Daily Republic Editorial Board
After years of battling pushback, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2015 vowed to get rid of all elephants in its traveling act. By next year, the elephants will be removed from the act and be moved to a conservation center near Orlando, Florida. The decision was made, the company decided, because "a lot of people aren't comfortable with us touring with our elephants," a spokeswoman said. As the Shrine Circus hits its final leg of a three-day stint in Mitchell today, we agree it's time to move into modern times and remove elephants from the local circus.
Want to have a thriving, forward-thinking rural community? Here are some ideas: Update the town's ballpark. Polish up and improve the local pool. Or, like in Mount Vernon recently, build a new track at the high school. Mount Vernon late last week got to show off its $450,000 track at the inaugural Greenway Relays, and we couldn't be happier for the small town. Community assets are so important for rural areas. And while these investments many times do not have direct financial returns, the benefits are for long-term success.
CHEERS to the undercover work put forth by law enforcement, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to help indict 15 people for their involvement for allegedly trafficking eagles and other migratory birds. A press release from U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Randy Seiler said the undercover work took two years, and the names of the people indicted will not be released until later Monday during a press conference in Rapid City.
It's time for the Davison County Commission to be vocal on a persistent problem draining taxpayer dollars. The county's jail overtime budget is out of control, yet again, and commissioners are seemingly shrugging their shoulders and not taking large enough steps to harness the mismanagement. According a quarterly report during Tuesday's regular Davison County Commission meeting, Corrections Administrator Don Radel said the jail overtime expenses are on pace to reach about $91,000. Overtime from January through March hit $22,759.45.
A report last week from the state Game, Fish & Parks Department showed the great contributions outdoor and wildlife recreation bring to South Dakota. An estimated $1.33 billion was spent on outdoor recreation last year in South Dakota, with the top three activities — hunting, fishing and state park visitation — accounting for nearly 90 percent of the total.
CHEERS to the mystery donor who may support $250,000 worth of the Mitchell Aquatic Club's (MAC) $1 million pledge to the city's indoor pool project. Opponents of the $8 million aquatic center were less than optimistic that the MAC could meet its pledge, but a donor may have arrived to assist the MAC's cause. We encourage the mystery donor to follow through with its proposed pledge, and commend the person, group or organization for the generous thought.
South Dakota is in deep water, and residents have years of lawmakers kicking the can down the road to blame. Last month, the South Dakota Supreme Court issued a ruling on a controversial issue that's been plaguing the state for years — non-meandered waters and the public's right to recreate on them.
In the two years since a 2015 Mother’s Day tornado swept through Delmont, 75 of the town’s residents have left for good, their homes having been destroyed in the devastating storm. Last week, some of the town’s remaining residents took to the Delmont Community Center to discuss how to prepare for another storm in the future, but what remains are questions about the past.
CHEERS to Mitchell's show choir, Friend de Coup, for winning its second consecutive state championship. FDC was named grand champion Saturday at the second annual state show choir competition, held in Aberdeen. That's quite an accomplishment, again. The group this year was met with a new director, Jen Randall, who succeeded Chris Miller and the nine years he helped build Mitchell's show choir into a powerhouse.
Sentencings in some recent high-profile cases have been a Rubik's Cube mystery lately. We don't understand how judges come up with their decisions, but we feel like there needs to be more consistency, and perhaps harsher penalties, with sentences. Two cases we reported on last week especially got us thinking.