Fewer South Dakota Babies Die In 2014

PIERRE, S.D. – For the second year, South Dakota saw a decline in the number of babies dying before their first birthdays. New data released by the Department of Health today shows 73 infant deaths in 2014 for a rate of 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. That’s down from 2013’s rate of 6.5 and below the previous 20-year lows of 6.3 in 2011 and 6.4 in 2007. o ignored

“It’s so encouraging to see the number of infant deaths down for the second straight year,” said First Lady Linda Daugaard. “All the work to promote safe sleep practices, encourage early prenatal care and help pregnant women stop smoking is having an impact.” o ignored

Early prenatal care, decreased tobacco use in pregnancy and safe sleep practices were some of the strategies recommended by the 2011 Governor’s Task Force on Infant Mortality. That group was chaired by First Lady Linda Daugaard and its members have worked since then to implement the recommendations to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes for South Dakota babies. o ignored

The 2014 data also showed 72.2 percent of pregnant women in South Dakota received prenatal care in the first trimester as recommended. The percentage of women who smoked during pregnancy was 14.8 percent, essentially unchanged from 15 percent the year before. There were five deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2014, compared to nine in 2013. o ignored

“While we’re pleased with this progress, there is still more work to be done,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “We recognize the commitment of health care providers to assuring healthy birth outcomes for more South Dakota families and we’re pleased to be part of that effort as well.” o ignored

South Dakotans can learn more about healthy pregnancies at the department’s www.ForBabySakeSD.org website.

Acid Food Processing Authority Program

According to the South Dakota Home Processed Foods Law, jams and jellies must be verified by a processing authority before they can be sold at a Farmers Market.  SDSU Extension is hosting a DDN program to train processing authorities or to update those who are already a processing authority.  The class will be held on Tuesday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Sites include the SDSU Regional Extension Centers is Sioux Falls, Pierre, Mitchell, Winner, Lemmon, Aberdeen and Watertown. Additional sites include the West River Ag Center in Rapid City, Human Services Center in Yankton and SDSU (Brookings Campus).

If you are interested in attending this class or have questions about this class, contact Lavonne Meyer at the Sioux Falls Regional Center in Sioux Falls.   She can be reached at phone number: 605-782-3290 or email address:  lavonne.meyer@sdstate.edu

29 Students Represent WHS at State Convention

winner at state student council


Twenty-nine Winner High School student council members attended the annual South Dakota Student Council Association state convention March 29-31 in Pierre.

The students were accompanied by student council advisors Mona LaCompte and Lorna Phillips.

The high school students attending were: Dusti Littau, Nick Hossle, Kylie Horstman, Calah Covey, Molly Connot, Tawny Sherman, Sydney Schuyler, Casey Norrid, Kelsey Bertram, Lesley Soles, Sam Naasz, Grant Winter, Sydney Fritz, Bailey Volmer, Sydnie Peters, Shannon Duffy, Rachel Sherman, Chloe Bartels, Samantha Schuyler, Brekken Nagel, Ronae Klein, Macy Olson, Madelyn Hanson and Macie Ferwerda.

Also attending were five 8th graders who are members of the middle school student council—Madison Thieman, Bayli Beehler, Casey Stickland, Gabby Kocer and Sierra Hanson.

Winner received the award for outstanding student council.

Sam Naasz served as a regional representative on the state board.

The Winner senior said he enjoyed being on the state board as it gave him a chance to meet new people. “It gave me the chance to advance further as a leader,” he said.

Naasz has been a member of the WHS student council a total of four years.

Naasz says working with the student council association has helped him be a leader. “It starts with just you wanting to be a better person and then it branches off and you help others,” he said.

LaCompte said she is so  proud of Sam. “He gave so much to the make the state convention better for all of us,” she said.

At a Monday night banquet, Naasz was recognized as being one of the state board members.  “It was an honor,” he said.

Chloe Bartels was elected sergeant of arms for the state.

Those  attending  the convention had the opportunity to presentations  by Jeremy Brech, one of the world’s top ranked DJs. Brech’s presentation was one the “Power of One.”

The Monday morning general session was presented by four time para Olympic medalist Mike Schlappi. Naasz said this man was paralyzed in high school and he told how it changes his life.

During the closing session, students presented money raised by student councils across the state for Children’s Miracle Network. This year student councils raised over $27,000.

Over 1,100 high school and middle school student leaders attended the convention.

The goals of the annual convention include motivating student leaders from each school and providing the students with a basis to exercise better leadership skills when they return to schools and communities.

Hammer beating: one of the real calls, part of his 911 training

jon burdette


By Dan Merritt, Advocate reporter

A phone call about someone being beaten with a hammer wasn’t a fun 911 recording to listen to.

But Jon Burdette, dispatcher with the Tripp County sheriff’ s office, had to endure.

There were a variety of other real-life recordings he and others had to sit through and evaluate during 911 training.

Burdette graduated the two-week course in early March.

911 training and certification took place at the Law Enforcement Training facility in Pierre.

During classroom time, actual 911 calls were played for the group of 17 trainees.

“Some of those calls, you’d get goosebumps,”  Burdette remembered.

In fact, the training invoked a lot of emotions. Intentionally, it seems.

But emotions, particularly panic, had to be squelched and replaced with calm, Burdette noted.

Anger, too, had to be suppressed because some 911 callers can be particularly provoking, engaging in name-calling or making insulting remarks.

“You don’t get into a yelling match with them. Don’t try to out-yell them.”

That also goes for a panicky caller who may be extra loud on the phone because of the circumstance that prompted the call.

In that case the 911 call responder has to not only remain calm but work to calm the caller, Burdette explained.

Calm, because that is how important information is obtained: the caller’s address, phone number, and name.

Burdette and his fellow classmates were constantly evaluated while practicing their responses to a variety of 911calls for help.

Evaluations that helped them, as responders, improve, Burdette said.

Improve to the point of surviving a tough 90-question test and, even tougher, successfully handling a final session series of simulated 911 calls at the end of training.

Burdette said that final session made him nervous whenever he thought about it during the two weeks of training in Pierre.

“That’s what stressed me out the most (during) the days leading up to that.”

But the day finally arrived and he had to don his headset and take-on whatever situations may be concocted by one of the 911 course supervisors.

“There were two computer screens and I had a microphone.

“And then the teacher (evaluator) sat two rows behind me.”

At first, Burdette said he was very aware of the instructor’s presence. “But after awhile, you kind of get used to it.”

There were four simulations.

“One was, there was a little girl calling and her parents were fighting downstairs.”

Burdette said he could hear the adults, verbally sparring loudly and angrily in the background.

“On the computer they have different sound effects,” he explained.

There were no gunshots, he added.

He kept the girl on the line, collecting important basic information. Then he dispatched to the scene the number of police officers he thought would be necessary.

“They called for back-up,” he reported.

In another simulation, “there was a bar fight going on.”

He could hear it in the background as well, via computer sound effects.

“And one, there was a semi that rolled over that had hazardous material.

“There was stuff coming out from under the truck. And then the fire department gets there and tells you what the hazmat number is and you have to find out what it is.”

Though he had already “graduated” the 911 training course — his photo taken with South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley at 11 a.m. on final testing day — Burdette didn’t actually undergo his last and deciding 911 emergency simulations until about 4 p.m.

They continued until around 5 p.m., at which time Burdette was officially deemed qualified as a 911 call-taker, having passed the simulated calls and responding to them effectively.

“I was glad to be done,” he remembers vividly.

Burdette is also the Tripp County emergency manager. He was hired in fall last year as dispatcher with the sheriff’s department.

He replaced Jeannette Long who had been with the sheriff’s office for three decades, he informed. That’s quite a time period of service, he added.

Being a new dispatcher, he had up to a year to take the 80-hour, 911 training course in Pierre. And now, though certified to take 911 calls, he remains at the sheriff’s office in his current dispatch job.

To work 911 calls constantly, he’d have to hire-on with the 911 office inside the Winner police station, he commented.

Burdette’s glad he experienced the training; it has helped him be a better dispatcher, he feels.

One thing he realized, he said: “Each call is important to that person.” It’s not to be dismissed as a waste of time, because to the caller it’s not a waste of time. And the call-taker can’t come across as uncaring or unimpressed, he elaborated.

There was another important point of emphasis Burdette obtained from the 911 course.

“One of the biggest things they kept saying is dispatchers are a lifeline for police officers, first-responders.

“An officer goes to a call and the guy ends up having a gun right there.

“The officer is going to call you first. You got to get him help.

“You’re the lifeline.”

Burdette, 23, a Colome native, is a 2010 high school graduate. He took a year of college classes at South Dakota State University, Brookings, in 2010-11.

Prior to coming to the sheriff’s office, he was the assistant manager at Casey’s of Winner.

School Board Accepts Wonnenberg’s Resignation

By Dan Bechtold


Winner School Board accepted the resignation of Winner teacher Roger Wonnenberg at a special meeting Friday afternoon.

Wonnenberg is a middle school teacher and his  resignation is effective May 26..

The school board met in executive session prior to making a motion to offer Wonnenberg early retirement.

In its motion, the school board approved a medical leave for Wonnenberg effective immediately. Wonnenberg is no longer teaching at the middle school.

Wonnenberg has taught in the Winner School District for  22 years.

Engel Featured in Art Show set at the Matthews Opera House



Eight Black Hills State University students will showcase their time and talent during the BHSU Senior Art Show this month at the gallery in the Matthews Opera House in Spearfish.

The BHSU Senior Art Show is an annual event and culmination for students earning a degree in art or art education. The exhibit is on display April 3-25. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, April 10 at the opera house. The event is free and open to the public.

“This show is a strong representation of the students’ talents, primarily created during their junior and senior year in the art program,” said David Wilson, professor of art at BHSU.  o ignored

The exhibit will include a variety of paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and ceramics. Many of the art pieces will be available for purchase.

Students exhibiting in the show include: o ignored

•             Brittany Whitney, art major from Rapid City

•             Kelly Lake, art education major from Ronan, Mont.

•             Ethan Engel, art and graphic design communication major from Winner

•             Katie Ribstein, art education major from Sioux Falls o ignored

•             Diane French, art and graphic design communication major from Keystone

•             Ashley A. Hein, art education major from Mitchell o ignored

•             Jessica Hill, art and graphic design communication major from Bowman, N.D.

•             Jenna M. Keller, art major from Rapid City

Ribstein will feature an array of artwork from oil paintings to hand-made jewelry in the show.

“The pieces directly reflect myself and how I might have been feeling when I created them,” Ribstein said. “I like to play with color and I also really enjoy using organic lines and shapes to create visual stimulation.”

As Ribstein pursues a career in teaching art to kids, she said BHSU provided her excellent role models to achieve her goals.

“Each instructor I’ve had is able to communicate something different to me, providing a very well-rounded experience,” she said. “They taught me to stay inspired and continue creating art.”

Engel had a piece from his collection “Transcendence: The Journey of Autism,” selected for the VSA Emerging Young Artists Program. Engel traveled to Washington, D.C., where the artwork was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute. The Matthews Opera House also held an exhibit for Engel’s “Transcendence” collection, something Wilson said is very prestigious for a college art student.

Engel’s artwork tells the story of his struggle with Asperger’s. His artwork is created on a cotton canvas, which resembles the color of skin. Engel writes words on the canvas from a personal diary. The words are written in reverse to represent the communication struggles he often faces.

French’s artwork was featured in a South Dakota statewide college art exhibition at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, while other students in the show have had their artwork displayed in Rapid City and in other exhibits throughout the Black Hills. o ignored

Wilson said the students in the art show have had much local and national recognition, showcasing their abilities, the University and the community as a whole.

“Spearfish is a community that supports creativity and the arts,” Wilson said. “Help us honor our  students and their outstanding accomplishments

Colome Play is April 10-11

Colome High School will present the play “Miss Nelson is Missing” April 10 and 11 at the Vet’s Hall. The April 10 performance is at 7 p.m. and the April 11 performance is 5 p.m.

The cast includes: Rachel Tate, Sarah Shippy, Morgan Hofeldt, Alex Hofeldt, Evan Cole, Megan Seegers, Kylie Debus, Halley Shippy, Korrina Williams, Shayna Gustafson, Trenton Seegers, Emily Duly, Kaylee Bolton and Jordyn Seegers.

The play is directed by Abby Smikle.

A Look at You… Chris Doski

chris doski1 foto look at you


Name: Chris Doski

Birthplace: Marblehead, Ohio

Family: Father – Mike Doski, Mother – Vicky Doski, Sisters – Lauren Indorf and Hayley Doski.

Currently reside where: I reside in Winner; my family’s in Marblehead.

Occupation: Sports Director for KWYR AM and FM

The best thing about my job is: Wow that is tough! If I have to choose just one thing, probably getting the chance to know new people on almost a daily basis, whether it’s over the phone or in person.

My favorite childhood memory: Going on the basketball court of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers during a playoff game. I was 8 years old and buried three shots from the free throw line and won $100!

When growing up, I wanted to be: A veterinarian

My most prized possession: Hockey puck signed by the 2008 Detroit Red Wings.

Favorite sports team(s): Cubs in MLB,  Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Cavaliers.

Favorite current television show: The League

Favorite past television show: Breaking Bad

Favorite movie(s): Jaws and Shawshank Redemption

Favorite actor: Mark Whalberg

Favorite author: James Patterson

Favorite holiday and why: Christmas, spend time with family

Favorite Bible verse: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28

My favorite snack: Wheat Thins

People would be surprised to know: I love to dance!

A goal I have for the future: Be a broadcaster that EVERYBODY knows about.

The best thing about where I live: There is no other place that I know of in the world, where there are so many nice and caring people.

If I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s: Bust your rear end, no matter what it is that you do, and you will go places!

Strong Winds Push Through Area

Wind gusts in Winner on Sunday reached 60 miles an hour.

Winds were strong this weekend across the state with several wind advisories posted.

The wind speed in Witten was 61 miles per hour on Sunday and in Mission it was 64 miles per hour.

“It was a pretty hard push of mild air behind the cold front,” said Brad Adams of the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

Royals Win in Five Innings

club baseball


The Winner/Colome club baseball team defeated Todd County 15-1 in five innings Saturday at Leahy Bowl.

The Royals started off the first inning with four runs and added nine more in the second inning.

Kelly O’Bryan was the winning pitcher.

Holden Thieman had a triple, double and a single with 2 RBIs, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Riley Calhoon had a double and a single with 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored and 3 stolen bases. Reed Harter had a single, 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs.

Coach Drew Weber said it was nice to get another win early in the year. “We were able to get 16 different guys into the game and we showed some great patience at the plate. Our pitchers did a solid job of throwing strikes and we played OK defensively,” said Weber.

“We have a long way to go to get to where we want to be and that starts by not striking out so much, which we did Saturday. Some of that can be attributed to our youth and inexperience and I feel confident that we will continue to make big strides as the season goes on.”

The junior varsity won 8-7 in five innings on a walk off single by Joren Bruun. Phillip Jorgensen earned the win on the mound.