Paving may start soon on Highway 18

By Dan Bechtold


Updates on the progress of two highway projects in Winner were provided by Doug Sherman, area engineer of the South Dakota Department of Transportation, on May 2.

On the Highway 18 project in Winner, most of the dirt work and base preparation is done from the bridge by the Country Club Motel to Iowa Street. Close behind will be work on Iowa Street to South County Road intersection.

Sherman says it is anticipated Reede Construction will start paving the north lanes around the middle of May.

Water line work will continue from South County Road east to First Fidelity Bank.

“We will see a lot more work in Phase 2 which is the area from South County Road to First Fidelity Bank.

Sherman added the overwidth detour is in place and the signage is in place. This is for local truck traffic only. Other trucks or larger vehicles are asked to work with the port authority to find an alternate route.

Sherman is stressing that people drive slow in the work zone and observe the 25 mile a your speed limit which starts at First Fidelity Bank. “If people don’t follow the speed limit and signs it will really create problems on the project,” Sherman said.

There is a large drop off due to the profile change from the old road and the new road and that is why the speed has been reduced to 25 miles per hour. “There is no room for a margin of error.  Drive slow,” said Sherman.

He also talked about the progress on the project on Highway 18 from Winner to Colome.

He said the surface repair is 100 percent complete and work has moved to stage 2 which is the diamond grinding of the surface. Sherman explained this will restore a great ride.

“Persons should see a vast improvement to the ride,” he said.

Detour signs and overwidth signs on this section will be removed. The drive from Winner to Colome is basically back to normal except in work zone areas where diamond grinding is being done. This area will be controlled by a flagger and a pilot car.

On May 2, persons noticed work being done on Highway 44. Last year as part of the three year highway project in Winner temporary highway markings were placed. Now, new durable pavement markings have been laid. Sherman noted the durable markings should erase any confusion persons had driving in this area.

Construction meetings are held every Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the city council chambers.

Persons who have questions on the project can call the DOT office in Winner.

Office building for sale

By Dan Bechtold


South Central Development Corporation has an office building for sale.

The development corporation acquired Covey Law Office from Vicki Covey. The building has been remodeled with new windows, doors, heating, cooling, new roof, new sewer and bathroom.

Mike Scott of the development corporation says this will be a nice office for someone. The building at 409 S. Main St. is for sale. Those interested in the building are to call Scott at the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce office.

Scott says the development corporation is trying to revitalize Main Street one building at a time.

Looking for new opportunities on Main Street, an architectural firm is looking at a possibility for a green space on Main Street. This would include a sitting area, maybe a stage. This is an area where there could be a farmers market, Santa visit to Winner and just a nice visual piece to Main Street.

Scott says the goal is when someone new drives through Winner and Main Street they say, “Wow, this looks neat.”

The development corporation has funding available persons who want to upgrade their buildings through a façade grant.

SCDC is involved in a lot of aspects of the community as far as having loans available and recruitment of employees. The pressing goal is the revitalization of Main Street.

Persons interested in buying this building are asked to call Mike Scott.

Legislators answer questions at Crackerbarrel

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
District 21 lawmakers were in Winner on Saturday for a crackerbarrel session. Pictured from left are Mike Scott of the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce, moderator; Rep. Marty Overweg and Rep. Rocky Blare.

By Dan Bechtold


Sales tax reduction, foreign ownership of ag land were among the topics discussed by Dist. 21 legislators at a crackerbarrel in Winner Saturday afternoon at the Winner Legion.

Lawmakers attending were Rep. Rocky Blare of Ideal and Rep. Marty Overweg of New Holland.

Sen. Erin Tobin of Winner was unable to attend.

The crackerbarrel was sponsored by Winner Area Chamber of Commerce with Mike Scott, executive director of the Chamber introducing the lawmakers. Winner American Legion Auxiliary provided coffee, cookies and bars.

Blare said the biggest issue this past week in the House was passing HB1137 which will reduce the state sales tax rates in South Dakota from 4.5 percent to 4.2 percent. This will reduce the tax burden for citizens by $100 million, the largest tax decrease in S.D. history.

There were two bills regarding the foreign ownership of agriculture land.

The governor’s farmland protection bill, SB185 was defeated in the senate explained Overweg.

If enacted, it would create a seven member board modeled after the federal agency tasked to reviewing foreign purchases that could impact national security.

The committee would review any transfer of agricultural land involving a foreign entity, offering a recommendation to the governor.

Overweg said all ag groups were opposed to SB185 and Overweg said he was also against it.

Blare explained an ag bill that has survived is HB1189 which would be a ban of foreign ownership of over 160 acres. The bill will help close a loophole by requiring disclosure by a foreign owned corporation as to whether they hold any interest in South Dakota ag land.

Pam Haukaas of the Colome Consolidated School Board asked the legislators to consider an increase of 8 percent for school districts. She said students are leaving the state for higher paying jobs in neighboring states. Haukaas said the average teacher pay in South Dakota is $49,547. She said the closest regional competitor, Montana, is more than $3,500 ahead of South Dakota.
Haukaas said the state has the money for an 8 percent increase. She said the current proposed increase of 5 percent costs the state $24 million and if the total increase was raised to 8 percent it would require only about $14 million more for a total increase in new funding for public schools.

Robert Tate asked several questions about voting machines and told the legislators he cannot find out who owns the voting machines.

Blare explained there are several bills in the legislature this year dealing with election integrity. In his column this week in the Winner Advocate Blare lists the election bills.

A question was asked about the brand board. Blare said the House passed a brand board bill that would change the make up of the board from appointed to elected members from seven districts.

A discussion was held on what the legislators will do to regulate medical marijuana.

A bill dealing with pop up medical marijuana clinics died in the Senate.

Prior to meeting in Winner, the lawmakers held a crackerbarrel in Burke.

South Dakota Corn Growers Association Elects Hamill Area Farmer Trent Kubik to Serve as Secretary/Treasurer

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) is pleased to announce that Trent Kubik has been elected as Secretary/Treasurer of the SDCGA for 2023. Trent and his wife Shannon, and two brothers, Troy and Bruce, started their own farm and ranch, where they operate a corn, soybean, small grains, alfalfa and cow-calf operation in Hamill. Kubik and his wife Shannon have two sons. In his spare time he enjoys cheering on the SDSU Jackrabbits and the Green Bay Packers, as well as traveling with his family.The following board members were also elected to serve for 2023:

President Dave Ellens, District 5

Dave Ellens has been elected President of the SDCGA for 2023. Dave and his family raise corn and soybeans in Madison. As owner of Lakeco Crop Services, he also is a third-generation Pioneer dealer.

Vice President Taylor Sumption, District 5

Taylor Sumption manages his family’s farm in partnership with his four brothers and parents in Frederick. They produce corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and oats in combination with operating a cow/calf operation and feedlot.

In addition, the following individuals were elected or approved to join the SDCGA board for 2023.

District 4 – Travis Strasser

District 6 – Mike Cronin

District 7 – Jeff Burg

District 8 – Scott Stahl

District 9 – Trent Kubik

At-Large – Kelsey Geraets

Industry Director – Jennifer Feistner

Industry Director – Kendall Jones

Industry Director – Rebecca Wellenstein

South Dakota Ranch Receives Regional Environmental Stewardship Award

Submitted Photo
Jorgensen Land & Cattle, Ideal, was one of the regional winners of the Environmental Stewardship Award presented in New Orleans, La. Pictured from left are Cody Jorgensen, Abby Jorgensen, Brenda Jorgensen, Bryan Jorgensen, Deb Jorgensen, Greg Jorgensen and Nick Jorgensen.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced  that Jorgensen Land & Cattle Partnership in Ideal was selected as one of seven regional winners of the 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The ranch was recognized during the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show in New Orleans.

“Farming and ranching families across the country continue to incorporate practices that protect and preserve land and water resources for future generations,” said NCBA President Don Schiefelbein. “These regional winners represent the cattle industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Established in 1991, ESAP celebrates outstanding land stewards in the cattle industry. The regional winners will compete for the national award, which will be presented during NCBA’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., April 24-27, 2023. The 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award Program Regional Winners are:

Region I: Lamb Farms, Inc., Oakfield, New York

Region II: Carter Cattle Company, LLC, Pintlala, Alabama

Region III: Huth Polled Herefords and S&H Livestock Enterprises, LLC, Oakfield, Wisconsin

Region IV: Parks Ranch, Goliad County, Texas

Region V: Mannix Brothers Ranch, Helmville, Montana

Region VI: Fulstone Ranches, Smith, Nevada

Region VII: Jorgensen Land & Cattle Partnership, Ideal, South Dakota

“The Jorgensen family depicts all aspects of the award ideals while working to improve their operation each year since 1909,” said Cindy Zenk, coordinator of the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. “The love of cattle and the land, a passion that continues to be handed down through generations is vividly evident with the fourth generation now managing the operation.”

Soil and animal health are the primary drivers for practices implemented at Jorgensen Land & Cattle. Grazing rotations are developed based on the impacts to soil health, livestock feed demands, and the wildlife benefit created from good cover and plant diversity. Rotational grazing has increased grazing efficiency and improved the productivity of the grassland. The ranch practices diverse crop rotations, integrates livestock grazing on both grassland and cropland, and adds as few external inputs to the cropping or pasture systems as possible. In addition to the cattle operation, Jorgensen grows 12,000 non-irrigated acres of crops every year using no-till, which has helped improve soil structure and nutrient efficiency.

“We strive to learn from Mother Nature by studying the native prairies,” said Cody Jorgensen, chief livestock officer at Jorgensen Land & Cattle. “Based on what we learn, we develop cropping rotations that are intended to mimic the ecosystem we live in.”

ESAP is generously sponsored by companies and federal agencies who share the cattle industry’s commitment to caring for the environment and protecting natural resources. Sponsors including U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corteva Agriscience, McDonald’s, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partner with NCBA to promote environmental stewardship throughout the beef supply chain. For more information, visit

Legislative leaders differ on tax cut legislation

By Dana Hess

For the S.D. Newspaper Association

PIERRE — Republican legislative leaders are promising a conservative approach to the various tax cut bills that have been submitted during this session of the Legislature. Democratic leaders, who for years have backed a sales tax cut on food, aren’t entirely optimistic about the fate of this year’s tax cut legislation.

Their comments were made on Thursday, Jan. 26, to a group of editors and publishers in Pierre for Newspaper Day at the Legislature.

 Currently in the Legislature there are four bills with versions of sales tax cuts as well as a bill to cut property taxes.

 “Most of us would love to do a tax cut,” said Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree, R-Madison. “We’re going to be conservative and prudent with our decision-making. We don’t want to make a mistake now.”

 House Majority Leader Will Mortenson, R-Pierre, said Republican lawmakers are faced with a tough choice as they want to cut taxes, but they also want to be fiscally conservative.

 “We don’t make that decision hastily,” Mortenson said. “Fools rush in.”

 A cut of the sales tax on food was a cornerstone of Gov. Kristi Noem’s re-election campaign. The Republican leaders said they would work with the governor, but they needed to consider all the tax cut bills.

 “The governor has the loudest microphone of everyone in the Capitol,” Mortenson said.

 The governor may have the biggest microphone, but, according to Democrats, she’s not putting in the work that’s needed to pass her bill to cut the sales tax on food.

 “She’s using this as a campaign stunt,” said Senate Minority Leader Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, referring to Noem announcing her support for the sales tax cut on food during her re-election campaign. “My sense of the Senate is that she doesn’t have the votes.”

 There’s a certain amount of education, cajoling and arm twisting that goes into the passage of legislation. According to Nesiba, Noem has been missing in action.

“She hasn’t been making the phone calls, doing the work necessary,” Nesiba said. “She’s often out of state, traveling, focusing on something else.”

 Rather than go without any cut in the sales tax on food, Nesiba said Democrats have offered alternative bills that cut one penny and two pennies off the tax.

 “Democrats are leading the way to a compromise to get this done,” Nesiba said. “We’ll probably help the governor save face.”

Republican legislative leaders respond to a question during Newspaper Day

Photo: Jeremy Waltner/Freeman Courier
Republican legislative leaders respond to a question during Newspaper Day at the Legislature on Jan. 26. From left are press conference moderator Carson Walker, CEO of South Dakota News Watch, house majority leader Will Mortenson of Pierre, senate majority leader Casey Crabtree of Madison and senate assistant majority leader Michael Diedrich of Rapid City.

Democratic legislative leaders participate in a Newspaper Day

Photo: Jeremy Waltner/Freeman Courier
Democratic legislative leaders participate in a Newspaper Day at the legislature press conference on Jan. 26. From left are moderator Carson Walker, CEO of South Dakota News Watch; House assistant minority leader Erin Healy of Sioux Falls; Senate Minority leader Reynold Nesiba of Sioux Falls and House minority leader Oren Lesmeister of Parade.

Mitchell Tech students unveil custom motorcycle

Submitted Photo
Mitchell Tech students recently unveiled a custom motorcycle. There are a couple of area students who worked on the bike. Pictured f rom left are Chris Degen, power sports technology program director, Michael Supik, Colome; Austin Munkvold, Jacob Johnson, Evan Juracek, Gregory, Marcus Laursen and Kash Weischedel.

Re-built motorcycle headed for elite auction later this month

Students, faculty, staff and supporters of Mitchell Technical

College gathered for the Power Sports Technology students’ pit stop before with their custom-built motorcycle Friday afternoon.

Since late September, the program’s six second-year students, along with representatives of Helping with Horsepower, a Mitchell-area nonprofit providing opportunities for purpose, wellbeing and growth through projects such as bike rebuilds, worked tirelessly to tear down and rebuild the 2018 Harley-Davidson Road Glide for the City of Sturgis, who purchased the bike.

The finished bike is scheduled to go up for bids on an elite Mecum Auction in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 24-28.

“We wanted to be 90 percent done when they left (for Christmas break), so we were on a pretty tight deadline,” said Laura Klock, President and Founder of Helping with Horsepower.

In just over three months, the students “got to be involved all the way from tearing the bike

down, building some custom stuff and putting it back together,” according to Power Sports Program Director Chris Degen.

From the very beginning, it was a team effort.

“Everyone kind of had their own … design ideas,” Degen recalled. “We sat around and figured out color schemes and what we wanted the bike to look like and what we were going for,” then transformed the touring-style Road Glide into a “race-like bagger.”

The cosmetic transformation is apparent at first glance and brought cheers from the approximately 100 people in attendance last Friday.

Most obviously, the solid-colored pearl paint was replaced with a white base and racing strips of blue, bronze and black with barely-noticeable monochromatic Sturgis emblems. The solid black factory seat was replaced with a sporty black and white leather seat embroidered in a diamond pattern with the City of Sturgis emblem displayed prominently at the top. Just

below the gas cap, the official coin for the 2023 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was inset into the modified gas tank, and students fabricated a custom shift linkage bearing the Sturgis logo. A majority of the chrome was replaced with metallic bronze or high-gloss black-painted pieces.

In homage to the students who invested their class periods into the build, the motor mount dons a black Mitchell Tech logo set on a bronze base.

“There are a lot of (subtle) custom parts that the students got to” add to the bike to commemorate the 83rd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and to honor the involvement of Mitchell

Tech, Helping with Horsepower and the project’s many corporate sponsors, Degen said, adding that the students were able to use some of the skills they’re learning in their welding class on the project.

And the mechanics were overhauled, too. Degen said the engine horsepower and torque were increased by 50 percent. Various standard parts were replaced with performance parts to make the bike race-ready, but it is enough like the original to still be used as a road rider.

Although the turnaround on the project was quick for such an expansive project, Klock said the process was “beautiful.”

“These guys were so fast and so responsive. The motor mount – they talked about it, and then one of them was out the door, making it. (They) did a great job. (They) should all be very proud of (themselves),” she said. “They have such a great base from the school and Chris’s instruction. They understand how it all works. … This is the future of power sports standing here.”

The experience was unique for everyone involved. For students, it was a first custom build.

And, for Degen and Klock, it was the first project they’ve had that will be sold to a national audience.

“It was awesome to be able to add the design and marketing concept to the students’ mechanical coursework that they’re already learning,” she said.

The bike departed Mitchell last Monday afternoon, with another unveiling pit stop scheduled for Sturgis on Tuesday at 4 p.m. From there, the bike will be Vegas-bound.

The final day of the bike’s time at auction will be televised Sat., Jan. 28 at The winner of the auction will purchase the custom motorcycle, an autographed

concept drawing from designer Tex McDorman and a VIP package to the 83rd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, to be held this August in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

“We hope that whomever the purchaser is really embraces the story” of the Rally and Helpingwith Horsepower.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit “the Sturgis Rally Endowment Fund, a part of the Black Hills Community Foundation, to ensure that the Rally tradition of charitable giving endures for the benefit of future area residents,” according to Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen.

Some of the funds raised will be routed to Helping with Horsepower, a Mitchell-area nonprofit providing opportunities for purpose, well-being and growth for individuals born or diagnosed with limitations. The organization’s Bike Rebuild Program is a therapeutic opportunity for participants to rebuild a motorcycle as they acquire tools to rebuild their lives.

“It’s a win-win-win,” according to Laura Klock, creator of the Helping with Horsepower Biken Rebuild Program. “The students got the project experience, which included extra training byn some of the sponsors, … (while Helping with Horsepower and the Rally endowment) benefit

from the proceeds (allowing) HWH to continue to provide opportunities and hands-on programs.”

Former Winner resident writes book on racial tensions at sea

Marv Truhe’s new hardcover book, “Against All Tides, The Untold Story of the USS Kitty Hawk Race Riot” was released on Oct. 11. The book was released on the 50th anniversary of the race riot which is the subject of the book.

Truhe grew up in Winner. He graduated from Winner High School in 1963. While attending high school Truhe worked at the Winner Advocate.

He has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1967. He also has an honorary doctorate from School of Mines in 2003.

He received his law degree from Northwestern Law School in 1970.

Truhe was on active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1970-74. He served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk off the coast of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

He served as a lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

After his military duty, Truhe returned to South Dakota and was an assistant attorney general in the AG office in 1974 as head of trial division.

He was in private practice from 1975-2007 in Rapid City working corporate, mining and environmental law.

Truhe retired in 2008 and moved to Colorado with his wife, Nicki.

Truhe says the book is a story of racial injustice and is a first person account of Truhe’s experience as a US Navy JAG lawyer during the Vietnam War.

An interracial confrontation occurred aboard the ship while it was conducting bombing runs into north Vietnam.

Truhe represented several of the 25 black sailors who were unjustly charged with rioting and assaults.

The book covers riots and the court martial trails that followed.

Truhe said his goal in writing the book was to set the record straight because of all the one sided and erroneous chronicles of the incident.

“I wanted to write the complete story in a fair and balanced manner,” he said.

He started writing the book after the special court martials were completed and while Truhe was serving as a military judge.

He collected thousands of pages of original source documents: Navy investigation reports, hundreds of sworn statements and medical records, Congressional subcommittee hearing testimony, his own case files and interviews with client witnesses.

Truhe retained these documents for 50 years (six banker boxes) and again took up writing the book in January 2021.

In January 2022 he presented his manuscript to the publisher for editing. Editing was completed in July and the book came out in October.

Truhe said his inspiration and goal in writing the book was to set the record straight because of all the one-sided and erroneous chronicles of the incident.

Among the injustices he said were 25 black sailors were charged with rioting and assaults against white sailors, but no white sailors were charged.

He said this was a totally one sided investigation. Truhe added Navy officials  withheld critical evidence from defense lawyers.

Photos and details are in the book’s website,

Truhe was invited to give a book presentation at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The newspaper in San Diego, Calif., wrote a front page story on the book Nov. 20.

In the newspaper story, Truhe said there was deep-seeded racism in Navy, an institution he respected then and respects still. Questions about fairness in the legal system, an arena where he would do his life’s work. Questions about integrity and honesty.

That’s why he kept those five boxes, to look for answers. It’s why he turned what was inside into a book which offers the most complete picture yet of what happened on board the aircraft carrier and in the trials that followed.

Writing the book took Truhe 18 months of 12 hour days, time spent sifting through documents, remembering details, reliving the story.

“I am not usually an angry person but I was angry as all this unfolded 50 years ago,” he said.

In end, 23 Black Kitty Hawk sailors faced court-martials in San Diego, most of them accused of rioting and assault. Only one white sailor was charged with assault, three months after the riot. He was acquitted.

Of the black defendants, seven accepted plea deals admitting to one or more reduced charges and received minimal sentences such as time-served or  fine. Ten were convicted at a trial of one or more offenses and also received minimal sentences.

Six others were exonerated. Three had their charges dismissed before trial, two were acquitted.

Worried that the book might come across as a “one-sided rant by a disgruntled defense attorney” Truhe said he took pains to be balanced in the depiction of events. The 320 page book includes 1,100 footnotes.

The book can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes&Noble and other locations.

Truhe  and his wife live in a retirement community in Broomfield, Colo. His wife is from Colorado and they were married in 1970 just before he went on active duty. The couple have been married for 52 years.

They have a son, Eric, his wife, Leigh, both attorneys, live nearby with two children.