Daily Republic Editorial Board
HISSES to the news of a hunting accident last week that left a man with serious injuries. Authorities say Larry Maxwell was goose hunting with his son southwest of Miner County when Maxwell stood his gun on its end. He then rested his hands on top of the barrel and leaned on the gun, which fired and shot both of his hands. Maxwell was transported via helicopter to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls. We feel terrible about the injuries Maxwell suffered, but this is a clear reminder of the importance of firearm safety.
There are some people who, no matter where they are or what they're doing, they're trying to make the world a better place. Earl Nordby was one of those people. On Tuesday, Nordby, of Huron, died at the age of 85. A well-known businessman and philanthropist in the area, Nordby's death surprised and saddened many. His daughter, Diane DesLauriers, said her father's death was unexpected, largely because he led such an active lifestyle.
Last week was set aside to recognize and appreciate FFA, the organization for youths that promotes agriculture education and other topics. National FFA Week ran from Feb. 21 to Feb. 28, and we were proud to see some of our area communities take part in the festivities. Nationally, there are more than 629,000 members in grades seven through 12 in FFA, which holds the motto "Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve."
HISSES to the news that South Dakota's turkey population is below desired objectives. According to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department officials, turkey populations are lower than desired in nearly every county in the state. Numbers haven't dropped significantly, but Spring turkey hunting in South Dakota is a great sport and one that many people enjoy. So we're sad to see numbers drop off even a little.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard made a respectable decision to meet with transgender people Tuesday at the Capitol. The meeting came via request from a Sioux Falls nonprofit group after the governor said he had not knowingly met a transgender person. Daugaard is currently mulling a controversial bill that would require students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth. The nonprofit group, American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, and LGBT-rights organizations have urged the governor to veto the bill. The deadline for action on the measure is Tuesday.
CHEERS to the people of Carthage for lifting up local resident and longtime volunteer firefighter Russell Dillon, who has leukemia. The Carthage Fire Department held a benefit for Dillon, who hasn't been able to help the fire department since he got sick. More than 500 people attended the event, and all of the money raised will be given to Dillon. It's a case of small-town support at its finest.
While we're usually reserved about razing historic buildings, we recognize that sometimes it needs to be done. That's why we applaud Mitchell's City Council for also recognizing that with two recent demolition approvals, one for the Holy Family Catholic Church rectory and the other for the Goodykuntz House at 205 N. Duff St. Much has been said about the Goodykuntz House already, so we won't expound further, other than to note we empathize with the house's owner—but do support the council's decision to demolish the property.
There have been some grumblings the past couple of weeks about gas prices in Mitchell. We've heard these complaints repeatedly over the years: Mitchell gas station owners are gouging local residents by hiking up the prices while other South Dakota cities' prices are significantly lower. We received a call Friday from a reader who said Salem's gas was about 30 cents per gallon cheaper than prices in Mitchell. We've heard other complaints, too.
A major question exists on how to correct South Dakota's drunken driving laws. But a proposal issued by an independent federal agency that has resurfaced in the news is not the answer. The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending the legal blood-alcohol content to drive in the United States should be dropped from .08 to .05. The recommendation is part of NTSB's Most Wanted List, which identifies 10 recommendations to improve transportation safety.
The vote has long been decided, but controversy still surrounds Mitchell indoor aquatics facility. Last week, Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey revealed the costs associated with operating the yet-to-be-built pool could be significantly higher than originally thought.