• Local News

    1. Avera Health To Provide Exclusive E-emergency Care And Other Telemedicine Care To Indian Health Services

      avera-health-logoSioux FAlls, South Dakota —  Avera Health, based in Sioux Falls, will provide exclusive e-emergency care and other telemedicine care to Indian Health Services facilities across the Great Plains.

      Avera e-Care President, Deanna Larson, says Avera is excited about the $6.8 million contract with IHS.

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      Avera telemedicine will provide online e-emergency rooms and more specialized care on remote Indian reservations, including mental health. Larson says telemedicine will help local health care providers, for example with a broken leg.

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      “If they feel that this is such a bad fracture that it may need to be taken care of by an orthopedic surgeon outside of what they can handle, or that its hemorrhaging and they’re worried that the patient’s at risk, they would connect with us,” explains Larson.

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      Larson says it’s too early to tell just how many IHS patients will take advantage of the new high-tech medical services, but she expects it to increase over time. An estimated 130,000 tribal members are potential customers.

      Countless reports of substandard care on reservations in South Dakota and other Plains state have mushroomed the Indian Health Care Crisis. Hospital emergency rooms on reservations have been closed because of persistent shortcomings.

      Larson says Avera has high confidence that the telemedicine program will have an impact and will “certainly” increase the access to health care on the reservations


    2. Watertown City Council Votes Unanimous Not To Vacate Hot Fishing Spot On Lake Kampeska

      marina-bayThe Watertown City Council voted unanimously this week not to vacate a road that leads to a hot fishing spot on Lake Kampeska in Marina Bay on the west side of Lake Kampeska. The area in question lies near two lots that were recently sold just north of the Marina Bay entrance and that lies close to public access in the bay.  The request to vacate was made because of the difficulty for city street crews to do snow removal and garbage pickup if a home were to be built on that location.  Sportsmen, including Darren Laqua who represented the Dakota Sportsmen’s club objected to the vacation.

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      The council agreed with Laqua and opted not to vacate the road that leads into the north side of the Marina Bay area.


    3. Watertown Development Company And City Announce Purchase Of Land For Industrial Development

       watertown-development-company

      Watertown S.D., September 27th, 2016:  The Watertown Development Company (WDC) has announced plans to build a new industrial park that could bring more than 500 jobs to Watertown.

      The WDC and the city of Watertown is investing $1.5 million into the 110-acre park.  The purchase will include 80 acres of land south of Wal-Mart and the other 30 acres will come from land that the city already owns in that area.

      Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson says the investment is wisel

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      The new site will be open to large manufacturing companies looking to start or relocate and grow their businesses in Watertown. Michelle Kakacek, Director of Business Development for the WDC, appeared before Mayor Steve Thorson and city council members Monday night during the Watertown City Council meeting to introduce plans to complete the purchase and management agreement for the 110-acre industrial park.

      Craig Atkins, Executive Director for the Watertown Development Company, says now is the time to invest in more land specific to the manufacturing industry. “In the last few years, as other states and the nation has seen a decline, this state has seen record capital investment in manufacturing.” He added, “The geographical location is perfect for the value of service Watertown will be able to provide being close to the junction of interstate 29 and Highway 212.”

      He says the park presents a major opportunity for Watertown, based on other industrial park development in our area in the past, has the potential of creating more than 500 jobs. “Industrial parks that have developed in our area in the past have created many jobs for our community. We are creating a future that will bring hundreds of new jobs to Watertown, jobs that will bring new workforce to Watertown”. He added, “The new site keeps our community on the radar of companies outside of South Dakota.  The greater amount of land we have available in Watertown to offer to new companies makes us a better possibility for companies that were not possible before.”

      The Watertown city council will consider annexation for the project in October.

       

       


    4. Watertown High School Announces 2016 Royalty

      arrow-royalty-2016-pic-1 arrow-royalty-pic-2The Watertown High School Homecoming royalty was announced last evening. Watertown High School Principal Dr. Mike Butts.

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      He shared the names of all the candidates for this year’s Sagitta Homecoming.

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      Dr. Butts talked about Tyson.

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      He talked about the new Arrows legend.

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      And about the rest of the week?

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      Watertown plays Sioux Falls O’Gorman Friday evening.


    5. Great Lakes Jet Express/ADI Boarding Numbers Through The Roof!

      adi jet airplaneThe numbers are looking good for Great Lakes Jet Express/ADI airlines at Watertown. Airport manager Todd Syhre says that from August 15th to date the airline has already carried a total of 2,481 passengers from Watertown to Pierre and Denver and back with a 100 percent completion factor and a 48 percent load factor.  He says that number is nearly 20 percent ahead of where the airline thought they would be. Syhre says the good news is that the airline is falling far under the Federal per passenger subsidy of 910 dollars that was being paid out to the former airline Great Lakes. He says that number has now dropped from 910 dollars per passenger to $186.40.  He says that means they’re even beating the current 200 dollar per passenger cap the Federal Government is allowing now. Because the airline is below the cap it means the Federal Subsidy will be continued. There has also been an uptick in passenger numbers in the last few days.  He says the airline is doing so well that the public is being reminded there will be limited 79 dollar one-way seats available until the end of the year.  The standard fare structure at 99 dollars one-way will remain in place.

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    6. Scout Troop Honored As Watertown Community Service Award Recipient Of The Year In Watertown

      troop-209-project troop-209This year’s Watertown Community Service Award was presented last night to Eagle Scout Troop 209 for their work for refurbishing the scoring stand at the Cattails Crossing Golf Course. City Councilman Mike Danforth.

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    7. 2.2 Million Dollar 25 Year Naming Rights Go To “Prairie Lake’s Wellness Center”

      rec-center-name-pic-2 rec-center-name-pic-1prairie-lakes-wellness-center-artists-rendtionA 2.2 million dollar Watertown Community Recreation Center name signing agreement was announced today. Flanked by hospital and other city officials Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson made the announcement.

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      The new Watertown Community Recreation Center will become the Prairie Lake’s Wellness Center. Prairie Lakes Healthcare System President and CEO Jill Fuller says the naming will make their brand more prominent in this region.

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      The naming rights agreement will run for 25 years.

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      Fuller says hospitals these days are trying to get outside of their four walls where people are taken care of when they’re sick.

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      Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson called the announcement huge.

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      The new Prairie Lakes Wellness Center is expected to open early next year.


    8. Absentee Voting Begins This Friday September 23rd

      shantel-krebsAbsentee voting in South Dakota begins this Friday and Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says the ballots can be viewed ahead of time by going to their website or by downloading the 605 app on your smart phone. That app will let registered voters look up their polling place as well as research the ballot issues.   Krebs cautions that It’s important voters bring a photo ID with them when they vote absentee.  She says that, because it’s a Presidential election, they expect voter turnout to be strong this year.

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      Krebs says they have been working to educate young people in the schools, but are still seeing large blocks young people not voting.

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       She says that PEW Center research statistics show similar trends nationally.

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       “Everyone’s vote counts” , says Krebs, especially in local races where contests are often very close.  Krebs says their job is to ensure all voters know where to vote and how to get an absentee ballot requested if they wish to vote early. All of that can be done at the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website or on the 605 app.

       


    9. Alzheimer’s Walk a Huge Success

      alzs-2016-pic-1-balloonsalzs-2016-pic-1-charles-use-this-onePhotos Powered By SPRINT

       

      A record breaking 260 people participated in the Jenkins Living Center Annual Alzheimer’s walk on Saturday. Beautiful weather greeted all of the participants who wore limited edition Terry Redlin T-shirts and who launched a  big bunch of colorful balloons to mark the occasion.  The walk began with a proclamation from Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson.

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      The Terry Redlin family was the honorary family for this year’s walk and Terry’s son Charles spoke to the group prior to the walk:

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      alzs-2016-pic-1-loren-diekmanPhotos show balloon release, Charles Redlin and Loren Diekman with Jenkins Living Center


    10. Nine People Stabbed At St. Cloud Mall

      st-cloud-mall

      The off duty police officer who shot and killed an attacker at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud on Saturday night is a part-time and the former Albany Police Chief, Jason Falconer.  St. Cloud police chief Blair Anderson says there was only about a five minute span from the time the first 911 call came in to when Officer Falconer shot and killed the suspect in the Macy’s store.

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      At the family home, Ahmed Adan says police told him Saturday night that his son, Dahir A. Adan, who died at Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud.

      He says police didn’t mention the attack on the mall, but they seized photos and other materials from the family’s apartment. Ahmed Adan, who is Somali, says his son came to the U.S. 15 years ago and was was a student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. He says he had “no suspicion” that his son might have been involved in terrorist activity.

      The Community College says Adan was never a student there.

      St. Cloud University confirms he attended school there, but has not been enrolled since spring 2016.

      The FBI’s Richard Thorton says they’re investigating it as a ‘potential’ act of terrorism.

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      St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson says he does not know how long the suspect was living in the community, but he says they’re aware of at least three minor interactions he had previously with police.  The Islamic State group, ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

      Leaders of the Somali community in Central Minnesota are condemning the stabbing of nine people at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  They held a news conference yesterday (Sunday) afternoon and  Director Jaylani Hussein says he’s concerned about backlash from the Saturday night attack.

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      Somali leader Mohamed Mohamoud says he’s spoken to the suspect’s family.

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      The Somali leaders also urged the broader community to unite, and say they fear backlash against Somalis living in the area.

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      Mohamed Mohmoud says the suspect in Saturday night’s attack at a St. Cloud mall does not represent the larger Somali community.
      None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Mall Attack – from AM 1240 WJON St. Cloud, MN

      The off duty police officer who shot and killed an attacker at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud on Saturday night is a part-time and the former Albany Police Chief, Jason Falconer.

       

      St. Cloud police chief Blair Anderson says there was only about a five minute span from the time the first 911 call came in to when Officer Falconer shot and killed the suspect in the Macy’s store.

       

      Mall Attack – Anderson “…appears to be now” :26

      At the family home, Ahmed Adan says police told him Saturday night that his son, Dahir A. Adan, who died at Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud.

      He says police didn’t mention the attack on the mall, but they seized photos and other materials from the family’s apartment. Ahmed Adan, who is Somali, says his son came to the U.S. 15 years ago and was was a student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. He says he had “no suspicion” that his son might have been involved in terrorist activity.

      The Community College says Adan was never a student there.

      St. Cloud University confirms he attended school there, but has not been enrolled since spring 2016.

      The FBI’s Richard Thorton says they’re investigating it as a ‘potential’ act of terrorism.

       

      Mall Attack – Thornton “…associates” :24

       

      St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson says he does not know how long the suspect was living in the community, but he says they’re aware of at least three minor interactions he had previously with police.

       

      None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries.

      The Islamic State group, ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the attack


    11. Watertown’s 3rd Annual Veterans/First Responder’s Appreciation Day Event Program Held At The Watertown Readiness Center Last Evening

      sea-of-goodwill-2016-pic-2 sea-of-goodwill-2016-pic-1Watertown’s 3rd annual Veterans/First Responder’s Appreciation Day event program was held at the Watertown Readiness Center last evening.  The event was sponsored by the Watertown Sea Of Goodwill and Watertown Community Foundation.  Organizer Mike Cartney

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      Former Watertown Police Chief and LATI instructor Jo Vitek also commented.

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      Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson thanked the first responders.

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      Among those attending was Watertown Fire Rescue chief Doug Kranz.

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    12. United Way Goal For Watertown Announced!

      united-way-2016-changing-the-oddsThe Watertown Area United Way kicked off their campaign drive last evening at Montgomery Furniture in Watertown with the announcement of this year’s goal. Tracey Hlavacek is the United Way Executive Director.

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      Clark Sinclair with Montgomery Furniture tells KXLG news that it has been exciting to be a part of the Watertown Community for the past four years and they wanted to give back to the community.

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      Tracey says the team training got underway earlier Thursday.

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      This year’s theme is Changing The Odds United Way Investing In Community. There are more than 30 programs that receive financial support from the United Way.  Again,  this year’s goal is 720,000 dollars.


    13. Benet Place Assisted Living Home Closing November 1

      benet-placeThe Benet Place Assisted Living Facility will be closing in November according to administrator Sister Nancy (zem-cooz-nah-cough) Zemcuznikov.  The announcement was made Tuesday that November first will be their last day of operation.

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      She says that 49 nuns belong to the Mother of God Monastery community with more than 30 currently residing there. The median age is 80.

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      She says they also have two other primary ministries. One is the Benedictine Spirituality Center and the other is the Benedictine Multi-Cultural Center.

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      11 residents are currently residing at the Benet Place Assisted living home. All have been given a six-week notice of their intent to close.

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      She also talked about the status of the employees.

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      Sister Nancy said that will consist of in-house care at the Monastery. She says they have met with both the residents and families together giving them advance notice of the decision to close.

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      Sister Zemcuznikov says the decision to close Benet Place Assisted living was extremely difficult and was made only after a recommendation to do so came from their Chief Financial Officer and the Governing Board of St. Ann’s Corporation. She says the sisters are fully committed to continuing their ministry to elders in their independent living apartments.


    14. Online Sextortion Reorted In Watertown


      sextortion

      In the past few weeks, the Watertown Police Department has taken multiple reports of an online extortion method called “sextortion”.

      What is it?
      Sextortion is defined as blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors and/or money from the victim.
      This online blackmail is often conducted by sophisticated organized criminal networks operating out of business-like locations similar to call centers.
      Though there is no one method by which criminals target their victims, many individuals are targeted through websites including social media, dating, webcam or adult pornography sites.
      Criminals often target hundreds of individuals around the world simultaneously, in an attempt to increase their chances of finding a victim.

      How does it happen?
      The blackmailer might assume the identity of an attractive man or woman then, after gaining the victim’s trust, will record footage of the victim in the nude or performing a sexual act.
      The blackmailer threatens to circulate this footage to the victim’s friends or post it online unless a certain amount of money is paid.
      In another method, the engagement between the victim and the criminal is interrupted by a child appearing on the screen during the sex act.
      The victim then receives a demand, often appearing to come from a police agency, stating that an investigation will be launched unless the victim pays.

      What to do if you believe you are being targeted?
      Immediately cease all contact with the individual and report the matter to your local police and online service provider. If the blackmail is occurring through a social network, also alert the administrator.

      Do not pay the money which is being demanded.

      Information courtesy of http://www.interpol.int/en/Crime-areas/Cybercrime/Online-safety/Sextortion


    15. Indian Health Services Announces Plans To Shut Down Emergency Room In Rapid City

      mike-rounds-seanate-2015Indian Health Services recently(Tues) announced plans to shut down the emergency room at the Sioux San Hospital (in Rapid City) and open up an urgent care facility.

      Senator Mike Rounds says that IHS brought tribal leaders into the hospital and told them what was going to happen.

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      Rounds says that more people in emergency situations will end up at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

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      IHS officials say the emergency department at Sioux San Hospital will close on Sept. 20 because of the age of the facility.


    16. South Dakota Emergency Management Directors Hear About Pipeline Safety

      keystone-pipelineABERDEEN, SD — South Dakota emergency managers have heard from TransCanada, the Keystone Pipeline people, about pipeline safety at a conference in Aberdeen.

      Pipeline safety is ‘top of mind’ with the ever growing protest at the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near the North Dakota South Dakota border.

      Lincoln County Emergency Manager Harold Timmerman attended the conference. He says pipeline companies are serious about safety, although nothing is foolproof.

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      “Is there a possiblity of an accident? Yes, but there is a possiblity of accidents with anything you are working with,” Timmerman tells KELO Radio News. He says if there is a leak, pipeline companies have teams that quickly respond to the emergency. He mentioned the recent Keystone Pipeline leak near Freeman, as an example. 

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      Timmerman says the Lincoln County part of the Dakota Access pipeline route has been completed and he has nothing but good to say about how it went. Dakota Access will carry North Dakota oil across eastern South Dakota, through Minnehaha and Lincoln counties, across Iowa to Illinois.

      Protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and numerous other Native American groups have been growing. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has called for a temporary pause in construction under the Missouri River, even though the Corps issued the permit in the first place

       


    17. Watertown Ice Arena Plans In Full Swing And Community Recreation Center Naming Rights To Be Announced Monday

      ice-arena-finalTentative Watertown Ice Arena Plans

       

      Plans for the Watertown Ice Arena are in full swing says mayor Steve Thorson.

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      On another topic the mayor says the City of Watertown will be announcing the naming rights sponsor of the Watertown Community Center Monday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.

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      The public event will take place in the South Parking lot. Anyone attending is asked to use the south parking lot and to enter the area via the main entrance off of 14th Avenue onto 15th street.  Parking will be available in the front on the east side of the building.  community-center-02-27-15


    18. From The Desk Of Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson For Week Of September 14th 2016

      mayor-thorson-for-headline-page-2015From The Desk Of Watertown Mayor Steve Thorson on KXLG

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    19. Watertown Fire Rescue Responds To Semi Tractor/Trailer Rollover

      watertown-fire-rescue-truckWatertown Fire Rescue responded to a rollover accident last night at 20th Ave SE and 29th Street SE.  The accident involved a semi tractor/trailer that was hauling a load of sheep. Authorities say the rig entered the east ditch and rolled over onto the passenger side. The South Dakota Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the accident. There were no injuries reported by anyone on scene, including the driver of the semi. Several sheep reportedly perished in the accident, but the majority were saved on scene and were trucked to local holding area. Responding were the South Dakota Highway Patrol, Codington County Sheriff’s Department, and Watertown Fire Rescue. The accident forced a traffic shut down for about an hour. In a statement released by Watertown Fire Rescue the department said that , “Watertown is very fortunate to have such highly trained tow truck drivers.”  They thanked the volunteers who helped keep the scene under control, and for working together to keep such a large incident very manageable.


    20. Woonsocket Man Denies Role In The Death Of A Woonsocket Woman

      novakPhoto courtesy of Performance Radio Huron

      A Woonsocket man denied his role in the death of a Woonsocket woman Tuesday in Sanborn County.  Matthew Novak entered not guilty pleas through his attorney Jeff Burns during a short arraignment hearing in Woonsocket.  The 33-year-old pleaded not guilty to charges of first and second degree murder and an alternating count of second degree manslaughter.  Novak, if convicted of the first degree  murder charge could face life in prison or the death penalty.  There are still few details in court document about what happened to 25 year-old Jennifer Gibson.  What the documents do reveal is who testified during Grand Jury proceedings Monday.  Six people gave testimony including Division of Criminal Investigators Special Agent Tyler Neuharth, Dr. Kenneth Snell, the Minnehaha County Coroner, three members of Novak’s family, Sanborn County Deputy Jason Coenen and the Jerauld County Sheriff, Jason Weber.  Judge Jon Erickson set a motions hearing date of November 8th.  A tentative jury trial is scheduled for January 11th in Woonsocket.


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