Winner receives grant

Winner has received a $500,000 solid waste management grant from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The grant is to purchase an existing solid waste handling facility and equipment to include a walking floor trailer, used semi tractor, four roll off containers, a mini excavator to facilitate the loading of garbage within the facility and standardize solid waste containers for individual and commercial use.

Winner Mayor Jody Brozik said: “Great day for the residents of Winner, South Dakota.  The DANR recognized the efforts, abilities, and vision of the Sanitation and Recycling enterprise of the city. 

“I would like to congratulate Public Works Director Troy Kruger, Sanitation Foreman Travis Waters, Finance Officer Chandra Phillips, and the city council for all their work in a successful grant application.  A lot of research and development has gone into this endeavor.  This team stuck to our beliefs and were able to express the long term fruits to the committee.  They believed in our vision and believe we will follow through on our plan.  With the award they have entrusted us with moving forward responsibly and we thank them for this trust.”

The mayor added: “Although the immediate funds will be useful and impactful, I am excited to see how operationally this will blossom into more sustaining long term results for the residents of the City of Winner.  When we took over this project, it was the belief of this administration and council we could hold our collection rates for up to four years.  We have sustained two years of status quo and should easily see the ability to sustain our current rates for another two years plus.”

The Winner grant was one of several grants and loans for drinking water, wastewater, storm water and solid waste projects in South Dakota. All the grants totaled $172,554,815.

Chad Robert Kucera, 49

After a courageous battle with depression, Chad Robert Kucera, age 49 died by suicide on March 18, 2024, in Belgrade, MT. Chad will always be remembered for the love and affection he showed family, friends, and the light he brought to so many lives. The strength, bravery, and courage he displayed in fighting depression was immense. We will always love and miss him, more than words can ever express. It is our hope that he found his peace.

Chad was born on July 16, 1974, in Winner, SD to Robert and Shelley Kucera. He graduated from Winner High School in 1992. He began his electrical career working with his dad at Kucera Electric and went on to receive an Associate Degree in Electrical Construction and Maintenance from Mitchell Tech. He moved to Spearfish, SD, and in the summer of 2000 met the love of his life, Tina. The two were inseparable and moved their adventurous lives to the beautiful mountains and rivers of Montana. Chad immediately discovered a strong love for floating down Montana’s rivers in his cataraft, that he lovingly called “Stella Blue.” He and Tina made many extended and adventurous trips down the Smith and Yellowstone Rivers with friends. Many great memories were made.

Chad also joined the Bozeman Curling Club. He quickly developed a strong love for the sport and became an active board member. He was a dedicated advocate for building, growing, and promoting the club. He was a loyal teammate, known for playing in his bright orange pants. Chad’s biggest passion was music. He often commented that music was “therapy to his soul.” He attended as many concerts and festivals as he could. He was an absolute connoisseur and known to be a music snob. Amongst Chad’s last wishes, was that his family and friends log onto Spotify and listen to his 7,000 most liked songs. He said it contains his entire life story. Chad worked as a Master Electrician and in the last year as an Inside Salesman for North Coast Electrical Supply. Chad had a strong work ethic and was always devoted to every job he did.

He was a compassionate man, who had a strong love for all his friends and many he called his brothers. He will forever be missed as the “fun” uncle who adored and loved his nieces and nephews; even allowing them to decide his next tattoo. He was very proud of his family and cherished the memories he made with everyone.

Chad leaves behind his wife, Tina and their loyal dogs, Lou and Sailor; parents, Bob and Shelley Kucera; brothers, Jeremy Kucera, wife, Lauren and daughters, Natalie and Hannah, Tyler Kucera, wife, Danielle and daughters, Deja, Ada and Stella, and sons, Jake and Luke. A Celebration of Chad’s Life will be shared with family and friends at a later date.

“I have passed the mountain peak, my soul is soaring in the firmament of complete and unbounded freedom; I am in comfort, I am in peace”-Khalil Gibran. 

Thomas Oli Strand, 63

Thomas Oli Strand was born on Feb. 1, 1961, to Shep and Elizabeth (Slattery) Strand in Ainsworth, Neb. and passed away on March 24, 2024, at the Winner Regional Hospital in Winner, South Dakota.

Tom grew up in Ainsworth and in 1983, he married Patsy Denny of Newport, Neb. To this union three daughters were born: Jessica, Ashly and Sheena. In 2007 they divorced and Tom began his new life with fiancé, Vicki Condon. The last ten years were spent in Winner sharing their life with his daughters and Vicki’s son, Lane Hall.

His grandchildren, Darion Dye, Olivia Strand, DaShawn Sellers-Strand, Chloe Strand, Lily Dye and Bo Dye, were his pride and joy. Tom loved them all and was happiest when they were around. His family, friends and cats were also an important part of his life.

Tom loved the outdoors, spending a lot of time working in his yard and his garden. He had a love for fishing, (especially when he caught that “BIG” one), hunting and driving in demolition derbys with his skeleton on the passenger side.

Tom worked for his father at Shep’s Wrecker Service and Body Repair and spent his life working in various body shops. He was known for being one of the best autobody men around. Everything Tom did he would say, “I did it my way.”

Tom was preceded in death by his father Shep Strand; sister, Angela (Philbrick) Hansen; grandson, Marcus Sellers; nephews, LeRoy and Amos Assarsson.

He is survived by his fiancé Vicki of Winner and her son Lane Hall of Sutherland, Nebraska; three daughters, Jessica Dye and husband Jason of Chadron, Nebraska, Ashly O’Keefe of North Platte, Nebraska and Sheena Strand of Rapid City, South Dakota; six grandchildren; mother, Liz Strand of Ainsworth; brothers, Rick Philbrick and wife Jana of Gillette, Wyoming, Rob Strand and wife Lori of Ainsworth, and Shane Philbrick of Springview, Nebraska; sister, Deb Assarsson and husband Bill of Bassett; mother of his children, Patsy Strand of North Platte; along with many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

Funeral services were held on Monday, April 1, 2024 at the Hoch Funeral Home in Ainsworth with Tammi Painter officiating. 

 In lieu of flowers, memorials were suggested to the family in Tom’s name.  Interment was in the Bassett Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of the Hoch Funeral Home of Ainsworth.  Online condolences may be left for the family at 

Wilbur “Bill” Boerner, 85

Wilbur “Bill” Boerner, of Winner, SD, passed away on Friday, March 29, 2024, in Pierre, S.D.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 2 p.m. at the Winner Methodist Church in Winner, SD. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery. 

Bill was born on Dec. 13, 1938, in Winner, S.D. to Harold and Alice Boerner. In Bill’s early years, he lived on the family farm north of Winner. Later, his family moved to Lamar, AR., where he grew up with his four sisters, Lynn, Pat, Shirley and Diane and graduated high school in 1957.

After high school, Bill eventually moved back to Winner, S.D., where he met Carol Ann Olson, and married on Feb. 24, 1968. They had two children, Michael and Sylvia.

Bill worked various farming jobs in the Winner area, which was something he always loved. He left farming in 1989 to work for the City of Winner. Bill worked for the city 14 years and retired in 2003.

 Bill loved the Lord, family, friends, being on the farm and country music. He was musically gifted and could play almost any instrument he picked up or song he heard. He could also build or weld almost anything he could think of. Bill was a member of the Winner Methodist Church.

Bill is survived by his son, Michael (Georgette) of Winner, S.D., daughter, Sylvia (Ron) Nelson of Pierre, S.D. Grandchildren; Melissa Boerner of Pierre, S.D., Lance Boerner of Sioux Falls, S.D., Dani DeVries (Darian) of Sioux Falls, S.D., Gennefier Schuppan of Sioux Falls, S.D., Amanda Nelson of Pierre, S.D, and Matthew Boerner of Winner, S.D. Great grandchildren; Serenity and Ryan Lopez of Pierre, S.D. Sisters; Lynn Elsasser of Dessert Hot Springs, CA, Patricia Gage of Jacksonville, AR, Shirley Shain of Jacksonville, AR and Diane Yates of Cabot, AR. And numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Alice Boerner, wife Carol Boerner, and brother-in- laws, Joby Shain, George Gage and Paul Elsasser.

Belva Delaine Liggett, 76

Belva Delaine Liggett, 76, of Winner, SD, passed away on Thursday, March 28, 2024 at the Winner Regional Long Term Care Center in Winner, SD. 

She was born in Winner on April 7, 1947, to Elmer Clifford “Slim” Colson and Theo Maude Houston.

Belva is survived by her two daughters, Melanie Peterson and Danielle Bredenberg of Casper, WY, her granddaughter, Danielle Peterson in Aurora, CO, and her siblings, Dale (Bea) Colson of Eufaula, AL, Jeanean Jaros of Winner, SD, Connie Moffit of Rapid City, SD, and Rick Colson of Rapid City, SD. She is preceded in death by her brother, Marvin (Linda) Colson.

She retired from the Department of Labor, Job Service Division, after 16 years of service.

We are respecting her wishes to be cremated with no wake, funeral or burial.

Velma Louise Chasing Hawk, 80

Funeral services for Velma Louise Chasing Hawk will  be held April 6 at the Bonesteel City Hall at 1 p.m. Burial will be at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery in St. Charles.

Velma Louise Chasing Hawk was born Oct. 25, 1943 to Charles and Virginia (Williams) Roubideaux and began her spiritual journey on March 26, 2024.

She grew up in Winner, South Dakota with her siblings Virgil, Ardith, Joyce, Sandra, Becky, Tim, Keith, Lester and Clara.  She met Clifford Chasing Hawk, Sr. in 1970 and they were blessed with seven children: Brenda, Russell, Cliff “Speedy”, Glen, Dean, Todd and Bev.

Velma and Clifford decided to make their home in Bonesteel, South Dakota where she was a homemaker.  Her greatest joy was spending time with her children and grandchildren.  She looked forward to her out of town trips with her daughters Brenda and Bev and loved reading books.

Velma enjoyed family gatherings and attending all sporting events and social events for her kids and grandkids.  She was a proud mother of her children and was considered the mother of the Mad Dog softball team.

Velma is survived by her children: Brenda (Byron) Andrews, Russell – Loretta Roubideaux, Todd (Sandra) Chasing Hawk and Beverly Chasing Hawk; her sister Becky Sitting Bear; sisters-in-law Veronica Valandra, Pauline and Ernest Pourier; special friends Elsie and Linda Red Hill; brothers-in-law Melvin, Richard, Jr and Steven Chasing Hawk; grandchildren: Brandon, Barron, Byron Jr, Brandi Andrews, Jade, Jonah, Trevor, Isaac, Arianna, Dean III, Shandi, Payton, Jaiden, Caden, Wade, Xavier, Spencer, Alexis, Tino, JaWanda, Keith, Royal; great-grandchildren: Brayden, Bryson, Tehya, Trinity, Jaxson, Sienna, LaVeya, Rexton, Zander, Zayden, Zariah, Kynzer, Alice, Jackson, Ava, Xavion, Cavazos and many nieces and nephews.

Velma was preceded in death by her parents; husband Clifford; one daughter Melissa; three sons: Cliff “Speedy”, Glen and Dean; two grandsons: Clifford Dale and Dean II.

Mom will be missed by all of those who knew her and thank you so much to the Haisch Haus for the loving care, you are greatly appreciated.  Rest Easy Mom !

Colome School Board Election

There are four candidates running for election to the Colome Consolidated School Board.

The candidates are Pam Haukaas, Matthew Vandenbark, Kevin Kingsley and Brian Jorgensen.

The election will be April 9 with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The polling place in Colome will be at the fire hall.

The candidates are running for a three year term on the school board.