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Local News Archives for 2020-10

Free flu shot clinic for children up to 18 to take place in Aberdeen today

Aberdeen Point of Dispensing will be offering free flu vaccinations today to all children from six months to 18 including students at our higher education institutions.  The clinic will be set up at the Aberdeen Civic Arena at 203 South Washington Street from 3 to 6:00 p.m. shots are free and supplied by the state.  If you are under the age of 18 you will need a parental or guardians consent to receive the vaccine.  POD is also asking if you are sick, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or currently diagnosed with COVID please do not attend. 


Name released in Jones County fatal crash

A Breckenridge, CO man has been identified as the person who died Saturday afternoon in a one-vehicle crash near Murdo.

 

A 2006 Ford F-150 pickup was westbound on Interstate 90 when the vehicle went into the north ditch and rolled. Jesse Redding, the 31-year-old passenger was wearing a seat belt, but was partially ejected. He later died as a result of his injuries.

 

Stephanie Reece, 34, of Breckenridge, CO, was the driver. She suffered serious non-life threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to a Pierre hospital. She was wearing a seat belt.  

 

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

 

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


Health officials investigating possible re-infections of COVID-19 patients

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) As COVID-19 cases surge in South Dakota, there are some suspected cases of re-infection.

 

State Epidemiologist Dr Josh Clayton says they are investigating...

 

 

 

 

Clayton says they are still getting guidance on possible reinfections from the CDC...

 

 

 

 

Clayton says they are working with outstate labs to confirm the possible reinfections...

 

 

 

The state is now reporting almost twelve thousand active cases of COVID-19.


Enrollment in the ACA begins November 1st

The South Dakota Division of Insurance reminds consumers the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period for 2021 coverage runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2020, for consumers with individual policies.

 

Open enrollment offers South Dakotans the opportunity to review and/or purchase health insurance coverage from options available in the general market, as well as the federally facilitated exchange known as the Marketplace.

 

Consumers are encouraged to use local, licensed health insurance producers when reviewing health insurance needs for 2021.

 

“Local insurance agents can help identify changes in your needs, as well as explain different plan benefit options to meet those needs,” said state Insurance Director Larry Deiter. “They are your best resource when exploring the comprehensive health insurance coverage available in your area.”

 

Individuals with current coverage through the Marketplace should have received notice of the auto re-enrollment option from the insurance carrier. If the individual does not actively choose a plan for 2021, the same or similar plan will be renewed.

 

Avera Health Plans and Sanford Health Plan are approved by the Division to sell individual comprehensive health policies during the 2021 open enrollment. Any other company offering health coverage is not approved to sell comprehensive coverage in South Dakota.

 

View additional information on shopping for health insurance. Contact the South Dakota Division of Insurance with questions or concerns at 605-773-3563 or insurance@state.sd.us.


Man brandishing a weapon at Trump campaign event Gov. Noem attended arrested

A man brandishing a weapon during a Trump campaign event where South Dakota governor Kristi Noem was speaking Wednesday was taken into custody.  The incident occurred in Bangor Maine.  Noem spokesperson Ian Fury says the man at some point in the event the man pulled out two weapons.  Security responded to the incident was arrested. 


Gov. Noem appoints Judge Scott P. Myren to the South Dakota supreme court

Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that she will appoint Scott P. Myren to the South Dakota Supreme Court. Myren, who has been a Fifth Circuit Judge since 2004 and the circuit’s presiding judge since 2013, will represent the Third Supreme Court District. He will be the 53rd justice in the Court’s history.

 

“Judge Myren is a highly-qualified, senior jurist who respects the separation of powers and the role of a judge to interpret the law as written,” said Governor Noem. “He will be an excellent addition to the South Dakota Supreme Court.”

 

Myren is a native of Mound City. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota in 1985 and graduated from Rutgers University School of Law in Camden, New Jersey in 1988. Following law school, Myren entered the private practice of law in Denver, Colorado. Myren returned to South Dakota to serve as the South Dakota Supreme Court’s permanent staff attorney in 1990.

 

In 1994, Myren was appointed by Governor Walter Dale Miller as an administrative law judge, then served as a Fifth Circuit Magistrate Judge from 1999-2003. Governor Mike Rounds appointed Myren as a circuit judge in 2004, and he was reelected without opposition in 2006 and 2014. Myren served in 2011 as president of the South Dakota Judges Association.

 

Myren will succeed Chief Justice David Gilbertson as a justice of the Supreme Court when Justice Gilbertson retires in early January 2021. The Court announced earlier this year that Justice Steven R. Jensen will succeed Gilbertson as chief justice at that time.

 

“I am humbled and honored by the confidence Governor Noem has placed in me with this appointment,” said Judge Myren. “No one will ever replace Chief Justice David Gilbertson.  I will try my hardest every day to live up to his legacy.”

 

The state’s Third Supreme Court District encompasses Brown, Butte, Campbell, Clark, Codington, Corson, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Grant, Hamlin, Harding, Marshall, McPherson, Perkins, Potter, Roberts, Spink, Walworth, and Ziebach counties.


Senator Rounds talks foreign interference a week out from the election

(KCCR - Pierre, SD) Election interference has been a significant concern since the last presidential election four years ago.  South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity says groups continue impact America’s election process…

 

 

 

 

 

Round says the most important thing anyone can do is cast a ballot…

 

 

 

 

Polls are open on Election Day November 2nd across South Dakota from seven AM to seven PM local time with results available starting after eight PM Central/seven PM Mountain time.                        


South Dakotan's urged to wear masks in public

Health care workers, business leaders and municipalities united Tuesday from across the state to hold a press conference urging South Dakotan’s to wear masks while out in public or when unable to adhere to social distancing under the “Mask Up South Dakota” slogan.  This comes as South Dakota reaches a new high in active COVID-19 cases at 11,188 and a new high in hospitalizations for the virus at 395.

 

Dr. Benjamin Aaker, president of the South Dakota State Medical Association was the only one to speak at the press conference…

 

 

 

 

According to Dr. Aaker wearing a mask while in public not only will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but it will help keep businesses open…

 

 

 

 

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released a new study claiming at least 100,000 lives could be saved by February if 95 percent of Americans wore face coverings in public.  The study was published on Oct. 23 in the scholarly journal “Nature” and says the potential life-saving benefit of increasing mask use in the coming fall and winter cannot be overstated. 

 

There has been some mixed messaging from Governor Noem’s administration when it comes to masking.  The Governor has not issued a statewide mandate, does not wear a mask in public, and recently published a op ed where she pointed to alleged information disparaging the effectiveness of mask wearing. 

 

Aaker says this press conference is part of an effort to get true, important information to the public…  

 


Rep. Johnson to visit northeast South Dakota Wednesday

US Representative Dusty Johnson will be in northeast South Dakota Wednesday.  According to a release from Johnson’s office, the representative will be in Sisseton from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at the Coteau Health Care system hospital.  Johnson will then be in Milbank for a Valley Queen Cheese factory tour from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Johnson will then visit the Sisseton Milbank Railroad tour and ride along from 2:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 


Sturgis man identified in Lawrence county fatal crash

A 24-year-old Sturgis woman has been identified as the person who died early Saturday morning in a one-vehicle crash west of Whitewood.

 

A 2020 Nissan Versa was eastbound on Interstate 90 when it went off the roadway to the right, into the ditch and eventually collided with a tree. The driver, Ashley Weslocky, was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

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

 

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


Nov. 1st Aberdeen residents allowed to discharge water into sanitary sewer system

Effective November 1, 2020 Aberdeen residents are authorized to begin discharging water from their sump pumps into the sanitary sewer system for the winter season. Residents will be notified in the spring when discharge should be re-directed to the curb and gutter outside the property. All sump pumps, drain tile and groundwater being diverted to the sanitary sewer system must meet all applicable city plumbing and building codes.  Call 605-626-7010 for more information.


Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court

The United States Senate voted 52-48 Monday night to confirm President Trump’s pick Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the US Supreme Court.  Coney Barrett is 48-years-old and will replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the nation’s highest court.  All Democrats voted no on the appointment, while two Republicans, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins both crossed party lines to vote no on the nomination.  Barrett was then sworn in as the next Supreme Court Justice by Clarence Thomas in a ceremony later in the evening. 


Sioux Falls city council to consider mask mandate

A Sioux Falls City councilman has announced he will bring a mask mandate within the state’s largest city up for debate.  Sioux Falls councilor Curt Soehl says his proposal would be for indoor as well as outdoor public places.  Violations would be treated as a misdemeanor citation.  This comes as COVID-19 cases across the upper Midwest are spiking and several other large cities in the Dakota’s have taken such steps.  Fargo, West Fargo and Minot North Dakota all have passed mask mandates while the option has been informally discussed by the Aberdeen City council. 


One person killed near Murdo in one vehicle accident

One person died and another person was injured Saturday afternoon in a one-vehicle crash near Murdo.

 

Names of the two people involved are not yet being released pending notification of family members.

 

A 2006 Ford F-150 pickup was westbound on Interstate 90 when the vehicle went into the north ditch and rolled. Both occupants were wearing seat belts, but the 31-year-old male passenger was partially ejected. He later died as a result of his injuries. The 34-year-old female driver was transported to a Pierre hospital with serious non-life threatening injuries.

 

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

 

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

 


Top aides around VP Mike Pence test positive for COVID-19

Top aides to vice president Mike Pence have tested positive for COVID-19. A spokesman for the vice president made the announcement Sunday, but said Pence will continue his campaign schedule. The spokesperson also said Pence himself and his wife Karen both tested negative for the virus Saturday. The pair tested negative again Sunday. It has been released Pence's chief of staff Marc Short along with a couple of key staff members had tested positive for the virus.   


Poll shows support for marijuana measures on the ballot in South Dakota

A recent poll conducted by the Argus Leader and KELO-TV shows support for the two marijuana measures on the ballot this November. According to the poll, which surveyed more than 600 likely voters in South Dakota via telephone form Oct. 19th to Oct. 21st, found a whopping 74 percent of respondents approved of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is on the ballot under IM 26. The poll also found 51 percent of respondents approved of legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults. 44 percent said no while five percent remained undecided. According to the pollsters, the poll has a margin of error of about 4 percent.


One person killed west of Kimball in single vehicle accident

An 84-year-old man died Thursday morning in a one-vehicle crash west of Kimball.

 

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

 

A 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup was eastbound on Interstate 90 when it went into the south ditch.  The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle. He was later pronounced dead at the Chamberlain hospital.

 

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

 

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


Street sweeping street maintenance to discontinue for fall/winter season

Effective immediately, regular street sweeping / maintenance is discontinued for the fall and winter seasons and will resume in the spring of 2021.


One recent poll finds Republicans slightly disapprove of Gov. Noem Pres. Trump

A recent poll conducted by South Dakota State University finds state Republicans slightly disprove of both  President Donald Trump and Governor Kristi Noem’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.  SDSU political science professor Dave Wiltse sent emails to 10,000 registered voters and received about 500 responses.  46 percent of those who responded identified as Republican, 28 percent Democrat and the rest independent.  The survey shows 52 percent of respondents opposed President Donald Trump and just over 50 percent disapproved of Governor Noem.  President Trump won South Dakota in 2016 60-30. 


Harrisburg home invasion suspect arrested

A suspect wanted in a Harrisburg home invasion has been taken into custody by authorities.  According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office the suspect was arrested around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.  Authorities allege the suspect broke into a home half a mile west of Harrisburg around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.  The suspect allegedly fired a gun at the home owner then ran away.  No one was injured in the incident.  Authorities say the suspect was taken into custody with use of a drone.  The suspect has since been identified by officials as 21-year-old Colton Nichols of Sioux Falls. 


Senate candidate Dan Ahlers talks trade deal and ag economy

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) The democratic candidate for the US Senate from South Dakota says the quickest way to help improve ag income is through better trade deals.

 

Dan Ahlers says it might be about the only option right now...

 

 

 

 

 

Ahlers says he supports renegotiating trade deals, but through an intelligent approach...

 

 

 

 

Ahlers says trade was also destroyed through the tariffs put on China...

 

 

 

Ahlers is challenging incumbent republican Senator Mike Rounds in next month’s election.


Brookings city council chooses not to discuss COVID-19 "Phase II" protocols

The Brookings city council chose not to discuss plans on its so called “Phase II” protocols regarding COVID-19.  According to the Brookings Public Information Office the Phase II discussion was pulled at the request of multiple city council members.  Brookings passed a indoor mask mandate last  month and with phase two, would have been considering limiting restaurant’s to 50 percent capacity and possibly shutting down some business temporarily.  The goal of these ordinances is to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 


Brookings city council chooses not to discuss COVID-19 "Phase II" protocols

The Brookings city council chose not to discuss plans on its so called “Phase II” protocols regarding COVID-19.  According to the Brookings Public Information Office the Phase II discussion was pulled at the request of multiple city council members.  Brookings passed a indoor mask mandate last  month and with phase two, would have been considering limiting restaurant’s to 50 percent capacity and possibly shutting down some business temporarily.  The goal of these ordinances is to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 


Lee Park pro shop to close for the season Oct. 25th

The public is advised that the Lee Park Golf Course and the Pro Shop will close for the season on Sunday, October 25.   If you have any questions, call the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department at 626-7015.


SD industrial hemp plan approved by USDA

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) USDA has approved the Industrial Hemp Plan submitted by the South Dakota State Agriculture Department.  The state Ag Department is currently working to circulate emergency administrative rules to establish a program in accordance with state law and the USDA approved plan. South Dakota Farmers Union Lobbyist Mitch (rick-tur) Richter says his group has been pushing for this for some time.

 

 

 

 

He says while there likely won’t be a lot of acres of hemp planted, there will be some who want to try growing the crop.

 

 

 

 

Richter says industrial hemp will spin off economic development.

 

 

 

 

Richter says it’s critical those wanting to grow hemp check with the state Agriculture Department and follow all their rules before proceeding and that they make sure they use only certified seed.


Speaker of the House Republican Steve Haugaard says he is battling COVID-19

South Dakota Speaker of the House Steve Haugaard, Republican from Sioux Falls, announced Monday he has been battling COVID-19 the past two weeks.  According to Haugaard he has been to the hospital twice during the illness to receive fluids and has lost 16 pounds since his diagnosis.  He says COVID-19 is the quote “most devastating stuff I’ve ever had.”  A number of state lawmakers have come down with COVID-19, including Bob Glanzer, Republican from Huron, who died from the disease in  April.    


Speaker of the House Republican Steve Haugaard says he is battling COVID-19

South Dakota Speaker of the House Steve Haugaard, Republican from Sioux Falls, announced Monday he has been battling COVID-19 the past two weeks.  According to Haugaard he has been to the hospital twice during the illness to receive fluids and has lost 16 pounds since his diagnosis.  He says COVID-19 is the quote “most devastating stuff I’ve ever had.”  A number of state lawmakers have come down with COVID-19, including Bob Glanzer, Republican from Huron, who died from the disease in  April.    


SD Secretary of State offers ballot tracking information

Now that the deadline to register to vote in South Dakota has passed, Secretary of State Steve Barnett has announced plans to feature absentee ballot tracking.  Voters who have voted absentee by mail or by ballot drop off can check the status of their ballot by visiting s dsos.gov.  The tracking includes showing when the request for an absentee ballot happened, when the ballot was mailed out and when the ballot was received. 


Actor Jeff Bridges announces he has lymphoma

Actor Jeff Bridges, known for his performances in films such as “The Big Lebowski”, “Crazy Heart” “True Grit” and more announced Monday he has been diagnosed with Lymphoma.  Lymphoma is a cancer which infects part of the immune system called the lymph system.  There are  many different kinds of lymphoma.  In a  post on social media, the 70-year-old actor says his prognosis is good, he feels confident about beating this serious disease and will begin treatment.  


One person killed in Minnehaha county fatal crash

One person died and two others were injured Sunday afternoon in a one-vehicle crash near Rowena.

 

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

 

A 2001 Ford Explorer was eastbound on South Dakota Highway 42, near the intersection with 483rd Avenue, when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled. The driver, a 33-year-old female, was pronounced dead at the scene. The two passengers, a 34-year-old male and a 26-year-old female, were thrown from the vehicle and sustained serious non-life threatening injuries. Both were taken by ambulance to a Sioux Falls hospital.

 

None of the three occupants were wearing seat belts.

 

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

 

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


Deadline to register to vote this coming Monday

The deadline to register to vote in South Dakota in the upcoming November election is Monday Oct.   19th at 5:00 p.m.  If you are not registered you are encouraged to head to your county auditor’s office and do so.  You can also vote early during the same visit if you chose.  According to secretary of state Steve Barnett, approximately a quarter of registered voters have already cast their vote for the upcoming Nov. 3rd election.  On the ballot includes your local races, questions about marijuana in South Dakota, a senate and house race and the race for president amongst other choices. 


Power outage affects customers in Aberdeen

A power outage some residents experience Wednesday morning was caused by equipment failure and pole fire.  According to NorthWestern Energy, the outage occurred around 4:42 a.m. and affected commercial customers between State and Dakota Streets in Aberdeen.  Power was restored to the 194 customers affected by 9:00 a.m.  


State minimum wage to increase January 1st

The state minimum wage will increase from $9.30/hour to $9.45/hour effective Jan. 1, 2021.

 

The minimum wage is annually adjusted by any increase in the cost of living, as measured in the Consumer Price Index published by the U.S. Department of Labor. This year’s increase was 1.3% and is rounded up to the nearest 5 cents.

 

The hourly minimum wage for tipped employees will be $4.725/hour effective Jan. 1, 2021, half the minimum wage for non-tipped employees. Wages and tips combined must equal at least the minimum wage.

 

These increases will apply to all South Dakota employers, with some limited exceptions. For more information, visit https://dlr.sd.gov/employment_laws/minimum_wage.aspx.


Gov. Noem joins "No Way on A" campaign to oppose legal marijuana

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has come out in opposition to Amendment A which will be on the ballot this November.  If passed, the Amendment would legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older in the state.  Governor Noem joined the “No Way on A” campaign and made a short video…


Charges filed in overdose death in Watertown

(KWAT - Watertown, SD) Watertown police announced today that charges have been filed in the drug overdose death of a 24 year-old man last month.

 

Twenty four year-old Tyler Mertz was found unconscious at a residence in the 700-block of East Kemp Avenue on the night of September 11th.

 

He was taken to Prairie Lakes Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

 

Police Captain Steve Rehorst says an autopsy was performed, and the cause of death was determined to be a fentanyl overdose.

 

Following an in-depth investigation by Watertown police and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, police arrested 25 year-old Ricardo “Ricky” Ortiz of Watertown for supplying the drugs that caused Mertz’s death.

 

Ortiz is charged with Felony Distribution of a Controlled Substance.

 

He was on parole at the time of his arrest for a previous drug distribution conviction.


President Trump and former Vice President Biden to take part in dueling town halls Thursday

President Donald Trump and challenger former Vice President Joe Biden will take part in competing town hall events tonight, the President on NBC and former vice president on ABC.  The two were suppose to take part in the second debate of this presidential election tonight, but after President Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and refused to take part in a virtual debate, the announcement was made ABC would move forward with just Joe Biden.  Since then, the president has submitted to an independent COVID-19 test, reviewed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and NBC is moving forward with its own event.    


House fire causes damage Wednesday

An Aberdeen home suffered major damage Wednesday due to a fire.  According to scanner reports, firefighters and first responders were on the scene at 919 Third Ave NE at 10:28 a.m. and investigators stayed on the scene until the late afternoon.  The house suffered extensive damage to the main floor and near the back.  No one was injured in the incident according to battalion chief JR Huebner.  This is the second fire in two days after Parcel Erickson caught fire Tuesday. 


US Supreme court allows for US Census count to end early

The United States Supreme Court has announced it will allow the U.S.  Census Bureau to stop counting a month earlier than planned.  According to the Census Bureau, people in the United States have until Thursday to fill out the form and be counted.  Internet self response will be available across the nation through Oct. 15th until 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time.  If you have not filled out the census yet you can do so by visiting 2020census.gov.  The Trump administration claims the count must be suspended in  order to crunch the numbers before a congress mandated deadline. 


State Dept. of Safety gives update into Ravnsborg involved accident

The South Dakota Department of  Public Safety gave an update into the investigation currently underway involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.  Ravnsborg killed a pedestrian near Highmore on Sept. 12th

 

State Secretary of Safety Craig Price says no charges have been filed yet because the investigation remains ongoing… 

 

 

 

 

 

The Department did release the 911 call recording of Ravnsborg after the accident and his toxicology report. You can listen to the 911 call here...

 

 

 

 

Price says the Department of Safety likes to turn around investigations within about 30 days of the accident.  He says that timeline may take longer this time because of unique factors to the case...

 

 

 

 

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was at the press conference with Price and says this is all the appropriate information to release at this time...

 

 


Two people taken to a hospital following accident in Aberdeen Monday

Two people needed to be taken to the hospital following a two-vehicle crash Monday in Aberdeen.  According the Aberdeen Police Department, 57-year-old Jacqueline Borchard and 55-year-old Ron Borchard were both possibly injured in an accident a the intersection of first avenue southeast and South Dakota Street around 7:09 p.m.  Jacqueline was westbound when she collided with an eastbound pickup driven by a 16-year-old.  The teen failed to yield for the car and the two collided.  The teen, who’s name was not released was cited for failure to yield and driving without a valid license. 


Officials to give an update on Ravnsborg investigation

Officials plan on giving an update into the investigation currently underway investigating the accident South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was involved in.  Ravnsborg killed a pedestrian walking alongside a highway near Highmore back on September 12th.  South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will provide an update with secretary of public safety Craig Price at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday at Sioux Falls city hall.  At the time of the accident Ravnsborg claimed he thought he hit a deer and the victim, 55-year-old Joe Boever of Highmore was not found until the following morning. 


Facebook announces it will begin banning Holocaust denial

Facebook has announced it will begin banning posts that deny or distort the history of the Holocaust where six million Jews were systematically murdered at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new policy Monday and is part of a larger effort by the platform to curve misinformation and conspiracy theories ahead of the upcoming US presidential election.  In a statement by Facebook the decision comes in the midst of a well documented rise in ant-Semitism across the globe. 


Fire crews respond to flames at Parcel Erickson Full Service

Fire crews responded to flames at Parcel Erickson Complete Repair Service & Towing Monday morning around 8:30 a.m.  Upon arrivals fire crews found smoke billowing out of the building and an active fire in progress. 

 

It appeared most of the smoke as coming from the ceiling which forced fire fighters onto the roof.  Fire fighters also cut into the ceiling trying to find a way to get at the flames.  This is a developing story...

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mitchell teacher Amanda Hargreaves named SD teacher of the year

(KORN - Mitchell, SD) A Mitchell Middle School educator is South Dakota’s Teacher of the Year. Amanda Hargreaves teaches sixth grade reading and science. Superintendent Joe Graves says science is her specialty…

 

 

 

 

 

Hargreaves has taught in the Mitchell School District since 2011, first at Longfellow Elementary and now at the Mitchell Middle School where she serves on the Principal’s Cabinet Leadership team and offers students tutoring help after school. In her science classroom, learning comes to life through activities like the Force and Motion Carnival where students design and create carnival games to demonstrate their understanding of Newton’s laws of motion.

 

Hargreaves has a Masters Degree in educational administration.

 

She’ll represent South Dakota as a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award.


President Trump signs "Savanna's Act" into law

President Donald Trump has signed “Savanna's Act” into law which is meant to help police track, solve and prevent crimes against Native Americans. The bill was named after Savanna Greywind, a Fargo North Dakota woman who died after her infant daughter was cut from her womb. The bill was introduced by former North Dakota senator Heidi Heitkamp and reintroduced this legislative session by Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski. The bill will direct the justice department and interior to consult with American Indian tribes while developing national law enforcement guidelines.


Name released in Minnehaha county fatal crash

Two Sioux Falls men have  been identified as those who died Thursday morning in a two-vehicle crash near Wall Lake.

 

A 2016 Dodge Ram pickup, pulling a flatbed trailer with a small tractor on it, was eastbound on South Dakota Highway 42 when it had a front-end collision with a westbound 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup.  Each vehicle started on fire.

 

Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. Charles Puthoff, 59, was the driver of the Dodge Ram pickup. Michael Williams, 24, was driving the GMC Sierra pickup. Seat belt use by both drivers is under investigation.

 

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

 

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


Early voting has strong start across the state

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) Early voting appears to have a strong start in South Dakota.

 

Secretary of State Steve Barnett says county auditors are seeing lots of mail in and walk in ballots...

 

 

 

 

Barnett says anyone that wants to mail in their ballot should do that as soon as possible...

 

 

 

 

Barnett says ballots need to be in the county auditors office by the close of business on election day, November 3rd...

 

 

 

 

Barnett says absentee ballots can’t be opened and counted before election day, but auditors can sort them by precinct to speed up the process.


South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws push for Amendment A

South Dakotans for better Marijuana Laws is a grass roots organization looking to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older.  Constitutional Amendment A will do that and is currently on the ballot in South Dakota for the upcoming November election.

 

Currently 11 states and the District of Columbia has legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older.  There are also only eight states in the nation where marijuana is completely illegal for both medical and recreational use.  South Dakota is one of those states.

 

Drey Samuelson is the political director for South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws and frames marijuana use as a personal liberty issue, but even further will lead to what he calls a windfall in tax revenue…

 

 

 

 

Not everyone is convinced recreational marijuana would be good for the state of South Dakota.  A coalition of 19 organizations and associations have joined together to create the group “No Way on A”.  According to its web site “No Way on A” claims the main problems with recreational marijuana will be more use by youth, more driving under the influence and the workforce will suffer. 

 

Samuelson says “No Way on A” is focusing on scary stories that don’t hold up to scrutiny…

 

 

 

 

If amendment A passes, marijuana would be required to be sold in state licensed dispensaries to only adults 21 and older.  That means cities could pass their own restrictions on the sale of marijuana within city limits.  This among many reasons Samuelson says children under the age of 21 will not have access to marijuana…

 

 

 

 

Samuelson speculates usage amongst drops in children in states where marijuana is legal for adults to consume is because the drug is no longer considered cool when legal for their parents to partake. 


Second presidential debate to take place virtually

The second presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15th will be done virtually according to the commission on presidential debates.  In a statement from the Commission, the decision was made to protect the health of all those involved.  President Donald Trump last week, shortly after taking part in an in-person debate with challenger Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and the status of his health has been in question.  The debate will still be a town hall format.    


New historical marker honoring African-American homesteaders dedicated in Sully county

A new historical marker has been dedicated this week in Sully County, honoring early African American homesteaders in South Dakota and the North American great plains as a whole.  The marker was commemorated Monday and commissioned by the National Park Service and Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  It recognizes the Norvel Blair and John McGruder families.  Norvel Blair was born into slavery in Tennessee who set out with his two sons to become homesteaders in South Dakota in 1882, establishing a successful farm.  John McGruder followed his lead and the original family home still stands in western Sully county today. 


State health officials talk new testing, hospital beds

The South Dakota Department of Health had its now once a week press conference Wednesday to adress the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the state.  As of Wednesday afternoon 609 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the state with active cases jumping to 4,511.

 

A new category was introduced on the COVID-19 dashboard which now includes "probable cases."  Probable cases refers to patients who test positive using the newer antigen tests rather than the traditional PCR, Viral RNA and Nucleic Acid tests.  Antigen tests can be turned around quicker, are cheaper, but tend to be less reliable than others.

 

State secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the average citizen should simply consider probably cases as active cases...

 

 

 

 

State epidemeolgist Dr. Joshua Clayton says more positive cases can be expected as the state continues to expand testing...

 

 

 

 

Besdies testing, hospital capacity is always in question as reports have come in across the state that COVID-19 patients are defered to different hospitals or sometimes different states.  The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for instance says their hospital in Eagle Butte had to send two COVID patents out of state due to lake of space in a state hospital.

 

Malam-Rysdon says patient diverted to other facilities is normal...

 

 


President Trump praises Gov. Kristi Noem on Twitter

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem received praise from President Donald Trump Wednesday.  President Trump tweeted a clip of Governor Noem speaking before the start of the special session of the legislature Monday, where she defended her decision not to shut the state down at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the tweet of the video, President Trump said “Watch Clip. Great job South Dakota!” Governor Noem has been on the campaign trail for President Trump the past few weeks and will be in New Hampshire October 15th for the Amos Truck Reception serving as the keynote speaker.


Rep. Dusty Johnson proposes compromise on D.C. statehood

South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson announced he has introduced an act which would change our nation's capital. The bill he calls the “District of Columbia-Maryland Reunion Act,” would drastically shrink the size of Washington D.C. returning a large portion of the suburban area back to the state of Maryland. According to Johnson, our founders never meant for D.C. to be its own state, but people living in D.C. Deserve representation in congress, which they currently do not. This would be a compromise as most Republicans oppose D.C. Statehood.


President Trump ends negotiations on COVID-19 stimulus

President Donald Trump abruptly ended the negotiations surrounding a second round of COVID-19 stimulus.  In a tweet sent out by the president Tuesday, President Trump, who is still sick with COVID-19, ordered his representation in the negotiations to pull out and that no stimulus bill would be passed until after the 2020 November election.  The President then asked Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to put all focus on the approval and appointment of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The news came as a shock to many, especially Americans in dire straits laid off or furloughed and in need of assistance due to the pandemic. 


Vice presidential debate tonight

The only vice presidential debate of this election cycle is scheduled to take place tonight in Salt Lake City Utah.  The debate will put current vice president Republican Mike Pence vs. challenging VP candidate Democrat Kamala Harris.  The Debate will take place at the University of Utah, last 90 minutes and take place 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. central time.  USA Today’s Susan Page will moderate the debate.


Road closures planned for parts of Aberdeen Wednesday

Beginning at 8:00am on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for crane work:

 

South Market Street from 1st Avenue SE to Railroad Avenue

 

Work is expected to last all day.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until work is completed. 


Aberdeen man identified in Brown county fatal crash

An Aberdeen man has been identified as the person who died Friday afternoon in a truck-train crash west of Aberdeen.

 

A 2016 Mack semi-truck and trailer, loaded with soybeans, was northbound on 379th Avenue when it crossed the public train crossing just north of U.S. Highway 12. The truck and trailer collided with an eastbound BNSF train consisting of two locomotives and a box car.

 

Thomas Ochsner, the 66-year-old truck driver, had to be extricated from the truck and taken by ambulance to an Aberdeen hospital. He later died there as a result of his injuries.

 

All three members of the train crew were not injured.

 

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

 

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


US Supreme court refuses to hear case of only South Dakota inmate on death row

The United States Supreme court Monday announced it had refused to hear an appeal from South Dakota’s only inmate currently on death row.  The appeal was made by Briley Piper, an Alaska man who 20 years ago along with two other accomplices murdered Chester Allen Poage of Spearfish in an apparent torture killing.  Prosecutors say the men were under the influence of LSD and methamphetamine at the time of the murder.  One of the other three men involved has been executed for his involvement while the other is serving a life prison sentence. 


Buffalo Wild Wings officially open for business in Aberdeen

After years of rumors and teasing a restaurant was coming, Buffalo Wild Wings is officially open for business.  After a soft opening event this past weekend, the site at 3315 Sixth Ave SE, the site which used to hold the First State Bank of Warner just south of the Aberdeen Mall is open.  Buffalo Wild Wings is open from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily. 


Wall school district to go to distance learning this week

The Wall school district announced Monday it will be moving to online learning following a number of staff members testing positive for COVID-19.  In a post on social media, the district says it is lacking in classroom and kitchen substitutes. Students may retrieve materials Monday and staff can sue the building for remote learning preparations.  As of Monday morning, Pennington County, where Wall is located had 449 active cases of COVID-19. 


SD Legislature approves resolution on how to spend COVID-19 relief following special session Monday

The South Dakota legislature held a special session which was scheduled to last from 10:00 a.m. central time until midnight, but adjourned at about 3:00 p.m. once an agreement was hashed out how to spend millions of federal dollars provided to the state in the form of COVID-19 relief.  Large amounts of the money will go to help community health centers-and businesses that have struggled as a result of the pandemic.  Specifically, 400 million will go towards grants for small businesses, 50 million will go towards nonprofits and start-ups, 115 million in grants for nursing homes and long term care facilities, 15 million to hospitals and 10 million for housing assistance. 


President Trump checks himself out of Walter Reed military hospital

President Donald Trump checked himself out of Walter Reed military hospital Monday night, against the recommendations of his doctors who admitted the President is not out of the woods yet.  Trump repeatedly told onlookers and reporters he felt great.  He also repeated that in a video released by the Whitehouse.  However, the president is currently on dexamethasone, a heavy duty steroid that can mask the symptoms of an illness its fighting.  Health experts outside the Whitehouse are calling on the president to remain isolated at this time and continue to get rest.    


Groton middle school to go to distance learning this week

The Groton school district announced Monday, the Groton middle school will go to distance learning for the remainder of the week due to an increase in positive COVID-19 tests.  There has also been an increase in close contact quarantines and staff exposures according to Groton Area Superintendent Joe Schwan.  Groton Elementary and Groton high school will remain with in person learning at this time. 


Living Christmas Tree 2020 canceled

The Living Christmas tree, an annual tradition in Aberdeen each Christmas season has been canceled.  The announcement was made on the show’s facebook page.  Organizers went on to say everyone should work to take care of one another and encourage one another this coming Christmas season. 


Road closures planned in Aberdeen Tuesday

Beginning at 8am on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 the following intersection will be closed intermittently to thru traffic for road work:

                                                                                       

South 2nd Street & 3rd Avenue SW  

 

Work is expected to be completed by end of day Tuesday. Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.


Road closures planned in Aberdeen Tuesday

Beginning at 8am on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 the following intersection will be closed intermittently to thru traffic for road work:

                                                                                       

South 2nd Street & 3rd Avenue SW  

 

Work is expected to be completed by end of day Tuesday. Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.


Spearfish man charged with solicitation of a minor

A Spearfish man has been charged with attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. According to court documents 57-year-old Bernard Andrew Wagner Jr. was charged in September of 2020 and pleaded not guilty on September 25th to the charges he faces. Wagner allegedly attempted to exploit an undercover law enforcement agent posing as a minor. If found guilty Wagner faces a minimum of 15 years in prison with a max of 30 and a $250,000 fine.   


One person killed in train/semi accident west Aberdeen

One person died Friday west of Aberdeen when a truck collided with a train. According to the Department of Public Safety, a 2016 Mack Semi-truck and trailer carrying soybeans collided with a train when it crossed tracks just north of US highway 12 on 379th avenue. The train consisted of two locomotive and box cars. The 66-year-old male truck driver had to be extricated from the truck and taken via ambulance to an Aberdeen hospital where he would die from his injuries. He The names of those involved have not been released.


Special session of the state's legislature to convene in Pierre today

The South Dakota legislature will convene in Pierre today to take part in a special session. The goal of the session is to help Governor Kristi Noem decide how to allocate the remaining $1.25 billion given to South Dakota as part of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. The session was announced September 21st and will begin at 10:00 a.m. until midnight. The state has approximately $400 million left of the 1.25 billion given to the State.


President Trump tests positive for COVID-19

President Donald Trump announced via his twitter account early Friday morning he and first lady Melania have tested positive for COVID-19.  Trump went on to say he and the first lady are quarantining at this time.  Hours before President Trump’s announcement, one of the president’s closes personal aids Hope Hicks announced she has tested positive for the virus.  The White House physician released a statement President Trump would be able to continue carrying out his duties “without disruption.” 


Initial unemployment claims drop below initial pandemic claims in South Dakota

During the week of Sept. 20-26, a total of 233 initial weekly claims for state unemployment benefits were processed by the Department of Labor and Regulation. This is decrease of 318 claims from the prior week’s total of 551.

 

A total of $1.2 million was paid out in state benefits, in addition to $757,000 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), $478,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and $96,000 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits.

 

The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund balance was $120.6 million on Sept. 27.

 

The latest number of continued state claims is 5,987 for the week ending Sept. 19, a decrease of 963 from the prior week’s total of 6,950. This indicates the number of unemployed workers eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim.

 

Benefits paid since March 16:

  • Regular State = $82.6 million
  • FPUC = $205.5 million
  • PUA = $14.1 million
  • PEUC = $1.8 million

 

Total = Approximately $304 million


Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana chapters to combine

Make-A-Wish South Dakota has announced the organization will merge with the Make-A-Wish foundation of Montana to become one chapter.  The group will now be known as Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana.  The advisory board for Make-A-Wish South Dakota voted unanimously in favor of the merger.  In a press release, the organization described Make-A-Wish Montana as a “younger chapter with much potential.  Make-A-Wish is a national organization, granting wishes to children battling illness. 


Presidential debate commission announces changes to format after first debate

The Presidential Debate Commission has announced changes to the current format following Tuesday night's debate which was universally panned by political pundits and observers. According to the commission, additional changes to structure should be added to the format, to ensure a more orderly discussion. The next presidential debate is a town hall format scheduled for Oct. 15th in Miami. President Donald Trump was widely seen as too often interrupting to allow for the moderator Chris Wallace to ask his questions or allowing challenger Joe Biden the chance to respond.   


Deuel to move to online learning Thursday

Deuel High School has announced it will be moving to distancing learning this week due to COVID-19. In a Facebook post from Superintendent Chand Schiernbeck, the high school will transition October 1st and all activities will be suspended through Oct. 12th.


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