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Over a dozen law enforcement agencies and court services providers participated in a three-day training this week, focusing on jail and courthouse security. The Davison County Sheriff's Office received a $18,000 grant from South Dakota Law Enforcement Training, under the Division of Criminal Investigation, to host the training in Mitchell.
As part of Senate Bill 70, Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse (CBISA) outpatient program is proving to be effective, according to area court services officers. Designed for individuals sentenced to presumption probation for nonviolent drug-related offenses, CBISA places heavy emphasis on problem solving and coping skills development. "CBISA is a pretty valuable program that works for a lot of our people. I think it has a broader impact than it was ever designed for," said Jerry Barnett, court services officer in Lake Andes.
Approaching 20 years since opening, Mitchell's Family Visitation Center has room to help more parents and children who deal with conflict involving visitation rights and domestic and child abuse. Located in the same building as the Mitchell Area Safehouse, the services provided at the center include assisted children exchanges when separated parents want to avoid face-to-face contact and visits or telephone calls when it is not safe for parents to be unsupervised with their children.
An "enormous opportunity" to recognize advanced biofuels fell short Thursday, according to the head of a South Dakota-based ethanol producer. Poet CEO Jeff Broin responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Renewable Volume Obligations, of which the total renewable fuel standard to blend into the nation's gasoline supply was set at 19.29 billion gallons. That's a small bump from 19.28-billion-gallon standard from 2017.
An Ethan man who allegedly fled from the courthouse in Mitchell a few weeks ago was arrested Tuesday in Hanson County. Brian Mattke, 35, was taken into custody by the Hanson County Sheriff's Office and MItchell Police Division on a warrant issued from Davison County. Mattke was located at approximately 1:20 p.m. Tuesday near the north end of Hanson County, according to Hanson County Sheriff Brandon Wingert.
In response to an increase in motor vehicle break-ins in Mitchell, police are spending more time patrolling residential neighborhoods. According to Mitchell Police Sgt. Joel Reinesch, in the colder months there is typically a decline in incidents. But with the warmer-than-usual weather, there's been an upswing in break-ins. "These are typically crimes of opportunity," Reinesch said. "The majority of the time these cases are because a vehicle is left unlocked. There are usually few that are forcible entries."
It was a good day to get yard work finished or decorate the house with holiday lights. A record high of 72 degrees made for an usually warm end to November, according to Brad Temeyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. "November has been a bit above average, even with our cold start," Temeyer said. Monday's temperatures were 30 degrees higher than the typical average for the end of November. The normal average temperature in Mitchell for this time of year is 37 degrees.
Local advocates are brainstorming alternative methods to assist people with mental health crises. The Mitchell Area Suicide Prevention Coalition is working to find a different location, other than a jail, to place an individual overnight in what's known as a mental health hold. "The goal is to try and figure out what to do to make the experience less traumatizing for people but still keep them safe," said Joy Anderson, a counselor at Dakota Counseling Institute.
Cash bail systems are being re-evaluated nationally, but local officials say it may still have value in South Dakota because of the state's rural population and smaller jail population. In Maryland, Illinois, California and New York, lawmakers have introduced legislation to remake their state's cash bail systems, using what's called "risk assessment." The argument against cash bail is it determines whether a person can afford to post bond as a condition of staying in or out of jail pending a court hearing.
A former South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper was denied a reduction in his prison sentence, despite significant local support to allow him to be released before Christmas. Brian Biehl, 48, of Platte, appeared Tuesday at the Davison County Public Safety Center in front of Judge Chris Giles. Biehl was sentenced in March after pleading guilty to taking $69,668 in money confiscated during drug searches while he was employed as a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper.