Charles Edward Vobr, 73

Funeral services for Charles Edward Vobr, 73, Colome, were held June 16 at Calvary Chapel, Colome. Burial with military honors followed at the Colome City Cemetery.

Charles Edward Vobr was born on June 9th 1945 to the parents of Albert H. and Kathryn Vobr, the 6th of 10 children. Charley was born in the Joey Holden home with Margaret Holden assisting with the birth. Albert’s family moved to various places in his childhood. They settled in the Bagley, Minn., area in 1957 where Charley graduated from Bagley High School in 1963.

Shortly after graduation, Charley joined his brother Al working for the Brezina Cattle Company south of Colome. That is where he met Judi, and they were married on Oct. 23, 1965. Charley then joined the South Dakota Army National Guard on Aug. 22, 1966 taking his basic training at Fort Lewis, Wash. He was honorably discharged upon completion of four years of service.

In 1967 they purchased land where they built a home and still reside today. To this union 4 children were born, Paula Rae, Melanie Jean, Valerie Dawn and Matthew Charles.

Alongside of being a full time farmer/rancher; Charley enjoyed feeding cattle, harvesting crops, trucking for Engel Trucking, and occasionally helping out his neighbors. He also enjoyed cheering on the local teams of the Cowboys and Cowgirls. He was very supportive of his children and grandchildren in all sports. He was involved in several activities; his favorite was running the time clock at the Fetzner Field for the Colome Cowboy football games. He also was a church board member of Calvary Chapel and Sunday school superintendent, Colome School Board Member and Chairman, American Legion member also participating with honor guard. One of the many things that were important to him were his siblings, they chose to get together yearly with this year being the 40th family reunion.

Charley is survived by his wife Judi and children; Paula (Jerry) Hrabanek, Melanie Cole (Roy Stevicks), Valerie (Scott) Horgen, Matt (Desirae) Vobr; grandchildren Kristen (Duane) Wetzel, Jake Hrabanek (Jesse Ulrich), Ethan Vobr (Tasha Welch), Evan, Adam, Joey Cole & Mattie, Allison and Jacob Stevicks, Ezra and Micah Horgen, Eli, Rayma and Kyler Vobr; Great-grand children Keira, Tyson & Cody Wetzel & Bentley Welch. Siblings: Margaret, Albert (Ardith), Ted, Helen, Joann (Jim), Fran, David, Larry (Loretta), Philip (Nan), and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Kathryn Vobr, and parents’ in-law Gus and Orene Weidner, and several brothers-in-law.


VA Black Hills Health Care System Nursing Home Receives 4-Star Rating

VA Facilities Compare Closely With Private Sector Nursing Homes Overall

The VA Black Hills Health Care System (VA BHHCS) announced that its nursing home received 4-stars as part of its annual performance rating.

VA BHHCS announcement comes after VA extended its unprecedented 18-month record of transparency disclosures by making public for the first time its annual nursing home ratings for every facility in the country. View the ratings here.

The data show that, overall, VA’s nursing home system – composed of more than 130 community living centers – compares closely with private sector nursing homes, even though the department on average cares for sicker patients in its nursing homes than do private facilities.

In fact, the overall star rating for VA’s nursing homes compared to the 15,487 private sector nursing homes rated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that VA has a significantly lower percentage (34.1 percent lower) of one-star, or lowest rated, facilities than the rest of the nation.

Of note, 60 of VA’s nursing homes improved their quality score from last year to this year (2nd Quarter FY17 to 2nd Quarter FY18). Only one facility had a meaningful decline in that metric, and that facility was already rated with four stars.

Extending VA’s Commitment to VA Transparency, Quality Improvement VA has become the first hospital system in the nation to post its: · Hospital wait times · Opioid prescription rates · Employee settlements and accountability actions · Chief executive travel

“VA Black Hills is committed to providing our Veterans with the highest level of quality care. We operate in an environment of transparency and continual improvement to ensure the safety of our Veterans, said Sandra Horsman, VA BHHCS Director.

How VA Nursing Homes Compare with Private Sector The best comparison of VA nursing homes to the private sector is in the overall star rating. Using that overarching and most important metric, VA’s performance compares very closely with that of the private sector. See here for a comparison of quality ratings using CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Five Star Quality Rating System as of April 2018.

VA’s Unique Patient Base Of note, VA nursing homes often serve residents with more numerous and challenging medical conditions than do private sector facilities.

Specifically, VA nursing homes serve a much higher proportion of residents with conditions such as prostate obstruction, spinal cord injury, mental illness, homelessness, PTSD, combat injury, terminal illness, and other conditions rarely seen in private nursing homes.

Also, private sector nursing homes admit patients selectively, whereas – unlike the private sector – VA will not refuse service to any eligible Veteran, no matter how challenging the Veteran’s conditions are to treat. In other words, VA nursing homes often house residents with more complex medical needs that private sector facilities will not accept, which makes achieving good quality ratings more challenging.

As a result, VA nursing homes at times rate lower than private sector facilities on specific metrics such as pain and type of treatment. Despite that fact, VA nursing homes compare well with private sector facilities in overall facility rankings.

VA Nursing Homes Provide More Direct Nursing Care Additionally, VA nursing homes have a higher staff-to-resident ratio than private sector facilities, meaning residents in VA facilities get more direct attention from nursing home staff than do residents in the private sector.

Pump Prices Continue to Decline as U.S. Demand Dips

At $2.92, the national gas price average has dropped four cents since the beginning of June. Today’s average is three cents less than a week ago, six cents more than a month ago and 58 cents more expensive than a year ago. On the week, only eight states saw prices increase while all others dropped by as much as 13 cents or remained stable.

“Gas prices continue to dip across the country, but remain nearly 50-cents more expensive than last summer in every state,” said Marilyn Buskohl, AAA South Dakota spokesperson. “The higher prices seem to be influencing driving habits. While consumer gasoline demand remains strong, it is slowing and not growing.”

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The Rosebud Economic Development Corporation’s (REDCO) Rosebud Construction broke ground June 12 for the renovation of the Rosebud powwow grounds.

Rosebud Construction will be working with Sicangu Nation Employment Training Program (SNETP) to provide on-the-job training and mentorship to SNETP employees. The renovation will replace the existing arbor and press box in time for the 2018 Rosebud Fair.

Rosebud powwow grounds are over fifty years old and require yearly maintenance. The joint project with Rosebud Construction and SNETP will utilize modern materials and reduce facility upkeep. William Kindle, president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe said, “This partnership is about strengthening our community and creating jobs. When tribal programs collaborate, our people prosper.”

The mentorship program allows SNETP employees to gain field experience while learning new skills. Lauri Bordeaux, Director of SNETP said, “I would like to thank everyone including the RST Council for entrusting the SNETP as well as our collaborating partners REDCO Construction Group. We hope to give the members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe a pow wow and rodeo arena that is beautiful and large enough to accommodate our annual event and that we will be proud of and take care of for years to come”.

Improvements to the rodeo grounds, which will include a new announcer stand, rodeo grandstand, and shelter are scheduled to be complete in Fall 2018.

Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal to Keystone XL

South Dakota’s Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline saying a lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear their cases.

The Associated Press reports an attorney battling the project says the “fight is not over.”

Groups fighting TransCanada’s pipeline appealed a judge’s decision last year upholding regulators’ approval for the pipeline to cross the state.

But the high court said in a ruling last Wednesday that justices didn’t “reach the merits of the case” because he lower court didn’t have jurisdiction to weigh the appeal of the Public Utilities Commission’s decision.

Robin Martinez, an attorney for Dakota Rural Action, called the high court’s decision disappointing.

That’s really disappointing that the court didn’t reach the merits, because the risk to South Dakota’s land and water resources is clearly there,” Martinez said. “It’s a shame that they did not get a closer look by the court.”

TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said in an e mail that the pipeline developer is pleased with the court’s decision.

Keystone XL would cost an estimated $8 billion. The 1,179-mile pipeline would transport up to the 830,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska where it would connect with lines to carry oil to Gulf Coast refineries.

A portion of the pipeline will run through Tripp County.

TransCanada announced in April it as meeting with landowners and starting aerial surveillance of the proposed route. The company hopes to begin construction in early 2019.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Yankton Sioux Tribe and Dakota Rural Action appealed to the South Dakota high court after a judge had affirmed state regulators approval of the pipeline.

The PUC initially authorized the project in 2010 but the permit had to be revisited because construction didn’t start within the required four years. The panel voted in 2016

to accept TransCanada’s guarantee that it would meet all conditions laid out by the commission when it first approved that state’s portion of the project.

Cunha said the company is working to get needed land easements for the pipeline in Nebraska.

Sutton Adds Silvia Christen as New Finance Director

Billie Sutton, candidate for South Dakota Governor, announces Silvia Christen, former Executive Director of the SD Stockgrowers Association, has joined the campaign as finance director. Christen will head up all fundraising efforts and manage the budgetary operations of the campaign.

Christen said, “I’ve had my thumb on the pulse of South Dakota policy for years, and I’ve been so impressed with Billie’s ability to build coalitions and work for common sense solutions. I’m proud to join the Sutton campaign and ready to continue my work for a stronger South Dakota from this new capacity.”

A Rapid City resident, Christen has served as the executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association for the past seven years. While earning a degree from the University of Missouri in Ag Economics and Rural Sociology in 2005, Christen conducted research on ag policy and rural development in the US and South Africa.

Her resume includes previous involvement with the Vote Yes Rapid City campaign, local and regional elections, the Rapid City Chamber Ag Committee, and several other service organizations in the region and state. She was an integral part of the disaster recovery efforts following the 2013 Atlas Blizzard, and she was named the Black Hills Stock Show’s Ag Business Person of the Year in 2015.

Christen will work to continue the unprecedented fundraising success the Sutton campaign has achieved so far in this election cycle.


China Hits U.S. Agriculture with Retaliation

China placed a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on multiple U.S. goods, including sorghum. The retaliatory tariff also applies to U.S. soybeans, cotton, wheat, vegetables, beef, pork and others and will go into effect on July 6. This action was in response to the U.S. issuing a 25 percent tariff earlier today on 1,102 Chinese goods.

Today’s tariff announcement comes a month after China terminated anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into U.S. sorghum, which ended the 178.6 percent duty. The newly enforced 25 percent tariff will bring higher prices for Chinese consumers who purchase over half of U.S. sorghum exports. National Sorghum Producers Chairman and Nebraska farmer Don Bloss issued the following statement:

“National Sorghum Producers, alongside our producers, stakeholders and partners, have already seen the market uncertainty and price fluctuations that occur when China retaliates on U.S. goods. We urge President Trump and the Administration to move forward with constructive trade negotiations that will end tariffs on U.S. agriculture, especially during times of existing economic stress.

“We understand the grave impact tariff decisions can inflict on producers. American farmers depend on trade with China, and these tariffs will have devastating effects on U.S. agriculture. We greatly value our business relationship with Chinese buyers and hope to see this win-win relationship move forward. We have witnessed the Administration’s efforts in positive trade negations in the past that lifted sanctions on U.S. sorghum and hope to see similar efforts going forward.

“National Sorghum Producers will continue to work with and encourage officials to achieve long-term trade solutions with China. Protecting our markets remains the No. 1 priority for U.S. sorghum farmers and the agriculture industry.”


Tripp County Contestants Place in Regional Rodeo

Area high school cowboys and cowgirls competed in the River Region rodeo in Highmore June 2-3.

Saturday results include:

Breakaway roping—Saydee Heath, :5.09

Bull riding—Riggin Shippy, 1st, 62

Boys cutting—Brandon Volmer, 66

Goat tying—Saige Schuyler, 10.19

Girls cutting—Saydee Heath, 70; Saige Schuyler, 68

Pole bending—Schuyler, 22.863; Saydee Heath, 23.227

Reined cow horse—Dawson Phillips, 134.5; Saydee Heath, 133

Saddle bronc—Kolton Salonen, 62

Tie down—Dawson Phillips, 14.65

Sunday’s results from the regional rodeo include:

Breakaway roping–Schuyler, 3.78; Saydee Heath, 3.96

Boys cutting—Brandon Volmer,

Pole bending—Schuyler, 21.537

Reined cow horse—Dawson Phillips, Saydee Heath, 139

Saddle bronc—Salonen, 60

Tie down—Dawson Phillips, 12.22; Linkyn Petersek, 13.94

Area HS Rodeo Athletes Qualify for State

By Shelley Heath

The last two weekends, area High School Rodeo athletes have been working hard to gain enough points to make it to the State Rodeo Finals in Belle Fourche this week, June 13-16. Competition will begin on Thursday with the first performance, Friday will be the second performance and Saturday will be the Short Go.

To get qualified for state, you must carry in at least 3 points to make an appearance in Belle Fourche. There are four performances in the regional rodeos and points are given by placings. First receives 10 points, second receives 9 points and so on. The first weekend the rodeo was held in Highmore, winds were making it difficult for all events. The second weekend was held in Ft. Pierre, the weather cooperated, giving better chances to qualify. Athletes then carry the best of 3 performances to state, so for example if you earned 6, 9, 4 and 8 in any event, you disregard the lowest point and for this event, you would get to carry 23 points to state. The most you can take in is 30 points. Once at state, points build on top of these and then the top 4 point earners will make an appearance in Rock Springs, WY for the National Finals in July.

Of our 12 Tripp County High School Rodeo Athletes, 7 qualified for state. The River Region is a very strong competitive region of rodeo. There are 4 regions in South Dakota, the River, the Eastern, the Southwest and the Northwest.

In rodeo, you cheer for all, so I feel all our area rodeo athletes need credit for all their hard work, not just our Tripp County Athletes. Those earning enough points to make it to state are: In Breakaway Roping: Saige Schuyler, 13.50; Saydee Heath, 8. Bull Riding: Riggin Shippy, 20; Boys Cutting: Blasé Steffen, 29; Brandon Volmer, 24.50; Goat Tying: Saige Schuyler, 10; Lainee Schonebaum, 9. Girls Cutting: Saydee Heath, 19.50; Saige Schuyler, 18.50. Pole Bending, Saige Schuyler, 26; Ramee Jo Hanson, 5; Saydee Heath, 3. Reined Cow Horse: Blasé Steffen, 29; Dawson Phillips, 21.50; Saydee Heath, 18.50. Saddle Bronc: Kolton Salonen, 28. Steer Wrestling: Beau Dean, 17; Finn Hanson, 14. Team Roping: Blasé Steffen & Beau Dean, 20; Kade Starr & Dawson Phillips, 18; Saige Schuyler & Brandon Volmer, 8. Tie Down Roping: Beau Dean, 26; Linkyn Petersek, 25; Dawson Phillips, 22; Blasé Steffen, 19; Kade Starr, 7; Weston Vanderpol, 4.