February 2024

These youth had a great time making bead bracelets, led by the Town ‘N Kountry Blue Group 4-H Club.

An open house was held this past Saturday to showcase and celebrate the completion of the Sanborn County 4-H Building Addition.  Around 200 people enjoyed the event that included a meal, numerous activities to take advantage of the huge space the addition brings, and lots of good conversation and fun.

The first meeting to discuss the need for expanding the 4-H Building was in 2018 and included looking at the growing needs of more space for 4-H, school and community. As plans were beginning to evolve, we moved to 2020 and COVID, which brought these discussions to a pause. 

In the fall of 2021, a group of volunteers determined the time was right and established a building committee to begin a committed path to making this dream a reality.  Building committee members were Art and Audrey Kneen, Andy Ettswold, Scott Senska, Riley Zoss-Littau, Rod Weber and Paula Linke.

Potential building plans were created, a budget was developed, and discussions were held with the Sanborn County Commissioners, school boards, 4-H volunteers and families, community leaders, businesses, and perhaps anyone who would listen to our ideas.  Once we had the support and financial commitment from the Commissioners, as well as hearing the support from many throughout the county, we began some fundraising and lots of communication. 

…Read on and see another picture in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

Artesian Volunteer Fire Department was recently awarded a $2,200 Operation Round-Up® grant from Central Electric Cooperative to help purchase new equipment. 

Local firefighter Walter Cope said, “With the monies we received from Central Electric, the fire department was able to replace four nozzles on fire trucks, update the hose on the grass rig and replace hoses on the rescue rig. Additional hoses were purchased for the pumper truck as well.”

Central Electric manager of communications Tara Miller said, “Rural fire departments operate on a lean budget. They make the most of what they have, and this Operation Round-Up grant is just one way we can say thanks for everything they do.” 

Operation Round-Up is a voluntary program run by the members for the members. Dawna VanOverschelde represents Sanborn County and Tami Moore represents Miner County on the Operation Round-Up board of trustees. 

Through the program, cooperative members round up their monthly statement to the next whole dollar, and the extra cents accumulate to support area projects.

The next Operation Round-Up grant application deadline is May 1. For more information about the program, call 1-800-477-2892 or visit www.centralec.coop and click on member programs. 

…See a picture in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

Ronnie Uttecht


Ronnie D. Uttecht, 83, of Woonsocket, passed away on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, at Good Samaritan Society-Miller in Miller, after a several year battle with Alzheimer’s.  

His funeral services were held on Saturday, Feb. 17, at Living Hope Alliance Church in Huron. Burial followed at Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery with military honors by the Alpena American Legion. Visitation with a prayer service was on Friday, Feb. 16, at Welter Funeral Home in Huron.

Ronnie was born Dec. 25, 1940, to parents Carl and Bertha (Fastnacht) Uttecht at the home of his aunt and uncle near Wessington Springs.  He lived his early years northeast of Alpena, where he attended country school.  In 1958, he graduated from Alpena High School.

Ronnie enlisted in the US Army in January of 1959.  Ronnie spent time at Ft. Hood and Ft. Belvoir before being transferred to France and the 510th Engineer Company. While in France, he was schooled in CAT tractors and graders.  He built roads to army supply units around the area and other projects. He received an honorable discharge in March 1962. Back in the States, he worked for Huron Sash and Door and began his lifelong career of farming.  

Ronnie married Carol Ann Eddy on June 13, 1964, and lived on a farm northeast of Woonsocket, where they raised their two sons. They milked cows, raised hogs and stock cows, and farmed numerous crops. He enjoyed working with his John Deere tractors and Hereford cattle.  

Ronnie was a member of the United Parish of Alpena and served on its board. He was an active member of the Alpena American Legion for many years and took great honor in reading the roll at Memorial Day services. He also served on boards for Alpena Co-op Oil, Sanborn Telephone, Central Electric, and on the Warren Township board for 49 years. He was an active bowler, competing in several leagues and tournaments. He loved to hunt pheasants, deer and elk, gathering an entourage of friends and family. He was proud of his boys and their family accomplishments. He was able to travel to St. Kitts to visit granddaughter, Sam, while she was in vet school and to Florida to visit granddaughter, Lauren. Other memorable trips were made to Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Alaska, and Niagara Falls.

Ronnie was survived by his wife; children, David (Angie) of Huron, and Darrin (Tangie) of rural Woonsocket; sisters, Karen (Lawrence) Kopfmann and Dianna (Darrell) Neuharth, both of Alpena; brother-in-law, Ivan Teveldal of Tulare; sister-in-law, Janet (John) Grunewaldt of Sioux Falls; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Glenda; and great-grandson, Krew Kopfmann.

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