Chris Laughery

In the Moment Producer

I'm Chris Laughery, a producer for in the moment ...  My family consists of wife Ann and son Matt. I have been involved in the broadcast world for over 20 years in one capacity or another. I am a proud United States Navy veteran and played a role in Operation Southern Watch in Iraq and Operation Restore Hope in Southern Africa. I appreciate you listening to South Dakota Public Broadcasting and being in the moment ...

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The Cornerstone Rescue Mission in Rapid City is a large facility that includes transition houses, apartments, veterans care, women and children’s home, plus an emergency shelter and newly renovated kitchen serving hundreds of meals a day. Lately, though, Cornerstone has been criticized for what some say are some harsh policies at the shelter.

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American classical pianist Van Cliburn died of cancer Wednesday.  In 1958, Cliburn won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the age of 23. Cliburn’s abilities helped defrost the Cold War and allowed him to embark on an amazing international career.  Paul Sanchez is an Assistant Professor of Piano at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Wheaton Illinois.  He’s originally from Sioux Falls, and studied at the Van Cliburn Piano Institute for several summers.  Sanchez reflects on his thoughts when he learned of Mr. Cliburn’s passing.

The winter storm that is being tracked is said to be in Southern South Dakota by daybreak. The heaviest amounts of snow are said to be in Northern Kansas and a large portion of Nebraska. South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Chris Laughery caught up with Brad Adams, a hydro-meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He begins today’s Dakota Digest by telling us where this storm originated.

The South Dakota Department of Health has reported the first influenza death of the season. The person was elderly and from Pennington County. The individual had Influenza B and was hospitalized. Lon Kightlinger is the state epidemiologist and says we have an early flu season this year and it is very important to get vaccinated. Kightlinger adds that there are other things that can be done to stop the spread of the flu virus.

Cases of sexually transmitted diseases are increasing at what officials are calling an alarming rate. Chlamydia infections in South Dakota have doubled since the late 1990’s, and gonorrhea is twice as common now as it was five years ago. State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says that there are a few main factors that may be causing this increase.

Kent Osborne SDPB

The Sioux Falls Regional Airport is raising the price of landing fees and rental space for commercial planes and cargo carriers in 2013. But the airports executive director Dan Letellier says passengers won’t see any difference in fees or services.

“It really shouldn’t have any impact on the travelling public, says Letellier. Every year we do evaluation and calculation based on our expenses and revenue, especially directly related to the airlines and to determine an appropriate fee structure to insure that our expenses are maintained.”

This special edition of Dakota Midday is dedicated to the late Senator George McGovern. Three guests join the show today to discuss the life, leadership and legacy of McGovern. We first hear from grandson Matt McGovern who's first experience in South Dakota politics was traveling the state as a child during his grandfather's 1980 Senate campaign. Donald Simmons joins the conversation - he's the Executive Director of the George and Eleanor McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. McGovern graduated from Dakota Wesleyan after World War II.

A leading tree expert says the drought is making the Mountain Pine Beetles harder to find and kill. 

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports that if you’re trying to find beetle infested trees this year, you have to look closely.

Early this morning Rapid City Police responded to a shooting in North Rapid City. Police officers found a 21-year-old male on scene with three gunshot wounds, he died at the scene. In addition, a 69-year-old male was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Tarah Heupel is with the Rapid City Police Department.

All but a few West River counties are under a Red Flag Warning for Extreme Fire Danger today/Wednesday.  Mike Connelly with the National Weather Service in Aberdeen says conditions have changed somewhat, but the weather remains dry.