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Black Hawk Elementary third-grader Breanna Hansen hugs her mother, Joni Hansen, after a tearful reunion before the start of Wednesday's Rapid City Rush Education Day hockey game. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joni Hansen surprised her daughter after returning from a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

Jim Holland, Journal staff

GOOD: Tears streamed down third-grader Breanna Hansen's face Wednesday when she saw her mother for the first time in months. Hansen's mother, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joni Hansen, surprised her daughter at center ice of the Rapid City Rush game with an early homecoming from a long deployment in Qatar.

The event came on the same day that 4,000 area students watched an afternoon of Rush hockey. 

In all, around 5,000 people got to witness this tearful and joyous occasion. Kudos to the Rush and Rapid City Area Schools for setting up this day that Breanna and her mother will never forget. 

BAD: The Rapid City Police Department and homeless shelter organizers seem intent on playing the blame game instead of sitting down and solving the issue of pop-up shelters and getting help for homeless who drink on cold nights.

Last week Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris sent an email to Mayor Steve Allender saying that the pop-up shelters were at least partially responsible for the death of a homeless woman found under a bridge on Interstate 190. Shelter organizers then shot back and said they were only trying to help these people and not cause more harm. 

The police and shelter organizers need to come together and find a solution that works for everyone.  

UGLY: It appears a mailer circulating about the Feb. 20 special election on city water rates makes several false claims, according to a Journal analysis.

The postcard was paid for by the “Don’t Get Squeezed Committee." It makes dubious claims like Rapid City has the “highest residential water rates in South Dakota,” is writing “blank checks for future water rates hikes,” and is “diverting water fund cash to other projects.”

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These claims are false and misleading, and come from the same group of people who brought this issue to the ballot. The postcard also invites recipients to visit reformrapidcity.com to "get the facts before you vote."

As far as we can tell there are few facts on the website, and most of the information is either misrepresented or inaccurate. We want our electorate to be informed, but cherry-picking facts to try and sway an election is certainly not the way to do that. 

Read Samuel Blackstone's story in the Sunday, Feb. 12, edition of the Journal to be informed on the issue before voting in the election. 

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