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OUR VIEW: Week in review: the best, worst

CHEERS to the Parkston Mudcats for advancing to the championship game of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament (the outcome of the game was not known as of this writing). Parkston is one of the great baseball towns in the state, with a great ballpark and multiple amateur teams in recent years, so it's great to see the town rewarded with success. Also, we're glad Mitchell could host the tournament so close to Parkston and the team's fans this year.

HISSES to the situation in Kennebec, where Sanford Health is closing a medical clinic. As we've noted many times on this page, the relentless stamping-out of rural South Dakota communities is continuing without much of a counter-effort at the statewide level. Schools, post offices, Farm Service Agency service centers, and now health clinics - all are vanishing from the towns that once served as the backbone of South Dakota. Places like Kennebec are withering and dying before our eyes, and what are we doing about it? It's a slowly yet devastatingly evolving crisis that demands the attention of our state's leaders.

CHEERS to Keith Luke, of Mitchell, Byron Tollefson, of Mount Vernon, Josh Peterson, of Mitchell, Harvey Doerr, of Mitchell, and Stan Nielsen, of Mitchell. They constitute the first class of Mitchell's revived volunteer police officer program. To serve and protect as a career is a noble calling; to do it on a volunteer basis in addition to other careers, as these men are doing, is equally so.

HISSES to Congress for potentially allowing the expiration of tax credits for wind-power production. As we heard last week during a visit to Mitchell by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., these credits are vital to the wind industry. The benefits of wind power are great and the drawbacks are few, and we see no good reason why Congress would allow these tax credits to expire. The still-fledgling wind industry needs a boost, not a stumbling block.

CHEERS to John Thune, even though we now know he won't be Mitt Romney's running mate. It's a testament to Thune and South Dakota that he was even in the conversation, and South Dakotans of all political stripes should be proud that we are producing national leaders so capable and respected that they're thought to be vice-presidential timber.

HISSES to the spread of Asian carp in the James River. The invasive species of fish could crowd out other, more desirable species and is a menace with its proclivity for jumping, as we noted in a story, photos and a video last week. CHEERS, though, to officials at South Dakota State University, the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks and others who are studying these fish with an eye toward mitigating the impact.