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Woman: White Lake diner for sale because of ex-husband's prison term

WHITE LAKE -- The killing of a Woonsocket woman is having unforeseen consequences on another rural South Dakota town. White Lake-based Tara's Diner is for sale following the sentencing of Matthew Novak, who killed Jennifer Gibson in August. Four-...

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WHITE LAKE - The killing of a Woonsocket woman is having unforeseen consequences on another rural South Dakota town.

White Lake-based Tara's Diner is for sale following the sentencing of Matthew Novak, who killed Jennifer Gibson in August.

Four-year owner Tara McGeough, Novak's ex-wife, said she has to pursue a "more secure" job to provide for her children while receiving no financial support from Novak. So, she recently put White Lake's lone diner on the market.

Novak was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in the state penitentiary for first-degree manslaughter for the stabbing death of Gibson, the mother of his three children, in the early morning hours of Aug. 31 at their Woonsocket home. McGeough was married to Novak from 2004 to 2014, though she said the couple separated in 2011.
"I was forced into (selling) it because I have to provide for my children," McGeough said Friday. "I really don't want to (close), but financially owning a business in a town of 400 isn't safe enough."

According to court documents, Novak grabbed a large kitchen knife following an argument with Gibson, stabbing her 10 times and inflicting five slash wounds, including one to her neck. Novak, who had three children with Gibson, was arrested hours later when law enforcement converged on their 206 S. Third Ave. home.

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As of now, Tara's Diner remains open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., until McGeough "can no longer do it" on top of her new position as dietary manager at the Aurora-Brule Care & Rehab Center in White Lake.

McGeough said she hopes the building's next owner continues running it as a diner and some have shown interest since she put the building on the market.

"It's nice to be able to go someplace at 6 a.m. and get coffee or a pastry, that's why I'm trying to keep it open - I don't want it to close," McGeough said. "I think our little town needs a restaurant and I'm the only one they have, but I can only do so much."

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