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Excitement and support around the "Gary Munsen Court" have fizzled. Since local legend and former NBA player Mike Miller visited Mitchell in December to honor his former coach and make a pitch to the community to name the Corn Palace court in honor of the Mitchell High School basketball coach, discussion on his foundation's request to honor Munsen got caught in the tangled mess of bureaucracy.
Cooler heads prevailed Tuesday as Davison County and Mount Vernon Township officials came together in an effort to combat rural "mud-runners."
The race is on. Eleven candidates filed nomination petitions to appear on the city of Mitchell's June 5 ballot, but it'll be an easier road for some than others. Mitchell's two longest tenured City Council members — Ward 3's Marty Barington and Ward 4's Jeff Smith — will face no challenger on the ballot, barring any last-second mail-in petitions. Both councilmen have held office for 12 uninterrupted years.
One of Mitchell's late-night hot spots is on the move. The Mitchell Planning Commission approved a plan for Thirsty's to eventually move from the Palace Mall to the former home of the County Fair Banquet Hall and Rita's Place. The new location is a short walk from the current location. "Time for some renovation and remodeling," Commission Chair Jay Larson asked.
A fresh face has entered Mitchell's mayoral race. Steven M. Larson has entered the June mayor's race, joining three other candidates on the ballot. Larson, 28, said he's lived in Mitchell since he was in third grade. Now working at Mitchell-based Larson Data Communications, he's hoping to bring a forward-thinking mindset to the mayor's seat. "The city, in my opinion, seems to lack a plan going forward," Larson told The Daily Republic. "It seems like we're always reacting to things instead of being proactive in dealing with them."
South Dakota's top two Republican gubernatorial candidates continued to spar Monday. U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem's campaign unveiled her agenda to "strengthen South Dakota's economy," a plan layered with methods to kickstart the Rushmore State. "South Dakota does a lot of things right, but our economy is falling behind," Noem said in a press release. "As governor, my goal will be to kickstart our economy — and not through more boards, commissions or blue ribbon committees."
There's an air of optimism on Mitchell's Main Street, and business owners are ready for more change. A general sense of excitement has filled the downtown historic district, and some feel the area is in need of a simple sprucing up. That could be achieved, in part, by an initiative proposed by Mitchell Main Street & Beyond. Brad Jamison, of Woelfel Jewelry, is on board with the Business Improvement District plan to tax commercial properties downtown and use those funds to improve building facades and add new features.
More competition is coming to Mitchell's City Council. Debra Emme has joined the race to represent Ward 2, which consists of southeastern Mitchell. And while she's not a Mitchell native she is excited about the opportunity to keep her adopted home on the right track. "But I do feel that a big town can still have that small-town community," said Emme, a Colman-Egan graduate who is now settled in Mitchell. "My husband and I have made our roots and we are branching out. I want to help the town do the same."
In a building known as a monument to corn, chicken reigned supreme on Saturday. Mitchell Main Street & Beyond's Wingapalooza took over the World's Only Corn Palace, with 11 teams serving wings to the masses. With more than 200 people still in attendance as the event came to a close, and hundreds more cycling through during the three-hour event, three teams came out on top.
WASHINGTON — Improvements to the Conservation Reserve Program could be on the horizon. U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, unveiled his ninth farm bill proposal on Friday, one meant to increase the usefulness of the popular program. The proposal would authorize the secretary of agriculture to designate areas of economic sensitive as priority areas for CRP allocations, allow the prioritizing of CRP in areas where there's actual and significant declining habitat and expands limited grazing on CRP acres, among other items.