Daily Republic Editorial Board
CHEERS to Mitchell's show choir, Friend de Coup, for winning its second consecutive state championship. FDC was named grand champion Saturday at the second annual state show choir competition, held in Aberdeen. That's quite an accomplishment, again. The group this year was met with a new director, Jen Randall, who succeeded Chris Miller and the nine years he helped build Mitchell's show choir into a powerhouse.
Sentencings in some recent high-profile cases have been a Rubik's Cube mystery lately. We don't understand how judges come up with their decisions, but we feel like there needs to be more consistency, and perhaps harsher penalties, with sentences. Two cases we reported on last week especially got us thinking.
The likely autumn demolition of the former Jitters Coffeehouse on Main Street has us dreaming bigger about our soon-to-be revamped downtown. Projects to install parks both south of the Corn Palace and at the northwest corner of Main Street and First Avenue will brighten up an aging downtown district in desperate need of a facelift. And the demolition of the former Jitters building, an unsafe and unsightly 117-year-old building within shouting distance of our city's main attraction, would unlock an ability to make Mitchell's Main Street better than ever.
Slowly but surely, government transparency continues its march forward in South Dakota. In the wake of Sunshine Week, a week set aside each year to encourage public access to information, we looked back at the 2017 South Dakota legislative session and saw two bills that caught our eyes: Senate bills 25 and 116. Both measures became law and had powerful backers in Attorney General Marty Jackley and Gov. Dennis Daugaard, respectively, and we're proud to see two of our state's elected officials promoting transparency.
CHEERS to all of high school basketball teams whose season lasted through the state tournament. On Saturday, the Bridgewater-Emery boys basketball team concluded with a championship at the Class B state tournament. Even more exciting, the Huskies went undefeated this year. That's quite the accomplishment for a high school basketball team.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard just followed through on a commitment he made in January, boosting government transparency with one stroke of a pen. Daugaard signed into law Senate Bill 116 on Thursday, a bill to ensure his fellow South Dakotans will have access to state board and commission reports long after his second term as governor comes to a close in January 2019.
For decades, the Mitchell High School boys basketball program was a perfectly oiled machine that saw regular success. There was always fan interest, support and the team's success was undoubtedly a point of pride for our town. Since the late Gary Munsen coached his final game in March 2012, the Mitchell boys basketball program has won a total of 20 games in five seasons under two head coaches, Tom Young (one season, five wins) and the recently departed Erik Skoglund (four seasons, 15 wins).
It's Sunshine Week across the nation, a time to shine a light on government openness, and an even brighter light on the absence of transparency. And Sunshine Week couldn't have come at a better time for Mitchell. Last week marked the kickoff of the Watershed Advisory Committee (WAC) and Technical Advisory Team (TAT) meetings as part of a $73,725 preliminary study to improve the water quality at algae-ridden Lake Mitchell. But the meetings were held behind closed doors.
CHEERS to Mount Vernon native and longtime Minnesota Viking Chad Greenway for a fabulous 11 seasons on the gridiron. As one of a handful of area natives who have taken their talents to the big stage, Greenway showed local youth that their NFL dreams are attainable. Greenway was a five-time Vikings Community Man of the Year, he was a force for good both on and off the field. It was fantastic to see the local linebacker have so much success, and for the NFL team in closest proximity to Mount Vernon at that.
CHEERS to the news more baseball could be coming to Mitchell. The town, which has served as the most recent home to the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Class B tournament, could soon see top collegiate athletes spray baseballs to all points of Drake Field. The Northwoods League, a wood-bat summer league, has proposed a plan to play up to 40 games during the 2018 season at the Cadwell Sports Complex, and it's exciting to dream of a not-too-distant future in which locals can spend a warm summer night enjoying a brew and a ballgame.