Daily Republic Editorial Board
Hisses to the sad news that a Salem and Spencer firefighter died in an Interstate 90 crash earlier this month. Last week, we mentioned how important it is to appreciate our state’s firefighters following the death of former Presho Fire Chief Donny Manger in the line of duty, and news that volunteer firefighter Tracy Morehead had died in a vehicle crash became know shortly after.
In the past year, we've tried some new features in The Daily Republic. Sometimes, change is good. We've made some good advancements with the paper that have been well-received by our readers. Our front page is more creative and more appealing. We've provided more targeted stories with additional special sections. In another instance, we pulled our PrimeTime TV lineup earlier this year, and we eventually expanded it to a full weekly TV Guide. Sometimes, change doesn't quite fit. So, we adjust.
CHEERS to all the state fire departments and the Presho community who gave their support to the family and friends of former Presho Fire Chief Donny Manger last week. Manger died this month at the scene of a fire, but he won't soon be forgotten. And the outpouring of support last week showed the bond our state's firefighters have and how much they care for one another.
Great green gobs of disgusting, smelly algae filled Lake Mitchell over the summer. With long stretches of hot, dry weather in eastern South Dakota, we heard several cries that this was the worst state the lake's ever been in. We know this: It sure was nasty at times. And that's why we're getting anxious for Omaha-based water quality specialist Fyra Engineering to present its findings on the lake's problems to the City Council soon.
Today's front page has no news on it. Our readers already know that, of course, because it's quite possible they gasped when they unfurled this edition on their doorstep. For those who are shocked or disappointed, let that feeling sink in for a moment, because this is what would exist every day in a city without a newspaper.
CHEERS to the new Corn Palace murals going up alongside the walls of the attraction, a vibrant display of color we haven't seen since they were last replaced in 2015. Visitors to Mitchell will be in for a treat next year when they see the murals, and we hope the city learned its lesson to replace the signature feature of the town's most prominent attraction each and every year. With new murals and a brand new plaza on what used to be a portion of Sixth Avenue, we're excited to see whether Corn Palace attendance spikes in 2018.
HISSES to the slow-moving progress to get a building near Mitchell's Main Street back in order. In early August, a block of Third Avenue was closed due to safety precautions from a building crumbling. While there was never a specific timetable set for the road to be opened and the building to be fixed, we've heard several people in town are starting to get impatient. And, rightfully so.
About one year ago, a small group of students battled to keep the Mitchell High School newspaper together. It was significant extra work, some of it thankless. But the hours added up. They captured important moments in journalistic forms, via news stories, opinion editorials and photography. They did it for their readers, the students and faculty at MHS and others who were interested in what was going on at the high school. Most importantly, though, they recognized the importance and value of a newspaper.
CHEERS to the corn crop's comeback following what felt like a devastatingly dry summer. Early indications were grim for South Dakota corn, with a lengthy drought putting future yields at risk. Despite the drought, the nation is looking at its third-highest corn yield in recorded history. Although South Dakota is expected to see a 16 percent drop in its corn yield, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, it's a much better outcome than many had predicted.
The lack of public events at the Mitchell School District's performing arts center should be viewed as a learning experience, not as a failure. Last week, we reported that the $15.3 million performing arts center went unused for public performances while students were away on summer break. That's right, a $15.3 million building owned by a public entity was not shared with the very public that made it possible. Although, to be fair, it was used for a few camps for students.