Daily Republic Editorial Board
CHEERS to all of high school basketball teams whose season lasted through the state tournament. On Saturday, the Bridgewater-Emery boys basketball team concluded with a championship at the Class B state tournament. Even more exciting, the Huskies went undefeated this year. That's quite the accomplishment for a high school basketball team.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard just followed through on a commitment he made in January, boosting government transparency with one stroke of a pen. Daugaard signed into law Senate Bill 116 on Thursday, a bill to ensure his fellow South Dakotans will have access to state board and commission reports long after his second term as governor comes to a close in January 2019.
For decades, the Mitchell High School boys basketball program was a perfectly oiled machine that saw regular success. There was always fan interest, support and the team's success was undoubtedly a point of pride for our town. Since the late Gary Munsen coached his final game in March 2012, the Mitchell boys basketball program has won a total of 20 games in five seasons under two head coaches, Tom Young (one season, five wins) and the recently departed Erik Skoglund (four seasons, 15 wins).
It's Sunshine Week across the nation, a time to shine a light on government openness, and an even brighter light on the absence of transparency. And Sunshine Week couldn't have come at a better time for Mitchell. Last week marked the kickoff of the Watershed Advisory Committee (WAC) and Technical Advisory Team (TAT) meetings as part of a $73,725 preliminary study to improve the water quality at algae-ridden Lake Mitchell. But the meetings were held behind closed doors.
CHEERS to Mount Vernon native and longtime Minnesota Viking Chad Greenway for a fabulous 11 seasons on the gridiron. As one of a handful of area natives who have taken their talents to the big stage, Greenway showed local youth that their NFL dreams are attainable. Greenway was a five-time Vikings Community Man of the Year, he was a force for good both on and off the field. It was fantastic to see the local linebacker have so much success, and for the NFL team in closest proximity to Mount Vernon at that.
CHEERS to the news more baseball could be coming to Mitchell. The town, which has served as the most recent home to the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Class B tournament, could soon see top collegiate athletes spray baseballs to all points of Drake Field. The Northwoods League, a wood-bat summer league, has proposed a plan to play up to 40 games during the 2018 season at the Cadwell Sports Complex, and it's exciting to dream of a not-too-distant future in which locals can spend a warm summer night enjoying a brew and a ballgame.
We're growing tired of the proposals to expand nonresident waterfowl hunting in South Dakota for reasons proponents believe will help our state. In 2015, the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department commission killed a major restructuring of the state's waterfowl licensing system to make eligible more nonresident hunters due to an overwhelming amount of public outcry.
Road construction. No one likes it, but for the upkeep and safety of our city we all need it. In April, a major project to rebuild Burr Street in Mitchell gets underway. It's a three-year project expected to cost about $15 million. And while that project would be enough of a hassle for most cities our size, we'll likely have another large-scale renovation kick off in 2018 when Sanborn Boulevard is reconstructed for about $9 million.
CHEERS to all the wrestlers who capped their seasons with state championships over the weekend and to those who qualified for the meet. The state high school wrestling tournament is an outstanding annual event that brings some of South Dakota's best athletes together. Several area wrestlers who dedicated their time, energy and effort this season were rewarded Saturday as state champions and state place winners.
Has South Dakota fixed its high prison population problem, or just kicked the can down the road? Recently, Gov. Dennis Daugaard touted the successes of the state's 2013 Public Safety Improvement Act, which focuses on rehabilitating nonviolent offenders by keeping them in the community rather than sending them to an overcrowded prison.