First@4: COVID-19 record numbers; Kratom Controversy; Fraudulent unemployment claims Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Here’s a look at the day’s top stories as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

It’s another record day for COVID-19 cases in South Dakota. Active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota are at 3,108, according to the South Dakota Department of Health’s daily update.

A record 192 people are hospitalized with the virus. The state did not report any more deaths connected to COVID-19.

To find the latest COVID-19 numbers and stories, visit the coronavirus page on

You may have noticed signs around town in front of strip malls advertising something called Kratom. Not everyone is familiar with it, but the substance from the leaf of a Southeast Asian plant is growing in popularity– so much so it’s now more than a billion dollar business.

Coming up in the first part of our KELOLAND News Investigation into the Kratom Controversy, Angela Kennecke looks at the powerful Kratom lobbying group’s battle with the Food and Drug Administration over the substance.

Watch for this story tonight at 10 p.m. on KELOLAND News.

Minnehaha County authorities are investigating a fatal rollover crash involving a minor on the northeast side of Sioux Falls just after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

According to officials, a 14-year-old boy was driving near the intersection of east Madison Street and Veterans Parkway. Officials say something happened that caused the driver to overcorrect and the pickup ended up rolling into a nearby ditch.

Noah Kimball, 14, of Brandon later died at a Sioux Falls hospital. The other occupant, a man in his 30s, suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.

From the Capitol News Bureau in Pierre: The availability of the $600 federal bonus earlier this year spurred people to make fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits in South Dakota, according to a state government official.

Some days, two-thirds of the applications were found to not be eligible for benefits as people tried to cash in amid the COVID-19 pandemic, state Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman said Wednesday. She said the availability of the federal money led people to take chances. The state Department of Labor and Regulation staff determined, for example, that many claims came from people who were deceased. In another instance, a small rural community had 56 applicants using the same address.

In a Original now online, a Sanford official says adult patients could be cared for a the children’s hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Mike Wilde, vice president medical officer at Sanford Health, today confirmed that part of the plan in handling the existing surge in COVID-19 patients includes caring for adults in the Sanford children’s hospital or Children’s Castle if necessary.

You can find Dr. Wilde’s full statement in this story online right now.

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