Daily Republic Editorial Board
A brilliant idea was mentioned during Monday night's Mitchell City Council special work session that could drastically improve the quality of visiting the Corn Palace for everyone. During a discussion on the future Sixth Avenue green space project, which will be located south of the Corn Palace, Councilman Steve Rice suggested the city consider adding wireless internet and installing a video board to the outside of the Palace. Rice said the outdoor screen could show live games or highlights, which would make the plaza potentially a great area for tailgating prior to events.
HISSES to the jet ski crash that sadly resulted in a fatality over the Fourth of July weekend near Platte. A 32-year-old Platte man died on July 3 following a jet-ski-on-jet-ski crash. The Charles Mix County State's Attorney's Office ruled the crash an accident. We were relieved to hear alcohol was not a factor in the crash, according to information gathered by law enforcement. So many times, these crashes occurred due to alcohol. This one was simply an accident, and our hearts are heavy for the victim's family.
A week ago, a Mitchell police officer shot and killed a dog while responding to a call unrelated to the canine. According to authorities, the officer — who was not named — shot the dog when it charged and showed the mannerisms of attacking. Mitchell Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg later reviewed the footage from the officer's body-worn camera and called the shooting justified. Still, a group of Mitchell residents have formed somewhat of an online mob to say the officer was out of line and wrongfully killed the dog.
The stars and stripes were widespread in our small communities over the three-day weekend. Community gatherings, parades, and, of course, firework shows were seemingly all over our region in southeastern South Dakota. And that's the way it should be. A great holiday weekend during the Fourth of July in our small communities to bring people together. Here are just a couple highlights from community happenings we saw first hand:
CHEERS to the news that Sanborn Boulevard could be in line for a facelift starting in 2018. What some consider Mitchell's worst street, Sanborn is a major route for residents and tourists alike. Visitors to the community who are directed down Sanborn en route to the Corn Palace aren't getting a great first impression of our city, which is major reason why we're glad to hear the construction is being planned. Although there will be a large price tag on the project, costing millions of dollars, it's absolutely a necessary improvement.
Earlier this year, Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey started a "From the Desk of the Mayor" column that has run three times since February on the city's website. With it, the mayor plans to "maintain transparency to the public" through the city's website because he has chosen, or at least threatened, to stop speaking to The Daily Republic.
HISSES to a fire that started last week at Tickled Pink, a clothing store on Mitchell's Main Street. The business was forced to shut down following a dehumidifier malfunctioning in its basement. The same brand of dehumidifier was linked to a 2014 house fire in Mitchell and was determined to be recalled. We feel for Tickled Pink, its owners and its customers. The store was forced to move following another Main Street fire in November 2014 when a man set an apartment building ablaze that affected three businesses.
Our state lawmakers need to have a long, serious discussion about expanding Medicaid. A special session won't cut it. That's why we're happy Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Wednesday announced his decision not to call a special session for legislators to discuss expanding Medicaid, a low-cost health care option.
Baseball is king during South Dakota summers. That's especially the case in the state's smallest towns, where communities gather at the ballpark to drink a beer, enjoy the warm sun and watch the game after a day's work. Many of the small towns in southeastern South Dakota take a great pride in baseball, whether it be youth, teener, Legion or amateur level. And, when a community takes pride in its teams, that typically equates to success.
HISSES to a water main break that caused Main Street businesses to endure basement flooding and closed a section of downtown for more than a day. During renovation of the VFW's new location last week, a water main broke near Main Street. It was unclear exactly who was at fault for the problems, but it certainly caused headaches for several people.