Stephen Lee / Pierre Capital Journal
ONIDA, S.D. — About four years after dirt first was moved on the site just south of Onida, Ringneck Energy’s ethanol plant finally is in full production, turning 80,000 bushels of corn every day into 225,000 gallons of ethanol. The winter blizzards and spring rains helped delay the completion of construction of the plant, just the latest issues that have kept things from going as swiftly as the company had hoped.
PIERRE, S.D. — After a week-long trial and about two-and-a-half hours of deliberation on Friday, May 31, a jury of nine men and three women found Brandon Snodgrass guilty of 12 counts of raping and sexually assaulting the daughter of his then-girlfriend from the time she was 5 until she was 9 years old. It means Snodgrass, 36, is convicted of eight charges which each carry a maximum sentence of life in prison as well as mandatory minimum sentences that add up to 120 years.
PIERRE, S.D. - A 35-year-old Pierre woman who says she was with a man who was shot dead Jan. 13 by federal agents faces a possible sentence of life in prison after pleading not guilty last week to a charge of conspiracy to deal methamphetamine. Nicole Hopkins was arraigned in federal court in Pierre on Thursday, May 16, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Moreno. In the same courtroom, Andrew Bunch, 29, was arraigned on the same meth-dealing charge, plus a count of being illegally in possession of a handgun. A federal grand jury indicted Bunch and Hopkins on May 14.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Peyton Zabel, one of South Dakota’s top high school athletes when he graduated from Riggs High in Pierre a year ago as a three-sport star drafted in June by baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, was arrested and jailed early Saturday, May 11 in Sioux Falls.
PIERRE, S.D. - In the week ended Sunday, April 29, South Dakota’s farmers had 1.6 days “suitable for field work,” the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Sioux Falls reported on Monday. That was after only 0.8 days suitable for such work in the previous week, for a total of 2.4 days over two weeks. That means perhaps a million or more acres.
PIERRE, S.D. — State Circuit Judge John Brown on Friday, April 26, sentenced Hunter Canode to five years in prison, with two of the years suspended, for dealing drugs and possessing child pornography and ordered him to be taken into custody in a Pierre court room. Based on state guidelines, Canode likely will serve about 30% of the three years in prison, or about a year of actual time behind bars, Brown told him.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Ralph Buchhold, a Rapid City man serving 175 years for raping a girl from the time she was 11 until she was 15, died Friday, April 12, in the South Dakota prison after an illness, according to Michael Winder, prison spokesman in Pierre. Buchhold was 63 and had served nearly 15 years of his 175-year sentence set to expire July 2, 2179, according to prison records. He died in the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls.
PIERRE, S.D. - Pierre Mayor Steve Harding announced Tuesday at the City Commission meeting that he and other community leaders would throw open the doors for a gala open house just after the noon hour, Wednesday, April 3, when the first flight on a Skywest/United jet is due back from Denver after leaving Pierre that morning “We’re going to have a ribbon-cutting,’” he said. “It will land about 1:34 p.m.” so the party and open house will begin about 1 p.m., Harding said.
PIERRE, S.D. - A 32-year-old former railroad engineer was convicted by a jury late Friday night in federal court in Pierre of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 12 and several child pornography charges. The jury of six women and six men had spent a long week on the case and their conviction will mean decades in prison for Amin Ricker. “This was a difficult case,” U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange told the court after the jury was dismissed about 9:15 p.m., Friday, March 22. “I don’t think I ever worked a jury this hard.”
PIERRE, S.D. — Civic leaders in Pierre say SkyWest Airlines is their choice for a new federal contract to provide passenger service to Pierre. An ad hoc committee of seven met Monday and agreed unanimously to recommend SkyWest to the full city commission, which plans to vote on it at its weekly meeting Tuesday, said city spokeswoman Brooke Bohnenkamp, who was on the ad hoc panel. The commission's vote will go to the U.S. Department of Transportation which has a Feb. 8 deadline to receive such recommendations from Pierre and Watertown.