• Local News

    1. Watertown Police Department Hold Press Conference To Discuss 19 Year Woman’s Death From Alcohol Poisoning

      chad stahl 1At just after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning the Watertown Police Department and Paramedics were dispatched to an address in Southwest Watertown after receiving a call of a female who was not breathing.  Paramedics and Watertown Police Officers responded to the scene and discovered a 19 year-old female who was not breathing and had no pulse.  The cause of death appears to be alcohol poisoning, however the incident remains under investigation by the Watertown Police Department and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.  Sgt. Chad Stahl is with the Watertown Police Department.

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      Stahl said there were others in the home located in Southwest Watertown, although he described it as a small gathering.

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      At the request of the family the 19 year old girl’s name isn’t being released at the current time. She was a student at Lake Area Technical Institute Life-saving efforts were administered on-scene.

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      The police do have some strong leads into who purchased the alcohol and where it came from.  Stahl talked about binge drinking.

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      The girl did not live at the home but was acquainted with the residents.  An autopsy is pending to determine the blood alcohol content.  No arrests have been made at this time.


    2. South Dakota Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Landowners Over Water Access Issues In Northeast South Dakota

      jason frerichs 2016A recent South Dakota Supreme Court decision on flooded land could bring the issue back to the legislature. The court ruled that the Game, Fish & Parks Department doesn’t have the authority to allow people access to flooded waters or ice over private property. The lawsuit was filed by landowners in Day County, after their land was flooded in the late 1990s. Senator Jason Frerichs of Wilmot says it continues to be a difficult problem.

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      Frerichs says he hopes both sides can come together to find a solution.

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      Frerichs says there may have to be some payments made to those affected landowners.

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      The court has ruled that all waters in the state are public, but it is up to the legislature to decide on access to the so called meandered lakes.

       


    3. 19 Year Old Female Found Dead At Watertown Residence The Result Of Alcohol Poisoning

      KXLG LOGOAt 3:36am this morning (Tuesday) the Watertown Police Department and Paramedics were dispatched to an address in Southwest Watertown after receiving a call of a female who was not breathing. Paramedics and Watertown Police Officers responded to the scene and discovered a 19 year-old female who was not breathing and had no pulse. Life-saving efforts were administered on-scene. She was transported to Prairie Lakes Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The victim’s name is not being released at this time pending notification of her relatives. The cause of death appears to be alcohol poisoning but the incident remains under investigation by the Watertown Police Department and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. The Watertown Police Department has scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. this afternoon.

    4. Dan Albertsen Running Again For Watertown Ward E City Council

      Dan AlbertsenSaying he has enjoyed his four years on the City Council, Ward E alderman Dan Albertsen announced today that he will be as seeking another term this year.  Many good things have been happening in the city, says Albertsen, but that the one thing they haven’t addressed yet is Lake Kampeska and that’s his ward.

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      Albertsen says the city needs to step up and do what it takes to get the lake in better shape than it is right now.

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      Committees that Dan serves on include below:

      • Public Works / Safety Committee
      • Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment
      • Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, Liaison
      • Urban Renewal Board Member

       


    5. Mayor Gives City Update To City Council

      Mayor's report 4 - ICE ARENA Mayor's report 3 - MORRIS ADDITION Mayor's report 2 - willow creek Mayor's report 1 - adiWatertown Mayor Steve Thorson repeated his presentation that he gave to BISCO about a week ago detailing the various stages of development that’s going on in Watertown. His report began with the airport.  ADI airlines began operations last August and has been soaring with passenger numbers progress in the East Park addition in East Watertown.

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      The only wild card in play at the airport now is the uncertainty of the Essential Airline Service is slated for the chopping block with President Trump’s budget. The mayor commented.

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      One of their areas the city is working on is parking.

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      He also updated the council on the East Park Addition saying that, although one retail store has delayed their construction for a year, two new hotels are planned for this summer and most of the available lots in that area have been purchased.

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      He also touched on the new softball complex and ice arena. Ground for the ice arena is hopefully going to be broke sometime in May if the bids don’t exceed the projected 8.2 million dollar cost. Steve Sheehan is with the Watertown Hockey Association.

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    6. South Dakota Drug Arrests Highest They’ve Been In A Decade

      Marty JackleyPIERRE, SD — Drug crimes soared by over 12 percent in South Dakota in 2016. That number sticks out like a sore thumb in the State Attorney General’s Annual Crime Report. Drug arrests were the highest they’ve been in a decade says State Attorney General Marty Jackley.

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      Crimes likely related to drugs, such as theft and burglary, were also up. Jackley says the state is trying to stay ahead of the epidemic with the ‘No Meth Ever’ campaign in the schools and with the Law Enforcement Task force that tries to stop meth from coming into South Dakota.

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       Also, hundreds more police officers have been hired by communities across the state. Still, government can’t do it all.

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      Jackley says the drug statistics are bad, but violent crimes were down last year.

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      “The crime statistics reflect that, overall, South Dakota remains a safe place to live as a result of strong community involvement and law enforcement efforts. Many categories of crime, including murder, rape, and sexual offenses were down in 2016.” says Jackley. South Dakota law enforcement agencies reported a total of 42,200 arrests involving 75,778 offenses in 2016. 

       


    7. Ribbon Cut For New Prairie Lakes Wellness Center Watertown

      WELLNESS CENTER GRAND OPENING 2 DANFORTH'S LANDING WELLNESS CENTER GRAND OPENING 3 DANFORTH'S LANDING WELLNESS CENTER GRAND OPENING 1Photo Left is Danforth’s Landing placed there as a bit of humor but also recognizing the amount of time that Alderman Mike Danforth spent at the new facility overseeing the constructdion.

      Photo Middle shows John Small Cutting the ribbon

      Hundreds attended the ribbon cutting Monday Morning for the new Prairie Lakes Wellness Center.   We have photos and audio below.  First to speak is Mayor Steve Thorson, Followed by Prairie Lakes head Jill Fuller and Prairie Lakes Wellness Center Director John Small.

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    8. Justin Is Bringing Home The Gold

      Justin gold medal use this oneSCHLADMING, Austria — As the Flame of Hope in the Planai Stadium on Saturday night, more than 2,500 athletes, including Justin Elliott of Watertown South Dakota participated. The event marked the opening of this year’s Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.  Already, Justin Elliott, who is competing in the World Special Olympic Games in Austria from Watertown, South Dakota, received a Gold Medal in the Alpine Intermediate Super G on Sunday. According to his mom he has two more skiing races to compete in.    
      Bib nr. Last name First name Nation Score Rank
      362 Elliott Justin SO USA 01:02.41 1
      283 Tataru Viorel SO Romania 01:05.64 2
      292 Mancini Thierry SO San Marino 01:06.00 3
      361 Egan Vincent SO USA 01:07.80 4
      34 Hollnsteiner Daniel SO Austria 01:10.73 5
      359 Dehn Kyle SO USA 01:52.23

    9. Noem Holds Townhall Meeting In Watertown

      Kristi Town HallAn overflow crowd estimated at between 200 and 250 people packed into the Watertown Police Department’s Community Room Saturday morning for a town hall meeting featuring South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem.  Normally Noem opens her meetings with a Congressional overview but skipped that Saturday going directly to questions instead. One of her first came from a Sioux Falls man who asked Noem for assurances his health insurance won’t continue increasing under the new Republican healthcare plan.  Noem responded saying Obama Care is failing on its own merits with double digit increases and insurers leaving the market.

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      Noem also touched on the score given to the new Trumpcare by the Congressional Budget Office showing the Republican Plan reducing premiums by 10 percent and the deficit by more than 330 billion dollars, but leaving millions, including 25,000 South Dakota residents, in fear of losing their insurance.

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      Noem says the tax credits offered by the Republican plan will benefit Americans who would see a net return of between two and fourteen thousand dollars.

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      When asked about Russian influence in the U-S Elections, Noem said there has been no evidence of interference in President Trump’s campaign.

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      And then, the thorny Medicare and Social Security issue surfaced with Noem saying changes are needed before both go broke.  She says both programs are struggling because less people are working and more money is being drawn out.

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      The attendees came from all over the state for the town hall meeting that featured a moderator to ensure the crowd didn’t get unruly.  The room filled to capacity more than an hour before it began.


    10. Governor Vetoes Gun Carry Bills

      Qualm_2017As expected, Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) on Friday vetoed two bills related to gun rights in South Dakota.

      A key supporter of both bills, Republican State Representative Lee Qualm of Clark, seems cautiously optimistic that the State Legislature can cobble together enough votes to override the vetoes.

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      House Bill 1072, the so-called Constitutional Carry bill, would have allowed concealed carry of a gun without a permit.

      In his veto explanation, Daugaard wrote that he was unaware of a single instance in which a person who could lawfully posses a gun was denied a permit to carry a concealed pistol.

      “Our permit laws are effective in screening people who are not eligible to carry a concealed weapon.  Over the last three years, Minnehaha and Pennington Counties have turned down nearly 600 permit applicants who were disqualified due to mental illness or due to violent or drug-related crimes.” wrote Daugaard.

      Supporters argue that since the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, there is no need for permits for concealed carry.

      The Governor also vetoed House Bill 1156, which would have allowed concealed carry in the Capitol Building with an enhanced permit.

      “I am satisfied that our Highway Patrol is doing its job, and their important work would be made more difficult if others are allowed to carry weapons into the Capitol,” wrote Daugaard in his veto message.

      Representative Qualm, arguing for the need for the Capitol Carry bill, says.

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    11. Bruce Man Killed In Rollover Accident Thursday

      brookings county sheriff logoBrookings authorities investigated an accident Thursday morning just before 9 a.m. that took the life of 41 year old Barry Gene Huisken of Bruce, South Dakota. Brookings County Sheriff’s officials say that Huisken rolled his vehicle at the intersection of 465th Ave. one half mile north of 207th Street.   He was southbound at the time when he rolled his 1997 GMC Suburban into a west ditch hitting a tree stump.  He wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.  The accident remains under investigation.  Others responding to the accident include the South Dakota Highway Patrol, Brookings Ambulance and Volga Fire Department.


    12. JCPenney Closing Watertown Store

      jc-penney-logo-redUPDATE:  JCPenney will be closing stores in the Watertown, South Dakota Mall as well as stores in Mitchell, Pierre, Yankton, Hutchinson, Minnesota, Jamestown, Dickenson and Wahpeton, North Dakota.  These stores will join the more than 140 stores announced earlier that will be closing. The company is expected to make the announcement to employees this morning.  Earlier company officials said the closures were necessary so the company could redirect their resources into locations that offer the greatest revenue returns.  Earlier Macy’s and Sears also announced closures as more and more brick and mortar department stores  face big challenges from consumers who are buying online.  The bright spot for JCPenney’s has been their salon, home décor and appliance showroom business.  Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson commented on the store closure news today.

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    13. Brown Clinic Pharmacy Another Locally Owned Business

      brown+clinic+pharmCarol Anderson with Brown Clinic Pharmacy Watertown has 24 years experience as a pharmacist.  She graduated from high school and attended Northern State University thinking she would be a math teacher.  Her Career path changed however when she decided to become a pharmacist and transferred to South Dakota State University.  Today Carol is our guest on our KXLG live and local series.  Listen below.

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    14. LATI Celebration Parade Wednesday March 22nd

      lake area tech 2 lati 1The LATI Celebration parade, highlighting the programs at the award-winning institute, will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 22. The parade route will start at the Watertown Post Office and proceed down Kemp Avenue to 2nd Street SW.  Megan Olson heads the Watertown Chamber Of Commerce, sponsors of the event.

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      Businesses downtown and throughout Watertown are urged to decorate their windows with LATI’s signature colors — red and black. Community members of all ages are invited to make congratulation signs to display along the parade route. 

      “As a community, we couldn’t be any more proud of Lake Area Technical Institute,” said Megan Olson, President and CEO of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce. “We want to show them just how much we appreciate all that they do for Watertown.”


    15. Xcel Energy proposes largest-ever South Dakota wind investment In Clark, Codington and Grant Counties

      EXCEL 1Sioux Falls, South Dakota (March 16, 2017) – Xcel Energy announced new details today about its plans for one of the nation’s largest wind energy investments and the largest-ever wind farm in South Dakota. By adding 1,550 megawatts of new wind generation in the Upper Midwest, including 600 megawatts in South Dakota, the proposal is Xcel Energy’s largest to date with seven wind farms to be built in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, pending regulatory approval.

      The nation’s No. 1 utility wind provider is continuing its low-cost renewable energy leadership, growing the company’s regional wind portfolio by 60 percent while providing enough energy to power more than 800,000 homes Laura McCarten is a Regional Vice-President with XCEL Energy.

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      “Wind prices are at historic lows and we’re moving forward with these projects to keep bills low for our customers,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-North Dakota. “Our customers count on us to provide reliable and affordable energy and this investment will do just that.”

      The proposed 600 megawatt Crown Ridge Wind Project, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, will be located in Codington, Deuel, and Grant counties. Once operational, this wind farm will produce enough cost-effective energy to power more than 300,000 homes.

      “As leaders in renewable energy, NextEra Energy Resources and Xcel Energy have developed a strong partnership over the past decade,” said Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources. “We are pleased to work together once again on the Foxtail, Crowned Ridge and Lake Benton Wind Projects. These projects will generate affordable, clean energy and bring good jobs and millions of dollars in taxes and economic benefits to their respective communities.”

      Investments will deliver cost savings over 25 years

      Xcel Energy is proposing a combination of owned projects and power purchase agreements representing more than $2.5 billion in capital investments. Xcel Energy estimates that the proposed wind projects will save more than $4 billion in fuel and other costs, over the life of the projects. These savings will help keep the fuel portion of customers’ bills lower and help to mitigate future rate increases as the company continues to invest in its utility system. This “steel for fuel” strategy uses federal production tax credits to

      secure low wind energy prices. Advances in turbine technology, improved wind forecasting and a newly expanded transmission system play a role in the ability to build new wind farms.

      “We’re significantly increasing the amount of wind generation on our system effectively in part due to the recent completion of Midwest transmission projects that connect wind-rich areas to our customers,” said Clark.

      Wind projects deliver economic benefit to rural areas

      Xcel Energy’s plans are projected to generate approximately $200 million in property taxes over the life of the projects, including $75 million in South Dakota, benefiting the local communities. In addition, the total number of projects are estimated to create approximately 1,500 construction jobs and about 80 full time jobs when all the wind farms are operational. Landowner payments are expected to total more than $150 million over the life of the projects. Wind developers generally estimate about 200 temporary construction jobs and a dozen full-time jobs for a large, 200 megawatt wind farm.

      Project details

      750 MW self-build projects – proposed in October 2016

      Freeborn Wind Energy, a 200 MW project located in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth and Mitchell Counties, Iowa developed by Invenergy

      • Foxtail Wind, a 150 MW project located in Dickey County, North Dakota, developed by NextEra Energy Resources

      • Blazing Star 1, a 200 MW project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy

      • Blazing Star 2, a 200 MW project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy

      800 MW newly proposed projects

      Crowned Ridge Wind Project, a 300 MW build-own-transfer project and a 300 MW purchased power agreement. The project will be located in Codington, Deuel and Grant counties, South Dakota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy

      • Lake Benton Wind Project, a 100 MW build-own-transfer project in Pipestone County, Minnesota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy

      • Clean Energy 1, a 100 MW power purchase agreement project in Morton and Mercer Counties, North Dakota, developed by ALLETE Clean Energy

      All projects are subject to state, county, and local approval. If accepted, projects will be in service by 2020.

       


    16. Letter To Congress From Mayors In 50 States Urges Opposition To Privatizing ATC

      aviation allianceWashington, DC— This week the Alliance for Aviation Across America released a letter to Congress from over 115 Mayors in all 50 states expressing concern about the impact of air traffic control privatization on communities across the country, especially those in rural regions of the country. For these communities, local airports and general aviation represent a vital connection for small businesses, farms, emergency responders and other critical services. This proposal to privatize the air traffic control system, which is being pushed by the big, commercial airlines, would put this system under the purview of a private board of mostly commercial interests which would direct everything from taxes and fees, to airport investments and access.  This group of over a hundred Mayors is only the latest in a growing number of voices raising concerns about the proposal to privatize the air traffic control system. Consumer advocates, free market groups, major Committees in Congress, chambers of commerce, and businesses have all voiced concerns about this proposal.  In addition, the American people disapprove of this idea by an overwhelming 62 percent.  Here is what Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson has to say.

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      The full text of the letter is below.

      To view the original letters, click here and here. Dear Member of Congress:

 As you debate reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), I write to ask you to reject any risky plans to privatize our air traffic control system and take away Congressional oversight of this important public system. Over the last year, proposals have recently been forwarded to put this vital infrastructure under the control of a private entity dominated by the commercial airlines.  On behalf of the tens of thousands of communities around the country, we are concerned about the very real and dire ramifications of eliminating Congressional oversight of this public air transportation infrastructure. 

 For tens of thousands of communities such as ours around the country, we depend on our local airport and all sectors of transportation to reach far-off markets and access critical services such as law enforcement, disaster relief, and medical care.  Small aircraft and airports are utilized on a daily basis to help transport blood and organs to residents in rural communities, reunite veterans back from overseas with their families, maintain power lines, and help our companies reach customers in far-off markets, among many other priorities.

  Privatization would hand over decisions about infrastructure funding, taxes and fees, consumer complaints, noise, and many other priorities, to a board of private interests dominated by the commercial airlines. These are the same airlines that have cut back flights to smaller communities by more than 20 percent in recent years, and have stated their intent to divert investment from small and mid-sized communities to large ones where the airlines are most profitable.

   We are also concerned about costs and access.  For example, the Canadian, privatized system, which is often held up as the system the U.S. should emulate, is more expensive than the system we have in the US by miles flown.  In the U.K., that system has seen “more delays, higher fares and reduced connectivity” at London’s airports since privatization.  So while we all agree that modernizing our air traffic control system and investing in American infrastructure should be among our highest priorities, privatization is not the answer.

  We look forward to working with you throughout this process to ensure that our air transportation system protects communities of all sizes and keeps passengers flying safely and efficiently.  Sincerely,  Elmira, NY – Mayor Daniel J. Mandell Clarksburg, WV – Mayor Catherine A. Goings Ocala, FL – Mayor Kent Guinn Corning, NY – Mayor Richard P. Negri Mitchell, SD – Mayor Jerry Toomey Fairmont, WV – Mayor Ronald J. Straight Sr. Edgemont, SD – Mayor Carl A. Shaw Warwick, NY – Michael J. Newhard Texarkana, AR – Mayor Ruth Penney Bell Easton, MD – Mayor Robert C. Willey Watertown, SD – Mayor Steve Thorson Fayetteville, AR – Mayor Lioneld Jordan Huron, SD – Mayor Paul Aylward Texarkana, TX – Mayor Bob Bruggeman Bloomington, IL – Mayor Tari Renner Chillicothe, MO – Mayor Charles E. Haney Lewisburg, WV – Mayor John Manchester Worcester, MA – Mayor Joseph M. Petty Elkins, WV Mayor Van T. Broughton Wall, SD – Mayor Marty Huether Sturgis, SD – Mayor Mark C. Carstensen Longmont, CO – Mayor Dennis Coombs Albert Lea, MN – Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr. Lake Wales, FL – Mayor Eugene Fultz Santa Barbara, CA – Mayor Helene Schneider  Riverside, CA – Mayor William Bailey McCall, ID – Mayor Jackie J. Aymon Sioux Falls, SD – Mayor Mike Huether  Concord, NC – Mayor Scott Padgett Prospect Heights, IL – Mayor Nicholas Helmer Mountain Home, ID – Mayor Rich Sykes Lewiston, ID – Mayor Jim Kleeburg Florence, SC – Mayor Stephen J. Wukela Fernley, NV – Mayor Roy G. Edgington Jr.  Huntington, WV – Mayor Steve Williams Morristown, NJ – Mayor Timothy Dougherty Macomb, IL – Mayor Michael J. Inman Kamiah, ID – Mayor Dale Schneider Mesquite, NV – Mayor Allan Litman Mount Pleasant, SC – Mayor Linda Page Newport, OR – Mayor Sandy Roumagoux Jacksonville, IL – Mayor Andy Ezard Broomfield, CO – Mayor Randy Ahrens Petaluma, CA – Mayor David Glass DeLand, FL – Mayor Robert F. Apgar Jackson, TN – Mayor Jerry Gist

      Gainesville, FL – Mayor Lauren Poe Annapolis, MD – Mayor Mike Pantelides Fernandina Beach, FL – Mayor John A. Miller Naples, FL – Mayor Bill Barnett Fargo, ND – Mayor Tim Mahoney Sedalia, MO – Mayor Stephen Galliher Wenatchee, WA – Mayor Frank Kuntz Coeur d’Alene, ID – Mayor Steve Widmyer Cumberland, MD – Mayor Brian Grim Keene, NH – Mayor Kendall Lane Zanesville, OH – Mayor Jeff Tilton Youngstown, OH – Mayor John McNally IV Henderson, NV – Mayor Andy Hafen Big Rapids, MI – Mayor Mark Warba Pinedale, WY – Mayor Bob Jones Pekin, IL – Mayor John McCabe  Hermiston, OR – Dr. Dave Drotzmann, Mayor Wausau, WI – Mayor Robert Mielke Danbury, CT – Mayor Mark D. Boughton New London, CT – Mayor Michael Passero Idaho Falls, ID – Mayor Rebecca L. Noah Casper Valdez, AK- Mayor Ruth E. Knight Brigham City, UT – Mayor Tyler Vincent Salisbury, MD – Mayor Jacob R. Day Ely, MN – Mayor Chuck Novak

      Winona, MN – Mayor Mark Peterson New Ulm, MN – Mayor Robert J. Beussman Wasilla, AK – Mayor Bert Cottle Barre, VT – Mayor Thom Lauzon Yerington, NV – Mayor George Dini Taos, NM – Mayor Daniel Barrone Arlington, WA – Mayor Barbara Tolbert  Boulder, CO – Mayor Suzanne Jones Pullman, WA – Mayor Glenn A. Johnson, Ph.D. Abilene, TX – Mayor Norm Archibald Monroe, NC – Mayor Bobby Kilgore Moscow, ID – Mayor Bill Lambert Georgetown, DE – Mayor William E. West Kenai, AK – Mayor Brian G. Gabriel, Sr. Riverton, WY – Mayor John ‘Lars’ Baker Grant, NE – Mayor Michael Wyatt Findlay, OH – Mayor Lydia Mihalik Martinsburg, WV – Mayor George Karos Bingen, WA – Mayor Betty J. Barnes Zephyrhills, FL Mayor Gene Whitfield Terre Haute, IN – Mayor Duke Bennett Carrollton, GA – Mayor Walt Hollingsworth Altus, OK – Mayor Jack Smiley Wheeling, WV – Mayor Glenn F. Elliott, Jr.  Salinas, CA – Mayor Joe Gunter Hays, KS – Mayor Shaun Musil Augusta, ME – Mayor David Rollins Pendleton, OR – Mayor Phillip W. Houk Hot Springs, AR – Mayor Ruth Carney Fallon, NV – Mayor Ken Tedford Jr.

      Latrobe, PA – Mayor Rosie Wolford

      Le Mars, IA – Mayor Dick Kirchoff Hutchinson, KS – Mayor Jon Daveline Council Bluffs, IA – Mayor Matt Walsh Salina, KS – Mayor Kaye J. Crawford Henderson, KY – Mayor Steve Austin Kaua’i County, HI – Mayor Bernard Carvalho Natchitoches, LA – Mayor Lee Posey Jonesville, VA – Mayor Jim Ewing Cottonwood, AZ – Mayor Tim Elinski Tuscaloosa, AL – Mayor Walt Maddox Tucson, AZ – Mayor Jonathan Rothschild Clarksdale, MS – Mayor Bill Luckett Baker, MT – Mayor JoDee Pratt Great Falls, MT – Mayor Bob Kelly Middletown, RI – Town Council President Robert Sylvia Wichita, KS – Mayor Jeff Longwell


    17. From The Desk Of Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson

      steve thorson 2015 updatd photoListen below to hear Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson on KXLG’s From The Desk Of The Mayor

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    18. Gov. Daugaard Signs Legislation To Combat Meth

      Dennis Daugaard 2016PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard today signed two anti-methamphetamine measures into law: Senate Bill 43 and Senate Bill 117.

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      “Meth is an extremely addictive drug that ruins homes and destroys lives. These bills will aid us in addressing the meth epidemic by stopping the drug from coming into our state, preventing meth use and helping those who are addicted,” said Gov. Daugaard. 

      Gov. Daugaard brought SB 117, which was proposed by a workgroup that included the Attorney General and state’s attorneys, circuit court judges, legislators, and law enforcement and corrections officials. The workgroup studied the regional increase in meth trafficking, which is leading to higher than anticipated prison numbers. 

      The bill increases sanctions for drug use by probationers and parolees, incentivizes the successful completion of treatment, and focuses supervision resources on high risk offenders.  Other components of the anti-meth plan, which were enacted through the budget or do not require legislation, include creation of an interstate drug trafficking task force, closer coordination of state anti-meth education campaigns and expansion of HOPE 24/7 probation to all South Dakota counties. 

      SB 43 was initiated by the Department of Social Services. The bill appropriates more than $600,000 of funding to expand the state’s intensive meth treatment services.


    19. Codington County Groups Opposing CAFO Expansion Make Request For Moratorium On All New CAFO And CAFO Related Building Permits

       

      commission meeting 03-14-17 codingtonElmer Krueger and Chad Kranz appeared before the Codington County Commissioners Tuesday with a request that the commissioners enact a moratorium on all new large CAFOs and CAFO related building permits until new ordinances can be written and adopted. The two men were representing the two groups, Citizens For Environmental and Zoning rights and The Citizens Against The Waverly Dairy, who are supporting the repeal of Ordinance 65 in the upcoming special election March 27th

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      The move by the two groups appears to be an attempt by those wanting to repeal Ordinance 65 to also stop any future CAFO applications until the county’s zoning ordinances can be reviewed and or readopted.   By approving a moratorium the two groups say their respective memberships would publicly acknowledge that an agreement has been reached with the county so that both sides can begin working together, rather than against each other again.  What would a large scale CAFO be defined as?  Once again here is Elmer Krueger.

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      Commissioner Myron Johnson had a question for Krueger stating, “Let’s be very specific as to what you’re asking.”

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      Commissioner Johnson says what bothers him is, the commissioners had stated earlier they were going to revisit all of the county’s zoning ordinances in 2017, but that the two groups went ahead and referred Ordinance 65 anyway, knowing it would take down, not only Ordinance 30 dealing with the CAFO’s dealing with the near Waverly, but also taking down all of the rest of the county’s zoning laws, including zoning laws dealing with flood mortgage insurance and building permits to name two. But, Krueger responded saying their request for the CAFO moratorium wasn’t an attempt to barter the election, which he took offense to, but to get assurances the county will tackle the issue. He says it has been approximately two years since his groups have asked for a review of the county zoning ordinances and nothing has happened.  He said by this time something could have been accomplished.

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      Krueger says a moratorium on CAFO’s would allow the county to look into the future, keeping in mind protections for the environment and people. Since 1997 Codington County has issued 23 conditional use permits for CAFO’s.  Luke Mueller with the Codington County Zoning Office says that averages out to a little more than 1.4 CAFO requests a year.  Todd Kays with the First Planning District says a moratorium could be enacted, but there’s a downside.  At the present time 3 of every 4 acres in Codington County are prevented from starting new CAFO sites. There are currently 200 farmers in Codington County with livestock herds smaller than 2,000.  If a moratorium is enacted none of those individuals would have the legal authority to increase their numbers even to 3,000, the number the two groups say they like.  And Kays adds, “the question becomes why only a moratorium on CAFO’s?”

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      As the discussion ended the commissioners agreed to set aside time at the commission meeting April 25th to revisit the CAFO moratorium issue.  The thought is to do it after the March 27th special election so as not to confuse voters.  Codington County registered voters who wish to vote early/absentee for the Countywide Special Election may do so now at the office of the Codington County Auditor, 14 1st Ave


    20. State Of South Dakota Selling More Land Buildings This Year

      ryan brunnerThe State of South Dakota will be selling more land and buildings this year. The legislature approved, and the Governor signed bills authorizing the sales. The office of School and Public Lands will be in charge of moving the property. Commissioner Ryan Brunner says there is a variety of property involved, including a building in Rapid City.

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      Brunner says some buildings in Sioux Falls should draw a lot of interest.

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      Brunner says the sale of the former Star Academy in the Black Hills should also be attractive.

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      Other property to be sold includes the former State Training School campus in Plankinton, and vacant buildings at the Developmental Center in Redfield. Appraisals will soon be underway, and Brunner says the sales will begin after the law takes effect on July first


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