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There were six newspapers hanging in the editor's office Friday afternoon at 120 S. Lawler St., the now "old-Daily Republic building." Through the course of the year, we hung six of our favorite editions—giving our newsroom a benchmark to strive toward. The editions had outstanding layout, great writing and covered our readers in news and impressive photography. Each time we upped one of the editions on the wall, a new one took its place.
PARKSTON — After parking along a gravel road, go through the barbed-wire fence and head down into a ravine. Weave through the cedar trees and tip-toe along the water's edge at the river bottom. Then, look carefully up the hill. That's where the morels are waiting. On a recent May afternoon in Hutchinson County, Jeremy Merxbauer—dressed in all camo—was the guide and expert on one of his favorite spring activities: morel mushroom hunting.
Better water quality, more public hunting, and, best yet, superior landowner incentives. Those are some of the benefits officials list when discussing the Community Based Habitat Access Program in the Mitchell area. As the USDA's continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sign-up period opens Monday, landowners within 40 miles of Mitchell have a heightened reason to consider enrolling into the federal program. There's a local incentive, too.
I just watched my little girl take her first steps. Seriously — it was over my lunch break earlier today, April 25, 2019. They may not exactly be considered "official" first steps because she was holding her unsteady body up and grasping onto a plastic toy shopping cart while her legs wobbled about. No, it wasn't that traditional, "Walk-to-mommy" moment when a kiddo puts their arms out like a tight-rope walker and stares off with an excited, horrified look, putting one foot in front of the other before falling into the arms of an awaiting parent.
Easter colors are a little brighter this year for Mitchell High School junior Mahli Shell. But her favorite color this week may as well be white, as in the White House. Shell's artwork was on display Monday in Washington, D.C., as President Trump and the first lady hosted the 141st White House Easter Egg Roll. Schools all over the nation were invited to decorate or design an egg representing their state's history under specified guidelines. The best-designed eggs were displayed during the Easter Egg Roll, and Shell's was one of those selected.
Seventy today … snowy tomorrow? So goes another day living in South Dakota. The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls is calling for a major storm to arrive this week. Mitchell and several other areas in central and eastern South Dakota are in a Winter Storm Watch. Early forecasts call for up to 22 inches of snow to fall Wednesday night into Thursday. Wind gusts will be up to 55 mph.
Before Thursday, Jose Ortiz couldn't remember his last day off from work. By most any standards, he's busy. As his 19th birthday arrived last week, Ortiz finally took a break to spend time with his family. The time off is overdue. In addition to working two jobs totaling about 45 hours a week, Ortiz is also a student at Mitchell's Second Chance High. He's a unique teenager, but he says the heavy workload is a must. His father is sick and cannot work, and Ortiz feels it's his duty to provide for his family. School to work — school to work — and repeat.
It's been a tough month of March for weather. Brutally cold temperatures and wintry storms preceded heavy rains. Now, as spring arrives, so does flooding. Many areas are expected to see record levels of water, and other places are already experiencing damage. Some roads are impassable — and conditions are expected to get worse as the temperature rises.
An old rule of journalism is to avoid those "back-in-my-day" analogies. For instance, we typically don't start writing a story with something like, "Back when gas was 75 cents a gallon and a loaf of bread was 40 cents ... ." Instead, we start the story with something more interesting that will draw the reader in. We all know gas and groceries were significantly cheaper four decades ago. Plus, I'm only 32 years old. Am I really fit to be writing a historical analogy and saying "back in my day ..." already?
Lyndon Overweg, Mitchell’s chief of public safety, has turned in his resignation. His final day as the top public safety official in Mitchell will be June 14. Overweg, 53, joined the Mitchell Police Division in 1988 after graduating from Dakota Wesleyan University, obtaining a degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice. He’s worked for the city of Mitchell for 31 years.