Gebhart to be Inducted into Winner School Hall of Fame

Keith Gebhart will be inducted into the Winner School Hall of Fame on Oct. 12 at the football game. The presentation will be at the halftime of the football game.

Gebhart is a retired administrator in the Winner School District.

In 1966, Gebhart became the K-9 principal in Winner. He served as the junior high/middle school principal for 23 years and as Winner High School principal for five years.

Gebhart was the administrator of the local and federal Indian education program.

Gebhart started the kids wrestling program and was a volunteer coach in the youth wrestling program for 25 years. He was awarded the South Dakota Friend of Wrestling award.

Gebhart was also instrumental in starting the Hershey youth track program and received the state Hershey volunteer of the year award.

Gebhart supported FHA and FFA and was named an honorary FFA member.

In 2009, Gebhart received the Bill Pistulka memorial award.

Gebhart is a graduate of Mitchell High School and Kansas State University. He received his master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

Gebhart has given years of service to 4-H: state and Tripp County horse committee, rodeo announcer for Tripp County, state 4-H and high school rodeos.

He received the Heartland Saddle award and the Marcus Thompson memorial saddle for youth rodeo work. He also received the Tripp County Friend of 4-H Award and has been inducted into the S.D. 4-H Hall of Fame.

Gebhart was instrumental in organizing the local Prairie Cruisers car club.

A significant honor for Gebhart was being selected Winner homecoming parade marshal.

Gebhart has served the Methodist Church as Sunday School superintendent, church board, choir member, and helping with youth mission trips.

Keith and his wife, Geneice have five children and 19 grandchildren.

Colome Consolidated School Board Honored for Striving to Enhance Knowledge Base

Members of the Colome Consolidated School Board earned statewide recognition for their dedicated participation in activities, board development and training and demonstrated leadership at various areas and levels.

The Colome Consolidated School Board earned a gold level award for their participation in the Associated School Boards of South Dakota board recognition program: ALL, which stands for Act, Learn Lead and honors the work of school boards striving to enhance their knowledge base of board work.

By participating in ASBSD activities, training opportunities and demonstrating leadership at their local, state and national level, school boards accumulated points throughout 2017-18 school year to achieve an award level. To earn the Gold level award, Colome Consolidated School Board accumulated 500 or more ALL points.

Colome Consolidated School Board members are exemplary public servants,” ASBSD executive director Wade Pogany said. “The have a proven commitment to their students, parents, staff and community and we’re happy to recognize that dedication.”

On Oct. 8, a representative of the ASBSD honored the Colome Consolidated School Board with the presentation of their ALL plaque.

In the second year of the program, more than one third of the total number of public school boards in South Dakota earned ALL award through a variety of training, development and leadership opportunities.

The Colome Consolidated School Board and boards across South Dakota are devoted to enhancing public education in this state,” said Pogany.


Swedish Visitors visit Winner Rotary Club

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

Five couples from a Rotary district in Sweden spent some time in the Winner area the end of September.

The Winner Rotary Club served as hosts for this friendship exchange. The group is from Rotary District 2340, west of Stockholm.

There are 1,500 members in this district with 50 clubs.

The group arrived in Winner on Sept. 28 and left on Oct. 1. The Swedish visitors had been in Pierre before coming to Winner.

A friendship exchange is an international exchange program for Rotary members and friends that allows participants to take turns hosting one another in their homes and clubs.

Winner Rotary Club hosted a dinner for their guests Sept. 30 at the Winner Country Club.

Erik Berger of Vasteras is the team leader. He has been in Rotary for 20 years and has a degree in business administration. He was a partner in a industrial company but is now retired.

He and his wife have been on several friend exchanges to Calgary, Canada, India and Argentina.

This is a fantastic way to meet people at their home,” he said. “You get to have a conversation over breakfast and learn how they live their day to day lives. It makes friends forever,” he said.

Berger enjoyed the south central part of South Dakota. He thought it was prairie land but said the area is vast with lots of nature.

You are showing us a lot of fantastic things,” he said.

This summer, Kay Berg and Becca Carlson of Winner were part of the South Dakota Rotary delegation that visited Sweden.

Winner FFA 2nd in Land Judging

The Winner High School Future Farmers of America chapter recently took part in land judging in Wall.

The Winner FFA chapter took second place. Members who took part are: Jalen King, George Clark, Andrew Taylor, Ryan Sell, Abby Pajl, Heather Rowe, Hunter Shopene, Tane Pravecek and Ethan Niehus.

In individual scores, King placed first, Clark, 7th; Taylor, 8th ; Sell, 18th; Pajl 20th; Rowe, 27th; Shopene, 32nd; Pravecek, 33rd and Niehus, 47th.


Johnson Visits Voters in Winner

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

Dusty Johnson, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress, stopped in Winner on Monday, Oct. 1. He was visiting with voters and discussing issues that are important to them in the Nov. 6 election.

Johnson believes a candidate has to go out and interview for the job. “You have to be able to get out there, look people in the eye and shake their hand. That is why I love days like today as I get to find what people are talking about,” he said.

The day Johnson was in Winner President Trump signed a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada. “There are all kinds of ways that the new NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) is going to be better than he old one,” he said.

Johnson believes the farm bill needs to be finalized. “I have no faith that Congress will get it done this year. We need a good farm bill. Next to good weather the best friend of a farmer is stability. Without a farm bill in place we don’t have that kind of stability,” he explained.
Johnson was asked his thoughts on the Keystone XL pipeline. He pointed out that a pipeline done right is the safest way to ship oil. “That is why we have these intensive review processes.”

On health care, the candidate said he would like to see more flexibility to the states.

Johnson says he does not think America is better by calling each other names and trying to destroy people’s careers. I think we should be trying to find ways to work together.”

Hearing Health Services

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

The name of the Winner business has changed but it still offers exceptional, quality and professional care to its patients.

Hearing Health Services is the new name of the business and is owned by Lenna Thieman of Colome who purchased the business on Sept. 18.

Desirae Vobr remains as the licensed audiologist.

The business was formerly known as Hearing Health Center and was owned by Paul Nelson and Catherine Grange of Spencer, Iowa.

Vobr has been the audiologist in Winner for 13 years.

The business is located at 417 Main St. The business is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday by appointment only and outreach.

Vobr is a 1998 graduate of Colome High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders and her master’s in audiology from the University of South Dakota.

Vobr obtained her certificate of clinical competency in audiology from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and is a member of the South Dakota Association of Hearing Health Professionals.

Vobr began taking courses in college for speech pathology. After completing a class on hearing, she realized that helping people hear better was really what she passionate about.

While in college, she did an internship at the VA center and School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls.

She started working at Sioux Falls Hearing Aid Service with the Nelson group. They are the same family who had owned the Winner business.

After and year and a half in Sioux Falls, Desirae and her husband decided to move back to their hometown of Colome.

In December 2005, Vobr started working in Winner.

As an audiologist, she tests person’s hearing to see where their hearing loss is at and whether they are a candidate for hearing aids. She sells hearing aids and does all the adjustments.

Vobr explained over 85 percent are over the 65 age level. However, she is seeing more younger people and believes this is mainly due to their exposure to a high noise level.

The hearing test takes about 20 minutes but she allows an hour for the patient.

I love how flexible hearing aids have become and how I can adjust the aids as my patients’ needs change,” she said.

Patients appreciate the time that Desirae takes to educate them about their hearing loss and discuss what treatment options would work best for them.

I love seeing people’s faces when they are amazed at what the have been missing out,” she added.

Desirae has three children: Eli, 12; Rayma, 9 ½ and Kyler, 7 ½ and is expecting a baby in November.

To make an appointment for a hearing evaluation persons can call 842-1209.

Area Producers 3rd Largest Registered Angus Cattle Producer

Jorgensen Ranches, Ideal, are ranked third largest in registering the most Angus beef cattle in South Dakota with the American Angus Association during fiscal year 2018.

Roger and Shelly Joseph, Winner, ranked as seventh largest in registering the most Angus beef cattle in South Dakota.

Angus breeders across the nation in 2018 registered 327,067 head of Angus cattle.

Murder Trial Moved to Stanley County

The murder trial for a Hamill man has been moved to Stanley County.

Chance Harruff, 48, will stand trial starting Oct. 22 through Nov. 2 for the murder of Kristi Olson who was found unresponsive in her Gregory County home on June 2017 and was pronounced dead at the Gregory hospital later the same day.

The charges stem from an incident in the early morning hours at which time an argument escalated and Harruff struck Olson with a “mule strength punch” to the chest, knocking her to the floor, according to court documents.

Harruff will be tried for first degree murder, second degree murder and manslaughter.

Harruff’s trial was at one point scheduled to begin in Gregory County where the alleged crime took place. However, a Jan. 23 filing from the defense argued that Harruff could not have a fair trial in Gregory County because the questionnaires submitted by potential juror indicated that many in the community were convinced that Harruff was guilty before hearing any evidence.

On Jan. 26, Judge Bobbi Rank issued an opinion in favor of the defense’s request granting a change of venue to Stanley County.

Two months after Rank filed to allow the trial to proceed in Stanley County, Harruff’s attorney then submitted another motion for a change of venue, arguing that bias among potential Stanley County jurors would make Harruff unable to get an impartial trial there either. That motion was denied.

Both sides have submitted their exhibit lists for the trial.


Swier Law Firm has been named as one of the “50 Best Places to Work” for 2018 by Prairie Business magazine. Companies were nominated through an anonymous employee satisfaction survey and rated in areas including work environment, employee benefits and happiness.

“Our clients count on us to field top legal talent,” said Scott Swier. “That’s why being a best place to work is fundamental to our strategy, and why we are innovating to attract, retain and inspire both lawyer and staff talent.”

“As organizations, the 50 Best Places to Work range in size from small businesses with a dozen or so employees, to national companies that are doing business in 48 states,” Tom Dennis, Prairie Business editor, said. “But they all have one thing in common: a workplace culture that inspires loyalty and enthusiasm among employees. We can all learn from the benefits, pay practices, management styles and other factors that set these successful cultures apart.”

In its fifth year hosting the Best Places to Work contest, Prairie Business received more than 1,300 nominations from employees in North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota. The 50 Best winners are honored in the September publication.