Winner Girls Basketball Team

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
Winner girls basketball team finished the season with a perfect 22-0 record. Pictured in front from are Emma Jorgensen, Kelbie Meiners, Ellie Brozik, Morgan Hammerbeck, Maggie LaCompte, Joselyn Kludt, Katherine Jankauskas, Kylie Sachtjen and Olivia Swedlund. In back from left are coach Larry Aaker, Aleya Miller, Cici Watson, Bella Swedlund, Jenna Hammerbeck, Kalla Bertram, Shannon Calhoon, Kelsey Sachtjen, Aryn Meiners, Brindy Bolander, Melanie Brozik and assistant coach Keely Bertram.

Winner Boys Basketball Team

Kristyn Schuyler Photography
Winner High School boys basketball team includes in front from left Finn Bartels, Kolbie Osborn, Kaden Bennett, Cody Wheadon, Silas Chasing Hawk, Pierce Nelson, Austin Wheadon, Gage Watson and Michael Olson. Second row from left are Hunter Osborn, Aaron Monk, Jude Laude, Ethan Vesely, Jackson Vesely, Dawson Phillips, Elijah Peterson, Evan Farner, Landon Thieman, Jesse Colson, Waylon Eagle Star, Owen Monk and coach Trent Olson. Back row from left are coach Ben Connot, Jayd Whitley, Ashton Klein, Kameron Meiners, Joren Bruun, Brady Fritz, Oscar Pravecek, Jacob Clay, Ethan Bartels, Blake Volmer, Phillip Jorgensen, Curtis Jensen, Kylar Meek, Cody Soles, Gage Watson and coach Brett Gardner.

Elton Serr, 79

Graveside services for Elton Serr, 79, were held April 8 at the Spotted Tail Cemetery in Jamison,Neb. Burial was in the Spotted Tail Cemetery with military honors by the Burke VFW.

Elton Gary Serr was born on Dec. 14, 1940 in Burke South Dakota to Paul and Winnie (Hitchcock) Serr and he died April 5, 2020 at his home. He was 79 years and 4 months old.

He grew up on the family farm southwest of Jamison, Neb. Elton attended Spotted Tail Country School in Nebraska and graduated from Burke High School in South Dakota in 1958.

After that he attended the University of Nebraska for one year. Golf distracted him a little from college, so he went to work for Bell Telephone in Piedmont South Dakota.

He traveled and had various jobs before he was drafted into the Army in November 1963. Elton was discharged from the Army in November 1965 and came back from Vietnam. This is when he met his future wife.

On Dec. 26, 1966, Elton was united in marriage to Georgia Ann Hamling at the Catholic Church in Bonesteel South Dakota. To this union 4 children were born.

They lived most of their lives on the Serr family farm where he milked cows and farmed.

Elton was a DHIA Supervisor for more than 25 years. He retired from farming in 2014 and moved to Burke. Elton didn’t like the retired life so he started to drive a school bus route for Burke School and drove the swim bus to Bonesteel during the summer.

He continued this until May of 2019. Some of his most loved pastime were golfing, camping and fishing, and going to all of his grandchildren’s sporting events.

He golfed every Thursday for men’s league and would go with his grandchildren whenever he could.

He was a member of the Burke VFW Post 9950, the Herrick Legion, and a member of the Spotted Tail Cemetery board.

Elton was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers-in-law: Charlie Kasson and Russ Cox.

He is survived by his wife Georgia Ann Serr, his children: Tamara and Carter Bull of Newport NE, Todd Serr of Newport NE, Travis and Kathy Serr of Burke SD, and Tom and Tammi Serr of Newport NE.

His sisters: Zone Kasson of Swansea IL and LaVon Cox of Montrose CO, his 12 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild, and several nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Professor John Thune: U.S. Government 101

By Sen. John Thune

Hey, parents. I know these are crazy times we’re living in, and many of you have now unexpectedly added “teacher” to your long list of titles, which also likely includes “coach,” “cook,” and “hall monitor.”

Hopefully there haven’t been too many visits to the principal’s office. While I don’t have a solution to everything you’re facing right now, I’ve got something that I hope will at least help.

More on that in a minute, though.

Throughout this coronavirus outbreak, Congress has been focused on providing support and relief to the American people. We’ve already passed, and the president has signed, three relief packages that are already helping families, workers, small businesses, and the country’s health care community.

We’ve prioritized things like ensuring anyone who needs to get tested for the coronavirus can do so at no cost to themselves. We’re making sure that no-strings-attached emergency cash payments make it into Americans’ hands as soon as possible and that small businesses have the support they need to keep their operations open and employees on payroll.

Importantly, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals are getting additional and much-needed resources to both treat patients and help protect themselves on the front lines of this battle.

Everyone is feeling the effect of this ongoing pandemic, which is why we tried to make it a little easier for graduates to manage their student loan debt. I’m glad a bill I helped write was included in the last relief package the president signed.

It will give employers the option to help graduates pay down student loan debt by up to $5,250 per employee each year tax-free. The new law will also allow graduates to defer payments and interest for six months – penalty-free – on qualified federal student loans.

And for those Americans who are out of work as a result of this crisis, we’re strengthening states’ unemployment benefit programs for those who need them the most.

Our recent efforts have also helped the farming and ranching community, which has faced hurdle after hurdle these last few years.

At my urging, the latest bill replenished the critically important Commodity Credit Corporation and allocated nearly $10 billion in emergency funding to help producers in South Dakota and around the country.

There’s so much support for this effort that I teamed up with U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson to lead a bipartisan group of senators and members of the House – a group that represents more than 25 percent of the entire Congress – to urge the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take immediate action using the resources we provided in the new law.

Everyone is still adjusting to this new lifestyle where social distancing and teleworking are now considered normal, especially parents who’ve now become at-home educators.

Since many schools are closed for the foreseeable future – some for the remainder of the school year – I wanted to do my part to help those parents, students, and teachers who are adjusting to this new at-home learning environment on top of everything else they’re facing these days.

That’s why I decided to record a short video lesson about the basics of the federal government that parents can show to their at-home students or teachers can work into curriculums they might already be using for virtual learning experiences.

I’m hoping it will help provide educators and students with a tiny bit of additional content that could help diversify virtual lesson plans during these unusual times.

If you’re interested in using my video lesson, you can find it on my social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter (@SenJohnThune), or by visiting If you find it helpful and would be interested in additional lessons, please leave a comment and let me know.

By visiting the same website, you can find additional coronavirus-related updates from me and my staff, plus a ton of helpful links and resources that will help South Dakotans better navigate this crisis. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, call, email, or write, and we’ll get it to you as soon as possible.

We’re learning more and more each day about what bonds us as Americans because we’re all experiencing and coping with this crisis together.

We’re also learning about new ways to contribute to our communities and stay connected with friends and family even when we’re afar. In these uncertain times, I urge you to embody the examples of kindness we’re seeing in South Dakota and around the country and continue to share stories of hope, support, and generosity when you see them.