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Local News Archives for 2020-05

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin arrested on murder/manslaughter charges

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested on murder and manslaughter charges in the death of 46-year-old George Floyd.  Floyd died Monday after being place under arrest for alleged forgery charges and Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck.  Floyd was handcuffed on his stomach and begged Chauvin to remove his knee, saying he could not breath.  He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

 

Video recorded by bystandards has led to massive unrest including protests, riots and more in Minneapolis and other Minnesota cities, as well as protests accross the country.  Chauvin was one of four officeres involved in what Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called "an abject failure" of police work.

 

It has come to light in days following the death of George Floyd, former officer Chauvin has a long history of complaints filed against him and has been involved in the death of suspects in the past. 


YAPAtorium to reopen Monday

The YAPAtorium is excited reopen its facility to patrons on Monday, June 1st 2020. In order to ensure a safe atmosphere we will be implementing the following changes:

 

Masks Required: Patrons must wear a mask or face covering that securely covers mouth and nose.

Maximum Occupancy: The youth center will only admit 15 youths at any given time.

Temperature Checks: before admittance, youths will have their temperatures taken.

Amended Hours: Monday – Saturday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Parents, please wait for us to admit your young person before leaving, as these changes might affect our availability.


Further extension of driver's license expiration date granted

A temporary extension of the expiration date for certain South Dakota driver licenses has been extended until March 30, 2021 by Gov. Kristi Noem.

 

The Governor this week signed an executive order that extends the state’s emergency declaration through Dec. 30, 2020. That means the expiration date for driver licenses is extended through the duration of the emergency declaration plus an additional 90 days or March 30, 2021.

 

“This is good news for those South Dakotans whose licenses expired on or after March 13, 2020 when the Governor first issued the emergency declaration,” said Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Craig Price. “This means driver license holders now have even more time to renew their licenses.”

 

The extension covers driver licenses, motorcycle operator licenses, restricted minor’s permits, motorcycle restricted minor’s permits, non-driver identification cards, commercial driver’s licenses or commercial learner’s permits.

 

Driver licenses can be renewed online at https://dps.sd.gov/driver-licensing/renew-and-duplicate/renew-online. But state Driver Licensing Director Jane Schrank asks those license holders not to schedule renewal appointments at exam stations at this time.

 

“We are asking people with those licenses to wait until late summer or early fall to make those appointments,” she said. “We need time to process the backlog of tests that accumulated from the last couple of months.”

 

Currently, 10 driver exam stations are open by appointment only for those applying for new driver or commercial driver licenses and ID cards. The exam stations are located in Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Mitchell, Mobridge, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton.

 

Appointments for new driver or commercial driver licenses and ID cards can be made at https://apps.sd.gov/PS14SchedulerCovid/. Due to heavy website traffic, please be patient.

 

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


Aberdeen fire and rescue responds to house fire Thursday

Press Release - On May 28, 2020 at 1241 hours, Aberdeen Fire Rescue responded to a structure fire involving a single family home at 925 S 10th Street.  On arrival crews found light smoke coming from this residence.  The fire was quickly located by firefighters and contained to the porch and a small addition of the home. There was minor smoke damage throughout the rest of the home.  An adult occupant was home at the time of the fire and made it out safely after being alerted by a neighbor.  Fire crews were on scene for about 2 hours.  The fire is currently under investigation.


Road work to begin in parts of Aberdeen Friday

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Friday May 29th, the following intersection will be closed to thru traffic for road work. 7th avenue SE and South Washington Street. Work is expected to last through Wednesday June 3rd. Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.


City of Aberdeen to begin mosquito spray Thursday night

The City of Aberdeen has scheduled a city wide ground spray for mosquitoes on Thursday, May 28th between the hours of 7:30 pm and 1:00 am.

 

The adulticiding equipment is noisy and travels at 10 mph.  The mosquito control trucks are identified and travel with a flashing yellow light. To ensure spray effectiveness during the spraying operations, the wind must be 15 mph or less and no inclement weather present.  Winds higher than 15 mph or inclement weather will result in the spray being suspended until conditions improve. 

For more information, contact Aberdeen Mosquito Control Program at 626.7015


First death reported in Brown County due to COVID-19

The State Department of Health confirmed the first death in Brown County as a result of COVID-19 Wednesday.  State health officials confirmed four deaths across South Dakota, bringing the total to 54. 

 

The deaths included two men and two women and were in the age ranges of 30-39, 50-59, and two 60-60. 

 

57 new cases of COVID-19 were reported as well, putting the state’s total of active COVID-19 cases to 1,037.  Two new cases were confirmed in Brown county, putting the counties active cases at 75. 


SD Senator Mike Rounds comments on tribal COVID-19 checkpoints

(KCCR - Pierre, SD) Two South Dakota Native American Tribes continue to post health safety checkpoints on state and U-S highways even after state officials sent evidence to federal officials claiming checkpoints are illegal.  The evidence, which includes easements signed by the tribes and video footage of the checkpoints, has also been sent to the state’s Congressional legislation. 

 

Senator Mike Rounds says the Cheyenne River and Oglala Lakota Sioux may be within their rights to establish the stations…

 

 

 

Rounds says there isn’t much he can do but play mediator…

 

 

 

Rounds says he is ready to help coordinate a discussion between the Tribes and state officials if and when both sides are ready to meet.


Aberdeen man arrested following chase Monday

An Aberdeen man is facing second-offense drunken driving, aggravated eluding, hit and run, failure to stop, speeding and driving on a suspended license following a pursuit with police Monday afternoon. According to a release from the Aberdeen Police department 60-year-old David Michael Jorgenson fled officers after police tried to conduct a traffic stop following calls about a possible drunk driver. The chase ended when the pickup Jorgenson was driving left the street and hit a tree and the curb.


Aberdeen City Council supports park board's decision not to open the Aquatic Center this summer.

The Aberdeen City Council discussed at its Tuesday meeting the Aberdeen Parks and Rec board’s decision not to open the aquatic center this summer.  The meeting was held on a Tuesday rather than Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.  The item was discussed despite the fact there was nothing on the agenda about it.

 

The board decided to close the pool citing multiple reasons including financial, health and logistics of operating a pool during this time.  Parks and Rec Superintendent Mark Hoven says all those concerns are real, but staffing would be the real issue in actually opening the pool this summer…

 

 

 

 

The parks and rec board last week at a special meeting discussed the option of opening the pool at half capacity due to COVID-19.  If it were to do that, officials estimate the aquatic center would lose anywhere between $75,000 to $150,000.   Hoven also said pools around the state and country are not opening for the same reasons Aberdeen is facing.

 

Mayor Travis Schaunaman has been an advocate for the pool opening, even starting a gofundme effort to help make up any revenue shortfall.  The city is sitting on a multimillion dollar reserve fund that could be appropriated by the council to cover any shortfall the aquatic center may experience.  Mayor Schaunaman supported that very idea in a video he posted on his mayoral Facebook page…

 

 

 

 

City council members pushed back on the idea of using reserve funds to operate the aquatic center for a number of reasons.

 

Councilman David Bunsness said there are other projects the city abandoned due to revenue shortfalls that could be restarted…

 

 

 

In the end, the council also thought the decision of the parks board needs to be respected.  Councilman Clint Rux explained…     

 


Homeowners in Blackhawk, SD sue the state and others over sinkhole issue

(KOTA - Rapid City, SD) Homeowners affected by the Black Hawk sinkhole from past gypsum mining are banding together to sue the state, Meade County, and individuals involved in the development and sale of that property for 75-million dollars.  

 

The suit seeks over $35-million in compensatory damages, and $40-million in exemplary damages.  The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial.   John Fitzgerald of Rapid City is the attorney for the homeowners.  

 

A 32-page document, dated May 24th, outlines fourteen counts of negligence and endangerment against a host of defendents.  The document gets officially filed in circuit court today.  

 

The document names the governments, people and companies involved in the current housing development, and outlines the use of the land for mining dating back to 1891. It also specifies the mining done on the land by the state, and by private companies, as well as the chain of knowledge of the unreclaimed underground cavity which they say has posed an ongoing public danger for decades.  

 

A total of 15 families have been evacuated from homes over the underground cavity since a sinkhole opened up in late April.  


Dakota Broadcasting enters new era

Dakota Broadcasting has been in operation in Aberdeen South Dakota, serving the greater northeast area, for the past 12 years and now the company has moved into a new era.

 

Since its founding Dakota Broadcasting has operated two 100,000 watt radio stations including Dakota 105.5 and 107.7 KABD FM.  Dakota 105.5 plays some of the best country music throughout history, while also exploring its own unique sound while 107.7 KABD FM pleased everyone with its mix of hits from the 80s, 90s and today.

 

To keep up with an ever changing market and to continue to remain a leader in entertainment, sports and information across the listening area, Dakota Broadcasting has rebranded these two stations.  Beginning Memorial Day weekend Dakota 105.5 will now be known as 105.5 Maverick FM “Country With a Kick”, and 107.7 KABD FM will be known as 107.7 The Shark “Killer Hits.”

“We went through a lot of ideas, but ultimately landed on Maverick FM,” Operations Manager for Maverick FM Lucas Quail said.  “It’s a way to pay tribute to the station’s outlaw reputation while also signaling a new direction.”

 

“107.7 has always sought to try and appeal to everyone, the kind of music you can shop to or listen to while tinkering in the garage,” said 107.7 Operations Manager Mike Johnson.  “We hope to modernize the sound with this change and make that enjoyment more consistent for the listeners.”

 

Dakota Broadcasting LLC is owned by Community First Broadcasting. 

 


Dennis "Mike" Olson hopes to represent all of Aberdeen if re-elected

The Aberdeen City Council election will take place June 2nd and absentee voting has already begun.  The race for a southeast seat on the council features three candidates including business owners Tiffany Langer and Dave Welling and incumbent Dennis “Mike” Olson.

 

Olson’s first name is Dennis, but growing up friends called him Mike and he still goes by that name today.

 

He first got on the council filling a vacancy left by Lori Swanson, finishing her first term and winning a special election to remain in the seat.  Olson says the learning curve is steep when on city council and he hopes to continue learning by winning re-election…

 

 

 

 

Mike has spent much of his professional life in both law enforcement and elected office.  Originally from the Ipswich area, Olson served as an Aberdeen police officer before winning the Edmunds County Sheriff seat and serving in that capacity for 17 years.  He would then retire from law enforcement and went into private investigation work.

 

The city has taken action which affects businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic.  The council first past stricter regulations, which have now been rolled back partially.  Olson has been an advocate for stricter restrictions during this time and defends that position by citing public health concerns…

 

 

 

Olson says if he is re-elected he hopes to represent the entire city of Aberdeen, not just the people of the southeast district…

 


Hamlin county sheriff continues to investigate elevator death in Hazel, SD

(KXLG - Watertown, SD) The Hamlin County Sheriff's Office is continuing their investigation into an incident at the Elevator in Hazel, SD that took the life of a 50-year-old man.

 

Sheriff Chad Schlotterbeck says at 10:50 am, Friday morning, emergency responders were dispatched to the Elevator for a male who had fallen about 50 feet.

 

The man was working, who was working for a construction company, was working on a grain bin when his equipment failed, causing him to fall. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

The Hamlin County Sheriff's Office, Hamlin County Coroner's Office, Lake Norden Ambulance, and Hazel Fire Department were on scene.  

 

The name of the 50-year-old man will not be released pending notification of family members.

 


Aberdeen Moose Lodge to begin bingo again

The Aberdeen Moose Lodge has announced bingo games iwll start again June 4th and will then take place every Thursday.  

 

The Moose Lodge is located at 410 9th ave SW.  Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and Bingo starts at 6:00 p.m.  Food and drink will be available.

 

The Moose lodge will be accepting donations during the month of June and July for the Journey Home of Aberdeen.  Items needed include ceral, oatmeal, granola bars, canned fruit, canned meat, peanut butter, mac and cheese, pasta sauce, hamburger helper, coffee and more.  

 

If you bring five items you can receive five bingo sheets each week.  

 

 


One person killed in Gregory county fatal crash

One person died and another person was seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash Friday night east of Burke.

 

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

 

A 1996 Chrysler Eagle Vision was eastbound on South Dakota Highway 18 when it crossed the center line and collided head on with a westbound 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup hauling a flatbed trailer.

 

The 16-year-old male driver of the Chrysler was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

 

Sustaining life-threatening injuries was the 29-year-old male driver of the pickup. He was transferred by ambulance to the Burke hospital and then airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital.

 

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

 

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


Senator Thune calls for halt of coronavirus aid

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) The US House returned to Washington last week and quickly passed the “HEROES ACT,” another economic rescue plan totaling about three point three trillion dollars.

 

South Dakota Senator John Thune made a Senate floor speech explaining the oversight of previous emergency spending...

 

 

 

 

Thune says its time to take a pause in the massive spending...

 

 

 

 

Thune was critical of what he called unneeded extras in the HEROES act...

 

 

 

 

 

The bill, in its current form, is not expected to be approved in the Senate. Both Houses of Congress adjourned until sometime in June.

 


Governor Noem alleges illegal activity at tribal checkpoints, asking feds for help

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says she has sent evidence to federal authorities alleging unalwful activity at the tribal COVID-19 checkpoitns.

 

Governor Noem says she has tasked South Dakota Attorney Jason Ravnsborg with investigating this matter...

 

 

 

Noem says all the information she has collected can be seen by the public at COVID.sd.gov...

 

 

 

 

Originally, the governor sent a letter threatening legal action if the tribes did not take down the checkpoints.  Since then, Noem has walked back the legal threats and has sought to work with the tribes to come to an understanding, but the tribes have been less than willing to communicate with local government.  


Aberdeen Fire and Rescue chief Randy Meister to retire

Aberdeen Fire and Rescue chief Randy Meister will retire from his position. Meister became eligible for retirement this year through the state retirement system at the age of 48 years old. Meister has been the chief for three years and worked his way up the ranks since starting at the department in 1994. His job will be posted in June with interviews taking place in August.   

 


Parks and Rec decides not to open aquatic center this summer

The Aberdeen Parks and Recreation board met Wednesday night in a special meeting to address the status of the Aberdeen Aquatic Center this summer. The Parks and Rec board decided to recommend not to open the pool this summer citing both financial and health concerns due to COVID-19. The proposal discussed, but ultimately decided against, was to allow the pool to open at a maximum capacity of 300 people at a time, well short of its 1,400 max capacity. Operating at half capacity would likely lead to a loss of an estimated $75,000 to $150,000 that would need to be made up from elsewhere in the budget.


Game Fish and Parks looking into poaching incident in Hamlin county

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks are looking for information into a possible poaching situation.  According to the Department’s Facebook page, six pelicans were shot on the north side of Lake Marsh in Hamlin County.  The birds were shot from west of Hayti on 188th street between Saturday and Sunday evening.  If you have any information leading to an arrest you are urged to contact the Hamlin county conservation office at 605-881-0018 or turn in poachers hotline at 1800 683 7224.  A possible reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest. 


Milbank man identified in Grant county fatal crash

A Milbank, S.D. man has been identified as the person who died Saturday night in a motorcycle crash in Big Stone City.

 

A 2019 Kawasaki ZX636GKFA was southbound on South Dakota Highway 109 when it went through the intersection with U.S. Highway 12, left the roadway, went into a yard and hit the wall of a garage.

 

Alex Hughes, who was the driver, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet. He was the only occupant.        

 

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

 

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


Rep. Johnson says China should be held responsible for COVID-19 response

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) President Trump has said he may take strong steps against China after accusing them of covering up the extent of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson says China should be held responsible...

 

 

 

 

Johnson says it is time to restart critical manufacturing in the US...

 

 

 

 

The President has said cutting off all trade with China is under consideration. Johnson says he hopes it doesn’t come to that...

 

 

 

 

The President didn’t set any timeline on taking those actions


Fire hydrant flow testing to take place Wednesday in Aberdeen

The Aberdeen Fire department will be flow testing fire hydrants Wednesday beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Weather permitting. Hydrants will be tested in the following areas: Railroad Avenue South to City Limits between South 5th Street and South Washington Street. Residents in these areas may experience water pressure changes during this time and water could be disturbed to the point of discoloring or appearing rusty.


Aberdeen Parks and rec to hold special meeting to discuss aquatic center tonight

The Aberdeen Parks and Recreation board will hold a special meeting this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. In the Eagles Nest at the Ark.

 

The only item on the agenda will be discussing whether or not Parks and Rec will open and operate the Aberdeen Aquatic Center this summer. The issue was discussed at length at Monday night's Aberdeen City Council meeting with Parks superintendent Mark Hoven in attendance.

 

While everyone on the call Monday seemed to be in agreement it is ideal to open the pool, doing so without requiring it to operate at half capacity would not allow for proper social distancing. And operating at half capacity may not make financial sense.


Westbound lane of I-90 closed Monday due to semi-truck rollover

(DRG News) The westbound lanes of Interstate 90 between Reliance and Oacoma were closed for about seven hours yesterday (Mon.) after a semi tanker hauling diesel rolled, spilling several thousand gallons of fuel.

 

According to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, 39-year-old Ryan Budahl of Emery, SD, was westbound driving a 2015 Cascadia Freightliner with tanker trailer and pup tank trailer around 5:30am. The semi entered the median and Budahl overcorrected. The pup tank trailer broke away and stayed in median, but the semi and tanker trailer rolled onto the driver side and blocked westbound I-90. An estimated 7,000-8,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled.

 

Budahl received minor injuries. He was not wearing a seatbelt and charges are pending.

 

Interstate was blocked from about 5:30am-12:30pm. Several state and local agencies were involved in the response and cleanup.


Spring load limits lifted effective immediately

Effective immediately the spring load limits will be lifted for the City of Aberdeen. The effect of this is that residential roads will have the same regulations for load limits as our truck routes and state highways.


Road Closures planned for Aberdeen Tuesday

Weather permitting beginning at approximately 7:00 AM on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for road work:

 

15th Avenue SW from S Main Street to S 1st Street
3rd Avenue SE from Centennial Street to BC 19

 

Work will be completed as quickly as possible.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.

 

 


New logo and marketing strategy announced for city of Aberdeen

The Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau, Aberdeen Downtown Association, Aberdeen Development Corp, and Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce annouced the new logo and marketing brand for the city.  The announcement was made at the Aberdeen City Council meeting Monday night.

 

According to a release on the project, the logo, which has a prominant blue "a" in front is to denote wide open sky, sweeping prairie grass and agriculture and is a nod to the distict geographic independence of Aberdeen.

 

Local businesses are encouraged to use the logo and brnading to help increase recognition of the new immage.  


New $2.5 million "Malchow's Plaza" announced for downtown Aberdeen

Mike Bockorny of the Aberdeen Development Corp. announced plans Monday night at Aberdeen City council’s meeting for a $2.5 million plan to build a new plaza on main street in Aberdeen. 

 

The plan includes renovating the Anchors of Faith Building and rebuild on the spot where Malchow’s on Main furniture once stood.  The building will then house the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Aberdeen Development Corp, South Dakota Small Business Development Center, Dakota Broadcasting and a new business the Market on the plaza. 

 

Bockorney says this new Malchow’s Plaza will serve as a hub for all of northeast South Dakota…

 

 


Rep. Scyller Borglum calls for food security in primary race

Despite this COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a primary election this coming June in South Dakota.  Absentee voting by mail is already underway across the state along with early voting.  This is all part of an effort to encourage social distancing, while still conducting these important elections.  In person will be available on June 2nd, but with social distancing in mind.

 

On the ballot for Republicans will be a primary race between incumbent senator Mike Rounds and challenger Scyller Borglum.  Borglum is a representative in the South Dakota legislature representing District 32.  She is an engineer by trait and is looking to become South Dakota’s first female senator since 1948 and first to ever get elected as her predecessor Vera Bushfield was appointed to finish her late husband’s term.

 

Borglum says this election is about national security, specifically our food supply which has been highlighted by COVID-19.  According to her the EB5 program, once championed by her opponent senator Mike Rounds, has allowed for foreign actors to purchase land in the United States…

 

 

 

 

Borglum says she is for mandatory country of origin labeling or COOL as part of a food security package.  She also says this issue is at the front of constituents minds when she speaks to them on the campaign trail.

 

In talking about the COVID-19 pandemic Borglum praised the Trump administration’s response to how this crisis has been handled…

 

 

 

In the end the race is between an incumbent and a challenger.  For that reason Borglum took the opportunity to differentiate herself from sitting Senator Mike Rounds…

 


Hyrdant flow testing to take place Monday

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Monday, weather permitting the Aberdeen Fire Department  will begin flow-testing fire hydrants in the following area: From 6th Avenue SE South to City Limits between South Kline Street and South Dakota Street.  The fire department will be opening hydrants and residents will experience some water pressure changes and in some instances the water will be distributed to the point of discoloring or appearing rusty.  The project will continue until all hydrants in this area have been tested. 


Road closures planned for Monday in Aberdeen

Weather permitting beginning at approximately 7:00 AM on Monday, May 18, 2020 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for road work:

 

15th Avenue SW from S Main Street to S 1st Street

 

Work will be completed as quickly as possible.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.


State health officials warn possible COVID-19 exposure at Aberdeen businesses

State Health officials announced Saturday, May 16, that a patron of Lager’s Inn and the Zoo Bar in Aberdeen has tested positive for COVID-19.

 

The individual visited the establishments while able to transmit the virus to others on the evening of Saturday, May 9th during the following times:

 

  • Lager’s Inn Bar
    • 7:30 p.m.-10:45 p.m.
  • The Zoo Bar
    • 10:50 p.m.- 2 a.m.

 

Due to the risk of exposure, customers who visited this location 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.


One person killed Saturday in Grant county fatal crash

One person died Saturday night in a motorcycle crash in Big Stone City.

 

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

 

A 2019 Kawasaki ZX636GKFA was southbound on South Dakota Highway 109 when it went through the intersection with U.S. Highway 12, left the roadway, went into a yard and hit the wall of a garage.

 

The 20-year-old male driver was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet. He was the only passenger.        

 

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.


Faulkton man sentenced to taking bald eagle

(Dakota Radio Group News) A Faulkton man convicted of Unlawful Taking of Bald Eagles, Unlawful Taking of Migratory Birds and Unlawful Use of Restricted Use Pesticide has been sentenced in federal court.

 

43-year-old Kevin Deiter was ordered to pay a total of $29,400 in restitution, $9,800 per eagle and a $5,000 fine, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $40.

 

Information from the US Attorney’s Office says on March 21, 2017, the US Fish and Wildlife Service received notification from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department that three dead bald eagles were recovered in Faulk County. In the area where the bald eagles were recovered, law enforcement noted impression marks from silage bags that had been removed, a dead skunk, a dead mink, two partially intact chicken eggs and a collection of chicken egg shell fragments.

 

During the investigation Dieter admitted to injecting the chicken eggs with carbamate carbofuran and placing them near the silage bags in order to keep skunks and mink from destroying the silage bags. Investigators determined the three bald eagles, the skunk and the mink all died of carbamate carbofuran poisoning.


State announces plans to mass test nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

South Dakota health officials announced Thursday plans to begin mass testing for COVID-19 in all the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

 

The state hopes to test more than 26,000 people over the next four weeks. According to state health secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon, the goal with this mass testing is to stay ahead of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable populations...

 

 

 

Malsam-Rysdon broke down further the schedule for upcoming mass testing...

 


Ravnsborg talks potential meat process monopoly

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) As the pandemic unfolded, there were reports of price gouging with packs of toilet paper being sold for as much as eighty dollars or more.

 

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg says he hasn’t had many reports reach his office...

 

 

 

 

Ravnsborg says legal action would be a last resort...

 

 

 

Ravnsborg says there aren’t too many state laws on the books dealing with price gouging.

 


Gov. Noem talks state fair status as we enter COVID-19 summer

(KORN - Mitchell, SD) The North Dakota State Fair recently announced it’s cancelling this year’s event in Minot scheduled for mid-July.

 

However Governor Kristi Noem says the South Dakota State Fair is still scheduled to go on at this point…

 

 

 

She says Lieutenant Governor and interim Agriculture Secretary Larry Rhoden is working on state fair planning.

 

The South Dakota State Fair is set for September 3rd-7th in Huron.


State drivers license program announces "back to normal" plan

South Dakota’s Driver Licensing Program will begin Phase One of its “Back to Normal” plan by offering services to the public through scheduled appointments at 10 exam stations statewide starting Monday, May 18.

 

All of the exam stations will be open “by appointment only.” The Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Watertown and Yankton exam stations will be open Monday through Friday. The Sioux Falls exam station will be open Monday through Saturday. The Mobridge exam station will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

 

“We have continued to issue new commercial driver’s licenses but we know many people have been waiting to apply for driver licenses and ID cards since all of the exam stations closed in early March,” said Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Craig Price. “This is the first step in bringing back all of the exam stations and we plan to re-open more in the coming weeks. We thank the public for its patience,”  

 

To schedule an appointment, applicants need to call 605-773-6883 or email DPSLicensingInfo@state.sd.us. Staff will prioritize appointments according to need and anyone who is ill or experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms will be asked to stay at home until they are well.

 

“At each exam station, we also will make sure that the appropriate health protection measures are implemented as recommended by the CDC,” said Driver Licensing Director Jane Schrank. “That will include social distancing, based on the size of the office and additional staff in the office, as well as proper sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces.”

 

Still in effect is the order that extends the expiration date for a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, motorcycle license, restricted minor’s permit, motorcycle restricted minor’s permit, commercial learner’s permit and non-driver identification card. The expiration dates for those licenses are for the length of the Governor’s state of emergency for COVID-19, which was issued March 13, through the duration of the emergency declaration plus an additional 90 days.

 


Agtegra to offer free wi/fi at its locations

All across the Dakotas, rural communities are encountering a lack of adequate internet access—and in a time when many day-to-day activities continue to move online, this can be a problem. This problem is even more prevalent now that the COVID-19 pandemic is requiring students and adults to do work remotely online from home.

 

Agtegra Cooperative is doing its part to combat the shortage of quality internet access by offering free public Wi-Fi at several rural locations in an attempt to help provide better broadband internet to areas in need.

 

“Agtegra is excited to be able to offer Wi-Fi internet to people in some of our rural communities. Anytime we can do our part to support our local communities it is a real privilege. COVID-19 has highlighted so many needs and this was just one small way we could do our part to help out,” said Dan Rosenbaum, Agtegra’s Chief Information Officer.

 

The initial sites for the free public Wi-Fi include: Bath, Chamberlain, Huron, Lebanon, Mellette, Tulare and Wessington Springs, South Dakota and Hague, North Dakota. The free Wi-Fi officially began operating on May 11. Wi-Fi will only be accessible in certain areas at each location.  Please look for the WiFi parking signs to guide you to the right area.

 

To access the wireless connection, individuals will simply have to connect to the Agtegra Public Wi-Fi and agree to the terms of service.

 

According to the FCC, 69 percent of rural Americans use the internet and 39 percent of those live-in areas that lack the FCC’s minimum definition of broadband service. The current standard – at least 25 megabits per second downloading and three megabits per second uploading – is deemed “adequate” to stream video and participate in other high-traffic online activities.

 

Because of this, many rural area members are at a disadvantage when it comes to online schooling, working from home, online food orders and other online necessities once only thought of as a luxury item.

 

For exact addresses of the public Wi-Fi, please click on the locations below.

 

·         Bath (next to seed hut)

·         Chamberlain Warehouse (next to loading docks)

·         Hague (southeast corner of building)

·         Huron Warehouse (southeast side of the building)

·         Lebanon (north side of office)

·         Mellette Agronomy (west side by seed treater)

·         Tulare (north end of building)

·         Wessington Springs (next to feed warehouse)


Chamber's "Business After Hours" mixer on tentatively for July

The Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce has announced its "Business After Hours" mixer has been canceled for the month of May and June.  The event, which is a business casual chance for chamber member and non members to mingle following a day of work, has not been taking place due to COVID-19.

 

In a release from the Chamber, the organization says the July 9th mixer is tentatively on as of now.  for more information contact the chamber at 605-225-2860.


Aberdeen Parks and Rec accepting registrations for mixed doubles tennis league

The Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is now excepting registrations for the Men's, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Summer Tennis Leagues.

 

Fees will be $28.00 for Men’s and Women’s singles and $32.00 for Men’s and Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles teams.  Fees include two – five week halves league play for singles and doubles teams throughout the summer.  Players can sign up for each half separately. Registration deadline is Friday, May 22 at 5:00pm. 

 

For further information, contact the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department office located at 225 Third Avenue Southeast or call 626-7015.


Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Tuesday

Beginning at approximately 7:00 a.m. Tuesday May 12th water will be shut off in the following area for work on water lines: South 1st Street from 12th Ave SW to 14th Ave SW.  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. 


Gov. Noem give COVID update Monday

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem took to the podium Monday, with her secretary of health Kim Malsam-Rysdon to give an update to the COVID-19 situation across the state.  Governor Noem first addressed some executive orders she signed months ago and their status moving forward.

 

The order signed in April called on people 65-years and older along with people who are immunocompromised to shelter in place in Lincoln and Minnehaha counties expired Monday.  According to Noem she feels its appropriate to let this expire but will revisit if necessary...

 

 

 

 

Many in the state have expressed concern for Brown county as its positive COVID-19 cases have doubled over the last weekend.  Almost all of that can be attributed to the DemKota beef plant just outside of Aberdeen.  According to health secretary Malsam-Rysdon, DemKota is on top of COVID-19 in its facility…

 

 

 

 

Governor Noem also addressed her disagreements with some of the Native American tribes in the state.  The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has set up COVID-19 checkpoints at the entrance to the reservation and Governor Noem has ordered those be removed.  She could not cite specific examples, but says these checkpoints could prevent emergency responders and necessary travel through South Dakota…

 

 

 

 

The tribe says the checkpoints are necessary due to the lack of medical resources available should a COVID-19 breakout take place on the reservation.  The tribe also points to a 1990 case, Rosebud Sioux Tribe vs. State of South Dakota, which has already ruled the state has no jurisdiction over highways running through Indians land within the state. 

 

 


Aberdeen Police Department arrest man on assault charges

The Aberdeen Police Department announced the arrest of a man accused of assault. On Sunday police responded to a call in the 800 block of south State Street. Upon arrival police found a victim with a stab wound in the chest. The male victim was transported to Avera St. Lukes and according to police was in stable condition. Upon further investigation police arrested 40-year-old Jama Warsame Dirie and charged him with aggravated assault, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Man dies from drowning on northeast South Dakota lake

(KWAT - Watertown, SD) The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department and Marshall County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a drowning on a northeast South Dakota lake.

 

GF&P District Supervisor Tim McCurdy says it happened last Thursday night, around 6:15 p.m., on South Red Iron Lake, between Sisseton and Britton.

 

McCurdy says two brothers were in a fishing boat when the boat began taking on water and capsized.

 

One of the men was able to swim to an island while dragging his brother with him.

 

A Marshall County deputy was first to arrive on the scene, and performed CPR on the one man who was unconscious. Those efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The second man was treated at the scene for hypothermia.

 

The man who drowned is identified as 47 year-old Jesse Paul Skarnagel of Claire City.

 

McCurdy says an autopsy is being performed by the Marshall County Coroner to confirm drowning as the cause of death.

 

Water temperatures were very cold, in the mid 40s, and Skarnagel was wearing heavy bib overalls, which made swimming difficult.

 

McCurdy says there were life jackets in the boat, but they were not being worn.


Jerry Stiller dies at 92

Comedian Jerry Still has passed away at the age of 92.  His son Ben Stiller said his father died due to natural causes in a tweet.  Stiller was active as both a comedian and serious actor on television and in movies from 1956 to 2016.  He may best be known for his portrayal of Frank Costanza, the father of George Costanza on the hit sitcom Seinfeld which ran from 1993 to 1998. 


Gov. Noem names Lynn Schneider of Huron to fill vacant House district 22 seat

Governor Kristi Noem today announced that she is appointing Lynn Schneider of Huron to represent District 22 in the South Dakota State House of Representatives. Schneider will succeed the late Rep. Bob Glanzer, who passed away last month.

 

Schneider, a Republican, was born and raised south of Huron and is a graduate of Huron High School and Huron College. Schneider retired in 2017 as CEO of American Bank and Trust after a 45-year career in banking, beginning with the Farm Credit Service and continuing with Farmers and Merchants Bank and American Bank and Trust. Over the years, he has been active in many community organizations and causes in the Huron area.

 

Schneider was a close friend and brother-in-law of Rep. Glanzer and served as treasurer for Rep. Glanzer’s legislative campaigns. He and his wife, Gloria, have three sons and eight grandchildren. 

“I want to thank Lynn Schneider for stepping into this important role,” said Gov. Noem. “Lynn’s family and the Huron community suffered a great loss with Bob’s passing. I appreciate that Lynn has agreed to continue Bob’s legacy of service to his community and to our state in this way.”

Schneider’s appointment is effective immediately and will continue for the remainder of Rep. Glanzer’s current term, which runs through the end of this calendar year. Although no regular legislative session will be held during that time, Schneider would serve during a potential special session, and could also participate in the legislature's interim committee work.

 

Rep. Glanzer was also a candidate for reelection at the time of his death and was not opposed in the June primary. The Republican Central Committees in Beadle and Kingsbury counties, which make up District 22, will meet at a later time to name a candidate to take Rep. Glanzer’s place on the November general election ballot.


Catholic churches in South Dakota to resume after May 15th

The Catholic diocese of Sioux Falls and Rapid City have announced plans to resume public mass after May 15th. According to church officials, parishioners are still not obligated to attend Sunday mass and shouldn't feel guilty about staying home. Each diocese will create separate guidelines for parishes as many vary in size and have different needs. The church will adhere to social distancing during this time. Parishioners are encouraged to wear masks and no sign of peace will be given during this time and those attending should sit at least six feet apart where possible.


North Dakota State Fair cancels 2020 get together

The North Dakota State Fair announced Monday it has canceled the upcoming 2020 fair.  In a statement released on the fair’s web site, officials say they decided to cancel because it is impossible to predict the scale of the pandemic.  It goes on to say the decision was made with the concern for health and safety of the community, attendees, exhibitors, vendors staff and all those involved.  The fair would have been July 17th through the 25th in Minot North Dakota.  All tickets purchased for the event will be refunded.  Music acts included Collective Soul, Eric Church, Sawyer Brown, Billy Idol, Dan + Shay and more. 


One person killed in two vehicle crash near Parker

One person died and three others were injured in a two-vehicle crash Saturday morning near Parker.

 

Names of those involved have not yet been released pending notification of family members.

 

A 2018 Ford F350 Super Duty pickup was northbound on South Dakota Highway 19 when it moved to the southbound lane to avoid a collision with a southbound 2006 Honda Civic which had been in the wrong lane. The Honda Civic moved back into the southbound lane where the two vehicles collided.

 

The 25-year-old male driver of the Honda Civic was pronounced dead at the scene. Seat belt use is under investigation.

 

All three occupants of the pickup were wearing seat belts and sustained serious non-life threatening injuries. All three were transported to a Sioux Falls hospital.

 

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

 

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


Tribes say they will not remove COVID checkpoints despite Governor's request to do so.

Despite a strongly worded letter sent to the tribes by Governor Kristi Noem, demanding they take down checkpoints at the entrance to the reservations to help protect from COVID-19, some tribes remain defiant.

 

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe says it will not take down the checkpoints Governor Kristi Noem called “illegal” in her letter. The letter also says Noem and her administration are willing to take the matter all the way to federal court if necessary. Cheyenne River tribe chairman Harold Frazier tells CNN the checkpoints are there to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the reservation due to the lack of medical resources Indian Health Services has at its disposal. 

 

In a response 17 bipartisan state lawmakers signed on to their own letter informing the governor she has no jurisdiction to make these demands citing a 1990 court case.


Brewer and business owner Dave Welling hopes to bring "common sense" solutions to Aberdeen City Council

South Dakota’s primary election will be held June 2nd and will feature one race for a seat on the Aberdeen city council representing the southeast district.  Running in this race includes incumbent Dennis “Mike” Olson and business owners Tiffany Langer and Dave Welling.

 

Welling owns and operates “One Legged Pheasant” a brewery in Aberdeen.  The businesses opened in 2018.  He comes from Michigan originally, moving here with his wife five years ago, who serves as the Dean of Nursing at Presentation College.

 

Welling says he decided to run because he wants to make a difference, rather than simply complaining about what he sees wrong with the city…

 

 

 

 

Welling says he has always kept up with politics, locally and beyond, but it was starting his brewery which inspired him to seek local office.  He calls himself a conservative thinker who wants to bring common sense solutions to city council.

 

He spoke specifically for instance about regulations that he feels are overbearing and could use restructuring…

 

 

 

 

Decisions made by the city during this COVID-19 pandemic have affected businesses both large and small.  Originally, non essential businesses were shut down for a time and have now allowed to be reopened, though with guidelines promoting social distancing.  Welling says he has always taken an approach to this situation on an individual level…

 

 

 

 

The election is June 2nd.  In person voting will be available on that day, though the Brown County Auditor Cathy McNickle and Secretary of State Steve Barnett are encouraging residents to vote by mail when possible.  To do so, fill out the voting application sent by mail and an absentee ballot will be mailed.   


US unemployment could reach historic highs Friday

The US government is set to release numbers today showing unemployment in the United States is at the highest rate it has ever been at since this country started keeping track of such records in 1948.  The unemployment rate could reach 16 percent or more according to survey data, which shows just how devastating COVID-19 has been to the US economy.  As many as 21 million jobs may have been lost, that is nearly all the gains made by the United States since the end of the great recession about 11 years ago. 


Positive cases of COVID-19 spike over 100 Thursday likely due to mass testing event, 17 new in Brown County

The South Dakota Department of Health Announced Thursday 126 new cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota.  According to the Department the spike likely comes from a mass-testing event for Smithfield Food employees where around 2,500 workers and family members were tested Monday and Tuesday.  Hospitalizations decreased to 70.  Two more deaths were confirmed as well bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the Pandemic to 31.  Brown County saw an additional 17 new cases of COVID-19.  That brings the total number of cases in Brown County to 93 with 34 recoveries.  Brown County has the third most cases in the state behind Minnehaha and Lincoln county. 


Smithfield Foods to reopen today in Sioux Falls

Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls has announced it will resume operations Today.  In a press release, Smithfield claims they have received confirmation from the CDC and USDA that they are in compliance with CDC and OSHA guidelines making it safe to return to work.  The company has announced a phase approach to resuming operations and hopes to be back in full operation by late May.  The plant has been closed down for three weeks after becoming one of the worst COVID-19 hotspots in the nation.  1,098 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to the plant in its employees or their close contacts and two deaths. 


Aberdeen Arts Council cancels Arts in the Park 2020

The Aberdeen Area Arts Council announced Wednesday Arts in the Park has been canceled for 2020. This year would have marked the 45th annual event, which features homemade arts, live performances, food and more. The Aberdeen Area Arts council wanted to respect the recommendations of the Health department, but could not find a way to adequately provide social distance during the event.


Mayor of North Sioux City, SD resigns, cites disagreement about COVID-19 with city council

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) The Mayor of North Sioux City (SD) has resigned after a dispute with the City Council over opening the city’s bars, restaurants and casinos.

 

Randy Fredericksen says he submitted his resignation Tuesday after the North Sioux City Council voted Monday night to allow those facilities to re-open at 50% percent capacity, overturning a recent decision to stay closed until May 31st…

 

 

 

 

Fredericksen says with the large number of positive cases of coronavirus in neighboring Woodbury and Dakota Counties, he fears those residents will come to North Sioux City and possibly spread the virus.

 

He says he is frustrated with the issue and the council:...

 

 

 

 

Fredericksen also alluded to corruption and conflicts of interest from some of the current council members involving land transactions, a day care and other issues:..

 

 

 

 

Fredericksen has served as mayor for five years and had one year left on his current term.

 


SD Secretary of Ag Kim Vanneman announces resignation

Secretary Kim Vanneman, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, publicly announced her retirement today. Her last day as Secretary of Agriculture will be May 8, 2020. Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden will step in as Interim Secretary of Agriculture.

 

“Kim and I have worked together on agriculture policy for almost twenty years, and she is a dear friend to me and to South Dakota agriculture,” said Governor Noem. “Her service has been invaluable for today’s farmers and ranchers, the next generation to follow them, and the state of South Dakota as a whole. While her title will change, she will continue to be a valuable advisor and advocate to me on behalf of South Dakota farmers and ranchers.”

 

Prior to her time as Secretary of Agriculture, Vanneman served as a director for Farm Credit Services of America, Farm Credit Council, Farm Credit Foundations, and FCC Services. She was a member of the State House of Representatives from 2007-2013, serving on the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee all six years.

 

“I want to thank Governor Noem for the opportunity to serve as South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture. It has been an honor to work with the producers and agricultural organizations promoting, protecting, and preserving South Dakota agriculture,” said Secretary Vanneman. “The remote work model the past several weeks has made me aware of what I am missing out on with my family and operating our family farm. It’s spring—a time of new beginnings. It is time for me to spend more time home with family and focus on our 111 year old family farm.”

 

Vanneman and her husband, Clint, own and operate Vanneman Farms north of Winner. Their diversified operation includes row crops, small grains, feeder pigs, a commercial beef cow herd, and a feedlot. Kim and Clint have three children and four grandchildren.

 

“I also want to thank Kim for her years of service fighting for South Dakota agriculture,” said Lieutenant Governor Rhoden. “I realize these are big shoes to fill, but given that my life’s work has been in agriculture, I appreciate the opportunity to advocate on behalf of our state’s number one industry. My immediate focus will be on helping our state’s agriculture industry turn the corner following this pandemic, especially the meat producers who have become all too familiar with supply chain bottlenecks.”

 

“Lieutenant Governor Rhoden has been instrumental in helping South Dakota’s producers handle the fallout from the Smithfield situation,” said Governor Noem.  “He’s well-prepared to step into this role.  I know he’ll serve as the strong leader our agriculture industry needs right now.”

For more information on the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, visit sdda.sd.gov.


Storybook Land to open May 8th, CDC guidelines required to be followed

Storybook Land will open Friday, May 8 at 10:00 a.m. for walk through traffic only. Storybook Land will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Beginning May 22 the Storybook Land rides, giftshop and concession Stands will be open for the summer season.

 

Please be aware of CDC guidelines.

  • To maintain social distancing (6’ apart) while in the park, if not wearing of a mask is recommended.
  • Practice proper hygiene.
  • If you’re not feeling well, please do not come into the park and stay home.
  • The Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department does NOT sanitize the displays or equipment.
  • Restroom are cleaned periodically as per the posted schedule.

 

For more information, please call the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department at

626-7015.


Cinco de Mayo celebrated Tuesday

Today is May 5th or otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo.  The day is considered a holiday in Mexico as it commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th 1862.  This took place during what is considered by scholars the time period of the Mexican Revolution known as the “Second Federal Republic" from 1864 to 1928.  Today, the holiday holds more significance in the United State’s than in Mexico and has evolved to more of a celebration of Mexican-American culture.  Contrary to popular belief however, the date does not celebrate Mexican Independence from Spain, as that is actually on September 16th with Miguel Hildalgo’s famous “Cry of Dolores” speech. 


Aberdeen Roncalli to hold graduation commencement with restrictions

The Aberdeen Catholic School system has announced it will hold its 2020 Commencement Ceremony Sunday May 17th at 1:30 p.m. at Roncalli High School.  

 

According to a release from the school, the ceremony will only allow a limited audience of graduate, parents and sibilings an social distancing guidelines will be followed.  The decision was made after consulting with Aberdeen city officials, the Diocese of SIoux Falls and Aberdeen's two Catholic parishes.  

 

The event will be streamed via Facebook.  


State Department of Health warns of potential COVID-19 exposure at Mitchell business

State Health officials announced Monday, May 4, that an employee at Blarney’s Sports Bar and Grill in Mitchell has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual worked at the business while able to transmit the virus to others on Saturday, May 2, from 5 pm-11 pm.

 

Due to the risk of exposure, customers who visited this location during the specified date 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.


41 DemKota beef plant employees confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19

State Department of Health officials confirmed Monday 41 cases of COVID-19 in Brown County have come from the DemKota Beef Plant so far.  The beef plant had its first confirmed case of coronavrius about two weeks ago in mid April. As of Monday at 11:30 a.m. Brown County currently has 65 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 27 recoveries, bringing an active total of 38. 

 

State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton says all those 41 cases are employees of DemKota…

 

 

 

 

The city of Aberdeen took steps last Wednesday to begin opening Aberdeen businesses back up amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.  Mayor Travis Schaunaman posted on his mayoral Facebook page he has been working with DemKota as early as April 11th to try and prevent the spread of the virus at this facility. 

 

Mayor Schaunaman was confident late last week the lessons learned from the Smithfield Foods hotspot in Sioux Falls would help prevent major spread at DemKota…

 

 

 

 

Following its first positive test for COVID-19 DemKota announced plans to mitigate the spread including transitioning to a split shift schedule, offering voluntary leave of absence with protections and continued healthcare benefits for production employees.

 

South Dakota’s peak for COVID infections is June according to Governor Kristi Noem and Brown County has seen an increase in positive COVID tests following the loosening of testing requirements so it is likely numbers will continue to rise. 

 

However, Dr. Clayton says there is no telling if the infection rate has peaked in Brown County yet or not…

 


Cities can now apply for mosquito grants

Cities, counties and tribes can again apply for state grant funding to help control mosquitoes and prevent West Nile virus (WNV).

 

“Since West Nile first appeared in South Dakota, local mosquito control programs and the state have worked together to reduce the risk of West Nile,” said Bill Chalcraft, public health preparedness and response administrator for the Department of Health. “We’re very pleased to continue that partnership with this latest round of grants.”

 

Chalcraft said the department has a total of $500,000 in funding available for local mosquito control programs. Grant awards will be based on the population of the applying jurisdiction and its number of human cases through 2019. Individual grants could range from $500 to $20,000.

 

Applications are available on the department’s WNV website, westnile.sd.gov and the submission deadline is June 1. Grant awards will be issued after July 1.

 

Since WNV emerged in South Dakota, the department has provided local control programs over $7.5 million in support, including both direct funding and mosquito control chemicals.

The state’s first human case was reported in 2001. Since then, South Dakota has reported 2,612 human cases and 46 deaths.


South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds hopes to see meat processing plants reopen safely soon

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is hoping to see the Smithfield Foods processing plant up and running this week.  President Donald Trump has also taken action trying to reopen meat processors across the country. 

 

According to South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds its crucial they are reopened, but it must be done safely…

 

 

 

 

Senator Rounds says its important for meat processing plants to privde personal protective equipment or PPE for its employees.  Specifically, Rounds cited the need for gowns, faceguards, and physical barriers to promote seperation when possible.

 

Rounds has sent a letter to President Trump looking to organize a new oversight committee for these animal processing operations.  He laid out what this might look like...

 

 

 

 

Many agriculture observers and worker advocates worry the move to reopen these plants is premature and could lead to new COVID-19 hotspots.  Senator Rounds says that is possible, but some of the onus is on plant owners and managers to keep their employees healthy...

 


Sitting Bull Stampede Rodeo in Mobridge still plans on happening despite COVID-19

The Sitting Bull Stampede Rodeo in Mobridge has announced via its Facebook page it will move forward planning on having the event. 

 

According to the post, organizers are discussion options on how to safely host the event, scheduled for Thursday July 2nd through Saturday July 4th

 

This would be the 75th anniversary of the rodeo first started in 1945 and takes the name of the historical figure of Sitting Bull, a Lakota leader killed while authorities attempted to arrest him in 1890.  He is buried near Mobridge, where he was born at the time known as Grand River Dakota Territory.

 

Organizers say they will reserve the right to change or alter plans as they monitor the movement of COVID-19. 


President Trump plans on visiting South Dakota July 3rd

Press Release: Today, President Donald J. Trump announced he plans to join Governor Kristi Noem on July 3rd for the fireworks at Mount Rushmore in honor of Independence Day.

“This year, after more than a year of diligent efforts, we’re finally bringing fireworks back to Mount Rushmore,” said Governor Noem. “There’s truly no better place to celebrate America’s birthday. We’re excited that President Trump is coming to enjoy the show with us. He and the Department of Interior have been great partners in bringing this celebration back to our great state and the entire nation.”

 

The Obama-administration National Park Service shut down the fireworks celebration following the 2009 Independence Day holiday. On December 13, 2018, then Governor-elect Noem first raised the idea of the fireworks celebration with President Trump at a meeting in the Cabinet Room. On May 7, 2019, Governor Noem, in partnership with the Department of Interior, announced an agreement to bring the fireworks back; President Trump tweeted his excitement about the fireworks that same day. The National Parks Service announced the official return of the fireworks in a news release on April 28th. President Trump announced his planned visit today on The Dan Bongino Show.


Potential COVID-19 exposure at a Hermosa business

State Health officials announced Saturday, May 2, that a patron at Corner Pantry Casino in Hermosa has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual patronized the business while able to transmit the virus to others on Friday, April 24.

 

Due to the risk of exposure, customers who visited this location during the specified date 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.

 

For more information and updates related to COVID-19 visit the COVID.SD.GOV or CDC.gov or call 1-800-997-2880.


Road closures planned for Friday in Aberdeen

Beginning at approximately 8am on Friday, May 1st, 2020 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for work on water & sewer lines:

 

North Production Street from Maloney Ave NE to Capital Ave NE 

 

The work is expected to last all day.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes while work is being completed. 


Three juveniles arrested in connection with early week robbery in Rapid Valley

(KOTA AM - Rapid City) Pennington County Sheriffs officials now say they've arrested three juveniles, in connection with the early Tuesday robbery of the Corner Pantry store on East Highway 44 in Rapid Valley.  

 

Two of the juveniles, whose names are being withheld, were arrested in the mid-afternoon Tuesday after a high speed chase along Interstate 90 and through Black Hawk, and was halted just before reaching Rapid City.  They abandoned their car, and were arrested a short time later along West Omaha Street.  

 

The third juvenile was arrested in the 600 block of Lindbergh Avenue early Wednesday morning.  The rifle used in the robbery has not been recovered yet, but is said to be one of the rifles taken in the pawn shop robberies last week.  A $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the robbers is still in effect.   Call the Sheriff's office at 394-6115 if you can help the investigation.    


Tiffany Langer hopes to bring new ideas to city council representing the SE district

Residents in the south east district of Aberdeen will be choosing a representative on the city council during this June's election. Three candidates have qualified for the June ballot including incumbent Dennis “Mike” Olson and business owners Dave Welling and Tiffany Langer.

 

Langer moved to Aberdeen in 2016 with her husband Scott who is the head coach of the Aberdeen Wings NAHL hockey team. Since then Langer has made Aberdeen her home by starting a business, her husband committing long term to the Wings team and she moved her parents to town.

 

Langer has many ideas she would like to see implemented on the council she feels could make things easier for business owners and residents alike. The council may have not taken these approaches yet according to Langer because of a lack of diversity among council members...

 

 

 

 

 

On Langer's web site tiffanylanger.com, she lays out three bullet points she wants to address if elected. Those include growth and opportunity, efficiency and transparency and community and advocacy. She talked specifically about transparency...

 

 

 

Langer also talked about the road conditions in Aberdeen. According to her, other cities Aberdeen's size have different ways to getting immediate problems solved quicker...

 

 

 

 

 

The election will coincide with the 2020 primary election on June 2nd. Regular in person voting will take place on that day, but to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 the Secretary of State Steve Barnett is offering all registered voters an absentee mail in ballot. Residents should have received an application in the mail recently. If you want to vote by mail fill that out and a ballot will be mailed to you.

 

Stay tuned to Dakota Broadcasting and dakotabroadcasting.com to hear from the other candidates in this race.


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