Author Archive - Karen Sherman

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.

Morning Meeting: Tracking Teacher Cuts

Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 9:57 am
By: Karen Sherman
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A dozen at one district, six at another, the Associated School Boards of South Dakota is keeping track of the number of teachers getting cut at school districts across the state. Later tonight on KELOLAND News, Katie Janssen will show you the numbers and what the association expects to see next.

Meanwhile, at the university level, South Dakota State University is apparently closing an agricultural lab because of budget cuts. A senior chemist says the lab has 17 staff members that would be affected. David Brown is on campus to get student reaction.

Governor Dennis Daugaard is in Canton today at the announcement of a company expansion. Peggy Moyer will have more on its impact on the local economy and community development.

I just received a news release that the Clark County Commission approved a declaration of emergency or disaster for its spring flooding. Erich Schaffhauser is in northwest of there in Edmunds County today where the roads are getting worse. He’ll show you the work being done to help farmers get to and from their properties.

And if you like doing pilates or working out in general, tonight’s Healthbeat has something a little different to show you. A new piece of equipment is allowing a new form of pilates but the contraption used looks a bit odd. Kelli Grant shows you how it works tonight on KELOLAND News at Six.

I hope you’re able to get out and enjoy the weather today.  Meteorologist Brian Karstens joined our morning newsroom meeting and suggested you take it all in today because it’s forecast to be the warmest day of the week.  Let’s just say the Polar Plunge in Sioux Falls for Special Olympics on Saturday is expected to live up to its name.

Morning Meeting: Ice Expected To Invade Lake Homes

Posted: Monday, April 11, 2011 at 9:54 am
By: Karen Sherman
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The ice is starting to break up at Lake Poinsett, which means large chunks could soon be headed for homes and cabins. We have crews up at the lake again today to bring you the latest on the situation there.

Also, water leaving Lake Traverse in Roberts County is apparently swallowing homes near the South Dakota-North Dakota border. Erich Schaffhauser is talking with those affected.

On the western side of KELOLAND, tonight the Newell School Boars will vote on teacher cuts. They expect to eliminate six positions, which is concerning for people in the community. Austin Hoffman will preview tonight’s meeting and get reaction.

The Sioux Falls School District doesn’t anticipate anyone will challenge its proposed opt out to help balance the budget. However, school leaders are prepared if the opt out isn’t approved. Katie Janssen will explain what other cuts the district would have to make.

Morning Meeting: District Digs Into Budget Reduction

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 9:55 am
By: Karen Sherman
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Apparently the threat of damage to roads doesn’t subside when the water goes away. A chunk of Highway 103 east of Dell Rapids collapsed overnight, forcing Minnehaha County to close the road again. Today, Hailey Higgins is going to take a closer look at the damage, which was under repair even before the collapse, and find out whether other roads are at risk.

Lake Poinsett is about three inches away from record levels. Shawn Neisteadt is back in Hamlin County today as people protect what they can.

Just southwest of there, we’re hearing Lake Thompson is also full. Peggy Moyer is talking with homeowners there.

The Sioux Falls School District has its work session today to deal with receiving less funding from the state. The district needs to cut more than $9 million. Superintendent Pam Homan has said that will not mean laying off staff or increasing taxes. Katie Janssen will be at today’s session to bring you the discussion tonight on KELOLAND News at six.

This morning KELOLAND News was at the scene of a house fire west of Sioux Falls. The fire destroyed the home, which is near Wild Water West. Nicole Winters went back to the scene once the sun was up to find out more about what happened. Crews believe the fire started in the garage and spread to the house. I’m also working to get some extra photos to share with you on her story, so look for those.

Morning Meeting: Icy Lakes Melting, Flooding Homes

Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 9:41 am
By: Karen Sherman
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Lake Poinsett, Lake Kampeska and Waubay Lake are still covered in ice. And the hydrologist with the National Weather Service says they are the biggest concern right now because of the damage that ice can do once it starts breaking up. Peggy Moyer is going to look into when that’s expected to happen.

Shawn Neisteadt is at Lake Poinsett today to show you how the flooding is developing there.  He says there are homes that are now surrounded with water that have been high and dry in the past. That shows you just how significant the lake levels are this time around.

And Erich Schaffhauser is staying in Brown County today where they’re quickly closing roads. The highway superintendent is expected to update the city council today on the conditions.  You can get the latest road closures here: Brown County, SD.

The Sioux Falls School District is holding off on a couple construction and renovation projects to save money. Katie Janssen will have the details on what that includes later today.

The education budget battle in Rapid City is going to be a lengthy one. The district is holding public meetings every Monday night to keep families informed of what’s getting trimmed. Austin Hoffman was at last night’s meeting and will have the details.

And the KELOLAND Almost Stars took on the Tea Used-To-Be-Stars last night to raise money for the the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. We’re working to get you some extra highlights from the basketball game and will post those on KELOLAND.com.

Morning Meeting: Major Melt In Store?

Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 at 9:01 am
By: Karen Sherman
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Now that the weather’s warming up, at least above freezing, the water is expected to get moving in northeastern KELOLAND.

Erich Schaffhauser is in Brown County to show you how they’re watching and preparing for potential flooding.

Shawn Neisteadt is on the road headed for Lake Kampeska. It’s levels are up again this morning so he’s going to talk with homeowners who could, at the very least, see near-record levels.

David Brown is going to be just south of there today in Hamlin County where there’s no travel advised in the western half of the county. The sheriff’s office says many roads are under water or damaged, so they’re asking people to stay clear of them.

As for whether Minnehaha County avoided major flooding, Nicole Winters is talking with the county emergency manager about the lack of water on the Big Sioux River. We’ll find out whether the water that’s now moving in the north could bring a second crest to towns such as Renner.

How are things going in your area? Give us an update in the comment section below.

Morning Meeting: MMA Trainer Charged In Death

Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 at 9:22 am
By: Karen Sherman
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The death of a man in Watertown is bringing attention to the sport of mixed martial arts because the man accused in his death is an MMA trainer and self-defense instructor. Ben Dunsmoor had the details last night and now Watertown’s Mayor is interested in banning the competitive fights in town. Perry Groten is headed to Watertown today to get the details on what comes next.

Superintendents are gathering here at our studios today to record this week’s Inside KELOLAND. They’re going to discuss the cuts they’re having to make because of the state funding reduction. Katie Janssen is hosting the discussion and will have a preview of what they said later today.

And the Huron Police Chief has retired and resigned. He was put on administrative leave last month after he testified before a legislative committee about illegal aliens working at some area businesses. David Brown is headed to Huron to get reaction from people in town.

On a positive note, this year 10 kids will get a Make-A-Wish gift from a WWE fighter… and one is from South Dakota. Jon Wilson has the Elk Point was there as a young man from Elk Point boarded the plane for WrestleMania.