Daily Republic Editorial Board
CHEERS to the new Safe Exchange Zone installed last week by the Mitchell Department of Public Safety. Officials installed a surveillance camera and a sign on the east side of the Mitchell Public Safety Building on First Avenue, where people can meet to complete transactions from websites such as eBay or Facebook. There are plenty of shady folks out there trying to scam honest people. A security system like this one will be a nice tool for Mitchell residents to utilize and avoid those scammers.
South Dakota is unique in its weather patterns. The old saying, as many know, is, "If you don't like the weather here, wait 10 minutes." Well, the latest weather — this ridiculous heat — is getting awfully draining. And that comes from a writer who sits inside an air-conditioned office. We feel for those whose jobs require them to spend the day in the heat and bear these horrible temperatures. On Wednesday and Thursday, south-central South Dakota reached triple digits, with heat indexes jumping beyond 110 in some places. Unbelieveable.
The great Mitchell High School student-run newspaper, The Kernel, has been in existence for decades. Capturing moments, memories and comments of thousands of students, the newspaper has been offered as a high school course that gives credit to those who take the class. Aside from the actual printed product's benefits, the course offers students an insight on how to gather news, practice organization and improve their writing skills.
CHEERS to another great year of professional rodeo in Mitchell. We have an awesome event in our city that we look forward to every year, and it's easy to tell that locals love the rodeo, too. The stands have thousands of people each night, and the rodeo competitors are wonderful to watch. Not much changes from year to year with the rodeo, but that's one of the reasons we love mid-July. The Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo is a perfect event of small-town America that's tough to beat. We always look forward to this time of year when the rodeo comes to town.
A brilliant idea was mentioned during Monday night's Mitchell City Council special work session that could drastically improve the quality of visiting the Corn Palace for everyone. During a discussion on the future Sixth Avenue green space project, which will be located south of the Corn Palace, Councilman Steve Rice suggested the city consider adding wireless internet and installing a video board to the outside of the Palace. Rice said the outdoor screen could show live games or highlights, which would make the plaza potentially a great area for tailgating prior to events.
HISSES to the jet ski crash that sadly resulted in a fatality over the Fourth of July weekend near Platte. A 32-year-old Platte man died on July 3 following a jet-ski-on-jet-ski crash. The Charles Mix County State's Attorney's Office ruled the crash an accident. We were relieved to hear alcohol was not a factor in the crash, according to information gathered by law enforcement. So many times, these crashes occurred due to alcohol. This one was simply an accident, and our hearts are heavy for the victim's family.
A week ago, a Mitchell police officer shot and killed a dog while responding to a call unrelated to the canine. According to authorities, the officer — who was not named — shot the dog when it charged and showed the mannerisms of attacking. Mitchell Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg later reviewed the footage from the officer's body-worn camera and called the shooting justified. Still, a group of Mitchell residents have formed somewhat of an online mob to say the officer was out of line and wrongfully killed the dog.
The stars and stripes were widespread in our small communities over the three-day weekend. Community gatherings, parades, and, of course, firework shows were seemingly all over our region in southeastern South Dakota. And that's the way it should be. A great holiday weekend during the Fourth of July in our small communities to bring people together. Here are just a couple highlights from community happenings we saw first hand:
CHEERS to the news that Sanborn Boulevard could be in line for a facelift starting in 2018. What some consider Mitchell's worst street, Sanborn is a major route for residents and tourists alike. Visitors to the community who are directed down Sanborn en route to the Corn Palace aren't getting a great first impression of our city, which is major reason why we're glad to hear the construction is being planned. Although there will be a large price tag on the project, costing millions of dollars, it's absolutely a necessary improvement.
Earlier this year, Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey started a "From the Desk of the Mayor" column that has run three times since February on the city's website. With it, the mayor plans to "maintain transparency to the public" through the city's website because he has chosen, or at least threatened, to stop speaking to The Daily Republic.