Daily Republic Editorial Board
Monday night's Mitchell City Council meeting provided a great reminder the importance of service clubs to a community. Because of a $15,000 donation from the Palace City Lions, school zones in Mitchell will get significantly safer. One of the many service clubs in Mitchell, the Palace City Lions announced the decision to help fund radar signs at Mitchell elementary school zones, which will instantly improve the safety of young children in the city by reducing the number of speeders.
CHEERS to the new coach in town. An 11-year coach at Aberdeen Roncalli, Todd Neuendorf takes over a Mitchell High School boys basketball program in less than ideal shape, and we're rooting for him to lift the spirits and overall game of the players who pass through the program in years to come. Mitchell is fresh off a winless season, and has only won 15 games in the last four seasons. While the school's track record is phenomenal — with legendary Coach Gary Munsen leading the way for decades — the past few seasons have fallen well short.
After years of battling pushback, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2015 vowed to get rid of all elephants in its traveling act. By next year, the elephants will be removed from the act and be moved to a conservation center near Orlando, Florida. The decision was made, the company decided, because "a lot of people aren't comfortable with us touring with our elephants," a spokeswoman said. As the Shrine Circus hits its final leg of a three-day stint in Mitchell today, we agree it's time to move into modern times and remove elephants from the local circus.
Want to have a thriving, forward-thinking rural community? Here are some ideas: Update the town's ballpark. Polish up and improve the local pool. Or, like in Mount Vernon recently, build a new track at the high school. Mount Vernon late last week got to show off its $450,000 track at the inaugural Greenway Relays, and we couldn't be happier for the small town. Community assets are so important for rural areas. And while these investments many times do not have direct financial returns, the benefits are for long-term success.
CHEERS to the undercover work put forth by law enforcement, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to help indict 15 people for their involvement for allegedly trafficking eagles and other migratory birds. A press release from U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Randy Seiler said the undercover work took two years, and the names of the people indicted will not be released until later Monday during a press conference in Rapid City.
It's time for the Davison County Commission to be vocal on a persistent problem draining taxpayer dollars. The county's jail overtime budget is out of control, yet again, and commissioners are seemingly shrugging their shoulders and not taking large enough steps to harness the mismanagement. According a quarterly report during Tuesday's regular Davison County Commission meeting, Corrections Administrator Don Radel said the jail overtime expenses are on pace to reach about $91,000. Overtime from January through March hit $22,759.45.
A report last week from the state Game, Fish & Parks Department showed the great contributions outdoor and wildlife recreation bring to South Dakota. An estimated $1.33 billion was spent on outdoor recreation last year in South Dakota, with the top three activities — hunting, fishing and state park visitation — accounting for nearly 90 percent of the total.
CHEERS to the mystery donor who may support $250,000 worth of the Mitchell Aquatic Club's (MAC) $1 million pledge to the city's indoor pool project. Opponents of the $8 million aquatic center were less than optimistic that the MAC could meet its pledge, but a donor may have arrived to assist the MAC's cause. We encourage the mystery donor to follow through with its proposed pledge, and commend the person, group or organization for the generous thought.
South Dakota is in deep water, and residents have years of lawmakers kicking the can down the road to blame. Last month, the South Dakota Supreme Court issued a ruling on a controversial issue that's been plaguing the state for years — non-meandered waters and the public's right to recreate on them.
In the two years since a 2015 Mother’s Day tornado swept through Delmont, 75 of the town’s residents have left for good, their homes having been destroyed in the devastating storm. Last week, some of the town’s remaining residents took to the Delmont Community Center to discuss how to prepare for another storm in the future, but what remains are questions about the past.