GOOD: Though his name will hopefully remain a secret, the landscaper from West River who helped police nab a major drug trafficker operating out of a home in Lead deserves our thanks.

Imagine how easy it would have been for the man to do the safe and simple thing by not informing authorities of his suspicions that an ex-officer was masterminding a scheme to transport major amounts of pot around the country.

Turning the other cheek, and keeping his knowledge to himself would have been easy. But he didn't, and now a man and his son who were shuttling marijuana from California to points east are both in prison as a result.

BAD: Perhaps we should feel good that the apparent turn to the political middle by Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard during the past legislative session has rankled conservative stalwarts in the GOP. Maybe, after all, it shows that there is more than one way to get things done, and that it's OK to disagree, even within your own party.

But the heated rhetoric put forward by Republicans like Rep. Lance Russell of Hot Springs carries no such silver lining. In fact, it simply feels like the divide in the national GOP that has propelled Donald Trump to such inexplicable political heights is also the same "see it my way or else" lock-step approach that is manifesting itself in South Dakota.

UGLY: It was disheartening to read the revelations of a South Dakota School of Mines & Technology researcher who found that South Dakota's jackrabbit population is in serious decline.

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Despite the drop in numbers, South Dakota continues to allow year-round hunting of the large rodents. We hope game and wildlife managers will actively engage in monitoring the situation, because no one wants to create a situation where strong protections are needed to save the species, as has happened with the sage grouse. When job-creation projects are shelved because man is hampering the habitat of the endangered jackrabbit, then we'll know we waited too long to give the population of the rabbits a break.

GOOD: The proposal to create a Native American studies master's degree program at Black Hills State University feels like a good idea all around. Not only would the program educate far more people about the proud history of Native Americans, but it also sets the stage for those graduates to obtain jobs in which they help preserve and share that Native culture.

BAD: We can't wait until all of us in western South Dakota can finally proclaim: "Spring has sprung."

This recent weather pattern we find ourselves in — 65 and sunny one day, 6.5 inches of snow the next — is not only scuttling springtime plans, but also turning many parks, back yards and open spaces into muddy messes. Let's hope that soon, winter wanes once and for all.

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