Daily Republic Editorial Board
HISSES to the news of the weekend, with the winter storm that disrupted any ideas of spring in South Dakota. If this storm had occurred in January and there was still time for winter activities outside, perhaps this storm would have been more welcomed.
HISSES to a need for $80,000 worth of additional study to find the path forward to solving serious phosphorus problems in Lake Mitchell. Add this new cost to the thousands already spent on learning that Mitchell's lake has multifactorial issues to address. Core samples collected in February indicated as much as an eightfold increase in problematic sediment over earlier estimates. Hopefully, that will not greatly increase the already pause-worthy $7.2 million estimated cost of dredging and capping lake sediment rich in phosphorus.
CHEERS to Peggy Greenway, who last week was featured as part of the Senate Agriculture Committee's Women's History Month project. Peggy and her husband, Brad, are Mitchell pig farmers who also raise beef, cattle, corn, beans, wheat and alfalfa. In South Dakota, there are approximately 29,700 male farmers and 2,300 female farmers, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. It's not surprising that the job is a male-dominated field, but it's important to applaud the women like Greenway who help put food on tables across the nation and the world.
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.