New Members Take Seat on City Council

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By Dan Bechtold, Editor

Frank Finney was elected the president of the Winner City Council as the new term for city officials started Monday night.

Elected as vice president was Dave Baker.

The oath of office was given to three persons who are beginning to serve a two year term. Finney will serve another term in Ward One. New to the council this year and taking their seats were Jody Brozik in Ward Two and John Meyer in Ward Three.

Plaques were presented to Val Sherman for her 16 years on the council and Zach Anderson for his four years on the council.

Mayor Jess Keesis made several appointments. Paul Jensen was named city attorney and Sandy Steffen was named assistant city attorney.

Paul Schueth was appointed police chief and Rhonda Augspurger was appointed finance officer.

Appointed as city engineer was the firm of SPN of Mitchell.

Re-appointed to the city planning commission were Kay Berg and Joe Hockett.

Council committees for 2015-2016 include:

Police commission—Jess Keesis, Frank Finney and Jena Littau

Cemetery, parks and recreation—Jena Littau, Dave Baker and Jody Brozik

Utilities/streets/drainage—Frank Finney, Brad Schramm and Jody Brozik

Finance and ordinance—Frank Finney, Jena Littau and John Meyer

Insurance/administration building and fire hall—Littau, Brozik and Schramm

Union committee—Keesis, Finney, Augspurger and Paul Jensen

Administrative policy/personnel—Finney, Baker and Meyer

Emergency management/airport—Finney, Schramm and Baker

Third District planning/ Chamber of Commerce/economic development—Keesis

Housing/county relations—Keesis

Senior citizens—Frank Finney

The mayor and city council members signed an ethics pledge which is  part of city ordinance 830.

A look at you… Karla Brozik

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Name:  Karla Brozik

Birthplace:  Mitchell, SD

Family:  3 brothers, 1 sister, 2 daughters, 1 son.

Currently reside where:  Winner, SD

Occupation:  Executive Director of the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce.

The best thing about my job is:  Networking with the members.

My most prized possession:  My children.

Favorite musician(s)/band(s):  Toby Keith, Blake Shelton.

Favorite holiday and why:  Independence Day – usually a fun and relaxing day.

Hobbies:  Coach softball, listening to music, scrapbooking.

My favorite snack:  Fruit smoothies.

If I won the lottery:  I probably won’t because I don’t play. But if I did, I would probably save the majority of the money and give to organizations that need it.

My definition of a great evening is:  Hanging out with friends.

The best thing about where I live:  We live in a caring community.

If I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s:  Be yourself.  Count your blessings.  Actions speak louder than words.

Like Nature in Spring, SPARKLE is Flourishing

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By Dan Merritt, Advocate reporter

They decided someone needed to clean-up this town and they were right.

A cleaning business begun in winter 2014 is flourishing in Winner — and the area, as well — to the point of possibly hiring more workers, says Mardi Pederson.

“It’s going really well. Really well. We’re really busy. Better than I could have hoped.”

After several months of consideration, she and her mother Kaye Eckerman launched SPARKLE Cleaning Company, LLC on Feb. 14, 2014.

They have a crew busy every day cleaning homes, some businesses, and plenty of automobiles, as well.

(Yes, they will take-on that messy inside and muddy exterior car of yours and make that dirty ride all clean and shiny inside and out.)

Appointments for cars need to be made at which time costs for the service can be discussed, Pederson added.

Watts Works with Math Studio

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By Dan Bechtold


Growing up in Winner, Jimmi Watts always had a passion for teaching.

As a first grader, Watts had Jo Haffield as a teacher. The first grade teacher so inspired Watts that even in first grade the student made a vow to become a teacher. That promise carried over to  high school. When Haffield was an elementary counselor she worked with the Character Counts program and Watts had the opportunity to work with elementary youths.

Now, Watts is teaching kindergarten students in Omaha, Neb., and is part of a program known as Math Studio in the Omaha Public Schools.

Watts, daughter of Rusty and Penny Heenan of Winner, graduated from Winner High School in 1998. In 2003, she received her degree in in elementary and special education from the University of South Dakota. In 2006, Watts earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. In 2010, Watts received a elementary math specialist degree.

She teaches in the Belle Ryan School in Omaha and has 21 students in kindergarten. In that class, the students speak seven different languages.

Watts is taking part in a process called Math Studio, a model classroom that provides professional development for teachers, coaches and administrators. It’s a small piece of a $5.5 million grant to bolster math instruction in the Omaha Public Schools from the Sherwood and Lozier Foundations.

Freshmen Compete in Essay Contest

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Winner High School freshmen English students took part in the South Dakota 4-H Quotes to Live By essay contest.

WHS freshmen English teacher Cyndy DeMers said she had every freshmen write an essay about their favorite maxim.

Statewide record numbers participated in this year’s contest.

Karelyn Farrand, SDSU Extension 4-H Character education field specialist, said “The increase in participation is exciting news. I am especially pleased that more students have been given the opportunity to learn from maxims.”

Participants use critical thinking skills to examine how a maxim impacts their lives. “It helps them build a stronger character foundation by reflecting on their own lives and who they are and are going to be as a persons of character. It is also good to see more students practicing and improving their reading and writing skills by participating in this contest.”

The contest is designed to promote reading, critical thinking and composition skills. Participants choose a maxim from a predetermined list and write an essay that shows how the maxim fits into their lives. The contest was offered to all South Dakota youth in fourth, seventh and ninth grades.

Hossle, Soles Win FFA State Degree

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By Dan Bechtold


Nick Hossle and Lesley Soles received their state FFA degree at the recent state  convention in Brookings.

Wyatt DeJong, Winner High School FFA advisor, says less than one percent of the start Future Farmers of America membership received his degree.

“It takes a lot of work and commitment on the part of the student,” said DeJong.

Students must keep records for three years in a certain project area.

Soles worked in food science and technology and Hossle worked in beef production.

In addition to keeping records for three years, a student must have a minimum of 15 community service hours plus need a grade point average requirement.

“It is a nice honor and I am impressed to have two students receive it. I am blown away by their commitment,” said DeJong.

Doctor Spends Month in Winner

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Dr. Muna Ashraf is spending a month in Winner as part of her family practice residency.

She started work at Winner Regional Clinic April 6 and will leave May 1. She will return to Sioux Falls where she has two months left on her residency.

In September, she will start  work for McGreevy Clinic in Sioux Falls.

The doctor graduated from the University of South Dakota Medical School in 2012 then went into a family practice residency program at Center for Family Medicine in Sioux Falls.

This is not her first visit to Winner, as a sophomore in medical school, Ashraf spent a month working with doctors at Winner Regional Clinic.

In Winner, she has been seeing patients at the clinic and being on call in the emergency room at the hospital.

“In a small community, I enjoy the variety of being able to do emergency medicine plus also work in the clinic. I enjoy the warmth of people in a small community. They are very kind,” she said.

Ashraf has a degree in computer science graduating from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, graduating in 2000. For five years she worked in the computer field at Citi Bank and Sencore. For these firms she did a lot of programming.

Ashraf is a graduate of Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls and always had an interest in science. While working with computers, the doctor found she missed working with people.

For three years, she worked with people with disabilities at Lifescape and also took pre-med classes.

“I enjoy interacting with patients and I have a passion for medicine,” she explained.

Development Corporation Elects Directors

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Directors were elected at the annual meeting of the South Central Development Corporation on April 21 at Winner Country Club.

The directors are Chuck Keiser, Phil Husher, Don Bice, Mike Trosen and Charlie Grossenburg.

Mark Schweigert is retiring on May 1 as the Tripp County Economic Development director. The office of economic development will move to the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street. Karla Brozik, Chamber director, will serve as the interim development director.

Community Connections Received Accreditation

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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.