South Dakota News

Airline vying for Pierre airport contract replaces CEO
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — An airline selected by Pierre officials to provide passenger service to the city says it has named a new CEO to in an effort to answer the concerns of federal regulators. Aerodynamics Inc. says that F. Darrel Richardson will lead the regional airline in place of current CEO Scott Beale. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced last week it planned to deny the company's application for service. The agency says its decision comes in light of the legal and financial issues surrounding Beale. Pierre officials in November recommended Aerodynamics to provide flights through the Essential Air Service federal subsidy program. Vice president Mickey Bowman says Aerodynamics has two weeks from Jan. 22 to respond to the department's denial.

Kimball man pleads insanity to standoff and shooting charges
CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (AP) — A Kimball man accused of shooting a Highway Patrol trooper during a daylong standoff pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. Donald London is charged with two counts of attempted murder and three counts of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer. The 42-year-old and his father, 66-year-old Michael London, were arraigned Tuesday in Chamberlain. Prosecutors say Donald London fired his rifle and struck Highway Patrol Sgt. John Koenig when troopers surrounded his house after he threatened to kill the Chamberlain police chief. Koenig is out of the hospital and was in court Tuesday. Attorney General Marty Jackley says more than 100 rounds were fired from the house during the lengthy standoff. Michael London pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting the crime.

House passes bill allowing state to respond to more diseases
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The state House of Representatives has passed a measure that would more easily allow the state to react to deadly disease outbreaks. The bill backed by the Department of Health would expand the state's authority to respond to serious communicable diseases. The proposal originally gave the state authority over all top-tier diseases. It was amended Tuesday to cover just five. Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, says he voted against the bill because it was not carefully crafted. Haugaard says the scope of the bill is too narrow and it contains vague language about how the state can act. Rep. Karen Soli, D-Sioux Falls, said she was voting yes because it better protect the general public against deadly diseases. The bill will now head to a Senate committee to be heard.

Feds warn of thin ice on North Dakota, South Dakota water
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal authorities are encouraging people in North Dakota and South Dakota to watch out for quickly changing ice conditions on all reservoirs in the states. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says winter snowpack that's melting due to warmer than normal temperatures has increased water inflows enough to cause rapid shifts in ice conditions. Dakotas Area Office manager David Rosenkrance says the changing water elevations and increased runoff create thin ice that makes rivers and lakes unsafe. He says the elevations change the ice conditions with no warning.

Human trafficking bill introduced by Noem passes House
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem targeting human trafficking. Her office says the bipartisan Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act passed Tuesday would give caregivers, state law enforcement officers and others help in preventing trafficking and help create safe places for victims. The measure also would start a review to look into federal and state trafficking prevention activities in hopes of identifying the best way to stop it. The legislation introduced by Noem passed the House late last year, but the Senate failed to consider it. The South Dakota Republican reintroduced it at the beginning of this Congress with California Democrat Rep. Doris Matsui.

Bicycle safety legislation again stalls in House committee
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota legislative panel has stalled in coming up with a solution to improve bicycle safety in the state. The House Transportation Committee on Tuesday again was unable to reach consensus on how to improve safety for cyclists when vehicles pass them on the road. The state Department of Transportation is pushing the original measure. Agency attorney Bill Nevin says that proposal would require a vehicle to stay three feet away from a cyclist while passing. Committee Chairman Mike Verchio says he wants to differentiate between city streets and rural highways, where he thinks the cushion should be larger. The committee on Tuesday appointed a sub-panel to negotiate a solution. From 2010 to 2013 in South Dakota, 390 cyclists were injured and three people died in collisions with vehicles.

Trial for former US Senate candidate Bosworth delayed again
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The trial for a former U.S. Senate candidate accused of election law violations has been delayed again. Annette Bosworth was scheduled to stand trial in February in Hughes County. The trial has now been rescheduled for the middle of May at the request of the defense. Bosworth is charged with six counts each of perjury and filing false documents. The charges carry a maximum punishment of 24 years in prison and $48,000 in fines. Authorities say the physician fraudulently attested to gathering voter signatures when she was really on a Christian mission trip to the Philippines. Bosworth lost the June 3 Republican primary with 6 percent of the vote and was charged the following day. The former candidate was originally supposed to stand trial in November.

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