• Local News

    1. Two Watertown Men Sentenced To The State Pen On Assault And Kidnapping Charges

      codington county states attorney long form

      Watertown SD — Two Watertown men have been sentenced to the South Dakota Penitentiary as a result of their involvement in an aggravated assault involving a firearm and a shower curtain rod.  Darren Stanley Clements age 27 and Thomas Christopher Carpenter age 30 were previously arrested and charged with multiple counts of Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon and Kidnapping as a result of a Watertown Police Department investigation into an incident that happened back on February 10th of this year.  The investigation revealed that two victims, one adult male and one adult female, were coaxed to a residence in Watertown by Clements and Carpenter where they were subsequently assaulted over the course of more than an hour.  According to witness statements, the male victim was beaten with a shower curtain rod by Clements as the female victim pleaded for the assault to stop.  Carpenter then took a Ruger 9MM handgun and ejected a bullet handing it to the female victim and telling her to hold onto it because it, “had her name on it.”  Carpenter subsequently placed the loaded firearm on both the forehead of the male and female victims threatening their lives and the lives of their families if the spoke of the assault.  According to the Witnesses and the defendant statements, the motive for the assault was Carpenter’s belief that the female victim had referred to him as a, “snitch”.  Clements pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon which is a class three felony.  He also pleaded guilty to Aiding and Abetting Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon which also is a class three felony. Both of which were punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.  Clements was sentenced July 27th and received two 15 year sentences with five years suspended on each count, running concurrently.  Carpenter also pleaded guilty to Aggravate Assault With A Deadly weapon and Aiding and Abetting Aggravated Assault To Commit Bodily Injury With A Dangerous Weapon, both again class three felonies.  Carpenter was sentenced yesterday (August 17, 2016) and received two 15 year sentences with two years suspended on each count running concurrently.  A habitual offender enhancement for prior felony convictions was dismissed against both defendants through a plea agreement.  The case was prosecuted by the Codington County States Attorney’s Office.

       


    2. Prairie Lakes Welcomes New General Surgeons

      PLHS - Gerrish PLHS - SchaefferWATERTOWN, S.D. – August 16, 2016 – Prairie Lakes Healthcare System welcomes General Surgeons Greg Gerrish, MD and Jacob Schaeffer, MD. They join Kendra Kamlitz, MD and staff at Prairie Lakes General Surgery Clinic.

      Dr. Greg Gerrish received his medical degree from the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. He completed a residency in General Surgery at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A son of Drs. Ed and Catherine Gerrish, Dr. Greg Gerrish is a Watertown native and is excited to serve the community. He and his wife, Alison, have a daughter and are expecting a boy in December.

      “My approach to care is very individualized,” said Dr. Gerrish. “I am excited to be back in the town where I grew up and it has been my dream to be a surgeon to serve the community that once served me.”

      Dr. Schaeffer received his medical degree from the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. He completed a residency in General Surgery at Gunderson Health System in La Crosse, WI. Both Dr. Schaeffer and his wife grew up in the Huron area and have three young children. He enjoys being active outdoors with sports, hunting, fishing, and spending time with family.

      “My family and I are excited to move to Watertown and be involved with the community,” said Dr. Schaeffer. “I believe in innovative and comprehensive care across the broad spectrum of general surgery services.”

      Drs. Greg Gerrish and Jacob Schaeffer both utilize minimally invasive technology when possible to optimize recovery. They diagnose and treat common conditions at the Prairie Lakes General Surgery Clinic located at Mallard Pointe; such as, gall bladder disorders, hernias, breast diseases, thyroid diseases, colon cancer screening and treatment, dialysis access, and gastroesophageal reflux. You may schedule an appointment at the Prairie Lakes General Surgery Clinic by calling 605-882-6850. A referral is not required to schedule an appointment.


    3. 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 for Wednesday August 17th, 2016.

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    4. Cyber Security Lunch And Learn August 18th In Watertown


      south dakota retailers association

       

      WATERTOWN, S.D.-Are you utilizing a hardware Firewall at your business? Is your data backed up? Are you sure?  The South Dakota Retailers Association (SDRA) endorsed provider, Infotech Solutions, will host a Lunch & Learn event from noon to 1 p.m. CT on Thursday, August 18th at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Watertown focusing on cybersecurity. The event is free and open to the public.   Infotech Solutions will discuss cyber security threats in today’s world, as well as solutions to reduce the likelihood of attacks in your business. Infotech provides solutions to a variety of different business types including, but not limited to, retail establishments, chiropractors, dentists, agriculture, auto, restaurants, insurance agencies, etc. They provide IT assistance to businesses with one location and few devices as well as businesses with multiple locations and over 75 devices.   “I strongly encourage retailers to attend this seminar with crucial information on how to keep their data safe,” said Jamie Farmen, SDRA Government Relations Coordinator.

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      Registration is required. To RSVP, please email jfarmen@sdra.org with your business name, name of the person attending, and phone number or call 800-658-5545 and ask for Jamie.

       


    5. A Bad Week On Area Highways!

      accident florenceKXLG Photo courtesy of Eldon LeBore

      It has been a nasty week on our highways in the KXLG listening area. We’re all thankful that yesterday’s accident on highway 20 west of Watertown caused only minor injuries. Here’s the details from the Department of Public Safety. The three vehicle crash happened on South Dakota Highway 20, near mile marker 390, ½ mile west of County Road 19 four miles west of Watertown at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday. The dof the first vehicle was Traci Wells, age 40, of Watertown who was wearing a seatbelt charges are pending against her. Tai DeMarrias, age 30 whose address is unknown was in the second vehicle. In that vehicle were three unnamed minor passengers described as a 10 and 5 year old female and an 8 year old male. All were wearing seatbelts. In the third vehicle was 61 year old Randy Finstad of Bradley who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Charges are also pending against him. Three: 1995 GMC Sierra. Everybody involved in crash, but Finstad, sustained minor injuries and were transported to Watertown Hospital. Finstad was checked by hospital staff and was not injured. The three vehicles were traveling east on South Dakota Highway. The DeMarrias and Finstad vehicles were stopped at a construction zone awaiting a pilot car. The vehicle driven by Wells first rear-ended the DeMarrias vehicle, sending that vehicle into the ditch. The Wells vehicle then rear-ended the Finstad vehicle, sending that into the ditch as well. The Highway Patrol investigated. The Codington County Sheriff’s Office and Watertown Fire rescue also were on scene. An accident Monday morning west of Watertown on highway 212 seriously injured a 41 year old Willow Lake woman.  Last week a 41 year old woman was killed in another accident on highway 20 near the airport entrance.  Codington County Sheriff Toby Wishard is encouraging the public to slow down and be watchful of intersections and construction.


    6. SD Fraud Complaints Down, But Thousands Still At Risk

      Fraud Complaints

       

       

       

       

       

      New numbers show South Dakota is reporting fewer fraud complaints than almost every other state, but thousands of local residents are still falling victim to scams. According to A-A-R-P’s Fraud Watch Network, South Dakota ranks 49th in the nation for fraud complaints – but in 2014, nearly 33-hundred people submitted complaints about identity theft and other forms of fraud. Leah Ganschow with A-A-R-P South Dakota says most are being duped either by lottery scams or identity theft – because their information is just too easy to steal.

      Ganschow says anyone who uses a public Internet connection at hotels or restaurants should assume that it’s never private. She suggests avoiding typing in credit card numbers or accessing a bank account while on public Wi-Fi.

      And this Thursday afternoon, August 18th, A-A-R-P South Dakota hosts its final free summer Fraud Watch event in Hartford. The South Dakota Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau will share next steps for anyne who has fallen victim to a scam


    7. Too Much And Too Little Water

      Codington County logoCodington County Facilities Manager Milo Ford called his briefing before the commissioners today his “whiny water” report. He says the recent four plus inch rains that flooded parts of Watertown didn’t fall at Lake Kampeska with the water levels at the Memorial Park boat landing still critically low.

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      He also said that, although not serious, some rain water from the recent heavy downpour did find its way into the Southwest corner of the courthouse basement.  The Codington County Detention center didn’t fare as well with the building experiencing numerous leaks and loss of ceiling tiles.

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      Ford says it wasn’t a pretty sight to see following the rains of last weekend.

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      He says that, although this was extreme rainfall, there’s still leakage occurring during normal rain events. Ford says the thousands of gallons of water weighing down on the roof membrane at the jail stressed the building.  He was hoping the county could put those repairs off until 2018 but that, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.  County Auditor Cindy Brugman says there are dollars available to do the repair.

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      The commissioners were in agreement that, regardless of the future of that building, it will be used and therefore needs to be repaired. Continuing on with the water woes Ford said that, in addition to the detention center, the County Ag building was also infiltrated by water.

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      Ford said large amounts of water found its way into the barn as well but that it has a dirt floor and therefore most of the water was absorbed into the ground. He said they did have to pump water out of the barn for about five hours last Saturday but that it’s at manageable level know with only a small amount of standing water still in the structure. He’s hoping to install drain tile between the two buildings to help avoid the runoff issue in the future. Ford says the good news is that it doesn’t appear any of the water came in through the roof, but rather underneath.


    8. New Airline Service Costs Watertown Alderman A Six-Pack Of Coke!

      coke betIt wasn’t exactly a bet but some good natured ribbing when Watertown City Alderman Glen Vilhauer said he would make good on a promise to provide the mayor with some Coca-cola if ADI airlines followed through with service to Watertown. Well…it happened and Glen made good on that promise to the mayor at last night’s city council meeting. We have a photo and some comments at mykxlg.com this morning. Cheers Mayor!

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    9. Watertown City Council Agrees Tentatively To Loan Lions 200,000 For New Multi-Use Facility At 3rd Ave. Pond

      lions park drawingWatertown SD — The Watertown City Council last evening agreed to pony up 200,000 dollars by way of an interest free loan to help the Watertown Lions Club launch their plans for a new 350,000 dollar structure that will be constructed at the 3rd Avenue Lions Park on top of the hill near the pond.  The new facility will be a multi-use structure says Lions club member and project co-chair Tom Marquardt.

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      Marquardt says they’ve had tremendous support for the project within the community of Watertown.  He anticipates numerous different activities at the facility including a kickoff fishing seminar for kids when it’s finished.

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      The capacity of the building will be in the neighborhood of 60 to 70 people and will be available for public use on a first-come basis and for special events.


    10. Huron Business Expansion Could Add 250 New Jobs

      Dakota Provisions PlantDakota Provisions is expanding in Huron.  The move could add 250 new jobs to the city.   Greater Huron Development Corporation President and C-E-O Jim Borszich says the turkey grower-owned co-operative was looking to expand the project outside Huron.

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      The smaller project is a nine-million dollar expansion of cold storage space at an existing facility on Huron’s northwest side.  Dakota Provisions main plant is located just east of Huron.  The expansion is planned for the west side of Huron.

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      One concern and commitment made by Huron to get the expansion is to find housing for the increase in workers.

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      Borszich says the Dakota Provision project and jobs will help ease the sting of the eventual loss of Dakota Access jobs.  The other cities Dakota Provisions considered for the expansion were Aberdeen and Mitchell.


    11. Great Lakes Jet Express ADI Makes Inaugural Flight To Denver And Back!

       mayor going through line mayor Gill and Thorson mayor polishing shoesmayor ribbon cuttingThe inaugural flight of Great Lakes Jet Express left the Watertown air terminal with stops in Pierre and Watertown early this morning.  On today’s flight were city officials from both communities, including Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill and Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson who both spoke with reporters on the tarmac at the Denver airport midmorning.

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      Among those on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Watertown Airport Monday afternoon was South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem.

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      ADI officials thanked both communities for the support they’ve received. mayor omelet

       

      Photos powered SPRINT

      Photos include Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson and Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill on the Denver tarmac as well as the mayor having some fun in the TSA line at Watertown and having his promised Denver Omlet at the Denver Airport.  It also shows photo of ribbon cutting with Airport Manager Todd Syhre and South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem as well as city council members and ADI officials.

       

      mayor adi plane and pilot


    12. Brown Clinic Jump Start Your Health Jump Rope Contest Winners From Thursday Night Live!

      brown clinic jump 2 brown clinic jump 3 brown clinic jump 1Brown Clinic’s Jump Start Your Health Jump Rope Contest  was held at Thursday Night Live last night.  Everyone got free jump ropes with the winners each receiving a $10 gift certificate to The Goss.  The contest winners were picked by who could jump the longest without a mistake—-

      Here are the winners’ names along with photos. 

      Cori Frost—    11

      Kate Gillette   18

      Matt Lawrence – Over 18 Category

       


    13. A Federal Bureau Has Just Announced That South Dakota’s Highest Point Has Been Renamed

      Harney PeakA Federal bureau has just announced that South Dakota’s highest point has been renamed. The move has been met with resistance close to home. The U.S. Board on Geographic Names announced Thursday that it had renamed South Dakota’s Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak. U.S. Senator John Thune feels that the State was shut out of the decision.

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      Moreover, Thune says the U.S. Board on Geographic Names jumped the gun on the new moniker.

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      Thune listed groups such as the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, and the State Board on Geographic Names all advised against changing the name of Harney Peak, however 83 year old Basil Braveheart is ecstatic about the change.  The Lakota elder, almost single-handedly launched the long-shot campaign for the name change about two years ago.

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      The landmark was originally named for Army General William Harney who led soldiers in battle against Sioux Indians in 1855.


    14. Watertown Receives Record Breaking Rain Overnight!

      ThunderstormWatertown flooding - Highway 212 near the 81 Junction Watertown flooding Highway 81 at Kemp Ave. near the downtown area at just after 1 am.A line of storms that formed overnight in the Watertown area brought record breaking rains. Lead forecaster Troy Kleffman with the National Weather Service Office in Aberdeen says that Watertown was on the north end of line of thunderstorms that moved through the eastern side of the state. He says the heavy rains were the result of the storms pivoting back to the west and stalling out or moving very slowly.

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      Kleffman says that, although the heavy rains extended all the way into Western Minnesota, the heaviest concentration was in Hamlin and Codington Counties overnight.

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      The three-day rain total at Watertown is now pegged at more than 6 inches bringing the yearly average of precipitation ahead of normal for the first time this year. Kleffman says the heavy rain events are most likely done for now with no big line of storms in the forecast, other than isolated thunderstorms, for the next few days.


    15. Waverly-South Shore School Nearing Completion

      waverly school 3 2016 waverly school 1 2016 waverly school 2 2016Photos powered by SPRINT

      Photos show the high school hall with lockers, a new classroom with the latest IT technology and the new computer lab. There’s still lots to be done but Superintendent John Bjorkman is confident they will have most of the construction and move in finished for the first day of school

      There is still work to be done before the Waverly-South Shore school opens the doors to another year but according to Superintendent John Bjorkman everyday they’re getting that much closer to putting the finishing touches on the K-12 school that will see an enrollment this fall of 250 students.  KXLG toured the new school with the superintendent on Thursday and sat down for a visit.  You can hear our conversation below.  The new school will replace the existing structure that stood since the 1920’s but was torn down earlier this year to make room for the new state-of-the-art school.

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    16. 2017 Sturgis Rally Logo Unveiled

      rally 2017STURGIS, S.D. – The 76th Sturgis Rally is only half over, but the town is gearing up for 77.

      Wednesday the city unveiled the logo for next year’s Rally.

      Crowds gathered around the east photo tower on the city’s Main Street to catch a glimpse of next year’s new look.

      The logo is designed by Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. and is the only official logo for the Rally each year.

      Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen says the logo is important to the rally.

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      Carstensen says they introduce the new logo early so vendors have plenty of time to get merchandise ready for next year.


    17. Beneficial Rains Fall In KXLG Listening Area

      rainfall amountsSome nice rainfall totals were reported overnight in the KXLG listening area. Watertown officially received just over 1.6 inches of rain. Higher amounts to the north and east. Look at the National Weather Service Map below to get a reading on how much rain fell where. The darker the color the more rain reported. You’ll see a chart off to the right that matches the amount of rain with the color that shows up on the map. Looks like the most rain we’ve had all summer. Too bad some wind had to be a part of the equation near Milbank and Huron.


    18. Storm Packs Strong Winds But Welcome Rain

       

      Huron storm 1 Northwestern Energy crews patrolled the streets of Huron looking for downed power lines early Thursday morning after 70 to nearly 80 mile an hour winds slammed into the Beadle County seat.  Jeff Chapman at the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says the system of showers and thunderstorms approaching Huron did not pose a threat until just before reaching the west side of town.                                                          

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      Chapman says the Weather Service got huron storm 2multiple reports of peak wind gusts as the storms rolled through around midnight….

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      Those winds led to numerous reports of damage….

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      Six to seven cart corrals at the Huron Wal-Mart were collapsed in the parking lot.  A large branch shattered the windshield of Kerri Erickson’s Chevrolet and tree branches of various sized covered many streets.  Dozens of trash barrels at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds were tossed around by the winds.  Northwestern Energy reported 808 customers without power in Huron at the peak of the storm. They estimated restoration of power to customers by five A-M.  Dakota Energy Cooperative said they had numerous minor outages across Hand and Beadle County. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued Wednesday night for parts of Spink, Clark, Beadle, Jeruald, Kingsbury, Miner and Sanborn Counties.  Winds of 72 miles an hour were recorded near Mellette and a 70 mile an hour wind was estimated in Northville. Both of those towns are in Spink County.  Rainfall was pegged at between 2 and 2 and half inches in a stretch of northern South Dakota from Day to Grant county.  Watertown reported nearly an inch and a half of rain overnight.  The National Weather Service reports that strong winds took down a barn in the Milbank area yesterday.


    19. Mayor Says Misunderstanding Over Game Fish and Parks Land

      game fish and parks-Logo- NEWESTWith the buzz that the Game Fish and Parks Department will be building on their land South of Pelican Lake when the time is right, Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson says there has been some misunderstanding about the future of the GF and P’s current buildings that are located on Kemp Ave. on 7 acres of land just off Kemp Avenue in West Watertown.   The mayor says he doesn’t want the city to buy that land, but rather would be open to a trade.  On the other hand the Mayor suggested to two members of county commissioners at a Government Affairs Committee meeting Wednesday morning that they might look at that location as a possible site for the new justice center.  Thorson says that three of the four locations the Codington County Commissioners are looking at are located in the downtown area.

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    20. Bain Sentenced In Lester’s Gun and Pawn

      KXLG LOGOChristopher Alan Bain age 20 of Watertown, was sentenced Thursday to the South Dakota State Penitentiary for a term of two years as a result of his commission of the burglary of Lester’s Pawn and Gun on May 17, 2016. On May 17th Watertown Police responded to a report of a burglary at Lester’s Gun & Pawn, 1902 5th St SE, Watertown, SD.
      During the early morning hours, the suspect forced entry into the business by breaking a window. While inside, the suspect was confronted by two dogs. During the encounter, the suspect punched the dogs as they approached him. The suspect fled the scene empty handed. 
      In addition to the two year sentence for attempted burglary, Bain received a four year penitentiary sentence on his probation revocation. Both terms will run consecutive, meaning Bain will have a six year term subject to conditions of parole eligibility. 
      Bain and the Codington County State’s Attorney’s Office entered into a plea agreement wherein Bain agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of Attempted Burglary – 3rd Degree and agreed to enter an admission to violating the terms and conditions of his probation for a previous felony conviction of Obtaining Prescription Drugs by Theft. The State agreed to dismiss an additional burglary charge which was pending against Bain. Additionally Bain was ordered to repay restitution to Lester’s Pawn for the damage resulting in the attempted burglary. 

       


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