Local News Archives for 2020-03

Brown County courthouse to close to walk ins April 1st

The Brown County courthouse will close its doors to walk-in services starting April 1st.  If you have business with the courthouse please call ahead for an appointment.  A drop box is being installed in the annex entry as well.  

Gov. Noem gives update on COVID-19 cases Tuesday

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem gave an update on coronavrius in South Dakota Tuesday.  According to numbers relased by her administration, seven new caes were confirmed today bringing the total number up to 108.


Despite the positive tests, Governor Noem shared good news at the press conference...





Governor Noem also said the state has received help from the national level to help fight the spread...





Governor Noem also expressed her desire to see hospitals remain open to not only help fight COVID-19 but keep the population healthy as a whole...



Mitchell city council approves citywide shutdown

The Mitchell City Council last night approved an emergency ordinance to authorize a city-wide shutdown.  The measure was taken to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.  The shutdown goes into effect on Friday.  Mitchell’s shutdown will close many types of businesses including restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, clubs, cafes, movie theaters, recreational facilities, bowling alleys, and casinos.  The ordinance does not have a specific time frame.  The council and mayor could call a meeting at any time to repeal the ordinance.  Violators of the ordinance would be fined $500 and could be sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Road closures planned for Tuesday in Aberdeen

Beginning at 8:00am on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for work on a sewer line: North State Street from 14th Ave NE to 15th Ave NE.  Work is expected to last all day.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes.  Please call the Public Works office at 605-626-7010 for more information. 

One man killed in Haakon County fatal crash Friday

One man died early Friday night in a one-vehicle crash east of Billsburg.


The name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of family. He was the only person involved.


A 2005 Toyota Tundra was eastbound on South Dakota Highway 34 when it left the roadway, hit an approach and eventually rolled.


The 68-year-old driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle. He was 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.

Country music star Joe Diffie dead at 61

Country music star Joe Diffie passed away Sunday due to complications with COVID-19.  He was 61 years old.  His family announced the singer, songwriters passing on his personal Facebook page.  Diffie had tested positive for the illness Friday.  Diffie made most of his hits in the 90s and was known for songs such as “Pickup Man”, “Third Rock From the Sun” “John Deere Green” and many more. 

SD Medical Association pressures Gov. Noem to do more to fight coronavrius

The South Dakota State Medical Association has released a statement pressuring Governor Kristi Noem to do more when it comes to battling coronavirus in the state.  The association, which represents physicians, residents and med students across the state called on Governor Noem to close all nonessential businesses in South Dakota to prevent community spread. 


Governor Noem defended her decisions, at a press conference Thursday...



Senator Rounds also isolating himself

Just days after South Dakota Senator John Thune took a private plane back to South Dakota from DC due to not feeling well and isolating himself, Senator Mike Rounds is doing something similar.  In a conference call with the media Thursday, senator Rounds says, though he is feeling fine and showing no symptoms, he is isolating himself at a family owned farm near Presho South Dakota during this time.  The senators both risked exposure to coronavrius when it was revealed Kentucky Senator Rand Paul tested positive for the virus.  Senator Round says its important to self isolate as his wife Jean is immunocompromised due to cancer treatments. 

Lee Park to Open March 28th

The Lee Park Golf Course will be open for play starting on Saturday March 28th weather permitting. Tee times are highly recommended and can be made online or by calling the pro shop at 626-7092.  Carts will not be allowed on the course due to the wet conditions.  Information on coronavirus policy is available at  Please familiarize yourself with this policy before coming out to the course.  For more information, please call the Lee Park Golf Shop at 626-7092.

City gives new sump pump direction

The City of Aberdeen Public Works Department is notifying business and home owners that effective immediately, sump pump water is no longer authorized to be discharged into the sanitary sewer system until further notice.  Discharges must be to the curb and gutter outside your home or business in a manner that will not impact your neighbors.  If you have questions regarding sump pumps, please call the Public Works Office at 626-7011.  Thank you for your cooperation.

COVID-19 cases jump up to 41 Wednesday, second in Brown County

COVID-19 cases in South Dakota have jumped from 30 on Tuesday to 41 Wednesday  Eight of the 11 new cases are in Minnehaha County, one in Brown County, one in Lincoln County and one in Meade County.  Eight of the 11 new cases are also women. 


Governor Kristi Noem released a statement today calling on South Dakotan's to remain calm...


Watertown to close non-essential businesses Thursday

Watertown Mayor Sarah Caron was candid in her comments Tuesday about the impact the COVID-19 virus will have on the city both in the short term and long term.


During a daily press briefing at city hall,  the mayor talked about the reaction she’s been getting from non-essential businesses that are being told they have to close—effective tomorrow (Thursday)…





South Dakota has 30 coronavirus cases. Codington County has one case.

Northern to move all spring classes online until further notice

In response to Gov. Kristi Noem’s Executive Order 2020-04, the South Dakota Board of Regents has determined all South Dakota public universities will transition spring classes online for the duration of the semester and postpone spring commencement ceremonies until further notice, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.


“Throughout this entire situation our focus has been on the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff,” said NSU President Tim Downs. “Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, it is evident that this is the right decision for Northern and the Board of Regents.”


Students with spring housing contracts will receive pro-rated refunds for housing, meal plans and parking. Refunds are expected to be issued in April. Students should discuss any questions or concerns about their courses or registration with their academic advisors.


NSU Residence Life will coordinate the move-out process, in accordance with CDC guidelines for social distancing. Residence Life will share further details with students in the upcoming week. Some circumstances may allow a small number of students to remain in residence halls until further notice.


All on-campus events will be canceled or postponed through May 15, 2020, and campus remains closed to the general public until further notice.


“I cannot thank our students, faculty and staff enough for their patience and willingness to adapt to this unprecedented situation. As we get through this, we look forward to continuing our educational mission and providing an excellent student experience to everyone at Northern,” said Downs.


Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to help flatten the curve by following CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. For more information, please visit or

Avera St. Luke's announces "No visitor" policy

 Across its footprint, Avera is closing its hospitals to visitors to protect patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Avera St. Luke’s Hospital will move to a no visitor policy effective Wednesday, March 25.


For end-of-life, births, and pediatric cases, limited visitors will be allowed. These will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Avera is encouraging virtual visitation at several of its hospitals. Family members are encouraged to connect with patients using phones, text, social media or video chat. The patient should have his or her own device.


“We understand that these restrictions will be difficult for patients, family members, friends and loved ones. Top priority is the protection of everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable. Similar to other hospitals across the nation, we are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and staff. We ask for the cooperation and understanding of the public – we as a health system must act responsibly and do everything we can to minimize the spread of this virus,” said David Erickson, MD, Chief Medical and Innovation Officer for Avera Health.


In addition, Avera Medical Group clinics are asking patients not to bring guests to appointments except in certain cases such as when the patient is a minor.

To learn more go to

3 of 8 minimum security inmates placed on escaped status back in custody

(Dakota Radio News Group - Pierre, SD) The inmate at the South Dakota Women’s Prison in Pierre who tested positive for COVID-19 remains in isolation at the prison.


State Sec. of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the inmate continues to do well.





Nine inmates left the prison’s Pierre Community Work Center without authorization about 8:45 last night (March 23) by exiting an exterior door. Four are now back in custody.


Gov. Kristi Noem says the COVID-19 positive inmate was in the same unit as the escaped inmates.






Malsam-Rysdon says whether or not the inmates walked away to avoid exposure to coronavirus is under investigation.






Leaving a non-secure correctional facility without authorization constitutes second-degree escape, a Class 5 felony punishable by a maximum of 5-years in prison.


Find more information, including names and photos of the escaped female inmates, at Hear the March 24, 2020, COVID-19 press conference update with Gov. Noem and Sec. Malsam-Rysdon in this KGFX Beyond the Mic podcast. Subscribe for free through Google Play, Spotify, Podbean or iTunes.



Women’s Prison staff began escape procedures and law enforcement was notified. The South Dakota Highway Patrol aircraft was used to assist ground operations in its search for the inmates.


The inmates include:


Boneshirt is serving a 7-month, 15-day sentence for 3rd-degree simple assault and a consecutive 1-year sentence for possession of a controlled substance. Both convictions are from Minnehaha County.


IN CUSTODY ON THE CROW CREEK RESERVATION PENDING RETURN TO SD WOMEN’S PRISON: Wakeman is serving a 6-year, 7-month, 5-day sentence, a consecutive 5-year sentence with 5-years suspended and an additional consecutive sentence of 2 years. All of the convictions are for possession of a controlled substance from Minnehaha County.


Red Leaf is serving two 3-year, 9-month, 15-day sentences for possession of a controlled substance and a 1-year, 9-month, 15-day sentence for eluding. All of the convictions are from Pennington County.


Richards is serving three 5-year sentences with 3-years suspended on each. All of the convictions are for possession of a controlled substance and are from Pennington County.


Lamont is serving two sentences of 2-years, 7-months and 20-days for possession of a controlled substance and a 2-year, 7-month and 20-day for second-degree robbery. All of her convictions are from Pennington County.


Schoneman is serving a 2-year, 8-month, 20-day sentence with 1-year suspended for possession of a controlled substance from Minnehaha County.


IN CUSTODY ON THE CROW CREEK RESERVATION PENDING RETURN TO SD WOMEN’S PRISON: Miller is serving a 1-year, 11-month, 10-day sentence for failure to appear and a 4-year, 11-month, 10-day sentence for possession of a controlled substance from Davison County and a 4-year, 11-month sentence from for forgery from Yankton County.


IN CUSTODY ON THE CROW CREEK RESERVATION PENDING RETURN TO SD WOMEN’S PRISON: Flute is serving two 1-year, 11-month, 20-day sentences for third offense DWI. One conviction is from Charles Mix County and the other from Yankton County.


The Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident.

Gov. Noem signs 19 bills into law

Governor Noem signed 19 bills.


  • SB 2 An Act to require the Department of Social Services to fully support a statewide centralized resource information system.
  • SB 73 An Act to exempt certain persons from the requirement to publish name changes.
  • SB 84 An Act to authorize service animals in-training to enter certain establishments.
  • SB 96 An Act to prohibit the denial of benefits based solely on a controlled substance felony.
  • SB 124 An Act to revise provisions regarding group pheasant hunts for disabled veterans.
  • SB 136 An Act to authorize certain witnesses to be accompanied by a certified therapeutic dog in a criminal proceeding.
  • SB 139 An Act to revise provisions regarding replacement nursing facilities.
  • SB 140 An Act to provide for the resolution of alleged certain disability violations.
  • SB 146 An Act to revise provisions related to tribal identification cards.
  • SB 150 An Act to revise nonresident waterfowl licensure.
  • SB 155 An Act to provide for step therapy protocol regarding certain prescription drugs.
  • SB 160 An Act to authorize the construction and operation of a nursing home facility in Moody County, South Dakota, and to declare an emergency.
  • SB 162 An Act to provide limitations on the use of lighting equipment while hunting.
  • HB 1067 An Act to modify certain provisions regarding notice, service, and execution of judgments in forceable entry and detainer actions.
  • HB 1088 An Act to create a penalty for violation of a vulnerable adult protection order and to revise certain provisions regarding protection orders.
  • HB 1123 An Act to revise provisions regarding termination of a lease by a victim of alleged domestic abuse.
  • HB 1140 An Act to provide for a regular review of parenting guidelines.
  • HB 1205 An Act to revise provisions regarding a custodial parent relocating a minor child.
  • HB 1246 An Act to revise the attorney's fees allowed in a retaliation action against a lessor.

Rep. Johnson pushing for further MFP payments in economic rescue package

As part of the massive economic rescue plan moving through Congress, there will be a proposal to expand reserves in the Commodity Credit Corporation.


South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson is behind that push...





Johnson says there is a strong ag coalition in Congress behind the plan...





Johnson says the price spread between the feedlot and the retail store needs to be investigated...




The two trillion-dollar plan could go to a vote in the Senate and House today and tomorrow.

Gov. Noem confirms two new cases of coronavirus Tuesday calls for schools to close until May 1st

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem confirmed on Tuesday two new cases of coronavirus in South Dakota, one in Beadle County and the other in Brookings County.  Noem says two confirmed patients have fully recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of cases in South Dakota to have the virus and bounce back to eight. 


Despite the good news, Governor Noem again pointed out the government believes peak infection time will come in May, but wanted to appreciate where the state is as a whole…




Governor Noem also asked that schools remain closed through May 1st due to the virus, further throwing the rest of the school year into limbo and all but making sure post-season competitions will have to be canceled…





President Donald Trump has recently changed tone on the status of workers not going to work due to coronavirus, and says he hopes to see workers return sooner rather than later.  This would go against all guidance from health officials and experts recommendations.  Despite the president wishes, Governor Noem says she is sticking to her plans to fight coronavirus…


Agtegra to donate N95 respiratory masks

Agtegra has been taking inventory at all locations to compile as many N95 respiratory masks as possible to donate to area healthcare facilities, and nursing homes.


The initiative began last week after many region hospitals and clinics reached out due to a lack of safety supplies. Agtegra donated 600 masks to Avera on Friday and have plans to donate approximately another 3,700 masks this week.


“It is essentially important for communities to band together right now with every resource possible,” said Agtegra Director of Safety and Environmental Beth Locken. “The healthcare providers in our communities help protect and care for our neighbors, friends, family members, patrons, and colleagues. The more we work together and assist our healthcare providers when needed, the faster we can help move past this.”


Many area healthcare facilities and nursing homes have stated that they may run out of supplies in the next week or two.


To date, supplies have or will be delivered to South Dakota facilities in Aberdeen, Bowdle, Chamberlain, Faulkton, Huron, Mitchell, and Redfield, and to Oakes, North Dakota.


Agtegra will continue to inventory supplies and assist facilities in need as communities deal with the COVID-19 virus.


In addition to the mask, Agtegra is taking inventory of Tyvek suits and eyewear and will donate those as supplies come in.

Aberdeen City Council discusses ordinance to possibly close private business to help fight the spread of COVID-19

The Aberdeen City Council at its Monday meeting discussed the new executive order laid out by Governor Kristi Noem.  The order lays out guidelines for both individual South Dakotan’s as well as local leaders how to approach the COVID-19 spread in South Dakota. 


The council seemed unanimous in the opinion that it does not want to have to implement a city ordinance which regulates businesses such as bars and restaurants during this time, but wants the ability to do so because of how fast this situation has been changing. 


According to Mayor Travis Schaunaman most bars have already voluntarily closed, making the need for further action from the council not necessary at this moment…





There have been questions as to what, if any, powers local and state government actually has in regards to forcing private businesses to close their doors during a health crisis.  Governor Noem has been hesitant to declare such a measure while Mayor Schaunaman explained to the Aberdeen American News he does not believe he can tell private businesses to close.  City attorney Ron Wager looked into that situation…





Wager went on to say that Governor Noem through her executive order has overtaken local powers at this time and it is up to the council as to how they will go about implementing the commands in her order they have control of. 


If the council were to pass an ordinance mandating businesses to close they would need to do so under normal procedure, including a first and second reading.  Some council members, such as Clint Rux, thought a special meeting may be needed in order to not get too far behind the curve…




City attorney Wager closed the discussion by offering to draft two ordinance proposals the council would consider at a special meeting.  The special meeting will be Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. 

Rapid City closes down certain businesses to help fight spread of coronavirus

(KOTA - Rapid City, SD) After a nearly three-hour special meeting Sunday night, the Rapid City Common Council approved first reading of an ordinance to close certain public businesses, like bars, restaurants, casinos and health clubs in responsde to COVID19.


The final vote was 7-2, with Lance Lehmann and John Roberts voting against the ordinance.  Aldermen and Mayor Steve Allender took two hours of public comment on both sides of the closing question; business owners told aldermen they were acting way ahead of any coronavirus even being present according to state testing, while supporters of the closures said the state testing numbers were many days off-track and many tests short of being accurate at all.  


Another aspect of the argument for opponents of the close was the seeming targeting of small businesses, while big chain stores were kept on an essential-operation list but risking many more unprotected coronavirus exposures due to their business volume.  


Aldermen voting in support of closures said the move was based on the recommendation of area doctors and health providers, to act well ahead of any local outbreak to keep from overwhelming the health system once the virus arrives.  


The first orinance approved on Sunday's agenda lifts more-than decade old moratorium banning phone or on-line attendance for council meetings, to allow for corona-virus separation and quarantine recommendations affecting future meetings.  


Final reading on both ordinances will be at the next special meeting, set for this Friday night.  Any ordinance approved would go into immediate effect.  

Avera lab validated to conduct coronavirus testing

Avera’s laboratory in Sioux Falls has been verified by the South Dakota Department of Health to perform COVID-19 testing.


The Avera Institute for Human Genetics has worked closely with the governor’s office as well as the state health department to establish guidelines on how pending tests are processed. This additional testing site will allow processing of up to 200 tests per day. Avera will have the ability to enter these results directly into the patient’s AveraChart electronic medical record.


The most critical and highly suspicious tests will receive priority. Result time will depend on volume, however, most test results will be able to be returned in a few days and inpatient tests that are considered urgent based on the patient’s condition can be returned more quickly.


To date, this testing has been conducted by the state health department’s laboratory and Avera’s contract laboratory.


“We are incredibly proud of the teamwork that was involved in making this happen so quickly. This will benefit our patients, health care workers and the general public. The health and safety of our patients and communities are the utmost important to Avera. We hope the addition of more testing sites will expedite results and calm worries,” said Bruce Prouse, MD, Clinical Vice President of the Avera Laboratory Service Line.


“Testing of COVID-19 samples is a complex process. Thanks to Avera’s background with genetic testing, we have the expertise and equipment to accomplish this,” Prouse said. “Getting this validation completed so quickly took amazing teamwork by our laboratory staff as well as state health officials. All are working together in the best interest of patients and the greater population.”


All test results will be sent to the state for reporting purposes. Patients with positive test results will be contacted with instructions on how to care for themselves at home, symptom management, and when to contact health care provider if symptoms worsen.


Learn more at

Name released of McLaughlin woman killed in car accident

A McLaughlin, S.D. woman has been identified as the person who died Thursday morning in a one-vehicle crash south of McLaughlin.


A 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche was southbound on South Dakota Highway 63 when the driver, 35-year-old Lana Van Nortrick, lost control of the vehicle due to icy road conditions. The vehicle went into the west ditch and rolled.


The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She was the only person involved in the crash.


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.

Noem orders flags at half staff in honor of former member of legislature

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 Thursday, March 26, 2020, to honor the life of former ?State Representative Patrick Kirschman.    


Kirschman represented District 15 in central Sioux Falls in the State House of Representatives from 2009 until 2017.

Gov. Kristi Noem signs executive order related to coronavirus

The Executive Order reads:


Whereas, The World Health Organization has designated COVID-19 a pandemic, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared a public health emergency; and,


Whereas, The CDC has issued guidance to state and local governments and all citizens recommending steps to prevent community spread and guard against the COVID-19 outbreak; and,


Whereas, Executive Order 2020-04 declared South Dakota to be in a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and,


Whereas, As members of a community, South Dakotans join together in times of crisis to confront difficult times and help their neighbors:


NOW, THEREFORE, I, KRISTI NOEM, Governor of the State of South Dakota, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of this State, including but not limited to SDCL 34-48A, do hereby Order and Direct the following:


Every South Dakotan should:

1.  Review and practice the recommended CDC hygiene practices designed to stop the spread of the disease COVID-19 and encourage others to do so as well.

2.  Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, call a health care provider if suffering symptoms in advance of a visit to a provider, and stay at home if sick.

3.  Understand that those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, including those over age 60 and those suffering from respiratory or cardiac conditions, should take extra precautions and remain home if possible.

4.  Implement social distancing measures and support businesses who are adjusting their business model to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

5.  Assist those who work in essential jobs such as emergency personnel, medical professionals, and law enforcement.

All employers, both for-profit and not-for-profit, within the State of South Dakota should:

6.  Implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices and other business strategies designed to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease.

7.  Understand that the COVID-19 is not a short-term challenge, and operations will need to endure a difficult and limited social environment for potentially eight weeks or more.

8.  Innovate and continue to demonstrate entrepreneurial excellence in their operations during this difficult and uncertain environment.

9.  Encourage staff to telework if possible, implement social distancing measures, limit unnecessary work gatherings, limit non-essential travel, and consider regular health checks including CDC guidance for COVID-19 screening if possible.

10.  Offer, to the extent possible, special shopping times or access periods for populations particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Any “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” within the State of South Dakota should:

11.  Suspend or modify business practices as recommended by CDC guidance that involve ten or more people to be in an enclosed space where physical separation of at least six feet is not possible.

12.  Continue offering or consider offering business models that do not involve public gatherings, including takeout, delivery, drive-through, curb-side service, off-site services, social distancing models, or other innovative business practices that do not involve public gatherings in an enclosed space.

13.  Consider business arrangements and innovative ideas intended to support the critical infrastructure sectors, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.

For the purpose of sections 11 through 13, an “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” means any enclosed facility operating as a bar, restaurant, brewery, cafe, casino, coffee shop, recreational or athletic facility, health club, or entertainment venue.

All healthcare organizations within the State of South Dakota should:

14.  Implement or Continue to follow CDC guidance and maintain their exceptional efforts to prepare for the expected surge of patients needing health care services as a result of the COVID-19 disease.

15.  Postpone all non-essential elective surgeries to conserve (and thereby maximize) supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).

All local and municipal governments within the State of South Dakota should:

16.  Implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices and public employee arrangements designed to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease, and take action based on facts, data, and science.

17.  Restrict public gatherings of ten people or more, unless it is necessary.

18.  Review the business practices of each “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” in their community for compliance with this Executive Order and protect the ability of those businesses to innovate.

19.  Encourage entrepreneurial innovation in the private sector to provide employment opportunities to protect the continued operation of the free market consistent with recommended CDC hygiene practices and understand that COVID-19 will impact their communities for potentially eight weeks or more.

20.  Protect the critical infrastructure sectors, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services, pharmaceutical industry, and food supply entities, as these sectors have a special responsibility to maintain their normal work schedule.


A. This Order should be read in conjunction with the list that is attached to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) memorandum dated March 19, 2020.
B. This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the State of South Dakota, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
C. Sovereign nations within the borders of South Dakota should review the matters set forth herein and make their own decisions in accordance with tribal law.
D. This Order is based on developing data, facts, and science and may be rescinded or amended, and shall expire on the earlier of when revoked, superseded, or automatically on May 2, 2020.


First case of coronavirus confirmed in Brown County

The total number of coronavirus cases in South Dakota has jumped up to 21 as of Sunday including one case in Brown County. These numbers were first reported by state officials at and at a press conference from Governor Kristi Noem. Governor Noem talked about the Brown County Case...






Beadle County now has 10 confirmed cases as well, more than any other county in the state. Health officials now consider Beadle County to be at a substantial level of community transmission. There have been 740 negative test across the state and 277 tests that are pending results.

Governor Noem has not gone as far as leaders in Minnesota and North Dakota in closing bars and restaurants, but did ask for extra steps to be take in Beadle County to stop the spread of the virus...





Governor Noem also spoke on executive power during this time of crisis, but says it is not clear if she has the authority to shut down a city or the state...





This leaves the situation in limbo somewhat as Mayor Travis Schaunaman of Aberdeen recently told the Aberdeen American News he also does not have the authority to tell a business to close.

Local government leaders and support address coronavirus situation

Leaders from the city of Aberdeen and Brown County spoke at a press conference Friday about preparations being made to battle the coronavirus or COVID-19.  Represented at the conference included medical leaders from Avera and Sanford, the Brown County Commission, Aberdeen Public School District, Brown County Emergency Management and more. 


The next 14 days are considered crucial by leaders both locally and statewide if efforts to flatten the curve of infection are to be successful.  As of now Brown County has  no positive tests for the virus, but according to Todd Forkel, Regional President and CEO of Avera St. Luke’s that may not be for long…






Forkel and other medical professionals at the press conference explained hospitals are only collecting samples and those samples are then sent to the state lab for testing.  That is why positive tests can often be a lagging indicator as to how fast the virus is spreading. 


The Emergency Operations  Center or EOC has been activated and is a combined effort of county and city officials to help spread awareness and news about the virus as it becomes available.  JR Huebner, Aberdeen Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief talked about what it means to have the EOC up and running…





City Manager Lynn Lander spoke briefly and basically described all the events and activities being closed or canceled now until at least March 29th.  This is in an effort to encourage social distancing during this time.


School is out for the time being and will be out another week thanks to a decree by Governor Kristi Noem earlier this week.  Aberdeen Public School Superintendent Becky Guffin says the school will be ready next week to fill a more active role despite students not being in the classroom…


North Dakota Gov. Burgum closes all bars and restaurants amid COVID-19 outbreak

North Dakota Governor Doug Brgum announced Thursday all bars, restaurants, breweries, cafes and similar businesses must close to help stave off the spread of the coronavirus.  During thi stime to go orders will still be acceptable.


This comes just days after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz took similar drastic steps to help promote social distancing and help flatten the curve.


So far, Governor Kristi Neom has not taken such drastic action.  

Yeldez Shrine Circus canceled due to coronavirus

The Shrine Circus scheduled for April 9th 10th and 11th in Aberdeen and the circus in Huron has been canceled due to the conornavirus. 


In a release from the Shrine temple, this will affect all temple activities, not just the circus and the circus will not be rescheduled.  The June circus scheduled for Pierre and Mobridge will still go on as planned at this time. 

Public Works asks residents not to flush anything other than toilet paper

(Press Release) With the limited availability of toilet tissue, we understand that citizens may have to turn to alternative types of wipes.  The Water Reclamation Facility is being negatively impacted by these alternatives being flushed down the toilet. 


Please do NOT flush wipes of ANY kind down the toilet.  The only flushable item is toilet paper.  Please dispose of wipes, paper towels, tissues, napkins and the like in the trash. 


Many products these days are marketed as flushable.  From disposable toilet bowl cleaners to wipes that clean your “bum”.  The City of Aberdeen Public Works Department and Water Reclamation Facility (Wastewater Treatment Plant) want you to know that these items can’t be flushed.  Some of these items claim they dissolve enough to make it down your toilet but, they re-form once they enter the sewer and can cause sewer back up and damage pumping equipment.  


The City of Aberdeen has compiled a list of the items that do not dissolve in the sewer and can cause sewer backups in your home or neighborhood.  


• diapers
• paper towels
• facial tissue
• cotton swabs
• baby wipes
• adult wipes
• medicated hygiene wipes
• hair
• gum wrappers
• candy wrappers
• facial pads
• dental floss
• floss picks
• cigarettes
• cotton balls
• scoops of kitty litter
• women’s hygiene products
• all purpose cleaning wipes
• disposable toilet wand pads
• adhesive bandages
• condoms
• makeup remover wipes
• shower body wipes

Mayor Travis Schaunaman seeks calm during COVID-19 crisis

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem confirmed the 10 case of coronavirus in South Dakota. This time it was a young man in his 20s in Minnehaha county. That brings the total number of cases in Minnehaha county up to four. Governor Noem also said each and every case in South Dakota is travel related.


So far, Brown County has been free of any confirmed cases of the virus. Despite this, Mayor Travis Schaunaman says the city and county authorities are prepared should anything be needed...





Mayor Schaunaman was joined by communication outreach agents with Brown County Emergency Management to help address any concerns citizens may have during this time. According to Chad Nilsen, who also serves as a Fire Marshal says residents can turn to Brown County Emergency Management for timely, accurate information...





Fellow outreach agent for Brown County Emergency Management Justin Fraase walked residents through steps they can take to keep themselves and others safe around them...





Many people are wondering what they can do to help. Besides social distancing, food pantries can use help during this time. Many students who are food uninsured in Aberdeen rely on public and private schooling for a meal during the day. Because of this, strain can be placed on community service organizations. Travis Schaunaman has more...


Aberdeen Police involved in standoff situation

Aberdeen first responders were on the scene Monday afternoon and into the evening to deal with an incident that left many streets blocked off and the area evacuated. A standoff situation ensued and police confirmed at one point tear gas was used by authorities to try and defuse the situation. The incident occurred in the 100 block of seventh ave northwest and was first reported around 12:20 p.m. Officers responded to a domestic assault situation according to police scanners. As of 7:30 p.m. Monday, the situation had not been resolved.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz orders all bars and restaurants to close 5:00 p.m. Tuesday

Minnesota governor Tim Walz has ordered bars and restaurants close and remain closed until at least March 27th. The order goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday and will allow for drive through and take out orders as well.


This order is for more than just bars and restaurants and includes other gathering places usch as bowling alleys, musemus, theaters, fitness centers and more.

COVID-19 cases up to 10 in South Dakota

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Dakota

Number of Cases


South Dakota Counties with COVID-19 Cases



Bon Homme


Charles Mix










Note: All cases had travel history outside South Dakota prior to illness onset. There is no community transmission at this time.


Age Group of South Dakota COVID-19 Cases

0 to 19 years


20 to 29 years


30 to 39 years


40 to 49 years


50 to 59 years


60 to 69 years


70 to 79 years


80+ years


Sex of South Dakota COVID-19 Cases





One person killed in Butte County fatal crash Sunday

One man died early Sunday in a one-vehicle crash east of Newell.


The name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of family. He was the only person involved.


A 2004 Ford F150 pickup was eastbound on U.S. Highway 212 when the vehicle eventually went across the highway and entered the north ditch. The vehicle rolled and the driver was thrown from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seat belt and was 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.

Aberdeen Fire and Rescue responds to house fire Sunday

Aberdeen Fire and Rescue responded to a structure fire Sunday.  According to a release from Battalion Chief Joel Weig, firefighters responded to a home at 1010 South First Street at approximately 12:27 p.m. Upon arrival crews found a small exterior fire that had been extinguished by neighbors and residences of the home.  The home suffered minor exterior damage and the family was uninjured.  Fire crews determined the flame was caused by discarded smoking materials. 

Coronavirus continues to dominate news cycle

The coronavirus continues to dominate the new cycle as more extreme measures are being taken on a national level to help fight the spread. In South Dakota no new cases of the virus were reported as of Sunday, leaving the total at nine so far. 327 people have tested negative for the virus as the result of six cases are pending. Positive cases were located in Beadle, Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Davison, McCook, Minnehaha and Pennington. All schools will be closed this week and all post season tournaments and activities have been canceled or postponed.


In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz has ordered all public schools to shutdown Wednesday and will remain closed until March 27th, while Iowa has halted its legislative session for 30 days.


On a national level the CDC is now recommending no gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks. The Federal Reserve Sunday slashed interest rates to near zero in an effort to help offset much of the impact this virus has had on the economy.   


Again social distancing is encouraged during this time.  If you are not feeling well be sure to stay home.  Also, if you are showing symptoms of the virus, which include fever, cough, shortness of breath body aches chills and more you are encouraged to call your healthcare provider first before just going in. 

Catholic diocese of South Dakota dispenses Catholic's obligation to attend mass

(Press Release)

Earlier this week and in our respective capacities as spiritual leaders of the two dioceses in South Dakota, we announced measures for limiting the spread of illness during Masses. These statements were circulated within parishes and can be accessed on the two diocesan websites.
With public health officials providing additional guidance this week that has led to the cancellation of sporting and cultural events, we write to offer further clarification and guidance. While the Church has not been asked by government officials at this time to suspend the celebration of
Masses, these additional measures honor the spirit of what those competent in public health are advocating in light of the facts that have come forward in this current COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic.


All Catholics have an obligation to God to participate in Sunday Mass in ordinary circumstances. This obligation can be suspended for just causes. We also bear a duty to protect those who are most vulnerable among us. Due to the arrival of the COVID-19/Coronavirus to South Dakota, we have determined it prudent and a just cause to dispense all Catholics within the state’s borders from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice. If Catholics feel that congregating for Sunday Mass would bring an undue risk to themselves or others, they have the freedom to not attend Mass. Masses will still be celebrated in our parishes to provide for those who are healthy. However, if pastors feel,
because of particular circumstances in the parish or because of their own vulnerability, that the celebration of Holy Mass in a public setting brings an undue risk, they have the freedom to suspend the celebration of Sunday Masses in their parishes. Anyone feeling ill is asked to not come to Mass so as not to expose others to illness.


Since the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith and our spiritual nourishment in our journey of faith this decision to dispense the Sunday obligation is not taken lightly. It has been made with the awareness that the COVID-19/Coronavirus can be life threatening and has placed strain on healthcare systems across the world. We feel it prudent to allow Catholics to be dispensed from Mass should they choose this option.
It is important we all remember that honoring the Sabbath is God’s command, not His Church’s. Therefore, Catholics who are unable to attend Sunday Mass or who chose not to in light of this dispensation are urged to make “spiritual Communions” while joining in radio, television, or online broadcasts of the Sunday Mass. More information about these opportunities can be found on the diocesan websites1. The Rosary and other devotions are also ways that Catholics can honor the Lord’s Day and offer proper reverence to him while also receiving the spiritual help God desires to give us.


We urge all Catholics to offer additional prayer during this health crisis. In particular, we would ask all Catholics to pray for the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church and St. Joseph, Protector of the Church. Let us continue to pray for the sick and dying, for those caring for them and
for those working to minimize the impact of COVID-19. Let us pray for our own protection and care, for those who fear death without knowing the Lord’s loving care, and for strengthening our hope of eternal life.


Since God has promised to be with us at all times, let us turn to him in prayer, remain calm and tend to our brothers and sisters in need: those in our families, neighborhoods, and around the world.

Gov. Noem declares state of emergency asks schools to shut down

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has declared a state of emergency and is asking schools to close next week due to the threat of COVID-19 or coronavirus...





Governor Noem says the goal of the closure is to allow schools to undergo deep cleaning.  She is also asking private schools to close as well...





Along with school closures, Governor Noem has asked the SDHSAA to postpone all upcoming athletic tournaments and other activities.  

PC remains open despite ccoronavirus scare

While public education institutions across the state have extended spring break one more week to help fight the spread of COVID-19 or coronavirus, Presentation College in Aberdeen is back at school.  Presentation is a private school and therefore is not governed by the board of regents.

Despite other schools shutting down during this time, PC president Dr. Paula Langteau says the campus might be the safest place for students and faculty…






Dr. Langteau says she and other faculty are always monitoring the situation should things chance.  She also said the school, students and faculty are ready at a moment’s notice to transfer classes to online only.


Presentation College did confirm one student has self quarantined themselves after returning from spring break and showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  According to Dr. Langteau that student has not been tested for the virus because higher at-risk patients take priority…





So far, there have been eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Dakota, with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announcing Friday morning a ninth case.  There has also been one death related to the illness, a Rapid City man in his 60s.


Presentation College is a school known for its nursing program.  As the world works to fight this illness, Dr. Langteau says this reminds the entire PC family just how important their mission is to train the next batch of nurses and caregivers…


Update: Gosch tests negative for coronavirus

Update 3/13/20: Rep. Gosch tetsted negative for coronavirus.


Original story: South Dakota Public Broadcasting was first to report, District 23 Representative Spencer Gosch is out of the office undergoing tests for what has been described as a "serious medical situation."  


The announcement was made by House Speaker Steve Haugaard at the start of the legislative business day Thursday.  


According to emails between employees working in the house chamber, the testing being done is for COVID19 or the coronavirus. 

Aberdeen Public School District cancels all nonessential activities until further notice

The Aberdeen Public School district has canceled all nonessential activities effective 5:00 p.m. Friday until further notice.  The announcement was made in a relase from Central high school principal Jason Uttermark. 

No new coronavirus cases in the state over the last 24 hours

(DRGN - Pierre, SD) There have been no new positive tests for coronavirus in South Dakota in the past 24 hours.


Gov. Kristi Noem says the eight people who tested positive for the coronavirus had traveled outside the state and their contact with people in the state has been limited.





State epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton says tests can be done within a day.



Once test results are known, state Sec. of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says patients are notified quickly.






The South Dakota Department of Health has launched a website with COVID-19 information, including number of cases found in the state, at  Gov. Noem says the website will be updated with current information by noon each day.

State Democrats seek to bring attention to medicaid expansion amidst COVID19 outbreak

With all this coronavirus news, state lawmakers see it as an opportunity to push for medicaid expansion in South Dakota.  Democratic law makers sent a letter Thursday to Governor Noem, citing the eight confirmed cases of coronavirus and the need for expanded medical options during this time of crisis.  South Dakota is one of only 14 states in the nation which has not expanded medicaid coverage under the 2014 Affordable Care Act.  Democrats say tens of thousands of South Dakotans do not have coverage because of this decision not to expand the program. 

Eight cases of coronavirus now confirmed in South Dakota

The coronavirus continues to spread in South Dakota and across the United states.  South Dakota governor Kristi Noem says the number of cases of the virus has climbed to eight in the state.  The three new cases are all men and are self quarantined in their home.  Two of the new cases are located in Minnehaha county and one case located in Bon Homme county.  There are also 11 other cases pending in the state lab.  Governor Noem reminds residents to use caution and following CDC hygiene recommendations…






President Donald Trump in an effort to stop the spread of the virus has restricted travel to the United States from Europe, excluding the UK, for the next 30 days beginning Friday.  This does not pertain to US citizens who have been screened before entering the country. 

Oglala Sioux overwhelmingly vote to legalize marijuana on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

The Oglala Sioux Tribe voted in favor of a referendum Tuesday which legalized medical and recreational marijuana on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  According to preliminary figures 82 percent of voters voted in favor of medicinal marijuana while 74 percent voted in favor of recreational pot.  The tribal council is expected to create the laws which will regulate marijuana on the reservation.  A measure which would have allowed the sale of alcohol in the tribe’s casino failed. 

Rapper Nelly to headline Saturday of the Brown County Fair

The final act to headline the 2020 Brown County Fair has been announced.  Performing Saturday August 15th to close out the fair will be Rapper/country artist Nelly.  Nelly has been active since 1993 and has four #1 hits during his career including “Shake Ya Tailfeather”, “Dilemma”, “Grillz” and “Hot in Herre.”  He is also known for his collaboration with the country group Florida Georgia Line with his version of “Cruise.”  He will perform after Jo Dee Messina and Hardy. 

Day county sheriff suspends search for missing Waverly man

The Day County sheriff’s office has suspended the search for Richard “Butch” Carpenter, a Waverly man last seen Match 8th at Bitter Lake in Waubay.  The Day County sheriff’s office reported the news in a statement read by former Day County Emergency manager Wes Williams…



Odyssey Grand 8 Theater announces Aberdeen expansion

Odyssey Grand Theater 8 in Watertown has announced plans to expand their theater operation to Aberdeen.  In a press release sent out Wednesday, the theater has reached and agreement with the Aberdeen Development Corp to develop a new eight theater cineplex in Aberdeen.  The theater will be located next to Allevity just off Milwaukee Ave.  the new theater will include powered recliner seats, stadium viewing, 1.2:1 aspect ratio large screens and much more.  Odyssey Entertianment is located out of Minneapolis Minnesota and ownes 10 cineplexes with 78 screens in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Ohio.  

Primary polling location for June election to be moved from AmericInn

Brown County auditor Kathy McNickle announced Tuesday plans to move one of the polling stations for the upcoming primary election in June.  Normally, the AmericInn serves as oen of three poling stations in Aberdeen.  Due to a scheduling conflict the plan will be to move the AmericInn poling location to the Aberdeen Mall. 

Five cases of coronavirus confirmed in South Dakota

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has confirmed five people in South Dakota been diagnosed with Coronavirus.  She made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.  One of the five lived in Rapid City, a man in his 60s, and has died.  Three others are men in their 40s and 50s one female in her 30s.  Counties where these people live include Pennington, Beadle, Charles Mix, Davidson and Minnehaha. 

Brown county fair seeks to implement new noise restrictions at 2020 fair

Brown County fair board manager Derrick Ricci and Brown County sheriff deputy Dave Lunzmann spoke in front of the Brown County commission looking to implement a new noise policy at the 2020 fair. 


The fairboard and law enforcement would like to start enforcing quiet hours ground wide at midnight, but still allow alcohol to be served until 1:00 a.m.  the move is an effort to help with an orderly exit on a nightly basis.  Lunzmann described the situation in more detail...





The commission seemed to agree with the sentiment, but did not take action this meeting.

Gov. Noem and legislature comes to terms on budget agreement with two percent increase to community services

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem along with legislative leadership spoke at a press conference Monday afternoon to address a budget agreement reached by state government.  According to Noem her administration and the legislature have struck a deal that will balance the budget and still find money for a two percent increase for state employees, schools and community health services.

Governor Noem explained how they managed to find that extra money…





The announcement is welcomed news as it shows the state government’s commitment to promises made by those in power, and is happening despite continual conversations about how unlikely the increases are to happen.


Along with the funding for much needed community services and state employees, the budget also allocates money for the industrial hemp program South Dakota seeks to enact.  This was crucial to win over Governor Noem’s support for the legislation as she has been against legalizing industrial hemp since her first year in office.  Noem talked about the funding mechanism…





In order to make this two percent increase a reality, the government has to suspend increases to the state repair and maintenance budget.  That means some state owned facilities may not seek upgrades necessary this fiscal year.  Governor Noem addressed how that decision was made…


Day County sheriff seeking help finding missing man

Day County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public’s help in locating 67 year old Richard “Butch” Carpenter. Richard is 5 ft 8”, 225 pounds with blue eyes and white hair. Last known clothing description is a black Duluth trading jacket, blue shirt with blue jeans.


His last known location was near Bitter Lake in Waubay at around 9pm on the night of March 8th.

Richard Carpenter would be driving a 2001 Maroon Chevy diesel pickup with South Dakota license plate 5A5359.


No contact has been made since 9 pm on the night of March 8th, 2020.


If anyone has seen or knows his whereabouts please contact the Day County Sheriff’s Office at 605-345-3222

SD Republicans say unlikely enough money in the budget for schools, state workers or medical providers

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) Republican legislative leaders are not optimistic that there will be money in the final budget this year for increases to schools, state workers and Medicaid providers.


Assistant Senate Majority Leader Jim Bolin of Canton says they are working to find extra dollars...




House Majority Leader Lee Qualm of Platte says they don’t see the revenue right now...





The main run of the session is scheduled to wrap up on Thursday.


Swedish actor Max Von Sydow dies at 90 years old

Famous Swedish actor Max Von Sydow has passed away Sunday at the age of 90 years old.  He passed away surrounded by his family according to a release.  Sydow began his career in 1948 and gained early praise by staring in 11 films with legendary director Ingmar Bergman including “The Seventh Seal.”  He stared in over 100 films and tv series during his life, including the controversial film “The Exorcist” in 1973.  Later in life he had a small career renasaunce with small rolls in both the hit film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the TV series “Game of Thrones.” 

Oglala Sioux tribe to vote this week to legalize marijuana on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Members of the South Dakota Oglala Sioux Tribe will vote this week whether or not to legalize medical and recreational marijuana on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. If the tribe votes yes it will be the only Native American Tribe in the nation to set up a legal marijuana operation where it is illegal on a state level. Proponents believe it could help bring economic development to one of the most impoverished areas in the nation.

City load limits to take affect Friday

The City of Aberdeen Public Works Department announces that effective Friday March 6, 2020, spring load limits will be put in place. Businesses that need a business access permit or annual permit must apply for permits in order to comply with the load limit regulations.

Congressman Dusty Johnson votes in favor of emergency coronavirus funding

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) Congress has approved an emergency spending bill to deal with a possible outbreak of the coronavirus. South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson voted for it...




Johnson says the bill will make testing more widely available...




Johnson says some the money is designated for a more local response...




The Trump Administration had asked for two point five billion dollars to fund their coronavirus plan.

Sioux Empire Fair announces 38 Special and Parmalee to perform

The Sioux Empire fair has announced two more music acts for the upcoming 2020 fair. The group 38 special with Parmalee will perform Tuesday August 4th. 38 Special is a well known southern rock group who has been around for over four decades while Parmalee was named vocal duo/group of the year at the 2016 CMAs. The show is free with paid admission to the fair in Sioux Falls.

Yankton man sentenced to life in prison for killing ex-girlfriend

A Yankton man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing and dismembering his then girlfriend. Stephen Falkenberg was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the death of one time Aberdeen resident Tamara LaFramboise. The jury found Falkenberg guilty of killing LaFramboise during an argument in her apartment, dismembered her and dumped her remains on the northern peninsula of Michigan. Only her torso was recovered with hands, head and feet still not found.

Sports betting resolution to make 2020 ballot

The South Dakota House of representatives passed a resolution Tuesday which will put legalizing sports betting in Deadwood.  The resolution passed the house via a 36-27 vote.  It had already passed the senate 24-10 on February 11th. The South Dakota Secretary of State’s office says the proposal will be placed on the November 2020 ballot. 

Two taken to a hospital following accident between Groton and Aberdeen Tuesday

Two people were taken to a hospital with injuries following an accident between Aberdeen and Groton Tuesday. According to a release from the State Highway Patrol the incident occurred around 4:53 p.m. 2 miles east of Bath. 75-year-old Dennis Jones was driving west when he attempted to turn right onto 379th avenue while driving a John Deere tractor and was struck from behind by a semi. The semi was driven by 56-year-old Charles Mulkey of Chatsworth Georgia. Jones suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries while Mulkey had to be extracted from the vehicle with life-threatening injuries. He was eventually flown to Sioux Falls.

Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce takes position on certain legislation in Pierre

Ensuring that laws and legislation remain conducive to Aberdeen's healthy and vibrant business climate is a top priority for the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce. We believe in the importance of educating and informing our members and the community on issues that could affect them, either personally or professionally. Sometimes these issues are local and other times they are state-wide or national.


During this legislative session, we have proudly hosted four Legislative Cracker Barrels and also implemented an Advisory Committee. This small team of individuals evaluates local, state, and national issues and what effects they have on Aberdeen businesses and the community. The past couple of months have been quite busy with the committee discussing several issues and the Chamber Board of Directors have taken the following positions:


  • SB70, which authorizes other languages to be used in the process of issuing certain drivers licenses and permits. The application, study manual and written test would all be printed in Spanish, However, the skills portion of the test would be in English. The Board of Directors believes this is a straight-forward issue as there is a shortage of workers and Spanish speaking individuals can fill vacant jobs. Mobility is necessary to have a job and having a job helps our immigrant population integrate into our community faster, which includes speaking English. The Chamber Board supported SB70.


  • SB72, which establishes the Dakota's promise scholarship program, to establish the Dakota's promise fund, and to make an appropriation therefor. The purpose of the program is to provide scholarships through the Board of Regents to eligible students to allow the students to receive an affordable education at any university or college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and that provides instruction from a campus located in South Dakota. The Chamber Board supported SB72.


  • HB 1251 – which is an act to establish membership of the Board of Regents. It would reduce the number of regents from 9 to 5; not allow a regent who is a resident of a county in which an institution of higher education under the board's control maintains its principal physical presence; and would repeal the student regent position appointed by Governor. The Chamber Board opposed HB 1251. This bill was killed in committee.


If there are issues you are concerned about through the year, whether local, statewide, or national please contact the Chamber and the Advisory Committee can discuss them further.

Country music star Hardy to perform at the Brown County Fair.

The Brown County Fair Tuesday announced country music star Hardy will be performing at the fair grandstands Saturday August 15th.  Hardy has written songs for artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Balke Shelton and more.  He also has two singles out under his own name including “Rednecker” and “One Beer”.  He will perform Saturday which includes country artists Jo Dee Messina and one more headliner yet to be named.  The next headliner will be announced March 6th

Gov. Noem signs six bills into law

Governor Kristi Noem signed the following legislation today:


  • HB1026 – An Act to revise certain provisions relating to use of security for cleanup and remediation of environmental problems.
  • HB1041 – An Act to revise provisions authorizing state employees to opt-out of the state employee health plan and to declare an emergency.
  • HB1063 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the purchase, distribution, and sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of twenty-one.
  • HB1080 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding grain buyers.
  • HB1081 – An Act to exempt from alcoholic beverage regulations certain uses of alcohol by postsecondary institutions.
  • SB28 – An Act to repeal provisions regarding the restricted real estate broker's license for auctioneers and to revise certain provisions regarding real estate licensing.

Gov. Noem names Venhuzien as new chief of staff

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has announced she has hired Tony Venhuizen as her new chief of staff. Venhuizen is no stranger to politics in Pierre as he served in the same capacity under former Governor Dennis Daugaard. Venhuizen has worked in the Noem administration on a temporary basis since her former chief of staff Joshua Shields left after less than three months on the job. According to Dakota News Now Venhuizen lives in Sioux Falls and does not plan on moving to Pierre.

Sobriety checkpoints announced for March

South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety has released its March list of sobriety checkpoints scheduled throughout the state.


The checkpoints 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.


In March, there are 22 checkpoints planned in 19 counties.


Checkpoints are scheduled in the counties of: Beadle, Butte, Codington, Custer, Day, Davison, Edmunds, Hamlin, Hughes, Lake, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lyman, Minnehaha, Moody, Pennington, Stanley, Yankton and Walworth.


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

Public works announces plans to close roads Tuesday

The Aberdeen Public Works Department has announced road construction plans to begin at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday March 3rd.  The following roads will be closed to thru traffic for crane work.  South Mains Street from 4th ave se to 5th ave se.  Work is expected to last until noon on Tuesday the 3rd.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes.  Please contact public works at 605-626-7010 for more information. 

One person killed Friday in Deuel county fatal crash

One person died Friday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash west of Toronto.  


Names of the two people involved are not being released at this time.


A 2005 Peterbilt Conventional 379 semi-truck was pulling a full trailer and a pup trailer northbound on Interstate 29 when the driver braked suddenly for two dogs running across the interstate. A 2013 Mazda Sport, which also was going northbound, rear-ended the pup trailer.


The 60-year-old female driver of the Mazda was pronounced dead at the scene. The 49-year-old male driver of the semi was not injured. Both were wearing seat belts.


Both northbound lanes of I-29 were closed for a time after the crash.


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.