Archive for August 2010

Morning Meeting: Upcoming Holiday Travel

Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 8:55 am
By: Karen Sherman
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It’s the last day of August and we’re just around the corner from a holiday weekend – so we’re looking at what experts are predicting in terms of travel and gas prices.  Are you planning to travel this weekend?  How do your plans compare to years past?

Last night’s rain pushed Sioux Falls over the 30-inch mark for the year.  We’ll take a look back at record rainfall.

Storms moving through Dimock, South Dakota, caused some damage at a lumber yard and a farm.  We’ll show you the damage tonight on KELOLAND News.

We’ll also have an update from Mayor Mike Huether on Sioux Falls construction projects.  He’s holding a news conference at 10:30 a.m. today to go over the details.

Looking Back At Hurricane Katrina

Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm
By: Don Jorgensen
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We are coming up on the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Shortly after she slammed into New Orleans, the National Guard activated me to help with the relief efforts.  I was there for a couple of weeks and after I got back to South Dakota, I decided to chronicle my experience with a short story to make sure I would always remember what happened during the country’s worst natural disaster.

On Monday, September 12th, 2005, I left for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on my way to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans, not knowing exactly what to expect.

As we flew into the city, it was just getting dark.  I could see the city lights, so I knew Baton Rouge didn’t suffer the same catastrophic damage that I had seen in New Orleans on television. Other than some tree and shingle damage, Baton Rouge escaped Katrina’s wrath.

The first two days in Baton Rouge were chaotic. I worked out of Louisiana Homeland Security Building in the EOC, Emergency Operations Center.

Things were pretty unorganized from my view point, but then again, the state was trying to get as many resources and military personnel down there as quickly as possible to help in the country’s worst natural disaster.

My first two days I wrote stories about the Army National Guard soldiers who rescued people from their homes, using helicopters and boats, plucking them from their rooftops and attics.

One helicopter medic from the Louisiana National Guard told me he rescued 26 people on the first day. As he flew into the city, he could see water everywhere and knew his mission was going to be unlike anything he’s ever experienced.

Everyday, Louisiana state officials and the National Guard would hold press conferences in a little classroom, set aside specifically for interview (by jennifer at dressheadcom). The Reverend Jesse Jackson was even there talking about the relief effort and the government’s slow response.

On Wednesday, I traveled to New Orleans, specifically Belle Chasse Naval Air Station. There I met up with Lt. Col. Reid Christopherson, also a member of the South Dakota Air National Guard. He had volunteered to go the same time I did, but got down there three days before me.

Public Affairs worked out of a makeshift office inside a trailer on base. It was cramped and hot, but under the circumstances, knowing some of the people you’re working with lost everything they owned, nobody complained.


Our main job was to make sure the American public knew about the guard’s role in this effort by writing stories for On Guard magazine and the Pentagon Channel. When we weren’t busy with our own stories, we assisted local and national media, finding National Guard units from their home states or getting them helicopter rides over New Orleans.

My first encounter with national media was with Mary Snow, a reported from CNN.  I had never seen her on television before, so I embarrassed myself by asking where she worked and if she was “on air.” She was nice though, and didn’t seem to mind that I had never heard of her before. In fact she asked for my business card in case she needed to get a hold of me for possible story ideas.

The media was predominantly the only civilians you saw in New Orleans. Aside from emergency workers and military men and women in uniform, the city was virtually a ghost town.  I’ll never forget crossing the Mississippi River Bridge on a six lane freeway into New Orleans.  We were the only vehicle on the bridge, what a weird feeling.

water1When we got into New Orleans, the city was dry, all the water that we had seen on tv for two weeks had already been pumped out. But you could still see a 4-5 foot deep waterline on every building, at least on the ones that were still standing.

The downtown area had suffered a lot of water damage and if it weren’t for the looters, the city building and glass windows for the most part would have been spared. I remember seeing a $30,000 boat in the middle of Canal Street, wondering how it got there and if anyone was ever coming back to get it.

There were literally hundreds of abandoned vehicles on the streets of New Orleans. They had been submerged in water for several days and were beginning to smell of mold and rot, just like the rest of the city. Garbage was everywhere. It was either debris from the flood or trash left behind by the thousands of evacuees who took temporary shelter on overpasses and off ramps. All I could think about was why wasn’t someone out here cleaning it up? Abandoned vehicles and tons of garbage also lined the interstates.


As I walked down through the historic French Quarters, it felt like a movie scene where a nuclear blast killed everyone and you somehow survived. Like Is aid before, other than emergency workers, military personnel and the media, New Orleans was a ghost town. In fact, it felt like we pretty much owned the city. We traveled down one way streets the wrong way and drove up exit ramps the wrong way just to get where we needed to go. There were police and state highway troopers around, by they didn’t care, as long as we were in uniform, we were good to go.

One night we statyed late to do a taping with my station, KELOLAND TV.

Because we are a CBS affiliate, CBS agreed to hook me up with their satellite truck free of charge so I could talk to the anchor who was filling in for me. The CBS producer, I forget his name, but was really nice, said, since I was wearing a uniform and serving my country, they wouldn’t charge our station for the satellite time. I thought that was a pretty nice gesture.


After the taping, the city was dark. Power hadn’t been restored yet, so getting out of town proved to be challenge, not to mention, a little eerie. Gangs had infiltrated their way back into the city and were causing problems for local police, so we were a little apprehensive about driving through a city in the dark, but we had no other choice, we had to get back to Belle Chase. Because the hurricane had 150 mile per hour sustained wind, most city street signs were gone, so using a map to get out of the city was next to impossible. But after a half hour of driving around in the same area looking for the correct on ramp to the interstate, we finally found it. I can’t even begin to tell you what a relief that was, especially since I was the driver and felt responsible for the other two airmen who were assigned to me. They were from California, so they were used to big city crime and corruption, but I wasn’t.

One of the worst areas of New Orleans devastated by Katrina was the now infamous 9th Ward. But from what everyone told me is that the 9th Ward neighborhood was a piece of trash to begin with. Poverty was high and so was the crime rate. We went there looking for an Air National Guard unit that was providing security to the neighborhood and businesses that had already been broken into by looters. The smell in the 9th Ward was horrid. It reeked of death. My lungs began to burn after standing on the edge of the water in one neighborhood near one of the levee breaks.

Cars were flipped upside down, toys were stranded on rooftops, and houses had been lifted off their foundations. Disaster doesn’t even begin to describe the devastation. I couldn’t help but thinking about the number of lives that have been uprooted because of Katrina.


One member of the Louisiana National Guard, who lost his house in the flood but had been activated to help with the relief effort, told me how lucky I was. He told me, I was on vacation and would go home in two weeks, but he had to stay there and deal with the reality of it.

That was true for thousands of guard members who had been put on active duty the Friday before the hurricane hit. Most of them hadn’t even been back into the city to see their homes, but knew they were either flooded or damaged just by watching the news. What a sick feeling!

In the military there’s a saying “Service Before Self” meaning a person should be dedicated to serving his country first, then take care of your family and personal needs second. The Louisiana National Guard showcased that.

The locals, the ones who didn’t evacuated, were so appreciative of the National Guard and to anyone who was down there helping out. One guard member got a haircut off base, but when he tried to pay for it, the barber told him, anyone in uniform gets free haircuts.

A woman, who owns a shop in the French Quarters just off Bourbon Street, opened up her business to give me some beads. It was her way of saying thank you for being there and helping. I had never been to the Big Easy before, but it wasn’t exactly the way I thought I would get beads in New Orleans.

Another woman, who owned a bar on the outskirts of New Orleans, invited us to come in and sing Karaoke. We had stopped by to take a picture of a crude sign she had painted on the front of her bar that read Thank you Guard! It was three o’clock in the afternoon, but she was planning an all night party, almost as if to say, we’re open for business and we’re drinking. No hurricane was going to put her out of business.

As far as anyone being upset with the response time, I got the feeling it was anger more directed at New Orleans, mayor Ray Nagin, FEMA, and the governor, Kathleen Blanco. My own personal feeling about the response time is that state government didn’t have a real plan in place to respond to this large of a catastrophe. I don’t think they had any idea how many people would stay behind, even though the mayor had ordered everyone to evacuate out of the city. I read online that 30 percent of the people in New Orleans don’t own vehicles, so they had no means of leaving. The city should have had busses there waiting to take them somewhere. That way 30-tousand homeless residents would have had to take shelter in the new infamous trashed SuperDome. The convention center became a story in itself too. I remember driving by it two weeks later and seeing the mountains of trash still in the lobby. I went inside to take pictures of the guard members who were camped out there and it still smelled a lot like landfill on a hot summer day.

New Orleans got all the press, but the truth be told, there were lots of small town around the gulf coast region that were wiped off the map. I remember driving south toward the Gulf of Mexico and came across a small town called Port Sulphur. It looked like a tornado had ripped through the town, because there was absolutely nothing left. Homes were shredded and off their foundations, some even rested on the edge of the levees.

Morning Meeting: Sioux Falls Traffic

Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 9:09 am
By: Karen Sherman
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Vehicles on the road through the central business district in Beijing on August 4.

Vehicles on the road through the central business district in Beijing on August 4.

It may not be as bad as being stuck in a 60-mile long traffic jam in China, but we’re noticing more congestion on the roadways in Sioux Falls lately.

With school now in session and road construction scattered throughout the city, drivers are spending more time in the car for their morning and evening commutes.

Where do you see the most traffic and when?

Morning Meeting: House Explosions

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 9:02 am
By: Karen Sherman
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A Menno woman died Monday night in accutane dosage a house explosion that authorities are blaming on a natural gas leak. Just last week one person was sent to the hospital in another buy accutane online house explosion in Mitchell. That one also blamed on a gas leak. Today, we’re looking at the dangers of gas leaks, things to watch out for in your home and what you should do about it. School has been in session in Sioux Falls, and police are out patrolling the school zones. Make sure you’re slowing down or else you’ll have to pay the price. (I learned this the hard way a few years ago.) Remember Saturday’s fog? Well, supposedly 90 days after fog, we should expect zoloft SNOW. That puts the mark around November 19. Meteorologist Scot Mundt will explain. We have a lot more news today, so be sure to check out KELOLAND News and for the latest.

Morning Meeting: Bicycle Friendly?

Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 at 8:53 am
By: Karen Sherman
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We ran a story back in April about Sioux Falls being rated the 31st bicycle-friendly city in the country. (Minneapolis was ranked number one.) The report cited the recrational trail and dedicated bike lanes on city streets. After a crash on Wednesday that killed a bicyclist, we got to thinking. What do you think? Does Sioux Falls do enough for bicyclists? What about your town? What communities in our area focus on bicyclists’ rights? This morning, Honor Flight took off from Sioux Falls. We’ll hear about why these last few trips are even abilify farts more important. Also, the Over The Limit program kicks off again today. We’re talking to the Highway Patrol about drunk driving and the number of adults that have been involved in fatal crashes recently.

Morning Meeting: Back To School

Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 at 9:24 am
By: Karen Sherman
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It’s back to school for area students and it’s back to work for me on a busy Monday.  Today, we’re covering that early start of school and giving a reminder on traffic in school zones. We’re also checking out a program that was meant to ease the transition for students heading to middle school.  We’ll show you how it worked.

Sturgis is officially over, but some vendors are sticking around trying to get rid of merchandise.  Look for some big discounts if you’re in the area.

We’re talking to people on Sioux Falls’ east side about a proposed plan to allow hunters to help thin the deer population with a bow and arrow.  How do you feel about allowing hunting within city limits?

Morning Meeting: Back-To-School Blues

Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 at 8:43 am
By: Karen Sherman
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With school starting soon, how do zoloft you get your kids back into their regular sleep schedule? Do you have any is there a generic for abilify tips or tricks? Tonight on HealthBeat, we’ll show you how to ease the early morning wake up call. Summer may be coming to a close for area students, but construction is still alive and well throughout the state and the city of Sioux Falls. Monday, crews are set to start work on Russell Street from the Big Sioux River bridge to Minnesota Avenue — AND Minnesota Avenue from Russell Street to accutane 18th Street. We’ll have a preview of this clomid side effects project and updates on the others. 13constructionmap We didn’t get as much rain as predicted last night, so we’re talking to the City about how this should help get things back to normal in the sanitary sewer system, which has had issues the past couple weeks.

Morning Meeting: More Flooding Possible?

Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 9:05 am
By: Karen Sherman
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This morning, crews are working to fix a water main break near 66th Street and Sundowner Avenue. Also, the heat from yesterday caused parts of 12th Street to buckle, so crews are also busy there. abilify reviews And an outage this morning has Xcel Energy working to restore power to people in and around downtown Sioux Falls and determine a cause. We’ll have updates on these stories today on KELOLAND News. In addition, we’re nearing the start of school and Project SOS Anafranil (Supply Our Students) needs help. They’re clomid for men short about 700 backpacks so we’ll talk with them about the need and how you can help. We’re at the Rally today, talking with Sturgis police about how they fight crime during Bike Week. And with more rain in the forecast, we’re bracing for more of what we faced last week with the sewer issues. Mayor Mike Huether cymbalta 60 mg is asking that people conserve water ahead of the storm, but to also be prepared for restrictions if the need arises.

Morning Meeting: Sewer Update & Crickets

Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 9:28 am
By: Karen Sherman
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There’s a lot going on today and Wednesdays seem to be the day for a variety of news topics.

We’ll be at the Sioux Empire Fair where Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Kristi Noem will appear in a candidate forum. We’ll find out what they have to say and what voters think.

It’s also Farmer Appreciation Day at the fair, and our very own Don Jorgensen, Kelli Grant and Jon Wilson will be serving lunch.

The City will be giving an update on the sewer situation at 2 p.m. We’ll have the details online and tonight on KELOLAND News.

And what about those crickets? Lots of

people are noticing these guys hanging around — and in some cases they’re quite the pest. We’ll find out why they’re here and what people are doing to get rid of them.

Have you noticed the crickets lately?

Morning Meeting: Fair Time

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 10:01 am
By: Karen Sherman
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The City of Hills, Minnesota, is dealing with an issue Sioux Falls isn’t unfamiliar with.  Today they’re asking residents to limit water usage to prevent sewer backups in homes.  In Sioux Falls, the work continues on the sewer system.

We’re also taking a closer look at renovations at the Sioux Falls airport.  We’ll find out why these upgrades are important for future business.

It’s also time for the Sioux Empire Fair.  And it’s the first full year under new management, so we’re taking a look at the changes and find out if people like the new approach.