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In a matter of minutes, a June 18 tornado cut a path of destruction through Wessington Springs and changed the lives of many residents forever. In the days that followed, residents of the small Jerauld County town began a massive cleanup effort with the help of emergency responders and volunteers from all across South Dakota. The tornado destroyed approximately 15 homes and significantly damaged another 44 homes, and displaced at least 77 people, according to city officials. The tornado also damaged 12 businesses, including three that were completely destroyed.
LAKE ANDES -- The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled Tuesday against a woman whose attorney argued she could not be convicted of drunken driving because a statute necessary for the crime was mistakenly repealed in 2012. Nicole Mundy-Geidd was arrested and charged with drunken driving in 2013 in Charles Mix County. Her attorney, Tim Whalen, of Lake Andes, has argued the law prohibiting driving under the influence no longer applies to any cases involving alcohol. His argument is based on a decades-old statute that says it is not a crime simply to be drunk.
Ken Fay makes the seven-hour round trip from his home in rural Tripp County to the Sioux Falls Veterans Affairs Medical Center about twice a month. Fay, a 66-year-old veteran with chronic heart disease, lives in Witten, a small town less than 20 miles from a small clinic run by the VA in Winner. Fay would rather travel to the Sioux Falls VA because he believes that is where he gets the best medical care. The trips leave Fay exhausted.
The man charged with arson for allegedly starting a fire last month inside an apartment building in downtown Mitchell has pleaded not guilty. Stephen Seltz, a 30-year-old Mitchell resident, was arrested the day after a Nov. 6 fire damaged apartments and a few businesses inside a building at 304 N. Main St. Seltz, who remains in custody, briefly appeared in court Tuesday at the Davison County Public Safety Center in Mitchell to enter a written arraignment and plea of not guilty.
The Mitchell City Council voted Monday night in favor taking steps toward building a new indoor swimming pool at the city's existing Recreation Center. The council voted 6-2 in favor of asking the Mitchell Board of Education to transfer the ownership of enough land near the Recreation Center to build the pool at that location, as well as give the city permission to move ahead with planning the pool before the ownership of the land is transferred. Mel Olson, Dave Tronnes, Randy Doescher, Marty Barington, Dan Allen and Jeff Smith voted in favor of the motion.
A Mitchell man who was injured in a crash last month in Hanson County has been charged with driving without a license. Justin Iburg, 24, was injured in a crash at about 2:30 a.m. Nov. 22, when his vehicle drifted off 416th Avenue, a paved road west of Alexandria in Hanson County, and struck a metal guard rail. Iburg fell about 25 to 30 feet to a riverbank below the road after the driver's side door of his vehicle was torn off in the crash, Hanson County Sheriff Randy Bartlett told The Daily Republic last month.
The Mitchell City Council plans to decide tonight where to build an indoor swimming pool planned for the city. The agenda includes a 5:55 p.m. Traffic Commission meeting and a 6 p.m. council meeting, both in Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.
WINNER -- Winner Mayor Jess Keesis gave a simple explanation Friday after finding his name on a list of people with delinquent property taxes in Tripp County. "I just forgot," Keesis told The Daily Republic. "That's all." Keesis was listed as having not paid $88.51 in property taxes he owed last year in Tripp County for property associated with his home in Winner, according to the Tripp County Treasurer's Office. Keesis said he did not realize until Friday he still had unpaid property taxes.
There have been more hunters but fewer planes landing at the Mitchell Municipal Airport for pheasant hunting season so far this year, according to Mike Scherschligt, the airport's manager. The statewide pheasant hunting season began Oct. 18 and will last until Jan. 4.
The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that a lawsuit against NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer filed by a custom motorcycle builder based in Mitchell should be dismissed due to a lack of jurisdiction. Klock Werks Kustom Cycles sued Bowyer in May 2012 in Davison County after he failed to pay nearly $31,000 for a motorcycle customized by the company in late 2008 and early 2009.