Daily Republic Editorial Board
"South Dakota is working," Gov. Dennis Daugaard likes to remind the state's residents. Amid the announcement of another lean budget year due to disappointing sales tax collections, Daugaard on Tuesday explained South Dakota will continue to be fiscally responsible, a feat the Republican governor has taken pride over for years. "Maybe we're not able to fulfill all our wishes, but I would say we are still fulfilling our needs," Daugaard told The Associated Press on Monday.
CHEERS to the support and positive movement of Mitchell's downtown. Following the frantic Black Friday deals, people were enjoying Mitchell's Main Street for Small Business Saturday in search of holiday gifts. And, for the shoppers who aren't as familiar with Mitchell's streets, the two-way downtown roads were likely easier to figure out than the old one-ways. About six months ago, Mitchell's downtown switched to all two-way streets in hopes of achieving easier routes for tourists. With no crashes due to the change, we're calling this a win for Mitchell.
As November wraps up and many hunting seasons slowly come to an end, it's important for us to remember a sometimes thankless job that's so important to our state. Conservation officers, aka game wardens, with the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department have been working hard for the past few months doing their best to ensure outdoor enthusiasts are staying within the confines of laws to protect our natural resources. But does our state have enough conservation officers? We think there's a definite need for more.
CHEERS to Mitchell City Council President Steve Rice, who has been noticeably involved in several community events recently. Rice has served on the City Council since 2012 and is often seen involved with city functions. Earlier this month, he was the lone councilperson to attend a public forum discussing improvements within the Parks and Recreation Department. We've also recently spotted Rice volunteering for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign and participating in the Mitchell Baseball Association Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.
CHEERS to the climbing cattle prices pleasantly surprising produces this season. Last week, we reported cattle prices shot up from $141.28 to $186.17 per hundredweight, padding the pockets of the same ranchers who were met with low cattle prices in 2016. Officials cited a variety of factors for the increase, but we're just happy to see a bit of good luck hit South Dakota's agriculture economy after a devastatingly dry year. The other good news is that many corn and soybean growers are also surprised with better than expected yields as harvest comes to a close.
There are many opinions about Gary Munsen. The longtime coach who died in January 2016 at age 72 was quite the figure in Mitchell for decades. Because of the impact he had on so many lives, a mass group of people loved him. That was evident during his funeral when, for one final time, people packed the Corn Palace in his honor.
CHEERS to the Mitchell Police Division for its work last week to crack down on speeders. Officers issued 20 citations during a two-hour span to emphasize safety in the community, especially in school areas. The work was made possible through a federal speed enforcement grant. Officers received overtime for the work and the Mitchell Department of Public Safety is reimbursed through the grant.
Hisses to the sad news that a Salem and Spencer firefighter died in an Interstate 90 crash earlier this month. Last week, we mentioned how important it is to appreciate our state’s firefighters following the death of former Presho Fire Chief Donny Manger in the line of duty, and news that volunteer firefighter Tracy Morehead had died in a vehicle crash became know shortly after.
In the past year, we've tried some new features in The Daily Republic. Sometimes, change is good. We've made some good advancements with the paper that have been well-received by our readers. Our front page is more creative and more appealing. We've provided more targeted stories with additional special sections. In another instance, we pulled our PrimeTime TV lineup earlier this year, and we eventually expanded it to a full weekly TV Guide. Sometimes, change doesn't quite fit. So, we adjust.
CHEERS to all the state fire departments and the Presho community who gave their support to the family and friends of former Presho Fire Chief Donny Manger last week. Manger died this month at the scene of a fire, but he won't soon be forgotten. And the outpouring of support last week showed the bond our state's firefighters have and how much they care for one another.