First@4: Latest on COVID-19; Rapid Transit System to shut down; GF&P says black bear is just passing through Original

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

The South Dakota Department of Health has confirmed four more South Dakotans have died due to COVID-19, bringing the state total for 54.

The state case tracker shows two men and two women have died. The victims are in the following age ranges: 30-39, 50-59 and two in the 60-69 range. They were from Brown County, Todd County and two from Minnehaha County.

State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton says the person in the 30-39 age range did not have underlying health conditions.

Sioux Falls Public Health Director Jill Franken says the city’s hospitals have the capacity to handle COVID-19 patients, which is why the city council was able to repeal its no mingling ordinance.

She said if the situation changes, the city and public health will respond accordingly.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender says the Rapid Transit System will shut down for two weeks after a total of three drivers have tested positive for COVID-19.

The mayor said the Rapid Transit System will be shut down on Saturday, May 30. Allender says this will allow for deep cleaning of buses and equipment. Buses will return to service on June 15.

Black bears are a rare sight in South Dakota, but that wasn’t the case in the northeastern part of the state on Tuesday when a black bear was spotted 7 miles west of Aberdeen.

While it has happened before, Game, Fish and Parks Regional Wildlife Supervisor Mike Klosowski says bears aren’t native to the area.

The GF&P knows that South Dakota is placed between two states that have higher bear populations such as Minnesota and Wyoming, so they created a response plan that manages how they respond to bears roaming in the state.

From the Capitol News Bureau in Pierre: One of the first cases alleging criminal violations of traffic checkpoints that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is operating on state and federal highways began slowly moving through a South Dakota courtroom Tuesday.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem sent several letters in recent weeks to the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She initially demanded they remove their checkpoints and then suggested the checkpoints could be put on BIA and tribal highways instead.

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