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A former Dakota Wesleyan University student accused of raping a female student on campus has pleaded not guilty. Kristopher Wilson, 23, entered a written arraignment and plea of not guilty Tuesday morning during court at the Davison County Public Safety Center in Mitchell. His trial is scheduled for May. Wilson, a former DWU basketball player, is accused of having sex with a female victim on Jan. 20 who was unable to give consent.
A Mitchell woman admitted Tuesday to violating her probation by drinking alcohol and missing an appointment with her probation officer. Danica Miller, 19, was sentenced Jan. 15 to jail time and three years on probation for assaulting a police officer at a sobriety checkpoint last October. Miller admitted she failed a breathalyzer test for the state 24/7 Sobriety program on Jan. 22, and failed to show up for any tests since then. She also admitted to missing a Feb. 2 appointment with her probation officer.
A Mitchell man admitted Tuesday to using marijuana while on probation. Trevor Kohlrus, 20, could have all or part of a suspended two-year prison sentence reimposed as a result of the admission. Kohlrus was sentenced to 35 days in jail and two years on probation last June after pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute less than 1 ounce of marijuana and possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana. Sentencing was set for March.
PIERRE -- The Rapid City tax-exemption request by the electricians' union isn't exactly a shocker. SB 199 came out of the House Taxation Committee on a 12-1 vote Tuesday. It would restore the tax exemption for the IBEW's training center. The exemption was in place from 1972, according to IBEW local business manager Randy Stainbrook of Rapid City, but a new interpretation of state law in circuit court last year wiped away the property-tax break. IBEW is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The legislation, sponsored by Sen.
A sign outside the Ramada Inn & Suites this weekend in Mitchell states "Welcome Mike Miller." However, an employee at the Ramada confirmed the Mike Miller referenced is not Mitchell's NBA star Mike Miller, who plays for the Miami Heat. Rather, the Mike Miller scheduled to be at the Ramada is a motivational speaker.
BONESTEEL -- A Fairfax woman died Friday, when her passenger car collided with a semi near mile marker 307 on Highway 18, near Bonesteel. Elizabeth Ann Koenig, 52, was driving her 2002 Chrysler Concord west on Highway 18 when it was struck by an eastbound 2002 Peterbilt semi and trailer driven by Richard Daniel Trattles, 61, of Yankton. Koenig was following a South Dakota Department of Transportation snowplow in the moments prior to the accident.
PIERRE -- The Senate is set today to give final legislative approval to issue $4.5 million of revenue bonds sought by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks. The financing would provide $1.5 million for Angostura state recreation's new sewer system and $3 million for GF&P marina rehabilitation at the Cedar Shore resort on the Missouri River at Oacoma. The legislation received the Senate State Affairs Committee's endorsement Wednesday.
PIERRE -- Rep. Stace Nelson presented the POW/MIA working holiday legislation to the Senate State Affairs Committee. Nelson, R-Fulton, is the bill's prime sponsor. He said Sen. Bill Van Gerpen, R-Tyndall, was sick Wednesday. Van Gerpen, the bill's lead sponsor in the Senate, hasn't attended the legislative session the past two days. The Senate committee voted unanimously to endorse the bill, HB 1067, which now goes to the full Senate for the consent calendar for final legislative approval today. The consent calendar is automatic approval unless a senator objects.
PIERRE -- The current expense payment rate for legislators is $110 per official working day of legislative session. The $13 increase sought by Rep. David Novstrup, R-Pierre, would be the first in 13 years. "I think it's a reasonable change," he told House members Wednesday. They voted 36-33 -- no yes votes to spare -- to approve HB 1212 and send it on to the Senate. "Maybe we should consider taking the $65,000 and giving it to the teachers as a pay increase," said Rep.
PIERRE -- South Dakota Public Broadcasting Executive Director Julie Andersen said Wednesday her agency would lose $70,000 to $100,000 if federal sequestration cuts take effect. That is approximately 8 percent of the federal community service grant that SDPB receives. "We do not intend to lay off any staff out of that," she told members of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Appropriations. How has SDPB fared since the state budget cuts two years ago? "We're just the little engine that could," she said.