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KEYSTONE, S.D. — One of the region's top tourist attractions—the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota --- is getting a $5 to $7 million facelift. Actually, it's won't be a facelift on the four faces of the presidents carved into the granite mountain at the Black Hills attraction. Rather, the focus will be upgrading the visitor's center and replacing pavers that are cracking and dissolving on the main pathway to the landmark, the Avenue of Flags, that displays flags from all 50 states.
THOMPSON, N.D. -- A 57-year-old man pulling a small utility trailer with his 1953 Ford pickup was hit from the rear by a semi on Interstate 29 about 11 miles south of Grand Forks and died in the fiery crash on Wednesday evening, May 23. His identity was being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The crash shut down traffic and started a grass fire at the scene of the crash about 3 miles north of Thompson exit.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A massive fire and explosion in western Sioux Falls on Thursday night at a welding company involved exploding propane storage tanks with flames spreading to five semis with more tanks stored inside them. The multiple large explosions came from the rear of the A-Ox Welding Supply Co. with a rapid expansion of flames.
ABERDEEN, S.D.—A 26-year-old Milwaukee, Wis., man who had been visiting and staying with extended family on the Sisseton-Wahpeton reservation in far northeast South Dakota has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 12. Dashown Raymond Keys, once out of prison, will be on a lifetime of supervised release. He was found guilty Dec. 7 by a federal jury after a three-day trial in Aberdeen of four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of abusive sexual contact with a child.
Producers are finally getting into the fields this week, as temperatures have been about 10 to 15 degrees above normal with some rainfall. Ethan farmer Lewis Bainbridge said his sons were just starting with the corn planting late Monday morning. "They aren't cussing or swearing so it must be going pretty good," Bainbridge said. Usually they like to get going on the corn about April 20-22, so they are behind but "it's not worrisome," he said.
Just as the tourist season gets underway, the Casey's General Store next door to the Mitchell Corn Palace is closing. "We're pretty upset," said store manager Heather Weberg, who said the longtime downtown fixture will close on May 29. "It's been my life," said Weberg, who has managed the store for 14 years. Ariel Anderson, who has worked at the store for about three years, said what makes it tougher is that "we are like a close-knit family. We are all so close." She especially feels sorry for Weberg.
HARRISBURG—Personalized or customized learning remains in its infancy in the Dakotas, but a school district in southeast South Dakota is taking it to a new level and is becoming recognized as one of the regional leaders in the effort. Harrisburg is a district that includes about 4,500 students from the southern part of the city of Sioux Falls, the community of Harrisburg and area rural residents.
Innocent bystander suffers leg wound in central Sioux Falls shooting SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A 30-year-old Sioux Falls man was apparently in the wrong place at the wrong time as a bullet ricocheted and hit him in the leg after a fight between two other men nearby. The victim, who was not identified, sustained a gunshot wound to his leg after the shooting in central Sioux Falls late Sunday night about 11 p.m.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The City of Sioux Falls is likely out of funds after a vendor scam. City Police Capt. Blaine Larsen said the city’s finance department in mid-April received via e-mail a vendor update request that appeared to be legitimate to update the vendor’s electronic payment information. Later in the month, police said the city transferred two payments to the new bank routing address for legitimate work completed by the vendor.
RAPID CITY, S.D. -- A 49-year-old South Dakota man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for transporting individuals from Rapid City to Chicago in 2016 with the intent of hiring them to engage in prostitution and also for distributing meth. Darryl Graham, also known as Darryl Gram, was sentenced last month in federal court in Rapid City. He was given five years on each charge, but the prison terms run concurrently.