OUR VIEW: Week in review: the best, worst
HISSES to the surroundings the visit of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt last week. All told, it's fine that he visited South Dakota on his tour of Great Plains states and it's good that he met with concerned farmers. His meeting with NorthWestern Energy, while not as publicized, could be just as important as his farm-policy discussions.
But it's the way he did that business that was not appreciated. His interactions with NorthWestern and the farmers gathering in Reliance were private and meant to be under the radar, to limit public scrutiny. (Ultimately, EPA staff did the right thing and allowed The Daily Republic's reporter into that Reliance meeting but not without prodding.)
Pruitt has deservedly received a lot of criticism for his actions as EPA administrator, both on professional and personal levels. His conduct has represented our government poorly, and the way he handled himself in South Dakota didn't win over many people, either.
CHEERS to the efforts put forth by so many caretakers of those afflicted with Alzheimer's and dementia and other chronic diseases. This is National Alzheimer's and Brain Health Awareness month and 17,000 South Dakotans are estimated to be battling a memory loss disorder. Their fight is important and more research is needed, but the efforts of friends, family and loved ones taking care of those with any chronic disease is worth applauding.
CHEERS to the efforts related to school meals in the Mitchell School District. The Mitchell Board of Education voted last week to leave meal prices the same as they were last year for the 2018-19 school year. For many, the meals provided by the school district are an important part of the educational process. Some students and families qualify for free or reduced meal prices, which is another critical part of the school meal program. The school district's efforts to make the meal program suitable for all should be commended.
HISSES for fentanyl and its devastating impact on users continue after the recent South Dakota News Watch report. The deaths in South Dakota attributed to illicit drug overdoses have doubled from 2015 to 2017, quadrupled in the last five years, and the fact that individuals can be killed after just one use is terrifying.
It's clear this issue isn't going away and it's equally clear that law enforcement is aware of its impact and dangers. That leaves the onus on those in the greater community to not allow this to continue and to up the awareness of possible illegal drug use in our hometowns.