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Local News Archives for 2020-11

PUC approves new solar farm planned near New Underwood

 The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved a new 1,500 acre solar farm planned for near New Underwood South Dakota.  This is the first solar farm in South Dakota large enough to require a permit from the state.  PUC commissioner Chris Nelson says this is likely the first of many new green energy projects…

 

 


Gov. Noem names Tiffany Sanderson next Sec. of Education

Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that she will appoint Tiffany Sanderson to be the next Secretary of Education. Sanderson currently serves as a senior policy advisor for Governor Noem. In that role, her portfolio includes K-12 education, higher education, and workforce development.

“Tiffany will be a great leader for the Department of Education, and a true champion for our students, educators, and schools,” said Governor Noem.

 

Sanderson’s career as an educator has focused on youth development; effective instruction, materials, and assessments; education policy; and workforce development. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office in 2019, Sanderson led South Dakota’s career and technical education system at the Department of Education, including the four technical colleges, and designed learning solutions for school systems and businesses across the country while working in the private sector. 

 

“I’m extremely thankful to the Governor for this opportunity, and I’m excited to partner with educators as we set out to help our students in South Dakota,” said Sanderson. “As a mom of a middle schooler, we can waste no time in strengthening our education system. It’s the most important work we can do for our kids and communities.”

 

Sanderson lives in Pierre with her husband and son. She graduated from Lemmon High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from South Dakota State University, and master’s degree in administration with an emphasis in human resource management from the University of South Dakota.

The Governor’s appointment of Sanderson is effective December 9, 2020. Sanderson will succeed Dr. Ben Jones, who has been named the new executive director of the South Dakota State Historical Society.


Conde man identified in Spink county fatal crash

A 22-year-old Conde, S.D. man has been identified as the person who died early Wednesday morning in a one-vehicle crash southeast of Conde.

 

A 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup was westbound on South Dakota Highway 20. The vehicle went into the north ditch, back across the roadway and into the south ditch where it rolled.

 

Dawson Smith, who was the driver, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt. He was the only occupant.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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

 


Unemployment numbers released for the week of Nov. 15th-21st

During the week of Nov. 15-21, a total of 681 initial weekly claims for state unemployment benefits were processed by the Department of Labor and Regulation. This is an increase of 168 claims from the prior week’s total of 513.

 

A total of $708,000 was paid out in state benefits, in addition to $378,000 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), $315,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and $205,000 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits.

 

The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund balance was $122.5 million on Nov. 22.

 

The latest number of continued state claims is 3,690 for the week ending Nov. 14, an increase of 210 from the prior week’s total of 3,480. This indicates the number of unemployed workers eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim.

 

Benefits paid since March 16:

  • Regular State = $88.9 million
  • FPUC = $209.3 million
  • PUA = $17.1 million
  • PEUC = $3.1 million

 

Total = Approximately $318.4 million


Religious group organizes temporary memorial for those who died from COVID-19 in South Dakota

In an effort to symbolize those we have lost in South Dakota due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group lead by a faith organization has created a temporary memorial at the state’s capital in Pierre. 

 

Stop the Spread SD, a group sponsored by the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, set up 849 empty chairs to symbolize all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 within South Dakota. 

 

A woman named Ashley helped put the display on and talk about what the display means to her...

 

 

 

 

Ashley's husband Joseph addressed the crowed and livestream once the event started...

 

 

 

The group set up the memorial to try and raise further awareness this Thanksgiving holiday and remind South Dakotan’s to social distance, mask up and help try and stop the spread of the virus. 


SD Supreme Court upholds rape conviction of Snodgrass

(KCCR - Pierre, SD) The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Pierre man sentenced to a combined 200 years in prison on multiple rape and sexual contact charges in a 2019 child rape case.  Brandon Snodgrass is serving a 100 year sentence with 100 years of concurrent time on eight counts of first degree child rape and four counts of sexual contact with a minor.  Former Hughes County States Attorney Roxanne Hammond says Snodgrass can continue appeals of the case…

 

 

 

 

Snodgrass appealed to South Dakota’s High Court on six different issues.  They include whether the grand jury indictment violated his due process rights; whether the Court abused its discretion in admitting some evidence, including internet searches and evidence found on electronic devices and if the sentence was not appropriate to the crimes.  Hammond says pleased with the High Court’s decision and what it means for the child victim in the case…

 

 

 

The South Dakota Supreme Court considered the legal challenges on August 24th and filed its opinion on the case November24th. 


One person killed in Spink county fatal crash

One man died early Wednesday morning in a one-vehicle crash southeast of Conde.

 

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

 

A 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 pick was westbound on South Dakota Highway 20. The vehicle went into the north ditch, back across the roadway and into the south ditch where it rolled.

 

The 22-year-old male driver was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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


Gov. Noem approves additional funds for distance learning

Governor Kristi Noem has approved a $468,850 grant from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help the Northern State University Center for Statewide E-learning handle larger enrollments this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Currently, 2,400 high school students from 104 South Dakota school districts are served by the E-learning Center. That is an increase of about 22 percent over the entire 2019-20 school year, with spring semester registrations still coming in.

 

“The grant improves the work of NSU E-learning teachers because it updated the technological infrastructure we rely on to do our work,” said E-learning Principal Mary Cundy.

 

The grant has funded significant infrastructure upgrades, allowing for more seamless monitoring and support of high school courses that are delivered online. These improvements ensure a better overall product for students.

 

“This grant has had a tremendous impact on our E-learning Center and the high school students we serve across South Dakota,” said NSU President Dr. Tim Downs. “We are very grateful to Gov. Noem for providing this crucial funding.”

 

Last spring, Noem praised the efforts of the E-learning Center at a press conference, saying, “Northern’s E-learning Center and others have created greater capacity for supporting remote learning and educational opportunities throughout our state to get the kind of resources out to students that need it, and need to continue their education even though they can’t be in the building.”

 

So far this year, there has been a steady stream of short-term student absences for quarantines and short-term school closures as a result of the pandemic. When these absences occur, students join their classes from home via a live stream of the class during the scheduled class times or watch recordings of the classes.

 

“We have about 500 students studying from home long-term. These students are able to interact with their teachers and classmates in real time via their laptops. The quality of their classroom experience is the same, whether they are in classes on site or studying from home,” Cundy said.

 

About the Center for Statewide E-learning

 

Established in 2001, the NSU E-learning Center delivers distance education across South Dakota. Master teachers utilize 24 E-learning studios, including nine on the Northern campus and 15 located in teachers’ homes in the following communities: Bridgewater, Claremont, Crooks, Harrisburg, Huron, Ipswich, Letcher, Milbank, Northville, Pierre (two), Rapid City, Vermillion and Webster (two). To learn more, visit the NSU Center for Statewide E-Learning webpage.


Former Rapid City Catholic priest pleads not guilty to child pornography charges

A former Rapid City priest has pleaded not guilty to child pornography and child sexual abuse charges.  42-year-old Marcine Garbacz was just sentenced in another case to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from local Catholic churches.  During that investigation, authorities uncovered child pornography on a thumb drive owned by Garbacz and has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18 in 2011 and May 2019. 


State fire marshal encourages fire safety during Thanksgiving cooking

South Dakota’s Fire Marshal encourages people to remember the importance of fire safety this Thanksgiving holiday.

 

Nationwide, Thanksgiving day is the peak day for home cooking fires. Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says that makes home fire safety even more important.

 

“Many people love to cook for this holiday or use candles, fireplaces and other heating sources to create that festive atmosphere in their homes,” he said. “But it is also easy to forget about fire safety and that could prove to be dangerous.”

 

Merriman says it is important, at all times of the year, to have working smoke alarms on each level of the home. Specific fire safety tips for Thanksgiving can be found here: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Thanksgiving.

 

The South Dakota Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.


Jeopardy! to return with guest hosts for a time

Jeopardy! will be returning following the loss of longtime host Alex Trebek who passed away Nov. 8th and will feature for a time guests hosts.  Production will resume later this month and former contestant and champion Ken Jennings will serve as the first guest host. 

 

Trebek died Nov. 8th after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.  He hosted Jeopardy! for more than 30 years.  


South Dakotan's for Better Marijuana Laws response to Amendment A lawsuit

South Dakotan's For Better Marijuana Laws, a local grassroots organization partially responsible for IM-26 and Amendment A, has responded to the lawsuit filed challenging Amendment A's passage. 

 

Amendment A legalizes recreational marijuana usage for adults 21 years or older.  The lawsuit has been filed in Hughes county by Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Col. Rick Miller.  

 

The amendment passed Nov. 3rd by 54 percent of the vote.  The statement reads as follows: 

 

"We are prepared to defend Amendment A against the lawsuit filed by Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol Colonel Rick Miller. Amendment A was carefully drafted, fully vetted, and approved by a strong majority of South Dakota voters this year.

 

This coming week, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws will be filing to intervene in the case so that we can defend Amendment A against the lawsuit.

 

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol Colonel Rick Miller are trying to invalidate Amendment A and overturn the will of the voters on the basis of two incorrect legal theories.

 

And this lawsuit was filed incorrectly under South Dakota law, as a “contest” to an election. However, the complaint has nothing to do with the manner in which the election was conducted and only relates to the text of Amendment A.

 

The first theory claims that Amendment A is not limited to a single subject. But anyone who reads Amendment A can see that every word relates to the cannabis plant. Furthermore, Amendment A follows the interpretation of the single subject rule used by the legislature. South Dakotans have a constitutional right to a ballot initiative process and it's clear that Amendment A meets the single subject standard.

 

The second theory claims that Amendment A was improperly enacted because it created a new article in the constitution as opposed to adding a section to an existing article. This manufactured distinction is unsupported in the law and is utterly insufficient as a basis for overturning a constitutional amendment approved by voters."


Aberdeen City Council fails to pass mask mandate at regular meeting

The Aberdeen City council failed to pass a mask mandate at its regular meeting Monday night.  The mandate would have required all residents over the age of 11 to wear a mask while in public, however there was no penalty for not complying. 

 

Councilwoman Tiffany Langer says this is about helping out our stressed healthcare system…

 

 

 

 

 

Voting for the measure was councilmembers Langer, Rob Ronayne, Clint Rux and Mark Remily.  Voting against the measure was councilmen Dave Lunzman, Alan Johnson, Josh Rife, Josh Reinbold and mayor Travis Schaunaman. 

 

A resolution strongly encouraging residents to wear masks whil in public remains on the books, passed by the council weeks ago.  

 

Councilman Josh Rife claims a mask mandate would alienate people who do not want to wear masks, causing them to feel shame.  He would prefer a partnership with the chamber of commerce to continue residents to wear masks and make a decision made by them... 

 

 

 

 

Councilman Clint Rux says it makes sense to mandate mask usage at this time becasue the council is in agreement they work at slowing the spread of COVID-19 and could save lives... 

 

 

 

 

Aberdeen mayor Travis Schaunaman pointed out several places he felt the ordinance was unenforceable and too harsh.  However, he was also unwilling to compromise as those in favor of the ordinance sought in the end... 

 


General Service Administration begins formal transition to Biden administration

Days after Georgia certified its vote and affirmed challenger Joe Biden had defeated president Donald Trump, Michigan did the same Monday ending any narrow path the president had in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.  That comes after dozens of legal challenges filed by his campaign have been thrown out by judges and the claims of widespread voter fraud continue to be unsubstantiated.  With the Michigan announcement the General Service Administration, the office in charge of the formal transition of power, has acknowledged Biden’s victory and begun the formal process of transitioning to a new administration. 


Aberdeen city council to discuss mask mandate at Monday's meeting

The Aberdeen City council will formally discuss mask mandate at its regular meeting tonight.  This will be the first reading of this ordinance which would require all persons over the age of 11 to wear face coverings while in a public accommodation unless otherwise permitted.    The city council has already passed a resolution encouraging residents to wear masks while in public.  According to the ordinance there is no penalty for those who do not adhere to the ordinance. 


Lawsuit filed challenging Amendment A

A lawsuit has been filed in state court challenging Amendment A, passed by voters in early November, which legalizes recreational marijuana. The amendment passed Nov. 3rd with 54.18 percent of the vote.

 

The lawsuit has been filed in Hughes County and the plaintiffs in this case are Pennington county sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Col. Rick Miller. According to Thom the lawsuit covers two issues, alleging it violates the state's one-subject rule which voters approved two years ago, while the second issue claims the amendment itself does not in fact amend the constitution.   

 

“I’ve dedicated my life to defending and upholding the rule of law,” said Sheriff Thom. “The South Dakota Constitution is the foundation for our government and any attempt to modify it should not be taken lightly. I respect the voice of the voters in South Dakota, however In this case I believe the process was flawed and done improperly, due to no fault of the voters.”

 

“Our constitutional amendment procedure is very straightforward,” said Col. Rick Miller. “In this case, the group bringing Amendment A unconstitutionally abused the initiative process. We’re confident that the courts will safeguard the South Dakota Constitution and the rule of law.”

 

The lawsuit intial comment was signed by Judge Christian Klinger who was appointed by Gov. Kristi Noem in February 2019.  It was filed by attorney Robert Morris of Belle Fourche and attorney Matt McCaulley of Sioux Falls.  McCaulley led the Noem transition team in 2018 and is often reported as one of the governor's most trusted advisors according to South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

 

Governor Noem has released the following statement on the lawsuit: “In South Dakota, we respect our Constitution. I look forward to the court addressing the serious constitutional concerns laid out in this lawsuit.”

 


Department of Health announces first flu death of the season

Today, South Dakota reported the first influenza death of the 2020-2021 season. The death was reported in Potter County, and the individual was in the 80 to 89-year age group. To protect patient confidentiality, additional information about the deceased is not being released.

 

“Our sympathy is with the family. Their loss serves as a reminder to us all that influenza can be a very serious illness,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist for the department. “It is not too late to get vaccinated for this flu season, and if you haven’t yet received your annual flu vaccination, the time to do so is now.”

 

Clayton noted that flu activity in communities across South Dakota is classified as sporadic. In addition to one death, the state is reporting 4 lab-confirmed cases of flu and 2 flu-related hospitalizations.

 

Each year, an average of 48 South Dakotan deaths are reported to the Department of Health following influenza infections. To protect against flu complications, annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older. Groups like pregnant women, children younger than 5 years, people over 65 years, and people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Healthcare workers and household contacts of high-risk populations, such as those with young infants, should also be vaccinated.

 

Influenza is a viral infection spread by respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Common signs and symptoms of the flu include fever of 100 degrees or greater, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, body or muscle aches, and runny or stuffy nose.

 

In addition to vaccination, to prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel;
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; and,
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Learn more at flu.sd.gov.  


One person killed in Brookings county fatal crash

One man has died of injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash Friday night south of Aurora.

 

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

 

A 2010 Ford Taurus was westbound on South Dakota Highway 324 when it hit a deer that had entered the roadway. That collision sent the deer into the windshield of an eastbound 2014 Chevrolet pickup. The pickup went into the south ditch.

 

The 35-year-old male driver of the pickup received serious life-threatening injuries. He was transported to the Brookings hospital and then airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital. He died there Saturday.

 

None of the four other occupants of the pickup or the 17-year-old driver of the Taurus were injured. Everyone involved were wearing seat belts.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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


One person killed in I-29 crash near Watertown

One man died Wednesday night in a two-vehicle crash north of Watertown.

 

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

 

Both vehicles were northbound on Interstate 29. A 1969 Ford Mustang was rear-ended by a 2011 Chevrolet 2500 pickup. The Mustang went into the east ditch and rolled. The 58-year-old male driver, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The 18-year-old male driver of the pickup was not injured. He was wearing a seat belt.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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


Groton clinic to temporarily close, Ellendale to limit hours

As the region continues to see an increase in patients with COVID-19, Avera St. Luke’s is taking additional measures in its surge plan. This includes temporarily closing the Avera Clinic of Ellendale and having limited hours at Avera Medical Group Groton as of Monday, November 23.

 

Temporarily closing the Groton clinic and moving to limited hours in Ellendale allows Avera to redeploy the clinics’ staff to areas of greater need, which includes Avera St. Luke’s in Aberdeen.

 

“We believe having access to rural health care is incredibly important, and we are committed to continuing to serve these towns in the future,” said Todd Forkel, President and CEO of Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.

 

Patients of these facilities and community residents should still seek medical care when necessary. Our clinics in Aberdeen are open and safe to visit. Avera also continues to offer virtual care.

The public can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the surge of patients by practicing good hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has affirmed that wearing masks can help communities slow the spread of COVID-19 when worn consistently and correctly by a majority of people in public settings. Masks are most effective when used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting.


Rapid City considers citywide mask mandate

(KOTA - Rapid City, SD) After three hours of discussion at last night’s special meeting, residents have learned it will take at one more meeting for the Rapid City Council to decide the fate of a potential masking ordinance.

 

The vote was in the hands of Mayor Steve Allender, who cast in favor of the masking ordinance, breaking the 5-5 tie, and making the argument this situation is once-in-a-lifetime.

 

 

 

 

Allender added there won’t be an increased police presence to crack down on masking if the ordinance were to pass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mask mandate received Yes votes from Ritchie Nordstrom, Bill Evans, Greg Strommen, as well as Laura Armstong and Darla Drew. Those who voted no were Ron Wifenbach, Jason (Salomon) Salamun, Pat Jones, John Roberts, and Lance Lehman.

 

One no-voting council member, Jason (Salomon) Salamun, conceded the disease requires precaution, but continued advocating for individual compliance.

 

 

 

 

 

The mandate still needs a second reading at a city council meeting before it becomes official.

 

 


South Dakota Medical Association now in favor of state wide mask mandate

The largest organization representing doctors across South Dakota has come out in favor of a statewide mask mandate.  The South Dakota Medical Association updated its stance to “strongly support” a statewide mandate as it continues to encourage residents to wear them while in public voluntarily.  South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem at a press conference Wednesday reiterated her stance she does not support a statewide mandate, calling it a “feel good measure.”  South Dakota is the second worst state in the nation when it comes to infection rate, worst state in seven-day positivity rate at 60 percent, and 644 people have died as of Wednesday. 


Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz closes gyms, bars/restaurants and more for four weeks as COVID cases spike

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has announced Wednesday the state will be shutting down gyms, restaurants and bars and youth sports and activities for the next four week beginning Friday at midnight.  Bars and restaurants will be allowed to stay open for carryout only options.

 

The closures come as state health officials announced 5,102 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday along with 67 more deaths, marking the highest daily number of fatal cases ever recorded in the state. 

 

Walz says this is a dangerous moment in this pandemic as state's surrounding Minnesota are seeing some of the worst infection rates in the world...

 

 

 

 

Walz says these decisions are not just made on case numbers rising, but how fast they are rising...

 

 

 

 

Walz says closing businesses not only will help prevent further strain on an already strained hospital system, but it will also protect frontline workers who are getting sick due to the jobs they perform..

 


Northern State to hold winter commencement Nov. 21st

Northern State University will hold winter commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

 

The ceremony, which takes place in the Barnett Center, is open to all 2020 NSU graduates.

 

After assessing the current increase in cases in Brown County with area health officials and government agencies, it was determined that only graduating students, along with faculty and select staff, will be allowed inside the Barnett Center for the ceremony. Attendees will be required to wear masks, and participants will be appropriately spaced throughout the facility.

 

For parents, friends and loved ones, the event will be live streamed through the NSU Facebook page and locally through cable channel 12.


Gov. Noem sees masks as a personal freedom issue instead of public health

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem held a press conference Wednesday to talk about COVID-19 in the state and mask usage as North Dakota and Iowa have both issued mask mandates. 

 

Governor Noem sees the mask issue from a personal freedom lens instead of a public health issue...

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Noem was questioned about what seems to be a lack of desire to wear a mask in public or encourage others to do so.  A recent PSA she released made no mention of wearing masks, while encouraging people to social distance and wash hands frequently.  Noem was photographed at the state football championships in Vermillion without a mask on as well, despite them being mandated by the SDHSAA.  

 

Noem responded to those criticisms...

 

 

 

 

Noem also went on to reiterate the personal freedom philosophy she has espoused this entire pandemic and says South Dakotan's need to do a better job treating each other with respect...

 

 


Senator Thune says Republicans ready to negotiate coronavirus relief

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) While there have been no negotiations since the election, South Dakota Senator John Thune says republicans are ready to move on another round of economic stimulus...

 

 

 

Thune says there is help for individuals facing other losses...

 

 

 

Thune says democrats are holding up progress on a stimulus plan....

 

 

 

Republicans are talking about five hundred billion dollars in relief while democrats have been aiming at about one point two trillion dollars.

 


State PUC wishes to raise awareness about scams during awareness week

In recognition of Utility Scam Awareness Week, Nov. 16-20, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission highlighted the importance of being able to identify red flags from unknown callers.

Utility customers all over the country are targeted by imposter utility scams on a nearly daily basis. Scammers typically use phone, in-person, and online tactics to target customers. In many cases, the caller will pose as utility company personnel and use false threats to persuade consumers to provide payment or personal identification information.

 

“Scammers posing as utility company personnel typically threaten service disconnection or a financial penalty hoping to make the target panic and react in haste. That’s why we tell South Dakotans to identify threatening language and an urgent need for action as warning signs,” said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. “The way a payment is requested can be another red flag. No legitimate utility company will insist on immediate payment specifically through pre-paid debit cards or other untraceable methods,” he continued.

 

When it came to scam calls in the past, the most vulnerable groups were usually older and known to be less tech-savvy. While these groups are still vulnerable, the development of new, more sophisticated scams have changed the risk outlook in recent years. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2019, millennials in their 20s and 30s were 25% more likely to report losing money to fraud than those 40 or older.

 

“The PUC wants to help South Dakotans protect their information, assets and identities. Learning to identify signs of a scam call and react appropriately are the first two steps to ensuring that you and your loved ones don’t fall victim to scammers. If you receive a suspicious phone call, hang up and contact your utility company using the phone number found on your utility bill. The company can verify if the call was legitimate and advise other customers not to fall for the same scheme,” stated Vice Chairman Chris Nelson.

 

Scam calls can come in many shapes and sizes. Some versions have been around for years, but other newer versions may be more difficult to identify. Callers posing as tech support, claiming you’ve overpaid your utility bill, offering to restore power more quickly following a big storm and contacting you through text or SMS messages that you never signed up for are all common scams to be aware of.

 

“Telephone scammers are criminals who want to defraud and trick consumers. Unfortunately, they’re also very difficult to catch. That’s why, when it comes to avoiding scams, knowledge is power. Educating yourself about scam calls happening in your area, identifying resources available to you, and understanding how you should respond to a call if you receive one are great steps to take now,” said Commissioner Kristie Fiegen.

 

Utility Scam Awareness Week was created in 2016 by Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), a consortium of more than 140 U.S. and Canadian electric, water and natural gas utilities (and their respective associations).


Iowa governor Kim Reynolds issues statewide mask mandate

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Monday issued a proclomation which mandated mask usage in Iowa as the hospital system continues to fill up with COVID-19 patients.  The proclomation mandates everyone over two years old wear masks when in indoor public spaces.  

 

The move comes after Reynolds for months opposed such a mandate.  The proclomation also limits gatherings for social, community, business and leisure purposes to no more than 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.  That includes family events.  


Gov. Noem hesitant to use power to mitigate COVID-19 spread, local government stepping up instead

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has been hesitant to do anything to stop the spread of COVID-19, beyond calling on people to socially distance and stay home if sick, as cases spike and hospitalizations are on the rise in the state. 

 

Because of this, city governments and school districts are stepping up and making big decisions.  Monday night, the Huron city commission passed a resolution 5-0 to require face coverings be worn in many public areas.  The resolution does not punish people for noncompliance.  Huron mayor Gary Harrington explained the commission's thinking...

 

  

 

 

The Harrisburg school board voted 4-1 at a special meeting Monday night mandating masks be worn in school buildings. 

 

The Mitchell city council advanced an ordinance requiring mask usage in the city Monday.  Mitchell mayor Bob Everson hopes to declare an emergency to enact it sooner...

 

 

 

 

 

Masks were discussed informally at the Fort Pierre City Council meeting.  No action was taken, but mayor Gloria Hanson says this pandemic is beyond personal responsibility...

 

 

 

 

 

Finally Rapid City public schools, the third largest school district in the state will move to distance learning Wednesday as more than 10 percent of the Rapid City Area school workforce is unable to work due to COVID-19. 


Aberdeen Central put into lockdown Monday, threat deemed not credible

Aberdeen Central High School went into a brief lockdown Monday due to a false report to law enforcement.  According to police Central high school wend into lockdown shortly before 3:00 p.m. and was release by 3:25 p.m.  Aberdeen police were investigating the school’s parking lot after a person was allegedly threatening another person with a weapon.  Upon further investigation the threat was deemed not credible. 


State supreme court says Buffalo Chip campground cannot become its own municipality

(KBHB - Sturgis, SD) The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that the Buffalo Chip Campground cannot be its own municipality.

 

In a unanimous decision Thursday, the high court ruled the campground to stop acting as an incorporated town.

 

Justice Janine Kern had worte that state government had standing to bring action in the matter.

The decision ends a five-year long battle that began when the Meade County Commission gave the campground the okay to hold a vote to incorporate.

 

The issue was soon sent to court and the South Dakota Municipal League joined with the city of Sturgis and others as plaintiffs.

 

The South Dakota Supreme Court was divided 4-1, however, on a second question of interpreting the law regarding the requirements for a municipality that were in effect in 2015, when the Buffalo Chip became its own town.

 

Justice Patricia DeVaney said back in 2015, the campground did not have 100 residents when the incorporation vote happened.

 

Because of that, Judge DeVaney wrote "a municipality is prohibited from incorporating if it contains less than one hundered residents or if it contains less than thirty voters."

 

In 2016, the legislature increased voter requirements to 45 to form a municipality in an amendment. DeVaney said this was likely in response to this very grammatical debate that arose in conjunction with this particular litigation.

 

Chief Justice David Gilbertson was the lone dissenter on the second issue.


Aberdeen "Winterfest" canceled this year

The Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department and the Aberdeen Area Arts Council have decided to cancel this year’s Winterfest.  The health and safety of our artists, attendees and staff comes first and foremost in making this difficult decision as well as being respectful of our healthcare systems and employees.        

 

Winterfest has been a staple the weekend before Thanksgiving for over 40 years.  Purchasing hand crafted items, eating yummy food and connecting with friends make Winterfest a long-standing tradition to kick off the holiday season in the Hub City.  Mark your calendars for Winterfest 2021 scheduled for November 20 and 21.


Game, Fish and Parks Secretary Kelly Hepler to retire Dec. 15th

Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that Kelly Hepler, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP), will retire, effective December 15, 2020.

 

“Kelly is an accomplished leader and has been a fierce advocate in the fish and wildlife resource management field for over 40 years,” said Governor Noem. “He has been a dedicated public servant to the State of South Dakota since 2015, navigating countless challenges to protect our state’s natural resources. As he retires, I know he will enjoy even more time in our great outdoors, hunting with his dog, Marty. I wish him all the best in his next chapter.”

 

Hepler was appointed Secretary of the Game, Fish and Parks by Governor Dennis Daugaard in 2015 and has continued to serve under Governor Noem. Hepler began his career as a fisheries biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG). He served ADFG in various management and leadership roles, including assistant director, and then director, of the ADFG Division of Sport Fish.

 

“I have been extremely blessed in my career to combine my love and passion for the outdoors with what I do for a living,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler. “The highlight of my career has been serving as secretary of GFP in my home state of South Dakota. It has been my honor to work with the department to provide sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities while cultivating stewardship and connecting people with our world-class outdoors. I am extremely proud of all of our staff and I will never forget my time with the department. I am grateful to Governor Noem and our department staff who continue to champion getting families outdoors every single day.”

 

Hepler was born in Deadwood and graduated from Spearfish High School. He received his bachelor's degree in fish and wildlife management from Montana State University in 1978. Hepler and his wife, Carol, reside north of Pierre. They have two grown children and are avid fans of the Green Bay Packers.


SpaceX launches four astronauts to ISS

Sunday night SpaceX successfully launched four astronauts to the international space station in what was NASA’s first full fledged taxi flight into space by a private company.  The Falcon rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with three Americans and one Japanese astronauts.  It was the second successful launch by SpaceX.  The capsule on top of the rocket reached orbit minutes after take off and is scheduled to meet up with the International Space station late Monday and remain there until late spring. 


Former state lawmaker Justin Cronin passes away

A former lawmaker passed away late last week. According Pierre police 40-year-old Justin Cronin was found dead Wednesday evening. No foul play is suspected in his death according to authorities. Cronin is believed to have died from natural causes and an autopsy is set to be performed to determine the cause of death. Cronin represented District 23 in the State House from 2009 to 2017, then began serving in the senate in 2017. He resigned in 2019 due to health concerns.   


North Dakota Gov. Burgum announces mask mandate due to COVID-19

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum announced Friday a number of COVID-19 mitigation efforts which took effect Saturday. The governor announced a mask mandate which took effect Saturday. Masks must be worn inside businesses, indoor public spaces and outside public spaces where social distancing is impossible. The order runs through December 13th and has been implemented as hospitals are overwhelmed in North Dakota. Governor Burgum recently canceled a policy which prevented asymptomatic doctors and nurses from returning to work due to how short staffed hospitals are in North Dakota currently.


Minnesota man charged for taking Golden Eagle in Roberts county

A Minnesota man has been charged with illegally taking a golden eagle in Roberts County.  According to the US Attorney for South Dakota’s office, 68-year-old Richard M. Grohs of Wheaton Minnesota has pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces and was released on bond pending trial.  Authorities say the incident occurred in 2018.  If found guilty Grohs faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. 


Mass testing event to take place in Aberdeen Thursday and Friday

The South Dakota Department of Health will hold a mass testing event in partnership with the South Dakota National Guard Thursday and Friday in Aberdeen.  This is a drive through testing event at the Brown County Fairgrounds from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  To register to get tested visit doineedacovid19test.com.  The test is free to the individual receiving it.  Results will be delivered via email general within three to five business days. 


US Surgeon General visits South Dakota amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams, the top medical officer in the country, visited South Dakota recently to oversee the state as COVID-19 cases spike here and the rest of the upper Midwest. 

 

Though South Dakota has not mask mandate, Adams says that shouldn’t stop anyone from wearing a mask in public…   

 

 

 

 

Adams says this is a crucial moment in the pandemic as hospitals in South Dakota and across the nation are struggling to keep up with care demands...

 

 

 

 

There has been good news on the COVID-19 vaccine front, but until then Adams says the three "w's" are important to keep people alive and stop the spread of disease...

 


Aberdeen fire and rescue responds to fire at Wiley Park

Aberdeen Fire and Rescue responded to a structure fire at Wiley Park Tuesday morning.  According to a release from the fire department, crews arrived around 5:30 a.m. to find a garage fully engulfed in flames and partially collapsed.  Heavy equipment was used to pull apart the structure so firefighters could gain access and put out on the flame.  No one was injured in the incident. 


Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announces further COVID-19 restrictions

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced Tuesday further restrictions on indoor and outdoor private gathers, celebrations, receptions and other events; and bars and restaurants.  In Minnesota social gatherings in private homes should be limited to 10 people indoors or outdoors and may involve no more than three households.  Effective Nov. 13th these celebrations must end at 10:00 p.m.  Bars and restaurants must end dine in services between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. and capped at 150 people.  Bar counter service will be closed for seating and service.  No bar games are allowed as well. 


SD Senator John Thune named Senate Republican whip

Following the 2020 election, Democrats and Republicans have named their leadership for the new session of congress come January.  South Dakota Senator John Thune has been named the majority whip in the senate, making him the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate.  Senator Thune was first elected majority whip for the 116th congress which began in January 2019.  In a statement on the appointment, Senator Thune thanked his Republican colleagues for the position and says his status as majority whip helps better serve the people of South Dakota.  Which party is in the majority in the Senate will be determined by two run off elections in Georgia this January. 


Waubay man identified in Day county fatal accident

A Waubay, S.D., man has been identified as the person who died Saturday morning in a vehicle-pedestrian crash near Waubay.

 

A 2005 Chevy Classic car was northbound on Day County One when it struck Louis Buck Elk, the 37-year-old pedestrian, who was in the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Terrence StJohn, 48, of Sisseton was the driver and Natasha Chavira-Molina, 33, of Eden was the passenger. Both occupants received minor injuries and were taken by ambulance to the Webster hospital. Seat belt use is under investigation.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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


Affordable Care Act goes before Supreme Court today

Today the Affordable Care Act, passed by congress under President Barak Obama, will go before the US Supreme court for a third time as a group of Republican attorneys general and the Trump administration seeks to have the law repealed fully as unconstitutional.  Oral arguments will begin today.  Once oral arguments are over, a decision on the law’s fate is expected by the end of June.  Should the law be repealed by the US Supreme court, millions of Americans will lose healthcare coverage, children will no longer be able to stay under their parents plan until 26, and people with pre-existing conditions will no longer be protected.   


One person arrested in shots fired incident Saturday

One person was arrested Monday in connection to shots fired in an incident Saturday.  According to the Aberdeen Police Department, the suspect faces aggravated assault and reckless discharge of a firearm.  The incident in question happened around 10:00 p.m. Saturday night in the 200 block of Second Avenue Southwest.  A second person is also wanted in this altercation, believed to be involved in this incident by police. 


Gov. Noem names interim director at DOT

Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that Joel Jundt will serve as Interim Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

 

“Joel is well-respected throughout the transportation industry and will continue moving the department forward during this interim period,” said Governor Noem. “I am pleased Joel has agreed to continue serving South Dakota in this capacity, and I look forward to working with him to make South Dakota safer, stronger, and healthier.”

 

Jundt will begin serving following the retirement of current Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist on Nov. 13, 2020.

 

“Darin has been a tremendous servant to the people of South Dakota for over 20 years, including 13 years as Secretary of Transportation, and his service will be greatly missed,” continued Governor Noem. “He’s helped our state navigate countless challenges over the years. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

 

A native of Rapid City, Jundt has served in various roles within the Department of Transportation including his current role as deputy cabinet secretary, former Rapid City region and operations engineer, and director of planning and engineering.

 

“I’d like to thank the Governor for this opportunity,” said Jundt. “I look forward to continue working with Governor Noem and the dedicated staff at the Department of Transportation.”

 

Jundt graduated from South Dakota School of Mines in 1985 with a degree in civil engineering and went to work for the department immediately after graduation.  

 

Jundt lives in Pierre with his wife, Chris.


Joe Biden projected as the next president of the United States

Over the weekend, multiple news outlets declared Democratic challenger Joe Biden acquired enough electoral votes to become the next president of the United States. With the win Biden will become the 46th president on the United States and make Donald Trump the first one term president since George H.W. Bush. Biden's win was solidified with a win in Pennsylvania. So far, President Donald Trump has refused to concede the race, and says he plans on challenging these results at each opportunity.


Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek dead at 80

Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away Sunday at the age of 80 years old.  Trebek announced to the world in 2019 he had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer and had been battling that illness since.  In a statement released by his family, Trebek passed away in his Los Angeles home surrounded by family and friends.  Born in Sudbury Ontario Canada, Trebek had been in the television business since 1961 and hosted the daily quiz show “Jeopardy!” for 36 years.  He was known for his calm, dapper demeanor and his friendliness with contestants and fans. 


Pedestrian killed in Day county fatal crash

A 37-year-old pedestrian was killed Saturday in a single vehicle accident Saturday morning. According to the Day county sheriff's department the incident occurred around 2:17 a.m. at the intersection of Day County road 1 and 139th street, three miles northeast of Waubay. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. The occupants in the car, a 48-year-old male driver and 33-year-old female passenger suffered minor injuries and we taken via ambulance to the hospital for injuries suffered.   


Name released in Bon Homme county fatal crash

Names have been released of the two men who died Wednesday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash north of Tyndall.

 

A 2014 Yamaha Side-by-Side was westbound on South Dakota Highway 46 and was turning south into a driveway when it was struck by an eastbound 1993 Plymouth Voyager. The two vehicles rolled into the south ditch.

 

Both Richard Zander of Scotland, S.D., the 57-year-old driver of the side-by-side, and David Painter of Avon, S.D., the 69-year-old driver of the Voyager, were pronounced dead at the scene. Neither man was wearing a seat belt.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. All information released so far is only preliminary.

 

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


Two people killed in Bon Homme county fatal crash

Two people died Wednesday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash north of Tyndall.

 

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

 

A 2014 Yamaha Side-by-Side was westbound on South Dakota Highway 46 and was turning south into a driveway when it was struck by an eastbound 1993 Plymouth Voyager. The two vehicles rolled into the south ditch.

 

Both the 57-year-old male driver of the side-by-side and the 69-year-old male driver of the Voyager were pronounced dead at the scene. Neither man was wearing a seat belt.


What's next for marijuana in South Dakota?

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) South Dakota voters approved two marijuana related issues this week, an initiative to allow medical uses and a constitutional amendment allowing recreational use.

 

Drey (dray) Samuelson, spokesman for “South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws” says times have changed...

 

 

 

 

Samuelson says most people want to see regulation of marijuana uses...

 

 

 


Samuelson says they wrote the amendment to try to keep the legislature from making changes to either issue...

 

 

 

Under state law, both issues become effective July first of next year.


ND Attorney General says Governor cannot appoint vacant house seat

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced Wednesday Governor Doug Burgum has no authority to appoint a person to an open state house seat, won by a republican who died from COVID-19 before the election.  According to Stenehjem, Burgum’s appointment of BNI Energy President Wade Boeshans is both inaccurate and untimely.  North Dakota GOP house majority leader Chet Pollert concurred with Stenehjem’s assessment saying the Governor “overstepped his boundaries” in trying to appoint someone to the seat.    


Authorities looking for 19-year-old body in a cold case

(KXLG - Watertown, SD) New Developments in the Pam Dunn missing person case were announced by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Watertown Police Department and the Deuel County Sheriff’s office at a press conference on Wednesday. 

 

Special Agent Cam Corey, WPD Detective Sergeant Chad Stahl and Deuel County Sheriff Cory Borg met with members of the news media at a location in Rural Deuel County, where a well is being excavated at an abandoned farm-site. 

 

Back on December 10th, 2001, Pamela Dunn was reported missing after she failed to show up from work at Jenkins Living Center.  Watertown Police responded to her apartment and perform a welfare check. Pam was not able to be located and an investigation was begun into her disappearance.  

 

On October 4th, 2006, Dave Asmussen, the former boyfriend of Pam Dunn, was convicted by a Codington County jury of kidnapping her and sentenced to life in prison.

 

Agent Corey said the investigation into Dunn’s disappearance has always been a priority...

 

 

 

 

In January 2017,  law enforcement received a new lead that Dunn’s body was in a well in Rural Deuel County…

 

 

 

 

 

Agent Corey said they have utilized TASK Force 1 members from Sioux Falls Fire Rescue along with Watertown Fire Rescue personnel who have gone down into the well. Corey said despite the work of the two teams, they were never able to get to the bottom of the well…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agent Corey said that the information that Dunn’s body may be in the well came from a resident of Deuel County who knew that Asmussen frequented the area…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agent Corey say the well excavation is the most promising lead he has received in his 14 years of working the Pam Dunn case.  The excavation will continue at the site as long as necessary.  Corey says, law enforcement will begin sifting through the dirt looking for evidentiary items soon…

 

 

 

 

Agent Corey said more information will be released as it becomes available.


Biden takes lead in electoral college as votes are still being counted

Two days after the 2020 presidential election a winner has still yet been declared.  As of Thursday morning, challenger Joe Biden leads president Donald Trump in electoral votes with 264 to 214.  The first candidate to reach 270 electoral votes is the next president of the United States.  Biden managed to expand his lead Wednesday as early votes and votes by mail were counted in Michigan and Wisconsin.  States where votes are still being counted include Nevada, Alaska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.


Oregon becomes first state in the nation to decriminalize all drugs

Following a night of uncertainty on the national level when it comes to presidential politics, some states made history.

 

South Dakota became the first state in the nation to legalize recreational and medical marijuana at the same time.

 

Meanwhile, Oregon becomes the first state in the nation to decriminalize hard drugs like herion, cocaine and meth via a 59-41 vote.  If someone is using those drugs, it will not longer be treated as a criminal offense and instead be treated as a health problem.  Oregon plans  on offering users addiction services funded by marijuana tax revenue which has been more than $100 million a year in the state.  

 

Only small amount of said "hard drugs" have been decriminalize. 


Johnson talks re-election after easy victory

South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson easily won reelection with eighty two percent of the vote over libertarian Randy Luallin.

 

Johnson, in a video released by his campaign, says he was humbled by the confidence of the voters...

 

 

 

 

Johnson says he and other Members of Congress will have challenges when they return to Washington...

 

 

 

 

Johnson says conservatives have to stay the course...

 

 

 

 

Johnson was first elected to Congress in 2018.


South Dakota election results

In South Dakota with 95 percent reporting , incumbent Mike Rounds defeated Democratic challenger Dan Ahlers, 68-32.  Incumbent Republican Dusty Johnson defeated Libertarian Randy Luallin 82-18, Measure 26 to legalize medical marijuana passed 69-31, Amendment A legalizing recreational marijuana passed 53-46, and Amendment B allowing Deadwood Sports wagering passed 59-41. 


Local election results

Locally, District 1 Representative Republican Tamara St. John won re-election while Democrat Jennifer Healy Keintz won her first term.  District 1 state senate seat has flipped from Democrat to Republican with first time candidate Michael Rohl defeating Susan Wismer with 57 percent of the vote.  Brown County commissioners Rachel Kippley and Duane Sutton both won re-election and will serve another eight year term.  In district 3 Republican incumbents Carl Perry and Drew Dennert have won re-election to antoher two year term.  Dennert received 34 percent of the vote, followed by Perry with 29 percent.  Democrats Leslie McLaughlin received 19 percent and Justin Roemmick finished with 18 percent. 


Pheasant hunters find body in Charles Mix County

(KORN - Mitchell, SD) A team from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation is processing the scene where a body was discovered on Monday. Tim Bormann with the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office says pheasant hunters found the body near Snake Creek in Charles Mix County. He says the investigation is in its early stages and no other information is available at this time.


Pheasant hunters find body in Charles Mix County

(KORN - Mitchell, SD) A team from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation is processing the scene where a body was discovered on Monday. Tim Bormann with the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office says pheasant hunters found the body near Snake Creek in Charles Mix County. He says the investigation is in its early stages and no other information is available at this time.


Aberdeen City Council approves resolution encouraging wearing masks in public

The Aberdeen city council voted 5-4 in favor of a resolution Monday night to encourage mask usage while out around town.  The resolution comes after the "Mask Up South Dakota" campaign kicked off a week ago.

 

The resolution is a compromised position as weeks ago the council had informally discussed the possibility of a mask mandate within the city. 

 

Councilwoman Tiffany Langer led the charge saying she is fulfilling the request of medical professionals within Aberdeen...

 

 

 

Councilman Alan Johnson disputed the claims that healthcare workers are unified in mask usage...

 

 

 

Councilman Clint Rux voted in favor of the resolution, but tried to remain above much of the disagreement on the effectiveness of the resolution...

 

 

 

 

Some members of the council including Mayor Travis Schaunaman wanted to pass a watered down resolution about masks.  Councilman Rob Ronayne disagreed with that sentiment...

 

 

 

Voting for the resolution was councilmembers Langer, Lunzman, Remly, Ronayne and Rux.  Voting against the resolution was councilmen Rife, Reinbold, Johnson and mayor Travis Schaunaman.  


SD AG Ravnsborg was distracted at the time of the accident where he killed a man

South Dakota secretary of Safety Craig Price spoke at a press conference Monday to give an update into the investigation involving Jason Ravnsborg.  Ravnsborg hit and killed a pedestrian while returning to Pierre from a Spink County Republican event back in mid September.  According to Price most of the investigation into the accident is completed and charges are now up to the Hyde county state’s attorney.  The state also released a crash report and a picture of Ravnsborg car following the accident.  According to Price, Ravnsborg was distracted at the time of the accident…   

 

 


Secretary of State Steve Barnett says the state is ready for tomorrow's election

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) It’s a much anticipated election day tomorrow (Tuesday) and South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett says his office and county auditors are ready...

 

 

 

 

Barnett says they have seen a heavy return on early votes...

 

 

 

As of October first, there were just over five hundred sixty-five thousand registered voters.

 

When people go to the polls to vote, they will see people watching them. Barnett says that is allowed and normal...

 

 

 

 

Barnett says he expects most races will be decided Tuesday night, but Minnehaha County has already announced they will stop counting and finish on Wednesday.


One person killed another injured near Kimball in two-vehicle accident

One person died and another person was injured late Thursday night in a two-vehicle crash near Kimball.

 

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

 

A Peterbilt semi-truck and trailer was eastbound on Interstate 90 when it was struck by a 2014 Toyota 4 Runner SUV that was westbound in the eastbound lanes.

 

The 30-year-old male driver of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt. The 60-year-old male driver of the semi-truck, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained serious non-life threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to the Chamberlain hospital.

 

Both eastbound lanes were closed to traffic for a time after the crash.

 

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.


Police in Deadwood investigating suicide

Police in Deadwood are investigating an apparent suicide at a bar within the city which happened Saturday night.  According to authorities, a 28-year-old woman died from a self inflicted gunshot wound on the dance floor of the Buffalo Bodega Gaming Complex in Deadwood.  Officers tried to administer life saving measure on the victim, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.  The name of the victim was not released pending notification of the family. 


Election day tomorrow Tuesday Nov. 3rd

We are just one day from election day in the United States and already a record number of people have turned out to vote across the country. 

 

In South Dakota early voting is still available, before the Nov. 3rd election day.  On election day polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time. 

 

If you are in line to vote by 7:00 p.m. They have to allow you to vote. 

 

If you have not voted or plan to vote on election day be sure you have a plan to get to the polls on time to ensure your ballot is counted. 

 

The following are polling locations in Brown County: 

Courthouse Community Room

25 Market St.

Aberdeen, SD 57401

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center

1400 8th Ave NW

Aberdeen, SD 57401

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

AmericInn Event Center

301 S Centennial St

Aberdeen, SD 57401

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

Warner Community Center

11 W Main St.

Warner, SD 57479

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

Westport Town Hall

13 Main St W

Westport, SD 57481

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

Columbia Legion

102 N Broadway St

Columbia, SD 57433

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

Stratford Communty Center

293 E Rondell Ave.

Stratford, SD 57474

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

Groton Community Center

109 N 3rd St

Groton, SD 57445

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

Frederick Community Center

2nd Ave

Frederick, SD 57441

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM
 

Claremont City Hall

606 6th Ave

Claremont, SD 57432

Opens Nov 3 · 

7 AM–7 PM


City to consider mask resolution, not mandate

Instead of a mask mandate being considered by the Aberdeen City Council, a resolution strongly encouraging mask usage within Aberdeen will be considered. 

 

The proposal is not an ordinance, therefore would not mandate the use. 

 

Aberdeen City manager Joe Gaa tells the Aberdeen American News it is a compromise position due to masks being a divisive topic. 

 

The resolution has no punishment for not wearing masks. 

The resolution also includes areas where masks are not required:

  • Children younger than school age.
  • When medical conditions or disability prevents the wearing  of masks.
  • People working where social distancing cannot be achieved, but a mask would inhibit safety and effectiveness on the job.
  • Those participating in athletic events.
  • While eating or drinking.
  • Driving alone in a vehicle or with other people from their household.
  • People receiving services requiring the face to be exposed.
  • During religious worship.
  • People performing or giving a speech. 

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