News Cancellations

Avera Sacred Heart Hospital brings you this webpage and its updates.

Monday, February 2

Bon Homme - 2 hours late

Crofton - 10 a.m. start

Elk Point-Jefferson - 2 hours late

Hartington-Newcastle - 10 a.m. start

Laurel-Concord-Coleridge - CLOSED

Menno - 2 hours late

Northeast Community College - 10 a.m. start

Ponca - 2 hours late

Santee Headstart - CLOSED

Santee - CLOSED

Click here to send us information about your cancellation, or call (605) 665-2600.  Thank You.



 

Local News

March 28, 2015
Polar Plunge Set For Vermillion, Nebraska Keeps Motorcycle Helmets
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March 27, 2015
Continued Success For Vermillion High School Senior, Citizen Of The Year Banquet
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March 26, 2015
Speaker Antonio Neves Inspires One Million Cups, South Dakota Gas Prices Down Slightly
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March 25, 2015
Powder River Training Complex Receives Approval, Pheasant Management Plan In The Works
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March 25, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 24, 2015
Yankton City Commission Approves Ordinances, Vermillion Student Wins South Dakota State Spelling Bee
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March 24, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 23, 2015
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard Signs Bills, Work Zone Awareness Week
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March 23, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 21, 2015
Vermillion Considers Daycare Ordinance, 196th Activated
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March 20, 2015
Daugaard Signs 2016 Budget, Yankton County Burn Ban Back In Place
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March 20, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 19, 2015
Daugaard Names First Appointments To Blue Ribbon Task Force, Avera Sacred Heart To Start Remodel
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March 19, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 18, 2015
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard Signs Senate Bill 1, Public Input Sought On Harney Peak Name Change
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March 18, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 17, 2015
Vermillion Chamber And Development Company Annual Banquet To Hose Daugaard and Johnson, Burn Ban Lifted In Yankton County
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March 17, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 14, 2015
Yankton Collector Well Encounters Bald Eagle Nest, Yankton Municipal Election Cancelled
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March 13, 2015
Yankton County Emergency Management Discusses Plan For Warning Sirens, South Dakota And Nebraska Encounter Racial Tensions
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March 13, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 12, 2015
Yankton Starts Community Reinvestment Program, Keystone XL Eminent Domain Challenged In Nebraska
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March 12, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 11, 2015
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard Discusses County Site Analysis Program, Yankton County Burn Ban In Place
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March 11, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 10, 2015
Yankton School Board Hears Condition Of Crane Youngworth Field, Yankton County Emergency Management Public Meeting
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March 10, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 9, 2015
Yankton City Commissioners To Meet, Yankton School Board Meeting Preview
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March 9, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 5, 2015
Discovery Church Makes Plans For Downtown Coffee Shop, Girls On The Run To Be Introduced In Yankton
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March 4, 2015
Yankton County Commission Considers Warning Sirens, South Dakota Gas Pricees
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March 4, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 3, 2015
Yankton County Commission Meeting Preview, Yankton Has Hot Lotto Winner
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March 3, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

March 2, 2015
South Dakota Releases Financials, Vermillion City Council Preview
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March 2, 2015 - Pier's Points

 

You can hear news on Classic Hits 106.3 each day starting with "Pier's Points" at 6:30 a.m. News updates run each half-hour until 9 a.m., as well as at noon, 4 and 5 p.m. We also provide news for ESPN Radio 1570 AM at 5, 6, 7 and 8 a.m., at noon and at 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Thanks for listening and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Community Calendar

ADD YOUR EVENT to our Community Calendar today!

LOCAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

• Bede Art Gallery Exhibit “Naked Pottery” – 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Mount Marty College; 1105 W 8th Street; Yankton. Runs March 30-31, April 1-2.

• The Yankton County Treasurer’s Office will be closed Friday, March 27th from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

• Riverview Reformed Church is offering raised bed garden spots. Please call the church at 665-9204 to reserve, fee is $25.00. The spots are located behind the church at 1700 Burleigh in Yankton and will be ready to plant 13th.

• The Yankton Parks and Recreation Department is now accepting registrations for the 2015 Women’s and Coed Sand Volleyball Leagues and Coed Softball Leagues. Deadline for team registrations, rosters, and fees is Friday, May 8. Team registration forms and rules are available at the Summit Activities Center at 1801 Summit Street or on the City of Yankton web site at www.cityofyankton.org. For further information, call (605) 668-5234 or stop by the Summit Activities Center at 1801 Summit Street, Yankton, SD. Remember to follow the Yankton Parks and Recreation on our Facebook page.

• Habitat is seeking donations for their annual rummage sale to be held March 27th and 28th. Items may be dropped off at FUMC beginning 3/26/15. If you need assistance with pickup call Tom and Jane Gilmore to schedule a time, (605) 665-8303.

• The Summit Activities Center, along with Yankton County Search & Rescue, Yankton County EMS and Dakota Scuba is proud to offer April Pool’s Day event on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The purpose of this event is to provide fun and educational activities about water safety and offer a Discover Scuba class with Steve Nedved from Discover Scuba. The event will run from 6:30-8:30pm on Wednesday, April 1. The event is open to parents and children 10 years or older. The cost of the class is $30 per participant and payment will be made the evening of the class. To register for this unique class, please call Daniel Prendable at 605-668-9033 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For further information, please call (605) 668-5234 or stop by the Summit Activities Center at 1801 Summit Street, Yankton, SD. Remember to follow the Yankton Parks and Recreation on their Facebook Page.

• Representative Kristi Noem is accepting applications for spring internships in her Washington, D.C. office, as well as in her offices in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Watertown. Student interns in Representative Noem’s office will assist staff with various constituent service and communications projects, as well as assist with legislative research. Both South Dakota and Washington, D.C., internships provide students with first-hand knowledge of the legislative process and the countless other functions of a congressional office. College students who are interested in interning in any of Representative Noem’s offices should submit a resume, cover letter, and references to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by April 20. For more information, contact Christiana Frazee at (202) 225-2801.

• The Annual Youth Art Exhibit with run at G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery in Yankton (508 Douglas Avenue) from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. March 12 – 14, 16 – 21, 23 – 31, April 1-2.

• The exhibit “Story Tellers” will be on display at Bede Art Gallery at Mount Marty College from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. March 12 – 13, 16 – 20, 23-27.

• The Summit Activities Center will be a host site for the Area Special Olympics and Roger Haas Basketball Tournaments on February 21 and March 27 and 28, 2015. Due to the tournaments, courts will not be available for open gym on those dates. For more information, please call (605) 668-5234 or stop by the Summit Activities Center. Remember to follow the Yankton Parks and Recreation Department on our Facebook Page.

• The Summit Activities Center will be offering American Red Cross Swimming Lessons this spring. The classes will be held Saturday mornings and will run from Saturday, March 28 through Saturday, May 2, 2015. Swim lessons will include Preschool, and Red Cross Level 1 through Level 3. Registration for current Summit Activities Center members will begin Monday, March 9, 2015 during normal business hours. Registration for the general public and online registration will begin Tuesday, March 10 at 11 a.m. Online registration is available through the City of Yankton website at www.cityofyankton.org.
10:30-11:20 a.m. Preschool and Level II
11:30- 12:20 p.m. Level I and Level III
For further information, please call 668-5234 or visit the Summit Activities Center at 1801 Summit Street, Yankton, SD. Don’t forget to follow the Yankton Parks and Recreation on their Facebook page.

• Enjoy the great outdoors this summer as a member of the Game, Fish and Parks' team! They are now taking applications for summer jobs in a variety of positions across the state. The initial application deadline is Feb. 23. Most positions run mid-May through Labor Day. For the complete job listing, descriptions, and to apply, visit the State of South Dakota employment website or contact any South Dakota One-Stop Career Center office.

• Free Tax Preparation Being Offered by Mount Marty College - For the 21st year, Mount Marty College students will assist members of the community with preparing their individual tax returns without charge. Students enrolled in the tax clinic course will help prepare required federal and state tax returns for low-income clients. The students will meet with each client for an initial interview then prepare the necessary tax returns. A second, short appointment will be conducted with each client to go over the results of the tax returns before filing. If a client is determined to require more advanced tax services, they will be asked to seek a professional tax preparer. Each tax return will go through a verification process to ensure accuracy before being returned to the client for filing. At the conclusion of the tax return preparation process, the client will be given a paper return to mail to the Internal Revenue Service along with a full and complete copy for their personal records. No data relative to any tax returns will be maintained by Mount Marty College or the students providing this service. Those interested in taking advantage of this free service should email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to indicate their interest and to schedule an appointment. Appointments will be scheduled on Mondays from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

• The Riverboat Days Board of Directors is looking for input on a theme as well as Captain and Belle nominations for this year. Anyone with ideas for a theme can submit them in an email and send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Captain and Belle nominations should be a short paragraph explaining why the couple has been nominated and can also be submitted by email or mailed to PO Box 483, Yankton, SD, 57078.

• The Summit Activities Center will be offering a Water Safety Instructor’s Course in April. Pre-test will be held March 31, 2015. Attendance is mandatory for ALL sessions. Participants will need to be prepared for time in the classroom and pool each day. Class space is limited. Registration is available by calling 605-668-5234 or stopping by the Summit Activities Center between 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Cost for the training will be $150.00 plus tax and payment is due at the time of registration. The payment will include WSI manual and books. There is an online portion of the class and participants will be required to do online learning prior to and throughout class. Registration and a payment is also required with Red Cross, but instructions for this will be give once the pre-test has been passed. Participants must be at least 16 years of age before the class ends. Participants must also successfully swim the following strokes: Freestyle, Backstroke, Elementary Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly at Level 4.
WSI Class Schedule:
Tuesday March 31: 5:30 - 7pm
Friday April 24: 5pm – 10pm
Saturday April 25: 8am – 8pm
Sunday April 26: 8am – 8pm
For further information, please call 668-5234. Remember to follow the Yankton Parks and Recreation on our Facebook Page.

• The Summit Activities Center will be offering two Lifeguard Training Courses this spring. The first class will be held April 17-19, 2015 with the Pre-test on Tuesday, March 31 at 5:30pm. The second class will be held May 8-10, 2015 with the Pre-test on Tuesday, April 28 at 5:30pm. Class times for each course will be Friday from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Saturday from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, and Sunday from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm. Attendance is mandatory for ALL classes AND the prerequisite testing. Registration begins immediately. Participants may register online at www.cityofyankton.org or at the front desk of the Summit Activities Center. Cost for the training will be $140.00 plus tax and includes lifeguard training books. There is an online portion of the class and participants will be required to do online learning prior to class. Registration and a payment is also required with Red Cross, but instructions for this will be give once the pre-test has been passed. Participants must be at least 15 years of age before the class ends. Prerequisites are: Swim 300 yards continuously. Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7-10 feet, retrieve a 10 lbs. object, return to the surface, swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the object, and exit the pool without using a ladder or steps within 1 minute and 40 seconds. Treading Water for 2 minutes using legs only. Participants who fail the prerequisites will not be able to continue the course.
Class One Course Schedule:
Prerequisite Swim Test: Tuesday, March 31 at 5:30 pm
Friday, April 17: 5 pm – 10 pm
Saturday, April 18: 8 am – 8 pm
Sunday, April 19: 8 am – 8 pm
Class Two Course Schedule:
Prerequisite Swim Test: Tuesday, April 28 at 5:30 pm
Friday, May 8: 5 pm – 10 pm
Saturday, May 9: 8 am – 8 pm
Sunday, May 10: 8 am – 8 pm
For further information, please call (605) 668-5234 or stop by the Summit Activities Center at 1801 Summit Street, Yankton, SD. Remember to follow the Yankton Parks and Recreation on our Facebook Page.

UPCOMING EVENTS

2015

Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27
Visual artist Cheryl Peterson-Halsey will conduct workshops for local students as part of the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists In Schools and Communities (AISC) program. She will work with sixth grade students during the residency at Yankton Middle School.

Thursday, March 26 – Sunday, March 29
Mount Marty College Theatre will present the musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors, by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, in Marian Auditorium on the Yankton campus. Performances will be held Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Friday, March 27 – Saturday, March 28
Writers high school age and up are invited to register for the VLP Literary Festival and Sorcerer’s Apprentice Creative Writing Camp, to be held at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. No experience with creative writing is necessary. Visit the festival/camp website http://sites.usd.edu/dwp/camp for a complete schedule, registration forms and fees, descriptions of the workshops, writer/presenter biographies, and other information. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions.

Roger Haas Basketball Tournament – various locations; Yankton.

Friday, March 27
Blue and Gold Campus Visit Day - Mount Marty College. The admissions Office at Mount Marty college will be holding Blue and Gold Campus Visit Day events for prospective students to learn about the college and academic majors, visit campus, and meet with faculty. For more information on Blue and Gold Campus Visit Days, or to register, visitwww.mtmc.edu/admissions/events.

Saturday, March 28
Technology Help at Yankton Community Library – 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Studetns from the Yankton High School National Honor Society will be at the library to work with individuals who need assistance with computers. This service is free of charge, but anyone needing assistance must register ahead of time by calling the library, giving us your contact information, and telling us what help you are seeking. For further information, contact the library at (605) 668-5276.

Citizen of the Year Banquet – 1:30 p.m.; Yankton Elks Lodge. The program honoring 2014 Yankton Citizen of the Year Ben Hanten will begin at 2 p.m.

Lewis & Clark Theatre Theatrical Gala – 5:30 p.m.; Minerva’s Convention Center; 1607 E Highway 50; Yankton.

Sunday, March 29
West Catholic Development Palm Sunday Breakfast – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Any questions regarding meal sales or to place an order ahead of time, please contact Todd or Lori Heckenlaible at (402) 357-3514.

“Requiem” – performed by the 40-voice Yankton United Church of Christ Adult Choir – 3 p.m.; Yankton United Church of Christ; 5th & Walnut; Yankton.

Tuesday, March 31
Yankton Chamber of Commerce “Denim & Diamond” Annual Banquet. Social hour 5:15 p.m. and country style dinner at 6:30 p.m. The “Jeopardy” 2014 Year in Review program starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. Seating is limited. Please register by March 17, 2015 at www.yanktonsd.com/annualbanquet. For questions concerning the event contact the Yankton Chamber at (605) 665-3636.

Lifelight and 1st Assembly RESET Tour – 7 p.m.; NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Complex; 800 Archery Lane; Yankton. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at 1st Assembly, Pizza Ranch, Carpenter Shop and Mount Marty College.

25th Annual Business Community Prayer Breakfast – 7 a.m. – 8 a.m.; Roncalli Center Main Dining Room; Mount Marty College; Yankton. Tickets for the breakfast buffet are $7.50 each and an RSVP is requested by Friday, March 26. Questions and RSVPs can be directed to (605) 668-1584 or to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

“Stations of the Cross” – 7 p.m.; Marian Auditorium; Mount Marty College; Yankton.

Wednesday, April 1
Sanford Care Center Vermillion Annual Easter Egg Hunt – 5 p.m. 1 – 2 Years old, 5:15 p.m. 3 – 4 years old, 5:30 p.m. 5 – 6 years old.

The Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library is proud to host South Dakota author Mary Woster Haug in the Artists & Authors series at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library is located at 18 Church Street in Vermillion. For more information call the Library at (605) 677-7060.

One Million Cups/Onward Yankton Announcement – 9 a.m.; Yankton High School Theatre.

Thursday, April 2 – Monday, April 6
Yankton Public Schools will not be in session. April 2 is a parent-teacher conference compensation day, and April 3 and April 6 are Easter Vacation days. School will resume on Tuesday, April 7.

Saturday, April 4
The Avera Yankton Care Center Annual Community Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 10 a.m. at the Avera Yankton Care Center. The hunt is for children ages five and under, and is open to the community.

Sunday, April 5
The Summit Activities Center will be closed in observance of Easter. The Summit Activities Center will go back to normal business hours on Monday, April 6.

The Yankton Community Library will be closed in observance of Easter. The Yankton Community Library will reopen on Monday, April 6.

Monday, April 6
United Methodist Women of Yankton Meeting – 1:30 p.m.; First United Methodist Church; 11th and Cedar; Yankton. Refreshments will be served, the welcome mat is out for all.

Wednesday, April 8
The Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library will host a screening of the engaging documentary Alive Inside at 6:30 p.m., followed by a facilitated community discussion.

Thursday, April 9
Mount Marty College Noon Forum – 12 p.m.; South Dining Room of Roncalli; free and open to the public. Dr. James Reese, “Readings from MMC Creative Writing Students”

Post Legislative Luncheon – 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Hillcrest Golf and Country Club; Yankton. The luncheon is open to the public, but registration is required. Register online at: www.yanktonsd.com/legislativeluncheon or by calling the Chamber at (605) 665-3636. Luncheon cost is $15.00.

Saturday, April 11
Missouri Valley Christian Academy's 7th Annual Race for Christ - The event features a 5k walk, 5k and 10k run and a kid's half mile fun run/walk. All courses, except the kid's fun run, will follow park paths and highlight the Meridian Walking Bridge. An awards ceremony will follow the event. A meal will be served after the race. All proceeds from the race will go to support Missouri Valley Christian Academy, a K-8 Christian school, located in Yankton, SD. For more information you can contact the school at (605) 665-4470. You can also register at www.mvcamustangs.org.

Tri-Valley Chorus 65th Annual Show – 7 p.m.; Centerville Gymnasium. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Students are $5.

Sunday, April 12 – Saturday, April 18
National Library Week – If you would like to submit a poem to the Yankton Library staff, they will gladly display your poetry during National Library Week. April is National Poetry Month.

Sunday, April 12
Spellebrate – Fifth Annual Scrabble Tournament – 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.; Southeast Job Link; 1200 W 21st St; Yankton.

Monday, April 13
South Dakota Fellowship of Christian Athletes is hosting Night of Champions in Sioux Falls featuring former NFL quarterback and current college football analyst, Tim Tebow. 7:30 p.m.; Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. For more information about the event and ticket sales, please visit www.southdakotafca.org or contact Erika Hessman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (605) 335-7555.

Tuesday, April 14 – Sunday, April 19
University of South Dakota Healthcare Careers Camp – For more information about the camp or to download an application, please go to www.usd.edu/medical-school/health-careers-camp.cfm or contact Kathy Van Kley with the Sanford School of Medicine at (605) 658-6329 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Application deadline is Wednesday, April 1.

Tuesday, April 14
Yankton Chamber of Commerce Membership Mixer – ABS; 909 W 23rd St; Yankton.

Thursday, April 16 – Monday, April 27
"Seussical", University of South Dakota Department of Theatre. Wayne S. Knutson Theatre; Vermillion. For more information call (605) 677-5400 or visit www.usd.edu/theatre.

Thursday, April 16
Mount Marty College Noon Forum – 12 p.m.; South Dining Room of Roncalli; free and open to the public. Mary Abbott, “Ten Days in Italy: Rome, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Florence”

Ribbon Cutting – Shore to Shore Realty, LLC; 230 Broadway Ave; Suite B-1; Yankton.

Tuesday, April 21
Yankton Boy Scout Troop 102 Annual All You Can Eat Spaghetti Feed – 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Trinity Lutheran Church; 403 Broadway; Yankton. Adults & Youth $5, Children under 5 free. Tickets available from any Troop 102 Scout or at the door.

International Diversity Training – 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Regional Technical Education Center; 1200 W 21st Street; Yankton. The 3 p.m. session will be on religion and healthcare while the 5 p.m. session will be on retail and law.

Wednesday, April 22
International Diversity Training – 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.; Regional Technical Education Center; 1200 W 21st Street; Yankton. The session will discuss hospitality, lodging and restaurants.

Thursday, April 23
Mount Marty College Noon Forum – 12 p.m.; South Dining Room of Roncalli; free and open to the public. Sr. Cynthia Binder, Dr. Rich Lofthus, Dr. James Sullivan and MMC Students, “Europe Trip: WWII and the Liberation of France”

Wednesday, April 29
For King and Country – 7 p.m.; Laddie E. Cimpl Arena.

Friday, June 26 – Sunday, June 28
Becoming an Outdoor Family – This program teaches skills for a lifetime of outdoor recreation. As part of the program fee, you’ll get an electrical campsite for two nights, instruction in several outdoor skills classes, and use of program equipment. It’s a great opportunity for beginning camping families or those experienced families who want to expand their outdoor skills. Lewis and Clark Recreation Area; Yankton. $75 per family. Saturday, June 27
Blue and Gold Campus Visit Day - Mount Marty College. The admissions Office at Mount Marty college will be holding Blue and Gold Campus Visit Day events for prospective students to learn about the college and academic majors, visit campus, and meet with faculty. For more information on Blue and Gold Campus Visit Days, or to register, visitwww.mtmc.edu/admissions/events.

Saturday, July 11
The Fort to Field 50 Paddle Battle, a 50-mile race for kayaks and canoes on the Missouri National Recreational River. Learn more.

Monday, July 20
Sheri Ellis Golf Social

Tuesday, September 8
Yankton Chamber of Commerce Membership Mixer

Tuesday, October 13
Yankton Chamber of Commerce Membership Mixer

Tuesday, December 8
Yankton Chamber of Commerce Membership Mixer

Iowa News

Iowa softball coach convicted of 4 counts of sexual abuse
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa youth softball coach accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old friend of his daughter has been convicted of four counts of sexual abuse. The Omaha World-Herald reports that 47-year-old John Osborn, of Council Bluffs, was found guilty Thursday of third-degree sexual abuse in a nonjury trial. He faces up to 40 years in prison at his May 1 sentencing hearing. Council Bluffs police say the girl and Osborn began exchanging text messages in June and had phone conversations about sex. Court documents show the girl reported that she and Osborn engaged in sexual acts in July when the girl stayed at Osborn's house for a sleepover with his daughter. Osborn has denied willingly touching the teen and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Many 2016 GOP hopefuls coming to Iowa party dinner
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nine GOP presidential hopefuls will attend a dinner hosted by the Republican Party of Iowa in May. The party announced the lineup for the annual Lincoln Dinner Thursday. The confirmed speakers are: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Doctor Ben Carson, businesswoman Carly Fiorina and real estate magnate Donald Trump. The dinner is scheduled for May 16th at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. In a statement, Party Chairman Jeff Kauffman called the dinner an "opportunity for our distinguished guests to set themselves apart."

Medical marijuana bill moves ahead in Iowa Senate
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An effort to expand access to medical marijuana in Iowa is moving forward in the Democratic-majority Iowa Senate, though it is unlikely the bill will find favor in the Republican-controlled House. The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would make medical marijuana available to people with a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Those approved by a doctor could then purchase marijuana products produced in Iowa at state-run dispensaries. Last year, the Legislature approved a law that allows some residents with epilepsy to use oil with an ingredient derived from marijuana for treatment. But the law did not establish an in-state program for the production and distribution of the oil. Critics say that as a result, the law is effectively useless.

APNewsBreak: Branstad appointee faces conflict over pipeline
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad's pick to chair the Iowa Utilities Board is acknowledging she has a potential conflict in a hotly-contested case on whether to build a major oil pipeline. Geri Huser's brother has represented farmers who oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline that would transport crude oil from North Dakota across Iowa. In December, he sent a letter to the board objecting to the project on letterhead listing his sister as one of the firm's attorneys. Huser said Thursday she knew that her brother was representing landowners facing eminent domain, but was unaware it was linked to the pipeline. She said she didn't know about the objection letter until The Associated Press inquired. Huser says she hasn't decided whether she'd be able to participate or if she'll have to step aside.

Iowa regents director in running for North Dakota chancellor
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The executive director of the Iowa Board of Regents is a finalist for a higher education job in North Dakota. A search committee reported Thursday that Robert Donley is one of eight finalists for the next chancellor of the North Dakota University System. Donley has been the top staff member since 2008 for the board that governs Iowa's three public universities. He applied for the North Dakota position last week, writing that he believed his "experience on a state and national level" can benefit its higher education system and citizens. Donley declined comment Thursday, but acknowledged his candidacy through a spokeswoman. Leaving Iowa could cost Donley a bonus. The regents approved a two-year, $125,000 deferred compensation plan if Donley's on the job August 31st, 2016. He earns about $160,000 annually.

Dubuque man charged in attempted abduction of 11-year-old
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Police say a Dubuque man has been arrested and charged in connection with the attempted abduction of an 11-year-old girl while she was walking home from school. The Telegraph Herald reports 20-year-old Robert L. Robbins was arrested Wednesday and charged with third-degree kidnapping. He remains in custody at the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center on $50,000 bond. Police say the girl walked past Robbins' house on her way home from school when he began following her, grabbed her by her coat and led her to a nearby shed. According to a police complaint, Robbins said he intended to have sex with the girl and that she was frightened throughout their interaction. Robbins has been assigned a public defender, but a specific attorney hasn't yet been appointed to his case.

Trial of man accused of 2 Iowa murders moves to Sioux City
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The trial of a 20-year-old Denison man accused of slaying two elderly people and trying to burn their bodies has been moved to Sioux City. A judge on Wednesday announced that the trial of Jayden Chapman will take place April 28th in Woodbury County District Court. He is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree arson in the murders of 80-year-old Marvin Huesling and 81-year-old Alice Huisenga. Another man, 26-year-old Michael Schenk, was sentenced earlier this month to two consecutive life terms in prison in connection with the murders. The Sioux City Journal reports that a change of venue was ordered prior to Schenk's trial. Authorities say Schenk and Chapman shot the pair at a trailer home in Deloit in March 2014 and then set it on fire.

Oleson Park Zoo's future remains uncertain after meeting
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A public session held in Fort Dodge on Wednesday affirmed that the future of Oleson Park Zoo remains unclear. The Messenger reports that it was revealed at a meeting with residents, city officials and Friends of the Oleson Park Zoo representatives that there is no plan to upgrade the zoo or an estimate how much such a plan may cost. A city councilman said that the Friends of the Oleson a volunteer group that manages the animal attraction, and the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission are currently working together on a plan after a period of divisiveness. Lori Brandenhorst, the city's director of parks, recreation and forestry, said that she and her staff will meet Friday to discuss the results of an online survey about the zoo. She says she expects to make a recommendation to the commission in mid-April and to the City Council in late April.

Mulkey, Lady Bears confident as ever entering Sweet 16
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Led by Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey, Baylor enters its matchup in the women's NCAA Tournament against Iowa as confident as ever. The No. 2 seed Lady Bears (32-3) reached their seventh straight Sweet 16 with wins over Northwestern State and Arkansas last weekend. Baylor will next face the third-seeded Hawkeyes (26-7) in Oklahoma City on Friday night, with the Lady Bears trying to reach the Elite Eight for the fifth time in six seasons. Big 12 Conference Player of the Year Nina Davis leads Baylor, while Iowa — making its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1996 — is led by senior point guard Samantha Logic.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

Nebraska News

Judge in Texas blocks federal rules change for gay couples
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has blocked temporarily federal rules that would have expanded medical leave benefits to some gay couples. In a 24-page ruling filed Thursday in Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor granted a preliminary injunction that stays expansion of the definition of "spouse" under the Family and Medical Leave Act to include same-sex couples. Texas filed suit last week to block Friday's implementation of the change. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that complying with the new regulations would have forced state agencies to either violate federal rules or a 2005 gay-marriage ban in the Texas Constitution. Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska joined the lawsuit. A Justice Department spokeswoman says the opinion was under review and it's not immediately clear how many states are affected.

Colorado to defend pot law for 1st time
DENVER (AP) — Colorado is defending its pot law for the first time Friday in a filing due to the U.S. Supreme Court. Friday is the deadline for Colorado to respond to a legal challenge from Oklahoma and Nebraska. The lawsuit challenges Colorado's legalization of recreational marijuana and is one of four lawsuits that aim to dismantle the young industry. Colorado's neighbors claim that the 2012 pot legalization vote has sent the drug flooding across Colorado's borders. Three other lawsuits have been filed since Nebraska and Oklahoma sued. One was filed by a hotel owner in Colorado who argues legal weed is hurting his business. Another is from a southern Colorado landowner who says legal weed is hurting property values. The fourth lawsuit comes from county sheriffs in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

5 people watched for Ebola in Nebraska still healthy
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The American aid workers brought to Nebraska who were exposed to Ebola in Sierra Leone continue to show no symptoms of the deadly virus. Nebraska Medical Center spokesman Taylor Wilson said Thursday that all five of the individuals who were brought to Omaha earlier this month for monitoring continue to do well. Wilson said local health officials will determine when the individuals can be released from monitoring. Ebola has a 21-day incubation period. The health care workers were exposed to Ebola in Sierra Leone when one of their colleagues became ill with the deadly virus. They are all staying on the Nebraska Medical Center's campus while they are being monitored. The Omaha hospital treated three patients with Ebola last fall in its specialized biocontainment unit.

Nebraska senators delay vote to repeal prairie dog law
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have postponed a vote on bill that would prevent counties from killing black-tailed prairie dogs when residents complain about the animals on their property. Lawmakers adjourned for the week on Thursday without taking action. Sen. Al Davis, a rancher from Hyannis, is trying to kill the measure. The 2012 law gives counties the power to adopt management programs to keep them from spreading. Advocates say the animals are an important native species and the current law infringes on private property rights. Opponents say counties have the right to intervene because prairie dogs ravage ranchland by digging holes that can injure cattle and damage equipment. Senator Galen Hadley, the speaker of the Legislature, says debate on the bill will continue early next week. The bill is LB 128.

Omaha metro area getting closer to population of 1 million
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area is edging closer to having a population of 1 million after eclipsing 900,000 people for the first time last year. The World-Herald reports that U.S. Census Bureau data places the metro area's population at an estimated 904,421 people. The Omaha metro area includes Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington and Saunders counties in Nebraska; and Pottawattamie, Mills and Harrison counties in Iowa. David Drozd of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Center for Public Affairs Research and chamber of commerce officials say there are benefits to hitting the one million mark. According to them, some larger businesses and high-end retailers will only consider locating to cities with more than a million residents. According to Drozd, Omaha, which is the 60th-largest metro in the United States, should reach 1 million by 2023.

Iowa softball coach convicted of 4 counts of sexual abuse
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa youth softball coach accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old friend of his daughter has been convicted of four counts of sexual abuse. The Omaha World-Herald reports that 47-year-old John Osborn, of Council Bluffs, was found guilty Thursday of third-degree sexual abuse in a nonjury trial. He faces up to 40 years in prison at his May 1st sentencing hearing. Council Bluffs police say the girl and Osborn began exchanging text messages in June and had phone conversations about sex. Court documents show the girl reported that she and Osborn engaged in sexual acts in July when the girl stayed at Osborn's house for a sleepover with his daughter. Osborn has denied willingly touching the teen and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Father sues former Husker after son's fundraiser
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A father has sued a former University of Nebraska football player who hosted a fundraiser for the man's son, claiming he didn't receive money raised at the November event. Dan Walker filed the lawsuit last week against P.J. Smith, safety for the Huskers from 2009 to 2012, and Scott Wuethrich. Walker alleges the men withheld most donations made on his 11-year-old-son's behalf, who's recovering after being hit by a truck in October. Walker claims Smith and Wuethrich kept all donations except for $1,031, which he says he used to buy Christmas gifts for his six kids. The lawsuit seeks compensation for all money raised at the fundraiser or later by selling donated items. Smith, Wuethrich and lawyers declined to comment or didn't return calls from the Lincoln Journal Star.

Fremont police: 8-year-old girl's death not suspicious
FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say the death of an 8-year-old girl who was injured before being involved in a Fremont collision does not appear to be suspicious. The Fremont Police Department said in a news release Thursday that officers were dispatched a little after 7:15 p.m. Wednesday to handle a report of a vehicle collision. The officers were told after they arrived that someone involved already had been taken to Fremont Health Medical Center. The officers learned at the hospital that Eva Imus had died. Police say the girl sustained a head injury in an accident at a Fremont residence prior to the traffic accident. An autopsy has been planned and the case remains under investigation, but police say Eva's death appears accidental.

Scottsbluff man convicted of beating girlfriend's 3-year-old
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — A 25-year-old Scottsbluff man has been convicted of beating his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter. Court records say Cody Olbricht was found guilty on Wednesday of intentional child abuse resulting in serious injury. Sentencing is scheduled for May 1st. Records say the girl was hospitalized in September after her grandmother noticed the girl had a fever and was lethargic and vomiting. Doctors determined the girl had several injuries, including a lacerated liver and a brain contusion. A court document says Scottsbluff police inspected the home and found little food in the refrigerator. Police say clothes and bedding in the girl's room were stained with urine and stank. The girl's mother, 25-year-old Cassandra Miller, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of negligent child abuse. Her trial is scheduled to begin July 6th.

31-year-old shows up in Nebraska court nearly 12 years late
COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — A 31-year-old man finally has faced the music in court for possessing alcohol when he was a 19-year-old. The Columbus Telegram reports that John Stokes was stopped for speeding Tuesday night and held because a bench warrant was issued in August 2003 after Stokes missed a court date. He was 19 on July 5, 2003, when he was given two liquor citations. On Wednesday Judge Frank Skorupa asked Stokes, "Did you think we'd forget about you?" Stokes, who was appearing via a video link from the Platte County jail, told the judge he was unaware of the missed court date more than 11 years ago. Skorupa fined Stokes a total of $400 after prosecutors dropped one of the liquor charges and Stokes pleaded guilty.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

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