Daily Republic Editorial Board
CHEERS to all of the South Dakota Hall of Fame inductees, especially the two area residents earning one of the state's highest honors. Kennebec's Rod Bowar and Mitchell's Roger Musick are both great examples of hard-working business leaders who have made impacts on the state and its residents. More importantly, both have proven to be important members of our communities, serving on various boards and committees away from their day jobs. Congratulations to them once again.
CHEERS to the success of a new intersection alert system at a key area intersection in Bon Homme County. The Rural Intersection Conflict Warning System has been implemented at the intersection of State Highways 37 and 46 and has in the past year resulted in one serious crash and no fatalities. The system uses technology similar to traffic signals and notifies drivers when vehicles are in the other bisecting portion of the intersection.
In case you didn't hear, Sioux Falls is getting another significant athletic training center. Announced Wednesday by Avera Health, a new 60,000-square-foot facility will open in December 2019 and cost $14 million. The Avera Human Performance Center will be located at 69th and Louise campus and it "focuses on the needs of people who want to improve their health, strength, power, speed and stability or overall physical performance," according to a sports medicine specialist with Avera Orthopedics in Sioux Falls.
So South Dakota's pheasant population is up. Now what? More nonresidents will read the state's preseason report and make the trek to our state to buy gasoline, stay in hotels and spend their tourism dollars in our communities. A huge win, right? At least for this year, sure. It's no secret the number of hunters who visit South Dakota and the number of small game licenses sold are tied to the preseason pheasant report, which was released Monday and showed a 47 percent increase from 2017's count.
HISSES to the news that came from our Saturday report, which shows more than $400,000 of unpaid lunch balances were left for the state's public school districts to endure at the end of the 2017-18 year. That number is a total from all the school districts that answered our information requests — with about 15 percent of districts not responding.
CHEERS to the community leaders in Mount Vernon, who have been working to open a new museum to honor the city's nearly 140-year history. The museum will have a number of historic items that have been donated or brought together by volunteers. Regardless of the size of the town, efforts like this are admirable to honor previous generations, while also preserving those items for the future. It's also a nice touch to use the community's former Catholic church as the home to the facility, keeping another historic building in use for Mount Vernon.
White Lake School District has a brand new school. We know this because we featured it in a front-page story of The Daily Republic on Wednesday. The Aurora County Standard in White Lake has also written extensively about the topic. In Rapid City on Tuesday, police worked to resolve a hostage situation, the Rapid City Journal reported. Another well-respected South Dakota news-gatherer, the Freeman Courier, reported the 2019 South Dakota Chislic Festival is set for July 27 in Freeman.
CHEERS to the efforts of many of the area's youth presenting at county 4-H achievement days over the last few weeks. The level of pride and hard work that is put forth by children of all ages is a very cool experience and teaches about working with animals but also traits for professionalism and respect. Whether 4-H participants qualify for the South Dakota State Fair or not, they are learning attributes that will serve them for life.
CHEERS to Mitchell School District's summer lunch program, which expanded this summer and saw more people utilize the service. Around 17,000 lunches and about 7,700 breakfasts were distributed this year. The program, which serves healthy food, grew for another year. We love this summer option for students and adults, as it ensures everyone can get a good meal for a fair price. We hope school officials continue to find ways to improve an already-great program.
CHEERS to the news that the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championships will remain in Sioux Falls at the Sanford Pentagon through 2020. The NAIA announced last week the event will be hosted by the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, Dakota State University and Northwestern College. While we're still disappointed Mitchell didn't land this tournament last year, Sioux Falls is the next-best option.