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OUR VIEW: Week in review: the best, worst

HISSES once again to the decrease in revenue that came with the state pheasant decline. Last week, we reported that the state Wildlife Division received $1.9 million less than expected from license sales in 2013.

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The drop came as a result of the decline in the pheasant population, and because of that, resident small-game licenses were down by more than 6,800 and non-resident licenses were down by nearly 9,000 in 2013.

CHEERS to the anonymous donation to the Carnegie Resource Center, and the good that the donation is doing at the Mitchell facility. The $50,000 gift is being put to use for a renovation project at the building, which was originally a Carnegie library and now is used as home to the Mitchell Area Historical Society and Mitchell Area Genealogical Society.

The donation was received in December and is thought to be the largest personal donation ever given to the center. What a great donation and it’s great to see it instantly be put to use.

CHEERS to efforts to curb smoking in America. Reuters Health reported recently that more than half of American men and more than a third of women were smokers in 1964, when the surgeon general first outlined the links between tobacco use and cancer.

Fifty years later, smoking rates have been cut in half and an estimated 8 million Americans have been saved from premature smoking-related deaths.

CHEERS to the new class of inductees into the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Included in this year’s group is the 1985 Mitchell High School boys’ team, which won a state title under coach Gary Munsen. Others from the area include former Wagner great Mandy Koupal, Colleen Moran of Stickney, Richard “Milt” Authier of Woonsocket, Gerhardt Buenning of Parkston, Bart Friedrick of Mitchell, and Julie (Harmacek) Bridge of Avon. Congratulations all.

HISSES to the BCS National Championship format, which finally has come to an end. Last week, Florida State rallied to beat Auburn 34-31 in a very entertaining title game. It was the last time, at least in the foreseeable future, that the end of the season won’t include a tournament of the nation’s top teams.

Next season, four teams will be invited to participate in a mini-tournament at the end of the season, with the winner crowned the national champion.

We predict that eventually, this format will be expanded, as it should be. Throughout history, national champions in football have been crowned in the most controversial of ways, and the new format will alleviate much (but not all) of the argument about who, really, is No. 1.

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