Daily Republic Editorial Board
The stars and stripes were widespread in our small communities over the three-day weekend. Community gatherings, parades, and, of course, firework shows were seemingly all over our region in southeastern South Dakota. And that's the way it should be. A great holiday weekend during the Fourth of July in our small communities to bring people together. Here are just a couple highlights from community happenings we saw first hand:
CHEERS to the news that Sanborn Boulevard could be in line for a facelift starting in 2018. What some consider Mitchell's worst street, Sanborn is a major route for residents and tourists alike. Visitors to the community who are directed down Sanborn en route to the Corn Palace aren't getting a great first impression of our city, which is major reason why we're glad to hear the construction is being planned. Although there will be a large price tag on the project, costing millions of dollars, it's absolutely a necessary improvement.
Earlier this year, Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey started a "From the Desk of the Mayor" column that has run three times since February on the city's website. With it, the mayor plans to "maintain transparency to the public" through the city's website because he has chosen, or at least threatened, to stop speaking to The Daily Republic.
HISSES to a fire that started last week at Tickled Pink, a clothing store on Mitchell's Main Street. The business was forced to shut down following a dehumidifier malfunctioning in its basement. The same brand of dehumidifier was linked to a 2014 house fire in Mitchell and was determined to be recalled. We feel for Tickled Pink, its owners and its customers. The store was forced to move following another Main Street fire in November 2014 when a man set an apartment building ablaze that affected three businesses.
Our state lawmakers need to have a long, serious discussion about expanding Medicaid. A special session won't cut it. That's why we're happy Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Wednesday announced his decision not to call a special session for legislators to discuss expanding Medicaid, a low-cost health care option.
Baseball is king during South Dakota summers. That's especially the case in the state's smallest towns, where communities gather at the ballpark to drink a beer, enjoy the warm sun and watch the game after a day's work. Many of the small towns in southeastern South Dakota take a great pride in baseball, whether it be youth, teener, Legion or amateur level. And, when a community takes pride in its teams, that typically equates to success.
HISSES to a water main break that caused Main Street businesses to endure basement flooding and closed a section of downtown for more than a day. During renovation of the VFW's new location last week, a water main broke near Main Street. It was unclear exactly who was at fault for the problems, but it certainly caused headaches for several people.
Some members of the Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee and Mayor Jerry Toomey spoke out Tuesday against a story that printed on the front page of The Daily Republic on Saturday, May 21. The story highlighted the relationship between landowners near the Firesteel Creek, city officials and other government agencies trying to find compromise to better the quality of Lake Mitchell.
Hundreds of youth players endured triple-digit temperatures over the weekend at Mitchell's annual Lowell Rang Memorial Softball Tournament. Battling a hotter-than-usual mid-June sun, teams took to the diamond for the two-day event and utilized precautions to avoid heat exhaustion, sunburn and heatstroke. Water, sunscreen, cool towels were frequently used during Saturday's June 11 record-setting temperature in Mitchell of 100 degrees, and on-site trainers were available when needed.
The Mitchell City Council on Monday night sent a resounding message when it denied an ordinance to ban trailers, boats and an allotment of recreational vehicles from parking on our city's streets. The actions of the council members proved it's their constituents, not a personal agenda, that matter most when making important decisions.