Daily Republic Editorial Board
HISSES to another string of crashes in the region, including a fatal crash that killed a 10-year old boy last week. Every time we hear of an injury crash, we hope the occupants are wearing their seat belts and injuries are minor. But last week, six people were involved in a crash, and three were not wearing their seat belts. That resulted in the death of a 10-year-old child, and our hearts go out to the family of the victim.
South Dakota's high school students have more opportunities than ever. Through a program that began in 2014-15, South Dakota juniors and seniors are eligible for dual credit courses, which count for both high school and college credit. And, after the first year it was available, the program gained significant momentum during the 2015-16 school year. We're thrilled to hear about it and hope educators and parents promote its benefits.
Educators in Charles Mix County schools are taking a proactive approach to a serious problem sweeping across South Dakota. They're talking about methamphetamine. Prior to school starting in Lake Andes, teachers revisited warning signs of meth abuse and policies school ofﬁcials are to follow when face-to-face with a possible drug or alcohol issue. In Wagner, the district is focusing on building relationships with students and parents, as teachers are visiting students' homes annually.
CHEERS to another successful year for the Dakotafest agriculture trade show. Following a 2015 festival cut short due to excessive rain, officials estimated attendance would return to 2014 levels of approximately 29,000. Dakotafest is an important aspect of summer in Mitchell, and it's great to hear it went off without a hitch. We also commend U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem and U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune for attending a forum at Dakotafest to speak about their thoughts on the agriculture industry. HISSES to the lack of congressional debates at Dakotafest.
People love reading crime news. Seriously. By and far, the stories we report of people committing crimes and getting caught typically are the most-read pages on our website. Undoubtedly, our print subscribers absorb the same bits of news. For many reasons, our newspaper spends hours each week at the courthouse and the Davison County Public Safety Center. We also check in daily with local law enforcement agencies, many of which we have great working relationships with.
CHEERS to another successful Class B amateur baseball tournament at Mitchell's Cadwell Park. Through the first five days of the tournament, paid admission rose by nearly $4,000 due in part to near-perfect weather and the success of local clubs. The amateur tournament serves as one of the premier events of the South Dakota summer, and we're glad to know it will return to Cadwell Park in 2017. And CHEERS to Alexandria for earning a fourth state championship game berth and second title in the past four years.
We don't know this for certain, but it's possible that two lives were saved Monday night. And we need to thank the Amber Alert system for that. On Monday night, a mass Wireless Emergency Alert was sent out to specific areas in South Dakota to notify citizens that a suspect who authorities were seeking was in the area. The alert explained a man from Washington was on the run with his two children, one of whom had a severe medical condition.
The Attorney General's Office has proclaimed a methamphetamine epidemic in South Dakota, saying the issue is the top crime-related problem our state faces. There's no question meth use is rapidly rising and doing so very quickly. It's easy to see that in our crime reports, as significantly more than half of the felony court cases are meth related.
HISSES to sad news that a Tyndall police officer was injured over the weekend in a hit-and-run incident. Officer Kelly Young on Saturday suffered broken ribs, a large cut on one of his legs, an injured ankle and various other cuts and bruises after being struck by a vehicle in the parking lot of Frank's Trading Post in Tyndall, according to the Bon Homme County Sheriff's Office. We're glad to hear Young was released from the hospital and that authorities have made some strong leads to finding the person who drove the vehicle involved in the crime.
Every day, we're seeing and hearing great acts of kindness toward local law enforcement at a time it's desperately needed. We see it on social media almost daily. A local group — a church, a day care, a business — is doing something heartfelt toward law enforcement officers. Stories have been told of kids bringing candy and cookies to the Mitchell Police Division. Nurses have cooked meals for officers. And, most importantly, people are telling police "thank you" now more than ever. It sounds as if the acts are happening all over the country, too.