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Week in review: hisses and cheers

CHEERS to Dakota Wesleyan University and the latest announcement in its incredible string of charitably funded building projects. The Mitchell institution announced Thursday it has raised $10 million to build a massive wellness center, something that is sorely needed to accommodate the school’s many student-athletes and their practice schedules. The announcement follows $28.3 million the university has already raised and spent since 2003 to build the Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center, the George and Eleanor McGovern Library and other projects. Wesleyan’s continuing transformation is astonishing in its pace and scope, and it promises to strengthen the community of Mitchell far into the future.

HISSES to Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the state Board of Education for approving an electrician-training program at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, over concerns expressed by Mitchell leaders about duplication of Mitchell Technical Institute’s program.

CHEERS to the women’s basketball teams from South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota. The USD Coyotes upset SDSU in the Summit League Tournament to earn USD’s first-ever berth in the NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, the Jackrabbits, instead of slinking away in defeat, accepted an invite to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament and turned one of their most disappointing conference tournament defeats into a WNIT run that, as of this writing, included a win at home over the University of Minnesota. The people of this state should be proud of SDSU and USD and the way their women’s basketball players represented us this season.

HISSES to Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke and the Davison County Commission for continuing to shirk responsibility for the botched June 2012 election. Even after an independent task force declared the county’s voting machine to be “100 percent accurate,” county officials are still blaming the machine for inaccurate vote totals reported the night of the election. Last week, the county approved spending $72,000 to replace the machine. We hope the county simply wants and needs an upgraded machine, and that the justification for such a large expense is more than a desire to cover up culpability for past vote-counting errors.