Daily Republic Editorial Board
HISSES to the flooding and sloppy conditions hampering landowners in southeastern South Dakota. Take a trip across Interstate 90 from Sioux Falls to Chamberlain and it's obvious farmers all over are dealing with excess water. It's a problem we haven't seen much of lately. But due to cooler spring temps, March snowstorms and blasts of rain, fields are flooded all over the place. Aside from that, the Firesteel Creek and James River are both in minor flood stages, which instituted flood warnings around Mitchell.
CHEERS to the readers who reached out and participated in our Lake Mitchell poll over the last few weeks. We asked readers on Facebook, Twitter and in the print edition how they favored a proposed $7.62 million dredging plan, and the results show locals are ready to act on Lake Mitchell's algae issues. According to the responses, 568 voters support dredging the lake, while only 297 oppose such a plan. Whether those people support currently unlicensed Fyra Engineering to oversee the project is a different story altogether.
CHEERS to the great representation from regional girls high school basketball teams that played in their respective state tournaments last week. In The Daily Republic's coverage region, we count five teams that qualified for state — including Hanson, Ethan, Tripp-Delmont/Armour and Avon at the Class B tournament and McCook Central/Montrose at the Class A tournament.
CHEERS to the slate of candidate announcements unveiled this week for 2018's Mitchell City Council races. Incumbent Councilmen Marty Barington, Kevin McCardle and Jeff Smith all announced their intentions to seek re-election, and 2017 candidate Clay Loneman also announced his candidacy.
CHEERS to the Mitchell boys basketball team, which picked up its first victory of the season Friday night at the Corn Palace. In thrilling fashion, the Kernels and first-year head coach Todd Neuendorf defeated Pierre 47-45 to snap the program's 42-game losing streak. More importantly, it gave the upperclassmen on the team something to be extremely proud of. We commend all the hard work the seniors on this team have endured, and we wish this team the best heading into postseason play.
Forty-one straight losses. The number is deflating. Winless last year and thus-far again this season, the Mitchell High School boys basketball program has endured a remarkable downturn. As another season begins to come to a close, we can't help but think of the student-athletes who have devoted so many hours to what's otherwise been a difficult stretch. Think of the long practice hours. So many miles traveled. The bruises and strains.
For nearly three dedicated years, there have been countless hours spent discussing and exploring all options to solve Lake Mitchell's woes. In April 2015, an official with South Dakota State University met with the city's volunteer Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee to suggest the lake be drained to add habitat, control sediment and resculpt the lake.
CHEERS to the Mitchell High School gymnastics team, a group of student-athletes who took home the Class AA state team gymnastics championship on Friday in Watertown. It's always awesome when a local team takes home a title, and it's easy to see in some of Saturday's photos by The Daily Republic how much joy the win brought to the Kernel competitors. The win gave the Kernels their fourth state championship in five years and their sixth state title under head coach Audra Rew. So next time you see Rew or one of the Kernel gymnasts, congratulations are definitely in order.
CHEERS to the state legislators from District 20, who took to Mitchell on Friday to answer questions from constituents about this year's legislative session. It may seem like standard operating procedure for state legislators to attend cracker barrels in their districts, but being open and honest with constituents is the mark of a good politician. We commend state Reps. Tona Rozum and Lance Carson, as well as state Sen. Joshua Klumb, for attending Friday's cracker barrel.
It's time to prioritize Mitchell's needs. Lake Mitchell and many aspects of our city's infrastructure are in a state of despair. This year is the time to make significant progress in both areas. As January winds down and City Council members continue considering what they hope to accomplish in 2018, it's our great hope we get some resolve this year on how to improve algae-filled Lake Mitchell. We also hope to hear a plan to significantly improve the city's infrastructure, such as the major pothole-filled thoroughfares and the aging water and sewer system.