South Dakota News

Aberdeen slaying trial focuses on relationship, police work
FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Jurors in the case of an Aberdeen man accused of fatally stabbing a woman nearly two dozen times will be deciding whether there was a tragic ending to a violent relationship or whether inexperienced police detectives bungled the investigation. Thirty-four-year-old John Hemminger is on trial in the January 2015 death of Jessica Goebel. He could face life in prison if convicted of murder. The American News reports that prosecutors maintain Hemminger stabbed Goebel when she refused to take him back after a breakup. Authorities say the handle of a knife found in a Hemminger's jacket tested positive for Goebel's blood. The defense maintains that someone else is responsible for the killing, and that police crime scene work was sloppy. The trial is expected to continue into next week.

Fire displaces residents of Pierre apartment building
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Fire has displaced about a dozen residents at a Pierre motel building that's used for apartments. KCCR radio reports that the blaze at the State Motel building broke out about 5 a.m. Thursday. Firefighters had it under control within minutes, but several apartments were damaged. All of the people and pets inside made it out safely. The Red Cross is assisting the residents. Fire Chief Ian Paul says identifying the cause of the fire will take some time due to the extent of the damage.

Public input meeting held on proposed 100-turbine wind farm
AVON, S.D. (AP) — A public meeting on a proposed 100-turbine wind farm in Bon Homme and Charles Mix counties drew both opponents and proponents. The state Public Utilities Commission is deciding whether to grant a permit for the 36,000-acre wind farm proposed by Dell Rapids-based Prevailing Winds LLC. Regulators held a public input meeting Wednesday in Avon. Opponents who spoke said the large farm would be an eyesore, while proponents said alternative energy is good for the environment. People and groups have until Aug. 29 to file for party status, which would allow them to present witnesses and evidence during a formal public hearing.

Rapid City slaying suspect undergoing mental health exam
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City man accused of killing a 6-month-old girl is undergoing a mental health evaluation. Twenty-six-year-old Kristopher Houchin is charged with second-degree murder in the June 2015 death of L'Naya White. Authorities allege Houchin was baby-sitting the girl when she died. The results of Houchin's evaluation are expected sometime next month. His trial is tentatively scheduled for mid-November. He remains jailed on $50,000 bond.

The Latest: Judge to rule on pipeline injunction by Sept. 9
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge did not immediately rule on a request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop a four-state oil pipeline under construction near their reservation, which straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The tribe is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to grant permits for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners' $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg listened to arguments Wednesday in Washington, D.C. He says he will rule on the case by Sept. 9. The hearing comes amid protests over the pipeline that would cross the Missouri River near the reservation. The tribe fears the pipeline will impact drinking water and disturb sacred sites. The company had planned to complete the pipeline, which goes from North Dakota to Illinois, this year.

Crash near Platte kills 10-year-old boy; 5 others injured
PLATTE, S.D. (AP) — A 10-year-old boy is dead and five other people injured in a two-vehicle crash in Douglas County. The Highway Patrol says the boy was a passenger in a pickup truck that collided with a sport utility vehicle at a state Highway 44 intersection about 12 miles east of Platte. The crash happened about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The name of the boy who died wasn't immediately released. The 14-year-old driver of the pickup and an 11-year-old female passenger suffered minor injuries. The three people in the SUV also suffered minor injuries. They included a 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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