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13 Sep, 20 tweets, 8 min read
So SD Gov. Kristi Noem, with 90 minutes notice, announced a press conference in Sioux Falls city hall, at 5:15 pm on a Sunday. No mention of topic. To be streamed here: Facebook.com/govnoem
Stand by.
Also, just FYI: This is previously unscheduled press conference, unusual in that there's no topic listed and last-second notification, and a really odd day/time for max media exposure (other than SF is the state's media center). Just really odd.
BREAKING: SD Atty Gen. Jason Ravnsborg involved in a traffic collision in Hyde County, 10:30 pm yesterday on Hwy 14, just west of Highmore. 1 fatality from crash. They wouldn't tell us any other details (condition of anyone, who else involved, how many people/vehicles involved).
Statement released moments after Noem's announcement, from @SDAttorneyGen Jason Ravnsborg
(thx to @MakenzieHuber for the on-pass when I wasn't seeing it in my email)
We know:
- Ravnsborg was in a crash
- Crash was near Highmore, SD, on US 14 at 10:30 p.m. Sat.
- 1 person died in that crash
- it wasn't Ravnsborg
- That we're not getting any other details immediately
My story:
mitchellrepublic.com/news/governmen…
Media given a chance to ask questions, but all specific questions weren't answered -- pending investigation - per Price.
Those included:
- Ravnsborg's condition
- How many others in crash
- how many vehicles in crash
- names and ages of those involved
So I get not ID'ing fatality/others, perhaps pending family notification. But.... they couldn't say how Ravnsborg was doing? And couldn't even say how many vehicles were involved? We'll press for those details to come out real soon, because, they should be public ASAP.
Not all crashes are the same, and some take more time and investigation. But... here's the most recent example of a DPS fatal crash press release, came in today about 1130 am, about a crash at 1 pm Saturday.
Good scoops on this from @Ajzionts:
- expect to get more info tomorrow
- ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation is helping investigate for ethical reasons
- Where Ravnsborg was prior - at a GOP dinner at a Redfield bar/grill.
rapidcityjournal.com/news/state-and…
Here's the page for the GOP dinner at Rooster's Bar & Grill in Redfield, complete with door prize: a .45 "Make America Great Again" handgun. Dinner started at 6:30 p.m.
southdakotagop.com/get-involved/e…
Highmore is about a 1-hour drive from Redfield (depending on speed), and about half way back to Pierre, the state capital -- assuming that's where he was going.
Ravnsborg crash: A key image from the crash scene, from @dakotanews_now. This white Ford pickup (confirmed involved) with impact damage to front end on the passenger side. dakotanewsnow.com/2020/09/13/gov…
UPDATE: Ravnsborg crash victim confirmed as Joe Boever by cousin, not asked to ID body until nearly 22 hours after the crash: "Was our cousin laying dead on the highway for nearly a day while they were investigating? I don't know."
(h/t @DakotaStandard)
mitchellrepublic.com/news/governmen…
UPDATE: Ravnsborg told law enforcement he thought he had hit a deer, per DPS news release. It was actually Boever, whose body wasn't discovered until the next morning. mitchellrepublic.com/news/governmen…
Here's the full press release from @SDPublicSafety:
Lots of big questions unanswered here:
- Was alcohol a factor?
- Was speed a factor?
- When did Ravnsborg first talk to law enforcement and report it as a deer hit?
(And also who doesn't stop after hitting a deer and check out the damage, etc?)
Good background check from @argusleader. Ravnsborg had six speeding infractions between 2014-2018. argusleader.com/story/news/cri…
Some new info from AP, citing Ravnsborg's office:
- Ravnsborg called 911 immediately after accident: apnews.com/da2469fa3fd083…
- Ravnsborg had not been drinking. Would have occasional drink, but careful not to at Lincoln Day events: wtoc.com/2020/09/14/sou…
Here are some photos of the GOP Lincoln Day dinner in Redfield that Ravnsborg attended, per the Spink Co. GOP FB page. It does not strike me as a booze-soaked affair. (Looks like Ravnsborg in the gray suit up front) facebook.com/SpinkRepublica…
Grabbed a few in case they got taken down:

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More from @jayfug

18 Sep
My dispatch from the side of U.S. Highway 14, where South Dakota's attorney general struck and killed a man with his car last week. inforum.com/news/governmen…
Here are more photos from the Ravnsborg-Boever crash scene. Let's walk through it, in the direction of travel. These images are as I shot them yesterday. Here's the presumed start of the scene. Notice the green spray paint line on the road, to the left of the speed limit sign.
Off almost immediately to the right (north) is a SD DOT shop. This is where a vehicle that looked like Ravnsborg's wrecked 2011 Ford Taurus was towed on Tuesday.
Read 17 tweets
10 Sep
BREAKING: SD Gov. Kristi Noem has refused to release White House recommendations re: her state's COVID-19 situation. ABC News obtained them. Here's what they say. inforum.com/newsmd/coronav…
thanks to @huarachejane for the heads up on the ABC reporting!
@huarachejane To read any and all of the WH coronavirus task force's state-by-state summaries and recommendations dated Sept. 6, here's the full doc: drive.google.com/file/d/1WN6FSX…
Read 5 tweets
1 Sep
STURGIS: 263 COVID-19 cases in 12 states now linked to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota, by my latest count this AM. Tally:
SD: 105
Minn: 49
ND: 30
Colo: 25
Wyo: 13
Mich: 11
NH: 8
Neb: 7
Mont: 7
Wash: 3
NJ: 3
Wisc: 2
Sources below:
South Dakota - 105 cases linked to Sturgis: inforum.com/newsmd/coronav…
Minnesota - 49 cases linked to Sturgis:
Read 14 tweets
18 Aug
Shocked, shocked to see this out of Sturgis. (/sarcasm) Image
So I've been thinking about this a lot. Here's why we're unlikely to ever get a real, clear understanding of the COVID-19 spread caused by Sturgis. (thread)
In a nutshell, Sturgis is bigger than our nationwide COVID-19 testing and contract tracing effort, and it's likely any evidence of spread from Sturgis will fall through the cracks in that patchwork-y system.
Read 14 tweets
3 Jul
And I'm in Keystone, SD, just down the hill from Mount Rushmore. I'll be covering the Trump fireworks event as it happens, outside the security cordon. Follow @ShannMarvel and @mattgadephotog for @FORUMCOMCO coverage inside the venue.
The Trump fan scene and merch game here in Keystone competes well with any campaign event I covered during the 2016 race. And I see a lot of recycled Trump t-shirt designs. (Also, unfortunately, President Lincoln tripped on a boardwalk rock.)
Protesters march through downtown Keystone, SD. Many of those on the sidewalks shout "four more years" in response.
Read 29 tweets
17 Jun
Sure, South Dakota's COVID-19 cases were supposed to be peaking now. They aren't. Big win, right? But the pandemic is playing out in many, localized surges across the state -- these are hidden in the overall state numbers. Let's look at Beadle County, home of Huron (thread)
Beadle County was home to some of the first COVID-19 cases in South Dakota, as well as some of the first deaths. Beadle Co. isn't big (pop: 18,453). Huron, the county seat isn't big either (pop: 13, 696). And the virus first swept through at least one family group hard.
Two relatives, teacher Mari Hofer and state rep. Bob Glanzer, died. For a time, early on, Beadle Co. was one of the hardest-hit counties in the state. Local leaders scrambled to institute restrictions to slow the spread.
Read 24 tweets

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