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ALEXANDRIA -- Educators throughout South Dakota want to improve the way their students learn. A group of 60 educators met this week at Granite Springs Lodge outside Alexandria to develop a better system of evaluating student needs. "It's about what's going to be good for kids," said Sandy Arseneault, president of the South Dakota Education Association and a teacher in the Custer School District. The educators arrived at the lodge Sunday for the conference, which ends today, to each begin developing their student learning objectives, or SLOs. After House Bill 1234 failed in the 2012 South D
CHAMBERLAIN -- A Gann Valley woman convicted of killing a 4-year-old boy in 2013 will spend at least the next 65 years in prison. Donika Gonzales, 23, was sentenced Tuesday for beating to death Mason Naser in February 2013. She entered the courtroom handcuffed and in plain clothes, her expression stoic. Judge Bruce Anderson sentenced her to 130 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter and 15 years in prison for aggravated assault. Judge Anderson said Gonzales must serve half of her sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Six days after his 19th birthday, Mitchell resident Charles Dawes was captured by the Germans during World War II. On the night of Nov. 28, 1944, Dawes and the 103rd Infantry with the 7th Army had been in Germany for just over a month. "We'd gotten hit that day with mortar fire," Dawes told The Daily Republic. "I was a replacement and we were heavily hit that night again." Dawes, 88, said he wasn't supposed to be with the group that was captured on the front lines. He turned 19 years old while on the front lines and became a prisoner of war in the early morning hours of Nov.
Casey Girard admitted during a psychosexual evaluation to several instances of inappropriate contact with children before he raped a child he babysat. The 23-year-old Mitchell man was sentenced to 35 years in prison during circuit court Tuesday at the Davison County Public Safety Center in Mitchell. Girard pleaded guilty in February to raping a 4-year-old child in November while babysitting that child. "In many ways, this is a very sad story," Judge Tim Bjorkman said during sentencing.
An arrest is pending after authorities say someone stole a propane truck either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning from Mitchell Technical Institute and crashed it in a corn field in Bon Homme County. Detective Lt. Don Everson said Monday the Mitchell Police Division is investigating the theft in conjunction with the Bon Homme County Sheriff's Office. "This type of thing doesn't happen every day," Everson said. He wouldn't release the suspect's name or whether the person is a student at MTI, stating the case is still under investigation.
A Sioux Falls man was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in jail for a fourth-degree rape conviction. Jonathan Talbott, 23, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape in July. Fourth-degree rape means the victim was between 13 and 16 years old and the perpetrator is more than three years older than the victim.
A former Mitchell woman was given a second chance Tuesday during her sentencing for a fourth-degree rape conviction. Alicia Mosser, 19, now of Watertown, received a suspended imposition of sentence, which means if she does well during her five years of probation, she can wipe the felony conviction from her record. Mosser pleaded guilty in July to one count of fourth-degree rape, which means the victim was between 13 and 16 years old and the perpetrator is more than three years older than the victim. In return for her guilty plea, the state dropped a second charge of fourth-degree rape.
A man died from Ebola Wednesday morning in Dallas, but that doesn't concern medical officials in South Dakota as much as the flu and enterovirus. Avera Health Systems has protocol in place to handle anyone who comes in with Ebola, including at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell. "All our hospitals have isolation negative air pressure rooms," said Jay Gravholt, public relations for Queen of Peace.
GANN VALLEY -- A Gann Valley couple who gained grandparental visitation rights of their granddaughter may lose them after the child's mother and therapist say the child isn't safe at the grandparents' house. John and Mary Naser received visitation rights through a court order in August 2011.
HOWARD -- A behemoth building on Howard's Main Street will spring to life this fall during hunting season. Formerly known as Maroney Commons, the Howard Hotel and Conference Center is already booked for the first two weeks of hunting season in South Dakota, said Judy Shaw, executive director of Judy Shaw Foundation. "We're looking to really add to the quality of service and living in the whole region," Shaw said. Shaw is also senior pastor at Center of Life Church in Sioux Falls, which purchased the hotel, conference center and restaurant complex in August. Maroney Commons and the Rural Le