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The death penalty will not be sought in an upcoming murder trial for a Mitchell man accused of stabbing another man to death. On Wednesday at the Davison County Public Safety Center, 49-year-old Anthony Lewis appeared in front of Judge Chris Giles, represented by defense attorneys Chris Nipe and Zachary Flood.
DELMONT — It took dedication and several layers to brave the bitterly cold weather over the holiday weekend. On Sunday afternoon, community members gathered to participate in the annual Delmont New Year's Eve parade, despite the 11 degrees below-zero temperature. As South Dakota's only New Year's Eve parade, Delmont's Community Watch insisted the activities continue as scheduled.
In an effort to prevent juveniles from entering the criminal justice system, court services in Davison County offer an informal diversion program. And according to a court services official, the use of the program is expected to increase in 2018. After the passing of Senate Bill 73 in 2015, aimed at juvenile justice reforms, more emphasis was placed back on the diversion program, which has been available for more than 20 years.
The federal government is set to end its contract with a Mitchell-based nonprofit aimed at rehabilitating people back into society. Halfway houses, or residential reentry centers, provide rehabilitative services for individuals who may have been in prison for decades. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Justice, announced in October its decision to end contracts with 16 of these centers, including one with Dakota Counseling Institute in Mitchell.
The Mitchell home Dawn Long allegedly attempted to burn rests empty, and Long has since found a new home in Davison County — but not where you might expect. Long, 39, has made a home in Ethan, a few miles south of the city where authorities believe she tried to poison her husband and set their home ablaze more than two years ago. It was then she was also involved in a high-speed pursuit that ended in West River. The case is stagnant, with a jury trial delayed repeatedly as Long remains free from the bonds of custody. But the case's resolution may soon be in sight.
The state's juvenile justice system is making progress keeping kids out of detention centers and in their communities. On Monday, the Juvenile Justice Public Safety Improvement Act Oversight Council released its annual report for fiscal year 2017. One of the biggest shifts is a significant decline in new commitments of juveniles to the South Dakota Department of Corrections.
MOUNT VERNON — Art vendors set up early on Saturday morning, taking advantage of Mount Vernon's new space for community events. "The Hall," formerly St. Michael's Catholic Church, located at 319 E. Second Ave., was purchased last year for renovation by the city of Mount Vernon.
The use of a phone service for language interpreting in courtroom proceedings is anticipated to increase, according to a South Dakota First Circuit Court judge. Last week in court at the Davison County Public Safety Center, a telephone translating service assisted three Spanish-speaking defendants, a first for both the judge and prosecuting attorney.
Avera Health is expanding the use of telemedicine to address a shortage of behavioral and addiction health services in rural communities. In September, Avera Health was awarded a three-year grant of $746,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration's Office of Rural Health Policy (HRSA). As part of the Substance Abuse Treatment Telehealth Network Grant Program, the funding is geared toward advancing the use of telemedicine to assist with access to behavioral health providers and substance abuse treatment.
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.