Track Season opens March 27

The first track meet of the season will be held March 27 in Winner as the Warriors host the  Bill Pistulka Invitational track meet.

The field events will start at noon and the running events at 2 p.m. This is a state qualifying meet.

Teams invited to the meet are: Chamberlain, Colome, Todd County, Bennett County, Kadoka, Philip, Wall, Jones County, Stanley County, White River, Crazy Horse and Kimball-White Lake.

Richey Belts Double for USF

The University of Sioux Falls baseball team dropped a doubleheader to Concordia-Irvine, Calif. The game was played on March 17 in California.

The Cougars trailed 1-0 early before taking a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning on a two run double by Austin Richey of Winner.

The Cougars lost the first game 4-3 and lost the second game 14-11.

In the second game, Richey had a RBI single to score a USF base runner.

Donna Mae (Kindt) Steiger, 85

steiger donna obit


Donna Mae (Kindt) Steiger, 85, of Winner, SD passed away on Monday, March 23, 2015 at the Winner Regional Long Term Care Facility in Winner, SD.  Funeral service will be held on Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 9 at the United Methodist Church in Winner, SD.  Burial will follow in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD at 3 p.m..  A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service Friday morning.

Donna Mae Bittner Kindt Steiger was born on February 19, 1930 to Everett and Minnie (Butterfield) Bittner. She attended school in Tripp County and graduated from Winner High School in 1949.

Donna married the love of her life, Donald Wayne Kindt, on April 11, 1949. To this union 5 children were born: Bobbe Schramm, Donita Kindt, Douglas Donald (died in infancy), Guyla Hohn, and Monte Kindt. Don and Donna enjoyed many happy times and travels with friends. One of their favorite pastimes was dancing. Don and Donna moved to Sioux Falls to raise their family. Don passed away on September 14, 1967. Donna worked at various jobs including telephone operator, drug store clerk, and B&G Milky Way.

Donna met and married LaVern Steiger of Winner on November 1, 1981. On July 20, 2009 she entered Winner Regional Long Term Care and resided there until her death

Eugene Smith, 78


smith obit


Eugene Smith passed away Sunday, March 15, 2015 at the Community Memorial Hospital in Burke, South Dakota, at the age of 78 years.

Funeral services were held March 20 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Burke with Fr. Godfrey Muwanga officiating. Burial was in the Graceland Cemetery, Burke.

Eugene Martin Smith was born January 31, 1937 at Burke, South Dakota to Elmer and Mary (Cerny) Smith.  At home, he joined his sister, Lila.  In 1941 a brother, Alvin, was born.  He passed away during infancy, leaving them a family of four.

Gene was baptized and confirmed at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Burke.  On September 24, 1959, he was united in marriage to Avis Hutchison.  Five children would be born to this union.

Gene served two years in the US Army, some of that time in Korea.  He was honorably discharged in 1962 and his family returned to Burke to join his parents in operating the family farm.  After his father suffered a heart attack, Gene and Avis operated the farm together, along with their children, as they became old enough to help.  Gene retired from farming in 2005, entrusting its care to his sons, Ken and Brad.

Gene loved farming, especially along side his wife and children.  He taught, by example, respect for the land, the value of hard work, satisfaction in a job well done and a desire to help others.

He enjoyed teaching his children, nieces and nephews how to hunt and fish.  He served on many boards, including the Burke School Board and Union Township Board.  He was active at Sacred Heart Catholic Church as a Lector and member of the Knights of Columbus.  He took pleasure in playing cards with family and friends, and traveling, especially with his “adopted” brother and his wife, Jack and Leona Hampton of Omaha, Nebraska.

Betty Sinkler 80

betty sinkler obit


Betty Sinkler 80, of Winner, SD formerly of Wood, SD passed away on Sunday, March 22, 2015 at the Select Specialty Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.  A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Wood Community Hall in Wood, SD.  Burial will follow at a later date.  A prayer service will be held on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Golden Prairie Manor in Winner, SD.

Betty Darlene (Moore) Sinkler was born December 29, 1934, in Wood, South Dakota, to Allis and Agnes Moore.  She attended school in a “one-room schoolhouse” in the Wood area before her family moved to Homedale, Idaho.  When she was a sophomore in high school, the family moved back to Wood, where she graduated from Wood High School in 1952.

On June 11, 1952, she married her high school sweetheart, Warren Sinkler.  To this union five children were born, Cliff, Vickie, Cameron, Vanessa and Cory.  Betty was an active, busy woman while raising their children.  They owned and operated a café and Sinkler Market.  Betty also worked for the United States Postal Service as clerk in Wood and White River, finished her career in Pierre as a night clerk and retired in 1996.

After Betty and Warren retired, they moved to Rapid City in 1997 to care for Warren’s parents.  In 2005, she lost the love of her life when Warren passed away.  After several years, she chose to move to Winner to be closer to family.  In 2009, she moved into Golden Prairie Manor, where she resided until her passing.

Betty enjoyed bowling and the many friends that came along with it.  They attended many state and national tournaments together.  Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were very special to her and she always enjoyed their visits.

Michael “Mick” Strain, 78

mick strain obit


Michael “Mick” Strain, 78, of White River, SD passed away on March 12, 2015 at his home in White River, SD.

Funeral service was held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 1 p.m. at the White River Community, Center in White River.

Mick was born June 10, 1936 in Murdo,  and was the third son of Grace (Astleford) and Eugene Strain.

He attended South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota, receiving a B.A. in business, and then earning the degree of Juris Doctor from the University School of Law. He was a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics Training School, Washington, D. C, and also a graduate of the School for Special Prosecutors at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

Mick served as assistant Attorney General to Frank Farrar from 1966 to 1969.  During his tenure he prosecuted and won most of the drug related criminal cases arising in the Attorney General’s Office and was responsible for investigating and bringing charges resulting from narcotic and dangerous drug violations.

Mick took a sabbatical from law and politics in 1970 to assist Jerry Collins in acquiring, rebuilding and managing the Portland Meadows horseracing track in Portland, OR.

He returned to practicing law in 1977 and was elected Mellette County State Attorney in 1992

In May 2013, the South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association honored Mick with a Life Time Achievement award.

He was a member of the South Dakota Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Delta Theta Phi law fraternity. He was considered one of the best criminal attorneys in South Dakota and had an ardent sense of right and wrong, and sought to remedy injustice wherever he saw it. His passion for helping Native Americans in need brought him close with many traditional Native Americans. His down to earth manner in representing clients at trial won him many acquittals and the respect of the citizens of South Dakota.

Although he spent many hours on the road, and traveled over most of the United States, Mick never ventured far from the western prairie living he grew up in.  He was an avid horseman, raising several lines of quarter horses, cumulating in the Flyma Bars breeding line. He was also an occasional rancher, ardent follower and supporter of the White River basketball and football teams, and an estimable calf roper in his prime.

He was probably best remembered by friends and family for his seemingly endless repertoire of narratives and anecdotes, fraught with lore and local legend.  He conveyed these seemingly embellished stories with deadpan delivery and split-second timing, always ending in a humorous and usually ironic twist.

Ardath Mae Hinman, 89

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Ardath Mae Hinman, 89, of Carter, South Dakota passed away on Sunday, March 15, 2015 at the Winner Regional Healthcare Center in Winner, SD.

Funeral service were held  on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Carter Gospel Fellowship in Carter, SD.  Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.

Ardath Mae Hinman passed away Sunday, March 15, 2015 at the Winner Regional Hospital; one month before her 90th birthday. Ardath was born to Frank and Hattie (Blankenhagen) Hakl , April 15, 1925, at her parents’ homestead near Wood, SD.  Ardath attended grade school at the Rosebud Valley School and graduated from Wood High School in 1942 as the valedictorian of her class.  She attended the University of South Dakota for a year before teaching in various schools.  She finished her degree in 1949.  In each school she taught music along with other subjects.

She was united in marriage to Byron B. Hinman on July 2, 1950, the beginning of sixty-three years as a devoted and supportive wife; a great example to her family.  Three girls and a boy were born to this union.

Ardath will always be fondly remembered for her hospitality.  She loved to have family meals with everyone present.  She also loved to garden and had beautiful flowers in the yard.  Most important to her was her faith in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, a faith she loved to share with others.  She was a member of Carter Gospel Fellowship Church and Gideon’s Auxiliary.  She taught Good News Club for many years and helped with Vacation Bible School.  She was also active in the Southern Bell Cattlewomen organization.

She and Byron enjoyed traveling and attending Farm Bureau and Gideon Conventions.  For many years they seldom missed the State Fair.

She always kept an interest in her grandchildren and their activities. She prayed for her family daily.  The family always came to her for advice on political issues and how to vote.

Trajedy in White River

julie charging whirlwind wth dog storyBy Dan Merritt, Advocate reporter

“It was a horrible, horrible thing. It was a tragedy that didn’t have to happen,” said acting Rosebud tribal chairman William Kindle last week about the death of Julia Charging Whirlwind, 49.

She died in a hospital after an early morning attack, Sat., March 14, by dogs near her home in the Rosebud community of Lower Swift Bear west of White River, S.D. in Mellette County.

“We’ve been with the family. We had a prayer vigil with the family last night (Wed., March 18),” Kindle said. “We assured them that something’s going to be done about these dogs that are running loose.

“We’re trying to assure the rest of the (Rosebud) population here that we want to get control of this so it doesn’t happen again. It was an awful tragedy and we don’t want it to take place again.”

He said tribal police with the help of Game, Fish, and Parks personnel were in the process of addressing the problem.

“They got a schedule to go through all the communities. Right here in Todd County, there are probably 15. Then we have one community there in the Winner area and also out at Ideal, north of Winner.

“There’s another community where the old town of Dixon used to be along Highway 44. And another one is down in the Herrick area. Hopefully we can get through all of them,” he said.

The officials were on the look-out especially for dogs that appeared to be roaming free, owned by no one. Unwanted, mangy ones. Whatever.

Most are captured, Kindle indicated, though some destroyed.

“What we don’t want to do is go out there and do a massive dog kill. That’s not our intent.

We certainly don’t want to come through a community and pick up any pets, family pets. We’ve got to identify those. We’re not after those,” he said.

Dogs being confined to their owners’ homes stand the best chance of not being taken. “We want to get off the streets, those that are loose and running wild,” Kindle explained.

Dogs captured at the various communities are being confined, Kindle continued.

“The Bureau of Indian Affairs has a large metal building out here just east of Rosebud, two or three miles out. And they are letting us use that building until we can get a permanent structure up somewhere.

We’re trying to locate some funding to get a permanent structure and get two or three people to man the operation,” he said.

It will be a place to keep the (impounded dogs) for 48 hours or whatever. Give people time to claim their pets. Try to get some collars and tags at that time for them. Unclaimed dogs after a certain time period will be euthanized, he said.

“We don’t want to. We don’t like the fact that we’re going to have to do some of that.”

Two dogs were killed at the site of the attack on Charging Whirlwind, March 14. Emergency personnel were called and one who responded was Mellette County sheriff Mike Blom. He shot the dogs.

According to media reports, other dogs in the area deemed vicious or dangerous were also destroyed that day.

According to Kindle, the dog attack certainly initiated the death of Charging Whirlwind, but possibly the trauma of the event rather than dog bites themselves were the specific cause.

He said autopsy results weren’t available as of mid-week, last week, but speculation among tribe members was that cardiac arrest from the attack may have been reason for the woman’s death.

Charging Whirlwind had five children and three grandchildren.

According to Rosebud tribal law enforcement administrator Marlin Enno, one of the two dogs killed by Sheriff Blom was a pit bull or a mixed breed pit bull.

The pups are valuable and raising them seems to have become popular on the Rosebud reservation, Kindle commented. “We’re seeing more and more of that breed. And you notice a lot of cross-bred dogs with pit bull blood in them. Apparently the breed is pretty popular right now,” he said

While tribal police and GF&P personnel continue to make their rounds of towns in search of dogs that need to be removed or destroyed, Enno cautioned people who may be on foot anyplace on the Rosebud reservation.

If you don’t know a dog, don’t be going up to it.

If you see a pack of dogs, don’t intimidate them or tease them. A pack can be as few as four or five dogs, he assessed.

If confronted by a snarling dog or dogs, Enno advised that people stand still.

“If you stand there and hold your ground, more than likely the dog isn’t going to bother you. It will back away because it sees you’re bigger than them,” he said.

“The biggest thing is don’t run. Because all you do is entice it (a dog or a pack), if you run. Then it turns into a hunt for them.”

Growing In Agriculture

Thanking our Farmers, Ranchers and Consumers 

A column by Secretary Lucas Lentsch 


This week marks National Ag Week with National Ag Day celebrated  which was on March 18.  We celebrate the farm and ranch families who supply our world with safe and affordable food. We also appreciate the consumers who place their confidence in our American feed, fuel, fiber and food system.

Consumers put their trust in America’s farmers and ranchers every day. Every time you visit the grocery store to pick up that gallon of milk or pound of beef, you place your trust in our nation’s food system. You trust that farmers and ranchers make good choices for animal care and plant health which in turn yields wholesome, nutritious and safe food for your family. As a result, we have the safest, most reliable food system in the world. Producers are also able to provide consumers with an abundance of choices among products and practices used to grow those products.

Here in South Dakota, we are proud of our 31,700 farm and ranch families and the wide variety of products they grow every year. From sunflowers to bison and corn to cattle, South Dakota continues to rank in the top 10 states for production. South Dakota farmers and ranchers continue to supply the food found on consumers’ plates around the world.

Our state’s agricultural industry realizes we would not be able to continue doing what we love without consumers’ support. During this National Ag Week, let’s celebrate the hardworking and productive farm and ranch families across our state. Let’s also thank our consumers for being a partner in this effort.  We are in this food system together.

Looking at You: Rusty Blare

rusty blare

Name: Rusty Blare

Birthplace: Winner SD

Family: Wife, Rita and 8 children; Cody, Jessica, Nick, Elijah, Meagan, Amanda, Austin and Jedediah

Currently reside where: Hamill, SD

Occupation: Farmer/Rancher, part time police officer, full time dad

The best thing about my job is: variety

My favorite childhood memory: Working with my grandfather on the farm

When growing up, I wanted to be: 

A fighter pilot

My most prized possession: My family

Favorite current television show: NCIS

Favorite past television shows: MASH

Favorite movie(s): Crocodile Dundee

Favorite book(s)/author(s): Louis L’Amour

Favorite holiday(s) and why: Easter because it is when my Savior arose

Favorite Bible verse: Jeremiah 29:11

Hobbies: Family

Three things that can always be found in my refrigerator: Milk, eggs and cheese

My favorite snack: Mixed nuts with M&M’s

Someone I most admire and why: Abraham Lincoln, because of his perseverance and faith.

Three words that best describe me: Honest, sincere and happy

I’ve never been able to: Play the banjo

When nobody is looking, I: Dance and talk to myself.

The best time of my life: Becoming a father

I’d like to have a dollar for: Every time my mom chewed me out.

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

If I won the lottery: I would keep farming until it was gone.

My definition of a great evening is: Watching my children playing and having fun with each other.

The best thing about where I live: The people of this community, they all really care about each other.

If I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s: To be patient.