Minnehaha 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.

Meet the Candidates: Rhonda Milstead

Sep 9, 2020

In The Moment … September 9, 2020 Show 898 Hour 1

Republican Rhonda Milstead believes in supporting strong, healthy families along with quality education. Last session she was a member of the Commerce & Energy and Health & Human Services committees. She is seeking re-election to the house of representatives in the South Dakota state legislature. She would represent district 9 in Minnehaha county.

Meet the Candidates: Larry Zikmund

Aug 28, 2020

In The Moment … August 28, 2020 Show 891 Hour 1

Republican Larry Zikmund is asking for your vote to the state senate. His dedication on statewide issues includes economic and workforce development. He believes that South Dakotans need to be brought together to find solutions for the state's challenges. If elected, he would represent District 14 which includes a portion of Minnehaha county.


Meet the Candidates: Erin Healy

Aug 18, 2020
Erin Healy

In The Moment … August 18, 2020 Show 883 Hour 1

Democrat Erin Healy is running for re-election to the South Dakota House of Representatives. This past session she was a member of the Education Committee along with Health & Human Services. She would represent District 14 which is in Minnehaha county.

Meet the Candidates: Mike Huber

Jul 20, 2020

In The Moment … July 20, 2020 Show 862 Hour 1

Mike Huber says that less than 15% of the South Dakota State Legislature are democrats. He believes that without a strong opposition party, South Dakota has a lack of transparency, and lags behind in efficient and effective government. This fall, he is seeking your vote to represent district 14 which is Minnehaha county. Huber joins us today as SDPB's Meet the Candidates series continues.

Meet the Candidates: Mark Willadsen

Jul 20, 2020

In The Moment … July 20, 2020 Show 862 Hour 1

Mark Willadsen is seeking his 4th consecutive term in the South Dakota House of Representatives. He's been on the Commerce and Energy Committee and has chaired the House tax committee. If elected, he would represent District 11 which is in Minnehaha county. He joins us today as part of our Meet the Candidates series.

Meet the Candidates: Wayne Steinhauer

Jul 13, 2020

In The Moment … July 13, 2020 Show 857 Hour 1

Wayne Steinhauer has been a member of the South Dakota Senate since 2019 and his term is up in January. He's running for re-election and would like your vote. He's a Republican out of District 9 which is Minnehaha County.


Meet the Candidates: Timothy Reed

Jul 8, 2020

In The Moment … July 8, 2020 Show 854 Hour 2

SDPB's Meet the Candidates series is designed to allow you the opportunity to get to know those that are running for the South Dakota State Legislature this fall. Democrat Timothy Reed wants to be in the state senate to represent district 14 which is Minnehaha county.

News Special: Policing & Protests In South Dakota

Jun 5, 2020

In this In the Moment news podcast special, we are joined by two of the speakers from the peaceful protest in Sioux Falls, Congressman Johnson, Mayor TenHaken, and Captain Harrison with the Pennington County Sherriff's Office. 

Find us on: AppleSpotify, and Google Play

Candidates For Minnehaha County State's Attorney

May 27, 2020

In The Moment … May 27, 2020 Show 825 Hour 1

Argus Leader, Sioux Falls

In The Moment … May 26, 2020 Show 824 Hour 1

The South Dakota court system continues to adjust to the challenges of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the state. Minnehaha County is home to the largest number of cases. The county has had more than 3200 confirmed cases since the outbreak began. Crystal Johnson is the interim States Attorney for Minnehaha County. She joins us to talk about the challenges and her office's response. 


In The Moment ... April 28, 2020 Show 806 Hour 1

We haven't seen a pandemic such as a coronavirus since 1918. It for sure has impacted the way we work, parent, and with the way we do life. We have checked in with some of In The Moment's frequent guests to see how they are and the effect this has had on their lives. Deb Soholt is a South Dakota state senator who represents District 14 which is Minnehaha County.


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.


South Dakota’s public health lab has confirmed five cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. Governor Noem is partially activating the state’s emergency operations center. She says the state and its healthcare professionals are prepared to respond.

The confirmed cases are in Beadle, Charles-Mix, Davison and Minnehaha counties. The fifth case in Pennington county is related to a man in his 60’s with underlying health issues who died on Tuesday.

Governor Noem says COVID-19 is not confirmed to be the cause of death.

Deb Soholt Talks 2020 Legislative Session

Jan 14, 2020
Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... January 14, 2020 Show 733 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem is set to deliver her State of the State address today, which marks the beginning of the 2020 legislative session. 

Deb Soholt is a state senator and represents district 14 which is Minnehaha County. This morning, she joined SDPB's Chris Laughery to discuss the session.

Politics and public policy reporting is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

Nate Wek

 The Big Sioux River has reached record-breaking levels, and officials are stressing the need to stay away from water-covered roads.

Minnehaha County Emergency Management Director Jason Gearman says there’ve been a couple water rescues in Dell Rapids and other areas north of Sioux Falls.

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... August 7, 2018 Show 395 Hour 2

In Minnehaha County, August is time for the Sioux Empire Fair.

While teenagers are expressing safety concerns on social media, law enforcement officers are talking to the community about safety and crime prevention.

Captain Mike Walsh with the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Department joined In The Moment with an overview of the situation. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The mayor of Sioux Falls is weighing in on the arrest of the former fire chief for possession of child pornography. Wednesday the mayor addressed questions about the situation he calls a tragedy.

Minnehaha County officials announced Monday that Jim Sideras faces 10 counts of possession of child pornography. Authorities executed a search warrant on the former fire chief’s home May 2, which became his last day employed with the city.

Mayor Mike Huether says authorities notified the Sioux Falls Police chief that day, and the police chief informed the mayor.

Personalities: The Great Flood of 1993

Apr 7, 2017
Map of the Great Flood of 1993

The Great Flood of 1993 hit the American Midwest from May to September, running along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and extending into nine states. Naturally, South Dakota was in its path. Chuck Anderson traveled to the southeast corner of the state, a particularly affected region.

He stopped in Montrose, a town of roughly 420 people seated northwest of Sioux Falls, that fell partially underwater. There, he met John Griffith and his father, Bill, who were in the process of repairing a damaged basement where a wall caved in.


In The Moment ... March 13, 2017 Show 048 Hour 2

As the number of suicides rise in Minnehaha County, we talk with Janet Kittams-Lalley, president of the Helpline Center, about he trends and resources to recognize and support those at risk for self-harm.

On this week's Images of the Past, Gary Enright returns, this time to discuss the lumber industry in the Black Hills and its role alongside mining and tourism to support the Black Hills economy. Gary Enright is director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer.

Minnehaha County officials are implementing a new assessment that flags defendants who present a risk to the community. The effort is designed to help judges determine whether someone accused of crime should be released before trial. The process combines multiple factors but eliminates identifiers such as race, income, education, and family status.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Convicted killer Rodney Berget says he wants to stop an appeal that’s preventing him from being put to death, but his attorney can't support the move. The issues are enough to delay major action in Rodney Berget’s case for a few months.

Rodney Berget was in a Minnehaha County courtroom Friday. He wants to end his execution appeal.

Judge Douglas Hoffman asked if he understood that waiving his rights is a path to execution. Berget responded "yes".

That wasn’t enough for the judge to authorize a path to execution that day.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead and Chief Deputy Michelle Boyd say the time has come to begin work on a new jail in the state's most populated county. Milstead and Boyd discuss the reform initiatives designed to keep nonviolent offenders out of jail and the challenges to public safety of not having enough beds for local violent offenders.


A weather expert says straight-lined winds of 90 to 100 miles per hour struck the southeast South Dakota town of Garretson. The water is safe, but crews are working on restoring power. Todd Heitkamp with the National Weather Service says the damage indicates strong winds moved in one direction. He says Monday morning’s storm was not a tornado. Heitkamp says winds that high are dangerous and the damage in Garretson is proof.

Strong straight-line winds tore through Garretson early Monday morning. Fire Chief JR Hofer says about 30 people are displaced after the storm.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Authorities arrested four people overnight Thursday during a sobriety checkpoint. Officers discovered three people were driving under the influence, and another person had drugs. Nearly 2000 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, and officials administered 155 breathalyzers.

Around 11:30 p.m., bright flood lights illuminate a stretch of Interstate in Sioux Falls. Hundreds of cars follow orange plastic cones and flashlights, and each car pairs with a law enforcement officer. Trooper Codie Schmeichel with the South Dakota Highway Patrol introduces himself to a driver.

Commissioners in Minnehaha County say Med-Star is the new ambulance service provider for rural areas. Leaders started discussing the switch weeks ago. All five members of the panel voted Tuesday to award the county’s contract.

The medical director for Minnehaha County says both Med-Star and Paramedics Plus could handle ambulance service to areas outside of city limits. That left five commissioners to decide which service they prefer.

Officials in Minnehaha County have lifted a burn ban. Commissioners issued a burn ban a few weeks ago because dry weather contributed to small planned fires quickly spreading.

Emergency Management Director Lynn DeYoung says the conditions are different now.

A man living in Florida is in custody for a murder near Sioux Falls that happened in November of 1989.  Law enforcement responded to a shooting and found a woman dead. A grand jury Thursday indicted the man and a judge issued a warrant.

Six men face felony charges for soliciting sex with children. A sting operation based in Sioux Falls targeted potential predators.

The state’s division of criminal investigation worked with city and county law enforcement on Thursday Friday and Saturday on a sex trafficking investigation. They posted ads online selling sex with children, and six men showed up for a meeting. They range in age from 25 to 35.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says two of the men charged are from Sioux Falls, three live in Iowa, and one is from Guatemala.