South Dakota News

Sioux Falls residents cleaning up after flood
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Some residents of Sioux Falls are cleaning their basements after torrential rains caused flash flooding last week. Susie Brude (BROO'-dee) spent the weekend sorting through water-soaked pictures. She's deciding which photos to save after they were covered in mud when nearly eight feet of water filled her basement. Brude's husband, Thom, is taking out the damaged items. The family has lived for 19 years in the house, and Thom Brude tells KELO-TV the loss "didn't really hit until today." A few blocks away, Deanna Poppen was sorting through soaked items in her basement. She says she was doing fine until her sump pump stopped working. The storms late Thursday dumped more than half a foot of rain in parts of Sioux Falls, inundating basements and stranding dozens of motorists.

All state turkey farms hit by bird flu restocked, recovering
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — All nine of the state's affected turkey farms are restocked and raising birds again just five months after the first tested positive for the deadly bird flu virus. Dakota Provisions Board Chairman Jeff Sveen says their final farm was restocked with young turkeys recently. Sveen says the hope is that the processing plant will be back to full power by the end of October. Avian influenza led to the deaths of 1.7 million turkeys and chickens in South Dakota and took a toll financially on the state's farmers and processing plants. Dakota Layers was the only egg-laying chicken operation to be affected in the state. Vice President Jason Ramsdell says they're still recovering because of the more extensive cleaning process needed for chickens. Dakota Layers hopes to start restocking by December.

South Dakota farmer named treasurer of world soy initiative
CLAREMONT, S.D. (AP) — A soybean farmer from northeastern South Dakota has been picked to help develop U.S. soy in foreign markets by the American Soybean Association. The Aberdeen American News reports Monica McCranie of Claremont was chosen to be treasurer for the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health. She has been on the board for the initiative for six years representing South Dakota, and was elected to her position by the board. McCranie says the initiative works with countries that have a protein deficiency and shows people how to add it into their lives. She says foreign bakers recently visited North Dakota and were shown how to put soy in bread recipes. The initiative was founded by U.S. soybean farmers in 2000.

2 praying mantises show up in Aberdeen
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Two praying mantises have been found summering in the South Dakota town of Aberdeen. The Aberdeen American News reports that one was found in a local gift shop and the other was spotted outside of Roncalli Elementary School. Alyssa Anderson, an assistant professor of biology at Northern State University, says mantises are not native to this area, and how they got to Aberdeen remains a mystery. She says that one possibility is that mantis egg kits could've brought them in Aberdeen. Another possibility is that they came with goods shipped from other areas of the country. Anderson says mantises are a beneficial insect that help control some of the pest insects.

Reward offered in South Dakota's Meeker Ranch vandalism case
CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — A $500 reward has been offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the vandals who damaged a historic ranch on U.S. Forest Service property near Custer. A large section of siding on the Meeker Ranch Barn in the Black Hills was vandalized earlier this summer. Antique windows in the ranch house were broken during the incident. The Black Hills Historic Preservation Trust is offering the reward. President Skip Tillisch of Hill City says the ranch is an essential piece of the Black Hills history. Tillisch says the trust doesn't have the money or the time to fix the windows at the moment, but the windows will soon be covered with Lexan plastic to protect the structure from the winter weather that's ahead.

More LED streetlights could be installed in Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — More Sioux Falls neighborhoods could soon feature brighter, more efficient streetlights. The Argus Leader reports the city in May launched an LED streetlight pilot project in six neighborhoods, and now the city plans to expand the project next year. The lights have proven to save the city money on its energy bills and they were also praised by residents who responded to an online survey. Light and Power Superintendent Jerry Jongeling says the city can run an LED streetlight for 11 cents per day, in comparison to the 33 cents per day typically spent to power a standard light. Each new streetlight is expected to last at least 100,000 hours. Jongeling says the city's proposed 2016 budget would bring LED lights to up to 18 additional Sioux Falls neighborhoods.

Sioux Falls man walks again using robotic exoskeleton
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Sioux Falls man has taken his first steps in 10 years with the help of a robotic exoskeleton. The Argus Leader reports 24-year-old Isaac Schreurs was paralyzed from the chest down in a motocross accident in June 2005. He estimates he walked about 300 feet using the exoskeleton on August 20th at a Minneapolis hospital. Schreurs says the experience was "surreal," and said the "coolest part" was seeing his wheelchair at the other end of the hallway. The exoskeleton would be too physically demanding to use all the time, but Schreurs says he'd like to use it on special occasions and while working at manufacturer Gage Brothers. Schreurs says he isn't sure if insurance will cover the cost, but Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley says he's looking into how the company can help.

SD man convicted of sex, abuse charges gets 15 years
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota man convicted of sexually abusing a child at the Rosebud Indian Reservation has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange has also ordered 18-year-old Ilijah White Lance to spend six years on supervised release. The Parmelee man earlier pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact by force and child abuse charges. The conviction stems from incidents that took place on February 10, when White Lance was visiting a friend's home in Parmelee. Prosecutors say White Lance that night had sexual contact with a 9-year-old girl. Authorities say White Lance then exposed himself to a 7-year-old girl, who was also in the room and witnessed the first incident. White Lance is under the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

SDSU Extension, others to host grassland fire workshops
BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota State University Extension wants to teach landowners in South Dakota ways to properly plan for and conduct a prescribed fire. SDSU Extension has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and some conservancy groups to host four workshops in September meant to show landowners how to plan for a grassland fire. The Extension office says landowners wanting to use prescribed fire as a management method in their Conservation Reserve Program contracts are required to follow an USDA-approved burn plan. Workshop topics include USDA rules, firebreak development, weather and safety. Workshops are scheduled for Wednesday at the SDSU Regional Extension Center in Aberdeen; September 9th at the 1st Fidelity Bank in Platt; Sept. 18 at the fire hall in Kennebec; and September 21st at the Selby Golf Course.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press