• Local News

    1. Snowmobilers Beware Of Hazards Ahead!

      power-outage-pic-2-december-30-2016It has been a couple of years since snowmobilers have had good ditch riding conditions and there are some concerns that, because of the recent ice storm and large amount of poles and debris in the ditches,  a hazard may exist in some areas.   Codington County Commissioner Myron Johnson has some advice.

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      Codington County Highway Superintendent Rick Small says the utility companies have hired help to clean up the ditches but that it’s never a guarantee they get it all.  They began the cleanup this week beginning at highway12.


    2. Mellette Memorial Association Top Fundraiser In Watertown Area Community Foundation’s Annual Christmas Tree Fundraiser

      christmas fundraiserPhoto shows Watertown non-profit leaders who participated in the annual Watertown Area Community Foundation’s annual Christmas Tree Fundraiser

       

      Nearly $18,000 dollars was raised in the 2016 Watertown Area Community Foundation’s annual Christmas Tree Fundraiser.  Now in its 7th year, the event, traditionally hosted by the Watertown Regional Library during the month of December, included 15 trees decorated by local nonprofits.  The Mellette Memorial Association was the top fundraiser with a total of $4,918 dollars raised before its $300 dollar match by the Foundation and an additional $500 awarded by the Foundation for receiving the most votes/dollars.  That brought the organization’s total to $5,718 that will support the Mellette House.  Due to the generosity of a local donor, each organization met it $300 fund raising goal that ensured the foundation’s $300 match.  In second place was the Watertown Volunteer Center with 1,729 dollars.  Third was the Watertown Regional Library with $1,003.   Below is a photo of all the individuals who participated with numerous non-profit organizations around the state. Listen below to hear Jan DeBerg with the Watertown Community Foundation who thanked the Watertown Regional Library for hosting the location and the Foundation and organizations who entered trees this year.  You hear Jan below.

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    3. Dropped Cell Call Problem Back Before Congress

      Carrie-Johnson

      A bill is back before Congress that would help correct problems with dropped calls to and from rural telecom providers. Carrie Johnson, Director of Governmental Affairs with SDN Communication, says it has been a long, frustrating problem.

      dl38

      Johnson says the problem comes when companies in the middle of a call don’t follow through. She says those companies can be hard to track.

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      Johnson says the bill, which would create a registry of third party providers, would help pinpoint the problems.

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      Problems with dropped calls include busy signals, disconnections and no connections. The bill has already been approved in the House, and is waiting action in the Senate.


    4. South Dakota Municipal League Keeping A Close Eye On This Year’s Legislative Session

      LaurieGill2015The South Dakota Municipal League is keeping a close eye on session this year in Pierre.  Municipal League President and Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill says the League is always looking at ways that they can have economic tools available to them.

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      She adds that another issue that the League keeps a close eye on is any changes to the ability for municipalities to use Tax Increment Financing, also known As TIF’s.

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      The other issue, according to Gill, is maintaining the viability of tax-exempt municipal bonds.

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      She adds that the recent announcement that Amazon will start collecting South Dakota sales tax is a huge thing for communities, because “it helps level the playing field


    5. Selling South Dakota Nursing Home Beds?

      Jim StalzerToo many nursing home beds are not where they need to be in South Dakota says Sioux Falls State Senator Jim Stalzer (R).  Stalzer was part of a summer study group that looking at the nursing bed issue. There is a moratorium on building more beds, but Stalzer hopes for a way to essentially move beds to where they are needed.

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      One idea is a market in beds. A facility with more than enough beds could ‘sell’ some to a facility that needs them. Stalzer says North Dakota has such a system.  Stalzer says the going price is about $10,000, but when you consider the cost of building a new nursing home it’s not huge.

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      Stalzer says the greatest nursing home bed shortfall is in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Dakota Dunes.

       


    6. January Thaw About Ready To Break Out Over The KXLG Listening Area

      beautiful dayWhat a beautiful way to start the week weather-wise!   Get ready for the January thaw because it’s on the way and it’s looking good.  We caught up with Aberdeen National Weather Service Office forecaster Travis Tarver who shares the good news

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      M.L.King Day
      Partly sunny, with a high near 27. Calm wind becoming north northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
      Tonight
      Partly cloudy, with a low around 4. North northwest wind around 6 mph.
      Tuesday
      Mostly sunny, with a high near 24. West northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming south southwest in the afternoon.
      Tuesday Night
      Partly cloudy, with a low around 16. South southwest wind 8 to 11 mph.
      Wednesday
      Sunny, with a high near 37. Southwest wind 8 to 10 mph.
      Wednesday Night
      Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. South southwest wind around 8 mph.
      Thursday
      Sunny, with a high near 38. South wind 7 to 10 mph.
      Thursday Night
      Partly cloudy, with a low around 25. South wind around 8 mph.
      Friday
      Partly sunny, with a high near 36. South wind 7 to 10 mph.
      Friday Night
      A slight chance of snow after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
      Saturday
      A chance of rain and snow. Cloudy, with a high near 36. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
      Saturday Night
      A slight chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 26. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
      Sunday
      Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33.

    7. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard Visits Aberdeen Monday Morning

      daugaard photo aberdeen 01-16-17(Aberdeen, SD) — South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard visited Aberdeen Monday revisiting his state-of-state address to a room filled with business professionals and legislative members.  In attendance were representatives Lana Greenfield of District 2, Drew Dennert of District 3 and senators Brock Greenfield of District 2 and Al Novstrop of District 3.  Following the prepared speech he took questions from audience members.  Though the state has problems Gov. Daugaard said, South Dakota is better off than a majority of other places.

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      One question targeted the soybean processing plant scheduled to be constructed by AGP, one of the country’s largest soybean producers.  The Governor thinks some may be underestimating the scale of this project.

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      The Governor also commented on the weak commodity prices challenging South Dakota Farmers.  Though the current prices aren’t ideal, the challenges are leading to new opportunities and incentives to keep commodities in the state.

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    8. Senate Ag Committee Gets Update On River Basin Advisory Task Force

      Kim VannemanMembers of the South Dakota Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee got an update last week on the findings of an interim committee working on water policy.  Kim Vanneman of Ideal was the Chair of the “River Basin Natural Resource District Oversight Advisory Task Force.”  The task force was formed after a 2015 law was passed to move the state toward nine natural resource districts. She told the board they settled on a couple of priorities.

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      Vanneman says each district will be able to set their own policies.

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      Vanneman says they also set up the election process for the districts.

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      There are a number of bills introduced that will address details of the natural resource districts.


    9. Legislature Will Be Asked For Money To Upgrade State’s Animal Disease Research

      Mary Duvall latest pic 2017Officials in South Dakota are being asked to set aside money to help with upgrades to the state’s animal disease research lab in Brookings.  Gov. Dennis Daugaard requested in his State of the State speech last week that $5 million be set aside to help with an estimated $58 million upgrade.  State officials realized the need for renovations of the nearly 50-year-old building after the bird flu hit the region two years ago and tested the lab’s ability to handle serious outbreaks.  Pierre Representative Mary Duvall has been an outspoken advocate for the research lab upgrades, and says a lot of aspects of the lab need to be updated.

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      She adds that the lab is very important to the entire state, and it’s going to take a lot of different agencies to share the costs of the upgrades.

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      She adds that this project has been on the Board of Regents radar for over a decade, so “it’s time to do something.”

       


    10. Governor’s Conference On Tourism This Week In Pierre

      south dakota department of tourismTourism officials from across the state and the country will be in Pierre this week for the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

      Tourism Department Secretary Jim Hagen says the theme is “Building for the Future.” He says competition for tourist dollars is tighter than ever.

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      Hagen says while they are coming off a good year, they have to continue to build on their successes.

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      Hagen says there are some good signs for another good year in 2017.

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      The conference will be held Tuesday through Thursday at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Pierre.


    11. Take A Look At The Fastest Growing Jobs In South Dakota

      zippiaSome jobs that were popular fifty or sixty years ago are unheard of these days. Jobs that will be popular in fifty or sixty years — we may not even be able to guess.

      But today, what we can guess are which jobs are going to be the most beneficial in one year, or even a few. Because Zippia, a career expert site, crunched the data, and they have come up with a list of the fastest growing jobs in South Dakota.

      Here are the top 10, and below, we’ll show you the top 100:

      1. Industrial Machinery Mechanics
      2. Machinists
      3. Cooks, Restaurant
      4. Farm Equipment Mechanics and Service Technicians
      5. Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food
      6. Personal Care Aides
      7. Agricultural Equipment Operators
      8. Home Health Aides
      9. Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists
      10. Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

      Okay, so really–this is pretty cool. Who would have thought, even twenty years ago, that industrial machinery mechanics and machinists would be so in demand? Not only does this mean we’re progressing in some important areas, but it also means you might just be able to snag yourself a more secure job.

      How they determined the fastest growing jobs in South Dakota in 2017

      Every couple of years each state’s Department of Labor works in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to compile projections for job growth by occupation. The government last completed this research in 2014 with projections going out until 2024.

      Because this is America and the government never makes it easy, we had to gather the data from all the states individually to develop a master database.

      We then identified the occupations in South Dakota that are projected to have at least 1,000 workers in 2024 so that the jobs will still be relevant. This left us with data for 99 occupations in South Dakota.

      Next, we ranked every occupation based on job growth in 2017, from 1 to 99.

      At the end of the day, the data showed that Industrial Mechanic is the fastest growing job in South Dakota.

      Why the fastest growing jobs in South Dakota matter

      Sure, it’s certainly interesting to see what sort of trends jobs will take over the next decade, because jobs are a great way to see what direction South Dakota is heading.

      But aside from being merely “interesting,” it’s also good to note which jobs will be more secure, and more readily available now and in the coming years. If you’re looking for something that will last–take a look at this list. From industrial machinery mechanics to preschool teachers, except special education, these jobs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

      And now, here’s a look at the 100 fastest growing jobs in the Mount Rushmore State for 2017.

      Detailed List Of The Fastest Growing Jobs In South Dakota

      Rank Job Growth % Average Wage Jobs in 2024
      1 Industrial Machinery Mechanics 28.85% $44,160 1,340
      2 Machinists 21.98% $37,220 1,110
      3 Cooks, Restaurant 20.43% $23,150 2,240
      4 Farm Equipment Mechanics and Service Technicians 19.64% $39,070 1,340
      5 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 17.01% $19,510 9,560
      6 Personal Care Aides 16.83% $21,420 2,360
      7 Agricultural Equipment Operators 16.55% $30,000 1,620
      8 Home Health Aides 15.63% $26,500 1,110
      9 Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists 15.45% $42,150 1,270
      10 Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 14.47% $29,550 1,740
      11 Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products 14.11% $85,260 1,860
      12 Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers 14.04% $46,270 1,300
      13 First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 14.04% $31,710 2,030
      14 Loan Interviewers and Clerks 13.81% $33,180 2,060
      15 Civil Engineers 13.51% $72,050 1,260
      16 Loan Officers 12.84% $63,420 1,670
      17 Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers 12.62% $34,930 3,660
      18 Electricians 12.5% $47,080 2,250
      19 Bartenders 12.26% $20,940 3,480
      20 Parts Salespersons 12.21% $33,000 1,930
      21 Registered Nurses 12.17% $55,100 13,090
      22 Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers 11.97% $32,160 1,590
      23 Accountants and Auditors 11.62% $61,990 5,090
      24 Computer User Support Specialists 10.65% $37,550 1,870
      25 Team Assemblers 10.56% $27,570 3,980
      26 Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 10.46% $25,490 7,920
      27 Lawyers 10.2% $96,580 1,080
      28 Childcare Workers 10.14% $20,380 5,430
      29 Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 10.0% $43,560 1,100
      30 Insurance Sales Agents 9.89% $63,520 3,000
      31 Social and Human Service Assistants 9.78% $24,320 1,010
      32 Billing and Posting Clerks 9.78% $28,780 1,010
      33 Retail Salespersons 9.56% $27,800 17,300
      34 Driver/Sales Workers 9.55% $29,570 1,950
      35 Customer Service Representatives 9.45% $28,790 9,730
      36 Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment 9.26% $21,300 1,180
      37 General and Operations Managers 9.22% $118,760 4,500
      38 Network and Computer Systems Administrators 9.09% $61,320 1,800
      39 Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks 9.0% $21,680 2,180
      40 Residential Advisors 8.9% $24,600 2,570
      41 Pharmacy Technicians 8.87% $30,910 1,350
      42 Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers 8.86% $31,950 2,580
      43 Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks 8.85% $29,920 1,230
      44 Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators 8.85% $32,030 1,230
      45 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 8.73% $39,170 9,220
      46 Management Analysts 8.65% $76,190 2,890
      47 First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers 8.63% $57,440 1,510
      48 Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers 8.51% $20,190 3,060
      49 First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 8.5% $59,720 1,660
      50 Medical Assistants 8.49% $28,550 1,150
      51 Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 8.41% $24,930 3,480
      52 Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 8.37% $23,850 10,490
      53 First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers 8.25% $69,560 1,050
      54 Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics 8.16% $28,920 1,060
      55 Medical Records and Health Information Technicians 8.08% $37,870 1,070
      56 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop 8.07% $20,500 3,480
      57 Nursing Assistants 7.82% $24,290 7,030
      58 Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 7.5% $20,600 5,590
      59 Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 7.41% $23,720 6,670
      60 Waiters and Waitresses 7.17% $20,420 7,920
      61 Compliance Officers 6.96% $53,310 1,230
      62 Food Preparation Workers 6.84% $20,720 3,750
      63 Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors 6.54% $28,720 1,140
      64 Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists 6.49% $29,400 1,640
      65 Carpenters 6.49% $33,920 6,560
      66 First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers 6.36% $93,510 1,170
      67 Teacher Assistants 6.14% $22,830 4,670
      68 Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 5.88% $44,070 1,980
      69 Human Resources Specialists 5.77% $51,800 1,100
      70 Highway Maintenance Workers 5.62% $31,230 1,880
      71 Child, Family, and School Social Workers 5.59% $39,580 1,700
      72 Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals 5.56% $25,420 3,800
      73 Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 5.28% $43,530 3,590
      74 Amusement and Recreation Attendants 5.23% $20,270 1,610
      75 Correctional Officers and Jailers 5.19% $35,560 1,620
      76 Public Relations Specialists 5.15% $46,630 1,020
      77 Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators 4.98% $40,040 2,110
      78 Receptionists and Information Clerks 4.41% $25,200 5,440
      79 Coaches and Scouts 4.35% $33,520 1,200
      80 Pharmacists 4.27% $109,450 1,220
      81 Counter and Rental Clerks 4.04% $26,140 1,030
      82 Office Clerks, General 3.91% $24,550 5,580
      83 Bus Drivers, School or Special Client 3.57% $27,570 1,450
      84 Clergy 3.39% $43,850 1,830
      85 Cashiers 3.16% $20,520 13,070
      86 Radiologic Technologists 3.03% $48,380 1,020
      87 Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks 2.91% $31,400 1,060
      88 Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 2.54% $27,290 6,470
      89 Packers and Packagers, Hand 1.8% $23,110 2,260
      90 Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 0.99% $36,270 2,040
      91 Dishwashers 0.65% $19,610 1,560
      92 Cooks, Short Order 0.0% $20,950 1,010
      93 Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse -0.5% $22,800 2,010
      94 Security Guards -0.76% $24,830 1,300
      95 Chief Executives -0.93% $203,340 1,060
      96 Tellers -1.93% $25,230 2,030
      97 Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants -5.82% $37,260 2,590
      98 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks -6.86% $31,220 9,770
      99 Bill and Account Collectors -7.03% $31,410 3,570

       


    12. Yankton Sioux Tribal Chairman Robert Flying Hawk Gave The “State Of The Tribes” Address

      robert flying hawkYankton Sioux Tribal Chairman Robert Flying Hawk gave the “State of the Tribes” address to the South Dakota legislature yesterday (Thursday). He says mutual understanding between Native Americans and non-tribal members would benefit everyone.  Flying Hawk says everyone has a foundation they grew up with.

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      Flying Hawk says many natives were denied their history when they were young.

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      He says the tribes want and need help to develop their economies.

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      Flying Hawk says the reservations are facing problems including drug use. He called for collaboration to fight that issue.  This is the second year for the tribal address to lawmakers.

       


    13. Vehicles Keep Slip-Sliding Away Along I-29 This Week

      interstate slipper 01-13-16interstate slipper 01-13-16.jpg 2Photos show safetravelusa.com cams at Watertown

      Watertown, SD —  It is still mighty slippery on area roads this morning and it has been an exceptionally busy week for law enforcement and other responders.  Watertown Fire Rscue was called to three separate accidents on I-29 Thursday and the highway is still treacherous north from an area approximately 25 miles South of Watertown North to the North Dakota Border.  The first accident happened just after  9:07 AM when the driver of a Lincoln Navigator lost control and rolled coming to rest on its top in the median.  The driver was restrained and was trapped inside the vehicle.  WFR responded with an Ambulance and Rescue Unit along with the Highway Patrol and Performance Towing. The driver was removed from the vehicle and transported to Prairie Lakes Healthcare System.  The second accident  was reported at just before 10 a.m. when the driver of a  southbound Chevy S-10 lost control and rolled over coming to rest upright in the median.  The driver was restrained and was not injured in the accident.  WFR responded with an Ambulance and Rescue Unit and was assisted by the Highway Patrol and Performance Towing. The third accident was called in over the noon hour when the driver of a Chevy 1500 also lost control and rolled over coming to rest on the drivers side in the median.  The driver was restrained and wasn’t injured in the accident.  WFR responded with an Ambulance and Rescue Unit with assistance from the Highway Patrol and Sharps Auto.  Yet more vehicles found their way into the ditch last evening along the interstate south of Watertown.


    14. Sioux Falls Detectives Carefully Piece Together Big Sioux Falls Drug Bust Case

      meth photoArrests were made in November, but the investigation needed time to follow all access points before Sioux Falls Police made the details of a significant drug bust public.

      According to Sergeant Shaun Olson, on November 22, investigators were watching a residence on the east side of Sioux Falls. Two people left the home in their vehicle with Police tracking them.

      Eventually the vehicle was stopped around 8:30 PM near 6th and Lake Avenue and a K-9 unit was summoned because Police detected suspicious activity. Olson says a lot of drugs were found.

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      Arrested were 33-year old Carlos Angleo Casarez of Bemidji, Minnesota and 21-year old Felonna Joy White of Eden, South Dakota. They both face multiple drug charges including Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana and Distribution and Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance. Additionally, both were charged with Committing or Attempting to Commit a Felony with a Firearm.

      Olson says the approximate street value of the meth was $6,000. Plus Casarez at the time of the arrest was on Federal Supervised


    15. Watertown Fire Rescue Responds To Numerous Accidents

      watertown fire rescue logo 2015It was another busy day for law enforcement and emergency responders Wednesday with numerous vehicle accidents.  On Wednesday.  At about 1230pm, Watertown Fire Rescue was called to 462nd Ave and Hwy 212 East for a single vehicle rollover. That patient was westbound on Hwy 212 and lost control, ending up in the south ditch.  The patient was restrained and was alone in the vehicle.  The patient was transported to Prairie Lakes Hospital. WFR responded with an ambulance and rescue truck, and assisted the Codington County Sheriff’s Department on scene. Icy roads created hazardous driving conditions which was, in part, the cause of this accident.

      At 3:45 pm WFR responded to a two vehicle accident on West 212, in about the 1900 block area of Watertown.  That accident didn’t result in anyone being transported.  Both occupants were wearing seatbelts in that accident as well.  Icy roads are believed to have played a part in that accident also.

      At approximately 5:30 pm WFR responded to a single vehicle rollover on North Hwy 20, about 1/2 mile west NW of Watertown.  The vehicle was westbound, and ended up in the North ditch on it’s top.  That driver was also restrained, uninjured, and refused medical attention.  WFR responded with an ambulance and a rescue truck.  WFR assisted the Watertown Police Department on scene.  Icy roads creating difficult driving condition’s played a part in this crash.

      PLEASE drive safely.  The roads are extremely slick.  WFR has been responding to many accidents over the last few days.  If you have to drive someplace, don’t text and drive.  Don’t overdrive road conditions.  Buckle up, and slow down.  If you get a late start for your destination, remember, “Better late than NEVER!”


    16. Man Arrested On Drug Charges Overnight In Watertown

      KXLG LOGOYet another drug arrest in Watertown. Watertown Police say 20 year old Peter Defea of Watertown was arrested last night around 11 p.m. and charged with possession, ingestion of both cocaine and marijuana. The arrest was made after police received information about possible drug activity at a residence in the 100 block of first avenue Southwest.  A search warrant had been secured for the residence and executed.  Inside officers located various illegal drug items used to ingest and sell illegal drugs.  Defea was taken into custody and charged. Several firearms were also confiscated from the residence.  The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending, as is Defea’s bond.  The Codington County Sheriff’s office also assisted with the investigation.


    17. Sioux Falls Legislator Says Small Change Could Help When Voters Help Make Laws To Change The South Dakota Constitution

      Blake CurdA small change could make a big difference when it comes to voters assisting with making laws or changing the South Dakota Constitution. When Initiated Measures or Constitutional Amendments are approved by South Dakota voters, the requirements take effect a little over a week after the election. Senator Blake Curd of Sioux Falls is suggesting a different timeline might help prepare for changes approved by voters

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      Curd says there are multiple advantages for taking this cautious approach.

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      Feeling that South Dakota’s founders gave its citizens a great gift through the Initiated Measure process, Curd is wary of raising the standard for getting items on the ballot.  Even though he is one of the Legislators who joined the lawsuit to stop IM 22, Curd indicates agrees philosophically with a few issues raised by the effort.


    18. Amazon’s Decision To Start Collecting State Sales Positive Trend Say South Dakota Retailers

      shawn lyonsPIERRE, SD — The Executive Director of the South Dakota Retailers Association Shawn Lyons hopes Amazon’s decision to start collecting state sales tax is part of a trend.

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      Lyons says its unclear how much in sales tax South Dakota will realize once the giant online retailer starts collecting the tax in February. Part of the shortfall in tax revenues the state is suffering is because more people are purchasing stuff online.

      Lyon says Amazon’s decision is overdue, but welcome.

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      Some online retailers have taken South Dakota to court over the sales tax issue. Perhaps the decision by Amazon, the big kid on the block, may have some indirect impact on the court proceedings.

       


    19. South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson Delivers His Annual State Of The Judiciary Message

      David GilbertsonSouth Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson delivered his annual State Of The Judiciary message to a joint session of the State Legislature Wednesday afternoon in Pierre addressing a wide range of issues.  One of the topics Gilbertson covered was elder abuse, and the increase in penalties for elder abuse…

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      He also spoke about the mental health task force that he organized this past year, and says they will have several recommendations that will come forward this session…

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      Another main highlight of his address is the ongoing meth epidemic in the state…

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      He also spoke about the law library restoration at the Capitol this past year, and was pleased to announce that the restoration is complete.

      Gilbertson was appointed to the high court in 1995 and has served as chief justice since 2001. He was recently re-elected to a fifth term as chief justice by the court’s justices.

       


    20. Governor Gives State Of The State Address To Legislature

      dennis-daugaard-2016Speaking before the South Dakota legislature earlier today in Pierre, Governor Dennis Daugaard began his State Of The State message saying he had some good news and bad pertaining to state revenues: (dl 67)

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      The Governor says that Amazon will begin to voluntarily collect sales tax February 1st and begin remitting in late March.

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      The Governor gave high marks to schools offering a dual credit program calling it a win-win-win.

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      He said in the last year alone more than 2,000 students took at least one dual credit course from a University with nearly 900 taking a technical institute course. He said the passage rate was 94 percent for college and 88 percent for technical institute courses. He says the net savings to South Dakota families was more than 4.4 million dollars compared to the tuition rate they would have paid.  He was critical of high schools across the state though who haven’t been making a free remedial program available to students who attend college and who end up paying out of their own pocket for remediation help after high school.  He says that last year 30 percent entering South Dakota university freshmen needed to take at least one course in remedial Math or English.  Unlike dual credit he called remedial credit a lose-lose.

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      He said last year just over 100 students took the final in high school, whereas nearly 600 remedial courses were needed to assist incoming freshman and it was out of pocket at the student’s expense, averaging about 1,000 dollars each.  The Governor will also be focusing on mental health and drug abuse in the next legislative session. South Dakota says the state still lacks procedures to better identify mental health problems and our institutions are not equipped to deal with the problem.  He says Law enforcement needs better tools to get at the problem.  He also touched on criminal justice saying he has joined with other key stakeholders to propose the Public Safety Improvement act which was passed in 2013 to improve public safety and hold offenders responsible.

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      The Governor spotlighted the Sisseston Wahpeton Oyate Tribe.

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      But that said, the incarceration rate in South Dakota is higher than what had been projected when the law was enacted three years ago and the Governor lays the blame squarely on meth trafficking.

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      The Governor is forming a joint drug interdiction taskforce comprised of four highway patrol officers and members of the DCI. He will also be asking to have the wiretapping laws updated to include cellular phones.

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      He’s also recommending expansion of the Hope 24-7 program to more counties.

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