Associated Press

Man tests positive for drugs while appearing in Pierre court

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Rapid City contractor has tested positive for drugs while in a Pierre court pleading guilty to assault. The Capital Journal reports that 30-year-old Jesse Lange pleaded guilty to felony assault of a worker for the grain bin business Lange operates with his father. His attorney, Brad Schreiber, says there was an element of self-defense in…

UMinn settles harassment complaints for nearly $300,000

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Newly released documents show the University of Minnesota paid nearly $300,000 to settle sexual harassment complaints related to former athletic director Norwood Teague. He resigned in 2015 after two high-ranking administrators said he sexually harassed them at a senior leadership retreat. Teague apologized for what he said was his “offensive behavior.” The women signed separate agreements in…

Spearfish woman sentenced for role in local drug trade

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) – A woman who authorities say was a big player in the illegal drug trade in Spearfish has been sentenced to serve five years in prison. Prosecutors say 33-year-old Terry Geib sold methamphetamine to many others and also allowed her apartment to be used for dozens of additional drug deals. Her arrest stemmed from an investigation into…

Fire fueled by strong winds burns grain elevator in Mina

MINA, S.D. (AP) – A fire fueled by strong winds extensively damaged a grain elevator in Brown County. The fire broke out about 11:30 a.m. Sunday in Mina. Because of 40 to 45 mph winds, smaller fires caused by blowing, burning debris were ignited in fields adjacent to the structure. Aberdeen American News says the BNSF Railway was asked to…

Official: Major wildfire potential average in western SD

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A fire official says the potential for large wildfires in South Dakota ranges from average to below average across the state. State Fire Meteorologist Darren Clabo said in a Friday seminar at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology that the western and central parts of the state are entering their wet season. His…

Burros return to Custer State Park after wildfire

Custer State Park FacebookCUSTER, S.D. (AP) – Wild donkeys have returned to a western South Dakota park after a wildfire caused injuries to the herd. The Rapid City Journal reports that the Legion Lake fire in December led to injuries for all nine burros in Custer State Park, including burns, dehydration and hoof damage. Three burros were euthanized, and the…

Iowa high court: IDOT can’t order removal of traffic cameras

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s Department of Transportation does not currently have the authority to order cities to remove automated traffic-enforcement cameras from highways and interstates. The state’s high court on Friday reversed a state judge’s ruling last April that found the department did have that authority. The ruling comes on…

Judge won’t dismiss complaint against pipeline security firm

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A judge is refusing to throw out a complaint that a North Carolina-based private security firm operated illegally in North Dakota during protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. North Dakota’s Private Investigative and Security Board sued TigerSwan last June, alleging it operated without a license. The board seeks to ban TigerSwan and also could seek…

1 of 5 suspects sentenced in Marshall County sex abuse case

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – One of the five men charged in a Marshall County sexual abuse case involving a teenager has been sentenced. The state attorney general’s office says 26-year-old Luis Maaz was ordered to serve five years in prison for fourth-degree rape and solicitation of a minor. All five of the suspects accepted plea agreements and pleaded guilty. Sentencing…

Spearfish man accused of embezzling from sports programs

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) – A Spearfish man is accused of embezzling from youth sports programs. The Black Hills Pioneer Press reports that 44-year-old Nicholas Edward Hoffman was charged April 18 with three counts of grand theft by embezzlement. His attorney, Matthew Kinney, says Hoffman will plead not guilty to the charges at an arraignment scheduled for May 17. Hoffman is…

South Dakota representative dies after struggle with cancer

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota state Rep. Sean McPherson has died after fighting cancer for more than a year. The Rapid City Journal reports that the first-term Republican legislator from Rapid City died Thursday. McPherson’s struggle against cancer started in February 2017. Gov. Dennis Daugaard says McPherson was a good legislator, but “more importantly he was a good…

Administrator named for South Dakota Human Services Center

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota’s Department of Social Services has named a new head administrator for the state-run mental health hospital in Yankton. Ken Cole currently is operations director for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Mental Health Program in Colorado. He has led projects for state psychiatric hospitals and mental health agencies. Cole is to begin…

Professor accused of sexually exploiting students

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A newspaper has reported that a Drake University professor accused of sexually exploiting female students has been allowed to resign effective June 1. The Des Moines Register reports that a November internal investigation found that Mahmoud Hamad “physically, sexually and verbally intimidated” female students and “did exploit the power differential that existed between him and…

South Dakota embezzler sentenced for embezzling on probation

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota woman who embezzled from a group of American Indian churches while on probation for embezzling from the Fort Pierre Development Corp. has been sentenced to serve three years in prison. The Capital Journal reports that 61-year-old Joni Boub also was ordered to pay more than $73,000 in restitution to the development corporation and…

Referendum push unlikely for new petition circulator rules

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A key activist says opponents of a new South Dakota law that critics contend will make it harder to put voter initiatives on the ballot lack the resources to run an expensive campaign to block it. Rick Weiland, co-founder of initiative group TakeItBack.Org, said Thursday that veto referendum campaigns require significant financial and volunteer resources…

Cosby convicted of sexually assaulting woman

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – Bill Cosby has been convicted of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. A jury outside Philadelphia convicted the “Cosby Show” star of three counts of aggravated indecent assault on Thursday. The guilty verdict came less than a year after another jury deadlocked on the charges. Cosby was…