In Hutterite news, the Spink County Commission yesterday approved the creation of a new Hutterite colony. During Tuesday’s meeting, the commission approved a special exception for Sunrise Hutterian Brethren Inc. to place a machine/blacksmith shop, a church & school and a lagoon for domestic use and a variance for Sunrise to construct two multi-family units with six units per building in the northwest quarter of Section 4, Township 117, Range 64, which Google Maps tells me is about 13 miles northwest of Redfield, just west of US 281 between Ashton and Athol, and about 40 miles southwest of the Hutterville Colony up in Brown County.
The latter matters most, because the Hutterites building Sunrise are coming from Hutterville, which has been embroiled in disruptive business, legal, and theological conflicts for years. Johnny Wipf led one religious faction that attempted in a variety of ways to wrest control of Hutterville from its recognized leaders. Jake Wipf (who lists his address as Alexandria) and Glen Wipf and John Waldner (who list the same Ashton address as the new colony) filed to incorporate Sunrise Hutterian Brethren Inc. as a church and religious corporation on June 18, 2015. Their agent is Jeffrey T. Sveen of Siegel Barnett and Schutz of Aberdeen, a well-known lawyer for Hutterite colonies across South Dakota who was deeply involved in the Hutterville conflict.
Let us hope the formation of the new Sunrise colony signals an end to the Hutterville conflict that will allow both factions to get back to their peaceful Christian communism.
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A communist mindset may have gotten another South Dakota Hutterite colony in trouble. Montana-based ATechBuilder Corp is suing the Brentwood Colony in Faulk County and the colony’s ProComm Builders company for stealing ATechBuilder’s intellectual property. ATechBuilders and the Brentwood Hutterites worked together to build and sell energy-efficient houses from 2010 to 2012. ATech says Brentwood and ProComm kept using ATech’s plans after the partnership ended. Brentwood is countersuing, saying the plans they are using are either covered by signed agreements with ATech or part of the public domain. Have fun with that one, judge!