News Across South Dakota-PM EditionBy
- PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A state senator from Rapid City says South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant broke the law by not including opposition statements on four proposed constitutional amendments in a pamphlet that provides information for the Nov. 6 election. Gant says he didn’t include the statements because none were submitted, even after he sought them. Sen. Stan Adelstein says he thinks Gant didn’t look very hard for opposing views. Adelstein wants a new set of pamphlets distributed and says he is consulting with attorneys. Gant says he followed the law. The pamphlet has pro and con statements on two referred laws and an initiated measure, but only statements in favor of four proposed constitutional amendments.
- SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – An Associated Press analysis shows that South Dakota and North Dakota rank first and second per capita in the rate of West Nile virus cases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures list 175 cases of the mosquito-borne illness in South Dakota, a rate of about 21 infections per 100,000 people. North Dakota has 74 documented cases, or about 11 per 100,000 people. The per capita figure in South Dakota is three times that of the No. 3 state, Mississippi. Two people have died from the virus in South Dakota, the worst per capita death rate in the country. There have been no deaths in North Dakota. There have been 147 deaths reported nationwide as of Sept. 25, one of the worst-ever years for West Nile in the United States.
- BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) – A 65-year-old South Dakota man has denied charges that he was driving drunk in July and caused a crash in southwestern Montana that killed a Wisconsin woman. Garry Lee Griffin of Newell, S.D., pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide while under the influence during a hearing Monday before District Judge Mike Salvagni in Bozeman. Griffin was arrested late last week. Prosecutors allege Griffin was ran a stop sign west of Bozeman and pulled in front of a pickup truck which struck the passenger side of the car. The collision killed 49-year-old Corene Krubsack of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. Court records say Griffin told investigators he didn’t know Krubsack, but believed she had been hitchhiking. Tests showed Griffin’s blood-alcohol level was 0.179, or more than twice the legal limit, about 40 minutes after the crash.
- RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A man accused of threatening a Rapid City TV reporter with a knife has pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault. Authorities allege that 36-year-old Damian New Holy was drunk when he pursued KOTA-TV reporter Katy Urban while she was preparing to record video during a Summer Nights festival concert in late August. She ran for help and was not injured. New Holy faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. The Rapid City Journal reports he is being held in the Pennington County Jail in lieu of $40,000 bond. Judge Janine Kern has removed herself from the case because she has worked with Urban. A new judge will be assigned later.
- TONOPAH, Nev. (AP) – Authorities say emergency responders were stung several times when a flatbed truck carrying honeybees rolled over in rural Nevada. Officials say 66-year-old truck driver Rudy Breneman had been hauling a load of bees from Bruce, S.D., to California when he pulled to the side of the highway east of Tonopah Monday afternoon. Breneman told troopers the big rig started sinking into the soft dirt of the shoulder and eventually tipped over and broke open many of the hives. Troopers say firefighters tried to contain the bees with water before bee keepers responded to the scene. Breneman wasn’t injured in the accident and is not being cited.
- MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) – City leaders in Mitchell have decided to leave the issue of texting while driving in the hands of state lawmakers. Mayor Ken Tracy had suggested that Mitchell consider following the lead of Sioux Falls and ban texting while driving, but the City Council voted Monday to instead urge the Legislature next year to enact a statewide ban. The city of Huron also is considering a ban, and Watertown’s city attorney has been asked to draft a proposal for discussion.
- SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) – Word that fall colors were peaking in Spearfish Canyon have prompted sightseers from across the country to visit winding U.S. Highway 14. Popular spots such as Bridal Veil Falls and Roughlock Falls were packed with tourists over the weekend. A similar crush could follow this weekend. Roadways were clogged with people snapping photographs of the Canyon’s deep greens, golden yellows and fiery reds. Marge Beetdner of Laurel, Mont., says the area is “gorgeous.” Retired conservationist Jerry Boyer has kept track of the fall color change in Spearfish Canyon for more than 20 years. He urges sightseers and nature fans to get to the Canyon as soon as possible because the deciduous trees soon will drop their colorful leaves.
- FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Wheat production this year is up in North Dakota but down in South Dakota. The federal Agriculture Department’s annual small grains summary shows spring wheat production up 53 percent in North Dakota, durum wheat up 133 percent and winter wheat up 189 percent. The huge increases are due to widespread flooding problems in 2011. Total wheat production in North Dakota is up 70 percent over the year. In South Dakota, it’s down 2 percent. Spring wheat production in South Dakota is up 11 percent from last year, but winter wheat is down 9 percent and durum wheat is down 41 percent.