Lincoln County

City of Sioux Falls

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in and around Sioux Falls. Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties make up 25% of the state’s total active cases.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken is not pursuing a city-wide mask mandate, but he is encouraging businesses and individuals to double-down on COVID-19 prevention measures.

Mayor TenHaken says all 1,300 city employees are now required to wear masks in an effort to prevent spreading the coronavirus. As for a city-wide mandate:

“You will not see my administration mandating any mask-wearing requirements at this time.”

City of Sioux Falls

The state’s largest judicial circuit is suspending jury trials again due to rising COVID-19 numbers. The presiding judge of the Second Judicial Circuit—which serves Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties—issued the notice Tuesday afternoon.

Judge Robin Houwman says in a statement that rising COVID hospitalizations in the area are driving the decision. She says when trials resumed in mid-June, hospitalizations had been trending downward and had stayed under 45.

Governor Noem has issued an executive order that urges some citizens in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to stay home for the next three weeks. The request includes adults over 65 and people with chronic conditions to limit their exposure to the coronavirus. 

Noem says data shows these people are at greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

New Jail To Be Built In Lincoln County

Feb 28, 2020
Lincoln County

The Lincoln County Commission is considering a $50 million bond to help build a new public safety center.


The new facility, which would include a new jail and courtroom, is in the beginning stages of development.


Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Swenson said that the county’s growing population calls for a new public safety facility.


Lori Walsh

Captain Jason Gearman leads the Investigations Division of the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Department, which includes the Command of the SWAT team. He has supervised School Resource Officers in rural school districts, and he is currently campaigning to be elected as Sheriff of Lincoln County. 

Captain Gearman joins us to discuss prevention of mass shootings in rural counties, the growth of Lincoln County in southeastern South Dakota, and the advantages and challenges of the state sentinel program.

In The Moment ... March 6, 2018 Show 290 Hour 1

In The Moment ... January 30, 2018 Show 266 Hour 1

Dennis Johnson has been in law enforcement for more than four decades. He's been the Lincoln County sheriff for the last 20 years and plans on retiring soon. He visits about changes in policing a growing Lincoln County.

The Lincoln County Wind Debate: A Background

Jul 24, 2017

In the wake of the Lincoln County wind turbine setback vote, the Dakota Power Community Wind (DPCW) project now faces stricter regulation. A majority yes vote of 57 percent amends the current county ordinance, changing the minimum setback from a residence from a quarter mile (~1300 ft) to half mile (2640 ft).

In The Moment ... July 17, 2017 Show 135 Hour 1

Tomorrow is a pivotal day for the Dakota Power Community Wind project and Lincoln County residents. The public votes to either keep the ordinance of a roughly quarter-mile setback between Dakota Wind's turbines and residences or increase the setback to a half mile. The result of the vote could change the future of clean energy in South Dakota. SDPB's Leah Cover joins us with more.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Harrisburg High School student is in custody after police say he brought a gun to school and shot the principal. Authorities stress all students are safe and the principal is stable. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are collaborating on the investigation. The Lincoln County States Attorney is determining what charges the teenager faces.

High school students piled onto bright yellow school buses late Wednesday morning after law enforcement swept the building for threats. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Officials have released the names of people involved in Thursday’s shooting at a Lennox business. Police say the shooter argued with a Sioux Steel Pro-Tec worker at 9:30 a.m. He came back with a gun that afternoon.

Law enforcement officials say 45-year-old Jon Richter of Lennox was shot and killed Thursday while he was working in an office area at Pro-Tec around 2 p.m. Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Johnson says, that morning, the shooter argued with Richter about a trailer that needed to be driven to another state before the shooting in the afternoon.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

At least one person is dead in a shooting at a southeast South Dakota business. It happened Thursday afternoon in Lennox. Police are withholding the names of three people hurt in the shooting and the identity of a body found in a burned semi truck a few miles from town. 

At about 2 p.m. Thursday, the sole police officer on duty in Lennox responded to a call in the town’s industrial park. In the Pro-Tech building owned by Sioux Steel, law enforcement from several agencies found two people shot and a third physically assaulted by a gunman.

Woman Pleads Guilty To Hitting Trooper

Jan 10, 2014

A South Dakota woman has struck a deal to spend more than 42 years in prison for running over a state trooper. Rachel Coleman pleaded guilty in court in Sioux Falls Friday, and she admits to two charges and previous convictions in court. 

When the judge asks her about the night she got drunk and hit a South Dakota Highway Patrolman with her car, Rachel Coleman says she doesn’t remember anything that happened that night. She says she does remember drinking that night.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The man accused of killing his girlfriend’s two-year-old in Sioux Falls earlier this month is out of jail on bond. He was officially charged with murder Monday.

South Dakota authorities say 27-year-old Joey Patterson abused 2-year-old Tyrese Ruffin on October 9th. The toddler died two days later. Patterson was arraigned on charges Monday in Lincoln County on an October 18th grand jury indictment.