Registration deadline nears for special Colome Consolidated School Board election

By Dan Bechtold


The Colome Consolidated School Board will hold a special election on June 20. The election will be on the reorganization plan submitted to the South Dakota Department of Education to dissolve the consolidated part of the Colome School District.

The deadline to register to vote in this election is June 5. Persons can register to vote at the Tripp County Auditor’s Office.

On June 20, the election polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The polling places will be at the fire hall in Colome, the city hall (post office) in Witten and the community hall in Wood.

Persons can also cast an absentee ballot.

A vote for the proposed school district reorganization plan would be to approve the plan as it is written and approved by the South Dakota Department of Education.

If the plan is approved, the Mellette County land area that is currently in the Colome, Consolidated School District would attach to the White River School District. The Tripp County land area around Witten that is currently in the Colome Consolidated School District would attach to the Winner School District and the Tripp County land area south and east of Winner that is currently in the Colome Consolidated School District would become the Colome School District. The school in Colome would remain open.

A vote against this plan would be to deny approval of the plan as it was written and approved by the S.D. Department of Education.
If the plan is not approved there would be no changes to the current district land boundaries and the school would remain the Colome Consolidated School District. The school in Colome would remain open and students living in the Wood and Witten area would be provided transportation or mileage to the school in Colome.

The elementary school in Wood closed last year. Citizens from the Wood and Witten area petitioned to dissolve the consolidated district.

Colome became a consolidated school district in 2009. A public vote approved the consolidation with Wood and Witten. At that time, both the Wood and Witten elementary schools were open.

On Oct. 10, 2022, the Colome Consolidated School board received a verified petition from Wood/Witten area registered voters  requesting the school board develop a reorganization plan dissolving the school district and to hold an election.

If approved, the new plan would take effect July 1, 2024.

Public meetings on the reorganization plan were held Nov. 28 in Wood and Dec. 5 in Colome.

The Department of Education set the election for June 20.

If persons in this consolidated school district want to vote in this election they must register to vote by June 5.

4-H Beef Skillathon and Beef Showmanship Clinic

On Tuesday May 16 22 Tripp County 4-H Members attended the 2023 Tripp Co. 4-H Beef Skillathon and Beef Showmanship Clinic, which was a certified Youth Livestock Literacy Event.

The skillathon included five stations to test the 4-H members knowledge on Feed Identification, Breed Identification, Equipment Identification, Meat Cuts Identification, and a quiz on Quality Assurance.  This event was open to all ages of 4-H youth ranging from 8-18.  The youth were given 10 minutes at each station.  After the results were tabulated, the youth reviewed each station, were given the correct answers, and were able to ask questions regarding each area. 

The 4-H Beef Project is more than just selecting an animal to show at the county fair.  The Beef Project area includes education in all areas of raising beef animals.  Youth are encouraged to expand their knowledge each year by attending educational events like this.  Youth can also compete at the state level in the Livestock Skillathon that includes information on other livestock species.  The Beef Project area provides the best educational value if members see it as a year long project in which they select an animal as a calf and then see this animal through to becoming a bred heifer and/or an animal fed for consumption, along with participation in educational events like this.

In addition to the Skillathon, this event included a beef showmanship clinic.  Calah Covey, a 4-H alumnus of the Tripp County 4-H Program, presented this portion of the event.  4-H members learned about dress code, proper equipment, handling techniques, show ring etiquette, and the importance of working with your animal at home. 

Roper Moore, a Tripp Co. 4-H member brought his heifer in to demonstrate to the youth.  The youth had an opportunity to ask questions and even work on practicing setting up the animal.

High point individuals for the Beef Skillathon were:

Beginner – Kade Fenenga

Junior – Allie Littau

Senior – Maggie DeMers

This event was put on by Calah Covey and Sydney Hollenbeck members of the Animal & Biological Sciences Committee, Alyssa Streich – 4-H Volunteer, and Dawn Covey – member of the Beef Committee.

A program of SDSU Extension, South Dakota 4-H is the largest youth development program in the state, providing programs to youth ages 5 to 19 regardless of interest. To learn more about 4-H in Tripp County or how to enroll, email or call (605)842-2858. 

Springfest and St. Mary’s Block Party

By Bosten Morehart

Staff writer

The Immaculate Conception Church Springfest is taking place June 3.

The events will include the Springfest along with the celebration of St. Mary’s School.

Activities taking place include a silent auction, a meal, and several activities for kids and families.

Doors will open at 4 pm for the silent auction preview and social hour.

Food will be served from 5 pm to 7 pm. There is an event fee of $6 which includes your meal.

Food being served will include burgers, brats, hot dogs, salads.

Some of the activities going on for kids will be face painting, chalk drawing, bubble blowing area, variety of toys and games.

There will be a cash bar on site.

A raffle will be going on, prizes include a 2022 Chevy Trax, $2,000 cash prize and $1,000 cash prize.

You do not have to be present to win the Chevy Trax but you do need to be present to win the cash prizes.

You can purchase your advance event tickets and raffle tickets at Frontier Motors Ford (only raffle tickets) , Hobby Shoppe, Marty’s, Parish office.