Check Education Priorities blog for information on the Sunday, October 2, 2016 meeting planned for Winner, SD on Technical and adult education proposals and related information. Details here: Winner Meeting Information at Education Priorities.
The Tech School idea for Winner has gradually gained more supporters. This meeting is an opportunity to hear more information and also express your opinions on the possible educational, social, and economic benefits for the future of a growing Winner rather than a future of continuing decline of Winner society and economy. This may be the key to building a better future for Winner and surrounding area in south-central South Dakota.
--- Doug Wiken
The link below discusses conversion of an abandoned store into a regional best library. The abandoned Winner Middle School is not quite like a store, but there could be similar uses. Take a look at the link below and think about the possibilities. A regional reference and computing center might be an asset.
Winner city could use what is now the Grossenburg library as a new city office. It would be better suited for that than its current use as a library.
----- Doug Wiken
Tripp County Democrats did not have candidates to fill every slot this election year, but the candidates the party has are all very able and head and shoulders better than retrograde GOP alternatives.
Not a very good copy, but I'm sure you will all get the idea. Only about 4 days to the election which will mean a blessed relief from the deceptive TV and radio ads polluting the air waves.
----- Doug Wiken
The Winner School District is apparently willing to give the City of Winner a school building with a value somewhere between $2 million and $5 million depending on how one values such buildings. Chuck Noble wrote a letter to the Winner Advocate which appears in the Wednesday September 24, 2014 issue which has a more businesslike approach to the issue with facts and figures. I have it copied at Dakota Today. Read it at Dakota Today-- Give Away a Building for $1? ***Or** Download Letter to Editor Winner Advocate 9.24.2014.
And this from the Wall Street Journal which is evident around the Winner area where officials view sales tax revenue from non-residents and from farmers with no voice in local issues as manna from heaven that can be wasted on boondoggles benefiting only local influentials.
Education expenditures may become a local issue if the school board wants to raise local taxes. But, on average, only 45% of school costs come from local revenues, with states (45%) and the federal government (10%) supplying the remainder. Money coming from state and federal governments is usually treated by local politicians as "free" to the local community, and thus attention given to costs target only that 45% of the total borne by the local community. Source: Wall Street Journal--Paul Peterson.
---- Doug Wiken
My wife planted trees with her father when she was about 4 years old. The locust trees grew and are now around 45 feet tall. Three of them are on our lot. Unfortunately, the City of Winner has a municipal power line on the same street. I don't know which came first, the tree planting or the powerline, but Winner has decided they want $300 per tree trimmed under the powerline.
Much as we regret having to do it, we are cutting down these trees. We are not going to pay the city or their contractors over $900 every two or three years. My wife views the tree cutting something like a funeral. Soon all three will be stumps...how long it takes will depend on this stifling humid weather.
Of course, nobody seems to ever guess well on how large a tree will become when they plant that puny little plant with only a few leaves. These would have had to be nearly in the middle of the lot to avoid the powerline. And then they would have been edging into the territory of being just a mite too close to the house. Plan ahead and be optimistic about tree growth and lifespan. And never assume anything optimistic or good about future city policies.
--- By Doug Wiken with some posing by my very patient wife
Nagel Construction shows a bit of humor when they park a big mama backhoe and then tuck a little baby backhoe in under its "wing". I finally got a photo of the pair this morning.
Click on a image for a larger version.
I finally squinted enough to read the phonebook fine print. The Nagel Construction shop is at 201 NORTH 316TH AVE. WINNER, SD. Their shop phone is 842-3842. Another number for Nagel Construction is 842-1364. My guess is that sooner or later at one or the other you may get hold of Larry Nagel or Thayne Nagel. They can probably tell you more about the machinery in the photo and the other construction work they do.
---- Doug Wiken
At about 6:30 this morning my wife was getting ready for work. We heard a thump as if something had slammed the side of the house like a sonic boom. My wife thought perhaps a dying tree had collapsed on the house. She ran outside around the house and saw nothing, but then heard a chorus of sirens.
At 8:30AM police cars and fire trucks with flashing lights were near the intersection of Lamro Street and First Street. I came out to the farm and headed back to town and met an ambulance on way to Winner Regional Airport. I drove near that intersection. Police tape strung all over. A house had exploded. The whole second floor and roof were gone.
People in house near there were out in their yards. I talked to a few of them since Firemen and Police refused to say anything and my wife works at Hospital so she can't say anything. The neighbors had windows in their house blown out and a lamp blown off the side of the house. Their daughter in another house had a window blow in and a dresser in her bedroom tipped over on her.
I am a bit put off by all the TV car crash, crime, violence, and destruction that seems to be more and more a part of KELO and CBS "News", but here I am reporting some of it myself. Another small town sized so that everybody thinks they know everything, but just large enough that most of us don't. Makes for some interesting tales now and then.
The neighbors said there was a gas water heater in the house, but others said propane sinks instead of rises. The roof and second floor were blown off, but it appears the actual first floor ceiling/second floor is still intact. [[[ PLEASE NOTE: Info at end from KWYR indicating SD Fire Marshall has said it was an accident occuring because of propane. And KELO says it was Audrey Ferguson's house.]]]
Another woman said a bunch of Facebook posts were reporting several people burned and possibly being moved to Sioux Falls by Air Ambulance. I have no other confirmation of that other then seeing an ambulance coming or going from the airport.
Below are some photos. I assume that after an investigation, names of residents may be released. I have driven past this house a few hundred times, but have no real recollection of how it looked before it exploded.
Looking north at intersection of Lamro Street and First Street.
Click on image for a larger view.
This was a two- story house with a relatively steeply pitched roof. It appears the roof and walls were blasted 50 to 100 feet off to the sides. Front was blown completely off. Shattered glass was in grass cross street from house. I think house was stucco, but not sure. Neighbors said a woman staggered out of the front of the house soon after the explosion. Looking at the devastation, it was hard to believe anybody survived the blast and fire. So far the six residents are still alive. One dog survived. Another dog died in blast or crash.
There were at least two police cars that weren't chasing speeders this morning.
If any "official information" escapes, I will follow up with that later.
As of 3:05PM, July 19, 2013, Winner Police Routine Information says there is no official information on the house explosion since it is an "ungoing investigation".
However, local radio station KWYR has this on its web page:
As you heard earlier this morning, a fire occured in Winner and was confirmed by the Winner Police Department. Winner Fire Chief Darin Nelson told us that a fire was reported at 422 West 1st street. Nelson said five people were inside the home and suffered injuries, and were sent to the local hospital. Four of the five people in the home were transported to hospitals outside of Winner. Also, the State Fire Marshall arrived on the scene at 10:45AM and determined that it was an accidental propane explosion. You can listen to the full interview with Winner Fire Chief Darin Nelson on our photos-videos page, as well as a couple of photos that you can view.
KELO-TV at 6PM today had a video of house demolition and said that home belonged to Audrey Ferguson. KELO has said the Audrey Ferguson Fire Fund was set up at Wells Fargo Bank.
[[[ Note of Saturday July 20,2013: The Mitchell Daily Republic has a photo and stories in the Saturday-Sunday July 20-21, 21-3 issue. Today, I talked to April Al-Salihi, a Winner Police officer and daughter of Audrey Ferguson. She said her mother is still in Winner Regional Hospital, but the other four people in the house are at a Minnesota Burn Center. Burns ranged from something like 45% to 90%. April's coworkers and other city workers were cleaning up the home site trying to save momentos and undamaged furniture, etc. The City trucks in photo below were helping clean up.
April Al-Salihi said she thought any contibution checks could be mailed or dropped at the local Wells Fargo Bank or deposits could be made to the account at any Wells Fargo Bank.]]]]
Wells Fargo Bank
The Audrey Ferguson Fire Fund
425 S Main ST
Winner SD 57580
People with more history in Winner than I have told me that the house years ago was originally a laundry run by a Mrs. Rose Jordt?. Another bit of Winner history gone in a flash..well nearly.
--- Doug Wiken
Above this post is an image of the "Welcome to Winner" sign on the west side of Winner, SD. Another sign just like it is on the east side of Winner on Highway 44. I received e-mail saying the east Welcome sign had been vandalized. The writer was upset that the mess had not been cleaned up, and people visiting for Memorial Day were greeted to a mess, and that the Winner Chamber of Commerce was asked to remove a photo from their page. My wife and I had driven past the sign and not noticed anything. So much for our power of observation while driving.
Above this post is a photo of how the sign should look. The photo below in this post shows the vandalized east sign. I guess I don't quite understand what joy vandals get out of smashing and trashing. Rumor has it that the local cops have some ideas of who did it. Perhaps if the local cops spent less time checking for people going 5 mph over the speed limit, they might notice other things. On the other hand I was driving and noticed nothing myself.
Apparently the white lettering was smashed with hammers.
If you know who did this mindless destruction, give the Winner Police a call-- 605-842-3939. [[[ Note: Winner Advocate of June 5, 2013 notes in a story on the sign that police have suspects--- A five-year old and a seven-year old. And, that, parents should be reminded that they may be financially liable for the actions of their children-- June 6, 2013 ]]]]
In the meantime, Welcome to Winner, even if you don't see the sign on the east side of town. These signs might be a good place for highway weather cameras which might also deter vandalism around the signs.
------------ Doug Wiken
It is that time again. Time for snow now and then and Pamida/Now Shopko putting up their garden tent. That usually means a blizzard. Also it almost always rains or snows when the Winner Farm and Home Show opens. But, the snow was mostly gone by the time the doors were open. Below are a few photos. Click on photos for larger image. The Farm and Home show will be on again on Saturday March 23, 2013.
First, an overview from the second floor:
And a few of individual displays...mostly the usual suspects. Many organizations have participated for many years; but more than a few are absent this year. These photos give an idea. It is a good time to talk to people you may not have seen for years.
First, Linda and Doug Nelson of Nelson's Electronics and Radio Shack. Nearly the first you see as you walk in the doors.
And Winner Regional Health Care was here again...Home Health on hand, but not at all thrilled about being in the picture. My wife has worked at WRHC for too many years, so I almost had to get this in.
And, since I am posting this because we have GoldenWest for our Telephone and internet service...and because they are upgrading rural lines to fiber optics...but that is whole 'nuther story.
And there are usually issue groups of some kind. This years example is not the local GOP or Democrats, but a group pushing one of the most wasteful, inane projects seen yet in Winner and there have been a few.
This is a fundraiser for a two acre bass pond for youth fishing. The City of Winner and the SD State Game, Fish, and Parks are jointly putting up something around $400, ooo for this boondoggle. I will have more on this in a separate post. This bit of nonsense will generate costs for the state and the city for many years and produce next to nothing of value. Let the GF&P know you are not amused by this nonsense .. Contact GF&P
My guess is that any dozen Winner residents can come up with a dozen better ideas for promoting and developing Winner, SD.
But check into the Farm and Home Show. A lot of people there will be happy to see you.
Looks like the Winner High School Football team just finished a perfect season by defeating Tri-Valley at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion. I think the score was 13-6.
I mostly don't give a tinker's damn about interschool and intercollegiate sports or the corporated sports teams, but congratulations to the team and coach anyway. I'm sure they all worked hard to get the victories
Now if the school would put a fraction as much emphasis on science and math competitions as the do on football...............................
------- Doug Wiken ..source: watching SDPB-TV for the right 10 minutes.