To the casual eye, the downtown streets of Wagner look like many other small towns in South Dakota. But, Frances Zephier says a glance below the surface will show something much darker.
"It's just a rampage of meth users and the people are tired of it," said Zephier. "I'm tired of it. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of my family being hurt by it."
Zephier is one of many living in Wagner who says meth use is so prevalent, it's infiltrated the top of their police force. She, and others, believe Police Chief Tim Chaney must be held accountable after not turning his girlfriend in for meth use immediately.
"He's responsible and he should've gotten help," said Zephier. "He should've gotten her help because she's a beautiful young girl and to be shooting meth is such an awful, dirty thing to do."
Zephier's distant relative Lourdes agrees, "And, what about his (Chaney) supervisors and what about the people that pay him his check? What about those people? Don't they care? Don't they know? Everyone knows what's going on here. Everywhere you turn is obliterated with an inability to address this system."
Even Kathy Cournoyer, who's daughter Charline is at the core of this story and the reason for Chaney's arrest, agrees that meth use in Wagner must be addressed.
"I was trying to get her in there, get her into Canton. But, that costs a lot of money in which I don't have," said Kathy Cournoyer. "There are resources out there supposedly but where are they at? Where do you go to get help around here? You don't, you can't."
As for if Chaney should have helped her daughter sooner, Kathy didn't want to answer our question.
"I'm not going to comment on that because I can't speak for him."
While KSFY was in Wagner we also spoke with a local police officer. He told us a task force is being developed to address meth use in Wagner and the surrounding communities. In addition, concerned parents will be meeting about meth use next Friday, August 10. That meeting will be held at 7:30pm at 103 N. Circle in Lake Andes.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:40 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:40:39 GMT
Governor Dennis Daugaard named Vermillion Large Community of the Year. Vermillion has been successful in achieving economic growth due to partnerships between the City of Vermillion, Clay County, the VermillionMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:05 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:05:24 GMT
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The man who used his 2-year-old daughter as a shield to avoid being arrested will spend nearly two decades in prison.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:02 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:02:04 GMT
"What kind of person would come in and steal puppies?" Ed Anderson, owner of Ed's Pet World in Mitchell, is trying to find out. He came to work yesterday morning to find his cash register destroyed, merchandiseMore >>
"What kind of person would come in and steal puppies?" Ed Anderson, owner of Ed's Pet World in Mitchell, is trying to find out.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:43 AM EDT2014-04-16 13:43:51 GMT
A Madison man died in a one-vehicle crash west of Salem yesterday. Gerald Kenneth Ottoson, 60, was westbound driving a 1995 Kenworth truck when a front tire blew out. The vehicle crossed the centerlineMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:18 AM EDT2014-04-16 09:18:42 GMT
Construction season is here and drivers are feeling the effects. Sioux Falls projects are underway with $31.6 million worth of work done to roads and intersections. West 41st Street between Sertoma andMore >>
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Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:40:05 GMT
If James McVay is put to death within the next 9 months, it will mark the third time during Governor Dennis Daugaard's first term in office that someone will be put to death in South Dakota. We wantedMore >>
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard tells KSFY News he supports the death penalty, but also says overseeing the process of capital punishment does weigh on him.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:19:18 GMT
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is urging communities to plan events to commemorate 125 years of statehood. The governor's office says participating communities will be eligibleMore >>
Communities interested in hosting a celebration must form a local committee and fill out an application.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:12:33 GMT
Dr. Jeff Krall kept hearing about the same eye-related symptoms, resulting in another headache for his patients. After ten years of research, the Mitchell optometrist came to a conclusion. "We have foundMore >>
The symptoms are quite common - you get sleepy while reading a book or your eyes feel gritty and burn. Suddenly, you've got a headache, which a local optometrist specifically calls an eyeGraine.