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Local News Archives for 2021-03

State to open COVID-19 vaccine up to all residents 16 years or older Monday

The South Dakota Department of Health announced Wednesday beginning next week the COVID-19 vaccine will become available to all South Dakotan’s over the age of 16.  That is about a month before experts estimated the vaccine would be so widely available.

 

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem talked about the state entering the “phase 2” portion of the vaccination process…

 

 

 

 

State Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon gave an update on the vaccination process in South Dakota as of March 31st, calling the state a leader in the vaccination effort...

 

 

 

 

Despite the good news on vaccines, South Dakotan’s must remember to maintain good habits during the pandemic.  That includes social distancing, staying home when sick, wearing a mask while in public, washing hands regularly and more.  State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton says cases have been increasing recently in South Dakota…

 


Name released in Clark county fatal crash

A Raymond, S.D., man has been identified as the person who died Friday night in a one-vehicle crash northwest of Clark.

 

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 1997 Mitsubishi Diamante was westbound on 171st Avenue, near the intersection with 417th Avenue, when the driver lost control. The vehicle went into the north ditch and rolled.

 

Jordan Hamann, 20, was the driver. He was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

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 declares state of emergency with west river fires

Tuesday Governor Kristi Noem signed Executive Order 2021-07, which declares a state of emergency through June 1, 2021, due to severe drought and dangerous fire conditions.

 

This executive order is in response to the numerous fire incidents occurring throughout the state. The order will allow the state to provide greater assistance to the response efforts of local and volunteer firefighters. Governor Noem has spent the past two days overseeing the response to the Schroeder Fire outside Rapid City while monitoring other fire incidents.


State fair to welcome Dustin Lynch to grandstands

The South Dakota State Fair and C&B Operations are proud to announce country music star Dustin Lynch to perform at the State Fair grandstand on Saturday, September 4. Ross Ellis will open.
 
Since his breakout debut with Platinum fan-favorite “Cowboys and Angels, Lynch has “steadily built one of the most consistent recording careers in modern country music” according to Billboard. With his red hot live-performances and growing fan-base, Lynch continues to affirm his place among Country’s cutting edge.
 
He’s already scored seven #1 hits, four Top 5 albums – including his latest album, Tullahoma (Broken Bow Records) – eight Gold and Platinum certified singles, plus has tallied over 2.22 BILLION total streams, and is currently making headlines with his new song “Thinking ‘Bout You” featuring MacKenzie Porter.
 
Top hits include “Good Girl”, “Ridin’ Roads”, “Cowboys and Angels”, “Small Town Boy”, “Seein’ Red”, and “Momma’s House”.
 
Ross Ellis will open for Lynch. Ellis released his first single, “Home for the Weekend”, in 2017 and was quickly named Sirius XM’s latest Highway Find. Continuing his stardom on Sirius XM’s The Highway channel, his next single, “Ghost”, was one of the top 10 most played songs on the channel.
 
Ticket presales begin May 24 for Friends of the Fair VIPs, June 14 for backrest holders, and June 17 for Friends of the Fair. Tickets will go on sale to the general public June 21.  For more information on presales and ticket sales go to www.sdstatefair.com.
 
The 2021 South Dakota State Fair runs Thursday, September 2, through Monday, September 6. Channel Seeds preview night will be Wednesday, September 1. For more information on State Fair events, contact the Fair office at 800-529-0900, visit www.sdstatefair.com or find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 


Road closures planned for parts of Aberdeen Wednesday

Beginning at approximately 8am on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for work on water lines:

 

Melgaard Road from the Intersection of S. Roosevelt St. going East to the Curve to Walmart

 

Work is expected to last through the end of day on Thursday, 4/1/2021. Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.


Wild fire west river leads to evacuations Monday

(KBHB - Sturgis, SD) A wildfire that started on private property along Schroeder Road exploded Monday, sending fire fighters scrambling and led to the evacuation of several subdivisions west of Rapid City.

 

Dubbed the Schroeder Road Fire, the fire is burning in an area previously burned by the Westberry Trails Fire in 1988.

 

Fire Information Officer Rob Powell says the fire quickly skipped through a canyon and into the Westberry Canyon area. A cold front that came through changed the fire’s direction and this evening, areas of concern were the Nameless Cave and Cleghorn Canyon area.

 

 

 

 

Despite the strong wind, he says fire crews are making good progress…

 

 

 

 

Powell says among the subdivisions evacuated include Westberry Trails subdivision, Cavern Road, Nameless Cave Road, Cleghorn Canyon Road, Pinedale Heights area west of Berry Pine Heights Drive, Dark Canyon and Magic Canyon Road. 

 

When asked if any more evacuations could be possible, Powell says the current list includes those areas of concern that were ahead of the fire’s progress, and unless something changes, he didn’t anticipate anything further…

 

 

 

Powell says they stil doing damage assessment on what’s been lost, but believes a number of outbuildings have burned and possible two homes have also been destroyed.

 

Authorities are asking the public to stay out of the area so firefighters can get in and work.


Sobriety checkpoints announced for April

Sobriety checkpoints are planned for 19 South Dakota counties during the month of April.

 

The checkpoints are funded by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and conducted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol with the help of local law enforcement. The goal of the checkpoints is discourage people from drinking and then driving.

 

April checkpoints are scheduled for the counties of Beadle, Bennett, Brookings, Brown, Butte, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Davison, Day, Fall River, Hughes, Lawrence, Lincoln, Minnehaha, Moody, Pennington, Spink and Walworth.

 

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

 


House rejects Noem's "Style and Form" veto of HB1217

The South Dakota House of Representatives Monday voted 67-2 against Governor Kristi Noem’s use of the “Style and Form” veto on HB1217.  That means the House recognizes Governor Noem sending the bill back to the legislature as an outright veto of the bill.  HB1217 will now need a 2/3rds majority to override the veto and be made law.  Governor Noem has floated the idea of calling a special session to deal with this bill, which would ban trans girl athletes from competing in sports that reflect their gender identity.  Since 2013 South Dakota has had one trans girl high school student compete in girls sports. 


Good Friday to see changes in city garbage schedule

Due to the Good Friday observance on Friday April 2, 2021, City garbage pick-up will change. Residents who normally have their garbage picked up on Friday are asked to have their garbage out for pick-up by 8:00 AM, Thursday.  Both Thursday’s and Friday’s garbage will be picked up on Thursday.  Recycling remaining on the normal five day schedule.  Dependable Sanitation will be picking up recyclables on Friday. 


One person killed in Clark county fatal crash

One person died Friday night in a one-vehicle crash northwest of Clark.

 

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

 

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 1997 Mitsubishi Diamante was westbound on 171st Avenue, near the intersection with 417th Avenue, when the driver lost control. The vehicle went into the north ditch and rolled.

 

The 20-year-old male driver was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol 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.


Speaker Gosch says body should reject "Style and Form" veto

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) South Dakota legislators are back in Pierre today, for the final day of the 2021 session.

 

The only agenda item so far is dealing with the Governor’s style & form veto of HB1217, the trans gender, women in sports bill.

 

House Speaker Spencer Gosch of Glenham issued a statement over the weekend...

 

 

 

 

Gosch says he will recommend that legislators send the bill back to the Governor...

 

 

 

 

Gosch also sent a note to legislators advising them that the Governor planned to call an immediate special session to deal with the trans gender issue.

 


Gov. Noem signs host of bills into law

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signs host of bills into law:
 

  • SB 100 continues the prohibition on the seizure of firearms and ammunitions.
  • SB 103 provides for the confidentiality of personal information of persons affiliated with nonprofit corporations.
  • SB 178 prohibits certain insurers from using genetic information.
  • HB 1047 provides limited deer and antelope licenses to landowners.
  • HB 1111 revises certain provisions regarding inspections and seizures by, and forfeitures involving, the Department of Game, Fish and Parks.
  • HB 1140 restricts the entry of conservation officers onto certain private land without permission.
  • HB 1212 clarifies the use of force.
  • SB 79 makes certain uses of laser pointers unlawful.
  • SB 126 establishes the crime of possession, manufacturing, or distribution of obscene dolls.
  • SB 150 clarifies the penalty for using fireworks in violation of a county resolution.
  • SB 164 modifies the process for civil forfeiture.
  • SB 173 revises certain provisions related to competency hearings.
  • SB 174 revises provisions related to the automatic removal of certain charges or convictions from a defendant’s public record.
  • HB 1061 prohibits smoking and consuming marijuana and its derivatives in a motor vehicle.
  • HB 1080 increases the enhanced penalty for the crime of simple assault.
  • HB 1081 increases the penalty for protection order violations.
  • HB 1096 provides a penalty for sexual contact with a minor by a person holding a position of authority.
  • HB 1102 revises certain definitions for sex offender registry.
  • HB 1199 establishes the Office of Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons.
  • HB 1204 revises criminal provisions certain visual recordings or photographic devices.
  •  


Additional COVID-19 variant found in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) can confirm that additional variants of the
COVID-19 virus
have been detected in South Dakota. This includes one case of the B.1.351 (the “South African variant”) and five cases of B.1.429 (the “California variant”). The announcement comes two weeks after the B.1.1.7 variant (the “U.K. variant”) of COVID-19 was initially detected in the state, now at 14 cases.

 

“The appearance of new variants is something we have been tracking and preparing for,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, State Epidemiologist. “Continuing mitigation practices, like washing hands, social distancing, and staying home when you are sick, help slow transmission rates. Getting tested as soon as COVID-19 symptoms are detected is key.” 

 

The location(s) of the identified variants include: B.1.1.7: Brookings, Lyman, Minnehaha & Pennington County
                                                                                        B.1.351: Brookings County
                                                                                        B.1.429: Roberts County

 

Available COVID-19 vaccines have shown some reduced effectiveness against these variants but are safe and offer good protection. The SD-DOH strongly encourages state residents to choose getting vaccinated at their earliest convenience. On Monday, vaccination priority group 1E was opened statewide, covering approximately 227,000 South Dakotans.

 

South Dakotans can get more information on local opportunities to be vaccinated by clicking HERE. Additionally, state residents can request their FREE at-home COVID-19 test kits HERE.

 

For additional information and the latest COVID-19 resources, visit COVID.SD.GOV


Lawmakers split on what to do with HB 1217 "Style and Form' veto

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) South Dakota lawmakers return to Pierre Monday for the final day of the 2021 session.

 

They will have to consider the style and form veto Governor Kristi Noem issued for HB1217, the trans gender, women in sports bill.

 

House Majority Leader Kent Peterson of Salem says there are differences of opinion on the Governor’s action...

 

 

 

 

Peterson says legislators have some options...

 

 

 

 

Peterson says the Governor has changed the intent of the bill with her focus now on “Title 9” protections...

 

 

 

 

Noem called the bill as written, a “participation trophy” that probably would not withstand a court challenge.


Gov. Noem signs bill to fund DEX project on State Fairgrounds

Governor Noem has signed Senate Bill 99 into law, which funds the Dakota Events CompleX at the South Dakota State Fair.

 

“In South Dakota, we see challenges as an opportunity to grow, to build for the future,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “The new DEX will be a state-of-the-art facility which will attract regional and national events to Huron. I’m excited for DANR to get to work on this project and to complete the DEX by the 2022 State Fair.”


PC's Dr. Trisha Waldman named Aberdeen Chamber "Ambassador of the Year"

Dr. Trisha Waldman, Dean of Health & Natural Science at Presentation College was awarded the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Ambassador of the Year.

 

The mission of the Ambassador Committee is to promote a positive community image and serve as goodwill ambassadors at Chamber and community functions such as ribbon cuttings, new business openings, ground breakings, business relocations, and other networking events.

 

“I am appreciative to my fellow committee members for recognizing me for this award. I volunteer with the Aberdeen Chamber Ambassadors to assist in providing a quality community life for those around me. A community is only as strong as its members, and when we all pitch in, we are able to foster relationships and strive to build a vibrant community,” said Dr. Waldman.

 

The Ambassador of Year Award, referred to as the YAAA (You’re an Amazing Ambassador!) Award by the committee, is given to an individual whom the committee members feel best exemplifies the mission of the committee. The award recipient is voted on by fellow Chamber Ambassadors and was awarded prior to the 2021 Community Champions Luncheon.


Name released in Yankton county fatal crash

A 19-year-old female from Yankton has been identified as the person who died Friday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash north of Yankton.

 

Preliminary crash information indicates a 2010 Chrysler Sebring Limited was southbound on U.S. Highway 81 when it crossed the center line and collided with a northbound 2018 Freightliner Tractor and Trailer.

 

Abigail Gilkerson, who was the driver of the Chrysler, died as a result of her injuries. Willis Vanroekel of Rock Rapids, Iowa, was the 64-year-old male driver of the tractor and trailer. He sustained minor injuries.

 

Both drivers 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.


Jon Pardi to play the SD state fair

The South Dakota State Fair and Legend Seeds welcome Jon Pardi to the South Dakota State Fair grandstand on Sunday, September 5, 2021.
 
Jon Pardi’s focus is making country music that will last through decades, bringing an old-school flare back to mainstream country. His music is filled with fiddle, twang, and steel guitar, bringing new ideas to country’s old sound. Pardi has been noted for his “long-lasting mark on the genre” by Music Row and his impressive ability to carve out his own path creating “the kind of country music multiple generations came to know, and love” according to Variety magazine.
 
In 2017, Pardi took home the Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year and the Academy of Country Music Award for New Male Vocalist of the Year. He has since been nominated for three more awards, including Album of the Year for his albums California Sunrise and Heartache Medication. In 2020, Jon Pardi became the first country artist to have two #1 singles on country radio with “Heartache Medications” and “Ain’t Always the Cowboy”.
 
Ticket presales begin May 24 for Friends of the Fair VIPs, June 14 for backrest holders, and June 17 for Friends of the Fair. Tickets will go on sale to the general public June 21.  For more information on presales and ticket sales go to www.sdstatefair.com.
 
The 2021 South Dakota State Fair runs Thursday, September 2, through Monday, September 6. Channel Seeds preview night will be Wednesday, September 1. For more information on State Fair events, contact the Fair office at 800-529-0900, visit www.sdstatefair.com or find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 


Governor Noem talks HB1217 at Monday press conference

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem held a press conference Monday to explain her opposition to HB1217, and announce the creation of a new coalition she says will work to defend fairness in women’s sports.

 

HB1217 was passed by the legislature this session and would prevent trans girls from competing in sports that reflect their gender identity at both the high school and college level.  Governor Noem announced Friday she would not veto the bill, but send it back to the legislature using the “style and reform” clause in the South Dakota constitution. 

 

According to Governor Noem, this bill is about ensuring fairness in women’s sports…

 

 

 

 

Governor Noem does want to see changes to the bill however.  In the legislation includes bans on trans athletes competing at the collegiate level.  According to Noem, this among other provisions she wants changed, could open the state up to a lawsuit it would likely lose.  Governor Noem says she and her team has discussed the issue with legal scholars on the matter…

 

 

 

 

Joining the governor at this press conference were other members and or supporters of a new coalition the governor announced Called Defend Title Nine Now.  Those in attendance included former NFL stars Herschel Walker and Jack Brewer along with former LPGA golfer Nancy Lopez providing a written statement of support. 

 

Governor Noem sending the legislation back this way is somewhat unprecedented.  Over the weekend Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch released a statement questioning if the move was unconstitutional.  A “style and form” veto is meant for small punctuation and other minor changes, with major bill rewrites specifically being outlawed under the legislatures rules.  Despite this, Governor Noem says it’s up to the legislature to act…

 

 

 

 

The South Dakota High School Activities Association has had a transgender student policy in place since 2013.  During that time one student has played sports under the current policy.  There are not trans students currently participating in high school sports in South Dakota. 


Text 911 now available in South Dakota

Text-to-9-1-1 is now available throughout South Dakota.  

 

Wireless cell phone customers in South Dakota can text to 9-1-1 when they can’t call in an emergency. The text, like a phone call, will be routed to a local 9-1-1 dispatch center.  

“Text-to-9-1-1 should only be used in an emergency when you can’t call 9-1-1,” said Craig Price, cabinet secretary for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. “The Text-to-9-1-1 option would be good to use if speaking out loud would put the caller in danger or if the caller is deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired.” 

 

Text-to-9-1-1 is not yet 100 percent activated in Todd County. People texting 9-1-1 in that county will receive a message stating that text service is unavailable and they will be directed to make a 9-1-1 call instead.

 

People who are unable to call 9-1-1, should remember these steps about Text to 9-1-1: 

  • Don’t text and drive.
  • In the first text message, send the location and type of emergency.
  • Text in simple words; keep the text message short without the use of abbreviations or slang.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Voice calls to 9-1-1 are still the best and fastest way to contact 9-1-1.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you can, text if you can’t.

For more information on the Text to 9-1-1 program in South Dakota, visit text911sd.com.

The state 9-1-1 Coordination Program is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. 


Gov. Noem to hold press conference on controversial HB1217

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will hold a press conference today at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the controversial HB1217 bill which would ban trans girls from competing in sports that reflect their gender identity at both the college and high school level. 

 

There are currently no trans girls competing in sports in South Dakota. 

 

Governor Noem at one point said she was excited to sign the legislation, but in what might be an unprecedented move, sent the bill back to the legislature for them to change quote “Style and form.”  It will be up to lawmakers now to decide whether or not this qualifies as a veto. 

 

Over the weekend Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch released a statement calling the move by Noem to send a bill back possibly unconstitutional.

 

 

 


Road closures planned for Monday in Aberdeen

Weather permitting, beginning at 8am on Monday, March 22, 2021 the following road will be closed to thru traffic for demolition work:

 

3rd Avenue SE from South State Street to South Lloyd Street

 

Work is expected to last until the 1st week of April.   Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.


Gov. Noem signs "freedom scholarship" into law

Today, Governor Noem signed Senate Bill 171, which provides $50 million for the South Dakota Freedom Scholarship. This money, together with other generous donations, will create a $200 million endowment for needs-based scholarships in South Dakota.

 

“With this historic scholarship, we’ll be giving thousands of promising young South Dakotans the opportunity that they need to succeed,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “I challenged legislators to get this across the finish line, and they got it done. These dollars will sustain needs-based scholarships for South Dakota students far into the future, setting our kids and grandkids up for long-term success. I want to thank T. Denny Sanford, PREMIER, Avera Health, Sanford Health, and everyone else who has made this project a top priority.”


Gov. Noem, President Biden order flags at half staff in honor of Atlanta massage spa shooting victims

Today, Governor Kristi Noem ordered that flags be flown at half-staff, effectively immediately, until sundown on Monday, March 22, 2021, in remembrance of the victims of the shooting in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

 

This is in response to a proclamation by President Joseph R. Biden, which can be found below.


Watertown man convicted of nine alternate counts of 3rd degree rape

(KXLG - Watertown, SD) A Codington County Jury convicted a Watertown man of nine alternative counts of 3rd degree rape on Thursday. 

 

Lee Todd Malcolm, 44, was convicted following a four-day jury trial at the Codington County Courthouse.  The charges stem from an incident that occurred at a Watertown residence on October 28th, 2019. 

 

According to court documents, authorities were dispatched to a report of an unresponsive female at a Watertown residence. Upon arrival police encountered Malcolm and the 41-year-old female. Despite life-saving measures paramedics were unable to resuscitate the female who was later pronounced dead as a result of “combined medication toxicity”.   

 

During the investigation by the Watertown Police Department, several videos showing Malcom and the unresponsive female engaged in sexual activity were recovered.

 

Each count of 3rd degree rape (where the victim is incapable of giving consenting because of any intoxicating, narcotic, or anesthetic agent or hypnosis) is a Class 2 felony, punishable by up to 25 years imprisonment and $50,000 in fines.

 

Malcolm remains in custody at the Codington County Jail awaiting a sentencing hearing. 

 

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation assisted the Watertown Police Department on the case which was prosecuted by Deputy Codington County State Attorney’s Megan LaFramboise and Allison Bakken.  Malcolm was represented by his court appointed attorney, Terry Sutton.

 


Road work scheduled for parts of Aberdeen Friday

Weather permitting beginning at approximately 8:00 AM on Friday, March 19, 2021, the road will be closed to thru traffic and water will be off for work on water lines: 

 

North 2nd Street from 8th Ave NW to 9th Ave NW

 

Work is expected to last all day.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.  Residents are advised to collect and store water while work is being completed.  Work will be completed as quickly as possible.  


Dept. of Health to open vaccines to final priority group Monday

The South Dakota Department of Health announced Wednesday the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to the final priority group Monday.  Group "E" includes includes fire service personell and other critical infastructure workers including water and wastewater, energy, finance, food service, food and agriculture, legal, manufacturing, shelter and housing, transportation and logistics, information technology and communications.

 

State Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon credited a health vaccine supply and people's willingness to sign up for vaccines for the smooth rollout...

 

 

 

 

State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton talked about COVID-19 in South Dakota as cases continue to decrease.  According to Dr. Clayton, South Dakota is at about the same rate of infection we were at about a year ago...

 

 

 

 

Dr. Clayton also said the Department of Health is monitoring the COVID-19 variants which have now reached South Dakota...

 

 

 

 

You can find out if and when you are eligibile to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by following this link. 


Two men arrested after police find drugs, guns and cash in vehicle

According to a release from the Aberdeen Police Department a traffic stop of an out-of-state vehicle Tuesday led to the seizure of drugs, a handgun and cash.  Little more information was offered by police about the stop, other than the street value of the drugs found in the vehicle ranged from $45,000 to $50,000.  Charges are pending against two individuals in this case. 


SD Chamber president Dave Owen calls HB1217 worst bill this session

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) While the South Dakota legislature was able to use a lot of one-time money to fund some long-needed projects, progress could be halted due to other actions taken by lawmakers.

 

Long time legislative observer and lobbyist Dave Owen says one bill stands out...

 

 

 

 

Owen says bill sponsors were not honest about its intent...

 

 

 

 

Owen says trans gender students can’t just trade sports jerseys...

 

 

 

 

Owen, President of the State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says the bill could cost the state conventions, NCAA tournaments and future businesses. Governor Kristi Noem has not yet acted on the bill.


IRS re-launches stimulus tracking tool

The IRS has re-launched its “Get My Payment” tool as President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 relief bill and people are expecting to begin seeing the $1,400 stimulus payments going out.  Reports were that some people in the US began receiving the payments as early as this weekend.  Visit IRS.gov and fill out a small amount of information if you want an update on the status of your COVID-19 stimulus payment. 

 

You can find the tool here.


Road work scheduled for parts of Aberdeen Wednesday and Thursday

Weather permitting beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday March 17th, the following road will be closed to through traffic for utility work: 3rd ave se from south Roosevelt street to south park street.  Also weather permitting, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday march 18th the following road will be closed to thru traffic for utility work:  3rd avenue SE from South Roosevelt st. to South Greenwood Street.  Work will be completed as quickly as possible.  Motorists are advised to take alternate until the work is completed. 


Board of regents looking to more normal fall semester

After a year of adapting to changes due to COVID-19, Northern State University is planning a shift back to more normal operations for the fall 2021 semester.

 

The South Dakota Board of Regents made this announcement today for the six BOR universities and two special schools, citing success in vaccine distribution and local efforts to manage and keep positive infection rates low.

 

This means a BOR mask mandate for the fall 2021 semester is unlikely, and classrooms will return to a more normal occupancy rate. Campus leadership will continue to monitor circumstances as the pandemic evolves. Additional details for Northern’s return to normal this fall will be announced in the upcoming weeks and months.

 

Until then, campus maintains all precautions through spring semester, including the mask protocol, reduced classroom capacities and HyFlex learning options. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to continue making responsible decisions, including social distancing, proper hand washing, and getting vaccinated when they are able. More information can be found on the Department of Health website.

 

NSU President Dr. Tim Downs said although campus must remain vigilant, the finish line is in sight.

 

“This past year has been challenging, but it has shown how the Northern community can come together to adjust and persevere during difficult times,” Downs said. “I’m extremely proud, and I want to thank everyone on campus, as well as local, regional and state officials, for their hard work and resilience.”


National Parks Service will not allow Mt. Rushmore 4th of July fireworks

The  National Parks Service has sent a letter to the South Dakota Department of Tourism informing them fireworks will not be permitted at Mount Rushmore this coming fourth of July.  Last  year, Governor Kristi Noem invited former President Donald Trump to South Dakota to observe a fireworks display at the world famous monument, the first time fireworks flew over Mt. Rushmore on the 4th of July in more than a decade.  The  Parks service listed a number of reasons why it will not permit fireworks this  year including risks to the park itself, health and safety of employees and potential fire hazards. 


Avera now allowing two visitors per patient with exceptions

Most patients at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, clinics and emergency department are now able to have two visitors per day, with exceptions.


Visitors must be at least 18 years old. One of the visitors may be clergy, if the patient or their family allows.


There are no visitors allowed for COVID-positive or kidney dialysis patients and only one visitor is allowed per patient at Avera Orthopedics and Avera Dakota Plains Surgical Center, which includes AMG Pain Management and AMG Physical Medicine and Rehab.


Patients in the Birthplace may have one person stay throughout their care and also have one adult visitor per day. These patients will receive more details and further instructions from their OB/GYN.
Long-term care visitations are still determined by state and federal guidelines, as well as county positivity rates. These visitation policies could change at any time.


Visitors must be screened, including a temperature check, wear masks within any Avera facility, and practice social distancing when possible. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or that has been exposed should not visit.


The increase in the number of visitors per patient per day is due to the decline of COVID-positive cases throughout the state and an adequate supply of protective equipment including masks. It’s important to remember that the pandemic is not over. People should still wear a mask, wash their hands, practice social distancing and stay home when sick.


“The health and safety or our patients and our employees continues to be our highest priority, and we know patients benefit from have their loved ones visit. Because COVID-19 is still in our population, we must be cautious and yet hopeful as we expand visitation within our facilities,” said Regional President and CEO Todd Forkel.


The change was put into effect on February 17. Visiting hours for the hospital are currently 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. These are subject to change.


Visitor rules and exceptions may vary across the Avera system.


Rep. Dusty Johnson calling for an end of "falling back" of daylight savings time

The following is a column written and released by Rep. Dusty Johnson's office:
 

Temps are rising and the sun isn’t setting at 4:30 in the afternoon – that can only mean one thing – Daylight Saving Time (DST) is here.

 

The “spring forward” has its pros and cons – the cons, we lose an hour of sleep and our kids’ schedules are in disarray for a few days – but for me, the extra daylight in the evening is well worth it. It’s the “fall back” I dislike, so much of the afternoon daylight is lost.

 

Congress established Daylight Saving Time through legislation, so Congress could just as easily undo it. That’s why I signed on to the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill that would make daylight savings time permanent. Namely, it would make the “spring forward” version of Daylight Saving Time the default – no more “fall back.” Most importantly, no more changing of the clocks twice a year.

 

There is broad, bipartisan support for this proposal. Since 2015, at least 45 states have introduced legislation to change their observance of DST, and eleven states have made this permanent switch to “spring forward.”


Deadline to apply for Parks and Rec summer job is April 19th

The Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is accepting applications for summer seasonal positions.  A variety of positions are available, including baseball, softball and tee ball coaches, baseball and softball umpires, Park, Forestry, Cemetery and Golf maintenance workers, Wylie Park and Aquatic Center concession workers, tennis instructors, lifeguards, aquatic center cashiers, cultural program instructors and Storybook Land theatre actors.  Information is also online at www.aberdeen.sd.us/jobs.

 

The deadline for applications is Friday, April 19. 

 

For further information, job listings, or to turn in your application, contact the department office at 626-7015 or e-mail to prf@aberdeen.sd.us


Name released in Hamlin county fatal crash

A Mobridge, S.D., woman has been identified as the person who died Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle crash south of Watertown.

 

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2006 Chevy Impala was northbound on U.S. Highway 81 when the driver lost control, entered the southbound lane and collided with a 2012 Dodge Charger.

 

Both drivers, who were wearing seat belts, were taken by ambulance to the Watertown hospital. Cyra Schaefer, the 30-year-old driver of the Chevy Impala, later died as result of her injuries. Frankie McCrary of Lake Norden, S.D., the 59-year-old male driver of the Dodge Charger, suffered serious non-life threatening injuries.

 

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.

 


State Fire Marshal encourages residents to check smoke detectors when jumping clocks forward

When it comes to Daylight Saving Time this weekend, South Dakota Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says there is more to it than just changing the clocks.

 

Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. local time Sunday morning. That means pushing clocks ahead one hour. 

 

But Merriman says this is also a good time to change the batteries in smoke alarms. He says the alarms can save lives.  The Fire Marshal said statistics from the National Fire Protection Association indicate:

 

  • From 2014 through 2018, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (54%) of the home fires that were reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (41%) or no working smoke alarms (16%).
  • The death rate per 1,000 in reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (13.0 deaths vs. 5.8 deaths per 1,000 fires).
  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, two of every five (41%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
  • Dead batteries caused more than one-quarter (26%) of the smoke alarm failures.

Merriman said the same good advice goes with carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, Merriman says CO can kill before people are aware that it is in their home.  Residents can check their smoke or carbon monoxide alarms by pushing the test button on the alarm. Merriman said if the alarm doesn’t sound, the batteries should be replaced.

 

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


Noem says she's "reviewing" anti-trans inclusion bill

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem once tweeted she was "excited" to sign HB1217, a bill which would ban trans girls from competing in sports that reflect their gender identity at the high school and college level within the state, but now says she is reviewing the legislation.

 

Governor Noem was asked about the bill at a press conference Thursday and said it is undergoing the same review process as any piece of legislation...

 

 

 

 

Governor Noem deflected from the question as to how this would affect trans girls.  According to Noem this has nothing to do with them...

 

 

 

 

The law would require a child accused of being trans to go before a court and ajudicate their genitalia before being reinstated to the team.  If signed into law, it is likely the state will be sued.  Idaho passed similar legislation years ago and the law never took affect as a judge ordered the law not be implemented as it makes its way through the courts.  It currently is making said way through the judicial system.

 

The South Dakota High School Activities Assocaition has had a transgender student policy since 2013 and since its implementaiton has had one trans student participate in sports.  

 

This bill also jeopardizes South Dakota's future to host athletic events.  At over 500 student athletes from across the country, signed onto a letter this week calling on the NCAA to pull events from state's with anti-trans inclusion policies.  The ACLU of South Dakota, South Dakota High School Activities Association, the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, the South Dakota Board of Regents, the School Administrators of South Dakota and The Transformation Project all opposed the bill.

 


Mitchell woman arrested on apparent hit and run accident

(KORN - Mitchell, SD) A Mitchell woman has been arrested in connection with an apparent hit and run accident west of Mitchell early Wednesday. The accident sent a 25 year old man to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

 

According to court documents, 32 year old Brittany Ashton Price told investigators she and the victim, who was her boyfriend, went to a residence west of Mitchell to purchase marijuana. She entered the residence and when she returned to the car, the victim wasn’t there. Price says she drove east on Highway 16 early Wednesday morning looking for him. While driving she was texting and calling the victim. A short distance after leaving her friend’s residence Price hit something with her vehicle but didn’t know what she hit. Price stated she pulled over, exited the vehicle and saw nothing. She adjusted her headlight and drove back to town and made no attempt to contact authorities. The victim was found laying in a ditch around eight Wednesday morning and it was determined he’d been hit by a vehicle. He was later airlifted to a Sioux Falls Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

 

Investigators found the victims address and while there noticed a black 2007 Dodge Charger, registered to Price, with damage to the passenger side bumper and a crack in the windshield consistent with a head hitting it. The crack had hair in it as well. Price was found at a friend’s house and taken to the Mitchell Police Department for an interview with a DCI agent.

 

Price faces charges of Hit and Run Injury Accident, punishable by up to 2 years in prison and or a $4,000 fine as well as Driving without a valid license or permit which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and or a $500 fine. Bond was set at $4,000 and she have no contact with the victim.


DOH confirms first COVID-19 variant in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) can confirm that the B.1.1.7 variant (the “U.K. variant”) of COVID-19 has been detected in South Dakota. The findings were verified by an out-of-state commercial laboratory. Thus far, there have been two identified cases of the variant, and neither patient was hospitalized, and both have since recovered.

 

“This variant is something our Department and partners have been closely monitoring,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “I continue to encourage South Dakotans to practice good hygiene, get tested if they produce COVID-like symptoms, and get vaccinated as soon as your turn becomes available.” 

 

Notably, current COVID-19 vaccines have proven safe and effective against this variant. Proper hygiene is always important – wash your hands regularly, stay home when you are sick, and wear a mask when it is appropriate.


South Dakota reaches 1 million COVID-19 test milestone

The South Dakota Department of Health (DoH) today announced it has passed the 1 million marker of COVID-19 tests administered, reporting 1,002,366 total tests performed statewide. This number reflects 429,839 unique persons tested or approximately 48.5% of the state’s population. The DoH would also like to use this milestone to highlight the importance of continued testing in the fight against COVID-19. 

 

 “As we hit the one-year anniversary of COVID in our state, testing remains more important than ever,” said Daniel Bucheli, Communications Director for the Department of Health. “Between testing and our excellent vaccination efforts, South Dakota is working its way through this pandemic. We encourage all residents to order a free COVID-19 at-home test kit today.”

 

Since December, DoH in partnership with Vault Health, Inc., has offered free and convenient at-home COVID-19 testing kits to all South Dakota residents. The saliva-based test can be requested by visiting the departments website or by clicking HERE. The test is geared towards people who’ve had close contact with confirmed positive cases. No symptoms or medical insurance are required.

 

To get the most up to date COVID-19 data, updated daily, please visit the Department of Health dashboard. For additional information and the latest COVID-19 resources, visit COVID.SD.GOV.


HB1100 dead, meaning IM26 will be implemented as passed by voters July 1st

Lawmakers in Pierre could not come to terms Wednesday on HB1100 which would have delayed the implementation of medical marijuana.   That means July 1st 2021 IM26 will go into effect in full as written. 

 

HB1100 was requested by Governor Kristi Noem and not only would have delayed medical marijuana by a year, it would have created a committee to study the issue further and present findings to the legislature next session.

 

The state senate had added amendments to HB1100 which would have added patient protections  and decriminalized a small amount of marijuana both possessing and ingesting.  The house would not pass the bill as amended so lawmakers from both houses went into a conference committee to try and hammer things out. 

 

Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch summed up the negotiations then encouraged members to vote on a motion to end further negotiations...

 

 

 

 

 

The committee came to an impasse and the bill died paving the way for IM26 to be enacted as over 70 percent of voters intended. 

 

Representative Greg Jamison says it is the beset outcome...

 


One person killed in Hamlin county fatal crash

One person died and another person was injured Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle crash south of Watertown.

 

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

 

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2016 Chevy Impala was northbound on U.S. Highway 81 when the driver lost control, entered the southbound lane and collided with a 2012 Dodge Charger.

 

Both drivers, who were wearing seat belts, were taken by ambulance to the Watertown hospital. The 30-year-old female driver of the Chevy Impala later died as result of her injuries. The 59-year-old male driver of the Dodge Charger suffered serious non-life threatening injuries.

 

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.


Northern State announces it will no longer be removing "Gypsy Days" as it's homecoming week nickname

Upon further review, Northern State University will not pursue changing the name of Gypsy Days. After hearing from a substantial number of stakeholders, the university has elected to withdraw its plans to rename the homecoming celebration.

 

"The university was not looking to address this in the middle of a pandemic, but due to several circumstances, we announced our intention to change the event’s name. We simply are not looking to create more strife during this stressful time.

 

Now, following a two-year parade hiatus, due to weather and COVID-19, we look forward to celebrating this year’s Gypsy Days events (Sept. 27 – Oct. 2, 2021), and all of the ongoing successes at Northern."


House rejects amendment HB 1100 medical marijuana delay

The House today rejected a Senate version of HB1100, the Medical Marijuana bill.  

 

Republican members of the House convened in a closed door caucus meeting for almost two hours before returning to the floor just before noon toda

 

The House briefly debated concurring with the Senate version of the bill but ultimately rejected that motion.

 

A committee of House members was called to begin conferring with members of the Senate to work out differences between the two chambers.

 

HB1100 is the last major piece of legislation left before lawmakers.


Priority group "D" now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

The South Dakota Department of Health today announced that the remainder of those in priority group D – teachers, childcare workers, college staff, college students living in dormitories, and funeral workers – are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine through Phase I vaccinators.

 

“Given South Dakota’s strong position on vaccination efforts and the increased points of access for vaccine distribution and administration, we are happy to fully open up Phase D starting today,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a significant step in getting back to normal, and I encourage those eligible to schedule their vaccination today.”

 

Over the past few weeks, South Dakota has been making significant progress moving down the list of vaccination priority groups in an orderly and efficient manner. South Dakota remains a leader in nationwide vaccination efforts with more than 30% of its population having received at least 1-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For more detailed information on that state’s vaccination plan, click here.

 

To get the most up to date COVID-19 data, updated daily, please visit the Department of Health dashboard. For additional information and the latest COVID-19 resources, visit COVID.SD.GOV.


Gov. Noem appoints Greg Margera to 5th judicial circuit

Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced today that she will appoint Gregg Magera to serve as judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.  

 

“Gregg has spent his life in the pursuit of justice, first in private practice and then as a magistrate judge,” said Governor Noem. “I appreciate his willingness to serve the public and I know he will be an excellent circuit judge.” 

 

"I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to serve as a Circuit Court Judge," said Judge Magera.

 

Magera currently serves as a magistrate judge in the Fifth Circuit. A Yankton native, Magera earned his bachelor’s degree and his law degree from the University of South Dakota. Following service as a law clerk, he joined Siegel, Barnett & Schultz in Aberdeen in 1991, where he became a partner and practiced until his appointment as magistrate judge in 2019.

 

Magera enjoys tennis, hunting, fishing, and playing violin in the Aberdeen University Civic Symphony. He and his wife, Barbara, have two daughters, Katie and Emily.

 

The Fifth Judicial Circuit Court is served by four circuit judges and one magistrate and covers Brown, Campbell, Day, Edmunds, Faulk, Marshall, McPherson, Roberts, Spink, and Walworth counties. Magera will succeed Scott P. Myren, who Governor Noem appointed to the South Dakota Supreme Court in January. 

 


Redistricting committee meets for the first time Tuesday

(KCCR - Pierre, SD) The first steps in resetting South Dakota’s legislative districts were taken Tuesday at the South Dakota State Capitol as the House and Senate Redistricting Committees met for the first time.  Legislative Research Council attorney Matt Frame says the Redistricting Committee may not see 2020 Census numbers until the end of September...

 

 

 

It’s possible a special legislative session may be needed to make the December 31st deadline.  Frame says the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on Census gathering may also invalidate the very information legislators need to re-draw district maps…

 

 

 

 

Senator Jim Bolin served on the last Redistricting Committee 10 years ago and told the Committee to take the effort one step at a time…

 

 

 

 

Some pre-work is already being done.  Committee meeting will take place in March or April, June, July and August with field hearings in October.  Those meetings are set to be held in Rapid City, Mission, Mobridge, Watertown and Sioux Falls.  Committee Chair Senator Mary Duvall of Pierre says they are working with L-R-C staff to try and make meetings as accessible to the public as possible.


Brown county commission implements a burn ban

The Brown county commission has implemented a burn ban effective immediately.  That includes all open burning within the boundaries of Brown County even burning barrels and campfires.  This will be in place until at least March 30th when it can be extended if necessary upon re-evaluation. 


State senate passes bill that bans trans girls from competing in girls sports

The South Dakota state Senate passed the controversial HB1217 Monday, a bill which trans girls from competing in sports that do not coincide with their gender assigned at birth.  That goes for both high school and college. 

 

The bill died in committee but was successfully smoked out and passed and will now head to Governor Kristi Noem’s desk. 

 

Noem’s feelings on the bill were mostly a mystery as she has been quite on these types of bills in the past.  However, she tweeted later in the day she looks forward to singing the legislation.  The state is likely to get sued over the law. 

 

 


Florida man pleads guilty to assaulting Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert

 A Florida man accused of assaulting Philadelphia Eagles tight end and Britton/Hecla alum Dallas Goedert in an Aberdeen bar has pleaded guilty. 29-year-old Kyle D. Hadala of Sarasota Florida is also seeking a suspended imposition of sentence to keep the conviction off his record if he completes probation.  The judge granted the suspension and also suspended a 60 day jail sentence.  The incident occurred June 20th at the Zoo Bar in Aberdeen. 


House passes resolution that will allow them to impeach AG Ravnsborg if they so choose

The South Dakota House of Representatives passed a resolution Monday that would allow them to impeach Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg if they so choose. 

 

HB 70001 will let lawmakers move forward on impeachment if they deem it necessary once the three misdemeanor cases against him are delt with from the night he killed 55-year-old Joe Boever. 

 

Will Mortenson of District 23 spoke on the floor for the resolution and explained why there will be a delay in the potential impeachment process...

 

 

 

 

Ravnsborg is to make his first appearance in court March 12th.  He released the following statement on the passing of HB 70001: 
 

“The House’s action today will allow the legal system to proceed without further interference and with due process. I have cooperated fully with investigators and law enforcement in this matter and look forward to its resolution. I will continue to work every day for the people of South Dakota.”

 


CDC now says fully vaccinated people can be indoors without masks with other vaccinated people

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume.

 

The new guidance—which is based on the latest science — includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and with other people who are not vaccinated. This guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities. CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, rates of COVID-19 in the community change, and additional scientific evidence becomes available.

 

“We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in their own homes. Everyone – even those who are vaccinated – should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings. As the science evolves and more people get vaccinated, we will continue to provide more guidance to help fully vaccinated people safely resume more activities.”

 

CDC encourages people to get vaccinated with the first available FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and to help bring the pandemic to a close. The currently authorized vaccines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are safe and highly effective at preventing serious COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death.

 

A growing body of scientific evidence also suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and are potentially less likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to other people. Therefore, fully vaccinated people can safely take fewer precautions in certain situations.

 

Specifically, CDC’s guidance today recommends that fully vaccinated people can do the following:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart.
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19.

 

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. Although vaccinations are accelerating, CDC estimates that just 9.2% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that the FDA has authorized for emergency use.

 

While the new guidance is a positive step, the vast majority of people need to be fully vaccinated before COVID-19 precautions can be lifted broadly. Until then, it is important that everyone continues to adhere to public health mitigation measures to protect the large number of people who remain unvaccinated.

 

CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take these COVID-19 precautions when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19:

  • Wear a well-fitted mask.
  • Stay at least 6 feet from people you do not live with.
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

 

CDC has released resources to help people make informed decisions when they are fully vaccinated.

 


Name released in Roberts county fatal crash

A Herman, MN man has been identified as the person who died Tuesday in a two-vehicle crash north of Sisseton.

 

Preliminary crash information indicated that a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, traveling northbound on Interstate 29, was parked on the shoulder of the road due to a flat tire. The  driver was kneeling near the pickup on the driver’s side. A northbound 2013 Freightliner semi-truck and trailer was northbound on I-29 in the driving lane and struck the pickup and its driver.

 

The pickup driver, 78-year-old Gerald Bartell, was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Wilhelm Hiebert, 55, of Rosenfeld, Manitoba, Canada, was the truck driver. He was not injured and was wearing a seat belt. Charges are pending.

 

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.


Ravnsborg's initial court appearance scheduled for March 12th

Court documents filed in the case against South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg show his initial court appearance will be Friday March 12th at 4:00 p.m.  He will appear in a Hughes county courthouse in Pierre rather than Hyde county where the accident occurred.  Ravnsborg faces three misdemeanor charges from the night he killed 55-year-old Joe Boever.  He faces carless driving, driving out of his lane and operating a vehicle while on his phone.  All of which carry a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. 


North Dakota Rep. Luke Simons expelled from the legislature

For the first time in North Dakota state history, the state house voted to expel one of its members.  Republican Rep. Luke Simons of Dickinson was kicked after the body reached the two thirds majority necessary, 69-25 to expel someone after about a four hour floor session.  Simons has a long history of accusations against him, mostly stemming from female  lawmakers with complaints relating to sexual harassment.     


Senate State Affairs Committee kills HB1217

The Senate State Affairs Committee Wednesday voted to send HB 1217 to the 41st legislative day, killing the bill.  HB 1217 would have prevented a child who is trans from participating in sports that coincides with their gender identity.  This would include both high school and collegiate sports.

 

Proponents of the legislation say it is an effort to ensure fairness in women’s sports.  Opponents say this is not an issue in South Dakota and policies already in place are working.

 

The vote was six yeas and three nays to send it to the41st legislative day.  Voting yes was Senators Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown, Senator Kyle Schoenfish of Scotland, Senator Troy Heinert of Mission, Senator Helene Duhamel of Rapid City, Senator Michael Rohl of Aberdeen and Senator Michael Diedrich of Rapid City.  Voting no was senator Casey Crabtree of Madison, Senator Gary Cammack of Union Center and Senator Jim Bolin of Canton. 

 

Bolin called the bill an important piece of legislation…

 

 

 

 

The bill’s prime sponsor Rep. Rhonda Milstead defended the bill saying it was not discriminatory…

 

 

 

Senator Schoenbeck who motioned to kill the bill says this is a bad piece of legislation…

 


Aberdeen Parks and Rec to host job fair next week

The Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will be holding a Job Fair on Tuesday, March 9 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at the ARCC located at 225 3rd Avenue SE.  The department hires over 150 summer staff in over 30 different positions.  These positions are in the areas of Parks, Forestry, Golf, Wylie Park and Storybook Land, Aquatic Center, ARCC, Recreation Coaches, Tennis Instructors, Lifeguards and Concession Workers.

 

This will be an opportunity to discuss job opportunities with supervisors and find out details of the positions available.  The application deadline is Friday, March 19.  Job descriptions and application is available on line at www.aberdeen.sd.us/jobs For more information contact the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department at 626-7015.


Gov. Noem signs host of bills into law

Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed twelve bills into law:

 

  • HB 1029 requires a permit to conduct mining operation for certain ore milling facilities.
  • HB 1053 establishes an annual fee for certain electric motor vehicles.
  • HB 1067 modifies identification requirements for a marriage license and provides certain provisions for a name change.
  • HB 1069 modifies the expenditures that are recoverable as disbursements by a prevailing party in a civil action or a special proceeding.
  • HB 1073 authorizes dentists to void certain contract terms with insurers.
  • HB 1079 limits certain actions that may be taken by the executive branch relative to nonprofit corporations or charitable trusts.
  • HB 1090 modifies certain requirements for domestic not-for-profit corporations.
  • HB 1132 adds dental hygienists to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect.
  • HB 1195 authorizes the participation of certified registered nurse anesthetists in the recruitment assistance program.
  • HB 1196 provides free tuition and fees to visually impaired residents for courses not subsidized by the state general fund.
  • HB 1234 makes certain revisions to the seller’s property condition disclosure statement.
  • HB 1262 regulates kratom for those under the age of twenty-one.

One person killed on I-29 north of Sisseton

One person died Tuesday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash north of Sisseton.

 

The names of the two people involved are not being released pending notification of family members.

 

A 2021 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, traveling northbound on Interstate 29, was parked on the shoulder of the road due to a flat tire. The 78-year-old male driver was kneeling near the pickup on the driver’s side. A northbound 2013 Freightliner semi-truck and trailer was northbound on I-29 in driving lane. The truck driver was unable to move over to the passing lane due to another vehicle and struck the pickup and its driver.

 

The pickup driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The 55-year-old truck driver was not injured and was wearing a seat belt. Charges are pending.

 

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.


Dr. Alyssa Kiesow named new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northern State University.

Dr. Alyssa Kiesow has been named the new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northern State University.

 

Kiesow was selected from a strong pool of national candidates, bringing a wealth of experience as a faculty member and leader, said NSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Wanous.

 

“I am excited to have Dr. Kiesow as a member of my leadership team,” Wanous said. “She comes with extensive experience in moving things forward at Northern, has immense energy, and is highly respected by her colleagues across campus.”

 

Said Kiesow, "Serving as Dean is an 'action' not a title. It is an exciting time to serve as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Northern State University. We have a tremendous wealth of knowledge in the College and at Northern, and I am excited to leverage this knowledge to sustain and grow our College and campus community."

 

Kiesow, professor of biology, started teaching at Northern in 2007. She earned her A.A. from Winona (Minn.) State University, her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from South Dakota State University and her Ph.D. in biology from the University of South Dakota.

 

At Northern, Kiesow has also served as Interim Director of Sponsored Projects; Associate CAS Dean; Interim Associate CAS Dean; Chair, Department of Science and Mathematics; and Coordinator of the Undergraduate Research Program. Most recently, she served as Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since last year’s departure of the previous dean, Josh Hagen.

 

Kiesow was a Joseph F. and Martha P. Nelson Research Fellow in 2006-07. At Northern, her awards have included Outstanding Faculty Member in 2013, Outstanding Faculty for International Students in 2016 and the Teamwork Award in 2018.

 

"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Dean,” Kiesow said, “as I see only great things for Northern in the future.”


SD DOH announces new private/public pharmacy partnerships in COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Today, South Dakota’s Secretary of Health, Kim Malsam-Rysdon, reminded state residents that additional COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state have been activated or are about to start administering vaccinations through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. This will include major retailers:

 

“I would like to thank Walmart for activating their Rapid City location this Thursday, to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “Private partners like Cardinal Health, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Lewis Drug and Walmart, in addition to our Phase I vaccinators, are making a powerful impact in the fight against COVID-19 in South Dakota.”

 

The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program was initially activated in South Dakota on February 11, 2021 and included 13 retails sites statewide. Since then, the program has added additional participating retailers and currently has 56 participating locations, with more coming online each week. Retail pharmacies receive their vaccine allotment directly from the federal government, which means an increase in the total number of weekly COVID-19 doses arriving in South Dakota. All pharmacies are vaccinating South Dakotans according to the state’s priority populations.

 

“Additional vaccine access points means added convenience for all state residents.” added Malsam-Rysdon.

 

South Dakota residents can find their closest participating retailer pharmacy by clicking here. For more detailed information on that state’s vaccination plan, click here.

For additional information and the latest COVID-19 resources, visit COVID.SD.GOV.

 

###

 

County

City

Pharmacy

Address

Beadle

Huron

Lewis Drug

1950 Dakota Ave. S

Beadle

Huron

Northside Pharmacy

100 Dakota Ave. N, Ste. A

Beadle

Huron

Walmart Pharmacy

2791 Dakota Ave. S

Brookings

Brookings

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

790 22nd Ave. S

Brookings

Brookings

Brothers Pharmacy

1004 6th St.

Brookings

Brookings

Lewis Drug

910 22nd Ave. S

Brookings

Brookings

Walmart Pharmacy

2233 6th St.

Brown

Aberdeen

Lewis Drug

119 6th Ave. SW

Brule

Chamberlain

Lewis Drug

201 N. Main St.

Butte

Belle Fourche

Prairie Hills Pharmacy

319 Summit St.

Clark

Clark

Lewis Drug

211 N. Commercial St., Ste A

Clay

Vermillion

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

525 W. Cherry St.

Clay

Vermillion

Walmart Pharmacy

1207 Princeton Ave.

Codington

Watertown

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

1320 9th Ave. SE

Davison

Mitchell

Lewis Drug

1305 W. Havens Ave.

Davison

Mitchell

Lewis Drug

1507 N. Main St.

Davison

Mitchell

Walmart Pharmacy

1101 E Spruce St.

Duel

Clear Lake

Lewis Drug

404 3rd Ave. S

Grant

Millbank

Lewis Drug

109 S. Main Street

Hughes

Pierre

Shane’s Pharmacy

212 E Sioux Ave.

Hughes

Pierre

Walmart Pharmacy

1730 N. Garfield Ave.

Hutchinson

Freeman

Heritage Pharmacy

609 S. HWY 81

Jerauld

Wessington Springs

Lewis Drug

202 E. Main St.

Kingsbury

De Smet

Lewis Drug

111 Calumet Ave. SW

Lake

Madison

Lewis Drug

741 S. Washington Ave.

Lincoln

Canton

Lewis Drug

715 E. 5th St.

Lincoln

Lennox

Lewis Drug

515 Pine St.

Lincoln

Sioux Falls

Lewis Drug – 69th & Louise

6109 S. Louise Ave.

Lincoln

Tea

Lewis Drug

720 E. 1st St.

Minnehaha

Brandon

Lewis Drug

115 N. Splitrock Blvd.

Minnehaha

Dell Rapids

Lewis Drug

1002 N. HWY 77

Minnehaha

Hartford

Hartford Pharmacy, LLC

304 W Hwy. 38, Ste. 102

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

1900 S Marion Rd.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

4101 S. Louise Ave.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

1231 E. 57th St.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

1601 S. Sycamore Ave.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

3000 S. Minnesota Ave.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

2700 W. 10th St.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

3020 E. 10th St.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Lewis – 10th & Cliff

1301 E. 10th St.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Lewis - 26th & Sycamore

4409 E. 26th St.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Lewis - 12th & Kiwanis

2700 W. 12th St.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Lewis- 37th & Minnesota

2901 S. Minnesota Ave.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Lewis - 41st & Marion

5500 W. 41st St.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Lewis - 10th & Phillips

136 S. Phillips Ave.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Lewis - Ellis Rd

2525 S. Ellis Rd.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Walmart Pharmacy

3209 S. Louise Ave.

Minnehaha

Sioux Falls

Walmart Pharmacy

5521 E. Arrowhead Pkwy.

Moody

Flandreau

Lewis Drug

127 E. 2nd Ave.

Pennington

Rapid City

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy

1304 Mt. Rushmore Rd.

Pennington

Rapid City

Walmart Pharmacy

1200 N. Lacrosse St.

Roberts

Sisseton

Lewis Drug

925 SD HWY 10

Turner

Viborg

Lewis Drug

104 W. Park Ave.

Union

Elk Point

Lewis Drug

204 W. Main St.

Union

Beresford

Lewis Drug

911 W. Cedar St., Ste. 1

Yankton

Yankton

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

2100 Broadway Ave.


State Affairs Committee votes to delay impeachment proceedings against Ravnsborg

The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee voted bipartisanly 13-0 to delay the impeachemnt proceedings against Attorney General Jason Ravnsobrg.  

 

The amendment was brought by speaker of the House Spencer Gosch.  He says with the gag order put in place by a judge the legislature's hands are tied until after Ravnsborg has gone to trial or sorted out the three misdemeanors he faces for the night he killed 55-year-old Joe Boever of Highmore...

 

 

 

 

Will Mortenson who represents distrcit 24 brought the articles of impeachment against Ravnsborg.  He did so because Boever was one of his constituents.  He talked about the decision...

 

 

 

 

The only testimony heard for or against this bill was Nick Nemec, the victim's cousin.  Nemec wanted the chance to say his piece despite not swaying any lawmakers in this case...

 

 


State senate passes resolution requiring some initiatives to receive 60 percent of the vote rather than simple majority

The South Dakota Senate passed a resolution Tuesday which would require some ballot initiative to receive a super majority of 60 percent of the vote rather than a simple majority.  According to the legislation, innovative would require the larger threshold to pass if it raised taxes or spends more than $10 million in any of the five years after enactment.  This bill would likely have snared and stopped Amendment A from passing for instance which passed by 54 percent of the vote.  The change will be on  the ballot during the next primary election which is June 7th 2022 and will need approval by the voters before becoming law. 


Former AG Marty Jackley announces bid for position again

“After receiving countless phone calls and emails from supporters across the state, I have decided to announce my candidacy for Attorney General”, said Marty Jackley.

 

“My service as Attorney General, United States Attorney and as a small-town State’s Attorney has prepared me to again undertake the important role the Attorney General has in working with law enforcement in keeping our families safe” said Jackley. 

 

“There is nothing more important than the public’s safety - and the public’s confidence in our ability to keep our families safe.  I will be working hard to earn the support of the voters once again, so I can go back to work fighting to keep South Dakota safe.” said Jackley.

 

Mark Barnett, a three-term Attorney General and recently retired Circuit Court Judge said, “Marty Jackley is one the best prosecutors we have ever had in South Dakota. He has an impeccable record of service and I am honored to give him my full endorsement.”

 

Butte County Sheriff Fred Lamphere said, “Marty has always been a strong partner with our Sheriffs, and he has my full support to be our next Attorney General.”

 

Clay County State’s Attorney Alexis Tracy said, “Marty’s proven experience and record as Attorney General, United States Attorney, and as a State’s Attorney is why he has my full support to be our next Attorney General.”

 

Marty served as South Dakota’s Attorney General, United States Attorney for South Dakota, Chairman of the Nation’s Attorneys General, Jones County State’s Attorney, and as a Special Prosecutor for the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. 

 

Marty was raised in Sturgis with his family farm at nearby Vale SD, and graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with Honors. He received his law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law. 

 

Marty was named the South Dakota Prosecutor of the Year in 2008 from the South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association.  As Attorney General, he served as the chief law enforcement officer and legal advisor for the State.  Marty has served as the Chairman of the National Association of Attorneys General and the Conference of Western Attorneys General.  In 2016, Marty was honored to receive the National Kelley-Wyman Outstanding Attorney General award. 

 

In 2018, Marty successfully defended South Dakota before the Supreme Court of the United States in South Dakota v. Wayfair, providing Main Street businesses across South Dakota and the nation a level business playing field.  He has extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts having personally tried capital murder cases, a no body homicide, and the 1975 murder of Annie Mae Aquash.

 

Marty received the South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association Distinguished Service Award in 2019.

 

In January 2019, after serving as Attorney General and US Attorney, Marty returned to the Gunderson Palmer law firm as a partner opening up the Pierre branch office.


Sobriety checkpoints announced for March

South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety has released its list of sobriety checkpoints scheduled to be held statewide during March.

 

There are 21 checkpoints planned in 19 different counties. The checkpoints are funded by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and conducted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol with the help of local law enforcement.

 

March checkpoints are scheduled for the counties of: Brown, Butte, Codington, Custer, Davison, Hamlin, Jerauld, Jones, Lake, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lyman, Meade, Minnehaha, Moody, Pennington, Stanley, Walworth and Yankton.

 

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


Lordes Hall on Avera's campus to be decommissioned

Early this spring, Avera St. Luke’s will begin to decommission Lourdes Hall, including the archway that connects the historical building to the main hospital, and the former Northeastern Mental Health buildings that are within Avera St. Luke’s main campus.


Although Lourdes Hall has been on the Avera campus since 1941, it has not been used for the last several years. The four-story building was originally built in 1920 as Lincoln Hospital. It was purchased during the Great Depression and moved to campus from several blocks over to its current location. The building has served as mental health clinic and as housing for the Presentation Sisters and physicians.


Because of its significance to the Sisters and its history, Avera St. Luke’s has taken extra steps to ensure the building is emptied of historical artifacts. The concrete cross that is on top of the building will be removed and placed into Lourdes Park, a new greenspace on the west side of the hospital. Bricks from the arch will fill the north wall of the hospital where it currently connects the two buildings. Avera St. Luke’s is also working with a designer to place these in the shape of a cross to further honor what once was.


Although official plans have not yet been made for the space, the demolition plans are the first step into growing the Avera St. Luke’s campus and modernizing our facilities.


“We are carefully recognizing the heritage of this building while continuing on with our master campus planning,” said Todd Forkel, Regional President and CEO. “The building was first moved to campus because Avera St. Luke’s was growing, as were the care and services the hospital offered. Avera’s goal has always been to meet the need of the day, and the demolition of these buildings will help to ensure that we are always able to do that.”


The demolition of the former Northeastern Mental Health buildings is set to begin Monday, March 8. The archway’s demolition will likely begin Monday, March 22, followed by the demolition of Lourdes Hall. These dates are contingent on weather, as well as the City of Aberdeen’s plans to complete street work on Third Avenue.


Gov. Noem interview on CBS's Face the Nation

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was a guest on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” yesterday and was questioned about her reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

Noem says state citizens were able to make their own decisions...

 

 

 

Noem says recommendations from the CDC have changed since the pandemic began...

 

 

 

 

Noem was questioned about the Sturgis rally and if it was a breeding ground for a region wide outbreak...

 

 

 

Noem later issued a Tweet questioning if “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennen was listening to her answers.


Gov. Noem signs host of bills into law

Yesterday, Governor Kristi Noem signed ten bills into law:

 

  • SB 81 authorizes certain flags and flagpoles to be located on residential property regardless of any private covenants, restrictions, bylaws, rules, or requirements.
  • SB 82 revises certain regulations pertaining to dealers of motor vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, or manufactured homes and mobile homes.
  • SB 92 requires that certain proposed rules include a housing cost impact statement.
  • SB 94 revises requirements to the publication of milk regulation ordinances.
  • SB 101 revises provisions regarding warranty agreements with certain repair facilities.
  • SB 102 protects voter registration information for certain voters.
  • SB 136 changes the criteria for a petition to vacate a highway.
  • HB 1034 revises certain youth hunting requirements.
  • HB 1068 revises the requirement for written findings of fact and conclusions in certain judicial proceedings involving a child.
  • HB 1109 modifies requirements and restrictions related to certain alcoholic beverages.

 

Governor Noem has signed ninety-two bills into law this legislative session.


SD Transportation commission awards Brown County BIG bridge grant

The South Dakota Transportation Commission awarded 26 Preservation, Rehabilitation, and Replacement Bridge Improvement Grants (BIG) totaling approximately $15 million at the recent commission meeting in Pierre.

                                                                                                            

Grant recipients are: City of Belle Fourche (2), City of Brandon, Brookings County (2), Brown County, Clark County, Davison County, Day County, Grant County, City of Huron, Hutchinson County, City of Keystone, Lawrence County, Lincoln County, Meade County (3), Miner County, Minnehaha County (2), Pennington County, Roberts County (2), Sanborn County, and City of Sioux Falls.

 

Fifty-nine applications totaling $44.9 million in total project costs were received by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). Five cities submitted seven applications and 27 counties submitted 52 applications.

 

Local governments are required to pay a minimum of 20 percent matching funds and have 3 years to expend the grant. Counties must have a wheel tax and a five-year Highway and Bridge Improvement Plan in order to receive a grant.

 

The BIG program was created in 2015 which set aside $7 million per year from funds generated by license plate fees to be used to repair and replace aging local bridges. The SDDOT adds an additional $8 million annually, making $15 million available.

 

Applications for the next round of the BIG program are due Aug. 1, 2021, for the Preliminary Engineering category.

 

For more information regarding the BIG program, contact Doug Kinniburgh at 605-773-4284 or visit Bridge Improvement Grants - South Dakota Department of Transportation.


SD Law enforcement calls on AG Ravnsborg to resign

Law Enforcement officers statewide are joining together to call for the resignation of State Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

 

In a joint statement issued Friday afternoon, members of the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police, the state’s Chiefs’ of Police Association, and the state’s Sheriff’s Association called for Ravensborg to step down as the state’s top law enforcement officer.

 

The three groups represent all 66 county sheriffs, the majority of local police chiefs, and a significant number of rank and file law enforcement officers statewide.

 

The statement reads, “Ravnsborg’s involvement in the death of Joe Boever on September 12th have resulted in a lack of confident in his ability to effectively carry out his duties as the chief law enforcement officer in South Dakota.”

 

South Dakota law enforcement groups are the latest to join the growing number of officials calling for Ravnsborg to resign following a September 2020 fatal car-pedestrian crash in Hyde County.


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