OUR VIEW: Week in review: The best and worstHisses and cheers from the week that was, from Gov. Daugaard to winter fires to a blank slate for Mitchell's next mayor.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
CHEERS to the area health facilities that recently were selected as Best Practice Model sites for the Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students Program. Parkston, Wessington Springs, Winner and Wagner all were chosen as best sites for the program, which connects interdisciplinary groups of medical students with practicing professionals.
Speaking of medical students, CHEERS to a plan by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to attract more doctors to rural South Dakota. Daugaard recently said he would like to boost the state medical school budget by more than $1 million. If that happens, it would increase the state medical school openings from 52 to 56 and also would set up a “rural track” as a training option to immerse students in small-town culture. If approved, the changes would take effect in 2013. We hope this will help bring doctors to our rural areas and, in turn, improve the quality of life in our small towns and make them more attractive to potential residents.
HISSES to grass fires, and the dry conditions that cause them. A Christmas Eve blaze occurred along Dry Run Creek in Mitchell, and we can’t say we are surprised. Until a rain shower passed through the area late last week, this region had been tinder dry and ripe for a prairie fire. We are used to such unfortunate occurrences in the typically dry months of August, September and October, but this is odd. We hope for more precipitation in the coming week to try to lessen the likelihood of damaging wildfires.
CHEERS to the area players and coaches who were honored recently by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association. Adam Anderson, Dakota Wesleyan’s golf coach, was named Women’s College Coach of the Year; Riley Reiff, a native of Parkston and now a star football player at the University of Iowa, was named Independent Athlete of the Year; Rob VanLaecken of Parkston was named Girls’ Coach of the Year; and Chad Greenway, Mount Vernon native and Minnesota Vikings linebacker, is the Celebrity of the Year.
HISSES to the dearth of potential candidates for Mitchell mayor in 2012. Mayor Lou Sebert told The Daily Republic last week that he probably will not seek re-election. After hearing that, a Daily Republic reporter asked numerous City Council members and city leaders about their interest in running for mayor, and none expressed a firm interest in the job. We suspect and hope that more than one candidate will emerge to give the voters of Mitchell a choice in June. The deadline to file a candidacy is March 27, so anybody thinking about running for mayor will need to a make a decision in just a few months.
CHEERS to the arrival of 2012. Here’s hoping it will continue to bring us economic recovery, a continued strong farm economy, and a break from the weather-related disasters that have plagued our area for the past couple of years. To all our readers, thank you, and we hope you’ll keep reading this year and beyond.