Local News Archives for 2021-05

Rock star Bret Michaels to play the SD state fair

The South Dakota State Fair and Pioneer welcome music icon Bret Michaels to the grandstand on Friday, September 3, 2021.
With over three generations of fans, Bret Michaels is revered as a legend in the entertainment industry. One of music’s most iconic and enduring singer/songwriters, Michaels’ massive success includes selling over 50 million records worldwide and numerous hit singles. As a reality TV star, Michaels has appeared in an extensive library of hit shows including VH1’s smash show “Rock Of Love”, winning the highest rated season of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice and Travel Channel’s “Rock My RV” currently featured on the Discovery + streaming platform.
As he solidified his place as the “King Of Streaming” Bret’s shows can be seen on networks such as Apple TV, Hulu, Tubi, Pluto TV and even his own “Classics Acoustic” streaming series available now by visiting  
Known for his charitable and philanthropic work, Michaels continues to give back through his Life Rocks Foundation. The Foundation recently made a grant to the betterment of student’s education as Michaels served as World College Radio Day and College Radio Ambassador.
With the long-awaited return to touring, Michaels is ready to kick the party back into high gear. He’ll perform the hits he’s known for as the frontman for Poison including ‘Nothin’ but a Good Time’, ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’, and ‘Something to Believe In’. This night is a return to form and a night of endless hits, good music for good times. Michaels’ latest single and video, “Unbroken”, was co-written and recorded with his youngest daughter, Jorja Bleu.
WARRANT will open for Bret Michaels. Warrant hit it big in 1989 with their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, which produced the massive hit “Heaven”. Their sophomore album Cherry Pie, released in September 1990, spawned the iconic hit “Cherry Pie.”  Warrant is headlining festivals, casinos and fairs all over the country in support of their latest album Louder Harder Faster and the 30 year anniversary of Cherry Pie. These rockers can’t wait to play the hits fans know and love, as well as new tunes like “Louder Harder Faster” and “I Think I Will Just Stay Here & Drink.”
Previously announced entertainment includes the Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash, Dustin Lynch w/ Ross Ellis welcomed by C&B Operations, and Jon Pardi w/ Larry Fleet welcomed by Legend Seeds.
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
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 or find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Spearfish man Mark Mowry to primary senator John Thune

South Dakota Senator John Thune will have to win a primary before running in the general if he seeks re-election.  Mark Mowry of Spearfish South Dakota formally announced he was seeking the Republican nomination for its senate seat in 2022.  According to his campaign web site, Mowery will be running on an “America First” and says he is will vote against any proposal that quote “smacks of globalism.”  Senator Thune, who was first elected to the senate in 2004, has not officially announced his re-election bid yet, but has taken all the steps necessary, including early fundraising to make it happen.   


You can learn more about Mowry by visiting his campaign website

State Dept. of Health talks 70 percent vaccination goal

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) The South Dakota Health Department has a goal of seventy percent vaccination of the eligible population. The number to get shots has expanded with the addition of kids ages 12 to 17.


Health Department Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the pool has gotten deeper...





Malsam-Rysdon says the vaccine supply has caught up with demand...





Malsam-Rysdon says there are also many more vaccination locations...




Total persons vaccinated now stands at just under fifty one percent.


Road closures planned for Tuesday in Aberdeen

Beginning at approximately 7:00 a.m. today, Tuesday may 18th, the following road will be closed to thru traffic for work on water mains: South 3rd Street from 6th Ave SW to 8th Ave SW and 7th Ave SW from South 2nd Street to South 4th Street.  The roads are expected to remain closed all day on Tuesday while the work is being completed.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.  Work will be completed as quickly as possible. 

Harrisburg man leads deputies on high speed chase

A Harrisburg man faces charges after leading sheriff deputies on a high speed chase.  According to the Lincoln County sheriff’s office the chase began near Harrisburg high school when an officer attempted to pull the suspect over for speeding.  The vehicle fled and law enforcement gave chase.  Speeds during the pursuit exceeded 100 miles an hour at times.  Deputies then gave up the chase once the driver made it to Sioux Falls for safety concerns.  However, deputies discovered the owner of the vehicle and found him later, arresting him. 

North Dakota woman identified as McCook county fatal crash victim

A Cando, N.D., woman has been identified as the person who died Tuesday night in a two-vehicle crash west of Canistota.


Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2013 Ford Taurus was westbound on 261st Street and did not stop for a posted stop sign. It collided in the intersection with a 2005 Chevy Suburban that was southbound on U.S. Highway 81.


Deborah Zikmund, 64, was driving the Suburban. She was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.


Cate Meyer, 20, of Bridgewater, S.D., was the driver of the Taurus. She was wearing a seat belt, suffered serious non-life threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to a Sioux Falls hospital. 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.

Davison county commissioner charged with second DUI

(KMIT - Mitchell, SD) A Davison County Commissioner charged with 2nd offense DUI will be able to perform community service in lieu of serving time in jail.  Kim Weitala (WE-tull-uh) appeared in Davison County Court on Thursday.  She has performed more than 80 hours of community service and told Judge Donna Bucher (BOO-cur) that she has been sober for nine months.  She added that she is continuing her recovery program and attends AA meetings regularly.  Judge Bucher ordered her to perform another 28 hours of community service by the end of July and to comply with the rules of the 24/7 program.  She was arrested for her second DUI in August.  Weitala has served on the Davison County Commission since 2012.

CDC removes mask recommendation for those fully vaccinated

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday it has removed the reccommendation to wear masks indoors if fully vaccinated.


This comes weeks after the CDC said it was no longer necessary to wear a mask outdoors if fully vaccinated. 



State to end additional $300 unemployment benefit

Today, Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) announced South Dakota will terminate its participation in the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs.


“Businesses across the state continue to say they would grow and expand, if it wasn’t for the lack of workers. Help wanted signs line our streets,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “South Dakota is, and has been, ‘Open for Business.’ Ending these programs is a necessary step towards recovery, growth, and getting people back to work.”


South Dakota was the only state to not apply for the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplement last fall. Additionally, South Dakota did not opt into the federal Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program in December 2020.


South Dakota elected to participate in three unemployment-related programs in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.


  • South Dakota will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which affected claimants who have exhausted their traditional 26 weeks of regular State unemployment compensation.
  • South Dakota will no longer issue supplemental $300 weekly payments to claimants under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. This payment was made to all claimants who were receiving unemployment benefits regardless of the program under which they are being paid.
  • South Dakota will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA currently provides benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors, and individuals who have been unable to work due to health or COVID-19-related reasons.


The termination will be effective on the week ending June 26, 2021, for all three programs. South Dakota will continue to pay regular State claims. The agreement signed to initiate these programs allows South Dakota or the U.S. Department of Labor to terminate the programs upon 30 days’ written notice to the other party.


“DLR’s online jobs database SDWORKS has averaged over 23,000 job openings daily,” continued Secretary Hultman. “Our Job Service offices are open and ready to help and support those returning to the workforce, in need of additional skills or training, or who need an extra hand in overcoming barriers.”


To search for new jobs or receive virtual employment services, visit

State DOH approves Pfizer vaccine for children 12-15

Today, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) announced that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15, are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination statewide. The announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for this age group. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also recommended this last Monday evening.


“Given vaccines have proven safe and effective, offering them to this age group is yet another way to protect our citizens and our communities against COVID-19,” said Daniel Bucheli, SD-DOH Communications Director. “Our partners across the state stand ready to get shots in arms, and we encourage parents to protect their children from the virus by getting them vaccinated today.”


According to U.S. Census data, 48,120 state residents qualify under this age group.  Under South Dakota law, parental consent is still required to vaccinate minors. 


Residents can directly connect with a health partner serving their area by clicking here or by texting GETVAX to 438-829 (English) and/or VACUNA to 822-862 (Spanish), to find the nearest vaccination location to them. As of 05/12/21, over 50% of the eligible population in the state has chosen to be vaccinated and zero cases of serious adverse reactions have been recorded. For more information on the state’s vaccination plan, click here.


Additionally, any South Dakotan resident can request a free at-home COVID-19 test, by clicking here. To get the most up to date COVID-19 data, updated daily, please visit the Department of Health dashboard.

State reaches 50 percent adult population vaccinated

Today, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) announced that the adult population of residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has reached the 50% threshold or over 304,435 South Dakotans having completed their full vaccine series. Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for those in the 12-15 age range could come as soon as today, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved of this late Monday afternoon.


“I want to take this opportunity to thank all South Dakotans who have chosen to get their COVID-19 vaccine— protecting themselves, their family and their community,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “Vaccines are safe and are the quickest way out of this pandemic.”


On April 5, 2021, the SD-DOH began Phase II of the state’s vaccination plan. This made COVID-19 vaccines available to all state residents, age 16 and over, in addition to any persons from Phase I that have not yet been vaccinated. Residents can directly connect with a health partner serving their area by clicking here or by texting GETVAX to 438-829 (English) and/or VACUNA to 822-862 (Spanish), to find the nearest vaccination location to them.


“Getting protected against COVID-19 is now easier than ever. You can access vaccines through your medical provider, federal retail pharmacies or by sending a text message to find the nearest vaccination site to you. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s free,” added Malsam-Rysdon.


Additionally, any South Dakotan resident can request a free at-home COVID-19 test, by clicking here. To get the most up to date COVID-19 data, updated daily, please visit the Department of Health dashboard.

Gov. Noem orders flags at half staff in honor of the late former state lawmaker Kathryn "Kay" Davis-Sturzenbecher

Governor Kristi Noem has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol from sunrise until sundown on Wednesday, May 12 in honor of former State Representative Kathryn “Kay” Davis-Sturzenbecher. Kay served as state representative from 1995 to 2002.


In addition, flags had previously been ordered at half-staff at the State Capitol on Wednesday, May 12 in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Kay on Wednesday, May 12, 10:00 am at St. Therese Church in Sioux Falls.

Gov. Noem speaks at Lake Area Tech in Watertown Monday

(, Watertown, SD)Governor Kristi Noem was in Watertown today (Monday) for the 19th annual Lake Area Technical College (LATC) Governor's Luncheon.


During her remarks to several hundred people in the Student Center, the governor says South Dakota remained, "open for business" throughout the pandemic, and people all over the country have taken notice...





She says one of South Dakota's greatest challenges is workforce development, and that's where LATC comes in....




The governor says LATC, a former Aspen Prize winner as the top two year college in the nation, has an impressive story to tell...




And the governor spoke of a $10 million gift to LATC....




LATC President Mike Cartney told the audience that 74-percent of the school's students graduate within two years, far outpacing other two year schools across the country. 

Road closures planned for Tuesday in Aberdeen

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Tuesday May 11th the following road will be closed to thru traffic for concrete work: 3rd Avenue SE from South Harrison Street to South Weber Street.  The road is expected to remain closed all day on Tuesday.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed.  Work will be completed quickly as possible. 

Gov. Noem orders flags at half staff Wednesday in honor of Peace Officer Memorial Day

Governor Kristi Noem has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol from sunrise until sundown on Wednesday, May 12 in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day. Additionally, flags are to be flown at half-staff statewide from sunrise until sundown on Saturday, May 15 in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day.


The State of South Dakota will honor fallen law enforcement officers with ceremonies on Wednesday, May 12. The state traditionally recognizes Peace Officers Memorial Day on the Wednesday of Police Week. President Joseph R. Biden has proclaimed Saturday, May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. President Biden’s proclamation can be found here.

MyPillow owner Mike Lindell launches new social media platform Monday in Mitchell

(KMIT - Mitchell, SD) Nearly 1,700 people packed Mitchell’s Corn Palace on Monday evening for a presentation and launch of a new social media platform called Frank.  The man behind the new site, My Pillow CEO and Minnesota native Mike Lindell, spoke to the crowd for about 90 minutes.  He talked about his past substance abuse issues, the startup of his company, his relationship with former President Donald Trump, and the 2020 election.  He says the outcome was changed by China, as they committed fraud on U.S. election machines.  Lindell says that because of media suppression of the truth and cancel culture, his new social media platform is needed.






He says with enough pressure, the Supreme Court will have no choice but to acknowledge the fraud in the 2020 election.






Radio talk show hosts Joe Piscopo, Eric Metaxas, and Brannon Howse joined Lindell at the event, and former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson spoke to the crowd via video.  Lindell’s new social media platform can be found at

City mosquito control grants available through the Dept. of Health

South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) today announced that cities, counties and tribes can apply, or reapply, to obtain state grant funding to help control mosquito populations and prevent the spread of West Nile virus (WNV). $500,000 is available for this grant program.


“Working with local jurisdictions to help prevent West Nile Virus is of public health interest to everyone in South Dakota,” said Daniel Bucheli, SD-DOH Communications Director.  


South Dakota’s first human case of WNV was reported back in 2001, and since then 2,617 cases have been identified, resulting in 46 deaths. Since WNV first emerged, the state has provided millions of dollars in support of local control programs and worked with local partners to best identify and respond to virus spread.


Individual grants range from $500 to $20,000 and are to be used exclusively for local mosquito control programs. Grant awards will be based on the population of the applying jurisdiction and its number of human cases through the year 2020.  To apply for the WNV Prevention grant, all eligible South Dakota city, county, and tribal officials should complete that application located here: 

All applications are due by June 1st and funding awards will be announced and available starting July 1, 2021. 

Social Security admin releases most popular names from 2020

The Social Security Administration has released its annual list of the top baby names Friday.  According to the list, the most popular girl names in 2020 goes as follows:
10.) Harper

9.) Evelyn

8.) Mia

7.) Isabella

6.) Amelia

5.) Sophia

4.) Charlotte

3.) Ava

2.) Emma

1.) Olivia. 


For boys from 10 to one: 
10.) Alexander

9.) Henry

8.) Lucas

7.) Benjamin

6.) James

5.) William

4.) Elijha

3.) Oliver

2.) Noah

1.) Liam. 

Liam and Olivia have been the most popular baby names in the United States for the past two years.

"Black Stone Cherry" announced as final performance to round out 2021 Brown County Fair grandstands

The Brown County Fair announced Friday the final act to round out the grandstand entertainment for the upcoming 2021 fair.  The band “Black Stone Cherry” will perform before Daughty Friday August 20th.  Black Stone Cherry has been around since 2001 from Edmonton Kentucky.  They are known as an alternative hard rock group with aspects of southern rock infused.  The group has released seven studio albums and are known for such songs as “Again”, “The Chain”, “White Trash Millionaire” and more. 

Aberdeen Police still searching for missing Aberdeen woman Nancee Bitz

The Aberdeen Police Department is renewing its search for a missing Aberdeen woman.  According to the department police are still searching for 72-year-old Nancee Bitz.  She was last seen on April 4th at her residence in Aberdeen.  She is believed to be driving a white 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander with South Dakota license plate number 3F3912.  Anyone with information is urged to contact Brown County dispatch at 605-626-7911.  Police hope with more people getting out doors and farmers in fields with the nicer weather, Nancee and her vehicle may be spotted. 

Waubay woman sentenced in embezzlement case

A Waubay woman has been sentenced to more than two years in prison on charges she stole federal government funds.  According to the US Attorney for South Dakota, 53-year-old Dawn Block was convicted of embezzling more than $222,000 from the United Sioux Tribes of South Dakota Development Corporation.  Prosecutors say the crimes occurred between October of 2018 and May of 2019 while she was employed as an agent of the USTDC.  She was sentenced to 27 months in prison followed by three years supervised released.  She was also ordered to pay $222,801.72 in restitution with 68 thousands of that going to the Department of Labor. 

Crews respond to fire late Wednesday night

Aberdeen Fire and Rescue responded to a structure fire May 5th at approximately 10:45 p.m.  at 520 north Jackson street.  Upon arrival crews found heavy flames coming from a single story ranch style home.  The fire was contained to the home, which ultimately did suffer significant damage from fire, smoke and water.  An adjacent home sustained some minor heat damage, but is still habitable.  One injury was reported when a civilian was transported by ambulance for fire injuries sustained prior to being rescued from the home by an on scene bystander.  The fire is currently under investigation. 

Board of Regents to go "mask optional" on May 10th

The South Dakota Board of Regents announced plans to loosen its mask requirements on public University and College campuses.  The board announced Tuesday that the six South Dakota public universities will become “mask optional” Monday May 10th.  The mask requirements have been in place since last year to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  The move is also part of the board’s desire to move quote normal campus operations in the fall semester. 

Two South Dakota men killed in accident in Minnesota

The name of two South Dakota men killed in a two-vehicle accident in Minnesota Monday night has been released.  According to the Minnesota highway Patrol, 26-year-old Alexander Bretsch of Frederick was northbound on US Highway 59 near Avoca when he collided with 37-year-old Kyle Thompson of Huron.  The accident happened around 10:55 p.m. near the intersection of Highway 59 and Limie Lake Drive.  Both men were pronounced dead at the scene and alcohol was not a factor. 

Senator Thune to visit northeast South Dakota Wednesday

South Dakota senator John Thune will visit northeast South Dakota Wednesday for a number of items.  First Senator Thune will visit the Tiger Post-Afterschool program for a tour at 10:00 a.m.  he will then take part in a Community Leaguer Meeting at 10:15 a.m. at the Sylte Farms Corporate office  at 907 5th avenue southeast.  Following that he will  travel to Faulkton to visit the Faulkton Area High School at 12:00 p.m.  Finally he will visit Mellette and Northwestern High School at 1:45 p.m.

Ravnsborg's Army Reservists promotion blocked

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was scheduled to receive a promotion in the Army Reservists which he currently serves.  That promotion will no longer happen after the military flagged the nomination ahead of confirmation in the US Senate.  The promotion was blocked due to Ravnsborg’s ongoing legal problems as he has currently pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanors from the night he killed Joe Boever of Highmore. 

Fire crews respond to fire at Brown County Fairgrounds Saturday

Aberdeen Fire and rescue responded to a small fire at the Brown County Fairgrounds Saturday night.  According to Battalion Chief Jr. Huebner, it was a small fire crews were able to put out with water and a fire extinguisher.  No damage was done to the Holum Expo building or Odde Ice Arena.  Fire fighters believe the flames started when cardboard materials came into contact with electrical equipment. 

Avera to host another COVID-19 walk in vaccination clinic

Avera St. Luke’s in Aberdeen will again be offering a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic Thursday May 6th.  Walk ins will be welcome between 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. alongside scheduled appointments.  To schedule your appointment visit  Vaccination clinics are held inside the Avera Human Performance Center at 815 first avenue southeast.  Masks are required inside the facility.  The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge and the state department of Health encourages everyone to make the choice to get vaccinated. 

Parks and Rec plans walking tours of historic Aberdeen

Aberdeen Parks and Recreation will host two talking tours of historic parts of Aberdeen this week free of charge.  The event is part of Historic Preservation Month which is observed in May.  On Tuesday Parks and Rec will offer a leisurely walking tour of the Hagerty and Lloyd Historical District.  It will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last about an hour.  Tour guide Troy McQuillen will lead the walk through one of Aberdeen’s oldest residential neighborhoods.  Then on Thursday McQuillen will also lead an hour long tour of Aberdeen’s historic Main Street.  That will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information on either tour contact Park and Rec at 626-7015. 

Sobriety checkpoints planned for May

South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety has released the list of sobriety checkpoints to be held during May.


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.


Officials plan to hold 15 checkpoints in 13 counties.


May checkpoints are scheduled for the counties of Brookings, Brown, Butte, Charles Mix, Codington, Jackson, Jerauld, Lincoln, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington, Stanley and Yankton.


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

Aberdeen Public Works to start summer hours Monday May 3rd

Effective today Monday May 3rd, the Aberdeen Public Works Department will start summer hours.  That means the Department will start work at 7:00 a.m. and complete their workday by 4:00 p.m.  this change affects Utility, Street, Traffic Control and Solid Waste Divisions.  City garbage customers are reminded that the Public Works Department hour changes will affect their garbage service.  Residents are encouraged to place their garbage out for pickup by 7:00 a.m. on their garbage day. 

Aberdeen woman and two others arrested by Coddington County Sheriff

( - Watertown, SD) Codington County deputies arrested three women Sunday morning following a vehicle pursuit on Interstate 29.


Sheriff Brad Howell says just after 10 a.m., a deputy attempted to stop a vehicle in the southeast portion of the county near the Clear Lake exit. The vehicle was registered to a Sioux Falls man wanted on a parole violation.


The driver of the car fled northbound.


Spike strips were placed across the highway and the car eventually became disabled and was stopped in the median of the Interstate near Watertown.


Deputies found eight grams of meth in the vehicle, along with several items of drug paraphernalia.

They arrested the driver, 42 year-old Syringa May of Sioux Falls and her two passengers, 42 year-old Annie Freudig of Crooks and 50 year-old Liza Thomas-Wade of Aberdeen.


All three are facing drug charges and were booked into the Codington County Detention Center.