Daily Republic Editorial Board
CHEERS to the Hanson School Board, which doled out about $44,000 in what one official called a "Christmas bonus." Thanks to an increase in state aid for the district, each of the 59 Hanson School District staff members received an additional $750 payment above their regular pay for the Dec. 31 pay period. The district, which has 439 students, received additional funding after enrollment totals exceeded the anticipated 425-student enrollment budgeted in the spring.
South Dakota's Congressional delegation on Tuesday wasn't impressed with President Barack Obama's proposals to limit gun violence. Obama, during an emotional speech, laid out executive action he is taking to require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks. After Obama spoke to curb gun violence, which he said is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths in America each year, South Dakota's three Republican elected officials shared similar responses to the president's actions.
Don Meyer is still impacting lives. A $14.5 million cancer center in Aberdeen named for the legendary college basketball coach and his wife is set to open in January. Meyer, who died at age 69 in May 2014 after a long battle with cancer, finished his career with 923 victories at Northern State University in Aberdeen, Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. In April 2013, the cancer project was announced, and Avera hosted a kickoff event in April 2014.
CHEERS to the new Wessington Springs American Legion building, which had to be rebuilt after a June 18, 2014, tornado destroyed the former building. The new building, which sits in the same spot as the previous one, will have its grand opening in March, but the first event there will be a wedding in February. What a perfect way to christen a place that symbolizes an organization's new beginnings.
CHEERS to Hanson School District and its plans to expand. Last week, the Hanson School Board unanimously approved to move forward with an estimated $2.6 million middle and high school expansion. Plans include to add nine new classrooms to fill the needs of a large group of students who are advancing from elementary to middle school. Most often, we love to see progress, and that's especially the case in our rural areas.
On Wednesday, a commission of five state's attorneys denied the complaint our newspaper filed against the city of Mitchell about open meeting laws. The commission determined that an executive session that was held Sept. 21 at a Mitchell City Council meeting did not violate state statute. The executive session was held to avoid a "hostile group" of Mitchell residents, according to Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey during Wednesday's Open Meeting Commission teleconference.
The Davison County Commission made the right call Tuesday to delay its decision on a proposed wind farm that would be built 10 miles west of Mitchell. The commissioners saw a large gathering of residents at their weekly meeting, which drew significant interest from those who would be affected by the wind farm. The project is a proposed nine- to 11-turbine wind farm in Beulah Township that would occupy a 3-mile by 1-mile stretch of Brad and Peggy Greenway's land.
South Dakota has made some strides toward government openness in recent years, and now we're hoping for some progress locally. The Davison County Commission for years has offered its weekly agenda with the topics it plans to discuss. The agenda is typically vague and short, as many county government meetings tend to be.
CHEERS to the state Board of Water Management, which decided last week that landowners don't need gates in their fences any longer across much of Firesteel Creek in Davison County. The decision was a compromise, because gates will still be required on fences that cross the stream between Lake Mitchell and Loomis Oil Road northwest of the city. Some local landowners wanted the board to repeal the entire gate requirement for the Firesteel Creek within Davison County because, they said, some people who used the stream left gates open.
CHEERS to Evan Meyer, a South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department conservation officer based in Howard. GF&P last week announced Meyer's honor publically after giving him the award at a convention in November. Being a conservation officer, as we've reported in the past, isn't a simple job.