YEAR IN REVIEW: June: Mitchell man arrested for voting twice
Craig Guymon, who had been a vocal critic of school and other community leaders for years, was accused of voting twice in the June 4 election.
Officials found Guymon had voted once by absentee ballot at the Davison County Courthouse and later in the day by regular ballot at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy. Absentee votes were still being accepted on Election Day.
Guymon later pleaded guilty to voting twice and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years of probation.
Guymon supported school board candidates Rod Hall and Tara Volesky. The winning candidates in the race for two seats were Deb Olson and Rick Johnson.
Following are summaries of other local and area news from June editions of The Daily Republic.
June 1: The City of Mitchell began acquiring downtown properties last year including Mimi’s Attic, Brenda’s Sew and So, the Garden of Eden and the former Longhorn Bar building, it was reported. Mayor Ken Tracy said it’s a form of urban renewal. The property fits into the city’s plan to build a new city hall on First Avenue to allow for the Corn Palace to expand into the current City Hall. The city paid $259,001 for the properties, which lie within a two block area.
June 4: The Mitchell City Council approved an ordinance for the sale of wine on downtown sidewalks. The council voted 5-2 in favor of the ordinance, which limited the service to a specific area in downtown Mitchell and forbids sidewalk wine service during Corn Palace Festival week.
June 7: One-quarter of the state, including portions of The Daily Republic’s circulation area, became drought-free. Spring rainstorms eased drought conditions across much of South Dakota, especially in the northeast portion of the state.
June 11: The Mitchell VFW Post pleaded for help through a YouTube video, citing financial troubles due to demolition of the adjoined former Longhorn Bar. The VFW was closed for a month because it wasn’t safe for patrons to be in the building. The Longhorn Bar and VFW buildings had a shared wall, and one couldn’t be demolished without damaging the other.
June 15: Mitchell and area residents reported hearing a large boom on June 8, but no one could seem to identify it. The sound could have been a sonic boom created by a jet flying faster than the speed of sound, it was later learned. The Lake Andes Military Operations Area covers a large space that juts into Davison County. MOAs are used for simulated air combat and complex missions, and practice maneuvers. F-16s, B-1 Lancers and tankers are among the aircraft that use the Lake Andes MOA, which is used almost daily and often at night.
June 18: A Nebraska couple’s trial began regarding accusations of arson. Charles and Kim Johnson were each charged with second-degree arson and reckless burning for setting fire to their restaurant, Libby’s Steakhouse, in Springfield, in October 2010. The jury was chosen from a pool of 104 potential jurors. Attorneys for each side made their case. Bon Homme County State’s Attorney Lisa Rothschadl said she’d call several witnesses, saying it was a complicated case. Attorney Creighton Thurman said there was no proof the Johnsons intentionally burned the business.
June 20: An outspoken pastor in Mitchell started a petition to bring an ordinance to serve wine on sidewalks to a public vote. The Rev. Carroll Torberson had a dozen people collect signatures to submit the petition for a vote.
June 21: Mitchell native Mike Miller and the Miami Heat became NBA champions for the second straight year. The Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 95-88, with much of the credit going to LeBron James, who was named the league’s MVP for the fourth time. Miller started his fourth straight game with the Heat. He didn’t make any baskets, but had two rebounds in 19 minutes.
June 22: A Nebraska couple were convicted of torching their own restaurant in October 2010. Charles and Kimberly Johnson were found guilty of second-degree arson and reckless burning by a jury in Bon Homme County. The couple owned Libby’s Steakhouse in Springfield.
June 24: A Plankinton teenager was shot in a car traveling on Interstate 90 in Hanson County. Logan Evans was driving the vehicle when he took out a pistol and pointed it at the victim in the backseat. Evans thought the gun wasn’t loaded, and pulled the trigger. Law enforcement said Evans didn’t mean to shoot the victim. Evans was charged with aggravated assault. Social media posts showed the victim’s name as Nick Lawson, which was confirmed by Plankinton High School Activities Director Todd Karst. Evans was released from custody on June 25 after he posted bail.
June 27: Freeman’s police chief pleaded guilty to obtaining a controlled substance from different practitioners. Eric Sietz appeared for a status hearing at the Yankton County Courthouse but ended up changing his plea. Sietz pleaded to obtaining hydrocodone from different medical practitioners at the same time, which is a misdemeanor. Sietz was put on suspended status until the city of Freeman made a decision about his position.
Former Mitchell High School boys’ basketball coach Gary Munsen was named National High School Athletic Coaches Association Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year. Munsen said he didn’t expect the award, but knew it was for him when the announcer said, “He coached Mike Miller.” Munsen won 12 combined girls’ and boys’ state basketball championships. He tallied 896 career varsity wins and 324 losses.