Daily Republic Editorial Board
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.
CHEERS to the Mitchell Elks Lodge, which donated $9,000 for more solar-powered speed signs to be placed around Mitchell. The check was presented to the Mitchell City Council last week at the regular council meeting and was welcomed by a round of applause. We love the speed signs all over the city, which are placed strategically near parks and school zones to keep speeders in check. They're a good reminder to keep an eye on your speed and help make our community a safer place. HISSES to grain prices that have quickly dropped this month.
It's time. It's finally time to see what's next for Lake Mitchell. After years of serious research and discussion, meetings held and ideas presented, reports delivered — we're mere months away from action. At least, we should be. The Mitchell City Council needs to make a bold move. Within the next two months, council members will gather during work sessions and budget hearings — and a serious consideration for our city must be lake improvement.
HISSES to the surroundings the visit of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt last week. All told, it's fine that he visited South Dakota on his tour of Great Plains states and it's good that he met with concerned farmers. His meeting with NorthWestern Energy, while not as publicized, could be just as important as his farm-policy discussions.
CHEERS to everyone who participated in the Heart and Sole Cancer Walk last week at Mitchell Middle School. The annual event is a great community fixture and brings people together for a wonderful cause. We featured three people who were honorary co-chairs in our newspaper, and we hope everyone had a chance to read their empowering stories. To battle and beat cancer is an amazing feat. HISSES to some unsettling crime that made the news last week. We reported on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and first-degree kidnapping recently.
CHEERS to all of the candidates who put themselves out there for us. Many will lose despite their best efforts and the support of loyal followers. We wish everyone who took the time, effort and money to give the voters a real choice the best of luck on Tuesday. Each of us can thank the candidates by voting.
CHEERS to the official dedication of Mitchell's Veterans Park at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street on Saturday. Each of the five primary branches of the military is represented, as are those killed in action. Considering the level of community involvement needed to make the project happen, the hard work of the project's donors certainly deserve to be recognized. Most readers will remember just a few years ago when that property had become an eyesore at the entrance to the city's Main Street area.
HISSES to the news about the emerald ash borer making an appearance in Sioux Falls. The state avoided infestation for years, but the slow spread westward through the Midwestern states might have made this news inevitable for South Dakota. Unfortunately, that means the deaths of numerous trees, but the best way to limit emerald ash borer concerns is to limit the movement of firewood. Considering camping season is upon us, hopefully residents and visitors take this seriously.