• Local News

    1. SPECIAL Meeting About Non-Meandered Water In Watertown (May 31st)

      Business’, Land owners, Anglers, and sportsmen and women are ALL encouraged to attend a special meeting being held in Watertown about the non-meandered water in the State and the proposed bill. South Dakota District 5 House Representative, Hugh Bartels, will be in attendance at a special meeting in Watertown on M.

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      Bartels wants to remind all, that there are still many lakes that people can use, with out any questions.

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      dAY 31st

    2. The Official Kick-Off To Summer Is Here, And It’s National Boating Safety Week

      Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and that means more people will be out on their boats. This week is National Safe Boating Week. Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, says they stress one specific safety tip every year.
      TO AUDIO: RACHEL 1 OC…window

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      She says there are some other safety tips boaters should keep in mind before they head out on the water.
      TO AUDIO: RACHEL 2 OC…weather

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      Lastly, Johnson says alcohol and boating do not mix.
      TO AUDIO: RACHEL 3 OC…home

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    3. Do South Dakotan’s Have A Gambling Problem? You Bet, According To A Recent Study

      Does South Dakota have a gambling problem? A recent study by personal finance website Wallethub says yes. Jill Gonzalez is with Wallethub.

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      Gonzalez says there is another area in which South Dakota could use improvement.

      TO AUDIO: JILL 2 OC…yet

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      She says the number one gambling-addicted state was pretty obvious – Nevada. For information on the study, go to wallethub dot com.

    4. New Events Added To Miss South Dakota Pageant

      Sixteen young women, all local title-holders from around the state, spent their weekend in Pierre preparing for the annual Miss South Dakota Pageant. This year’s pageant theme is “Simply Classic!” Tickets for all three nights of competition and related events are now on sale.
      The Pageant will be held in the Mueller Civic Center Theater in Hot Springs June 15, 16 and 17. Visit www.misssd.org for your tickets. All tickets will be reserved seating only, so for the best seats, book now.
      This year, there are new events after each night’s Pageant competition:
      Thursday June 15 – Open Mic Night – Bourbon County on N. River Street. A $10 donation is recommended at the door but not required, and no reservation is required. Contestants will not be present at this event, but there will be karaoke!

      Friday June 16 – Miss SD Dinner at Red Rock Resort on N. River Street. Tickets are $40 and reservations are required by June 1. The meal will include either Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken or Shaved Roast Beef and sides. Pageant contestants will be present, and there will be a short program with music.

      Saturday June 17 – Miss SD Celebration and Awards in the Mueller Center Auditorium following the pageant. Tickets are $25 and reservations are required by June 1. There will be a nacho bar, dessert bar and cash bar. Contestants and the new Miss SD will be recognized during the awards ceremony.

      Cutline for photo: Miss SD Contestants gathered this weekend in Pierre to prepare for the upcoming Miss South Dakota Pageant in Hot Springs. (Name, Title, Hometown)

      Back Row: Miranda Mack, Miss SDSU, Redfield; Isabel MacLachlan, Miss Rapid City, Rapid City; Madeline Gould, Miss Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls; Amber Hulse, Miss Central State’s Fair, Hot Springs; Heather Egbert, Miss Dakota Plains, Vermillion

      Middle row: Alexandria Schoenberner, Miss Once Upon A Festival, Spearfish; Rachel Evangelisto, Miss Siouxland, Rapid City; Isabella Garcia, Miss Rolling Plains, Sioux Falls; Kaitlin O’Neill, Miss Wheel Jam, Aberdeen; Annie Woodmansey, Miss Sully County Fair, Pierre

      Front row: Carrie Wintle, Miss Rushmore, Iroquois; Rachel Black, Miss Oahe Days, Rutland; Carly Goodhart, Miss State Fair, Sisseton; Marley Hanson, Miss USD, Vermillion; Evy Johnson, Miss Missouri Valley, Firesteel
      Not pictured: Cayla Daley, Miss Hot Springs, Rapid Cityssss

    5. Getting Closer To A Potential Bill For Water Issues Facing Landowners and Anglers

      Twenty-four non-meandered lakes were closed by state Game, Fish and Parks in April following a state Supreme Court ruling, and years of in-action by the South Dakota Legislature. Now, a group of lawmakers hope to solve the complicated issue of public waters on top of private lands once and for all by drafting legislation aimed at reopening the lakes this summer.
      Much of the bill discussion was on how to make land owners and sportsmen happy, but small business owners were also present to make their views known.
      Legislators are pleased with how much input they’ve received from all sides of the issues. It’s public testimony and casual conversations across the state that give them an idea of what issues are still there and need to be addressed.
      Many of the committee members have high hopes that lawmakers and residents across the state will become involved and take the time to learn about the topic.
      “This has a far broader impact than what a lot of people are understanding,” says District 2 Senator Brock Greenfield.
      Committee members are still trying to find a compromise that will make everyone happy, but it’s quite a tightrope act to accomplish.
      Legislators will continue the process of drafting legislation and hope to finish a potential bill during their next meeting in Pierre on June 2nd. That meeting is also open to the public.

    6. Record Number of South Dakotans Will Be On The Highways Over Memorial Weekend

      About a 122–thousand South Dakotans are expected to travel the highways over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, according to Triple-A – a slight increase over last year.

      And that’s despite higher gas prices this year from last:

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      Triple-A’s Marilyn Buskohl says it will be the largest number of South Dakotans traveling over the holiday since 2005.

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    7. Two Aircraft Emergency Beacons Active Last Night Near Watertown

      On the evening of 23 May, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida requested South Dakota Wing assistance in locating an aircraft Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) reported broadcasting in the vicinity of Watertown. Colonel David Small took on the role of Incident Commander and began activating resources to begin the search. A Sioux Falls-based Cessna-182/G100 took off shortly thereafter and flew toward Watertown. At the same time a Sioux Falls-based Ground Team and a Brookings-based Urban Direction Finding (UDF) team were organized and dispatched. The UDF Team went to the Watertown Regional Airport and used their hand-held radio-direction-finding gear to search the area. While flying towards Watertown the CAP search aircraft picked up a strong ELT signal broadcasting from Arlington Municipal Airport. The aircraft landed at Arlington and directed the Ground Team and the UDF Team to come there. The two teams used hand-held radio-direction-finding gear to pinpoint the ELT in a plane in a hangar. The ELT was turned off and everyone thought the mission had ended. Col. Small called the Watertown Regional Airport manager to let him know – and to verify they were no longer getting an ELT signal. However the Watertown Regional Airport reported that there were still receiving an ELT signal. The UDF Team, who had joined up with the Ground Team at Arlington, headed back to Watertown Regional Airport. However, before they arrived the airport manager was able to find and silence the other ELT. Two ELTs active at the same time within 40 miles of each other is an extremely rare occurrence. With both ELTs shut off the search aircraft and ground teams returned to base and the AFRCC closed out the mission.

    8. Don’t Be Fooled By the “Cuteness”

      South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is reminding visitors to Custer State Park that buffalo are dangerous and shouldn’t be approached. Lydia Austin, interpretive program manager for Custer State Park, says the large animals may appear docile, but they’re actually wild and hard to predict. She says it’s safest to view them from a vehicle.

    9. South Dakota’s Only Law School In Vermillion Could Get A New Location

      Retailers say a proposal to move South Dakota’s only law school from a southeast city could mean considerable business losses for the community. The Argus Leader reports that University of South Dakota President James Abbott announced Friday a panel would consider moving the USD School of Law to Sioux Falls to help boost lagging enrollment. Michelle Maloney, a real estate agent in Vermillion, says having students or faculty leave could have a significant impact on the local economy.

    10. 1,900 Dollars Raised During “Go Blue” Week for The New REACH Child Advocacy Center

      A BIG-BIG thank-you to all of you who opened your hearts and wallets by donating more than $1,900 for the new REACH program. Hundreds of blue light bulbs, (Thank-you Runnings Watertown and Milbank), were sold to the public and businesses just prior to and during Go Blue Week which ended last Sunday. All of the dollars raised will be turned over to the new Child Advocacy Center that will serve 13 counties in Northeastern South Dakota. The initiative will be spearheaded by Watertown Police Detective Nic Ahmann and Codington County States Attorney Patrick McCann. Nic says the dollars raised with the blue light bulb campaign will be used to purchase child size tables and other office equipment. Thanks again to ALL of you who helped with this year’s Go Blue Fundraiser.


      Nic said to tell all of you that many of the police officers and other responders saw the lights glowing in all areas of Watertown last week and they really looked impressive!

    11. Mayoral Candidate Sarah Caron Challenges Steve Thorson And Mike Davis To Two Debates Before June Election

      Mayoral candidate Sarah Caron has challenged Steve Thorson and Mike Davis to two debates before the election.  In a prepared statement today Caron stated:  “There are serious issues facing Watertown, and the voters have a right to hear the candidates debate them fully.  While non-debate forums where candidates make joint appearances are helpful, they do not give voters the opportunity to hear the candidates debate each other’s positions on the issues.  The forums also include all ballot candidates and ballot issues, leaving little time to discuss issues specific to the mayoral race.”

      Caron suggested the debates include these topics:

      • Correcting the current business decline.  Reversing the loss of jobs and businesses in the community.
      • Planning for responsible growth.  Ensuring responsible growth through sound financial planning without increasing taxes.
      • Growing the city through education, tourism, health care and floodplain management.  Encouraging public/private partnerships that will ensure the future protection and growth of the city’s most important assets, including Lake Area Tech, Lake Kampeska, and others.

      Caron said the schedule, moderators and format for the debates should be worked out among the three candidates.  She suggests they be held at LATI or the Watertown Event Center, and that they include questions from the audience.   Caron has sent the other candidates a letter with her challenge and suggestions.

      In response to Caron’s request Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson issued a statement this morning saying quote, “ I don’t like to mince words so I will just call it what it is. In my estimation this is yet another desperate last ditch effort on the part of my opponent to grand stand.  I am not accustomed to playing political games when my opponent is calling the shots.  I trust our fair, impartial, and established forums by the Watertown Chamber, who don’t have a biased dog in this fight.  In the meantime, I will continue to run our city and let the voters decide.”  Mayoral candidate Mike Davis had not yet responded at the time of this post.

    12. Drunk Sioux Falls Man Drops Gun During Cleaning, Hits Neighbor’s House

      In the end it was a heaping dose of good fortune that no one was injured when a stray bullet struck a house Friday night in Sioux Falls.Police say it happened on Friday night around 10:00 PM on East 52nd Street. According to Police Officer Sam Clemens, it was an accident.

      Clemens says if it had been a normal Friday night, the end result could have been devastating.

      Police charged Kim Eugene Sigler (SEE-glur) with reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of a firearm while intoxicated. At the time Sigler registered a .10 (point one zero) blood alcohol level.

    13. ADI Airline Boarding Numbers Growing While Rebranding Name Change In The Works

      Passenger boarding numbers have been very high at the Watertown airport in recent months. In fact, it appears that Sunday is a banner day for travel.  To accommodate the higher traffic on the weekends a new Sunday and Wednesday flight schedule has been announced for the Watertown Airport by ADI.  The new schedule began last weekend says airport manager Todd Syhre.

      He says the Watertown Airport is averaging from 30 to 40 enplanements on a good day and at least 20 or more on a slow day. On another topic ADI will be changing their name later this year as they rebrand the carrier.  Come this fall they will be known as Sky Value airlines. Syhre explains the name change.

      As a result Watertown passengers will be seeing Sky Value planes from time-to-time at the airport.

      ADI’s contract is up for renewal in August 2018.

      Syhre compared the boarding numbers today against a time when Watertown was served by Delta Airlines.

      He says the marketing has been excellent and that it’s showing up in the higher passenger numbers. The numbers are so good that the Essential Air Service subsidy dollars needed to operate the airline have dropped dramatically from the nearly 1,000 dollars per passenger prior to ADI’s service last year to 126 dollars per passenger today.

      He says Watertown and ADI officials are planning a public event in the near future to answer questions for the public. It’s anticipated that, along with an aircraft on the tarmac for the public to view, there will also be ticket giveaways and other events planned.   He says that, if the community and ADI stay on top of it, it’s highly likely the Watertown airport will hit the magic 10,000 enplanements this year which triggers a 1 million dollar payment to the city from the Federal Government.  Those dollars can be used to make airport improvements.  About 75 percent of travel right now is considered business travel, although leisure travel is also increasing.

    14. 43rd Annual EMS Week; May 21-27

      In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS (Emergency Medical Service) Week to celebrate EMS practitioners (EMTs) and the important work they do in our nation’s communities. Back then, EMS was a new profession, and EMS practitioners had only just started to be recognized as a critical component of emergency medicine and the public health safety net.

      A lot has changed since 1974. EMS is now firmly established as an essential public function and a vital component of the medical care continuum. On any given day, EMS practitioners help save lives by responding to medical emergencies, including heart attack, difficulty breathing, a fall or accident, drowning, cardiac arrest, stroke, drug overdose or acute illness; providing both basic and advanced medical at the scene of the emergency and en route to a hospital.

      EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line.”

      Let’s thank the staff of Watertown Fire Rescue and surrounding EMS agencies for providing our communities with pre-hospital emergency services with dedication and professionalism.

    15. Motorcycle Crash Last Night Injures Driver

      At 9:28pm Sunday night a Watertown Police Officer was observing traffic on North Highway 20 when he noticed two motorcycles come past him at a high rate of speed. The officer pulled onto Highway 20 and activated his emergency lights in an attempt to catch up to the motorcycles. While doing so he observed one of the motorcyclists attempt to negotiate the curve by the Cowboy Store, loose control and crash his motorcycle. The officer called for paramedics and began treating the injuries the driver sustained. The driver, identified as Jared Darland, 19 of Watertown was transported to Prairie Lakes Hospital by ambulance and treated for non-life threatening injuries. He and the other motorcycle driver were both cited for careless driving.

    16. Mexican Trade Delegation Recently Signed A Deal To Source Two 30,000 Metric Ton Shipments Of Corn From Brazil

      A Mexican trade delegation recently signed a deal to source two 30,000 metric ton shipments of corn from Brazil. And Mexico is expected to import a record amount of corn from Brazil this year. South Dakota Corn Growers Association President Troy (connect) Knecht of (how-tun) Houghton says Mexico has been an important customer for U.S. corn and he’s hoping this trade problem can be resolved.

      He’s hoping with Robert Lighthizer now serving as U.S. Trade Representative and a new USDA Undersecretary for trade yet to be named, they’ll be able to help the U.S. achieve trade gains going forward.

      Knecht says hopefully the administration will renegotiate NAFTA in a way that keeps U.S. agriculture and the corn industry from being hurt.

      Knecht says NAFTA has been good for U.S. corn growers and hopefully during its modernization the U.S. will be able

    17. SD Oncologists Test Genetic Approach To Treating Cancer

       Eric Tegethoff

      SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Cancer treatment for some patients could lie within their DNA. Sanford Health locations in the Dakotas are participating in a clinical trial known as the “Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry,” or TAPUR study.

      Dr. Steven Powell, a medical oncologist and principal investigator at Sanford, called the treatment “precision cancer therapy”. He said cancer types often are grouped together – such as lung cancer. But no two lung cancers are alike; they actually differ at the genetic level. So, Powell explained, researchers have inverted the process for treatment.

      “We’ve learned that you may be able to treat one type of cancer entirely different than another type of cancer,” Powell said. “And this study is actually building upon that and saying, ‘Let’s look at the molecular level. Let’s look at the genes that are mutated and try to pick drugs that are going to match up with those gene mutations,’ and focus on that rather than the specific cancer itself.”

      Powell said Sanford is looking for participants for the study, especially people for whom standard treatment hasn’t worked. He added they will soon start clinical studies on adolescent cancer patients as well.

      To enroll, people can call 1-87-SURVIVAL. Powell is running the trial at the Sioux Falls-area Sanford Health location.

      The trial begins with a genetic profile of the participant. Then, researchers identify the mutation that is most likely causing the cancer. Most cancers are caused by damage to DNA, such as from sun or radiation; although Powell said some people are born with mutations that will eventually cause cancer. He said genetic testing has provided an effective new avenue for cancer treatment.

      “When anybody has a cancer that’s been determined incurable, I think it’s really important to think about genetic testing on that tumor – because it can potentially open up doors to treatment,” Powell said. “And hopefully the more people that get tested, we can identify more of these gene mutations that we can intervene on, and hopefully we can improve our treatments for cancer.”

      Seven pharmaceutical companies have volunteered to provide medications for the trial

    18. The South Dakota Highway Patrol Held A Dedication Ceremony Friday For A New Highway Sign That Honors Highway Patrol Oren Hindman

      STURGIS, S.D. – The South Dakota Highway Patrol held a dedication ceremony today for a new highway sign that honors Highway Patrol Oren Hindman, who died in the line of duty. The dedication is part of National Police Week.  In all, five signs have been dedicated this week to honor fallen patrolmen through the years.  Trooper Oren Hindman was killed May 2 of 1985 when a passenger in his patrol car fatally stabbed him. It was his death that led to the introduction of a screen that separates troopers from people in the back seat.

      Major Dana Svendsen.

      Svendsen says Hindman’s widow, Vicki, was on hand for today’s ceremony.

      Svendsen says this week is special to pay our respects to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

      The sign dedicated today in Sturgis will soon be placed along I-90 between Spearfish and Sturgis.

    19. Firehouse Subs Watertown Donates AEDs To Watertown Police Department And Deuel County Sheriff

      Kudos to Eric Engelstad and staff with Firehouse Subs Watertown for their donation today of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the Watertown Police Department and Deuel County Sheriff’s Office. The AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest. Shown in the photo accepting the new AED is Watertown Police Captain Scott McMahon. To the left is the store’s General Manager Whitney Determan. Far right is Assistant Manager Christy Reynolds.


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