South Dakota football coach arrested for drunken driving

Updated 8:55 am, Thursday, March 1, 2018 BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota State University's football coach is apologizing to his family and athletics officials and staff for his drunken driving arrest. The Brookings Register reports longtime coach John Stiegelmeier admitted Wednesday to driving under the influence Jan. 27. Stiegelmeier says he didn't think about how much he had to drink before he went out to get some food that night. Stiegelmeier says his poor decision to drive intoxicated reflects on him and not the football team or staff. Stiegelmeier is the winningest football coach in South Dakota State University history, leading the Jackrabbits to a 148-97 record in 21 seasons. LATEST SFGATE VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing Whiteout conditions from Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village Tracy Horton Snow falling near Squaw Valley blocks visibility Alpine Squaw Timelapse shows heavy snow falling near Squaw Valley Alpine Squaw Downpour in San Francisco, March 1, 2018 Amy Graff CHP-Truckee on the wild Tahoe weather and road conditions CHP-Truckee Blizzard conditions hit the Sierra Nevada San Francisco Chronicle Caltrans clearing snow, March 1, 2018 Caltrans District 3 Protesters rally against ICE in the streets of San Francisco Jenna Lyons, San Francisco Chronicle ICE protests in San Francisco Noah Berger, SFGATE FBI seeks clues in East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer case San Francisco Chronicle Athletic Director Justin Sell said in a statement that the arrest is out of character for Stiegelmeier and doesn't reflect on values of the football program. ___ Information from: Brookings Register, Continue Reading

South Dakota woman dies from cold exposure after crash near Minnesota border

REVILLO, S.D. — Police say an 83-year-old woman died from exposure to the cold after crashing her car in eastern South Dakota. KELO-TV reports that police believe Nina Brandenburg left her car to look for help after crashing on a gravel road near the tiny rural town of Revillo last weekend. Revillo is just west of the Minnesota state line and about 115 miles north of Sioux Falls. Police officers found the car first, but with no driver inside. They found Brandenburg’s body in a ditch the next day. Authorities said she had died of exposure. The National Weather Service says temperatures in the area fell as low as 2 degrees overnight.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag” Continue Reading

South Dakota woman dies from cold exposure after car crash

REVILLO, S.D. (AP) — Police say an 83-year-old woman died from exposure to the cold after crashing her car in eastern South Dakota. KELO-TV reports that police believe Nina Brandenburg left her car to look for help after crashing on a gravel road near the tiny rural town of Revillo last weekend. Revillo is just west of the Minnesota state line and about 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Sioux Falls. Police officers found the car first, but with no driver inside. They found Brandenburg's body in a ditch the next day. Authorities said she had died of exposure. The National Weather Service says temperatures in the area fell as low as 2 degrees (-17 Celsius) overnight. ——— Information from: KELO-TV, Continue Reading

Visiting South Dakota’s mysterious Spirit Mound

 YANKTON, S.D. – Late summer 1804, and the Corps of Discovery had moved up the Missouri River and onto the cusp of a landscape so vast, so open and so rich with grasses, grains and game it would come to be known simply as the Great Plains. The gently rolling, open country was, however, far from empty. The Sioux and other native peoples had lived, hunted and thrived here for centuries. The explorers knew about the Indians and the natives undoubtedly were aware of the small band of strangers moving up river. In keeping with their military orders, Corps commanders Meriwether Lewis and William Clark planned to meet with local tribal leaders as soon as possible. But they were first anxious to visit Paha Wakan, or Spirit Mound, a place of great fear among the natives. Clark, in his creative spelling, describes the mound and the fear it triggered. “in an imence Plain a high Hill is Situated, and appears of a Conic form and by the different nations of Indians in this quarter is Suppose to be the residence of Deavels. that they are in human form with remarkable large heads and about 18 Inches high, that they are Very watchfull, and are arm’d with Sharp arrows with which they Can Kill at a great distance; . . . So much do the . . . nations believe this fable that no Consideration is Suffecient to induce them to approach the hill.” The Americans were determined to see it, possibly with an eye toward their planned meeting with tribal leaders. Knowledge that the visitors had ascended Paha Waken might add a layer of strength and respect to their side of the negotiations. On the morning of August 25, 1804, Clark and Lewis took 11 men along with Lewis’s dog Seaman and climbed aboard a pirogue and headed toward the north shore of the Missouri and into the mouth of the Vermillion River. The rest of the party continued up the Missouri. Two men were left to guard the boat and other 11, along with Seaman, began the trek to the Continue Reading

Massive snowstorm blankets North, South Dakota

There was mild weather in New York Monday — but a hazardous winter storm was wreaking havoc in the northern Great Plains. Blowing and drifting snow creating near-zero visibility on some roads, while a combination of freezing rain, snow and high winds forced the shutdown Sunday of vast stretches of highways in the Dakotas, and authorities issued no-travel warnings for much of North Dakota. Continue Reading

STAMPEDE! Thousands of buffalo thunder through state park during annual South Dakota buffalo roundup

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — Two-year-old Jameson Maxwell sat mesmerized Monday as nearly 1,000 bison rumbled across the prairie in western South Dakota, the massive creatures racing at speeds of up to 50 mph in the annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park. "He really enjoys it. He was saying, 'Yee-haw.' He thinks he's going to catch one," his mother, Maria Maxwell, said as she watched the toddler perfect his roping skills after the event. Maxwell and her son were among thousands of people from all over the world who descended on South Dakota on Monday for a taste of the Old West and a chance to see one of the most iconic American creatures. Officials created the Buffalo Roundup nearly 50 years ago to manage the bison herd at Custer State Park. It has since become a multi-day event that draws people from as far away as Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Tens of millions of bison, also known as buffalo, once roamed most of North America before overhunting reduced the population to about 1,000 animals by the turn of the 20th century. Subsequent conservation efforts helped rebuild the herds, though not anything close to the numbers they were at when they roamed free across the Great Plains. Kristi Eaton/AP More than 1,000 buffalo thundered across the prairie land on Monday during the 47th annual Buffalo Roundup in western South Dakota's Custer State Park. Visitors to the 47th annual Buffalo Roundup rose before dawn Monday and packed Custer State Park to watch the bison being corralled into pens. About 225 to 250 of the animals will be sold and shipped across North America, said Chad Kremer, the herd manager at Custer State Park. The buffalo will supplement existing herds, help start new ones or be used for meat. Many spectators sat for hours at two designated viewing areas in 40-degree temperatures, keeping warm with blankets and hot chocolate. Shortly after 10 a.m., the first few buffalo began to peek out over a rolling hill as spectators began Continue Reading

Weather in Midwest: Winter storm wreaks havoc, stranding travelers

OKLAHOMA CITY — A fierce Christmas storm dumped more snow and ice across the nation’s midsection Friday, stranding travelers as highways and airports closed and leaving many to celebrate the holiday just where they were. Meteorologists predicted the slow-moving storm would glaze highways in the East with ice through Christmas night and that gusty thunderstorms would hamper the South. An ice storm warning was issued for parts of West Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Virginia, while a wind chill advisory cautioned of temperatures as low as 30 degrees below zero in Montana. The National Weather Service warned that blizzards would hit parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin on Christmas Day and into the evening. Slippery roads have been blamed for at least 18 deaths this week as the storm has moved east across the country from the Southwest. Driving became so treacherous that authorities closed interstates in Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas to try to prevent further collisions. The National Weather Service said the storm posed a threat to life and property. Officials warned travelers to stay home and pack emergency kits if they had to set out. Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry declared a state of emergency. Jonathan Cannon was spending Thursday night at a Baptist church in Goldsby, Okla., after being stuck for several hours on Interstate 35. He had left Sherman, Tex., a little after noon hoping to join his wife in Edmond, Okla. — a trip that usually takes about three hours. Cannon said about 200 people — plus the dogs many travelers had with them in their cars — were in the church Thursday night, with more possibly on the way. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to finish his journey on Friday. “This is mine and my wife’s first Christmas together, so she’s not very excited,” he said. About 100 passengers and the same number of workers were Continue Reading

Frightful Midwest weather…snow, snow, snow and 50-below!

DES MOINES - Snow was piled so high in Iowa that drivers couldn’t see across intersections and a North Dakota snowblower repair shop was overwhelmed with business as residents braced for heavy snow and wind chills as low as 52 below zero. Frigid weather also was gripping the South, where a rare cold snap was expected to bring snow and ice to states from South Carolina to Louisiana. Forecasters said wind chills could drop to near zero at night in some areas. Dangerously cold wind chill levels hit the Midwest early today including 52 below zero in northern North Dakota, negative 40 in parts of South Dakota and minus 27 in northeast Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service. Equally disturbing chills were expected overnight tomorrow. “Temperatures are going to be nose-diving,” said Billy Williams, a weather service meteorologist in Sioux Falls, S.D. “Winds are slowing dropping off but will be more than compensated for.” Another 10 inches of snow was expected in Iowa, already buried by more than 2 feet of snow in December, while up to 9 inches could fall in southeast North Dakota that forecasters warned would create hazardous zero-visibility driving conditions. Wind gusts of 30 miles per hour were expected in Illinois — along with a foot of snow — while large drifts were anticipated in Nebraska and Iowa. Joe Dietrich said he had to turn away dozens of customers this week from his snowblower repair shop in Bismarck, N.D. “My building is only so big and I can only take so many,” Dietrich said. The weather hasn’t let up since sweeping into the eastern U.S. earlier this week. Five straight days of double-digit subzero low temperatures, including negative 19, were recorded by the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, Minn., a Twin Cities suburb. “It’s brutally cold, definitely brutal,” meteorologist Tony Zaleski said. Several recent deaths have Continue Reading

Tornadoes kill at least 5 in Arkansas, Texas, South Dakota as winds of 125 mph and above wreak havoc (VIDEO)

A band of tornadoes tore through the nation’s middle Sunday, killing at least five people in Texas and Arkansas, including a couple who died saving their baby girl. Between 20 and 25 twisters hammered South Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas, according to preliminary reports cited by Greg Carbin of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. More thunderstorms are expected from Texas to the Great Lakes on Monday night as the damaging system moves eastward. The Sunday storms killed a young couple in Nashville, Ark.. Michael and Melissa Mooneyhan died while protecting their 18-month-old daughter inside the family mobile home, family said. The baby survived unharmed. She has been placed in the care of other relatives. "It's a miracle that little girl survived," Howard County Coroner John Gray said. The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado and winds clocked at 125 mph had struck the small town in southwest Arkansas,meteorologist Travis Washington said. In neighboring Texas, another tornado-laced storm powered through the small town of Van, killing at least two people. First responders confirmed Monday night that they recovered all eight people who had been reported missing earlier in the day, KTVT-TV reported. Retired Garland police detective David Tapley, 60, and his wife Brenda, 62, perished in the severe weather, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. The two had moved to Van after Tapley stepped down from the force. Both were active members of theVan United Methodist Church, the local paper reported. The twister and 135 to 140 mph winds injured 42 people, four critically, and harmed or wiped out 50 to 100 homes and the schools in the North Texas town, which is about 70 miles east of Dallas, said Chuck Allen, fire marshal and emergency management coordinator for Van Zandt County. "Damages range from completely destroyed homes, damaged homes, to Continue Reading

Major solar storm smacks Earth, may pull northern lights south

WASHINGTON — A severe solar storm smacked Earth with a surprisingly big geomagnetic jolt Tuesday, potentially affecting power grids and GPS tracking while pushing the colorful northern lights farther south, federal forecasters said. So far no damage has been reported. Two blasts of magnetic plasma left the sun on Sunday, combined and arrived on Earth about 15 hours earlier and much stronger than expected, said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado. This storm ranks a 4, called severe, on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 1-to-5 scale for geomagnetic effects. It is the strongest solar storm to blast Earth since the fall of 2013. It's been nearly a decade since a level 5 storm, termed extreme, has hit Earth. Forecasters figured it would come late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning; instead, it arrived just before 10 a.m. EDT. They had forecast it to be a level 1. "It's significantly stronger than expected," Berger said. Forecasters had predicted a glancing blow instead of dead-on hit. Another theory is that the combination of the two storms made it worse, but it's too early to tell if that's so, he said. The storm seemed to be weakening slightly, but that may not continue, and it could last all day, officials said. It has the potential to disrupt power grids but only temporarily. It also could cause degradation of the global positioning system, so tracking maps and locators may not be as precise as normal. Often these types of storms come with bursts of radiation that can affect satellite operations, but this one has not, Berger said. But the most noticeable effect is usually considered a positive. The Aurora Borealis or northern lights that usually can be viewed only in the far north will dip south, so more people should be able to enjoy the colorful sky show. Forecasters were not sure just how far south it would be visible. Continue Reading