Daily Republic Editorial Board
HISSES to what seems to be the uptick in vehicle crashes recently. We haven’t investigated statewide numbers for a while, but at least locally it certainly feels like we’ve been hearing more injury-related crashes in the past couple weeks. We reported on four crashes in or nearby Mitchell over the first weekend in May, and this past weekend we read about two fatal crashes in other areas of South Dakota.
If you're an outdoor enthusiast, take a moment and consider your feelings toward non-residents who come to South Dakota, fish the waters or hunt the land. We see out-of-state license plates at South Dakota boat accesses and we sometimes roll our eyes. We notice non-residents buying land in South Dakota, turning it into a habitat mecca and keeping it to themselves for hunting purposes.
CHEERS to the area student-athletes who competed and found success at the 92nd Dakota Relays over the weekend. Several area students performed well over the weekend in Sioux Falls that featured an exciting 200-meter race in which Winner's Cameron Kuil took home third and Mitchell's Spencer Neugebauer finished fourth. Later, Kuil and fellow Winner High School boys won two relays, highlighting the strong program built in south central South Dakota.
Perhaps the only flaw in a recently proposed lake manager position in Mitchell was its name. On Monday, the Mitchell City Council narrowly defeated a proposal to create a lake manager job at a salary of approximately $53,000. Before the 5-3 vote against the plan, Councilman Mel Olson suggested the public opposed the proposal, citing a belief that "none" of the many lakes in Minnesota have lake managers.
A special site to see was on full display at the Davison County North Offices on Tuesday night. Without any vitriol or nastiness as seen in recent politically-charged discussions nationwide, Davison County residents and county Planning Commission members calmly discussed a 1,000-foot wind tower setback, and commissioners took their neighbors' views to heart.
Monday night's Mitchell City Council meeting provided a great reminder the importance of service clubs to a community. Because of a $15,000 donation from the Palace City Lions, school zones in Mitchell will get significantly safer. One of the many service clubs in Mitchell, the Palace City Lions announced the decision to help fund radar signs at Mitchell elementary school zones, which will instantly improve the safety of young children in the city by reducing the number of speeders.
CHEERS to the new coach in town. An 11-year coach at Aberdeen Roncalli, Todd Neuendorf takes over a Mitchell High School boys basketball program in less than ideal shape, and we're rooting for him to lift the spirits and overall game of the players who pass through the program in years to come. Mitchell is fresh off a winless season, and has only won 15 games in the last four seasons. While the school's track record is phenomenal — with legendary Coach Gary Munsen leading the way for decades — the past few seasons have fallen well short.
After years of battling pushback, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2015 vowed to get rid of all elephants in its traveling act. By next year, the elephants will be removed from the act and be moved to a conservation center near Orlando, Florida. The decision was made, the company decided, because "a lot of people aren't comfortable with us touring with our elephants," a spokeswoman said. As the Shrine Circus hits its final leg of a three-day stint in Mitchell today, we agree it's time to move into modern times and remove elephants from the local circus.
Want to have a thriving, forward-thinking rural community? Here are some ideas: Update the town's ballpark. Polish up and improve the local pool. Or, like in Mount Vernon recently, build a new track at the high school. Mount Vernon late last week got to show off its $450,000 track at the inaugural Greenway Relays, and we couldn't be happier for the small town. Community assets are so important for rural areas. And while these investments many times do not have direct financial returns, the benefits are for long-term success.
CHEERS to the undercover work put forth by law enforcement, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to help indict 15 people for their involvement for allegedly trafficking eagles and other migratory birds. A press release from U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Randy Seiler said the undercover work took two years, and the names of the people indicted will not be released until later Monday during a press conference in Rapid City.