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   From the desk of News Director Kevin Larsen

Category: Local News

Eagle Butte Man Sentenced For Driving Drunk With Child In The Car

Thursday, February 11, 2016

An Eagle Butte man convicted of Child Abuse was sentenced to serve two years in prison.

42 year old Eric Brown was sentenced to 24 months in custody and 2 years of supervised release.

Brown was indicted for Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child and Child Abuse by a federal grand jury on July 14, 2015. He pled guilty to Child Abuse on November 16, 2015.

On January 17, 2015, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Law Enforcement was contacted by an employee at the Ampride gas station in Eagle Butte, regarding an intoxicated person driving a Buick Regal with a small child in the car. An officer observed the vehicle swerve towards the center line and then correct its course, so he initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver was Brown, and the passenger was a 5-year old child.

The child was not wearing a seatbelt and was not otherwise secured in the vehicle. The officer conducted an investigation and arrested Brown for driving under the influence (DUI).

There were previous times when Brown drove while intoxicated with that same child in the car. 

On July 25, 2014, Brown was arrested for DUI, and the same 5-year-old child was in the vehicle with Brown at that time.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. Brown was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. 

CategoriesLocal News,

Daugaard's Half-Cent Sales Tax Increase Bill Comes To Full House Today

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The recently approved half-cent sales tax increase bill that helps fund Gov. Dennis Daugaard's teacher pay plan. House Bill 1182 will come before the full House Wednesday afternoon. This is one of the bills in Daugaard’s three bill plan

More than $60 million from the hike would go toward the teacher salary increases in the state.

Pierre Representative Tim Rounds says the bill was sent to the full house floor to see what direction they will be going on this issue…

(Rounds Teacher Issue 1)

Rounds adds that on this bill, he will most likely vote no…

(Rounds Teacher Issue 2)

Rounds says out of all the bills, this is the one he has heard the most comments on…

(Rounds Teacher Issue 3)

House Republican leader Brian Gosch is pursuing a separate avenue to raise teacher pay without increasing taxes. Gosch says one proposal would use current state dollars and put $30 million toward teacher pay in the first year, and $20 million each in the second and third years.

HB 1182 needs a two-thirds majority of votes to advance to the Senate side and most lawmakers believe that will be a major uphill battle.

Rounds, along with the remainder of our local District 24 lawmakers Senator Jeff Monroe and Representative Tim Rounds, will be live in the KCCR studios Friday morning at 9:00 A.M. If you have any questions for them, please e-mail or call 224-1240.

CategoriesLocal News,

Pierre City Commission Votes To Start Over Essential Air Service Bidding Process

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Pierre City Commission Tuesday voted to seek approval to reopen the bidding process for Pierre’s Essential Air Service.

In November of 2014, the Pierre City Commission recommended Aerodynamics, Inc (ADI) for Pierre’s most worthy airline carrier in and out of Pierre. The Federal Department of Transportation finally last week gave ADI the green light to provide commercial air service, but many things changed since November of 2014.

Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill says Tuesday’s recommendation to reopen the bidding process is just one step in the on-going saga…

(Essential Air Service 1)

Although ADI has been given the green light to provide services, Gill says they are not interested in them at this point. According to Gill, there have been too many legal battles with the air carrier, most notably the recent filing for bankruptcy by ADI’s parent company SeaPort Airlines.

The reason for this entire “saga”, according to Pierre Airport Manager Mike Issacs was a piece of action in 2013 by Congress and the federal government…

(Essential Air Service 2)

Pierre City Commissioner Jim Mehlhaff chimed in during the discussion, saying that frankly this whole situation makes him angry…

(Essential Air Service 3)

Pierre will now be starting over with the bidding process with the Federal Department of Transportation and will hopefully bring the city better options.

Gill will discuss this topic further into detail on today’s edition of “Ask The Mayor” only on KCCR at 8:30 A.M. If you have any questions for Gill, please e-mail them to

CategoriesLocal News,

Death Penalty Repeal Bill Killed In Committee Wednesday

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A bill that would repeal the death penalty in South Dakota was killed in the Senate State Affairs Committee.

After nearly three hours of testimony on the highly controversial issue, the bill was killed on a 7-2 vote Wednesday afternoon.

The sponsor of Senate Bill 94 is former circuit judge, and current Senator Arthur Rusch of Vermillion. He says while three men have recently been executed in the state, those were under exceptional circumstances…

(Rusch 1)

Rusch says another big concern is the extraordinary costs of a death penalty case, saying the Donald Moeller (molar) case cost Lincoln County over one point five million dollars…

(Rusch 2)

Rusch says in his years on the bench, he didn’t see that the death penalty was a deterrent…

(Rusch 3)

There were seventeen people that signed up to testify on the bill, with just as much opposed to the bill.

CategoriesLocal News,

Medical Marijuana Bill Discussed Wednesday In Senate Committee

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Multiple tears were shed amongst the standing room only crowd full of people on both sides of the isle when the South Dakota Senate Health and Human Services Committee discussed a bill that would allow the legalization of small amounts of marijuana for medical use.

The committee spent two hours Wednesday morning listening to those for and against the bill. Under the bill, those suffering from a number of chronic diseases would be qualified to register to possess up to three ounces of medical cannabis.

Senator Angie Buhl O’Donnell of Sioux Falls is the bill’s prime sponsor. She says this bill would be a “game changer” for patients with chronic diseases…

(Medical C 1)

George Hendrickson of Sioux Falls testified in front of the committee. His toddler has Dravet syndrome, which is a genetic abnormality that causes him to have multiple seizures a day. His son is a “living zombie” which leaves him unable to crawl, walk, or play. He said cannabis legalization would reverse his son’s symptoms and stop him for seizing…

(Medical C 2)

Former Rapid City Mayor Jerry Munson spoke in favor of the bill. He encouraged the committee to send the bill to the full Senate floor…

(Medical C 3)

State law enforcement groups opposed the measure, saying medical marijuana could serve as a gateway drug. A South Dakota Sheriffs' Association spokesman says it could also impede the constitutional requirements for law enforcement officers.

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs rejected a proposed ballot measure that would legalize medical cannabis for lack of sufficient approved signatures last week.

Committee chairman Sen. Bruce Rampelberg of Rapid City deferred the vote on this bill to next Wednesday’s committee meeting so that they can hear additional remarks.

CategoriesLocal News,

House Delays Action On Half Cent Sales Tax Increase Bill

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Members of the House Wednesday afternoon postponed a vote to increase education funding through a procedural motion meant to delay a vote on an amendment to HB 1182.

The bill is the 1/2 penny sales tax increase proposed by Governor Daugaard designed to provide an addition revenue source for increased teacher pay.

Many teacher and administrators from across the state filled the House Gallery wearing “be bold” buttons in support of the bill.

Before the motion to delay, Representative Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown spoke briefly, saying South Dakota is in an “emergency situation”…

(Teacher Vote 1)

The amendment that delayed the vote was brought forward by Representative Jeff Partridge of Rapid City. Partridge says it would draw internet sales tax in the long term…

(Teacher Vote 2)

Representative Jim Stalzer of Sioux Falls made the motion to delay the vote and was supported by at least one-fifth of the House, as per statute.

Debate on HB 1182 will continue Tuesday afternoon.

CategoriesLocal News,

Proposed Pierre Event Center Public Meeting Happening Next Week

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The City of Pierre is reminding the community that next week it will host its second town hall meeting regarding a proposed recreation and events center.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 18. The meeting will be held in Room 106 of Capital University Center and will begin at 7 p.m.

The February town hall meeting is the second in a series of three town hall meetings concerning the recreation and events center project. The first meeting was held in mid-December; the third meeting is tentatively scheduled for April.

People who aren’t able to attend a town hall meeting are encouraged to provide feedback at A feedback tool has been established on the proposed recreation and events center page.

The proposed $14.5-million dollar facility would replace the recreation space that was lost when the City Auditorium closed in 2011. As proposed, the recreation and events center would be 57,000 square feet and capable of accommodating a wide variety of activities.

The proposal timeline suggests construction could begin as early as 2017 with the facility opening as soon as 2019.  

CategoriesLocal News,

Pierre School Board Accepts Retirements, Resignations

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Pierre School Board accepted nine teacher retirements and three resignations at their meeting Monday evening.

Out of those retiring, there is a combined total of 228 years of service to the district. Retiring teachers need to submit their retirement notices to the board by Feb. 1st to take full advantage of early retirement benefits.

Those teachers retiring at the end of this school year include:

Buchannan Elementary School Counselor Joan Crabtree, Riggs High School Science Teacher Jeff Dyksta, Riggs High School Computer Teacher Bob Gill, Buchannan Elementary Teacher Betty Hanson, Jefferson Elementary Special Education Teacher Bridgette Magilke, Kennedy Elementary Speech/Launguage Pathologist Barb Mitchell, Riggs High FACS teacher Denise Thompson, Georgia Morse Special Education Teacher Mary Titzie, and Early Kindergarten Jefferson Elementary Teacher Christie Zander.

The board also accepted the resignations of Georgia Morse Middle School Teacher Chelsey Coverdale, Kennedy Elementry 4th Grade Teacher Jordi Terca, and Georgia Morse Middle School Custodian Mark Hiatt.

The school board thanked all the staff for the continued years of service. 

CategoriesLocal News,

Pierre School District To Become The First In South Dakota With Staggered Start Dates

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Starting in August, the Pierre School district will become the first district in the state with staggered start dates.

The Pierre School Board Monday approved the school calendar with the staggered start dates. The Riggs High School students will come to school two days earlier than their fellow students in the elementary and middle schools. The start date for the next school year will be Aug. 22nd at Riggs. The elementary schools and Georgia Morse Middle School will start on Aug. 24th.

The middle school was initially going to start school along with Riggs two days earlier, however, they polled their teachers via survey. The majority of those teacher felt that they should start at the later date.

The school calendar has to be set for the 2016/2017 school year by March per state law. Pierre School Superintendent Dr. Kelly Glodt says the calendar committee surveyed numerous people on the issue over the last several months.

In order for high school students to take their semester tests before Christmas break next year; they would have to start school no later than Aug. 21. That was a little early for some parents according to Calendar Committee Chairman School Board member Randy Hartmann.

Glodt adds that he was hesitant at first going along with the staggered start date, due to sympathizing with parents of kids in both the elementary and middle/high school. However, he had a change of mind during the process.

The driving factor for the staggered start date is that the high school needs to start early so the students have enough time in class to be able to take their fall semester tests before the Christmas Break.

The staggered dates will not change the total amount of school days in the calendar. 

CategoriesLocal News,

Pierre School Board Adopts Resolution Supporting Governor's Teacher Pay Proposal

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Pierre School Board Monday night formally endorsed the Blue Ribbon Task Force's plan to increase teacher pay in South Dakota.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed the task force to examine the issue of teacher pay in South Dakota, which ranks lowest in the nation. In response to the task force's findings, Daugaard has proposed a half-cent sales tax increase to help raise teacher pay, but his plan needs two-thirds approval in both the House and the Senate.

The Pierre School Board adopted the resolution of support for such legislation during its regular meeting Monday. Many other school boards across the state are adopting similar resolutions this week.

To fund his plan, Daugaard proposed a half-cent increase in the state sales tax from 4 percent to 4.5 percent. That would generate $107.4 million, $67.4 million of which would go toward schools to boost teacher pay. The remaining $40 million would be used for property tax relief, according to Daugaard. The new formula sets a target statewide average salary of $48,500. This legislation is part of House Bill 1182.

A legislative panel has approved HB 1182 Monday afternoon.

CategoriesLocal News,
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