OUR VIEW: Week in review: the best, the worstCheers and hisses from the week that was.
CHEERS to the men and women from this region who contribute their time in regions of the world that truly need their help. A report in The Daily Republic last week noted how 16 women — led by Deb Weitala of Mitchell — will soon be headed to The Dominican Republic to build homes and experience the living conditions of that Third World country. We also know of others from Mitchell who make such contributions, including folks like Bruce Blumer and Hank Kor, who both have spent much time in Haiti doing mission work. We know there are others but these are simply top-of-mind instances, due to their recent publicity: Weitala was featured in a frontpage newspaper story and Blumer gave a recent presentation to the Mitchell Rotary Club, during which he mentioned Kor’s work. Kudos to these volunteers and the work that they do.
CHEERS to the Mitchell High School show choir. Known locally as Friend de Coup, the group is now beginning its competitive season, kicked off by a great preview show at the Mitchell High auditorium last week. We know these kids put in tons of time to make this show a success, and now they are hitting the road to showcase their talent and serve as ambassadors to our town and school system. We wish them luck.
CHEERS to the return of the basketball rivalry between South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota. The men’s teams hadn’t played since 2004, but got back into regular meetings this year. The first game, at Brookings, was a 30-point blowout victory by SDSU. It was widely assumed the second game, last week at Vermillion, would bring a similar result, but USD upset the No. 22-ranked Jackrabbits. This rivalry is great for promoting both programs and we’re excited to see its return.
CHEERS to the new community center in Freeman, which had its grand opening celebration Sunday. The $730,000 project has resulted in a building that will be used for concerts, festivals and other community events. Although funds are still being raised, money has flowed in from various sources, including $369,000 in the form of an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant and $90,000 from the city of Freeman itself. This is a good example of progress, and what a small town can do when its residents put their minds to something.
HISSES to the illness that broke out following the Mitchell at Pierre boys’ basketball game Jan. 31. In the days that followed that event, numerous people took ill. The state Department of Health tracked the problem to a spore-releasing bacteria that prompted the outbreak. Some 75 percent of the people who responded to a Department of Health questionnaire said they had had a “walking taco” at the game. This should be a lesson to all schools and other entities that have concessions stands. Many of these places are run by volunteers, but food safety still must be of the utmost importance.