OUR VIEW: Hisses and Cheers
CHEERS to the people of Wessington Springs and their efforts to recover from a devastating tornado that struck the small town Wednesday. Out of the tragedy, many positive stories have emerged, including tales of heroism by local volunteers who drove through town warning about the oncoming storm, the lack of serious bodily harm that resulted from the heeding of those warnings, and the many instances of kindness being displayed every day during the aftermath of the destruction. We urge all of our readers to find a way to help the Wessington Springs tornado victims, by donating to the Wessington Springs Relief Fund, gathering items for the tornado victims, or other means of assistance.
HISSES to the amount of texting-and-driving committed by teenagers in South Dakota. A survey report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 61 percent of teen drivers in grades 9 through 12 in South Dakota text and drive or send emails while driving, which is the highest rate in the nation. We wonder if the problem is really so much worse than in other parts of the country, or if teenagers here are just more honest in answering surveys. Whatever the case, it's clear there is too much texting-and-driving happening and the practice is endangering everyone on the road.
CHEERS to Mitchell High School boys tennis coach Pat Moller for being named the tennis coach of the year by the South Dakota High School Coaches' Association. Moller is one of many people involved in building a powerhouse tennis program in Mitchell. It's a program that the city can be proud of and one that is teaching children a pastime they can pursue for the rest of their lives. CHEERS also to another coach, Mary Ellen Luikens, of Scotland, who last week was named the assistant coach of the year in girls sports by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for her longtime commitment to coaching track and field.
HISSES to the addictive qualities of smokeless tobacco, which came under the harsh spotlight of national scrutiny last week because of the death of Major League Baseball great Tony Gwynn at age 54. Gwynn blamed the cancer of the mouth and salivary glands that took his life on his long addiction to smokeless tobacco, and hopefully his example will scare some people away from the substance's dangerous clutches.