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Mitchell School District, MTI and JPII closed Friday

OUR VIEW: Hisses and cheers

CHEERS to the news of a $5 million residence hall construction project at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Last week, school officials revealed plans to build a three-story, 114-bed facility on the western side of campus due to growing enrollment.

With an aggressive completion target date set for Aug. 1, DWU officials are hoping to accommodate housing to more students prior to the 2018 fall semester.

When we heard of this project, we couldn't help but think of the stability it shows for our local, private university. This also is yet another new building for DWU, which has seen a wave of updated facilities in the past five years.

As DWU continues to be forward-thinking and show its strength with progressive moves, we know this is a huge positive for the city of Mitchell. This expansion is another way DWU will be even more alluring to students and student-athletes, who become educated and can enter our local workforce.

HISSES to statistics that show South Dakota's suicide rates set a record in 2017.

According to the state epidemiologist, there were more than 173 suicides last year in South Dakota. That's 13th in the nation for suicide rate per 100,000 people.

While that's terrible news, we're glad to hear state agencies are working to combat the issue. Efforts range from community tool kits and coalitions, to prevention resource centers and locks for firearm-triggers.

We hope for better reports in 2018.

CHEERS to the Jones County Invitational, a basketball event that's been going on for 50 years.

On Saturday, we featured the longest-running basketball tournament in South Dakota, which nestles in the small Murdo gymnasium each January.

Not only is there quality high school basketball played each year to make the invite great, but there are dozens of people who help make it run smoothly.

As another year of the Jones County Invitational wraps up, we're reminded of all the great high school basketball played right here in South Dakota for fans to watch and enjoy.