Archive for April 2011

Morning Meeting: Preparing For Careers & Construction

Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 at 9:51 am
By: Karen Sherman
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If you or someone you know is looking for a full-time job for the first time, Colorado Technical University is holding a “Job Readiness Fair” to help guide you on how to prepare for an interview, build a resume and even clean up your social networking site. Katie Janssen has that story today.

Drivers in Central and Eastern Sioux Falls should probably find a new route next week. East 10th Street construction begins May 2 between the viaduct over the Big Sioux River and Cliff Avenue. Nicole Winters will have more on what’s happening with the project.  We’ll also post some maps on her story at KELOLAND.com to show you exactly where the detours will send you.

Then, Perry Groten’s talking with businesses along the stretch of road to find out how the reduced but slowed traffic could impact their sales and services.

Remember the flooding in Sioux Falls in May and June of 2004? It’s what sparked the massive sewer system upgrade throughout Central Sioux Falls. Well, nearly seven years later, there’s still a class action lawsuit filed against the city by 200 families that were impacted. David Brown will have the details that come out of today’s preliminary hearing.

And Scot Mundt is ready to put his snowfall prediction to bed for the season. He’ll have a final update on just how close he was tonight on KELOLAND News.

Morning Meeting: Huron Mayor Recall?

Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 9:54 am
By: Karen Sherman
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A group in Huron is organizing a petition drive to hold a vote to recall the town’s mayor. Our Casey Wonnenberg talked with one of the petitioners this morning who says it’s tied to the resignation of former Police Chief Doug Schmitt and that he has a right to free speech. Erich Schaffhauser is in Huron to talk with organizers and get reaction from the community.

A man in Pennington County faces federal charges in a suspected prostitution and trafficking case. Austin Hoffman is talking with the local state’s attorney today about the charges and details of the case.

Shawn Neisteadt is talking with the Pierre School District Superintendent today about the impact on the lack of education funding. The school board there recently decided to close the gap in its budget by reducing staff by 20 positions through resignations, retirements and eliminating positions.

If you’ve ever wondered whether that large freckle or odd-shaped mole was harmful to your health, you’ll soon have the chance to get advice for free. Kelli Grant will have the details of a free skin cancer screening in HealthBeat on KELOLAND News at 6.

How often do you use your landline phone at home? On tonight’s Your Money Matters at 10 p.m., Angela Kennecke will show you how a local cellular phone company is helping people save money while keeping their “home” phone.

Morning Meeting: So, What’s Next With The Events Center?

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 9:27 am
By: Karen Sherman
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The consultants’ report came back showing that the Sioux Falls Arena site is more economically feasible than the Downtown site near Cherapa Place for a possible events center.

The presentation happened at 4:30 Monday night but there are many questions still to be answered. Take a look at the Events Center Economic Analysis and let us know in the comment section below what questions you want answered about the results.

One story we’re working on today is finding out what comes next. We’re also going to dig a little further into how the consultant groups came up with the results and what was taken into consideration.

Rummage season is in full swing and the big one is already well underway. With hundreds of homes signed up, Kingswood Rummage Sales are the largest organized neighborhood rummage in Sioux Falls and while it officially begins today, some sales opened last night and even last week. Later today, Nicole Winters will show you what people are looking for and what’s for sale. Let us know what you’re looking for on our KELOLAND News Facebook page.

Plus, tonight on KELOLAND News at 6 p.m., Kelli Grant will introduce you to a Brookings woman who’s discovered a new way to bake. She’s removed a major component from her recipes: flour. We’ll take you inside Bizzy Lizzy Bakery on this evening’s HealthBeat.

Morning Meeting: Running On Empty

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 10:14 am
By: Karen Sherman
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How are you coping with the higher gas prices this time around? Apparently more people are pushing the limit of their vehicles by running on empty and actually using every last drop. AAA says it’s responding to more out-of-gas calls so far this year than usual. Nicole Winters will have more on what the auto club believes is behind the increase.

A Sioux Falls woman is scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon for embezzling $400,000 from her employer. Karen Lovro faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated grand theft in January. Shawn Neisteadt will be in the courtroom.

And Aberdeen is expected to make an announcement about a significant number of jobs coming to the community. Erich Schaffhauser will have the details tonight on KELOLAND News and you can monitor KELOLAND.com for more on the announcement.

Plus, the Timberline Estates Neighborhood Rummages began today and the Kingswood Rummage Sales begin next week. If you’re planning your own this summer, there are some rules to rummaging. Peggy Moyer will take you through the do’s and don’ts tonight on KELOLAND News.

Morning Meeting: Towns Ask For Help For Roads

Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 10:19 am
By: Karen Sherman
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It seems like many people are missing the sun these days. I just read on Twitter that it was shining in Sioux Falls. But just after I stepped outside, it went to hide behind a cloud.

Meteorologist Brian Karstens kicked off Wednesday’s morning meeting by updating us on the forecast. And it sounds like today is the best shot we have at seeing the sun for the rest of the week. There’s another system expected to start start developing to our south tonight with a chance of overnight rain and snow in Rapid City. It will move to the east on Thursday, with showers likely in eastern KELOLAND.

That additional rain isn’t good for areas that are already experiencing flooding in South Dakota. There are meetings in Hecla and Claremont today; both communities are asking Brown County for help dealing with the flooding. Roads around the small towns are in rough shape, so people are hoping the county can do something to fix them. KELOLAND’s Erich Schaffhauser will have more on the concerns later in the day.

Also today, Hamlin and Codington Counties are opening a call center where homeowners and farmers can report flood damage. The information will help officials in the two counties assess the amount and type of damage. Shawn Neisteadt is talking with people at Lake Poinsett to find out what sort of damage they are reporting.

Morning Meeting: Rain, Rain, Go Away

Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 9:45 am
By: Karen Sherman
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More rain and snow is on the way to South Dakota.  That makes me want to sing one of my niece’s favorite nursery rhymes, “Rain, rain, go away.  Come again another day.”  I think we could all use a few days of sunshine right about now!  It sounds like we may have to wait until the weekend for that.

The additional precipitation will push river levels higher.  The Big Sioux and James rivers are expected to go up about a foot. But the National Weather Service says the crests should be lower than last month. KELOLAND’s Shawn Neisteadt will look at if there’s any additional cause for concern in areas that experienced flooding in March.

Homeowners who live along the Vermillion River are keeping a close watch on the water levels. According to the USGS gauge near Vermillion, the river is up five feet since Friday. We’ll check in on the conditions later on KELOLAND News.

Did you catch Erich Schaffhauser’s story on the flooding around Claremont on Monday’s 10 p.m. news? The video was the talk of the meeting today! Besides the flooded roads and all of the water, there’s still a lot of snow on the ground. And that area is expected to get more this week. There are winter weather advisories in effect for northern and western KELOLAND including Aberdeen, Pierre and Rapid City. KELOLAND Meteorologists will be tracking the snow and have updates throughout the day on Midday in KELOLAND, plus KELOLAND News at 5, 6 and 10.

Morning Meeting: Council To Get Events Center Update

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2011 at 9:53 am
By: Karen Sherman
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An economic impact study on two potential sites for an Events Center in Sioux Falls is scheduled to be finished this week. It’s an important step that could help the city whether to pursue building a new facility downtown or by the current Arena and Convention Center.

The mayor would like to see the Events Center built by the Arena; the architectural firm hired by the city selected the parking lot to the east of Cherapa Place as a potential downtown location. In addition to helping pick where the Events Center should be built, the study is also expected to show how much money the project will bring in for the city. At Monday afternoon’s City Council Informational meeting, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether will update the council on progress on the project. KELOLAND’s Ben Dunsmoor will be there and have the details following the meeting.

Senator John Thune is getting a look at flooding damage in South Dakota. Thune is at Lake Thompson, where the recent wet weather is adding to flooding concerns.  We’ll hear from Thune as he tours the area later on KELOLAND News.

The forecast includes a few more chances for rain and even snow again this week. Meteorologist Brian Karstens says Tuesday will be a messy day with rain and snow likely. Learn more about what to expect in the Monday morning Storm Center Update. And later in the day, Meteorologist Tony Barlow explains the role the jet stream plays in the weather this week.

Morning Meeting: April Snowstorm In KELOLAND

Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 at 9:30 am
By: Karen Sherman
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The weather is once again making headlines. Only this time, it’s more than just rain.

Heavy, wet snow is falling across KELOLAND. There are already a couple of inches on the ground in Aberdeen, which is an area that doesn’t need any more moisture. And the return to wintry conditions created travel hazardous for some drivers Friday morning. A semi jackknifed on Interstate 29 near the Summit exit. KELOLAND’s Erich Schaffhauser is heading to that area to check out conditions.

I don’t know about anyone else, but this isn’t what I want to see on April 15th. Check out these pictures from along Interstate 90 taken with South Dakota DOT Cameras:

I-90: Cactus FlatsI-90: Mitchell

The one on the left is from the Cactus Flats area, where snow is sticking on the ground. And it’s already made its way to Mitchell, which you can see in the picture on the right. KELOLAND’s Austin Hoffman is checking on the conditions in the western part of South Dakota and we have a crew out of Sioux Falls going west on Interstate 90 as well.

Winter storm warnings remain in effect for Aberdeen, Pierre, Chamberlain, and Winner. Winter weather advisories are in effect farther east including Mitchell, Watertown and Brookings. Meteorologist Brian Karstens says snow is expected to mix in with the rain later Friday afternoon and into the evening in Sioux Falls. Check out the Friday Morning Storm Center Update for more details. And be sure to tune into Midday in KELOLAND at noon for the latest forecast.

Morning Meeting: Honoring A Fallen Officer

Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 9:50 am
By: Karen Sherman
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Governor Dennis Daugaard has ordered that flags in the state be flown at half-staff on Saturday to honor State Penitentiary Correctional Officer Ron Johnson.  Law enforcement from across the state are also planning to come to Johnson’s funeral this weekend.  Nicole Winters will show you how they’ll play a role in honoring Johnson with his family and the community.

Inmates Rodney Berget and Eric Robert are both suspected of killing Johnson and then trying to escape.  Berget has been successful in escaping before.  Now he and Robert are being held in the Minnehaha County Jail awaiting their next court hearing.  So, what are county officials doing to make sure they stay put at that facility? Peggy Moyer is talking with the sheriff the efforts.

The damage at Lake Poinsett is getting worse now that the ice is starting to pound on buildings.  Shawn Neisteadt is in Hamlin County today and is also headed toward Hayti where the gas company is keeping an eye on the exposed natural gas line that is floating in water.What’s the drive like right in front of your house?  Do you feel like you’re dodging holes and broken up pavement just to get in your driveway?  We’ve seen crews out patching potholes and fixing broken concrete over the past several weeks, but some side streets are getting bad too. Jon Wilson is looking into it. Let us know where you’ve seen rough roads in the comments below.

Morning Meeting: Remembering Ron Johnson, Digging Into What Happened

Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 9:51 am
By: Karen Sherman
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There are a lot of questions surrounding the death of a correctional officer at the South Dakota State Penitentiary Tuesday. We discussed many of them in our Newsroom Morning Meeting and we’re going to work to answer as many as possible for you today.

Officials still have not released much about what exactly happened yesterday morning.  Rodney Berget, 48, and Eric Robert, 48, are the two men suspected in the attempted escape and Correctional Officer Ron Johnson’s death.  They’re scheduled to be in court this afternoon and Ben Dunsmoor will be there to bring you the latest.  Attorney General Marty Jackley is expected to also answer some of our questions afterwards.

Plus, Austin Hoffman is looking back further into Berget and Robert’s backgrounds.  The Meade County State’s Attorney will share more on what sent them to the penitentiary in the first place.

Ron Johnson died in the line of duty on his 63rd birthday. His son, Jesse, talked with KELOLAND News Tuesday night a little about his father and how he was well-liked. The family of course needs time to cope with their loss, but Johnson is also to be honored and remembered. Those who knew and worked with him are invited to contact our reporters to help share more of his story.