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OUR VIEW: Hisses and cheers

CHEERS to the climbing cattle prices pleasantly surprising produces this season.

Last week, we reported cattle prices shot up from $141.28 to $186.17 per hundredweight, padding the pockets of the same ranchers who were met with low cattle prices in 2016.

Officials cited a variety of factors for the increase, but we're just happy to see a bit of good luck hit South Dakota's agriculture economy after a devastatingly dry year.

The other good news is that many corn and soybean growers are also surprised with better than expected yields as harvest comes to a close.

With the doom and gloom outlook many foresaw in the scorching summer months behind us, we're hoping for a booming year in the ag economy in 2019. And the rising cattle prices are hopefully a sign of more good things to come.

HISSES to the TransCanada pipeline spill that leaked approximately 210,000 gallons of oil in northeast South Dakota last week.

Our area is no stranger to TransCanada, with a massive spill occurring near Freeman last year. We saw first-hand the impact a spill can have on the environment, and we spoke with people along the route that runs in our coverage area who were worried the same thing could happen to them.

And now it has, just in a different part of the state.

We understand if those along the Keystone route are feeling anxious after this latest spill, because like them, we've been told time and time again from TransCanada officials during interviews that people have little to worry about with their pipelines.

With 2018 right around the corner, we can't help but wonder if these massive spills will become annual occurrences.

CHEERS to the fact we finally heard an estimate cost for the restoration of Lake Mitchell, but hisses to the number itself.

At a public meeting last week, a city official tossed out an $8 million estimate to restore Lake Mitchell, an estimate which was anything but final. But the $8 million figure was only the city's estimated expense.

Another $12 million could be needed from grant funds. And while the majority of money coming from outside of the city's coffers, what if the city can't attain those grant funds as expected?

We're encouraged that numbers and costs are beginning to trickle out as the city works to repair its algae-ridden lake, but the $20 million total price tag is intimidating. The good news is a consultant for the city speculated a repaired lake could have major economic benefits for the city of Mitchell.

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