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OUR VIEW: Hisses and Cheers

Week in review: the best, worst

CHEERS to outgoing publisher Korrie Wenzel for his outstanding service to this newspaper since, as he described in his fi nal column Friday, he wrote seeking a job here as a sportswriter 23 years ago. His tenure as publisher included a redesign of the newspaper, the implementation of a color Sports page for the fi rst time in the newspaper’s history, and the doubling of the print plant’s commercial work, among numerous other accomplishments. He inherited a great newspaper and made it even better, and we’ll miss him.

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HISSES to the fate that has befallen the Maroney Commons in Howard. As we’ve chronicled in the past, the facility was built for $6.5 million in 2011 as a gathering place for rural development. In hindsight, the well-intentioned backers of the facility bit off more than they could chew, and the facility that’s been empty since 2012 has become a depressing symbol of a failed dream. We reported Friday that the facility will be auctioned April 4, and we’re guessing it’ll go for far less than the millions spent to build it. Perhaps it’ll be a positive thing, though, to finally put the failure of the facility in the past and move on.

CHEERS to the South Dakota Legislature for finally passing a ban Thursday on texting while driving, though we’re now interested to see what will happen to Mitchell’s city ban, which doesn’t exactly match the state ban. See today’s column by Capitol Correspondent Bob Mercer for more on that situation.

CHEERS to the girls’ high school basketball teams from Mitchell, Winner, Mount Vernon/Plankinton, Hanson, Lyman, Sanborn Central/ Woonsocket and Kimball/White Lake. All of them played in the state basketball tournaments Thursday through Saturday, and all of them made their respective towns and school districts proud.

HISSES to the string of sex-related crimes that have come through the court system lately in Mitchell, but CHEERS to Judge Tim Bjorkman for employing harsh sentences when appropriate, as he did Friday when he ordered 40 years in prison for a man who raped a child while broadcasting the crime on the Internet.