Daily Republic Editorial Board
CHEERS to Mitchell School District's summer lunch program, which expanded this summer and saw more people utilize the service. Around 17,000 lunches and about 7,700 breakfasts were distributed this year. The program, which serves healthy food, grew for another year. We love this summer option for students and adults, as it ensures everyone can get a good meal for a fair price. We hope school officials continue to find ways to improve an already-great program.
CHEERS to the news that the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championships will remain in Sioux Falls at the Sanford Pentagon through 2020. The NAIA announced last week the event will be hosted by the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, Dakota State University and Northwestern College. While we're still disappointed Mitchell didn't land this tournament last year, Sioux Falls is the next-best option.
CHEERS to Platte's Tennyson Erickson, who had the chance earlier this summer to take part in a Make-A-Wish event, meeting with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald at the team's practice facility. We've previously documented Erickson's fight with leukemia but the meeting with Fitzgerald once again showed off Erickson's spirit and courage. And by all accounts, he couldn't ask for a better role model than Fitzgerald. A former NFL Man of the Year, Fitzgerald has partaken in mission trips, funded youth health efforts and has worked tirelessly on efforts to fight cancer.
It's been nearly a month and a half since a violent crash occurred in a Mitchell residential neighborhood. At 11:30 a.m. on June 3, a man drove 93 mph down Sixth Avenue. His vehicle struck trees, rolled multiple times and eventually came to rest near Burr Street. Not surprisingly, police say alcohol and drugs were involved. His blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit to drive. The scene of the crash was horrific — Broken beer bottles. Pieces of the 2006 Chevy Trailblazer scattered.
CHEERS to the Mitchell Athletic Booster Club for changing up its membership benefits system. Rather than having access only to a set number of events spread throughout the school year, the club will now offer punch cards for members, allowing them to attend events of their choice, up to a set number determined by the amount each member donated to the club. We hope to see significant moral support for the Kernels increase throughout the upcoming school year.
Outdoor enthusiasts across South Dakota should be aware of today's Game, Fish & Parks Department meeting in Pierre. Attend it. Listen online. Read about it later in a newspaper. It's an important meeting, as the GF&P Commission will be considering a significant proposal to partially open recreational use on Reetz Lake in northeastern South Dakota near Webster.
CHEERS to the grand opening of the Mitchell Indoor Aquatic Center. Drive by the pool or take a swim inside and it's hard to not be impressed with the quality of the facility that is now available in Mitchell. It was an $8 million investment that was hotly contested for most of the last four years. But now that the project is finished, it's hard to argue that the facility isn't an asset for the community and the region. And given there are two pools, two slides, play equipment, a zipline and therapy pool, there's something for everyone who makes use of the center.
HISSES are certainly in order after Thursday's shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Every mass shooting is tragic but it hits particularly home for those in the journalism and newspaper business. By all accounts, the Capital Gazette values what so many local newspapers in this country are about, writing about important matters to its readers and keeping them informed. It is a critical part of the community in which they live and serve and their hard work and commitment has only been bolstered by this heartbreaking tragedy.
Small-town high school football is changing in South Dakota. A year from now, some teams will be altering their games to play six-man football. Earlier this month, the board that oversees the South Dakota High School Activities Association approved the change, which begins in the 2019 season. In short, the state's smallest schools are eligible but are not required to partake. A current nine-man class will be replaced to make room for the six-man version.
One week from today, people in Mitchell will get a little extra freedom. Yes, in seven days we celebrate our nation's independence. But we also get a little more leeway to use fireworks in the city. Earlier this month, the Mitchell City Council approved the use of fireworks between noon and midnight on July 3-4 on properties adjacent to Lake Mitchell. That's a change to the city's old fireworks ordinance, which essentially banned their use altogether.