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Local News Archives for 2021-09

Watertown woman pleads not guilty to charges in death of an infant in her care

A Watertown woman accused of murder in the death of a 16-month-old child in her care has pleaded not guilty.  30-year-old Amanda Walder appeared in court Wednesday to enter her plea.  She has been in custody at the Codington County Detention Center since being indicted by a Codington County grand jury on one count of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree manslaughter and aggravated battery of an infant.  She was granted non-supervised release by the judge but ordered to have no contact with children.  The incident occurred July 14th when police were called around 3:00 p.m. on reports of an unconscious child at Walder’s daycare.  The victim identified as Liam Koistinen, died later that day after being rushed to the hospital with trauma to the base of his skull that resulted in a brain bleed and swelling. 


Noem denies allegations of an extramarital affair

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem emphatically pushed back on Twitter Wednesday, against allegations she had an extra marital affair with former Trump campaign advisor Corey Lewandowski.  The accusations were first reported by Americangreatness.com, a conservative online journal citing what it claims to be multiple sources.  Lewandowski and Noem have spent time together publicly as she has traveled the country raising her profile.  Noem wrote in the tweet these were quote “disgusting lies” and a tired attack on conservative women. 

 

 


AG Ravnsborg reaches civil settlement with the family of Joe Beover

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has reached a settlement with the family of Joe Boever, the man he killed in September of 2019 in an accident outside of Highmore.  According to KOTA in Rapid City, the two parties reached a settlement of which the details will not be released.  Joe’s widow Jenny had stated publicly she had planned on bringing a wrongful death suit against Ravnsobrg.  Ravnsborg pleaded no contest in August to two misdemeanors from the night he killed Boever.  Ravnsborg faces impeachment at a special session this coming November. 


9-year-old Deadwood boy killed in Lawrence county fatal crash

A nine-year-old boy from Deadwood, S.D., has been identified as the person who died in a one-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon north of Deadwood.

 

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2006 GMC Sierra K1500 pickup was southbound on U.S. Highway 85 when it left the roadway, went into the ditch and rolled.

 

Kelton Pullen, the passenger, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Jessy Pullen of Spearfish, the 40-year-old male driver, sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to a Rapid City hospital. Neither occupant was wearing a seat belt.

 

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

 

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


Lieutenant Gov. Larry Rhoden talks drought

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) Despite recent rains, much of South Dakota has been under severe drought conditions since early this spring.

 

Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden says its pretty serious…

 

 

 

Rhoden says there should be some help from the federal government…

 

 

 

Rhoden says despite the state having hundreds of millions of extra dollars in reserve, there are few programs available to use those funds for agriculture…

 

 

 

Rhoden says Governor Kristi Noem will recognize the stress on agriculture in her 2022 legislative agenda.

 


Ravnsborg looking into questionable meeting between state worker, Noem and her daughter

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg says his office is looking into a meeting Governor Kristi Noem held with a state employee after her daughter Kassidy Peters’ state housing appraisal certification was denied. 

 

According to Ravnsborg, he is looking into a possible ethics violation and nepotisim on the part of the governor after being contacted by several quote “concerned state legislators.”  Governor Noem has responded to this Associated Press report where the meeting between state officials, the governor and her daughter took place and says the outlet is attacking her family and accused the media of having a double standard. 


Aberdeen City council passes first reading of medical marijuana ordinance

The Aberdeen city council passed the first reading of an ordinance outlining local regulations for medical marijuana establishments.  The ordinance will require an additional reading before final approval and would go into effect 20 days after publication.  The ordinance includes limits the number of dispensaries within city limits to one per 5,000 people,  and they will not be allowed within 1,000 feet of a school or 150 feet of a day care, church, park or library.


Rep. Johnson to have a "Under 35" tele-town hall Wednesday

South Dakota representative Dusty Johnson has announced a planned “under 35” tele-town hall for South Dakotan’s Wednesday September 29th beginning at 7:00 p.m. This event is meant for Representative Johnson to hear from the younger demographic he represents across the state.  If interested you can dial in on Wednesday at 1-833-946-1543. 


South Dakota's public universities largely flat on enrollment numbers

South Dakota public universities reported largely flat enrollment numbers with an overall slight decrease from last year.  According to a release from the South Dakota Board of regents, total enrollment at South Dakota’s six Universities was at 33,445 students.  That is down .35 percent from last year.  Locally, Northern State saw the biggest drop in total headcount, down from 3,431 in fall of 2020 to 3,340 in the fall of 2021, a decrease of 2.65 percent.  Northern also saw a drop in international students for the second consecutive year. 


Road closures planned for Tuesday in Aberdeen

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, weather permitting Lancelot Street will be closed to traffic north of Milwaukee Avenue at the NSF railroad tracks due to crossing work.  Lancelot Street to North Milwaukee Avenue at BNSF railroad tracks.  Work is expected to be completed by Wednesday.  Also beginning Tuesday September 28th, 5th avenue northwest or old highway 281 will be reduced to one lane traffic in both directions from north 4th street to 8th avenue northwest due to road construction activities.  North 4th Street to 8th avenue northwest.  Work is expected to continue for three weeks.  Motorists are advised to use caution when traveling through this area and be on the lookout for changing conditions. 


Sobriety checkpoints planned for October

Sobriety checkpoints scheduled for 15 different South Dakota counties during October.

 

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety has released the list of monthly checkpoints which are held at various times and locations. The checkpoints are designed to discourage people from drinking and then driving.

   

Sobriety checkpoints are scheduled for the counties of: Beadle, Bennett, Brookings, Brown, Butte, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Custer, Jerauld, Lawrence, Minnehaha, Pennington, Stanley and Walworth.

 

Officials remind drivers not to drink and drive regardless of whether there is a checkpoint planned in their county. People who have been drinking are urged to designate a sober driver or take an alternate form of commercial or public transportation.

 

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.

 

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


State Department of Health readies to provide Pfizer booster shots to eligibly population

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its recommendations, authorizing the use of Pfizer-BioNTech® third booster doses for certain populations, to include high-risk workers and residents in institutional settings. This follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of booster shots for a limited segment of the population earlier this week.

 

“We’re working with healthcare providers and pharmacies across the state to ensure an efficient and convenient process for South Dakotans to get their booster shot—another tool against COVID-19, and a quicker path out of this pandemic,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “It’s important that patients talk to their doctors to determine if a booster shot is right for them.”

 

According to the CDC, those who quality to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine include:

  • people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, ? 
  • people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
  • people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
  • people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

 

Like the initial round of COVID-19 vaccines, booster shots are FREE of charge to all qualifying Americans (including those over the age of 12), and no medical insurance is necessary. To find vaccine providers across South Dakota, click here. A decision on booster shots for those who received the Moderna® or J&J® vaccine is expected in the next few weeks.

 

Since COVID-19 vaccines were made available in South Dakota, over 778,000 doses have been administered to over 418,600 persons. Currently, 58.22% of the qualifying population has completed their vaccination series. Visit the Department of Health dashboard for county-by-county data and figures.

 

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


Road closures planned for Monday in Aberdeen

Weather permitting beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Monday September 27th, the following road will be closed to thru traffic for utility work.  North Second Street from 7th Avenue Northwest to 8th Avenue Northwest.  Work will be completed as quickly as possible.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed. 


State Treasurer Josh Haeder announces re-election bid

South Dakota State Treasurer Josh Haeder has formally announced his plans to run for re-election to the office he currently holds for another four year term.  Haeder will be up for re-election in 2022.  He won the job in bid to be state treasurer in 2018.  In a press release about his re-election, Haeder says if re-elected he hopes to bring better financial literacy programs to schools across South Dakota.  Haeder is a Republican who will have receive the party’s nomination before the general.  However, he so far has not received a primary or general election challenger. 


Six people arrested in Aberdeen in swaths of burglary

The Aberdeen Police Department has arrested six people involved in a recent swath of burglaries in the area.  One women and five men have been charged with grand theft, burglary, possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property and more.  Those arrested include 41-year-old Matt von Borok, 38-year-old Randy Pumphrey, 38-year-old Scott Pumphrey, 37-year-old Christopher Neely, 30-year-old Ed Huttle and 21-year-old Krystal Dunn. 


SD House has necessary 2/3rds majority to call special session to address AG Ravnsborg's impeachment

The South Dakota House of Representatives has received the necessary 2/3rds majority to call a special session to address the impeachment of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.  All that’s left is for Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch and President Pro Tempore of the senate Lee Schoenbeck to sign a proclamation making it happen.  In a statement speaker Gosch says the plan is to convene on the impeachment question November 9th.  Gosch will then select a nine person committee to review the evidence against Ravnsborg and that committee will vote whether or not to send the issue to the full house. 


Murder/suicide investigated in Rapid City

(KOTA - Rapid City, SD) North Spruce Street in Rapid City was the scene of a grizzly double shooting Monday night, which local authorities are investigating as a parent murder/child suicide.

Brendyn Medina, community relations specialist for the Rapid City Police Department, said the deceased, 26-year old Trisha Paxton-Dennett and her four-year old son Russel Reeves, were discovered by a family member.

 

 

 

Resources have also been made available for responding officers, many of whom Medina said have children themselves.

 

 

 

Medina said in light of the working murder/suicide theory, the investigation has continued moving forward.

 

 

 

If you or anyone you know struggles with suicidal thoughts, resources can be found at SDSuicidePrevention.org


Brookings woman sentenced to 75 years in prison for killing neice

A Brookings woman has been sentenced to 75 years in prison in the death of her three-year-old niece.  A judge Wednesday sentenced 27-year-old Renae Fayant to first degree manslaughter, after Fayant had accepted a plea deal which would drop second degree manslaughter and cruetly to a minor charges.  The charges stem from an incident in the summer of 2019 when officers found a three-year-old girl dead at a Brookings home.  An autopsy would later confirm the child died of malnourishment and dehydration. 


Hindu faith leader calls out Governor Neom's comments on prayer in school

A Hindu faith leader has called out Governor Noem’s comments about prayer in school.  Governor Noem recently spoke with Real America’s Voice News and said she hopes to bring prayer back into public schools… 

 

 

 

 

The Hindu leader Rajan Zed, a noted interfaith leader from Nevada, who in 2007 took part in a Hindu prayer protest, says he supports Governor Noem’s calls for prayer in public school, as long as it includes prayers of diverse religious and all denominations practice in South Dakota and the nation at large.


State senate approves special session to address Ravnsborg impeachment

The South Dakota state senate has received the necessary 2/3rds majority to call a special session to move forward with the impeachment of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.  Leadership began polling lawmakers electronically Monday whether or not they were willing to return to Pierre for a special session on the matter.  Results of the house vote has not yet been released and Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch says other than the final results, no specific data about who voted for what will be released.  If a special session is called, lawmakers would likely return to Pierre November 8th.  Speaker Gosch also said if Ravnsborg’s impeachment does move forwards hearings would be open to the public. 


Rounds says he and other Republicans holding debt ceiling hostage

(WNAX - Yankton, SD) Congress must come up with a way to fund the federal government by the end of the month and extend the debt limit.

Democrats have said they will attach the debt limit expansion to the government funding bill.

 

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says republican are withholding votes on the debt limit to protest the spending bills democrats are backing…

 

 

 

Rounds says it should not be so difficult to agree on the debt limit…

 

 

 

Rounds says he will not support the debt limit expansion…

 

 

 

The debt limit deadline is sometime next month.


Name released in Grant county fatal crash

Sioux Falls, S.D. man has been identified as the person who died in a two-vehicle crash that occurred Friday afternoon south of Milbank.

 

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2005 Volkswagen Jetta 2017 was southbound on 482nd Avenue when it failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection with 149th Street. The Volkswagen collided in the intersection with a 2014 Peterbilt semi-truck and trailer that was eastbound on 149th Street.

 

Matthew Blehr, the 28-year-old driver of the Volkswagen, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was wearing a seat belt.

 

Teresa Virchow, 58, of Lake Preston, S.D., was the driver of the semi. She received life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital. Her seat belt use is under investigation.

 

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

 

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


Gov. Noem delays social studies standards

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced she is delaying the process to consider changes to the state’s social studies standards.  In a tweet about the situation Governor Noem says it’s clear more time is needed to bring in more public input and provide a greater balance and emphasis on our nation’s true and honest history.  The Governor’s administration had taken criticism from activists in recent weeks, claiming the standards as they are constructed now, would eliminate several aspects of Native American history.  The Department of Education’s next Board of Education Standards meeting will be held at  the Ramkota Convention Center in Aberdeen October 25th


Lawmakers circulate petition on calling special session to possibly impeach Jason Ravnsborg

South Dakota lawmakers have begun  distributing a petition, asking fellow lawmakers if they support a special session to answer the impeachment question against South Dakota Attorney General  Jason Ravnsborg.  To call a special session, lawmakers must have 2/3rds of both the house and senate agree to convene.  House majority leader Kent Peterson has already said he supports a special session to address Ravnsborg’s impeachment and hopes to convene in November.  Ravnsborg faces impeachment in regards to the accident he was involved in September 2019 which resulted in him killing 55-year-old Joe Boever of Highmore. 


Former SD GFP official says bounty program wrong for South Dakota

A former South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks leader with vast experience in wildlife management disagrees with current leadership on whether a state predator bounty program protects young pheasants or is the right way to get youth involved in outdoor activities. 

 

In an online panel discussion hosted by South Dakota News Watch on Sept. 15, former Game, Fish and Parks secretary and commissioner John Cooper said the Nest Predator Bounty Program enacted by Governor Kristi Noem in 2019 and continued since then does not belong in South Dakota.

 

South Dakota’s Nest Predator Bounty Program was created for political purposes rather than the health of the state’s habitat and wildlife, Cooper said during the discussion. The program, which has cost $2.4 million so far, gives $10 for each animal tail submitted by adults and children who trap and kill raccoons and other animals that eat the eggs and hatchlings of pheasants and ducks.

 

Some state wildlife officials, including GFP Secretary Kevin Robling, say the program is working to protect pheasants and has shown a steady increase in youths involved in trapping.  They acknowledge there is no scientific research in place to track whether removal of predator animals is actually leading to higher pheasant populations, but they say anecdotal evidence indicates the program is working.

 

Cooper said the program was “foisted” onto South Dakota without input from longtime trappers or hunters. He pointed to recent studies that suggest wide-scale, long-term, lightly monitored bounty programs, such as South Dakota’s, often don’t protect the intended species.  Robling defended the program during the panel discussion, saying it is key for creating future generations of hunters and trappers and keeping predators out of pheasant and other bird nests. 


Aberdeen man pleads guilty to vehicular homicide

An Aberdeen man has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in connection to a fatal accident earlier this summer.  19-year-old Carson Maunu pleaded guilty Wednesday, and will remain out of custody while awaiting his sentence.  The incident occurred June 4th when Maunu was driving a pickup on 387th avenue in Aberdeen.  He crossed the centerline into the southbound lane and collided with 27-year-old Casey Kulm of Groton who was on a motorcycle.  Kulm died as a result of the accident. 


South Dakota to be one of four states not to resettle Afghan refugees

South Dakota is one of just four states which will not be resettling Afghan refugees according to the Associated Press.  The US will be taking in nearly 37,000 refugees who managed to escape Afghanistan in the closing days of the United State’s ending its longest running war.  Lutheran Social Service, the organization responsible for refugee resettlement in South Dakota, says it  decided not to take any refugees this time due to local conditions and the ability to resettle them. 


AG Ravnsborg joins threat to sue Biden administration over vaccine mandates

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has joined 23 other attorneys general from across the country threatening a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s recent federal vaccine mandate.  In a letter written by the group sent to President Biden Thursday, the AG’s say they will file a lawsuit if the mandate is implemented calling the situation “disastrous and counter-productive.”  Ravnsborg says vaccine mandates will hurt businesses and drive many dire frontline healthcare workers out of the workforce. 


Flags to be at half staff at the capital in honor of late lawmaker Bob Faehn

Governor Kristi Noem has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol from sunrise until sundown on Friday, September 17 in honor of former State Representative Robert (Bob) Faehn. Faehn served as state representative from 2005 to 2010, including as Majority Leader from 2009 to 2010 and as Majority Whip from 2007 to 2008.

 

“Bob was a dear friend, and it was a tremendous privilege to serve as his assistant majority leader. Bryon and I are praying for his family,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “He was a tremendous statesman and a gentleman besides. He advocated tirelessly on behalf of South Dakota’s technical colleges, helping to make them among the very best in America.”

 

A memorial service for Faehn will be held on Friday, September 17, 2:00 pm CT at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Watertown.


Road closures planned for Thursday in Aberdeen

Beginning at 8am on Thursday, September 16, 2021, the following intersection will be closed to thru traffic for road work: S 12th Street & 7th Avenue SW

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


Gov. Noem hires former president Trump impeachment lawyer Jay Sekulow to represent her in her lawsuit against Planned Parenthood

Governor Noem and the State of South Dakota have retained attorney Jay Sekulow and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) to join the State’s legal team in the ongoing Planned Parenthood v. Noem litigation. South Dakota is appealing the current ruling to the United States 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

“Jay is a brilliant conservative legal mind,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “He’s argued 12 Supreme Court cases, including several religious liberty and pro-life cases. He will bring the same tenacity to protecting unborn children here in South Dakota.”

 

The State of South Dakota’s appeal in Planned Parenthood v. Noem seeks to uphold the South Dakota state law requiring that a pregnant woman consult with a pregnancy help center before deciding whether to abort her unborn child. This will ensure that women considering an abortion have all of the facts regarding their unborn child and the potential risks of an abortion procedure.

 

“On behalf of the ACLJ, I am honored to represent Governor Noem and the good people of South Dakota,” said Jay Sekulow. “This common-sense legislation protects mothers and the unborn children.

 

Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. Sekulow led President Donald J. Trump’s defense team in its impeachment acquittal in January 2020. He is an accomplished Supreme Court advocate, renowned expert on religious liberty, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and a respected broadcaster.


Lake Area Tech in Watertown reports record freshman enrollment

Lake Area Technical College in Watertown has set a record for new student and freshman enrollment.

There are 1,005 new students seeking degrees--an increase of 8.1 percent from the fall semester a year ago.

Total enrollment at LATC is 2,190.

The most significant growth came from Diesel Technology, Energy Technology and Healthcare.


Name released in Pennington County fatal crash

A New Town, N.D., woman has been identified as the person who died last Thursday in a one-vehicle crash east of Rapid City.

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado K1500 pickup was westbound on South Dakota Highway 44 when the driver failed to negotiate a right turn. The vehicle went across the centerline, into a ditch and rolled.

Both vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts and both were thrown from the pickup.

Candace Arapahoe, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene. Russell Martinez, 22, of Rapid City, sustained serious non-life threatening injuries. He was transferred to a Rapid City hospital. 

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.


Ariel mosquito spray scheduled for Tuesday in Aberdeen

The Mosquito Control division of the City of Aberdeen will be conducting an aerial application for Mosquitoes on Tuesday, September 14th between the hours of 6:30 PM and 8:00 PM.    

Mosquito Control surveillance program have noticed a high number of mosquitoes being collected in the traps. 

For more information, contact Aberdeen Mosquito Control Program at 626.7015


Medical cannabis rules passes interim committee

Today, the Legislature’s Interim Rules Review Committee approved the Department of Health’s proposed administrative rules to establish a medical cannabis program in South Dakota. The legislature approved 143 of 149 proposed rules.  

 

Following the legislature’s endorsement of the rules, Governor Kristi Noem and Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon released the following statements:     

 

“We are on track to implement a responsible medical cannabis program in South Dakota according to the direction given by the voters,” said Governor Noem“I commend the Department of Health for its  hard work to streamline the process. South Dakota will continue to implement the best, most patient-focused medical cannabis program in the country.”   

 

“The passage of today’s proposed rules package by the committee is the result of months of work. It’s proof that the public engagement process works,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “I am disappointed the rules review committee chose to take out the list of specific medical conditions for qualifying medical cannabis patients, a list the Department promulgated based on public input.”

 

On September 3, 2021, the Department of Health released the latest draft of its proposed rules for the states Medical Cannabis program. CLICK HERE to view them.  


One person killed in Pennington County fatal crash

One person died and another person was injured Thursday in a one-vehicle crash east of Rapid City.

 

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

 

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado K1500 pickup was westbound on South Dakota Highway 44 when the driver failed to negotiate a right turn. The vehicle went across the centerline, into a ditch and rolled.

 

Both vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts and both were thrown from the pickup. A 40-year-old female was pronounced dead at the scene. A 22-year-old male sustained serious non-life threatening injuries. He was transferred to a Rapid City hospital.

 

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.

 


Senator Rounds reflects on September 11th 20th anniversary

Saturday (Sept. 11, 2001) was the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 al Qaeda terrorist attacks in the United States.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says like so many people, the attacks changed the path his life was on.

 

 

 

Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Tuesday

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday September 14th, water will be off in the vicinity of the following area for work on a water line:  South Seventh Street from Third Avenue Southwest to Sixth Avenue Southwest and Fourth Avenue Southwest from South Seventh Street ot South Eighth Street.  Residents in the affected area urged to collect and store water for personal and restroom use.  Water is expected to be off all day Tuesday. 


House majority leader Kent Peterson calls for special session to address Ravnsborg's impeachment

South Dakota state House Majority Leader Kent Peterson is calling for a special session of the legislature to consider articles of impeachment against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.  The House did draw up articles against Ravnsborg last session, but pulled back on acting on them to let the legal process play out.  In August, Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors from the night he killed 55-year-old Joe Beover of Highmore.  Peterson, a Republican from District 19, is calling on the session to begin on November 9th.  South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem along with three of the state’s law enforcement organizations have all called on Ravnsborg to resign over the incident.   


City seeks input on whether or not part of Main Street be turned into a two way

The Aberdeen City Council is seeking input from the public about the idea of changing part of Main Street from a one way to a two way.  If you would like to give your input, you can take part in a survey with this link.  You can email comments about the situation to cityhall@aberdeen.sd.us or physical letters can be sent to 123 South Lincoln Street Aberdeen, SD 57401.  Finally, public comment will be welcome at city council meetings Sept. 20th, 27th and Oct. 4th


Northern State offers direction for upcoming first game at Dacotah Bank Stadium

Northern State University will host the inaugural game at the brand new Dacotah Bank Stadium this Saturday vs. Southwest Minnesota State.  Kickoff is at 6:00 p.m.  The University wants fans to tickets can be purchased online atnsuwolve.universitytickets.com or at the gate on game day.  Tickets range from 16 to 31 for general admission.  Premium ticket holders can enter two hours before kickoff, general admission one hour before.  There are four entrances to the stadium, the Main entrance located off 15th ave southeast, the south entrance located next to the new softball field, the east entrance off the corner of South State Street and 15th avenue and through the Barnett Center. There are more than 400 free parking spots available, and 600 paid parking spots.  Tailgate lots will open three hours prior to kick off and close 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Beer and wine will be allowed in the Premier reserved tailgating lot and the Barnett Center priority lot only.  Concessions will be available in the stadium and Northern State will provide a kid zone located just north of the main gate at Dacotah Bank Stadium, in the green grass lot between the stadium and the Barnett Center.    


Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Thursday

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Thursday September 9th water will be off in the following areas for work on water lines:  North 1st street from 12th avenue northwest to 14th avenue northwest and 13th avenue northwest from Main Street to north 1st street.  The public works department suggests residents in the affected area collect and store water for personal and restroom use.  Water is estimated to remain off most of the day.  Work will be completed as quickly as possible. 


Veblen man sentenced to federal prison time for sexual contact with a child

A Veblen South Dakota man has been sentenced to federal prison time for abusive sexual contact with a child. According to the Aberdeen American News, 43-year-old Dominic Redday allegedly abused a 12-year-old female victim during incidents between 2011 and 2011.  He will serve 78 months in prison, will serve five years supervised release upon completion of his sentence and must pay $100 to the federal crime victims fund.   


Gov. Noem bans tele-health abortion services via executive order

Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed Executive Order 2021-12, which directs the South Dakota Department of Health to establish rules preventing telemedicine abortions in South Dakota. The executive order also restricts chemical abortions in the state.

 

“The Biden Administration is continuing to overstep its authority and suppress legislatures that are standing up for the unborn to pass strong pro-life laws. They are working right now to make it easier to end the life of an unborn child via telemedicine abortion. That is not going to happen in South Dakota,” said Governor Noem. “I will continue working with the legislature and my Unborn Child Advocate to ensure that South Dakota remains a strong pro-life state.”

 

The executive order restricts telemedicine abortion in the following ways:

  • Declares that abortion drugs may only be prescribed or dispensed by a physician who is licensed in South Dakota after an in-person examination;
  • Blocks abortion-inducing drugs from being provided via courier, delivery, telemedicine, or mail service;
  • Prevents abortion-inducing drugs from being dispensed or provided in schools or on state grounds; and
  • Reiterates that licensed physicians must ensure that Informed Consent laws are properly administered.

 

The executive order also directs the Department of Health to do the following:

  • Develop licensing requirements for “pill only” abortion clinics;
  • Collect empirical data on how often chemical abortions are performed as a percentage of all abortions, including how often women experience complications that require a medical follow-up; and
  • Enhance reporting requirements on emergency room complications related to chemical abortion.

 

“We commend Governor Noem for taking this bold action that will save lives from dangerous chemical abortions, which have a fourfold higher rate of complications compared to surgical abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List. “The Biden administration would turn every post office and pharmacy into an abortion center if they had their way, leaving women alone and at risk of severe heavy bleeding, physical, emotional, and psychological stress, and more. States must take action. Governor Noem is setting a courageous model today that we hope more state leaders across the nation will soon follow.”

 

“I applaud Governor Noem’s action today to stop dangerous chemical abortion drugs from being mailed to South Dakota women,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life. “This is no longer about ‘a woman and her doctor,’ but a woman – or girl – and a stranger on the internet. States can no longer depend on the FDA to regulate abortion drugs in any meaningful way, and I am pleased to see Governor Noem step up for her state. Abortion is never safe, but it’s far more dangerous when women are abandoned by physicians and left to manage their complications alone.”

 

Governor Noem plans to work with the South Dakota legislature to pass legislation that makes these and other protocols permanent in the 2022 legislative session.

 


Avera to require COVID-19 vaccine for employees by Dec. 1st

Avera Health announced Tuesday all physicians, employees and volunteers will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 1st 2021.  Avera says it will make exemptions for employees with medical conditions who are unable to get the vaccine as well as those who have sincerely held religious beliefs.  However, if an employee does not get vaccinated he or she will need to wear personal protective equipment and undergo regular COVID-19 testing.  Sanford has already announced all employees must be vaccinated by a November 1st deadline. 


Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Tuesday

Weather permitting beginning at approximately 8:00 AM on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, water will be off in the vicinity of:

                  S 7th Street from 3rd Avenue SW to 6th Avenue SW

                  4th Avenue SW from S 7th Street to S 8th Street 

The Public Works Department suggests that residents in the affected area collect and store water for personal and restroom use. 


Legislative sub-committee recommends outlawing home grown medical marijuana

A legislative subcommittee earlier this week approved recommended changes to IM-26.  According to the Associated press, this subcommittee is recommending growing medical marijuana at home be outlawed.  Home growth was passed as part of IM26, an initiated measure passed by 70 percent of voters last November.  Advocates are concerned this measure could make access to medical marijuana in rural areas more difficult.  These recommendations will now go to the Marijuana Interim Study committee before they can be passed to the full legislature. 


City garbage pickup schedule to change due to the Labor Day holiday

Due to the Labor Day holiday observance on Monday September 6th, city garbage pickup will change.  Residents who normally have their garbage picked up on Monday are reminded to have their garbage out for pickup by 8:00 a.m. Tuesday September 7th.  Both Monday and Tuesday’s garbage will be picked up on Tuesday.  Recycling remaining on the normal five day schedule. The Public Works department will resume fall and winter hours beginning Tuesday September 7th.  Residents are reminded to have their garbage out for pickup by 8:00 a.m. on a normal garbage day.


Watertown woman faces more serious charges in death of a child in her care

A Watertown woman now faces more serious charges in the death of a 16-month old boy.

The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office says 30 year-old Amanda Walder has been indicted by a Codington County Grand Jury on one count of Second Degree Murder, and two counts of First Degree Manslaughter and Aggravated Battery of an Infant.

Watertown police were called to an in-home daycare in the 200-block of 15th Street Northwest on the afternoon of July 14th on a report of an unconcious child who was later identified as Liam Koistinen.

Paramedics from Watertown Fire Rescue provided medical aid and transported Liam to Prairie Lakes Hospital. Liam was later transferred to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls for advanced medical care, but died.

In a news release, police said doctors determined his injuries were, “consistent with abuse.”

Walder was initially arrested on a charge of Abuse or Cruelty to a Minor.

The case has been under investigation by Watertown police and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

Prosecution of the case is being handled by the South Dakota Attorney General’s office.


South Dakota State Fair begins today in Huron

The South Dakota State Fair will begin today in Huron and run through September 6th.  Grand stand entertainment includes the second night of the Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash tonight.  Friday rock star Bret Michaels will take the stage featuring the band Warrant.  Saturday county music star Dustin Lynch will headline the show with special guest Ross Ellis.  Finally Sunday country music star Jon Pardi will perform with special guest Larry Fleet. 


Water to be shut off in parts of Aberdeen Friday

Weather permitting beginning at approximately 8:00 AM on Friday, September 3, 2021, water will be off in the vicinity of:

                  S 7th Street from 3rd Avenue SW to 6th Avenue SW

                  4th Avenue SW from S 7th Street to S 8th Street 

The Public Works Department suggests that residents in the affected area collect and store water for personal and restroom use. 

 


Huron school district now requiring masks

The Huron school district is the latest to require masks for students amidst rising COVID-19 cases.  Huron High School Principal Mike Radke made the announcement and the new policy went into effect Tuesday.  Yankton just days ago passed a mask mandate in schools while Mitchell was the first in the state to do so.  South Dakota is currently dealing with a higher number of COVID-19 cases today than it was a year ago, with cases as of Wednesday sitting at 5,370 and 229 people hospitalized. 


Dept. of Public Safety pens letter to legislature about Ravnsborg investigation

The office of Governor Noem released a letter Wednesday written by state secretary of public safety Craig Price to Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch. 

 

The letter accompanied all evidence law enforcement collected from the investigation into the accident involving Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg where he killed 55-year-old Joe Beover of Highmore.  The legislature is allowed to see the investigation as it determines whether or not to impeach Ravnsborg.  In the letter, Price says, in his opinion as a 24-year law enforcement officer, Ravnsborg should’ve been charged with 2nd degree manslaughter, instead of the three misdemeanors he originally faced. Price says prosecutors were made aware of this reccomendation and that the State Highway Patrolw as prepared to offer testimony as expert witnesses.

 

He also went on to chastise Ravnsborg for his quote “characterization” of how law enforcement handled the investigation. 

 


Wall man identified in Grant county fatal crash

A Wall, S.D. man has been identified as the person who died early Sunday morning in an UTV crash east of Milbank.

 

Preliminary crash information indicates that a 2021 Polaris Rzr XP 4 Turbo UTV was eastbound on 148th Street when the driver lost control while making a left-hand turn onto 483rd Avenue. The vehicle rolled into the east ditch and both occupants were thrown from the UTV.

 

One occupant, 43-year-old Paul Grabow, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other occupant, 36-year-old Nathan Strege of Milbank, SD, suffered minor injuries and was transported to the Milbank hospital. Neither occupant was wearing a seat belt.

 

The identification of the driver is under investigation.

 

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

 

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


First South Dakotan dies from West Nile in 2021

A 42-year-old female, Union County resident is South Dakota’s first human West Nile Virus (WNV) death of the 2021 season, the state Health Department confirmed today. 

 

“We are encouraging residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting West Nile Virus. Simple, yet key mitigation strategies, like avoiding areas with sitting water and evening outdoor activities during mosquito season, can reduce risk,” said Daniel Bucheli, Communications Director for the Department of Health.

 

South Dakota has historically had a disproportionately high number of WNV cases compared to other states, and residents can reduce their risk by taking the following actions:

  • Apply mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone or IR3535) to clothes and exposed skin;
  • Reduce mosquito exposure by wearing pants and long sleeves when outdoors;
  • Limit time outdoors from dusk to dawn when Culex mosquitoes, the primary carrier of WNV in South Dakota, are most active;
  • Get rid of standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed;
    • Regularly change water in bird baths, ornamental fountains and pet dishes;
    • Drain water from flowerpots and garden containers;
    • Discard old tires, buckets, cans or other containers that can hold water;
    • Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely; and
  • Support local mosquito control efforts.

Those most at risk from WNV include residents over 50, pregnant women, organ transplant patients, individuals with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease, and those with a history of alcohol abuse. People with severe or unusual headaches should see their physicians as soon as symptoms begin.

 

The state’s first human case was reported in 2001. Since then, South Dakota has reported 2,624 human cases and 47 deaths.


Gov. Noem activates National Guard to help COVID-19 testing efforts west river

This week, nine soldiers with the South Dakota National Guard were activated to support Monument Health in their COVID-19 testing efforts. The soldiers were activated to Belle Fourche, Custer, Rapid City, Spearfish, and Sturgis.

 

“Since the start of the pandemic, the State of South Dakota has worked with our hospital systems to manage hospital capacity so that we can help those who need elevated levels of care. Testing efforts help us to identify and isolate cases to slow the spread of the virus,” said Governor Noem. “This past week, I had conversations with all three South Dakota hospital systems and asked them what they needed as cases start to rise again. Monument asked for the National Guard to assist them in their testing efforts, and we are happy to help.”

 

The soldiers are activated under FEMA Title 32, meaning that their efforts will be federally funded.


Road closures planned for Wednesday in Aberdeen

Beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. today Wednesday Sept. 1st, the following road will be closed to thru traffic for utility work: South Penn Street from 6th avenue Southeast to 7th Avenue southeast.  Work is expected to be completed Friday.  Motorists are advised to take alternate routes until the work is completed. 


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