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   From the desk of News Director Kevin Larsen

Category: Local News

Hundreds Pack The Capitol For Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hundreds of area residents packed several floors of the capitol rotunda Tuesday night for the annual Christmas at the Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Christmas at the Capitol is now in its 34th year. This year’s theme is Christmas Around the World. Each of the nearly 100 trees represents how residents in a particular country celebrate Christmas.

Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill was the emcee for the event, and she says this is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit…

(Christmas At The Capitol 1)

The Christmas at the Capitol tradition started in the early 80’s when long-time Pierre resident Dottie Howe organized the first event. Governor Daugaard said that this year, Christmas at the Capitol will not be quite the same, as Howe passed away earlier this year…

(Christmas At The Capitol 2)

Howe’s family has a tree decorated in her honor this year.

Each tree this year represents how people in a particular country celebrate Christmas. Appropriately, Daugaard spoke about traditions that other countries have on Christmas.

First Lady Linda Daugaard announced this year’s official tree lighter, 7th grader Ava Krush of Rapid City. Linda said that Krush was diagnosed with cancer at an early age and has since fought the disease….

(Christmas At The Capitol 3)

Immediately after the ceremony, kids posed for pictures with Santa Claus in front of the large, 29 foot tall South Dakota Christmas tree. Refreshments, donated by Lynn’s Dakotamart, were served on the first floor of the Capitol.

The holiday display will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from now through Dec. 26th.                                                     

CategoriesLocal News,

"Original" SD Flag Bandit Issues Apology To Residents

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A former employee in South Dakota's secretary of state's office who admitted to stealing a century-old state flag has submitted a court-ordered apology.

The 26-year-old Garrett Devries addressed the brief letter to the secretary of state, the office's employees and the people of South Dakota. DeVries offers a "sincere apology" and says he understands that his actions caused the office "to devote time and energy to recover the flag."

Devries pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and was given a suspended 30-day jail sentence. He was ordered to publicly apologize, pay court costs and $1,500 toward upkeep of the flag.

The flag that dates to Deadwood's Old West days had been displayed on a stand inside the secretary of state's office through numerous administrations.

Officials noticed it was missing earlier this year and investigators recovered it from Devries October 8th.

The appology letter is posted on the Secreatary of State's home page at

CategoriesLocal News,

Pierre City Commission Takes Care Of Light Agenda Tuesday

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Pierre City Commission met rather briefly on Tuesday evening.

In one order of business, the commissioners unanimously approved authorization for the city electrical department to purchase a new trencher.

Electric Department employee Cory Schwartz says that the new trencher is a budgeted item in the 2016 budget.

Schwartz adds that the trencher has several uses for the city.

In other business, the commission approved all the 2016 liquor and wine license renewals. Pierre Police Chief Dave Panzer stated that the police department has had no issues or concerns from local merchants.

The commissioners remind residents that city offices will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill will be live in studio this morning at 8:30 A.M. for “Ask The Mayor.” If you have any questions for Mayor Gill, please e-mail them to or phone them in at 224-1240. Gill will highlight a broad range of topics, so this will be a “do-not-miss” show. 

CategoriesLocal News,

Shot Cow In North-Central South Dakota Receives Statewide Attention

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A cow shot in Campbell County, near the Walworth County line is getting a lot of attention.

Glenham area rancher Casey Perman found one of his cows dead on Saturday. He posted a picture and message offering a reward on Facebook. It had thousands of likes and tens of thousands of shares.

Perman is hoping for results. Finding out who shot the cow is part of his motive, but Perman also wants to prevent something like this from happening in the future.

After learning Perman’s cow has been shot, neighbors approached him and said other cows and a horse had been shot in the area within the past year.

Perman, who also operates a livestock auction, says the cow killed was old and probably not worth the reward being offered. That said, farms and ranches across the state have animals that can be worth thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars.

He's hoping tens of thousands of Facebook shares send a message.

Perman offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the shooter. Others have donated to the cause to increase the amount to $2,000.

Perman’s father, Campbell County Sheriff Lacey Perman, is investigating the case. 

CategoriesLocal News,

15th Annual Parade Of Lights Coming To Pierre Saturday

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pierre area residents will ring in the holiday season on Saturday with the annual holiday Parade of Lights.

The Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce is organizing the 15th annual parade again this year.

Chamber CEO Laura Schoen Carbonneau says that the parade is a great way to kick off the holiday season…

(Laura Parade 1)

Judging and line-up will be held at the Riggs High School parking lot at 5:00 P.M. Parade starts at 6:00 P.M.

Schoen Carbonneau says that one thing that is new this year, will be a change in the parade route…

(Laura Parade 2)

Schoen Carbonneau is also thankful to two local organizations for sponsoring two legendary floats…

(Laura Parade 3)

Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill says that she is excited to see all the floats and the creativity of the various organizations in the area. 

CategoriesLocal News,

IRS Scammers Making The Rounds In Pierre

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fake IRS calls are making the rounds in South Dakota. Callers claiming to be IRS agents tell people they have unpaid taxes, demand money, and threaten to sue.

Reports of hundreds of calls are turning up in various counties, including Hughes/Stanley, and the city of Pierre.

Officials say the best way to avoid getting scammed is do not answer calls from numbers you don't know, recognize and don't give callers your personal or financial information.

One Pierre resident’s phone has been ringing off the hook, a total of 15 times in a three hour time period.  

Better Business Bureau officials say they have received more than 1,000 complaints about the calls. 

Jessie Schmidt with the Bureau says people should avoid answering calls from unknown numbers.

People they have talked with say they've received calls from different numbers. Better Business Bureau officials say scammers will often disguise caller IDs with local area codes.

Residents say callers can be pretty combative when challenged.

Remember, the IRS will never call you. If you are being audited or have a tax bill, you'll get a letter in the mail.

If you fear you may have been a victim of a scam, or if you would like any additional information, contact the South Dakota Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or

CategoriesLocal News,

Area Residents Encouraged To Participate In Small Business Saturday

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce will be participating in the sixth annual Small Business Saturday, this Saturday, November 28th to support small businesses in Pierre and Fort Pierre.

Founded by American Express® in 2010, Small Business Saturday® is a day to celebrate the small businesses that help support their neighborhoods and is held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Now in its sixth year, Small Business Saturday has been embraced as part of the holiday shopping tradition says Chamber CEO Laura Schoen Carbonneau…

(Small Business Saturday 1)

Understanding the important contributions small businesses make to their communities, the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce its participation in Small Business Saturday and the Neighborhood Champion program. 

On Saturday, the greater Pierre/Fort Pierre area is encouraged to take part in the Small Business Saturday by attending the 15th Annual Pierre Parade of Lights at 6:00 p.m…

(Small Business Saturday 2)

The parade starts this year at Riggs High School and ends at the bottom of Pierre Street. Earlier in the day, shoppers can stop by to support local businesses and receive Shop Small® giveaways like tote bags, buttons and balloons.

CategoriesLocal News,

Bad River Ranches, Owned By Ted Turner, Gets Approval For Bison Feed Lot

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Stanley County Commissioners met during a special meeting Monday night, discussing an issue that most county governments don’t see. In fact, there are no state regulations for this topic.

That issue was a resolution approving a bison feeding facility.

Bad River Ranches Ranch Manager Dusty Hepper presented several documents, and discussed plans with the commissioners for a 27 acre, 999 head buffalo feed lot.

As most can recall, Bad River Ranches located approximately 10 miles west of Fort Pierre, is owned by media mogul Ted Turner.

Stanley County Auditor Phil Edwards assures residents that Turner is not buying any more land for this facility.

Hepper stated that the feeding facility will include a sediment basin and an evaporation pond. He also stated that all the plans have been approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. DENR actually has no state regulations on bison feed lots.

After further discussion, the commissioners approved issuing the conditional use permit for the feed lot.

In what is considered to be an “incredible project,” the feed lot will have a series of ten pens that will hold 999 total bison.

The feed lot is over 2.5 miles from the nearest residence, so there will not be any complaint of “foul odor.”

With it being a public hearing, there were no residents at the meeting that spoke out, for or against the issue.

With the conditional use approval Monday, all the contractors are in place and are ready to roll with the project. The intention is to get the dirt work started as soon as possible before the ground freezes hard.  

The price tag on the dirt work alone: 300,000 dollars. 

CategoriesLocal News,

State Fire Marshal Warns Of Holiday Cooking Risks

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

South Dakota Fire Marshal Paul Merriman wants South Dakotans to celebrate the upcoming holidays, but also realize the season means an additional fire risk.

Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day starts the month-long holiday season. That means the installation of lights, trees, candles and other decorations, both inside and outside of homes.  

Merriman says each one of those holiday trappings carries a potential fire risk.

More cooking during the holidays also leads to an increased fire risk in the kitchen. The National Fire Prevention Association says 40 percent of home fires start in the kitchen. The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

One important way to guard against fires is to have working smoke alarms on each level of the home. Merriman says two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms.

“Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained can play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries,” Merriman says. “That is true all of the time; but especially so during the holidays when there is a greater potential for fires.”

The South Dakota Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. 

CategoriesLocal News,

Mother Nature Will Not Interrupt Thanksgiving Travel Plans

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

While it looks like we may see some precipitation later this week, it should not be a big disruption for Thanksgiving travel plans.

Todd Heitkamp at the National Weather Service says although there is a chance of snow, there will not be any accumulation…

(Todd 1)

Heitkamp says the main part of the next storm system should pass well to the south…

(Todd 2)

Heitkamp says it will be cooler into the weekend…

(Todd 3)

There is another slight chance for snow from Sunday into early next week.

CategoriesLocal News,
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