Daily Republic Editorial Board
March Madness is here. You know, that time of year for last-second shots, half-court hurls and Cinderella teams knocking off favorites. In South Dakota, we take great pride in our basketball. This week, we watched South Dakota's two NCAA Division I basketball programs battle men's and women's games at the Summit League tournament in Sioux Falls.
Four states in the U.S. allow motorists to drive 80 mph on the interstate. South Dakota could join that group. A House committee Monday passed a bill that would allow drivers to go 80 mph on portions of the interstate. The current maximum speed is 75. The bill, which is an amendment added to Senate Bill 1, was approved by the full House on Tuesday. If approved, South Dakota would join Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Texas as states to allow drivers to go 80 mph on portions of the interstate. But we're not sold on this deal. We don't think the interstate's speed limit should be increased.
CHEERS to the four teachers at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary in Mitchell who are incorporating lessons on problem solving and healthy living into their classrooms this year for the first time. In Tuesday's edition, we wrote about teachers for first- through fifth-graders who are using a new style of teaching called problem-based learning. For instance, when students realized that unhealthy choices might be to blame for headaches or stomach aches, they did research and traveled to Coborn's to find healthful food options on a budget.
The culmination of thousands of hours of work for high school wrestlers came together at the state tournaments last weekend. Wrestlers battled for one last meet of the year and hoped they could win four matches in a two-day stretch to become state champion. There were tears shed from losses, bloody noses gouged with gauze and injuries of all sorts. Wrestling is certainly a brutal sport. What other sport is there that has a primary goal of physically beating your opponent?
CHEERS to the Parkston High School wrestling team, and all of the wrestlers who competed over the weekend at the state tournaments. Parkston claimed its third consecutive Class B state team championship, an impressive feat.
It's time that South Dakota's open meeting and public record laws get with the digital age. The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted in favor of House Bill 1153, which expands the definition of teleconferences to include meetings conducted through a formal text conversation and to require the retention of certain discussions text conversations for public inspection. Basically, the bill makes it clear that if a quorum of a governmental body, such as a city council or county commission, discusses any public business via email or other electronic communication, the records shall be made
Local health care officials are quietly making Mitchell a better place to live. The work isn't flashy, and it's very behind the scenes. But it's extremely impactful. In a recent report, Avera Queen of Peace Regional President and CEO Tom Clark explained that Avera has recruited 18 physicians to Mitchell in roughly the past three years.
There was quite a stir last week during an investigation of a mysterious object attached to a city street sign. The Mitchell Police Division deemed the object suspicious and closed off a section of city blocks to create a safe haven in the area. Authorities investigated and learned it was a geocache, or a container holding a number of items as part of a global treasure hunt game.
CHEERS to the workers at CHS Farmers Alliance in Mitchell, who are rebuilding a chemical storage shed about three months after a massive fire destroyed the building. Last week, CHS General Manager Jim Morken told our newspaper the estimated losses from the fire was about $2 million.
About three months have passed since South Dakota voters decided to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour. Less than two months have gone by since the increase took effect. And already some state senators want to adjust the pay wage scale again. On Wednesday, the Senate agreed to create a new minimum wage of $7.50 for people younger than age 18.