South Dakota News

Man dies at scene after fatal truck crash near Hoven
HOVEN, S.D. (AP) — The driver of a truck is dead after a one-vehicle crash near Hoven. The South Dakota Highway Patrol says the 28-year-old driver died Thursday at the scene. His name has not been released. Authorities say the incident happened around 3:10 p.m., when the truck driver lost control while driving on Highway 47. The vehicle rolled after going into the ditch and the driver was ejected. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt. The Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Former Parkston coach accused of theft from football team
PARKSTON, S.D. (AP) — A former Parkston High School head football coach is accused of embezzling roughly $9,000 from the Parkston football team. The Mitchell Republic reports that 29-year-old Tony Axtell of Sioux Falls faces a felony grand theft charge. If convicted, the maximum punishment is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Authorities say that the alleged embezzlement occurred between August and October. Parkston Superintendent Shane McIntosh says that the money allegedly stolen was raised by the football team and wasn't school district funds. McIntosh says Axtell stepped down from his head coaching role in late April. A warrant for Axtell's arrest was issued in June, but it hasn't yet been returned. Axtell directed questions from the newspaper to his lawyer, who declined to comment.

McLaughlin man enters assault case plea; no trial date set
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A McLaughlin man accused of assaulting another man with shod feet has pleaded not guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon. A trial date hasn't been set for 23-year-old Sinjin Cameron. If convicted, Cameron faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus three years of supervised release. The charge stems from a May 2016 incident. Authorities say Cameron assaulted an adult man with shod feet. An attorney for Cameron didn't immediately return a telephone message requesting comment. Cameron is under the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Board of Regents approves request on arts degree programs
MADISON, S.D. (AP) — The state Board of Regents has approved a request to move three arts degree programs at Black Hills State University to the bachelor of fine arts designation. The university will now award BFA degrees in studio art, graphic design and photography. Black Hills State officials say careers in these fields increasingly require such degrees. The BFA is recognized by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design as requiring more specialization in the subject area.

4-square-mile Crow Peak Fire at 15 percent containment
SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — A wildfire that has been burning on Crow Peak west of Spearfish for a week is now at 15 percent containment. The blaze sparked by lightning last Friday evening has torched 2,600 acres, or about 4 square miles. No homes have been lost, though voluntary evacuation notices are still in effect. More than 500 people are fighting the fire on the ground and from the air. Higgins Gulch Road remains closed to the public, with only resident traffic allowed. Black Hills National Forest officials have issued a temporary closure order for the fire area for public safety.

Trial in Sioux Falls home dispute concludes
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The trial in a dispute over a new home in McKennan Park neighborhood of Sioux Falls has concluded. The Argus Leader reports that the three-day court trial regarding the 5,000-square-foot home owned by Joseph and Sarah Sapienza came to a close Thursday. The Sapienzas' home is the subject of a lawsuit from their neighbors, Barbara and Pierce McDowell. The McDowells say the Sapienzas' home was built so close to theirs that it keeps natural light from reaching their home, stops them from using their wood-burning fireplace and violates the Board of Historic Preservation's building standards. Joseph Sapienza said in court Thursday that he had relied on the board, the city, his builder and his architect to ensure his home met all building requirements. Both sides will file closing briefs later this summer.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press