Daily Republic Editorial Board
An online group supporting "the wink" of the Mitchell High School mascot Cornelius has gained some steam, and we're jumping on the bandwagon. Last week, school administration rolled out four options being considered for a potentially new logo for Mitchell High School. And due to the choices, we say there's nothing wrong with good ol' nostalgic Cornelius.
There's no denying it's windy in South Dakota, but South Dakotans are denying wind turbines. As Davison County wind farm opponents await a setback proposal from the county's Planning Commission, Lincoln County voters last week upheld a requirement that all turbines must be placed at least a half-mile from all habitable dwellings. Lincoln County's vote comes one year after the Letcher Township established a one-mile setback, and 11 months after 47 people signed a statement to the S.D. Public Utilities Commission in opposition to another large wind energy project near Avon.
Open records should always be easily accessible. And while that's not always the case, we applaud one local law enforcement agency for going the extra mile to complete a request from our newspaper. Earlier this week, The Daily Republic utilized a new South Dakota open records law for the first time. Now available in our state are the mug shots of people charged with felonies and booked into jail. South Dakota became the 49th state to make these photos public, which shows exactly how far behind some of our open records laws are lagging.
The roads are dusty, cattle are overheating and the corn stalks are starving for a drink. Welcome to South Dakota summer 2017. Breaking news: It's hot and dry, folks. And it's really a drag. While it's not considered to be the worst drought South Dakota has seen on record thus far, this summer is really taking a toll on our most important industry: Agriculture. Farmers and ranchers wake up each morning and check the forecast to the same song. Monday, hot and dry. Tuesday, hot and dry. Wednesday, you guessed it.
CHEERS to voters in south central South Dakota, who could see a matchup of two locals in the race for the state's U.S. House of Representatives seat next fall. With Kimball native Tim Bjorkman entering the race last week, the region could see a Kimball vs. Mitchell race if Dusty Johnson overcomes Secretary of State Shantel Krebs in the Republican primary. We hope the locally-based candidates get every opportunity to meet with the folks in the region, and south central South Dakota is lucky to see some familiar faces enter the field.
On June 21, 2012, during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the sports world was in awe of a Mitchell native.
HISSES to the abundance of fireworks complaints in Mitchell over the Fourth of July weekend. For multiple reasons, we're annoyed to hear the Mitchell Police Division was called dozens of times over the Independence Day holiday. We roll our eyes because authorities told us they did not write any citations this year despite getting contacted over and over. We have no problems with participating in the holiday cheer and celebration of independence, but people should do it legally.
CHEERS to the late Phyllis Hansee, who donated $4.2 million to groups in Webster. Hansee died last year, but it was recently reported that the former piano teacher gave her wealth for high school scholarships, youth programs, the library and a local church. The woman was an only child and had no children of her own, but she was an active member in the community. And, clearly, the small northeast South Dakota town of Webster meant a lot to Hansee.
CHEERS to the South Dakota Highway Patrol's saturation efforts on Highway 37 in the Mitchell region. Last week, Jason Husby, commander of the southeast district of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, told The Daily Republic of the initiative to crack down on 60 miles of the busy two-lane highway, from Mitchell to Bon Homme County. Over the years, we've seen some pretty bad crashes and often see speeders cruising much too fast on the roadway. So we're hoping the presence of law enforcement will slow drivers down and keep them more attentive on the stretch.
An innovative approach to improving relationships between youths and law enforcement is coming to Davison County. In short, the program is meant to redirect youth away from the justice system while still being held accountable for their actions when dealing with criminal matters. Davison County State's Attorney Jim Miskimins told the county commission this week he's received approval from a First Circuit Court judge to move forward with the program.