Daily Republic Editorial Board
Shock, devastation and uncertainty hit Woonsocket this week. At least 25 employees of Van Dyke's Taxidermy Supply were told they no longer held jobs at the business as of Monday.
CHEERS to Howard School District for its installation of a controlled access system to its schools and the increase of technology in its classrooms. For the new school year, the district installed a security update that requires teachers and staff to use a key fob to get into each entrance of the elementary, junior high and senior high buildings. On top of added security, the Howard School District also purchased 188 laptops for students and teachers. The projects combined to cost about $150,000, but they were both great additions to a rural school district.
Sections of Lake Mitchell's shoreline had a glowing green goo Wednesday, the same day a public forum was held to discuss restoration of the lake. The front-page photo in Thursday's Daily Republic showed, indeed, there is a problem that needs to be fixed. Anyone who says the lake is just fine is clearly unreasonable.
Dakota Wesleyan University is taking on an uncomfortable discussion next week that needs to be applauded. During its annual McGovern Civic Engagement Forum, the McGovern Center and DWU will host Dr. Mary Hess, who is speaking on the topic "White Privilege in Small-town America." The event, which is open to the public, will also have a panel discussion with local leaders regarding ways South Dakota communities need to work to overcome racism and discrimination. It's hard to ignore the fact our region is slowly becoming more diverse.
HISSES to the news that there will not be a free flu vaccination clinic this year at the Corn Palace. Last week, the South Dakota Department of Health told our newspaper a statewide focus is switching from flu vaccinations toward meningococcal and Tdap vaccines. That means the annual flu vaccination clinic, free for anyone younger than 18, at the Corn Palace won't be available.
Now here's something conservatives, moderates and liberals can agree on. This November, South Dakotans will head to polling places with chance to step away from the partisan bickering that pervades our federal and state government at every turn.
Mitchell's veterans park project and the Sixth Avenue plaza are bringing great hope to our city's downtown. Earlier this month, construction began on the veterans park at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street, while the final details of the Sixth Avenue plaza need to be approved by the Mitchell City Council. Although the projects are in their infancies, they have great promise to liven up our city's Main Street.
Anecdotal reporting throughout the summer suggested better pheasant numbers would be coming this fall. But outdoor enthusiasts and South Dakotans were a bit surprised to learn there was a 20 percent statewide dip in pheasant populations compared to 2015. Earlier this month, the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department issued its annual roadside pheasant brood survey report, and early-season optimism morphed into pre-hunting season concerns. Of the 110 routes surveyed statewide, 38 showed an increase in the pheasant-per-mile index and 72 declined from 2015.
CHEERS to the volunteer efforts from those aiding in the recovery of Springfield. Last week, a wicked storm that included 100-plus mph winds ripped through the Bon Homme County town. According to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, straight-line winds during an overnight storm pummeled Springfield, destroying four homes and "severely damaging" 12 others, leaving 70 people displaced. The storm ravaged the southeast section of town, uprooting trees, downing power lines and damaging roofs, but left the rest of the town relatively unscathed.
Telling someone their family dog isn't so friendly is difficult, but the city of Mitchell needs stronger laws and enforcement in doing just that. An employee of the U.S. Postal Service on his normal delivery route was bitten by a dog Friday in Mitchell. The worker was bitten in his leg and sought medical attention following the incident. And this isn't the first dog attack we've heard about in our city recently. On July 1, a Mitchell police officer shot and killed a dog that was reportedly attacking the officer who was responding to a call at a residence.