News Cancellations

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

The following schools and groups have called for late starts on Friday, April 4:

South Dakota

Alcester-Hudson 2 hour late start


Bloomfield 10 a.m. start


Creighton-St. Ludger's 10 a.m. start

Crofton 10 a.m. start

Hartington 10 a.m. start


Laurel Learning Tree closed


Ponca 2 hour late start

Wausa 10 a.m. start

Wynot 2 hours late

Click here to send us information about your cancellation.


Local News

Colonial Inn fire ruled arson; public sought for tips
The March 3 fire on at the Colonial Inn Motel in Yankton has been ruled arson. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives are seeking information on a person of interest. See a photo of the person here. If you have information, call the Sioux Falls office of the ATF at 605-782-8200, Yankton Police Department at 605-668-5210 or Crime Stoppers at 605-665-4440.

Yankton murder suspect wants to represent himself
A man accused of using a hammer to kill his uncle in Yankton says he wants to represent himself.

Reports say that Joshua Hudson told Judge Glen Eng on Monday that he does not want legal counsel. He faces a second-degree murder charge in the March 7 death of 46-year-old Todd Hudson, along with aggravated assault and grand theft counts. He could face life in prison if convicted on the murder charge.

Joshua Hudson does have a court-appointed attorney. Eng says public defender Dan Fox will remain appointed to the case for now. Hudson is jailed on $1 million cash bond. He is due back in court on April 14 to enter pleas.

Yankton tech teacher moved by statewide honor

Bret Johnson's taught career and tech-ed courses at Yankton High School for a decade. In January, his peers honored him with an accolade that gave him goose bumps. Listen to this story.

Passionate bicyclists will ride from Mount Rushmore to Sioux Falls

The second annual RASDAK, or Ride Across South Dakota, is set to begin June 8. Kasey Abbott, one of the event organizers, explains what it takes to complete this journey. The key is imagining that it's several shorter rides. Listen to this story. Learn more about the event or sign up!

Bonus program seeks to pay South Dakota veterans

Officials are hoping to get the word out widely to all South Dakota veterans about a financial bonus program for which they may be eligible. Veterans of the Gulf War or the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq may be eligible, according to John Fette who oversees the program in Pierre. Fette says active-duty service men and women may also be eligible for the bonus. Veterans and their families This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it about the program or to have Fette review their eligibility.


You can hear news on Classic Hits 106.3 each day starting with "Today's Tidings on the Classic Morning Show" 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 7 a.m., noon and 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

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• Elijah Wergin of Troop 66 Vermillion Boy Scouts is working on his Eagle Scout project, an effort to add lights to the flagpole in Prentis Park. The project needs funding, and you can help. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Neb. Gov. Dave Heineman is encouraging all Nebraskans to volunteer throughout the month of April. Learn where you can help!

South Dakota lawmakers are forming a task force to address child sexual abuse in the state. Public input is sought, and you can contribute your insight This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Heikes Family Farm, a Vermillion-based Community Supported Agriculture program, is now taking subscriptions for 2014.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has a new pollination program for farmers and landowners. Learn more about how to sign up.

OSHA reminds workers and employers of the need for common sense and care when it comes to safety. Get information on how to report unsafe workplaces. Call the OSHA hotline at 800-321-6742.

• With its move to Memorial Park, Yankton's Rockin' Ribfest Committee seeks volunteers. Find out how you can help this big community event here.

• Midcontinent Communications is offering its new Broadband Lifeline Assistance Program to families who qualify. Call 800-888-1300 to learn more or apply for it.

The South Dakota Kayak Challenge is returning to Yankton! Learn more on how you can take part as a racer or volunteer.

• Be Well South Dakota invites South Dakotans who want to lose weight to join its 2014 Pound Pledge. For every pound participants lose between now and April 2, the group will donate one pound of food to Feeding South Dakota. Participants are encouraged to share their weekly progress to be eligible for weekly prizes and a $200 gift card grand prize. Anyone interested in joining the 2014 Pound Pledge should sign up on Facebook or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

All South Dakota veterans: Your benefits are ready. Visit this site to learn more. Veterans in college, here's information on Veterans' Assistance programs at USD and Mount Marty College.

• Avera Sacred Heart Hospital is now part of Avera @ Home, a program that can help you or your family adjust to home health care or home hospice. Learn more about the program.

The City of Yankton can text you snow alerts and other snow information, including street closings. Sign up for the alerts.

• The new preliminary master plan for Yankton's recreational facilities is available. Read the plan. Give This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office and several state livestock agencies have established The Rancher Relief Fund to help producers hit by October 2013 blizzard. You can help online and search for "Rancher Relief Fund." Donors also can mail checks to Rancher Relief Fund, Box 231, Rapid City, S.D. 57709.

Traveling but concerned about road conditions? Use this link to get information or call 511 (in South Dakota.)

• Are you planning an event, conference or local sports tournament in the Yankton area? Add it to the Yankton area web calendar for 2014. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Online submissions.

• PTSD Coach Online is a service for veterans and anyone dealing with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It's a suite of 17 tools designed to help people cope with sleep problems, trauma reminders and other issues. Access PTSD Coach Online.

Veterans and National Guard soldiers are sought for a research project, "Neural and Behavioral Correlates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Alcohol Use." The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine is leading this project, which includes a survey about mood, alcohol use and past military experiences and takes about three hours. It is voluntary and completely confidential. Participants receive $100 compensation for the initial interview and eligible participants who take part in a second study using an MRI will receive $300. Vets and Guard soldiers who are right-handed, between the ages of 18-45 and who have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are eligible. To enroll or learn more, call Dawne Olson at 605-677-5170 or email her. (Active-duty troops only will be compensated if taking part in the research during off-duty times.)

• Want to help others as a volunteer? This one-stop spot from United Way of Vermillion can help you find opportunities.

True Value Company's "Painting A Brighter Future" is offering schools free paint for renovations. Nygren's True Value in Vermillion encourages all schools in their territory — which includes Vermillion and Elk Point — to apply for this program.

• Learn more about the South Dakota Workforce Initiative South Dakota Wins.

• Feeding South Dakota has recently released a study on food insecurity in South Dakota. Learn more at its website on ways to help.

The Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library is offering a wide range of programs for toddlers through adults, and registration continues. To find out more, visit the library website for a full schedule of events.

Mentors Needed: The Clay-Union Foundation matches youth age 5-17 years old with qualified and screened adult volunteers. There are two boys and two girls to match in Elk Point, and two girls in Vermillion. Volunteers must be 18 or older and have a car. Email John Gille at or call 605-421-5050 to become a volunteer.

The City of Yankton and the Yankton Tobacco Education Coalition reminds all citizens that the Yankton Parks are tobacco-free.

If you have trouble with certain Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter features, or need a quick tutorial on uploading photos, poking someone, or adding online friends, the new "Book a Librarian" program is for you! This free program allows you to schedule 15 minutes to answer any social media question. Call Tonya or Dana at the Yankton Public Library to schedule a session, 605-668-5275.

• The Yankton Boys & Girls Club is looking for community feedback about the Boys & Girls Club. Help them out with planning for the future and take a couple minutes to fill out this survey.

The Vermillion Area Community Foundation is accepting proposals for projects to improve our community. Forms for submitting proposals by groups or organizations are available at the Chamber of Commerce office. While funds available are limited they can fully fund small one time requests or partially fund larger projects. Your annual donations to their Foundation will provide them with increasing funds each year for worthwhile projects.

Business After Hours: Are you looking for an opportunity to showcase your business and network with your peers? Sign up to host a Business After Hours event! These events generally run from 5-7 p.m. on weeknights and the hosting business provides hours d'oeuvres and refreshments. If interested email Ann or call 605-624-5571.

• The Heartland Human Society offers affordable pets. View the available animals or stop by the shelter's new digs on East Highway 50 in Yankton.


Monday, April 21
Earth (Every) Day events, various locations, Vermillion. From films to fairs to farms, a week's worth of sustainability-focused events at the University of South Dakota and around Vermillion. Full details online.

Book discussion on "EcoMind" by Frances Moore Lappe, 7 p.m. at Vermillion Public Library. Sustainable practices are no stranger to Dean Spader of Vermillion. Join him as he leads a discussion of Lappe's book. She'll be in Vermillion the following night.

Tuesday, April 22
Lecture and questions with Frances Moore Lappe, 7 p.m. at the Muenster University Center ballroom, USD, Vermillion. This internationally known author will share insights on sustainable practices. Free.

Wednesday, April 23
Lions' Pancake Days, today and April 24, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. at the National Guard Armory near Lions Park, Vermillion. Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Kids 5 and younger eat free. Learn more about Vermillion Lions Club/ticket locations.

Thursday, April 24
Movie Screening of Heroes Behind The Badge, 7 and 9 p.m., Main Street Theater, Vermillion. Heroes Behind The Badge recounts the harrowing stories of law
enforcement officers who were caught in the line of fire and survived, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Donations accepted on behalf of the Vermillion Fraternal Order of Police.

Lions' Pancake Days, today and April 24, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. at the National Guard Armory near Lions Park, Vermillion. Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Kids 5 and younger eat free. Learn more about Vermillion Lions Club/ticket locations.

Saturday, April 26
The RiverRat Marathon and Bike Ride, Yankton. Various start times, levels of involvement and volunteer opportunities. Sign up or learn more.

Sunday, April 27
The Days Of Music Bloomfield Q 125 event, 11 a.m. at Bloomfileld American Legion Pavilion, Bloomfield, Neb. Pancakes available for freewill donation starting at 10 a.m. Music starts at 11 a.m. and continues until 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and this includes lunch. Bake sale, silent auction and dancing encouraged from 2:30 p.m. on. The featured band isPhil Blum and Friends Orchestra, offering a 10-piece Lawrence-Welk style of show.

Friday, May 2
Missouri River Expo, Riverside Park, Yankton. Students from across the region will learn more about the Missouri River, the communities along it and the agencies that support is regal splendor. The National Park Service, the City of Yankton, and the Izaak Walton League of America are lead organizers on the event that continues May 3. Learn more.

Saturday, May 3
Missouri River Cleanup and Expo, Riverside Park, Yankton. Join volunteers from across the Missouri River Valley as they take to the water and get debris and trash off the banks. Includes a free lunch. After the cleanup, an expo of all things Missouri River will take place in the park. The National Park Service, the City of Yankton, and the Izaak Walton League of America are lead organizers on the event that continues May 3. Learn more.

Friday, May 23
The South Dakota Kayak Challenge, a canoe-kayak race from Yankton to Sioux City, returns to the Missouri National Recreational River. Includes a Nat. Park Service ceremony dedicating the National Water Trail newly established. Get involved.

Sunday, May 25
The 150th anniversary celebration of Lutheran Ministry in South Dakota, to include ceremonies and a meal at Bergen Lutheran Church, rural Meckling, Gayville Lutheran Church, Gaville and Vangen Lutheran Church, Mission Hill. Celebrate the long tradition of these faithful stewards of Christ with services, a lunchtime meal and more. Call Pastor Lance Lindgren at 605-660-6436 for information.

Monday, May 26
Memorial Day. Remember the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Sunday, June 8
The second annual Ride Across South Dakota (RASDAK), a week-long, full-state bicycling event that takes pedalers from Mount Rushmore to Sioux Falls. Deadline for registration at going rate is April 15. It increases to $175 after that. Learn more or register here.

Sunday, June 21-July 8
A Scandinavia Adult Tour in 2014 will visit Bergan and Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia, and conclude in St. Petersburg, Russia. The tour departs Sioux Falls on June 22 and returns July 8. If interested, email Lenni Billberg or call her at 605-670-2717.

Saturday, July 19
The Fort to Field 50 Paddle Battle, a 50-mile race on the Missouri River between Fort Randall Dam and Springfield, 7 a.m. at Randall Creek State Rec Area, near Pickstown. Learn more or sign up.

Iowa News

Strong storms cross Plains; 1 tornado reported
Strong thunderstorms are bringing rain and hail from the southwestern U.S. and Plains states to the upper Midwest, and at least one tornado has been reported. The Johnson County Sheriff's Office in southeastern Iowa says that a tornado was spotted near the town of Lone Tree about 6 p.m. Sunday but that there are no injuries or damage. The National Weather Service issued tornado watches until midnight for a large portion of central and northeastern Texas and in areas in southeastern Oklahoma, southwestern Arkansas and northwestern Louisiana. Weather service meteorologist Julie Lesko in Little Rock, Arkansas says the atmosphere is more stable during the overnight hours but tornadic activity can't be ruled out.

Senate panel likely to continue, broaden inquiry
Senate Democratic leaders say their questions about government payments to former workers for secrecy and other issues will continue after the Legislature adjourns for the year. While lawmakers appear to be on track to end the session within a few weeks, the Senate Government Oversight Committee is likely to keep pursuing the matter. Democratic Senator Janet Petersen, who chairs the oversight committee, has set the next hearing for Monday afternoon, when two Department of Administrative Services officials who declined to testify last week say they will appear. They are Doug Woodley, the agency's general services enterprise chief operating officer, and Paul Carlson, the chief resource maximization officer. Peterson says she wants to know more about settlement agreements and how the state handled layoffs during 2011 restructuring.

Iowa hires nearly 400 without advertising the jobs
At least 386 state employees have been hired by Governor Terry Branstad's administration without advertising the positions, but this is not a new practice in Iowa. Critics said the practice makes it easier for friends and campaign donors to land the jobs. Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says the unadvertised hires are allowed under state law for certain jobs. This practice is allowed for at-will jobs that come with fewer job protections that most government jobs. Centers says another 2,300 people were hired for jobs that were advertised since Branstad took office in 2011. Branstad's predecessor hired 604 employees into unadvertised jobs.

Several new hog feeding operations planned in Iowa
The number of hog feeding businesses in southeast Iowa could grow quickly if Des Moines County officials approve all the proposed projects. The Burlington Hawk Eye reports county officials are considering five different proposals to build animal feeding operations. The county is already home to 24 confined animal feeding operations. Jeff Prier with the state Department of Natural Resources says Des Moines County likely has room for more hog-feeding operations. An Iowa company called Agri-Way Partners is behind three of the five proposed hog feeding operations. Company spokesman Mark Wilkerson says the firm is owned by 22 poultry farms near Wayland.

Research looks at using crops to contain nitrogen
A research project in northwest Iowa is looking at ways to keep fertilizer out of drinking water by planting certain crops to help contain nitrogen. Reports say the project on Matt Schuiteman's land near Sioux Center yielded lessons that may be useful in other areas. The research got started because some of Schuiteman's land is close to wells Sioux Center relies on for drinking water, and nitrate levels were rising. The project looked at five different ways to use perennials and cover crops to limit the amount of nitrogen that washed away. Schuiteman says he plans to start growing alfalfa on his land in rotation with corn because that proved effective.

Des Moines botanical garden unveils new exhibit
The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden has unveiled a new exhibit featuring small hanging trees and flowers. The High Flight exhibit offers a presentation showcasing hanging arrangements inspired by Japanese string gardens. There are more than 250 pieces on display during the six-week exhibit, which opened Thursday. It's available through May 18th. Officials say a blue steel sculpture constructed by a volunteer artist will be the exhibit's centerpiece. There will also be sky cables over various pathways in the conservatory. Botanical officials will offer a workshop inspired by the exhibit on April 26th.

Iowa West Foundation delivers $4.2M in grants
Twenty-two nonprofit groups in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska are benefiting from $4.2 million in grants. The Iowa West Foundation says it made those grants in the first three months of 2014. The biggest grants included a $1.1 million award to support preschool programs at Pottawattamie County schools and a $1 million grant to support improvements at the Joslyn Arm Museum in Omaha, Neb. Foundation President Pete Tulipana says early childhood education plays an important role in children's success in school. One of the other major grants of $850,000 will help Council Bluffs improve the area near the eastern end of the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge that connects with Omaha.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press


Nebraska News


Opponents carve anti-pipeline message into field

Opponents of a proposed pipeline to carry Canadian oil south to the Gulf Coast have carved a message of resistance into a Nebraska field in the project's path. The 80-acre artwork, which was done last week and reads "Heartland#NoKXL," is the latest protest environmentalists and landowners have employed against TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Critics of the pipeline want President Barack Obama to reject the project because they fear it could contaminate groundwater and contribute to pollution. TransCanada has said the pipeline will have upgraded safety measures, including remote control shut-off valves and frequent inspections. It has already built the southern leg of the pipeline between Oklahoma and Texas. The section of the project that still needs approval would cross Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

Neb. looks to join states in fighting wildfires

Nebraska is on the cusp of joining forces with Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas to help fight rural wildfires. A bill sent to Governor Dave Heineman would allow Nebraska to join the Great Plains Interstate Fire Compact, an agreement that lets member states share their firefighters and equipment in an emergency. Kansas is considering a similar proposal. The bill was introduced two years after massive wildfires swept through central and western Nebraska. Its sponsor, Senator Al Davis of Hyannis, says pooling the states' resources could lead to faster response times in the most remote and hard-to-reach areas of Nebraska. Nebraska State Forester Scott Josiah says the state still has the potential to see large wildfires in years when its grasslands and forests are dry.

Ponca Tribe to host run, powwow in Norfolk

Nebraska's latest attempt to expand Medicaid may have died this year, but the issue is certain survive through the November elections and beyond. Opponents succeeded last weeThe Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is planning its annual run and walk event along with a powwow in Norfolk. The April 26th events will begin with a 2-mile run at Skyview Lake at 9:30 a.m. A 4-mile prayer walk is scheduled at the lake from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. A lunch will follow the run and walk from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Ponca Tribal Gym in Norfolk. The powwow in the gym will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The powwow will feature informational booths about tribal programs. This year's event will honor cancer survivors and those who have died of diabetes. The Ponca Tribe serves a 15-county area that covers parts of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.

UNK to host robot basketball shooting contest

Robots designed, built and programmed by students are scheduled to compete in a basketball shooting contest at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The annual "Tilt-a-Hurl" event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Otto Olsen Hall. Robots will shoot three-point shots on a tilted robotic basketball court. Some students in the "Tilt-a-Hurl" event will also compete in an April 25th regional competition in Wisconsin, which includes students from a seven-state area. UNK won the regional competition last year. Sherri Harms, who heads the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, says students use advanced programming techniques to design their robots.

Neb. bicycle ride features 476-mile route in 2014

This year's Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska will follow a 476-mile route across the northern part of the state. The ride will begin on June 8th in Rushville. It will continue through June 14th. Overnight stops are planned in the towns of Cody, Springview, Atkinson, Verdigre, Laurel, Lyons and Waterloo. The ride costs $175, but riders under the age of 25 pay only $100 and group discounts are available. The event is limited to 600 riders. More details online.

Longtime Neb. rabbi who invested with Buffett dies

A longtime Omaha rabbi who became a philanthropist after investing with Warren Buffett in the 1960s has died. Reports say Rabbi Myer Kripke died Friday at the age of 100. Rabbi Steven Abraham says his predecessor at Omaha's Beth El Synagogue remains beloved by the congregation he led from 1947 to 1975. Kripke stayed active in the community long after becoming rabbi emeritus at Beth El, and he often gave talks explaining his faith to non-Jewish audiences. Kripke was able to become a philanthropist later in life because he invested with his friend Buffett, who he'd met during the 1950s. One of the bigger gifts Kripke and his wife made was a $7 million donation to the Jewish Theological Seminary he attended in New York City.

Motorcycle rider killed in crash on Saturday
Omaha Police have identified the motorcycle rider who was killed in a weekend crash after failing to negotiate a corner in the road. Omaha police say 27-year-old David Plassmann of Bellevue died Saturday afternoon while out riding with others. The accident happened shortly after noon along John J. Pershing Drive near the Missouri River on the northeast edge of the city. Police say Plassman failed to negotiate a corner in the road, lost control and slammed into a tree. Some of Plassman's fellow riders and paramedics tried to revive him, but he died at the scene. Plassman was wearing a helmet.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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