• Local News

    1. Dan Lederman Wants to Lead Youth Into South Dakota Republican Party

      DAN LEADERMANThe new chairman of the Republican Party in South Dakota looks hopes to ride a national wave that has brought people into the fold who want to be involved in the political process.  Former legislator Dan Lederman (LEE-der-man) of Dakota Dunes mounted a successful challenge to unseat Pam Roberts as leader of the GOP in South Dakota. Lederman notes that about 40 percent of the people who were at the central committee meeting were first-timers and believes President Trump has been the catalyst.

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      Millennial voters will be the obvious target for Republicans with Lederman stating that the party will need to appeal to that age group.

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      Lederman also believes that when labels like “Tea Party” or “Moderate” are placed on Republicans, it alienates people from getting engaged. Currently, Republicans hold all statewide elected offices and 85 percent of the seats in the South Dakota Legislature.


    2. State House Says No To Amending Constitution

      PIERRE, SD — The South Dakota House of Representatives has voted, 40-28, against calling for an Article V Convention of the States.

      An Article V convention would allow the states to offer proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution on balancing the budget and other issues dear to the hearts of some conservative groups.. 

      At least 34 states must call for the Article V convention before it can be convened.  

      Tim Goodwin(Goodwin)  Republican Tim Goodwin of Rapid City voted against the resolution, basically because such a convention might open up a can of worms and result in unintended consequences.

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      (Latteral)  Resolution Sponsor Isaac Latteral of Sioux Falls made an impassioned appeal for support. Isaac Latterell

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      said Latteral referring to the federal government, as he compared some critics of Article V to hostages who come to sympathize with their captors, the so-called Stockholm Syndrome.

      The South Dakota Article V debate picked up national attention when ultra conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin last week urged South Dakota voters to call their lawmakers to support the resolution. Article V activists also were lobbying hard in Pierre.

       


    3. Overflow Crowd Attends Farm Show Crackerbarrel

      crackerbarrell 01-1-17 hugh bartels Crackerbarrel 2-14-17 jason kettwig Crackerbarrel 2-14-17 neil tapio Crackerbarrel 2-14-17 burt tulson Crackerbarrel 2-14-17 nancy york Crackerbarrel 2-14-17 jason frerichs

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Listen below to hear the Farm Show Legislator Crackerbarrel.

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    4. Taking The Plunge For Special Olympics

      CORRECTION:  We made an error in our story earlier today regarding last weekend’s Polar Plunge and we’d like to correct it.  The 2017 Special Olympics Watertown South Dakota Polar Plunge went off without a hitch and with nice weather as well.  It was held at Stokes Thomas City Park Saturday afternoon and raised thousands of dollars from businesses, students, athletes and other individuals.  The dollars will be used to fund Special Olympics.  The donations provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  We had reported earlier that a 17,000 dollar donation came from Representative Noem whereas the students and staff at the cooperative were actually the source of that large donation.  It was our error and we apologize.  Representative Noem was asked by the cooperative to represent all of the schools and students within the Northeast Education Cooperative and she graciously agreed to take the plunge, says coop spokesperson Brian Jacobsen. He talked with KXLG news and you can hear his comments below.

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      This was the 8th Annual and featured a wide range of plungers including South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem.  Here is Kristi just after taking the plunge into the cool waters of Lake Kampeska.

      Polar Plunge 2017 pic 2 - kristi noem

      In 2016 140 Plungers raised over $54,374.74 for Special Olympics South Dakota and the Special Olympics Watertown and NESC local programs! Polar Plunge 2017 pic 1 - crowd


    5. Watch Out For ‘Day of Love’ Scams

      LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: A selection of online dating app logos are seen on a mobile phone screen on November 24, 2016 in London, England. Following a number of deaths linked to the use of anonymous online dating apps, the police have warned users to be aware of the risks involved, following the growth in the scale of violence and sexual assaults linked to their use. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

      LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: A selection of online dating app logos are seen on a mobile phone screen on November 24, 2016 in London, England. Following a number of deaths linked to the use of anonymous online dating apps, the police have warned users to be aware of the risks involved, following the growth in the scale of violence and sexual assaults linked to their use. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

      February has a reputation for being “prime time” for romance but it’s also a time when scammers are looking for victims. Experts advise Minnesotans to proceed with caution before they let their hearts – and their finances – get tangled up in a romance scheme. Special Agent Garrett Croon with the F-B-I says millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate. Croon says some people are more vulnerable to scammers than others.

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      Croon says these scammers trick their victims into thinking they’re involved in a serious relationship then find clever ways to ask for money. His advice is to never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.Croon says these scammers may be targeting several victims at the same time, and they’re good at pretending they’re in love before they ask for anything.

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      Croon says there are some red flags to watch for to spot a scammer. They include the person online professing love right off the bat and pressing you to leave the dating website you met through so you can communicate using personal e-mail or instant messaging; the person sends you a photograph of himself or herself that looks like something from a glamour magazine; the person claims to be from the U-S but is traveling or working overseas; makes plans to visit you but is then unable to do so because of a tragic event; and he says be wary for anyone who asks for money for any reason


    6. It’s A Story Of Revolution, Power, Betrayal And Redemption You Have To Hear To Believe

      Tamrat LayneIt’s a story of revolution, power, betrayal and redemption you have to hear to believe.  From communist revolutionary to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, a country of 100 million people, to a prison encounter with Jesus that changed everything.  Tamrat Layne’s life is life-changing.  Tamrat is in Watertown this weekend speaking Sunday afternoon to the public free of charge at the Cornerstone United Methodist Church.  And what a story it is.  You can hear a bit of what he has to say below in an interview that aired on KXLG Radio Friday afternoon.

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    7. Senator John Thune Weighs In On Cabinet Picks

      thune1The US Senate has confirmed several of President Trumps Cabinet nominees this week. None of those nominated got through without sharp debate. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced by Senate rule during the debate over Jeff Sessions nomination for Attorney General. South Dakota Senator John Thune says it has been a difficult process.

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      Thune says most Presidents get the benefit of the doubt on cabinet picks.

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      Thune says the process changed a few years ago, which leads to the disagreements.

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      Debate has not yet started on the nomination of Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary.


    8. Governor Signs State Retirement Bill

      Dennis Daugaard 2016At his weekly press conference on Thursday Governor Dennis Daugaard announced he has signed the state retirement system measure House Bill 1016 into law. He says there has been little controversy over the measure with support nearly unanimous.  He says the bill has been moving through the legislature with little fanfare even though he says it is big news.  The Governor says the significance of the bill cannot be overstated.

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      In 2014 the trustees adopted one of the most conservative mortality tables in the nation recognizing that citizens are living longer than they did 20 years ago. He says, with that in mind last year the State Retirement Board adopted a new plan.  He says passage of the bill will bring more transparency and strength to the retirement plan by changing the method by which a retiree’s cost of living adjustment is calculated. The intent is to make the COLA adjustment reflect what is affordable, given earning experience and what is needed, given actual inflation experience.

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      If either of those are true then the board must report to the legislature and to the Governor that one of those or both of those are true and make recommendations to address the problem. He says the changes were recommended by the trustees.


    9. Child Education Pilot Program Killed In Committee

      Capitol Entrance 2The South Dakota Senate Education committee killed a bill today that would have established an early childhood education pilot program. Bill Sponsor Billie Sutton of Burke says studies show kids in early education do better later in life.

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      The bill called for a one time, five-million-dollar appropriation to set up the programs.  Kelsey Roth with the Bureau of Finance and Management says they were concerned with the financial impact.

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       Senator Jeff Monroe of Pierre made the motion to send the bill to the 41st day.

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       The committee voted six to one to effectively kill the bill.

       


    10. Concealed Gun Law Approved In The State House Wednesday

      NAGRPeople would be able to carry concealed guns in the State Capitol under legislation approved Wednesday by the House 46-20. The bill alllows a pistol with an enhanced concealed carry permit. Rising in opposition, Republican Mary Duvall revealed that she has such a permit, but based upon her shooting score, lawmakers wouldn’t want her walking around with a gun.

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      But supporters argued that the bill doesn’t require concealed carry, just allows it. Republican Larry Rhoden claimed that concealed carry at the Capitol would make everyone safer.

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      The State Highway Patrol, which provides security at the Capitol, strongly opposes allowing people to tote concealed weapons in the building. The bill now goes to the State Senate.

       


    11. Attorney General Wants Tougher Scandel Laws

      Marty JackleyPunishment for Joop Bollen in the EB-5 Scandal could have been tougher under terms of a bill State Attorney General Marty Jackley wants the State Legislature to approve. Bollen took a plea deal for misusing money related to the EB-5 program. He was given probation and a fine. Jackley says the state’s hands were tied under current law. His bill would allow for more options.

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      Jackley’s wants to toughen the law against public officials who knowingly misuse taxpayer money. He says they should be treated like any other thief.

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    12. Voters Will Decide Fate Of Codington County Zoning Laws March 27th

      Codington County residents who circulated a petition to refer the county’s zoning ordinance law 65 were successful in getting enough names to bring the issue to a vote. Cindy Brugman is Codington County Auditor.

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      Brugman says the earliest date and the one she recommends for the election is Monday, March 27th. She says her office would need that time to give notice to the public, line up polling places, find workers, and prepare the ballot which will also need to be printed along with publication.  That notice has to go to the county’s two legal papers the Watertown Public Opinion and South Shore Gazette and that’s where the election costs begin to show up.

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      patrick mccann newest 2016It’s expected the special election will cost the county close to 50,000 dollars with the bulk of the costs due to publication costs of the 164 page document. The Extension building will be available for the date March 27th.    The commission agreed to set that date for the special election.  The vote will have a huge impact in Codington County says states attorney Patrick McCann.  He, along with zoning official Luke Mueller, say the options include asking for a moratorium on any future building permits or readopting all of the county’s ordinances as they currently exist.  He said they tried to readopt them but the referendum ended that effort.  KXLG spoke with McCann earlier today about the long range impact of repealing the county zoning laws.

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      KXLG news asked McCann why there wasn’t more said about the impact of the ban before the petition process was completed?

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      The Codington County building permit moratorium was approved by the commissioners and will initially run for two weeks.


    13. Non Resident Waterfowl License Bill Approved In Committee Now Headed To Senate Floor

      south dakota wildlife federationDespite opposition from South Dakota Sportsmen’s groups the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday approved Senate Bill 123,  a measure that would allow Spink County to join others in Eastern South Dakota that allows additional non-resident waterfowl licenses.  Chris Hesla with the South Dakota Wildlife Federation says his group has been fighting this issue since 1945 and that it’s the single reason his group was formed in the first place.  He says granting more non-resident waterfowl licenses will translate to more commercialized hunting in South Dakota, pushing out resident hunters.  Hesla says the legislature needs to decide if they or the Game, Fish and Parks Commission are going to make these decisions.

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       However, proponents  of the bill, including Senator Brock Greenfield of Clark, expressed concerns with the decreasing numbers of instate hunters in recent years who hunt waterfowl.

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      Greenfield reminded the committee that South Dakota is the only state that has a limited non-resident waterfowl lottery and that last year the numbers of resident licenses sold in some areas where the licensing was expanded fell grossly short of what actually were sold.  The committee voted 6-2 in favor sending Senate Bill 123 to the floor.

       


    14. Schools Waiting To See What Next Following Confirmation Of Betsy DeVoss As US Education Secretary

      betsy devossPhoto Betsy DeVos

      With the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as US Education Department Secretary, local school districts are now waiting and watching to see what trickles down from the federal level. Dan Swartos, Superintendent at McCook Central in Salem, says they don’t get a lot of federal money.

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      Swartos says they do depend on a federal program for a pre-school program.

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      Swartos says they will wait to see what changes in federal rules may be coming from the new Administration.


    15. South Dakota Lawmakers Rebuilding Ethics Reform Measure Following Repeal

      mark mickelson 2016A law that was repealed one week is getting reinstated piece by piece by the South Dakota Legislature.  Supporters of an ethics commission, lobbyist gift bans, campaign finance reform and publicly funded campaigns railed against HB 1069 which struck down what voters approved in November. South Dakota House Speaker Mark Mickelson felt IM 22 was a mess.

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      In its place are bills that will stand alone and Mickelson admits South Dakotans are going to hold legislators accountable.

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      Other bills that construct an ethics commission and fine tune finances for campaigns will be discussed this session. Among those are two Senate bills and three others in the House that will have specific purposes to hold people accountable and limit out-of-state contributions for ballot issues.


    16. Child Advocacy Center Progresses

      Nic AhmannPlans for a child advocacy center in Watertown are taking a big step forward, thanks in part to a partnership with Sanford Health and the Northeast Multidisciplinary Special Victims Unit. Sanford Health Watertown Clinic has committed to providing this multi-disciplinary team with space on the second floor of the clinic to see patients. Child’s Voice, a child advocacy center based at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, will provide a pediatrician specially trained in forensic interviewing. As part of the work at the Watertown-based advocacy center, the pediatrician will evaluate patients from a 13 county area in northeast South Dakota

      Jolene’s Law Task Force began in 2014 which included child sexual abuse experts from all over South Dakota coming together to study the prevalence and impact of child sexual abuse in South Dakota. It identified six major goals that address a comprehensive approach towards ending child sexual abuse in the state. One of the goals identified includes the response of law enforcement and Child Protection Services.

      “With Sanford Health leadership and generosity, the special victims unit can take a giant leap forward in being able to provide the services needed to investigate the maltreatment of children in our community,” said detective Nic Ahmann. “We can now take the next step in creating further partnerships with leaders in our area. The Child Advocacy Center will now have a place to call home but is seeking additional funds to open our doors to provide the services northeast South Dakota desperately needs.”


    17. Habitat For Humanity Introduces New Director To City Council

      Nick GorrPhoto Nick Gor

       

      Watertown’s Habitat For Humanity Greater Watertown Region presented their annual report to the Watertown City Council last evening. Barb Pierson,who is with Superior Homes Watertown, is a board member with the group.

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      Nick  Gor said he’s looking forward to the new year with a new house they’re closing on in a couple of months with a new family. He said they were gifted a Superior Homes, home and  are looking now for an available lot and partner family.

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      Previously Gor had been responsible for Benefits Administration, Recruiting and Account Management for Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Remedy Intelligent Staffing and ABM Industries.


    18. City In Negotiations With County For Parking Lot North Of The City Auditorium For Possible New Jail Location

      city auditorium 2As part of the ongoing efforts to improve jail facility needs and the justice center, the Codington County Commissioners have approached the city with a request to get an appraisal of the current city auditorium and the parking lot land to the north. Mayor Steve Thorson says the city has obtained two appraisals, one for each parcel.  He says the county is primarily interested just the parking lot property, namely the land to the north of the city auditorium which came in at 462,000 dollars.

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      Codington County Commissioner and head of the Codington County Justice Advisory Committee Lee Gabel says they’re currently looking at smaller options in the 30 million dollar range to cover their needs.

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      Gabel talked about the proposed use of that land north of the city auditorium.

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      The value of the City Auditorium has been pegged at 650,000 dollars. No decisions were made last night regarding the possible sale of the land, although the council and mayor seem to agree that area would be ideal.  Originally the area had been looked at as a possible location for a new city hall.


    19. Watertown Fire Rescue Fund Raising For New Safety House

      sparkyWatertown, SD — The Watertown Fire Department has begun fund raising for a new safety house that’s used to instruct elementary students in the fundamentals of what to do in case of a fire in their home. The current structure was built in 1992 and is tall and cumbersome to haul around to the schools. Fire Chief Doug Kranz says the two-story building has served their needs well, but that a one-story building would be better. He’s hopeful there will be more organizations who can donate materials and time to help construct the new safety house. They will also be looking at grants to help finalize plans.

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      To date, Watertown Fire Rescue has raised 9,500 dollars in donations. The council commended the department for taking the initiative to improve the safety house saying it’s a good return on investment.

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    20. Here Are The Results Of The 2017 Knights Of Columbus District Basketball Free Throw Championship Sunday

      2017 KOC Regional B-ball Champ 001Here are the results of the 2017 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.  Also attached is a photo of the first place winners in each age division.  They are ages 9-14 left to right.  Also in the photo on the right is District Deputy Dave Manning.

       

      2017 KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS

      DISTRICT BASKETBALL FREE THROW CHAMPIONSHIP

      WATERTOWN, SD

      SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2017

       

      The following boys and girls ages 9-14 placed first in their age division.

       

      BOYS

       

      9 yrs.   Jackson McClemans,

       

      10 yrs. Jackson Wohlleber

       

      11 yrs. Evan Meester,

       

      12 yrs. Jaiden McCreary

       

      13 yrs. Mack Johnson

       

      14 yrs. Xavier Kriz

       

       

      GIRLS

       

      9 yrs.   Allison Case

       

      10 yrs. Emmalee Nielson

       

      11 yrs. Ellie Koenig

       

      12 yrs. Zoey Wohlleber

       

      13 yrs. Tasha Zirbel

       

      14 yrs. Emily Ollerich

       

       

      The top five District contestants out of 18 districts in South Dakota will qualify for the State Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship to be held at the Chamberlain Community Center, Chamberlain, SD on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 1:00 PM.

       

       


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