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OUR VIEW: Week in review: the best, worst

CHEERS to the Olympics, which concluded last week after two weeks of competition in London. It's hard to imagine that the average American would be glued to the television to watch, say, table tennis, but sure enough, it happens. The Olympics not only introduce us to new and interesting sports, but the games also stoke more than a little patriotic fire in the average viewer. Who couldn't get excited during America's great performances in sports like basketball, track, swimming and gymnastics? And just when we became so enthralled in unique sports like water polo and synchronized gymnastics, the Olympics came to an end. We look forward to four years from now, when we can renew our interest in some of these unique sporting events.

CHEERS to Avera Health for its decision to open a new payment center in Mitchell. The facility is expected to open this fall and will bring 15 jobs to Mitchell. The plan was announced last week, and we're glad, not only to see the new jobs come to town but also to see Avera again investing in our community.

CHEERS to the Third Thursday on Main program, which is sponsored by the Mitchell Main Street and Beyond organization. The event is held - you guessed it - on the third Thursday of each month and brings in artisans who sell things like crocheted clothing and other interesting wares. The event began in June and continues through September.

HISSES to West Nile virus, and the news that it is spreading quickly this summer. A report in The Daily Republic last week noted that a local woman with West Nile had been hospitalized for more than two weeks. We were told that she is one of several local people showing West Nile symptoms. Summer is almost over folks, so please make wise decisions these final weeks of the season. Use mosquito repellent when enjoying the cool evenings of late summer. West Nile is a serious illness and, with some precautions, can be prevented.

CHEERS to the United Way Day of Caring, which was held last week in Mitchell. The event centers around various acts of charitable elbow grease, meaning volunteers spend the afternoon doing good deeds around town. The event also is the official kickoff to the United Way giving season, so please consider giving to this very worthy cause when approached in these coming weeks.