Community Connections Received Accreditation

cci accreditation small group and story

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

Community Connections Inc. of Winner has achieved a four year person centered excellence accreditation.

A three person  team visited  Winner April14-17 to conduct a review CCI.

Community Connections was the first agency in the United States to go through accreditation using a new model– “Person Centered Excellence.”

The three women who reviewed the agency were from the Council on Quality and Leadership. For over 40 years, CQL has provided international leadership in designing progressive practices in services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and people with mental illness.

Olsons Win Fishing Tournament



The team of Vern Olson and Brandon Olson won first place in the Billy Bolander Memorial fishing tournament on April 25. The pair caught 12.07 pounds of fish.

There were 50 fisherman in the tournament at Roosevelt Dam.  The awards were presented at Stormys.

Second place went to Bryce Hauf and Jake Luse with 11.31 pounds of fish.

Pravecek Honored with ESA Award

tim pravecek esa award

Tim Pravecek’s volunteerism and accomplishments have earned him the ESA distinguished service award.

The honor was presented at ESA’s award ceremony April 16.

Pravecek graduated from Winner High School in 1979 and then attended the University of South Dakota.

Currently, he works in parts/sales at Grossenburg Implement.

Pravecek is an asset to his job and the community.

It’s for the Good, Though Colome is Getting Dug-Up

DiggingBy Dan Merritt, Advocate reporter

It’s progress for the good of the residents says Linda Hespe of Colome about insertion in the ground of new cable lines all over town by Golden West Telecommunications.

“I want fiber optics,” says Gerry Bingen, another town resident.

It means better internet, TV, and phone service, according to GW.

It also means backhoes and trenchers is people’s yards, men in lime green neon shirts walking around on people’s property, and big rolls of orange cable set in various places.

“I really would rather them not,” said Bobbi Harter when reached by phone by the Advocate early last week.

“They’re going through my yard and my dog pen and through my driveway and all the way up to the west side of my house.

“And my husband (Casey) three or four years ago, he put an electric line from our house to our shed so we had light out there. And we told (them) that they’re going to go right over the top of it.

“So I don’t know, when they start diggin’, (possibly) they’ll run into that wire.”

All in all, “I don’t know,” Harter bemoaned, “I just don’t want them to do it. But they’ve got to do it, I guess.”

Got to, though “it’s caused quite a bit of complaint,” Harter said she’s heard.

Bingen said she’s heard the same thing.

“I did hear from one of the councilmen that people have been squawking.

“But you know what, if they want better they’re going to have to put up with it.

“Because when they (cable workers) get done, the dirt is all put back. They take a rake and rake the dirt back.

“So I’m going to put up with their diggin’. Yes, they did cut a water line, but they fixed it again.”

In fact, water has been off at various times in town since the work started last month.

“The school was out of water for awhile there,” Harter noted. She has a child in the after-school program at school and they had to be re-located to another building downtown.

Hespe said the presence of workers around town and in her yard certainly hasn’t escaped the notice of her dog, Cookie.

“She was curious, something was going on that wasn’t supposed to be going on.”

But the cable workers didn’t seem bothered by her presence, probably in large part because she’s a little dog, Hespe reported.

“They would just sort of pet her and I hollered at them, ‘She’ll lick you to death before she hurts you.’

“And they would just sort of wave. And (now) they just don’t pay no attention to her. And she don’t pay no attention to them.”

In general, Hespe said she’s been impressed by the workers and their cable burying labor.

“They are respectful. On my land, they went very slow, respected the sod, didn’t tear it all up.

“Stomped it back in. Re-seeded what they had to. I was very impressed.

“And across the road from me is a pasture and they had to put in a huge box. A lot of digging.

“And the ground is all leveled back. It isn’t ruts here and ruts there. I am very, very impressed with them.”

Likewise, said Bingen. “They were right in our front yard here. And I can hardly see where they dug.

“They put everything back, except for seeding the grass and I can do that. It’s just a little spot.

“They don’t dig where they don’t have to.”

Harter — whose property hadn’t yet been touched yet by the cable workers when spoken to by the Advocate — said she was hopeful for minimal disturbance of her yard and family life and that things would be done quickly.

“That they don’t take forever.”

She realizes it’s for the best, according to Golden West, she added.

“I’m hoping so. When it’s done and over with I’m hoping we have better internet, cable, and so forth.”

Calhoon Receives White Coat

sarah calhoon

Sarah Calhoon received her white coat at South Dakota State University College of  Pharmacy’s white coat ceremony on April 10.

The white coat ceremony is a tradition which marks a student’s transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health sciences and is awarded after successful completion of the first year of pharmacy school.

Calhoon is a 2012 graduate of Winner High School and the daughter of Mike and Susan Calhoon of Ideal.

New CFO Joins Country Pride

mark oberle

Mark Oberle is the new chief financial officer at Country Pride Coop of Winner. He started his new duties March 17  and takes over from Marsha Whetham who is now working for a cooperative in Nebraska.

Prior to moving to Winner, Oberle worked for  couple of months as the chief finance officer for a railroad company manufacturer in west central Minnesota.

From New Ulm, Minn., Oberle has a strong background in agricultural accounting. His diverse accounting and finance career include nine years as a CFO of a large ethanol producer.

Originally from Chicago, in 1969 his family moved to Mankato, Minn. He graduated from Mankato State University in 1979 with a degree in accounting. In 1985, he became a certified public accountant and holds an inactive CPA license.

After graduating from college, he went to work for a concrete  pipe manufacturer and then went to work four years for Titan Wheel in north central Iowa where he served as a controller.

Oberle went to work for Advertising Unlimited in Sleepy Eye, Minn., where he was the controller.

A move to Winnebago, Minn., saw Oberle taking over as CFO for Corn Plus.

Oberle heard of an opening in Winner  and the weekend of Feb. 21, he came to Winner for an interview.

The culture of the staff and administration of Country Pride attracted him to his job in south central South Dakota.

He has visited the 11 locations where Country Pride is located and he said the common denominator is that all staff are hard working individuals.

Oberle and his wife, Barb, have three grown sons: Adam, Thomas and Eric.

Though he has only been here a month, the CFO is looking forward to working with the patrons of Country Pride.

Bainter Honored for 50 years in ESA

jodee bainter 50 years in esaBy Marsha Risseeuw , ESA member 

In 1965 many interesting events were occurring, let me jog your memory a bit with this memorabilia.  The Beatles were #1 on the charts for 18 weeks and John Lennon was issued a driving license.  Martin Luther King marched in Selma, Mississippi; Cher was the Goddess of Pop; mood rings were the in thing; Joe Namath signed on as quarterback– and Pampers were patented.  All very earth shaking and worth remembering.

But, right here in Winner, South Dakota something very interesting was happening.   Good friend Jodee Bainter was pledged to Alpha Phi by Bev Smith who was a loyal and dedicated member.  We are so privileged to have this opportunity to honor one of our own on her 50th anniversary as a member in our chapter. It is truly a wonderful event to celebrate!

“A Look at You”

Name:  Dave Baker

Birthplace:  Kansas City, MO

Family:  Wife Kristi. Daughter Bailey. Son Dalton.

Currently reside where:  Winner

Occupation:  State Trooper

The best thing about my job is:  I get to meet a lot of people. ϑ

My favorite childhood memory:  Watching George Brett play third base for the KC Royals.

Favorite sports team(s):  Kansas City Chiefs & Royals.

Favorite current television show:  Justified

Favorite past television shows:  Hunter & Six Million Dollar Man

Favorite movie(s):  Big Jake, Aliens. All of the 007 movies.

Favorite actor(s):  John Wayne and Clint Eastwood

Favorite actress(es):  Helen Hunt & Kathryn Heigl

Favorite musicians/band:  Metalica

Favorite publication(s) (newspapers, magazines):  Guns & Ammo, 4-Wheeler

Favorite holiday and why:  Christmas. Having the house decorated and being with family. 

Hobbies:  Shooting sports

Three things that can always be found in my refrigerator:  Steak, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce.

My favorite snack:  Raisinettes & Cashews

Someone I most admire and why:  Dale Earnhardt because of his will and determination.

I’ve never been able to:  Dance

If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d go to:  Pearl Harbor

My definition of a great evening is:  A steak dinner on the plaza in Kansas City with my wife and kids.

Gardner Named Region “Coach of the Year”

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Brett Gardner, Winner High School boys basketball coach, has been named the Region 8 head coach of the year.

Gardner, in his first year of coaching in Winner, coached the Winner Warriors to a third place finish in the State A basketball tournament.

Named as the Region 7 head coach of the year is Jeff Determan of Gregory and the Region 7 assistant coach of the year is Lonnie Klundt of Gregory.

The South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association makes the announcement of the region coaches.