OUR VIEW: Hisses and cheers
HISSES to the possibility that the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery is closing. The Associated Press reported last week that the hatchery, located in Spearfish, is one of several across the country targeted for closure due to federal budget cuts. This is difficult to hear, since the hatchery has been such a great attraction for the city of Spearfish, and since it is just a cool, neat place. Although it produces approximately 30,000 trout for Black Hills streams each year, it also is open to the public and offers an interesting -- and free -- glimpse into the underwater world of the coldwater fish. Kids love it, and so do we.
CHEERS to news that members of South Dakota's high school graduating class of 2013 scored higher than the national average on the ACT college readiness assessment. The test checks student competence in reading, English, math and science reasoning, and South Dakota students who took it had an average composite score of 21.9 on a scale of 1 to 36. The national average was 20.9. We're impressed that South Dakota kids -- and nearly 80 percent of 2013 grads took the test -- were a full point higher than the national average.
CHEERS to the hot weather. Yes, we say cheers. Why? Because The Associated Press last week reported that a good, solid warm spell will do wonders to the region's crops. According to ag experts, the crops have had plenty of moisture but haven't really had the heat needed to truly bring the crops home during these final weeks of the growing season. We've had a great summer -- nice and cool, with plenty of water. We can endure a week or two of heat for the benefit of the region's farmers.
CHEERS to the Alexandria Angels for winning the state Class B amateur baseball tournament last week. The Angels rallied late to beat another area team, Winner-Colome, 4-3. The Angels deserve credit, since they completed the kind of season that few athletes ever get to see. Also deserving credit are Winner-Colome and the many teams from the region that earned wins at this year's state tournament.