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DELMONT — An apartment building's manager provided containers of gasoline to a tenant and asked him to set the complex on fire, according to recently filed court documents. Alvin Andersen has been indicted by a grand jury on four felony charges, including conspiracy to commit arson and aiding and abetting arson. The charges come 10 months after Brian Good was sentenced to six years in prison for first-degree arson for setting a Delmont apartment building on fire in February 2016.
WAGNER — A charge against a man who accused Wagner police officers of excessive force has been amended, according to officials. An amended complaint filed in court documents Tuesday drops a charge of eluding police, instead charging Wagner resident Raymond Cournoyer with failure to stop at the signal of a law enforcement officer. "As the case has progressed, I felt that was a more appropriate charge," said Craig Parkhurst, the prosecuting attorney on the case.
Frigid temperatures kept many area students home from school Tuesday morning. More than 20 region school districts started late as temperatures plummeted to colder than 20 degrees below zero when accounting for wind chill — the threshold many superintendents say is the deciding point for when to delay classes.
PLATTE — The Platte Fire Department may be small, but it is well-trained. So well-trained, in fact, its members are able to help train firefighters in other departments. For that work, the Platte Fire Department was named South Dakota Fire Instructor of the Year at the state Fire Instructors Conference on Saturday. The award is presented annually to fire departments and individuals who "go above and beyond" to provide training to South Dakota firefighters. State Fire Instructor Ron Maeschen, of Parkston, was also presented with the award.
WINNER — Despite declining a matching grant to build an agriculture learning center on the Winner School District campus, the project is not dead. The Winner School Board this week decided not to use a $332,460 South Dakota Workforce Education matching grant, according to Winner Superintendent Keven Morehart, but is looking for alternate options to fund the project.
AVON — Following safety scares around the region, the Avon School District is pondering the purchase of more security measures. In the past two weeks, both the Avon School District and Mitchell School District have come face-to-face with perceived safety threats, forcing lockdowns or heightened safety awareness.
BON HOMME COUNTY — The impact of a South Carolina tragedy has spread all the way to South Dakota. On Jan. 8, 4-year-old James Raugh, his two young siblings and father died in a house fire in McCormick, South Carolina. The death dashed Raugh's dream of someday becoming a firefighter, but prompted his family to create a national campaign to send the 4-year-old "on duty" with as many fire and police departments as possible. They're able to see where Raugh is being honored by following the hashtag #JRaughOnDuty on social media sites.
GREGORY COUNTY — City and county agencies across the region are taking advantage of technology to entice new residents. As the popularity of the internet continues to spread, government agencies have begun to build websites to promote their community's best qualities. For entities like the city of Mount Vernon, which released a new municipal website this week, and Gregory and Douglas counties, both with plans to soon release county-based websites, it's a new endeavor.
TYNDALL — With three weeks left before the town's grocery store is scheduled to close, Tyndall city officials are scrambling to find a way to keep the business' doors open. If a solution isn't reached and a new owner isn't found, the town will lose approximately $20,000 in sales tax revenues per year, limiting local government agencies' ability to support local projects. The same is true in Tripp, where the CashSmart store's closure is expected to cut approximately $18,000 in sales tax revenue annually.
FREEMAN — There's a new business manager in the Freeman School District following an "emergency meeting" of the school board Wednesday night. Due to a poor relationship with school officials, former business manager Ronda Rinehart quit unexpectedly Tuesday, prompting a special meeting, according to Freeman Superintendent Kevin Kunz. The Freeman School Board accepted her resignation Wednesday night. Kunz said Rinehart submitted a resignation letter at approximately 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, after she had left for the day.