Daily Republic Editorial Board
HISSES to the slow process from the South Dakota Attorney General's office to explain some details of Amendment S, or Marsy's Law, which was passed by voters in the November election. The law provides constitutional rights to victims of all crimes, including the right to provide a statement about the impact the crime has had on the victim, the ability to converse with prosecutors, notification of an accused person's release or escape and notification of their new rights, among several others.
In wake of a tragic crash earlier this week in Tennessee, school boards around the nation need to consider whether it's time to mandate seat belts for students riding on buses. We hope the majority of school boards at least discuss what happened Monday afternoon in Chattanooga, where a kindergartner, a first-grader and three fourth-graders died in the crash. There were 37 students on the bus. Five died and 12 were hospitalized.
Was there any surprise on Friday when the Mitchell United Way exceeded its annual fundraising goal again? For the 36th consecutive year, an unfurled banner revealed the Mitchell United Way hit its goal and raised $439,115, with the funds supporting 29 local and area agencies to support the community in various areas. Organizations like Abbott House, Mitchell Area Safehouse, among others, benefit from the Mitchell United Way's efforts and that in turn makes Mitchell a better place to live. But, again, we ask, is there any surprise the fundraising goal was exceeded?
CHEERS to the Mitchell United Way for once again meeting its fundraising goal and continuing its noble effort to support 29 area agencies. The Mitchell United Way announced it raised $439,115 during this year's campaign, $3,115 more than its 2016 goal. And as if surpassing its lofty goal wasn't enough, the group met its mark for the 36th consecutive year. Nonprofit organizations like the Mitchell United Way are critical in supporting local organizations like the Salvation Army, LifeQuest and the Mitchell Regional Habitat for Humanity, to name a few.
CHEERS to the four area schools that won state championship football titles last week. The Mitchell Kernels won the school's first title in 45 years, lighting up the scoreboard with a 41-6 victory over the Harrisburg Tigers in the DakotaDome on Friday. Congratulations to the 2016 Kernels players for making history, and their accomplishment and resiliency throughout the long season should not be overlooked. And the Kernels aren't the only area team deserving of some recognition.
Election Day has come and gone and there's no way everyone is going to be pleased with last night's results. But something all Mitchell residents should be pleased with is a project under construction at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street. The Mitchell Veterans Park project has received approximately $225,000 in pledges and in-kind donations, with $130,000 in cash already accepted, according to Monday night's Mitchell City Council meeting.
CHEERS to the Mitchell High School football team, which made the community proud Friday night. With its 52-14 rout of Pierre in front of a large crowd at Joe Quintal Stadium, MItchell earned its first trip to a state championship game since 1993. The Kernels have many accomplishments so far this year, including a 10-game winning streak. But that one victory Friday night in the Class 11AA state semifinals was the program's best win in recent memory. Congratulations, coach VanOverschelde and all of the team's coaches. Congratulations, players.
We owe all of our readers an apology, but mostly Norman Pope and his wife, Judy. On the front page of Tuesday's edition, we published a story about a road-hunting incident in which a Minnesota hunter allegedly shot at a pheasant too close to an occupied dwelling in Douglas County near Armour. In the story, we explained that, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Pope and his wife were upset about the shots and stopped the hunters for their actions. Norman Pope allegedly confronted the hunters with a gun and his wife took the hunters' keys.
November is a time when many outdoor enthusiasts start ramping up their efforts with deer hunting. The bowhunting season is already several weeks old, West River opens Nov. 12 and East River is the following weekend. Deer hunting is a way many youth become exposed to the outdoors. It's a great tradition in South Dakota, and the sport helps for the future of our outdoor activities. Deer hunters provide an important revenue source for management and conservation as 2014 brought in approximately $4.8 million in license revenue.
CHEERS to the increase in registered voters in Davison County this election season. The day after the voter registration deadline passed, Davison County reported 12,685 registrations in the county of approximately 19,500. Accounting for both active and inactive voters, the county's total registered voters jumped from 12,222 in 2014, according to a report from the S.D. Secretary of State's Office.