Daily Republic Editorial Board
It's been nearly a month and a half since a violent crash occurred in a Mitchell residential neighborhood. At 11:30 a.m. on June 3, a man drove 93 mph down Sixth Avenue. His vehicle struck trees, rolled multiple times and eventually came to rest near Burr Street. Not surprisingly, police say alcohol and drugs were involved. His blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit to drive. The scene of the crash was horrific — Broken beer bottles. Pieces of the 2006 Chevy Trailblazer scattered.
CHEERS to the Mitchell Athletic Booster Club for changing up its membership benefits system. Rather than having access only to a set number of events spread throughout the school year, the club will now offer punch cards for members, allowing them to attend events of their choice, up to a set number determined by the amount each member donated to the club. We hope to see significant moral support for the Kernels increase throughout the upcoming school year.
Outdoor enthusiasts across South Dakota should be aware of today's Game, Fish & Parks Department meeting in Pierre. Attend it. Listen online. Read about it later in a newspaper. It's an important meeting, as the GF&P Commission will be considering a significant proposal to partially open recreational use on Reetz Lake in northeastern South Dakota near Webster.
CHEERS to the grand opening of the Mitchell Indoor Aquatic Center. Drive by the pool or take a swim inside and it's hard to not be impressed with the quality of the facility that is now available in Mitchell. It was an $8 million investment that was hotly contested for most of the last four years. But now that the project is finished, it's hard to argue that the facility isn't an asset for the community and the region. And given there are two pools, two slides, play equipment, a zipline and therapy pool, there's something for everyone who makes use of the center.
HISSES are certainly in order after Thursday's shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Every mass shooting is tragic but it hits particularly home for those in the journalism and newspaper business. By all accounts, the Capital Gazette values what so many local newspapers in this country are about, writing about important matters to its readers and keeping them informed. It is a critical part of the community in which they live and serve and their hard work and commitment has only been bolstered by this heartbreaking tragedy.
Small-town high school football is changing in South Dakota. A year from now, some teams will be altering their games to play six-man football. Earlier this month, the board that oversees the South Dakota High School Activities Association approved the change, which begins in the 2019 season. In short, the state's smallest schools are eligible but are not required to partake. A current nine-man class will be replaced to make room for the six-man version.
One week from today, people in Mitchell will get a little extra freedom. Yes, in seven days we celebrate our nation's independence. But we also get a little more leeway to use fireworks in the city. Earlier this month, the Mitchell City Council approved the use of fireworks between noon and midnight on July 3-4 on properties adjacent to Lake Mitchell. That's a change to the city's old fireworks ordinance, which essentially banned their use altogether.
CHEERS to the Mitchell Elks Lodge, which donated $9,000 for more solar-powered speed signs to be placed around Mitchell. The check was presented to the Mitchell City Council last week at the regular council meeting and was welcomed by a round of applause. We love the speed signs all over the city, which are placed strategically near parks and school zones to keep speeders in check. They're a good reminder to keep an eye on your speed and help make our community a safer place. HISSES to grain prices that have quickly dropped this month.
It's time. It's finally time to see what's next for Lake Mitchell. After years of serious research and discussion, meetings held and ideas presented, reports delivered — we're mere months away from action. At least, we should be. The Mitchell City Council needs to make a bold move. Within the next two months, council members will gather during work sessions and budget hearings — and a serious consideration for our city must be lake improvement.
HISSES to the surroundings the visit of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt last week. All told, it's fine that he visited South Dakota on his tour of Great Plains states and it's good that he met with concerned farmers. His meeting with NorthWestern Energy, while not as publicized, could be just as important as his farm-policy discussions.