Daily Republic Editorial Board
Election Day has come and gone and there's no way everyone is going to be pleased with last night's results. But something all Mitchell residents should be pleased with is a project under construction at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street. The Mitchell Veterans Park project has received approximately $225,000 in pledges and in-kind donations, with $130,000 in cash already accepted, according to Monday night's Mitchell City Council meeting.
CHEERS to the Mitchell High School football team, which made the community proud Friday night. With its 52-14 rout of Pierre in front of a large crowd at Joe Quintal Stadium, MItchell earned its first trip to a state championship game since 1993. The Kernels have many accomplishments so far this year, including a 10-game winning streak. But that one victory Friday night in the Class 11AA state semifinals was the program's best win in recent memory. Congratulations, coach VanOverschelde and all of the team's coaches. Congratulations, players.
We owe all of our readers an apology, but mostly Norman Pope and his wife, Judy. On the front page of Tuesday's edition, we published a story about a road-hunting incident in which a Minnesota hunter allegedly shot at a pheasant too close to an occupied dwelling in Douglas County near Armour. In the story, we explained that, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Pope and his wife were upset about the shots and stopped the hunters for their actions. Norman Pope allegedly confronted the hunters with a gun and his wife took the hunters' keys.
November is a time when many outdoor enthusiasts start ramping up their efforts with deer hunting. The bowhunting season is already several weeks old, West River opens Nov. 12 and East River is the following weekend. Deer hunting is a way many youth become exposed to the outdoors. It's a great tradition in South Dakota, and the sport helps for the future of our outdoor activities. Deer hunters provide an important revenue source for management and conservation as 2014 brought in approximately $4.8 million in license revenue.
CHEERS to the increase in registered voters in Davison County this election season. The day after the voter registration deadline passed, Davison County reported 12,685 registrations in the county of approximately 19,500. Accounting for both active and inactive voters, the county's total registered voters jumped from 12,222 in 2014, according to a report from the S.D. Secretary of State's Office.
CHEERS to Mitchell High School senior running back Spencer Neugebauer for setting the school's all-time rushing record Thursday night. Following a 266-yard performance against the Huron Tigers, Neugebauer earned his spot in the record book with 2,996 career rushing yards, surpassing Trevor Hohn's record of 2,955.
Not even a full week of pheasant season has passed, and we've already heard reports of three hunting-related accidents in South Dakota. We're sure there's been more, and there's probably been countless close calls. These three, all included someone getting hit with BBs, were just those law enforcement reported. And in South Dakota, it's no surprise the vast majority of hunting-related incidents occur while pheasant hunting.
Earlier this year, it seems Mitchell's Main Street was primed for a facelift, but progress has since flatlined. So why the delay? Throughout the summer, city officials indicated work on the $426,000 Sixth Avenue plaza would kick off in the fall. But the section of Sixth Avenue sits untouched, remaining an eyesore blocked off by unsightly barricades next to our city's signature attraction known as the World's Only Corn Palace.
CHEERS to Pastor Harry Koops, who celebrated his retirement from the First Reformed Church in Platte last week. Koops helped guide the small Charles Mix County town of approximately 1,200 through adversity during the past year following an alleged murder-suicide that shook the community in the autumn of 2015. After tragedy struck, Koops and the Platte Area Ministerial Association purchased the land where a family of six died, hoping to turn the 44-acre lot into a summer youth ministry camp.
Sunday kicked off National Fire Prevention Week, and that means it's time to check those smoke alarms. In Mitchell, we're fortunate to have officials who do a good job getting out in the community to spread the word and help make a difference.