Tripp County, COVID-19.

Tripp County has 17 active cases of COVID-19. As of Monday, there were no new cases.

The total number of recovered cases in Tripp County is 655.Tripp County recorded one new death bringing the total since the pandemic started to 16.

Statewide as of Monday, 20 new cases were reported. The total active cases is 1,933. South Dakota reported six more deaths on Saturday.

There are now 1,863 total deaths in the state since the pandemic started.

The number of persons currently hospitalized is 91.

Last week, the state and its health providers had vaccinated 101,053 people. On Friday, that increased to 116,143.

Four young men received the highest award

By Dan Bechtold


Four young men received the highest award that can be bestowed on a Boy Scout—the Eagle award.

Sunday afternoon in Winner an Eagle Scout court of honor was held. Receiving their Eagle were Jeff Farner and Dawsyn Kahler both of Winner and Jace Robertson and Del Waters, both of Gregory. The     scouts are members of Troop 100 of Winner.

Farner, a senior at Winner High School, has been in  Boy Scouts for 12 years.

He is the son of Jeff and Kathy Farner.

His Eagle Scout project was repainting 849 white wooden crosses that are placed on veterans’ graves at the Winner Cemetery on Memorial Day.

Kahler is also a senior at Winner High School.

He is the son of Sara Middlesworth and the late Stuart Kahler.

His Eagle scout project was building a maintenance shed at the Hillview Cemetery in Dallas.

Farner says being a Boy Scout is a great experience. “It has taught me to be a leader. I love camping and the outdoors. It is a good time,” he said.

Farner is an active student athlete at Winner High School. He is active in football, basketball and baseball. When asked how he juggles school, sports and Scouts he said “I always found time for Boy Scout. Scouting was up there with all the other important activities.”

COVID-19 has had its affect Boy Scouts this year. Farner noted a lot of meetings are held via Zoom.

Camping was different as the scouts had to camp 6 feet apart.

Farner says he has learned from scouting how to be leader, always be kind to people and threat them with respect.

Kahler enjoys camping but mostly being with friends and meeting others at scout camps.

Like Farner, Kahler is a busy dedicated student. He is very active in band and works at the Holiday Inn Express.

“I always  find time to do scouting,” he said.

Kahler says scouting has taught him to be a leader and to be prepared. “With your Eagle Scout project you really have to plan ahead.”

After high school graduation Kahler to get a certificate in audio engineering through Recording Connections.

Farner plans to attend Mitchell Technical Institute and get a degree as an electrician.

Rose Schlem, 77

Rose Schlem, 77, of Piedmont, SD, died Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 at the Monument Health Sturgis Hospital.

A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 25, 2021 at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis. A graveside service will be held at the Piedmont Cemetery at a later date.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Mary R. Olson, 65

Mary R. Olson was born Mary Ruth Heinicke, along with identical twin sister Martha, on Feb. 7, 1956 in Council Bluffs Iowa to parents Edward and Nadine (Weber) Heinicke.

She graduated from Manning High School in Manning Iowa in 1974. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Northern Iowa. Mary was a Special Education Teacher at Todd County Schools in Mission SD for 17 years. While teaching in Todd County she acquired her master’s degree in Special Education from the University of South Dakota, graduating with a GPA of 4.0.

In 1995 she started teaching Special Education at Stanley County Schools in Fort Pierre SD, she taught there until her retirement in August of 2018.

During her teaching career she loved many of her students as much as her own children and they loved her.

Mary married Ricky D. Olson from Winner SD on May 4 1985. To this union were born two sons, Noah and Robert Olson.

Mary was a Breast Cancer Survivor. Mary was a tough lady battling many medical problems during her working career. She beat cancer, obtained her Master’s Degree all while working and raising two young children. She had the full load when her husband served in the Gulf War.

She was a strong supporter of Women’s and LGBQT rights. Mary also supported legalizing medical marijuana because of her many decade fights with pain.

Mary was much loved by her husband, sons and dogs Aramis and Sir. Mary enjoyed vacationing with her family, mother and sisters.

Mary was very mad and saddened that the political brainwashing of people like Rush Limbaugh had split her once close family in half. Many of the siblings have not talked in over a decade.

She was preceded in death by her parents Edward and Nadine Heinicke. She is survived by her husband Ricky, sons Noah, Robert, Craig Westergren and Thomas Metzker, Sisters Martha Heincke and wife Karen Mills, Rebecca Heinicke, Sandra Hespe, brother Philip Heinicke and brothers Mark, John and Peter Heinicke.

She is also survived and will be sorely missed by mother Marilyn Olson and the whole Olson clan from the Winner SD area.

Mary’s memorial charity is Hopeless to Homes Animal Rescue in Pierre SD: c/o All Creatures Animal Clinic, 1415 N. Harrison Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501. There will be a Celebration of Life in May when it is hopefully warmer and safer from Covid. Mary would be deeply saddened if anybody got Covid celebrating her life. Online condolences may be written at:

Tim Mills, 60

Memorial services for Tim Mills, 60, Gregory, were held Feb. 20 at Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home.

Timothy Paul Mills was born on Aug. 28, 1960, in Huron to Bob and Ardis (Eske) Mills. He grew up in Huron and graduated from Huron High School in 1978 and from Huron College in 1984.

Tim married Misti Engel in Huron on Aug. 31, 1979. In 1984 they moved to Burke where Tim taught school and coached for many years. They later moved to Gregory where they raised their two sons. Chris was born in 1990 and Hunter was born in 1998.

Tim began working for Sinte Gleska University and continued his work in the education field by helping students obtain their GEDs. He then went on to become the HR director at Community Connections in Winner until November 2020.

Tim was active in the community having been a city councilman and board member at CFCU. Tim enjoyed hunting, fishing, and golf throughout his entire life. He also enjoyed going to concerts–his favorite being Garth Brooks, camping with family and friends, and trips to Deadwood.

 Tim passed away on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, at Avera Gregory Healthcare Center after a long hard fought battle with cancer at the age of 60 years.

 Tim is survived by his wife, Misti of Gregory; two sons Chris of Sioux Falls and Hunter of Mitchell; sister Sandie Reecy of Sioux Falls; brother Terry (Julie) of Rapid City; and numerous brothers/sisters-in law and nieces and nephews.

 Tim was preceded in death by his parents, paternal and maternal grandparents, and brother Doug.

Marilyn McCormick, 89

Marilyn McCormick, 89, of Winner, SD passed away on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 at the Winner Regional Long Term Care Center in Winner, SD.

  Funeral services were held on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 at 2 p.m.  at the Mason Funeral Home in Winner, SD. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.

    Marilyn was born to Clyde and Leona Jones in Dixon, SD on March 1, 1931. She lived on her parent’s ranch/farm where she enjoyed climbing and exploring her beloved hills.

During her high school years, Winner became her home during the week.

She went to work as a telephone operator and worked there until she met and married Richard (Dick) Snow in 1950. They resided on several farms until they moved to Hamill where Marilyn ran the General Store, and worked in the post office, as well as taught Sunday School in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

  She and Richard had four children, Cindy (Lucinda), Vicki, Brent, and Brian. She loved to work. Never had a dull moment between her family, work, garden, church, and just helping others when help was needed. She had a servant’s heart and showed it in the way she lived her life.

  In 1960 Marilyn and Richard moved to Winner where she started selling World Book Encyclopedias. She wanted others to love learning as much as she did.

Later on, she would work in the school system helping Special Ed children. She went to school to get training so that she could do her job better and received her certification. She loved her work with them. Later she went to work at the Country Library where, once again, she was doing what she loved. Helping people with reading.

Dick became ill with cancer and Marilyn quit her job to take care of him until he passed away in 1986.

Keith McCormick came knocking on her door a few years later and a courtship that had started back in high school resumed. They were married in 1990 in Winner. They made their home in Valentine, NE where Keith resided.

Mom went to work at the Pineview Nursing Home. She drove their van for them and enjoyed meeting and helping people.

  Marilyn was always active in church and loved the Lord. She was a light to all around her as she gave herself in so many different ways for the glory of the Lord.

She and Keith enjoyed several years in the Cherry Hills Assisted Living in Valentine, NE until health made it impossible to reside there any longer.

  Keith McCormick, Marilyn’s husband, survives her along with her daughters, Cindy (Jim) Hudson, Vicki (Larry) Alter, and sons, Brent (Kay) Snow, and Brian Snow; two grandchildren: John (Calla) Alter and Christopher (Kim) Alter; great-grandchildren: Christian Alter, Aspen Alter, Sierra Alter, Sydney Alter, and Dayton Alter; step children, Linda (Ron) Eggleston, Kathy (Tom) Gunderson, Keith (Ronna) McCormick, and Mike (Sheri) McCormick, along with numerous other family members. She loved them all.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Wilmer Jones, her sister, Mable Powell, her sister-in-law, Janice Jones, parents, Clyde and Leona Jones, husband, Richard (Dick) Snow, her brother-in-law, Johnny Powell, her sister-in-law, Ruth Jones, her sister, Dorothea Newman, and her brother, John Jones.

   Marilyn’s favorite verse was John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It was her desire that all should have a part in that gift so freely given by her Lord and Savior.    In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the First Baptist Church of Valentine, NE.

Monte Dodson, 86

Monte Dodson, 86, of Sioux Falls, SD passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 at Good Samaritan in Lennox, SD.

  Due to Covid concerns, there will be a Private Family Funeral Mass at Church of St. Mary, Sioux Falls, SD.  Interment will be at South Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery for family and friends in summer of 2021.  Miller Funeral Home-Downtown Sioux Falls, SD assisting with arrangements.

  Monte was born June 12, 1934 in Colome, SD to Earl and Agnes Dodson.  He grew up in Winner, SD graduating from Winner High School later serving in the United States Army during the Korean War. After returning from the service, Monte studied business at the University of South Dakota.  He began his professional career with Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, CA.

On Nov. 28, 1959, he was united in marriage with his beautiful wife (as he always described her), Teresa Dailey in Winner, SD.  They began their married life in Denver, CO where Monte worked for General Credit Corporation. A company transfer took them to Fort Collins, CO where he eventually sold Studebaker automobiles.  They moved on to Rapid City, SD where he began his lifelong career in sales and marketing with Northwestern Bell Telephone.  Promotions took Monte and Teresa to Sioux Falls, SD where they settled and raised their five children.  After 25 years with Northwestern Bell/US West, Monte retired in 1990.

  He was an avid sports enthusiast growing up listening to Cubs games on WNAX radio leading to an ongoing love of the Cubs, Twins, and the Bears.  He also had a soft spot for animals, always giving in to keep an additional pet. He had a wonderful laugh, compassion for those in need and thoroughly enjoyed the company of his friends and family.

  Monte is survived by his wife, Teresa; their children, Clay Dodson, Lake Forest, IL, Paige Severson, Sioux Falls, SD, Hugh Dodson (Carolyn), Sioux Falls, SD, Maggi Tweet (Todd), Burlington, WI, Joseph Dodson, Sioux Falls, SD; their grandchildren, Sam Babcock, Jack Severson, Molly Severson, Noel Dodson, Natalie Dodson, Abby Tweet, Ben Tweet, Nora McNamara; a brother, Doug Dodson, Ocala, FL; and a sister, Debra Counsman, Tampa, FL.  He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Kelly Dodson.

The family appreciates  all the wonderful staff at Good Samaritan Society in Lennox as well as the AseraCare Hospice angels for their collective kindness, exceptional care and great compassion provided during this difficult year.

  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either:  Feeding South Dakota, 4701 North Westport Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107, Or The Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, 101 N Indiana Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57103.

Clarice Poler, 91

Clarice Poler, 91, of Colome, SD passed away on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 at the Winner Regional Healthcare Facility in Winner, SD. 

  Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 10 am at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner.  Burial  followed in the Colome City Cemetery.  A Rosary was held Thursday morning at 8:30am at the church prior to funeral service. 

The opportunity of being allowed the privilege of preparing the summation of one’s life on paper and hoping to do its due diligence is an intimidating task.  But, what an honor and blessing to be able to write the life tribute of the matriarch of your family.

  I believe that if you could assign one word to Clarice’s life, it would be Faith; Faith in God, Faith in family, Faith in love, Faith in self.

  Clarice Jean O’Bryan was born in her family home, 3 miles north of Moser, SD on March 19, 1929.  She was the 5th of 13 children born to Boyd and Theodoshia (Eastin) O’Bryan. Harvey, Don, Minella (Schueth), Vera (Wold), Clarice, Dorothy (Rohde), Patrick, Kenneth, Richard, Kathryn (Shedeed), Norma (Dirksen), Dennis (who died as a toddler), and a baby Michael that died right after birth and never came home from the hospital.  She often spoke fondly of her childhood, growing up in a small 2 room house full of kids and love.  She said they didn’t have much but never seemed to go without.  She told of sleeping 3 to a bed and of the need to bring in a bed each night to the kitchen for the older boys to sleep. She talked of childhood friends, milking cows, and often wondering “why on earth we thought climbing those big hills was fun.”

Her faith in God was instilled at a young age.   She told the story many times of how her parents didn’t have a reliable car and couldn’t always make it to church on Sundays.  When she had been studying her catechism, the family attendance had been less than what some had thought necessary for a confirmand.   But a family friend knew how important it was to her to be allowed the chance to profess her faith and be confirmed in her church.  So, one evening the family friend arranged for her to meet with some priests from the diocese and although nervous to be without a class for support, stood in that living room alone and recited all of the correct answers and was indeed, confirmed in her faith.

  She attended high school in O’Neill, NE at St. Mary’s Catholic boarding school, where she graduated at 16.  She then went on to Denver to the convent, considering a life of dedication to her faith as a nun.  The story has always been that she, “couldn’t pass the physical.”  After a year in the Covent, she returned to Winner where she was working at the Outlaw Trading Post.  She recalled it was December and it was a cold winter when she was approached by Father Perry, the priest from the St. Francis Mission. From her time in the convent, he had heard of how intelligent she was and of her knowledge of her Catholic faith. He asked if she’d be interested in teaching the 2nd semester of that year for the 2nd grade at the girls’ dorm in St. Francis.  She thought of her 6 block walk through the cold and snow to get to her current job and quickly took him up on his offer. She had many fond memories of her time in St. Francis. This opportunity set her on a path to get her teaching certification that next summer in Mitchell.

She then moved home with her folks (who had since moved to the farm south of Winner).  She was offered a job to teach at the Rosebud School #54 for the ’46-’47 school year.  

It was also during this time that she met the love of her life, Clarence Poler. They were married on June 21, 1948.  They soon began the part of their lives that would bring them the utmost joy and pride, their family; Nancy, Judy, Ed, Kaye and Jim.  She taught one more year after she was married at the Hillcrest school south of Colome but then opted to stay home after they began having children. They started out humbly by being given a small acreage by Clarence’s father and with that piece of land, started their life.  Together with faith, hard work and perseverance they built up their farm, welding business and family.  She had a big garden, and together they farmed, raised chickens, sheep and cattle. Being active in the church and making sure her children were brought up in faith were high priorities.   She was involved in the Colome Catholic Daughters, was a lector in church and led the Rosary countless times.

Now, not everyone knows this but Clarence had a ’58 Harley Davidson.  A beautiful teal and cream motorcycle that for many years would inspire them the two of them pack up, dress in their riding leathers and take off for Sturgis.  They made friends on these summer trips that would become lifelong traveling companions.  One couple in particular would meet them each year, part way, and travel together for the remainder of the trip.  Years later after both women had lost their spouses at relatively young ages, the ladies continued to travel together.   They took many tour bus and cruise ship trips together to see the country.

In addition to running a household, in 1967 she took over a door-to-door Avon business from her sister Dorothy.   She continued this work for 50 years.   She traveled around the local communities, stopping to show the latest that Avon had to offer, visiting customers and building lifelong friendships in the process.

In 1985, she lost Clarence. But, with faith in her own independence, she continued to build on what they’d started together.  She loved their home and farm and showed her pride by maintaining their place meticulously.  She loved to mow and keep up their homestead.  Just as it was inside the house, there was nothing out of its place on the outside.

Clarice had a little weak spot for the casino penny machines. Sometimes, when a few ladies were attending an Avon meeting in Wall, the only direct route to get there was through Deadwood.

Although she was not mighty in stature, don’t think for a second that she didn’t rule the roost… what she said went!  Any one of her children or grandchildren (as she’d rattle off all of their names in sequence, only to finish with, “you know which one you are.”) can tell you that she had high expectations and being on the receiving end of her pointed finger was not a pleasant place to be.

She continued living in their home until the age of 88, still doing all of the maintenance and mowing on her own right up to the end.  At that time, after a short hospital stay, the decision to move to the Golden Prairie Manor was made. She made friends there and always said if she couldn’t be home, that was the next best thing.

The actions of a person speak so much more than words.  She taught her family what grace and class are by example, even in her final earthly moments.  She stood strong in faith through adversity and cherished times.

Although those of us she leaves behind are heartbroken and may think, “I can’t believe she’s gone.”  Those who went before her, that she’s held faithfully in her heart, are calling, “Thank God you’re finally here.”

She is preceded in death by her parents, all of her siblings and her husband, Clarence. Those blest to have had her touch their lives are her children: Nancy Schooley, Piedmont, AL, Judy (Dan) Kahler, Kona, HI, Ed Poler, Galt, CA, Kaye (Win) Eckerman, Winner, SD, Jim (Snow) Poler, Colome, SD.  Grandchildren: Amy (Curt) Tamanaha, Gardnerville, NV, Shawn (Janet) Schooley, Alexander, ND, Chris (Dana) Turner, Piedmont, AL, Mardi (Marty) Pederson, Winner, SD, Terry (Jennifer) Eckerman, Spencer, SD, Misty (Matt) LaMere, Denver, CO, Chyanne Poler, Colome, SD.  Great Grandchildren: Ty Bolton, Lacey, Dylan and Breanna Schooley, Mason and Chase Tamanaha, Cody Turner, Dylan Williams,  Kali Thrash, Katie and Rexton Pederson,  Grace and Owen Eckerman and Great Great Grandbaby, Maddox LaMere.