slightly sitting at 26.8 percent followed by Sanders at 25.2.  Sanders is currently leading in the popular vote and the two men are tied at 10 delegates each, which is what is actually needed to win the nomination. 


Death of a 25-year-old Warner man determined to be "justified homicide" by Brown County state's attorney

Brown County State’s Attorney office has announced no arrests will be made in the death of 25-year-old Zach Newell of Warner.  Newell was shot dead in the early morning hours of January 25th.  He was found in the 1100 block of South Washington Street.  Police say he was shot multiple times before being transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The shooter is known to authorities, but has only been referred to as a 24-year-old male.  However, the states attorney’s office says upon further investigation the shooting was considered a justifiable homicide. 


SD PUC approves large scale solar project

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved a construction permit for the Lookout Solar Project, a solar generation facility in Oglala Lakota County capable of generating up to 110 megawatts of electricity, at their regular meeting in Pierre yesterday, Feb. 3.

 

Lookout Solar and PUC staff filed a settlement stipulation with the commission in December of 2019. Commissioners discussed the joint proposal at their meeting on Dec. 10, 2019. Finding that several issues remained, the commission deferred action on the docket to a later date. Following this deferral, PUC staff worked with the company to address commissioner concerns and submitted a revised settlement stipulation in January 2020.

 

The revised agreement specified 37 conditions that must be adhered to during the construction and operation of the project. Land restoration, habitats of threatened and endangered species, cultural resources reporting, decommissioning, avian and bat mortality, and prairie grouse lek surveying are among the details the conditions addressed. Additionally, the commission voted to include a condition requiring the company to submit the landowners’ lease agreement approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Commission prior to commercial operation.

 

“This project contains many unique components. As a result, our permit contains conditions that are equally unique,” said Chairman Gary Hanson. “With every siting permit the PUC issues, we aim to include protections for South Dakota citizens and their property. In this case, the property on which this project will be built is individually-owned Indian trust land. The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides an additional layer of oversight for the project and an extra layer of protection for landowners.”

 

Lookout Solar expects to complete construction of the $100 million facility, built on approximately 810 acres on the Pine Ridge Reservation, by the second quarter of 2021. The proposed project is expected to include up to 500,000 solar panels, an energy storage facility, access roads, underground 34.5 kV electrical collector lines, an underground fiber-optic cable, a collection substation, an operations and maintenance facility and temporary construction areas.

 

“The one thing that I want to highlight in this particular project is the fact that these folks are placing their transmission line underground.  We’ve not seen that anywhere else. Much to their credit, this applicant has chosen the underground option to ensure there’s minimal impact on the viewscape. I certainly appreciate them making that effort,” said PUC Vice Chairman Chris Nelson.

 

Lookout Solar filed its application with the commission on Dec. 17, 2018, becoming the first solar energy facility the commission has considered for siting. A public input hearing was held in Hermosa, South Dakota, in February 2019.

 

“I appreciate staff and the company working together to bring us this settlement stipulation,” stated Commissioner Kristie Fiegen. “Solar siting is new for us. This is the first solar permit we’ve seen so I appreciate the parties working through all the issues in detail,” she continued.

 

Upon completion, Lookout Solar will interconnect to the high-voltage transmission lines owned by Western Area Power Administration near Cottonwood Cutoff. A buyer for the power produced by the project has not been announced.

 

The Lookout Solar Project docket can be viewed on the PUC’s website at www.puc.sd.gov, Commission Actions, Electric Dockets, 2018 Electric Dockets, EL18-059 – In the Matter of the Application of Lookout Solar Park I, LLC for a Permit of a Solar Energy Facility in Oglala Lakota County.


Part of Arch street to be closed to thru traffic Wednesday

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning a portion of north arch street will be closed to thru traffic for work on a sewer line.  The street will be closed from first avenue northeast to second avenue northeast.  Work is expected to last through Thursday.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed. 


Mitchell couple plead guilty to unlawful use of a computer

(KMIT - Mitchell, SD) A Mitchell couple pleaded guilty today unlawful use of a computer system to obtain money.  In exchange for the guilty plea, several other charges were dropped against Ramon (RAY-min) and Kylie Shultz of Mitchell.  The two, who are each 37 years old, face up to 25 years in prison for the charge, which is a Class 2 felony.  The couple used a computer system to move $20,000 from the account of Mitchell Roofing’s payroll to a fictitious account at online bank Ally Bank.  Mitchell Roofing called police to report irregularities in their accounts.  The couple was arrested in June following an investigation.  Judge Chris Giles (jiles) ordered a pre-sentence report.  Sentencing was set for May.


Senate Judiciary Committee shoots down Red Flag law

The South Dakota Senate Judiciary committee voted 5-2 in favor of tabling a bill aimed at further gun regulation in South Dakota.  SB 82 has been called a “red flag” law and would allow law enforcement to confiscate weapons should and individual be showing signs he or she is a threat to commit violence.  The gun owner can get their property back once he or she is deemed not a threat by a judge.

 

The main sponsor of the  bill was Senator Art Rusch a Republican from District 17.  It had bipartisan support before coming before the committee.  According to Rush he is not a gun hater, but for those who say there is not gun violence problem in South Dakota they are wrong…

 

 

 

 

 

According to the gun safety organization “Everytown” 95 people are killed each year by guns in South Dakota, with a rate of 11.4 deaths per 100,000 people.  That makes South Dakota the 32nd highest rate of gun deaths in the United States.

 

South Dakota has actually seen a loosening of gun laws over the past five years.  The legislature twice now has taken steps to accommodate gun owners by allowing guns to be carried in the state capital and removing the need to obtain a permit from the state to carry a concealed weapon.

 

South Dakota lieutenant governor Larry Rhoden spoke in opposition to the bill, saying the Noem administration considered the bill unconstitutional.  Rhoden says it violates more than the second amendment…

 

 

 

There was only one proponent speaking for the bill while several people including a lobbyist from the National Rifle Association spoke out against the bill. 

 

Senator Lee Schoenbeck of District Five spoke during the questioning period and sympathized with what Senator Rush was trying to do, but ultimately came down on one side...

 

 

 

Yeas to table the bill and kill it were Senators Blare, Novstrup, Russell, Schoenbeck and Stalzer, voting no were Senators Kennedy and Rusch. 


Former Sioux Falls teacher indicted on sexual contact with a child charges

A former Sioux Falls teacher has been arrested for sexual contact with a minor.  According to Sioux Falls police 27-year-old Daylan Fargo was arrested in Hall County Nebraska.  He has been booked on sexual contact with a  child under 16, sexual explotation of a minor and solicitation of a minor charges.  Police say they received a tip about Fargo last week saying there had been inappropriate contact between him and a minor.  He had resigned from his job as assistant choir director at Washington High School last week before a parent could file a protection order against him. 


No results as confusion reigns over Iowa caucuses

The first in the nation Iowa Caucuses took place last night and Democrats are still waiting to hear the results of the voting.  Delays in reporting went long into the night and the Iowa Democratic Party says not results should be expected until at least Tuesday.  Caucus precincts used a new smart phone app to report results to the party, but the app malfunctioned causing delays.  At about 9:30 p.m. Monday night, by that point last year 80 percent of precincts had reported, the Iowa Democratic Party released a statement saying they were conducting “quality control” on the results as they were coming in


Body found at citizens building in downtown Aberdeen

One person was found dead on the fourth floor of the Citizen’s Building in downtown Aberdeen Monday.  According to Aberdeen Police Captain Eric Duven, it is believed the 57-year-old man died of natural causes and no foul play is expected.  Brown County coroner Mike Carlsen tells the Aberdeen American News, it is likely the person had been dead for several days.  The person’s identity has not yet been released. 


SD Rep. Dusty Johnson co-sponsors fake meat labeling bill

South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson is co-sponsoring a bill that would regulate food derived from cell cultured technology.

 

The bill would use the FDA and USDA to ensure food and labeling safety. Johnson calls it a consumer protection issue...

 

 

 

 

Johnson says while the bill would label cell cultured meat, there are still roadblocks to moving toward “Country of Origin Labeling” for imported meat...

 

 

 

 

Some livestock groups are pushing for a return to “COOL” to protect US producers.


Former South Dakota priest indicted on embezzlement charges

Bishop Paul Swain of the Sioux Falls Catholic church diocese a former pastor was indicted for an inappropriate receipt and use of parish funds.  According to the release David Desmond resigned from his duties and was placed on leave back in July of 2019.  Upon further investigation, it is believed Desmond inappropriately used about $95,394.87 of church funds over a five-year period.  He has been indicted on grand theft embezzlement charges. 


Election season officially kicks off with Iowa Caucuses Monday night

Tonight officially kicks off election season as the first votes are cast in the 2020 cycle.  The Iowa Caucses will get underway tonight with doors opening at caucus stations in Iowa at 6:30 p.m. and the caucus beginning at 7:00 p.m.  There are four candidates considered favorites to win or at least meet the 15 percent viability threshold to earn delegates by the end of the night.  A total of 41 pleged and eight unpleged delegates are available tonight.  Those are former vice president Jo Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar and finally former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg. 

 

Contestants:

Former Vice President Joe Biden
Former South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg 
Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders
Businessman Tom Steyer 
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
Businessman Andrew Yang
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick


One person killed in one-vehicle accident in Bon Homme County

One person died early Sunday morning in a one-vehicle crash south of Tyndall.

 

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

 

A 1994 Chevy 1500 pickup was northbound on South Dakota Highway 37 when it went into the east ditch and rolled.

 

The 60-year-old male driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only person involved.

 

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.


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