South Dakota News

Legal team for activist Peltier urges Obama to grant release
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The legal team for imprisoned American Indian activist Leonard Peltier is hoping President Barack Obama will grant his release before he leaves office. Peltier is serving two life sentences for the 1975 shooting deaths of two FBI agents during a standoff on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He's now 71 and in frail health, and his next parole hearing isn't until 2024. Peltier and his supporters say he was framed — a claim the FBI denies. He's unsuccessfully appealed his conviction numerous times, and former President Bill Clinton left office without acting on a clemency request. The Argus Leader reports Peltier's legal team recently filed a clemency petition with Obama. Attorney Cynthia Dunne says the team hopes Obama will "look at the case with fresh eyes."

Game, Fish and Parks spells out policies for acquiring land
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's state wildlife agency is formalizing its policies for acquiring land, and asking the public to comment. The Capital Journal reports that the idea originated with Game, Fish and Parks Secretary Kelly Hepler. The task fell to Paul Coughlin, who oversees land acquisition for the agency's wildlife division. Coughlin over several months put together a document called Land Acquisitions Priorities and Guidelines. He says it spells out the evaluation process for any land the department considers buying. One example he cites is an agency commitment to only buy land from willing sellers. Other factors of consideration include the land's conservation value, and how the purchase would improve public access for recreation.

Couple playing Pokemon Go game help recover stolen statue
HILL CITY, S.D. (AP) — A couple playing the popular smartphone game Pokémon Go in Hill City helped recover a statue that had been stolen from Rapid City. Pennington County Sheriff's Deputy Doug Kimball tells KOTA-TV that the couple was playing the game over the weekend when they noticed a bronze bust in some bushes and alerted authorities. Kimball says the bust was of former Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce board chairman E.P. Howe. It had recently been taken from the chamber's board room. KEVN-TV reports that the statue was in good condition and has been returned to the chamber. The sheriff's office is still investigating. The "augmented reality" Pokemon go game layers gameplay onto the physical world and sends players to real-world locations to capture virtual creatures.

Sioux Falls officers suffer minor injuries in scuffle
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Sioux Falls police say two officers suffered minor injuries over the weekend during a scuffle with a drunken woman who had threatened to jump off a building. Officers responded to the scene shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday. Authorities say the officers encountered the woman in a stairwell and she started fighting with them. The 23-year-old woman was arrested for simple assault. Formal charges were pending.

Sioux Falls teen charged in suspicious death of 19-year-old
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A 16-year-old Sioux Falls boy faces manslaughter charges in connection with the death of a 19-year-old man. Sioux Falls police say the man died early Saturday after police, fire officials and paramedics responded to a call of cardiac arrest. The 19-year-old was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police say the circumstances around his death were suspicious, so they began investigating. The 16-year-old was taken into custody on two counts of manslaughter. Detectives are still investigating and police said they would have no more information until a Monday briefing.

Federal prison escape recaptured in Nebraska corn field
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Federal officials say an inmate has been recaptured after escaping from a minimum security work camp in Yankton. The U.S. Marshals Service says 33-year-old Johnny Tiner was re-arrested Saturday after he was found walking on a gravel road, and then hiding in a corn field in rural Hartington, Nebraska. Authorities say tips from the public helped locate Tiner. He was unarmed, but was wearing prison clothing when he was found. He was also dehydrated and taken to a hospital for evaluation. Tiner was seen jumping a fence earlier in the day. He'd been serving a 10-year sentence out of north Texas for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He now faces an escape charge. Besides Texas, Tiner also has ties to Colorado and Tennessee.

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