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A look at news from around the region, as reported by weekly newspapers: White Lake RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES SEE VALUATION INCREASES: At a recent meeting of the Aurora County Commission, Aurora County Assessor Leah Vissia informed the Board of Valuation changes to take effect in the near future.
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HOWARD—A machine shed burned down Friday afternoon in rural Miner County, but no one was hurt, authorities said. Miner County Sheriff Lanny Klinkhammer said the fire started around 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Roger Torkelson farm, which is about 6 miles north and 1 mile west of Howard. Klinkhammer said Torkelson's son lives on the farm. He said the fire's cause was still undetermined, but the building and all its contents, including a tractor, were a total loss. No one was injured.
PIERRE — A Lyman County woman has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, officials announced Friday. Whitney Renae Turney, 27, Oacoma, entered a guilty plea to one count of first-degree manslaughter, a class C felony, with a penalty of up to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary and/or a $50,000 fine, according to the South Dakota Attorney General's Office. Charges stem from an incident on Sept. 4 in Oacoma, which resulted in the stabbing death of Calvin J. Shields. Shields' body was recovered on Sept. 7.
Seven area schools participated in the Region IV-B One Act Play, held Thursday at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre in Mitchell. Schools participating were Armour, Corsica-Stickney, Ethan, Freeman Academy, Menno, Mount Vernon and Plankinton. Following are results: Plays that advance to state: Armour—"15 Reasons Not to be in a Play," by Alan Haehnel, director Samantha Ziegler; and Mount Vernon—"We Loathe Our Customers," by Bradley Walton, director Jeff Sand. Outstanding performance medals:
Two men were arrested Tuesday after one of them allegedly ran from police, and a search of their home later uncovered marijuana, officers said. Dymen Garcia, 19, of Mitchell, was pulled over by Mitchell police at about 12:50 p.m. Tuesday on the 500 block of North Rowley Street, according to the Mitchell Police Division. Garcia allegedly stopped the vehicle and ran from the scene. Garcia was found about five or six blocks from where his vehicle was stopped, and he was placed under arrest, according to Mitchell Patrol Sgt. Terry Reyelts.
Two dozen state legislators have sponsored a bill to repeal South Dakota's death penalty. Sen. Arthur Rusch, R-Vermillion, a retired circuit court judge, and Rep. Timothy Johns, R-Lead, serve as the prime sponsors on Senate Bill 94 to strike the death penalty from state law. The bipartisan bill is sponsored by a total of 15 Democrats and 9 Republicans. A Class A felony is currently the only capital offense in South Dakota and 18 people have been executed since South Dakota became a state in 1877, according to the state Department of Corrections.
A man charged with the forcible rape of a minor pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was denied a bond reduction. Kristian Slaybaugh, 41, of Mitchell, also pleaded not guilty to second-degree rape, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia on Tuesday at the Davison County Public Safety Center in Mitchell.
Jack Wiebelhaus, Mitchell, will celebrate his 80th birthday on Monday, Feb. 1. His family requests a card shower. Greetings may be sent to 1817 Quiett Lane, Mitchell, S.D., 57301.
TABOR — Darlene Holec, Tabor, will celebrate her 75th birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 2, Her children request a card shower. Greetings may be sent to 30631 421st Ave., Tabor, S.D., 57063.