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OUR VIEW: Hisses and cheers

HISSES to the rise in child abuse cases in South Dakota, which we chronicled recently. Our attention was drawn to the subject by a series of tragic and preventable child deaths in our area during the past few years. As we looked more deeply at the problem, we learned that about 1,400 children were victims of abuse and neglect in our state in 2010, the most recent year of available statistics. It's a problem that doesn't get much attention, but it should. We all have a collective responsibility to protect the children of our state.

CHEERS to the McCook Central School District, which is considering the construction of a new high school. Whether voters approve the funding or not, it's a sign that leaders in the district are thinking about the future and about the best interests of the district's children, and that's always a good thing. We also give CHEERS to the Corsica and Stickney school districts, which continued last week with the sometimes painful process of consolidation. We know that's a difficult thing to endure, but we know it, too, is motivated by a desire to serve the best interests of students.

HISSES to the winterkill at Twin Lakes that decimated the fish population there over the winter. Though we're not sure what, if anything, can be done to counteract the problem, we urge residents in the Twin Lakes area near Woonsocket to press the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks for help. The more people speak up, the more attention the problem will receive from those in a position of influence.

CHEERS to Mitchell's Alex Hegg, the high school tennis player who had won 35 consecutive singles matches as of last week. To win 35 straight times at anything is an impressive achievement, and one that reflects much hard work and practice resulting in mastery. It's a great example for young tennis players and, really, for anyone interested in excelling at anything.

CHEERS to Avera Brady Health and Rehab major donor Joseph Vasek and everyone else who helped realize the dream of an addition to the Mitchell nursing home facility. At the open house last week, it was clear the addition was built with new standards of care in mind. With home-like furnishings, a pub and a theater, for example, it's a far cry from the institutional nursing home settings of yesteryear.