Daily Republic Editorial Board
CHEERS to the Mitchell High School gymnastics team, a group of student-athletes who took home the Class AA state team gymnastics championship on Friday in Watertown. It's always awesome when a local team takes home a title, and it's easy to see in some of Saturday's photos by The Daily Republic how much joy the win brought to the Kernel competitors. The win gave the Kernels their fourth state championship in five years and their sixth state title under head coach Audra Rew. So next time you see Rew or one of the Kernel gymnasts, congratulations are definitely in order.
CHEERS to the state legislators from District 20, who took to Mitchell on Friday to answer questions from constituents about this year's legislative session. It may seem like standard operating procedure for state legislators to attend cracker barrels in their districts, but being open and honest with constituents is the mark of a good politician. We commend state Reps. Tona Rozum and Lance Carson, as well as state Sen. Joshua Klumb, for attending Friday's cracker barrel.
It's time to prioritize Mitchell's needs. Lake Mitchell and many aspects of our city's infrastructure are in a state of despair. This year is the time to make significant progress in both areas. As January winds down and City Council members continue considering what they hope to accomplish in 2018, it's our great hope we get some resolve this year on how to improve algae-filled Lake Mitchell. We also hope to hear a plan to significantly improve the city's infrastructure, such as the major pothole-filled thoroughfares and the aging water and sewer system.
CHEERS to the Mitchell City Council for making the smart choice and unanimously voting to demolish an aging building on Main Street. After several reports stating the former Jitters Coffeehouse building was unsafe and unsightly, the council made the obvious choice on Tuesday to tear down the building. There were no voices of concern from the public, and we're glad Mitchell is on the same page about the plan.
The idea of bringing the Northwoods League to Mitchell was exciting. And, of course, it's still possible. But considering league officials waited until the last minute to decide its fate in Mitchell, along with the fact there are still significant concerns about local facility usage, we're not ready for an expansion here in 2018. Why rush it? The league and city could partner in the future, as there's a three-year option agreement that allows the Northwoods League to field a team for up to 40 games per year at Drake Field at our Cadwell Park Sports Complex.
CHEERS to the news of a $5 million residence hall construction project at Dakota Wesleyan University. Last week, school officials revealed plans to build a three-story, 114-bed facility on the western side of campus due to growing enrollment. With an aggressive completion target date set for Aug. 1, DWU officials are hoping to accommodate housing to more students prior to the 2018 fall semester.
HISSES to the news that a former Charles Mix County sheriff's deputy allegedly stole a firearm and was arrested last Friday. We put a lot of trust in law enforcement to uphold the law, and it goes without saying that they should follow the law themselves. So when we heard the news that Jesse McLaughlin was arrested on grand theft charges, we were disappointed. What isn't disappointing is the actions of Charles Mix County Sheriff Randy Thaler. Thaler informed us of the arrest and said he "will not tolerate employees of the Sheriff's Office violating the law."
We get calls every so often in which readers try to remind us we have a section dedicated to Sports. These calls come in because some people think sports content shouldn't touch the front page of the newspaper no matter what. All of our readers have a right to their opinion. They pay for our product, and we provide a service. So their thoughts matter to us.
HISSES to the arctic chill that blasted the Midwest over the New Year's holiday weekend. Actual temperatures of 20 degrees below zero? Wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero? Yikes. We hope everyone was safe over the holiday weekend and remembered to bundle up when they had to battle the frigid winter air. We think of all the first responders such as law enforcement and firefighters who were on duty serving us and ensuring our safety while they were out and about in the cold.
CHEERS to the citizens who attended a Mitchell City Council meeting last week and shared their concerns about a reconstruction effort on Sanborn Boulevard. It appears as though the City Council may be on track toward considering a hybrid construction plan that shuts down the portion on Sanborn between Havens and First avenues for a shorter period of time than initially expected — and we suspect that's due to the citizens who shared their concerns about possible loss of business from the project.