First@4: Flu update; Sioux Falls homicide investigation; Bison man sentenced

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Here’s a look at today’s top stories.


Twenty-four new COVID-19 deaths were reported in Thursday’s update from the South Dakota Department of Health.

On Thursday, 445 new total coronavirus cases were announced bringing the state’s total case count to 99,164, up from Wednesday (98,720). Total recovered cases are now at 91,980, up from Wednesday (91,527).

Active cases are now at 5,696, down from Wednesday (5,729). South Dakota was last under 6,000 active cases was on Oct. 12.

Current hospitalizations are at 297, up from Wednesday (293). Total hospitalizations are at 5,672, up from Wednesday (5,639).


There was one new hospitalization for the flu in South Dakota last week, state health officials announced Thursday. 

So far for the 2020-21 influenza season, there’s been 16 confirmed cases of the flu, six hospitalizations and two deaths. 

The latest 5-year average for South Dakota is more than 6,000 flu cases, 600 hospitalizations and 39 deaths with the flu season peaking in the third week of February.


Police in Sioux Falls are investigating a homicide after a 27-year-old man was found dead in the street in western Sioux Falls late Wednesday night. 

Lt. Terrance Matia with the Sioux Falls Police Department said police responded to the 6,500 block of west Pine Meadows Place at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday. Police believe the shooting happened at around 11:20 p.m.

Police found Mitchell James Houchins in the middle of the street near the intersection of Pine Meadows Place and Sandalwood Place. An autopsy early Thursday morning showed Houchins died from a gunshot wound to the chest.


South Dakota nearly reached 100,000 coronavirus cases for 2020 but the numbers would still make it the state’s second most populated city.

The South Dakota Department of Health reported on Dec. 31 that the state had 90,050 confirmed cases or PRC test cases and 8,995 probable cases from antigen testing for a total of 99,045 COVID-19 cases.

The total cases would make it the second most populated city in the state, behind Sioux Falls and ahead of Rapid City.


The South Dakota Supreme Court has found there was sufficient evidence for a jury to convict Richard Seidel for kidnapping and later raping at gunpoint his estranged wife.

The 25-page decision that was publicly released Thursday also found Circuit Judge Eric Strawn had given appropriate consideration in setting prison sentences Seidel is now serving for the crimes.

The case involved Seidel’s actions November 2, 2017, when he went to his then-wife’s workplace, Bison Grain in Bison, and told a male employee to go to lunch.

She testified Seidel then put zip ties around her neck, wrists and ankles. Showing a pistol, he put her in his pickup, went to their marital home and raped her several times, she said.

He later made her drive him to the airport where he left in his private plane, she said. The only witness to any part of it was the other employee who had left.

Seidel claimed the marks made by the ties were part of what is known as “erotic asphyxiation.”


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