South Dakota News

State Supreme Court rules in favor of $150M ethanol plant
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Supreme Court has removed the final obstacle for a $150 million ethanol plant in Sully County. Justices this week denied the appeal of 11 Onida-area residents who oppose the plant's location. The neighbors maintain the county improperly issued a permit for the project. The Supreme Court didn't rule on the merits — justices instead said the opponents didn't file their appeal within a 30-day window set in state law. Ringneck Energy President and CEO Walt Wendland says the company this month received an air quality permit from the state, and construction is set to begin this fall. It will take about 14 months to build the plant. The plant is to produce 70 million gallons of ethanol fuel annually from about 25 million bushels of corn.

Man wanted for homemade explosive device in Pukwana arrested
MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — A man suspected of making a homemade explosive device in Pukwana is in custody in Mitchell. The Daily Republic reports that police this week arrested 42-year-old Donald Pickner following a foot chase. Authorities in Brule County had been seeking Pickner after the sheriff's office and Chamberlain Police Department said they discovered a homemade explosive device in Pickner's Pukwana home on Sept. 7. They detonated the device with the help of the state Division of Criminal Investigation. It wasn't immediately clear if Pickner has an attorney representing him.

Pine Ridge grandmother pleads not guilty in grandson's death
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The grandmother of a 2-year-old boy who authorities say was killed by his mother on the Pine Ridge Reservation has pleaded not guilty to hindering the investigation. Forty-seven-year-old Sonya Dubray is accused of altering or destroying evidence and giving false and misleading information to investigators. She was arrested Monday and appeared in federal court Wednesday. Dubray could face up to 43 years in prison if convicted of charges including accessory to murder and tampering with evidence. Dubray's daughter is 28-year-old Katrina Shangreaux, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse in her son's late-July death. Authorities allege the boy was killed over potty-training issues. The boy was the half-brother of a 1-year-old boy who authorities say was slain in April 2015 by the father of the two boys.

Pierre teen detained after allegedly bringing gun to school
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy is facing charges in juvenile court after authorities say he brought a handgun to school in Pierre. Police Chief Dave Panzer says the student was detained at T.F. Riggs High School on Wednesday afternoon without incident, after another student alerted school personnel. School Superintendent Kelly Glodt says an investigation determined the student did not intend to hurt anyone. The boy was taken to a juvenile lockup on three misdemeanor weapons-related charges. He will get a hearing. He wasn't identified because he's a minor. The school was never placed on lockdown. Families of students at the school were notified of the incident through an automated messaging system.

South Dakota State Fair attendance up slightly over 2015
HURON, S.D. (AP) — Attendance at this year's South Dakota State Fair was up slightly from 2015. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture says the five-day fair in Huron earlier this month drew 211,371 people, that's about 480 more visitors than last year. South Dakota State Fairgrounds manager Peggy Besch says this year's fair "was another great success." The Agriculture Department says camping numbers during the fair were at an all-time high. The event saw 1,938 campers over the five days. Fair organizers say they hope to break the 2,000 campers mark next year. The 2017 edition of the state fair is scheduled to begin Aug. 31.

Judge rules in favor of city in controversial $25M project
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A judge has ruled in favor of the city of Sioux Falls in a case brought by a citizens group that opposes the construction of a $25 million city office building. Second Circuit Court Judge Mark Salter issued the ruling Thursday. The citizens group filed the lawsuit against Sioux Falls city clerk Tom Greco after petitions with more than 6,000 signatures to try to force a public vote on the issue were rejected on a technicality. The project has faced serious opposition. The city council this summer voted to pull funding for the 79,000-square-foot, three-story structure, but Mayor Mike Huether vetoed the move, saying the project is needed. After the council failed to override the veto, the citizens group collected the signatures. Construction is expected to begin next spring.

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