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   From the desk of News Director Kevin Larsen

Category: Local News

Pierre Firefighters Visiting Elementary Schools In Town Today

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Volunteer firefighters from the Pierre Fire Department will be visiting classrooms in Elementary schools today (Tuesday) as part of Fire Prevention Safety Week.

Fire Prevention safety week is a time where residents are urged to check their smoke detectors among many other fire prevention public events.

Pierre Fire Chief Ian Paul says today is a day dedicated to teaching the younger generation about fire safety…

(Chief Paul 1)

Paul adds that they kicked off Fire Prevention Safety Week Sunday with open houses at all four Pierre fire stations…

(Chief Paul 2)

Paul adds that although this week is fire prevention safety week for most, fire prevention safety week is every week of the year for the local firefighters…

(Chief Paul 3)

The Pierre Fire Department does have smoke detectors on hand for anyone that is less fortunate. Paul adds they will even install it if need be. 

CategoriesLocal News,

Former Riggs Student Indicted For Shooting Principal

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A grand jury in Lincoln County indicted a former Riggs High School student on Monday, who is accused of shooting his Harrisburg high school principal.

The indictment charges Mason Buhl with first-degree attempted murder and commission of a felony while armed with a firearm.

Each count has a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison if he were to be convicted.

Buhl is accused of confronting Harrisburg High School Principal Kevin Lein with a handgun in his office last week and firing a single shot that lightly wounded Lein in the arm. Buhl was subdued by other school officials and no one else was hurt. Buhl is being held without bond.

Buhl attended Riggs High in Pierre before moving over the summer. His father and other family members live in Pierre.

The grandmother of Mason, Karen Buhl of Pierre, says the family disagrees with the charges filed against him. Karen Buhl said her grandson’s mother had purchased a pistol and that Mason had access to it. Despite, the shooting, Karen Buhl said she is not for gun control and wants Mason to get the help he needs.

Karen Buhl said the family was shocked to hear the accusations against Mason. She said her family has received nothing but support from friends in town.

CategoriesLocal News,

Elm Tree In Front Of Hughes County Courthouse To Be Removed

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

An elm tree that has greeted visitors for many years in front of the Hughes County Courthouse will be no more in a few months.

The tree, which overlooks the statue of South Dakota’s first governor Arthur Mellette, was damaged in the June 22nd storm. The Hughes County Commissioners approved hiring a tree removal service to get rid of it on Monday.

Hughes County Manager Kevin Hipple stated that “I have been getting a ton of comments around town about the tree.”

The commissioners approved hiring Bixler Tree Service to remove the tree at a price tag of 1,600 dollars. The tree service continues to be extremely busy, and will remove the tree later this year when the ground is frozen.

In other business Monday, the Commissioners discussed what to do with seven county vehicles that were damaged by the recent hail storm on Labor Day.

The commissioners decided to tell the insurance adjuster that they want to repair Emergency Management Director Rob Fines’ 2014 Dodge Ram Pickup. Two vehicles from the Sherriff’s Department will use the insurance money to replace radar equipment instead of fixing the damaged vehicles. The funds must be used for a radar trailer unit.

The other vehicles were declared surplus property and will not get repaired.  


CategoriesLocal News,

National 4-H Week Honored All Week Long

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

This week is national 4-H week, a time where more than 6 million young people across the country today will celebrate a week dedicated just for them. The annual celebration of 4-H occurs during the first full week of October. 

During National 4-H Week, 4-H leaders and members showcase the great things that 4-H offers young people and highlights the incredible 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact.

4-H week has a special meaning to Sully County 4-H Volunteer Leader Gerri Carpenter. She says it’s a week dedicated for our future leaders…

(4-H Week 1)

Carpenter adds that 4-H offers many opportunities for kids to learn life skills that are not offered in the classroom…

(4-H Week) 

The recent turnout at a Hughes County Commissioners meeting, when discussing future funding, showcased the many skills and talents that 4-H youth have compared to non 4-H youth. Carpenter says the statistics show that 4-H keeps kids out of trouble…

(4-H Week 3)

While some questions do remain on future funding for the local Prairie Winds 4-H office remain throughout our community, one thing that is not questioned is the overall successes of our 4-H youth.

To enroll in 4-H, or if parents have any questions locally, contact the Prairie Winds 4-H office at 605-223-7730.

CategoriesLocal News,

Pierre Ranked Second Best State Capital In The Nation

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

For the second year in a row, Pierre ranks as the second best state capital in the nation to live in. Though unemployment has only dropped by a tenth of a percent since last year, from 3.1% to 3%, that is still the third lowest unemployment rate of any capital city.

The findings were revealed Tuesday by SmartAsset, a leading financial asset company.

In order to compare this wide-range of cities, the website used a data-driven approach that accounted for variations in population.

Pierre also has the fifth lowest violent crime rate, and the 14th lowest property crime rate of all 50 state capitals.

Pierre also has the sixth highest median household income of any state capital at $55,063. With no state income taxes to pay, workers in Pierre get to take home a larger slice of their salaries than those in many of the other top capital cities.

The financial company, SmartAsset, ranked the capitol based on five different categories: Violent Crime per 100,000 People, Property Crime per 100,000 People, Unemployment Rate, Discretionary Income, and Number of Dining and Entertainment establishments per 10,000 People.

The top spot on the list went to Montpelier, Vermont.

More information on the ranking can be found at:

CategoriesLocal News,

Fort Pierre City Council Discuss How To Replace Longtime Public Works Director

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Aside from routine business, the Fort Pierre City Council Monday night discussed in length on how they go about replacing longtime public works director Brad Lawrence.

Lawrence, who was with the city for 17 years, started his new job in Madison on Monday.

Fort Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson says the discussed turning the open position into a city engineer position…

(Gloria Engineer 1)

Hanson adds that there are many ups and down to turning the position into a city engineer job…

(Gloria Engineer 2)

Hanson adds that there is an urgent need to get someone into that position regardless if it’s a city engineer or not…

(Gloria Engineer 3)

Hanson adds that there is not enough money in the budget to hire two positions, so there needs to be some kind of consensus on what the exact job description will read. 

CategoriesLocal News,

Corn Crop Projected To Be A State Record This Year

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Harvest across the state is in full force.

With Agriculture being South Dakota’s number one industry, the corn sector does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to South Dakota’s economy.

The influence covers a wide range according to Teddi Mueller of South Dakota Corn. It is highly likely that every day the average person will use corn in some capacity…

(Teddi Mueller 1)

Food and fuel certainly top the list of how corn is used. Mueller provides examples of not so common products which feature corn…

(Teddi Mueller 2)

Estimates for this year’s corn crop in South Dakota range upwards of 800 million bushels, which would be a state record. 

CategoriesLocal News,

Pierre Chamber Membership Director Taking New Position With Midwest Construction

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Director is taking a new job.

Tony Jockheck will become the new Property Manager for Midwest Construction and Development. Tony’s last day with the chamber will be next Friday, October 16.

Tony has been with the Chamber for seven years, starting as an intern, then moving into the Communication & Community Outreach Coordinator position before becoming our Membership Director.

The chamber is searching for a new membership director immediately.

CategoriesLocal News,

Avera St. Mary's CEO Announces New Position Within The Company

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Avera Health, the largest employer in South Dakota and one of the most robust health care systems in the Midwest, announced late Tuesday that they have selected longtime Pierre resident Bob Sutton to serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, effective Feb. 1,2016

In this role, Sutton will serve on the Avera Health senior executive team, reporting to John Porter, Chief Executive Officer, and will oversee the system’s human resources function.

Sutton says it took a lot of thought to accept the position and says the new position will require him to leave the capital city…

(Bob Sutton 1)

Sutton adds that his new position will overall oversee many employees across the region…

(Bob Sutton 2)

Sutton currently serves as Regional President and CEO of Avera St. Mary’s Region which includes operations for Avera St. Mary’s Hospital, Avera Gettysburg Hospital, two long-term care facilities and a multi-specialty clinic. Sutton has lived in Pierre for the past 25 years. He currently serves on the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Although he does not take the new position until next year, Sutton says that Pierre will always have a special place in his heart…

(Bob Sutton 3)

Sutton will be taking on the role currently held by Bill McLean, Avera’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources, who is retiring Feb. 1, 2016. Todd Forkel, Regional President and CEO, Avera St. Luke’s Region, will serve in the interim leadership role for Avera St. Mary’s in Pierre while a plan is developed to fill the position there.

Sutton received a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in philosophy and a Master’s Degree in public administration from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

CategoriesLocal News,

Memorial Service For Former Governor Miller Being Held Today

Monday, October 5, 2015

A memorial service for former Gov. Walter Dale Miller will be held at 1 p.m. today in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.

Public viewing will be allowed from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Those wishing to pay their respects may enter the Capitol Building via the north doors (parking lot side).

Access to the second-floor Rotunda will be closed at 11 a.m. to allow time to set up for the memorial ceremony. Access will begin at 12:30 p.m. for the ceremony, again via the north doors.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says that Miller loved our state more than most…

(Gov Walt 1)

Daugaard adds that “Walt” was not flashy…

(Gov Walt 2)

Daugaard says that Miller helped the state in one of the most tragic times in history…

(Gov Walt 3)

There will be a funeral procession leaving View 34 restaurant at 5:30 p.m. today traveling west on Highway 34 to Rapid City. The public is welcome to pay their respects to Walter Dale Miller along the route.

Former Gov. Miller’s funeral service has been set for Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m. MDT at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Rapid City. Burial will follow at Viewfield Cemetery, near Miller’s Meade County ranch.

Daugaard has requested that all flags in the state be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The flag is customarily displayed from sunrise to sunset, but may be displayed for 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

CategoriesLocal News,
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