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Local News Archives for 2020-04

Chamber releases quick reference guide to new city ordinance related to COVID-19

 

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES

 

·     All restaurants, coffee houses, bars, breweries, casinos, dance clubs, gentlemen’s clubs, cafes and other similar places offering food and beverage for on-site consumption, including any alcohol licensees with on-sale privileges, must maintain a minimum six-foot space between tables, chairs, and bar stools if occupants are not members of the same household or dining party of not more than 10 persons.

·     Limit capacity in indoor recreational facilities and fitness businesses to a number of persons than can safely and reliably ensure social distancing.

·     Reduce seating to allow for social distancing by removing chairs or marking certain seats as “not available due to social distancing”.

·      Maintain a six-foot space between customers waiting for service or entry into the facility.

 

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT GUIDELINES

 

·     Employees of beauty and hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, spas, massage studios, and barber shops must wear masks which cover their nose and mouth during customer contact times. Customer seating must be at least six (6) feet apart.

·      Implement daily health screening protocol for all employees per South Dakota Department of Health guidelines for all employees.

·     Employees must wear a mask that covers the face and nose when social distancing guidelines cannot be met with, or a barrier to the public is not provided.

 

CLEANING & DISINFECTING GUIDELINES

 

·      Hand washing required at regular intervals of at least once per hour for all restaurant, bar, and food service employees.

·     Clean and disinfect video lottery machines between each customer and at the start of business.

·     Clean and disinfect equipment and mats in health, fitness, athletic, and weight training facilities between each use.

·     Post regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule for customers.

·     The City encourages enhanced cleaning and disinfecting requirements for motel and hotel rooms.

 

GROCERY AND RETAIL STORE GUIDELINES

 

·     The City encourages grocery and retail stores to limit customers to a number of persons that can safely and reliably ensure social distancing, and, where practicable, to clearly mark one-way shopping aisles and install a plexiglass or similar divider between the customer and the cashier.


Senator Rounds talks president's decision to order meat packing plants to stay open

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) President Trump issued an executive order forcing meat packing companies to reopen in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

 

There are questions and concerns from workers about going back to work in those conditions.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says the President order will also bring protective equipment into the plants...

 

 

 

Rounds says the US Ag Department will also be involved in opening the plants...

 

 

 

Rounds says some plants could help euthanize animals if needed...

 

 

 

Up to thirty five percent of meat processing capacity across the country has been offline due to effects of the pandemic.

 

 

 

 

 

 


United way of NE South Dakota announces first round of COVID-19 fund receivers

As of April 29th, the United Way Covid-19 Relief fund has provided over $60,000 to local non-profits assisting families and individuals affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Donations have been distributed to:


• Aberdeen Area Senior Center – Meals on Wheels Program to help assist with client charges ($8,073)
• Area IV Senior Nutrition Program to help cover increase in meals for seniors ($5,000)
• DTOM 22/0 Foundation – Care support for the Ranch and financial assistance for therapy ($3,000)
• Journey Home – Food Box Program to help meet higher need for food assistance ($7,000)
• Salvation Army – Rent, Food, & Utility Assistance to individuals and families ($46,255)
The Covid-19 Relief Fund still has funds available for non-profits in Northeastern South Dakota. To learn more about the Covid-19 fund or to donate, go to: https://www.uwnesd.org/covid-19.
The United Way funds 20 different agencies allocating to 32 separate programs all in the human social service field. To learn more about the United Way contact the United Way office at (605) 225-0212 or at www.uwnesd.org


Name released in Walworth County fatal crash

A 15-year-old female has been identified as the person who died Sunday afternoon in an ATV crash southeast of Selby.

 

A 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 900 EPS ATV was northbound on 308th Avenue, which is a gravel road, when the driver, Tori Fiedler of Selby, lost control. The vehicle rolled and the driver, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from the ATV. She 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.


Businesses allowed to reopen following passing of amendment to city ordinance Wednesday

The Aberdeen City Council voted 6-3 Wednesday at a special meeting to approve an amendment put forth by councilman Rob Ronayne. Councilmen Ronayne, Rux, Olson, Lunzman, Remily, and Bunsness voted yes on the amendemnt while mayor Travis Schaunaman and councilmen Rife and Johnson voted no.  The three no votes opted for a less strict reopening.  

 

The amendment allows businesses in Aberdeen to reopen and offer more services provided they meet guidelines to help try and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Stipulations include:

  • maintain six feet between tables, chairs and barstools provided the people are not from the same household or family. 
  • Dining parties are limited to no more than 10 people.  Remove number of seats to promote social distancing going as far to lable some chairs "not available."
  • Limit the number of people inside a recreational or fitness facility to ensure public distancing. 
  • Regular hand washing for service employees at least once an hour and more. 
  • If social distancing cannot be met and a barrier cannot be provided employees are required to wear a mask that covers the face and nose.  
  • Clean and disinfect video lottery machines between customers
  • Require six feet between customers waiting for service or entry.
  • Implement daily health screening protocals.  

Gov. Noem unveils "Back to Normal" plan

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem unveiled her “Back to Normal” plan Tuesday at an afternoon press conference.  The goal of this plan is to begin reopening the state in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

The plan put forth by the governor puts much of the onus on reopening on individuals and city or county government entities… 

 

 

 

 

The full plan can be found by following this link.

 

The plan at a glance highlights six different entities that will require responsible actions at this time to help a successful reopening of South Dakota.  Those six entities include individuals, employers, enclosed retail businesses that promote public gatherings, schools, health care providers and local governments.   

 

According to Governor Noem, social distancing already done by individuals and businesses in South Dakota has lowered the curve of infection by 75 percent and dropped estimated numbers of needed COVID-19 beds from 5,000 to 2,500 and 1,300 ventilators to 600.  However, Governor Noem says the state is still preparing for the worst.

 

The real test whether or not this reopening plan will be successful is the state’s ability to ramp up testing for COVID-19.  Kim Malsam-Rysdon, secretary of the state department of health, broke down the state’s three-tiered plan to ensure adequate testing is done to safely reopen South Dakota…

 

 

 

 

South Dakota’s peak infection time is still set for June according to the Governor’s office.  That means residents can expect to continue to see numbers of infections continue to increase. 

 

Despite this governor Noem feels it’s safe to begin reopening and had a message for all those who could be affected by the situation…

 


Mayor Travis Schaunaman talks amendment to ordinance allowing businesses to reopen

The Aberdeen City Council will hold a special meeting tonight to vote on an amendment to a city ordinance regulating business during this COVID-19 pandemic.  The goal of the amendment will be to allow non-essential businesses to reopen under strict guidelines to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

 

Aberdeen mayor Travis Schaunaman says the amendment as proposed is very similar to the one originally passed by the council in March…

 

 

 

 

Should the amendment pass it would go into effect immediately as it is changing an ordinance already on the books.  The amendment was originally discussed at Monday’s usual city council meeting, but failed to pass, mostly because six of the eight city council members did not receive enough time to vet the ordinance before voting. 

 

As of Wednesday April 29th there have been 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brown County, 21 of those cases have recovered.  In the directly surrounding counties around Brown including Spink, Day, Edmunds, McPherson, Marshall and Falk there have been a combined five confirmed cases.  Mayor Schaunaman says those numbers give him confidence it’s safe to reopen…

 

 

 

 

One area of concern for many in Aberdeen and Brown County is the confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the DemKota beef plant.  After the Smithfield Foods hotspot in Sioux Falls, where over 800 employees contracted the virus, many are concerned Aberdeen could be in for a similar situation with DemKota.  Schaunaman says DemKota and local officials had a chance to learn from Smithfield in hopes of not making the same mistakes…

 


Road work scheduled for parts of Aberdeen Tuesday

Beginning on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 the following road will be closed for work on water main:

 

South Washington Street from 6th Avenue SE to 7th Avenue SE

 

Work is expected to last through, Friday, May 1, 2020 but will be completed as quickly as possible.  The road will be opened nightly and then re-close the following workday morning.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed. 


Aberdeen City Council shoots down amendment to ordinance on business closures, will take it back up in special meeting Wednesday

The Aberdeen City Council voted down the first reading of an ordinance which would loosen restrictions on business during this COVID-19 health crisis. 

 

However, the council then voted to hold a special meeting Wednesday to retake up the measure after the public and some council members had more time to read and process what would be passing. 

 

The ordinance would allow non-essential businesses reopen provided they follow certain guidelines to try and mitigate COVID-19 spread.  Councilman Alan Johnson says the numbers show its time to loosen some restrictions…

 

 

 

 

A big sticking point to why the council voted down the ordinance was the timing when it came to them.  Councilman Clint Rux says he received a copy just before the meeting while councilman Rob Ronayne said he hadn't received one yet.  Rux says that will not do...

 

 


Aberdeen police use bean bag round to subdue suspect

The Aberdeen Police Department used a bean bag round to subdue a suspect brandishing a knife and a machete.  According to a release from Police, the incident occurred Sunday around 3:16 p.m. in the 2700 block of 3rd ave SE.  Upon arrival officers found the suspect and he resisted arrest, ultimately trying to flee.  He was struck in the right arm by the bean bag round then a taser was used to subdue him.  36-year-old Rafelito Souffant Astocio was charged with simple assault/domestic, bond violation, assault against law enforcement, interfering with emergency communications, 2nd degree burglary, obstruction and resisting arrest. 


ATV crash claims one life in Walworth County

A 15-year-old female died Sunday afternoon in an ATV crash southeast of Selby.

 

The name of the deceased has not yet been released pending notification of family members. She was the only person involved.

 

A 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 900 EPS ATV was northbound on 308th Avenue, which is a gravel road, when the driver lost control. The vehicle rolled and the driver was thrown from the ATV. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She was not wearing a helmet.

 

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 mayor Schaunaman says council will explore easing city ordinance regulating business during COVID-19 pandemic

Aberdeen mayor Travis Schaunaman says he and other city council members will bring forward an amendment to the city ordinances closing down businesses, allowing them to reopen in some capacity. 

 

According to mayor Schaunaman, closing businesses was done to prevent exhausting hospital resources and we are passed that…

 

 


Sturgis still deciding on status of annual rally

(KBHB - Sturgis, SD) Planners will use the next two months going through a list of protocols in determining whether or not the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a go for 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Sturgis City Council released a set of protocols this week that will be used when making the decision to hold or cancel South Dakota's biggest tourism event of the year.

 

Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen says the city has determined that it will make a decision based upon empirical data that will focus on whether the state is capable of hosting a larger number of visitors and if the areas where visitors usually come from have a high probability of carrying the COVID-19 virus.

 

He says they will consider the number of hospital beds available, ventilators available and the virus case growth in South Dakota and other states. The city will also reach out to federal, state and local leaders -- not just in South Dakota, but states that have a large presence at the rally.

 

Carstensen says the city will continue to follow the situation through the month of May and expect a decision by their June 15th council meeting - that is seven-and-a-half weeks before the start of the Rally on August 7th…

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Carstensen says before hosting any event, the city must be reasonably ensured that it would not levy an undue burden on the health of our residents and our health care services.

 

He and City leaders have said not having the rally would be a big blow to Sturgis and the state…

 


 

 

He says beyond the additional revenue for 43-percent of residents, many of the city's businesses are heavily dependent upon Rally revenue. City leaders expect significant negative impacts up to an including foreclosures for some community businesses if the rally is cancelled.

 


Six-year-old girl killed in Mitchell house fire

An overnight fire in Mitchell Thursday took the life of a 6-year-old girl.  According to authorities, firefighters responded to a call at 515 North Wisconsin Street in Mitchell shortly after Midnight Thursday.  A neighbor had called in the fire and rescued two children from the home, but could not get back in to rescue the third.  According to Dakota News Now, the property is a rental rented by a single mother with three children.  The mother was not home at the time of the fire.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 


Hoven man killed in ATV accident

The Potter county Sheriff’s office says a Hoven man died Sunday following an ATV wreck on farm west of town Sunday.  The victim was identified as 39-year-old Travis Karst who was taken to the Avera Hospital in Gettysburg.  According to the Potter County News in Gettysburg, first responders were called shortly after 9:00 p.m. Karst and his wife own New Creations in downtown Gettysburg. 


CDC releases report on Smithfield Foods COVID-19 outbreak

Today, Governor Kristi Noem released the finalized report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) regarding Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls.

 

“I want to thank Vice President Pence, Secretary of Agriculture Perdue, and the CDC for prioritizing the situation at Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls,” said Noem. “Their partnership has been critical to the work that we’ve done to get this cluster under control and safeguard the health of this workforce. My team at the Department of Health will continue to work with Smithfield and offer any assistance we can to help them implement these CDC recommendations, so they can safely reopen this plant as soon as possible.”

 

You can read the full report by following this link.


Trial of SD Senators accused of being drunk during session to continue Friday

The investigation looking into whether or not South Dakota state senators Brock Greenfield and Kris Langer were drunk the final day of the legislative session will continue Friday. 

 

On Friday, the committee composed of nine state senators, 5 republicans and four democrats, will hear from witnesses with the goal of trying to pinpoint the two’s whereabouts during a five hour break March 31st

 

On Tuesday, the committee reviewed security cam footage of the night in question.  Greenfield, who represents a small part of Aberdeen in District 2, has denied either were drunk the night in question. 


Dependable Sanitation now accepting recycling via schedule

Dependable Sanitation is now acceping drop-off recycling by appointment only between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  You can make an appointment by contacting 225-9316. 

 

Dependable Sanitation suspended curbside recycling pickup last week due to COVID-19.  Workers are required to sort the items, touching them, thus risking exposure. 


Largest single day jump of positive COVID-19 cases in Brown County confirmed Wednesday

According to the State Department of Health, Brown county saw its single largest day increase of positive COVID-19 cases Wednesday with seven.  The county now has 27 positive cases of COVID-19 with 12 reccoveries.

 

South Dakota's peak infection rate is suppose to hit in June according to modeling provided by government officials, but with two confirmed cases at two of Aberdeen's largest employers in the DemKota Beef Plant and Molded Fiber Glass, worry about a spike in infections arrise.  

 

State wide there were 100 new positive cases of COVID-19 and one new death reported.


Gov. Noem says almost 100 businesses have received governor loans

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem spoke Tuesday about COVID-19 in South Dakota.  According to the Governor, 94 businesses have applied for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Relief fund.  That office so far has approved $5 million worth of loans.  Governor Noem has touted this fund as another way small businesses can receive help during this tough economic time. 

 

Click here to view those approved for the loan.


Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Thursday

Beginning at approximately 8am on Monday, April 27, 2020 water will be off in the following area for work on water main:

 

South Washington Street from 6th Avenue SE to 7th Avenue SE

 

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


Gov. Noem signs executive order directed at pork producers

Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order to help South Dakota’s pork producers as the industry faces the impact of COVID-19.

The new Executive Order (2020-17) removes overstocking restrictions on pork producers. Producers now have some temporary flexibility in their state and county regulatory obligations, which is necessary for their operations and care of their animals.

 

To learn more about executive orders to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit COVID.sd.gov.


POET donates hand sanatizer

(WANX - Yankton, SD) POET is donating 220 gallons of hand sanitizer to help tackle the severe local shortage. POET CEO Jeff Lautt says it’s an all-natural ethanol-based sanitizer produced at its Chancellor and Scotland biorefineries.

 

 

 

 

 

He says they’ve been ramping up the amounts of ethanol they produce at their plants that can be used for the hand sanitizer.

 

 

 

 

 

Lautt says they’ve had this sanitizer distributed to those battling the pandemic on the front lines including health care workers, E-M-Ts, firefighters and nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

 

 

 

 

Lautt says once the frontline sanitizer needs are met, POET will focus on partnering with retailers.


Pierre man arrested in toddler death

A Pierre man sits in the Hughes County Jail on a First Degree Manslaughter charge as police investigate the death of a toddler last weekend.  Pierre Police Captain Brian Walz says officers were called to Avera St. Mary’s Hospital last Thursday after the two-year old child arrived at the hospital suffering from what Walz calls ‘suspicious injuries’.  The child was flown later to Sioux Falls where the child died on Saturday.  Detectives conducting the investigation were able to determine the injuries to the child were caused by Tristin Larson.  The South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation is assisting Pierre Police as the investigation continues.  First Degree manslaughter is a Class C Felony, which carries a maximum possible penalty of life in prison and or a 50-thousand dollar fine.


55-year-old involved in Turner County fatal crash

A 55-year-old man died Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle crash north of Viborg.

 

The name of the deceased has not yet been released pending notification of family members. He was the only person involved.

 

A 2015 Victory Magnum motorcycle was southbound on South Dakota Highway 19 when the driver lost control. The motorcycle eventually skidded and the driver was thrown from the motorcycle. He was not wearing a helmet 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.


State health officials confirm new COVID case at Molded Fiber Glass in Aberdeen

State health officials Sunday confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in Brown County, bringing the total up to 20.  They also reported a new recovery, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 11.  One of the new cases has been confirmed to have been a Molded Fiber Glass employee.  This comes just days after a positive test was confirmed at the DemKota beef plant.  Overall South Dakota saw 93 new cases Sunday, bringing the two day total to 224. 


DOH confirms at least one case of COVID-19 at DemKota beef plant

The South Dakota Department of Health confirmed Friday there has been at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 at the DemKota beef plant in Aberdeen.

 

The total cases in Brown County is up to 17, with 10 cases fully recovered.

 

According to Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemeolgist, health officials are currently working to track the number of potential exposures from the positive test.

 

This is a developing story...


Northern State postpones "Wolves on Water" walleye tournament

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Northern State University Athletic Department will postpone the Annual Wolves on the Water Walleye Tournament. The tournament was scheduled to take place May 29-30.

 

The tournament committee is following the recommendations set forth by the local, state, and federal officials. The committee will continue to keep an eye on the evolving situation, and make a decision that reflects the desire to keep all participants safe. The current goal is to make a decision in the coming weeks as more information is gathered, with the hopes of a postponement date in late August/early September.

 

For those who have registered the following options are available;

 

If you are no longer able to participate

1.Please consider your registration fee as a one-time, 100% tax-deductible donation to the NSU Foundation to go towards Student-Athlete scholarships.

 

If you still wish to participate

2.You can leave your registration as submitted until a final tournament decision is made.

 

The committee appreciates patience during this unprecedented time, as refunds and any future communications may be delayed due to staff working from home for the coming weeks. Questions can be directed to Adam Leach at adam.r.leach@northern.edu.


American Legion cancels Girls State

The 74th annual American Legion Auxiliary South Dakota Girls State, scheduled for June 1-6, has been canceled due to continued efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

This year’s delegates will receive a certificate of achievement and will be invited to a banquet in the fall of 2020 to celebrate their accomplishments. The girls will also have the option to enroll in and complete the State and Local Government course through remote learning.

 

"While no one wanted this cancellation, the health and safety of everyone, from delegates to counselors and speakers, must be our top priority,” said David C. Earnest, chair of the University of South Dakota Department of Political Science and W.O. Farber Center. “Girls State is about leadership and service to community. This year, the best service we can provide our delegates and community is to avoid unnecessary risks."

 

The ALA South Dakota Girls States, co-hosted by USD and the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership, is designed to teach female high school juniors about civic engagement. Approximately 440 girls from across South Dakota are selected based on scholastic achievement, leadership skills and interest in government.


Two more possible COVID-19 exposures at Sioux Falls businesses

State Health officials announced Wednesday, April 15, that two separate employees at two different businesses in Sioux Falls have tested positive for COVID-19. The individuals reported working while able to transmit the virus to others.

 

An employee at O’Reilly Auto Parts located at 2022 S. Minnesota Ave., in Sioux Falls, has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee reported working during these times while able to transmit the virus to others:

  • Thursday, April 9 – 11 am-7:30 pm
  • Friday, April 10 – 11 am-7:30 pm

 

A separate individual working at Tienda America at 114 S. Franklin Ave., in Sioux Falls, has tested positive for COVID-19. They were reported to working during these times while able to transmit the virus to others:

  • Monday, April 6 – 9 am-10 pm
  • Tuesday, April 7 – 9 am-10 pm
  • Wednesday, April 8 – 9 am-10pm
  • Thursday, April 9 – 9 am-10 pm

 

Due to the risk of exposure, customers who visited these locations during the specified dates should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the date they visited.

 

A CDC screening tool is available at COVID.SD.GOV, which can help recommend when to call your medical provider if you develop symptoms.

 

State Health officials remind all South Dakotans to:

·        Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·        Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

·        Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

·        Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

·        Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

·        Individuals at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, such as older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease, should take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.

·        Create a family plan to prepare for COVID-19 and develop a stay at home kit with food, water, medication, and other necessary items.

 

If you develop symptoms:

·        Call your health care provider immediately.

·        Individuals who are concerned they have COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider via phone before going to a clinic or hospital to prevent spread in healthcare facilities.

·        Avoid contact with other people.

·        Follow the directions of your provider and public health officials.

 


Ipswich Traildays canceled

Originally planned for June 13, 2020, Ipswich Trail Days has been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing necessity for social distancing and limited public gathering. With generous sponsorship from local businesses year after year, the annual summer celebration in Ipswich, South Dakota during the second weekend in June traditionally features bull-riding, bronc-riding, a parade, car show, yard game tournaments, and of course the headline country music concert and ‘after-party.’ Follow Ipswich Trail Days on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for future years’ announcements.


Dependable sanitation to suspend collection for at least a month

Dependable Sanitation, the company responsible for picking recyclable items will suspend operations for at least  a month becasue of the spread of COVID-19.  DS employees are required to sort items at curbsite, forcing them to touch said items risking exposure.

 

Residents are asked to store items until further notice or throw them away at this time. 


Gov. Noem addresses Smithfield Plant closure

Smithfield Foods says they will close their Sioux Falls plant indefinitely following a request from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem...

 

 

 

 

The company issued a news release in response to the letter from Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Ten Haken.

 

Noem also asked Smithfield to pay their employees while the plant is closed...

 

 

 

 

Noem says two health providers will be working with Smithfield...

 

 

 

The Department of Health reported seven hundred thirty positive cases now in the state, with five hundred twenty-seven in Minnehaha County. Of those, about two hundred thirty were connected to Smithfield workers.


Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Tuesday

Beginning at approximately 8am on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 water will be off in the following areas to install a water main:

 

Intersection of South 16th Street & 6th Avenue SW going West to City Limits

 

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


Name released in Lawrence County fatal crash

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

 

A 2000 Ford F350 pickup was westbound on Interstate 90 when the vehicle went off the road to the right, collided with a guardrail  and entered the north ditch where it tipped and rolled.

 

The driver, 39-year-old Benjamin Yackley, was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the pickup. He later died at a Spearfish hospital.

 

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

 

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


Road closures planned for Thursday in Aberdeen

Beginning on Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for work on storm sewer: North 1st Street from 2nd Ave NW To 3rd Ave NW.  Work is expected to last thru Thursday, April 9th.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.


Department of Labor and Regulation announces additional $600 weekly unemployment benefits

The Department of Labor and Regulation is now issuing the additional $600 weekly extended unemployment benefit available to all eligible claimants as a provision of the CARES Act. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits went into effect beginning the week of March 29, 2020.

 

Claimants do not need to separately request the FPUC payment but should continue to file a regular weekly request for payment. The additional $600 weekly payment will be paid with the regular weekly payment via the method selected by the claimant.

 

“Payments were issued today for this new weekly benefit, and claimants should receive their payment by the end of the week,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “The last week this payment will be compensated is the week ending July 25, 2020.”

 

Individuals cannot quit their job and continue to draw these benefits. Individuals refusing to return to work without a documented medical note consistent with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will be disqualified from ALL benefits, including the additional $600 weekly payment.

“The additional $600 weekly benefit payment is 100% federally funded,” said Secretary Hultman. “An employer’s experience rating account will not be charged or impacted by this additional payment.”

 

If employers receive a loan under the Paycheck Protection Act and place workers back on the payroll full time, the workers are no longer eligible for unemployment or FPUC benefits.


$10,000 reward offered for info leading to arrest in Pierre Runnings burglary

(Dakota Radio News Group - Pierre, SD) A reward of up to $10-thousand is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible two for burglaries that occurred April 5 and 7 at the Runnings store in Pierre.

 

The Pierre Police Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives believe the burglaries are related. In both incidents, surveillance footage captured two individuals wearing masks and gloves forcefully entering the front door of the business, navigating directly to the firearm section, breaking into a display case and removing firearms. Between the two burglaries, four firearms were taken.

 

ATF is offering a reward of up to $5,000, which will be matched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation for a total reward of up to $10,000. Information eligible for reward must lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary or aid in the recovery of the stolen firearms.

 

Anyone with information should contact ATF at 1-888-ATF-TIPS (888-283-8477) or email ATFTips@atf.gov. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to ATF using the ReportIt® app. It’s available through Google Play, the Apple App Store or by visiting www.reportit.com.

 


Noem says no decision on 80th Sturgis motorcycle rally

(KBHB - Sturgis, SD) The Governor was also asked about the status of the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally today.

 

Noem says as of now, there has not been any planning one way or another yet.

 

 

 

 

 

On that note, Noem said each and every day we go forward, we are in a better position to make good decisions that are appropriate with more facts and more information.

 

This year’s Rally is slated to begin officially on August 7th.

 

The city of Sturgis so far had indicated the event is still on.


Two tribal governments implementing checkpoints at reservation borders to prevent COVID-19 spread

At least two tribal governments have begun implementing “road checks” for those entering the reservation to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Those include the Oglala Sioux Tribe in southwestern South Dakota and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in central and northwestern South Dakota. 

 

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says her administration is aware of the situation...

 

 

 

 

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation experienced its first case of COVID-19 April 7th when a school employee started to show symptoms.  The person had traveled to California March 26th.  Upon returning the patient quarantined for two weeks and had no contact with children or other school staff.  

 

With that announcement Oglala Sioux Tribal president Julian Bear Running ordered a 72-hour-lockdown of the entire reservation. 


Singer, songwriter John Prine dies due to complications with COVID-19

Legendary singer/songwriter John Prine has passed away at the age of 73 years old.  Prine had been hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms last week and was placed on a ventilator Saturday night.  His wife had tested positive for the virus just a week ago. 


South Dakota Democrats fail to field 2020 House candidate

South Dakota Democrats have failed to field a candidate for the US House of Representatives this cycle.  Two potential candidates, Brian Worth of Dell Rapids and Whitney Raver of Custer were both unable to get the required amount of signatures to move their candidacy forward.  Unless the libertarian party or an independent candidate can field the necessary signatures, the winner of the Republican primary incumbent Dusty Johnson or challenger Liz Marty May will run unopposed for the seat.


Aberdeen City Council passes second reading of additional city ordinance limiting business during COVID-19 health crisis

The Aberdeen City Council approved the second reading of a city ordinance which will close restaurants, bars, casinos coffee houses and more. This would not prohibit drive through, curbside or delivery services.

 

The ordinance would also close tattoo shops, salons, barber shops, spas, massage studios and other personal care facilities. Public gatherings of 10 people or more are also prohibited unless adequate six feet of space between people is possible. Councilman Clint Rux says its a tough decision that will hurt a lot of people, but its about public health...

 

 


State health officials release info on potential COVID-19 exposure in Yankton

State Health officials announced today that an employee at the Yankton Walmart Pharmacy has tested positive COVID-19. The employee reported working two days, March 25 and March 30, while able to transmit the virus to others.

 

Due to the risk of exposure, customers of the pharmacy on March 25 who visited between the hours of 10 am and 7 pm should monitor themselves for symptoms through April 8. In addition, customers who visited the pharmacy on March 30 between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm should monitor themselves for symptoms through April 13. A CDC screening tool is available at COVID.SD.GOV, which can help recommend when to call your medical provider if you develop symptoms.

 

State Health officials remind all South Dakotans to:

·        Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·        Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

·        Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

·        Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

·        Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

·        Individuals at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, such as older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease, should take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.

·        Create a family plan to prepare for COVID-19 and develop a stay at home kit with food, water, medication, and other necessary items.

 

If you develop symptoms:

·        Call your health care provider immediately.

·        Individuals who are concerned they have COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider via phone before going to a clinic or hospital to prevent spread in healthcare facilities.

·        Avoid contact with other people.

·        Follow the directions of your provider and public health officials.


One person killed in a one-vehicle crash in Fall County

One person died and another person was injured Sunday night in a one-vehicle crash east of Oelrichs.

 

Names of the two people involved have not yet been released pending notification of family members.

 

A 2001 Honda Accord was westbound when the vehicle left the roadway, went into the south ditch and rolled.

 

The 25-year-old male driver was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

A 27-year-old male passenger, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered serious non-life threatening injuries. He was transferred to a Rapid City hospital.

 

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

 

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


SD Dept. of Labor attempts to outline CARES act benefits

The Department of Labor and Regulation?(DLR) is outlining the benefits of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, which provides unemployment benefits for the self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, gig economy workers, those who have exhausted other unemployment insurance benefits, and those who may not have sufficient work history to qualify for a regular state claim.  

 

The CARES Act also includes eligibility for those receiving unemployment insurance benefits in any amount to be paid an additional $600 weekly benefit.

 

After receiving guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, DLR has begun aligning resources and technology to create the necessary processes to be able to pay qualified individuals their benefits as quickly as possible. Payments will be issued as soon as administratively feasible and paid retroactively to eligible individuals.

 

The CARES Act provides the following unemployment insurance benefit programs:  

 

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The FPUC program provides individuals with an additional $600 per week who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Extended Benefits (EB), Trade Readjustment Act (TRA), and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). 

    The first week a claimant can be compensated on this benefit is the week beginning March 29, 2020, and the last week is the week ending July 25, 2020. Our goal is to issue payments to those who are eligible as soon as administratively feasible. Claimants do not need to request the FPUC payment.

    Please keep in mind you cannot quit your job and continue to draw these benefits. If you refuse to return to work without a documented medical note consistent with the Families First Act, you will be disqualified from ALL benefits including the $600 payment. Additionally, if your employer receives a loan under the PayCheck Protection Act and places you back on the payroll, full time, you will no longer be eligible for unemployment or FPUC benefits.
      
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).This program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees and gig economy workers, as well as to individuals working part-time, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular UC or EB under state or federal law or PEUC.  

    A claimant can be compensated with this benefit beginning Feb. 2, 2020, or the first week a claimant was unable to work as a result of COVID-19, whichever date is later. The last week this benefit is payable is the week ending Dec. 26, 2020. Our goal is to issue payments to those who are eligible as soon as administratively feasible. This benefit also applies to anyone who has exhausted all unemployment insurance payment options at the state or federal level, including the PEUC program.  

    PUA claims cannot be taken yet; DLR is creating the application. Claims can be backdated if the individual meets the eligibility requirements under PUA.

 

  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). The PEUC program provides up to 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to individuals who have exhausted regular unemployment benefits under state or federal law, or have no rights to regular unemployment benefits under state or federal law. The first week a claimant can be compensated on this benefit is the week beginning March 29, 2020, and the last payable week is the week ending Dec. 26, 2020. 

 

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPC provides a loan to businesses with fewer than 500 employees to keep their workers on the payroll. The Small Business Administration will forgive these loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the loan is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Employees of businesses that take advantage of the PPP who are recalled to work (or are being paid full-time pay and benefits) are not eligible for unemployment benefits, and if they have a current claim, they should update their claim appropriately to reflect the day they were no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. For more information on the PPP see: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

 

Important note: None of the benefits described above, nor unemployment benefits of any kind, are available to employees who quit their job, refuse to return to work, or refuse to receive full-time pay. Attempts to collect payments after quitting a job could be viewed as fraudulent and will be further investigated. The CARES Act specifically provides for serious consequences for fraudulent cases including fines, confinement, and an inability to receive future unemployment benefits until all fraudulent claims and fines have been repaid.   

 


Road closures planned for Tuesday in Aberdeen

Beginning at 8:00am on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for road work: East Melgaard Road from S Roosevelt St to the Curve to Walmart.  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. 


College classes to remain online only through the summer according to the Board of Regents

Classes will remain online through the summer at Northern State University.

 

The South Dakota Board of Regents announced today that remote delivery will continue for all public university instruction, including at Northern, through the summer academic term.

 

Due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, public universities transitioned to online delivery March 23 for the remainder of the spring semester. Today’s announcement to remain online through summer supports continuing statewide efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

 

Summer programming varies by campus. At Northern, the summer term is May 11-Aug. 21.

 

Northern’s priority and that of all the state’s public universities is to ensure that instruction continues through the spring and summer semesters.

 

The South Dakota Board of Regents is the constitutional governing body for Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and South Dakota School for the Deaf.


Gov. Noem releases statement on the passing of Huron Rep. Bob Glanzer

Governor Kristi Noem issued the following statement on the passing of state Representative Bob Glanzer (R-Huron):

 

"I was very sorry to hear of Bob Glanzer’s passing. Bob was a man of true integrity and someone I greatly respected. He epitomized what it means to be a true statesman and worked tirelessly for the people of Beadle and Kingsbury counties as well as for our entire state. Bryon and I will miss him dearly, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Penny and his entire family."

 

Glanzer, 74, was a state representative from District 22, which is Beadle and Kingsbury counties.  He had been serving in the state House since 2017. 

 

Governor Noem will ask that flags across South Dakota fly at half-staff in honor of Representative Glanzer on the day of his funeral, which has yet to be set. 


Rep. Drew Dennert responds to criticism on his SB191 vote

District Three Representative, Republican Drew Dennert, has responded to criticisms levied against him by some of his constituents on his no vote for SB 191.  He along with Republican District 2 Representative Kaleb Weis has faced backlash.

 

SB 191 would have provided emergency authority to counties, community improvement districts, and municipalities in the event of a public health crisis to declare an emergency.  This was in response to some communities looking to take action to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Councilman David Bunsness called out the two representatives by name at a special city council meeting Wednesday…

 

 

 

 

A full page colord ad was taken out to criticize the two members of the legislature in Friday's edition of the Aberdeen American News.  The ad was purchased by the Heartland Casino. 

 

 

 

Representative Drew Dennert says he stands by his vote and defended his decision…

 

 

 

 

Representative Weis did not respond to requests for comment.

 

A big crux of this situation is that by law, in order for cities to pass ordinances they must receive two readings and must have five days in between said readings.  That leaves city government’s without the ability to make quick changes to shut down businesses and react to COVID-19.

 

Dennert says there are some misconceptions as to if the bill that failed would have taken those regulations away…

 

 

 

 

Dennert also said he wished he would have received more feedback from his constituents before his vote, rather than just after…

 


New Life Fellowship offering free coffee to medical community Friday

New Life Fellowship is offering a gift to those working in the medical profession today.  Medical community members can get a free coffee at Caribou Coffee courtesy of the church. 
 

New Life pastor Rodney Johnson has more...

 

 

 


District 2 senator Brock Greenfield to be investigated for being drunk during session

An official investigation has been announced in Pierre, looking into whether or not District 2 senator Brock Greenfield and district 25 senator Kris Langer were inoxicated during session. The investigation stems from allegations the two were drunk during the final night of the 2020 legislative session.

 

The committee looking into the matter must report their findings by a June 30th deadline.  The committee will be made up of five Republicans and four Democrats.


Aberdeen playground equipment closed effective April 6th

Effective Monday April 6th all playgrounds within the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation & Forestry system will be closed off for public use due to concerns over COVID-19.

Parks, trails and open space areas will remain open at this time.  We ask that you please refrain from using the play equipment and observe the following rules while in our parks.

  • Refrain from using parks, and trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Prepare for limited access to public restrooms. 
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks, and trails.
  • While on trails, warn other users of their presence and as they pass, and step aside to let others pass.
  • Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings.
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.

We are also asking the public to refrain from using our recreation fields, basketball courts for any type of pickup game or practices.

Your cooperation in this will help in our fight against COVID-19

If you have any questions, please feel to contact Park, Recreation & Forestry office at 605-626-7015.


South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds explains aspects of $2 trillion rescue package passed last week

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) The massive economic rescue plan passed by Congress has a number of programs aimed at helping businesses stay afloat and keep their employees.

 

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says one program involves forgivable loans...

 

 

 

 

Rounds says companies need to keep their people on the payroll...

 

 

 

Rounds says the money will come through local banks...

 

 

 

 

Congress passed three phases of economic bailouts in the past month totaling over two point three trillion dollars.


Gov. Noem asks for personal responsibility during COVID-19 crisis

 

(KWAT - Watertown, SD) Governor Kristi Noem used her daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday to talk about the importance of personal responsibility in slowing the spread of this deadly virus…

 

 

 

 

Noem says South Dakotans have answered the call thus far…

 

 

 

 

 

Noem says stopping the virus entirely cannot, and will not happen….


 

 

 

 

 

And she shot down the idea of statewide mandates as they relate to business closures and other restrictions in South Dakota….

 

 

 

 

 

There have been 129 COVID-19 cases in South Dakota, with two deaths from the virus.


Driver's license renewals extended during COVID-19 crisis

Gov. Kristi Noem has signed legislation that gives the Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary the authority to order the temporary extension of the expiration date for certain driver licenses.

 

Senate Bill 190, which was passed Monday by state legislators on the session’s final day, gives DPS Cabinet Secretary Craig Price the authority to order the extension of the expiration date for an operator’s license, motorcycle operator’s license, restricted minor’s permit, motorcycle restricted minor’s permit and non-driver identification card. The legislation also allows the DPS Secretary to order the extension of the expiration date for a commercial driver’s license or commercial learner’s permit.

 

“Since the COVID-19 emergency, the state’s Driver Licensing program has received several hundred calls each day from citizens worried about renewing their driver license or ID card,” said DPS Cabinet  Secretary Price.  “I have authorized the Driver’s Licensing Program to extend these expiration dates for the length of the Governor’s state of emergency for COVID-19, beginning March 13, through the duration of the emergency declaration plus an additional 90 days.”

 

“This legislation is great news because citizens’ licenses will be automatically extended,” said state Driver Licensing Director Jane Schrank. “We have appreciated the public’s patience during this time.”

 

State driver license exam stations are currently closed statewide through May 2. For online renewals, click onto https://dps.sd.gov/driver-licensing/renew-and-duplicate/renew-online.

 

The state Driver Licensing Program is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

 


Road closures planned for Thursday in Aberdeen

Beginning at 8:00am on Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 the following intersection will be closed to thru traffic for work on water and sewer lines:

 

South 8th Street and 9th Ave SW

 

Work is expected to last thru Tuesday, April 7th, 2020.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed. 

 


Aberdeen City Council passes less strict city ordinance to deal with COVID-19, likely will pass stricter guidelines next week

The Aberdeen city council at a special meeting Wednesday night passed the second reading of a less strict city ordinance that would limit business during this COVID-19 health crisis. That ordinance went into affect at midnight this morning.

 

The council then passed the first reading of a more strict ordinance which would further limit business during this time. That will not get its second hearing until next week. Councilman Rob Ronayne says some businesses may require action from the council to get the help they need...

 

 

 

 

As of noon Wednesday there now four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brown County, with two cases fully recovered.

 

The council heard testimony via video conferencing from representatives of both Sanford and Avera speaking in favor of the more strict measures. The goal would be to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in hopes to not overwhelm healthcare resources. Councilman Dave Lunzman echoed that sentiment...

 

 

 

 

 

The council also addressed some concerns residents have expressed about the perceived slow response to COVID-19 by the council. According to the council, because SB 191 failed in Pierre, which provided emergency authorities to counties, community improvement districts and municipalities in the event of a public health crisis, they have had to move forward with standard ordinance passage procedures. Councilman Dave Bunsness called out by name District 2 and District 3 representatives Drew Dennert and Kaleb Weis....

 

 

 

 

The council will meet next Tuesday and likely pass the more strict city ordinance.


Huron takes step to close playgrounds during quarantine

(Performance Radio - Huron, SD) The Huron Parks and Recreation Department made the difficult decision to close off playground equipment at the city parks.  Caution tape has been placed around playground equipment including a longtime Huron favorite, Rocket Slide at Prospect Park.  Parks and Recreation Director LaRon Klock explains what went into the decision.

 

 

 

Klock said the parks walking trails are not affected, this is only for playground equipment and signage will be in place.

 

Park trails continue to be available for use.  Users are reminded to use social distancing guidelines and be safe.


Gov. Noem signs 11 bills into law

  • HB 1295 An Act to revise certain provisions regarding contagious disease control and enforcement and to declare an emergency.
  • HB 1296 An Act to revise the authority of the Governor in times of a disaster, act of terrorism, or emergency and to declare an emergency.
  • HB 1298 An Act to provide for the postponement of certain elections and to declare an emergency.
  • SB 20 An Act to create a monitor to review and respond to complaints related to the care provided to youth in the custody or care of certain care facilities, treatment centers, and programs.
  • SB 75 An Act to provide for a habitat stamp on hunting and fishing licenses.
  • SB 187 An Act to revise certain provisions regarding reemployment assistance benefits in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 and to declare an emergency.
  • SB 188 An Act to account for educational opportunities provided to students during a state of emergency and to declare an emergency.
  • SB 189 An Act to provide exemptions from certain requirements for the 2019-2020 school year and to declare an emergency.
  • SB 190 An Act to revise certain driver licensing requirements to allow for an extension during a statewide emergency or disaster and to declare an emergency.
  • SB 192 An Act to create the small business economic disaster relief subfund, to provide for the transfer of certain funds into the subfund, to authorize the Economic Development Finance Authority to make a grant to the subfund, to provide for the continuous appropriation of the subfund, and to declare an emergency.
  • SB 193 An Act to revise Senate Bill 38, An Act to revise the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020, as previously enacted by the Ninety-fifth Session of the South Dakota Legislature.

Name released in Haakon county fatal crash

A Philip, S.D., man has been identified as the person who died early Friday night in a one-vehicle crash east of Billsburg.

 

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

 

Wallace Neville, the 68-year-old driver, was not wearing a seat belt and 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.


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