GOOD: A 40-acre donation by the developers of Dakota Meadows in Spearfish has helped jump start a $100 million project by Regional Health. According to Rapid City-based Regional, their plans call for building a health-care campus that consolidates about a dozen facilities that includes Spearfish Regional Hospital and area clinics. Dakota Meadows is a 750-acre tract of range land that developers hope to convert into a mixed-use residential, retail and office community. The announcement was called a game-changer by one of the developers for the town of Spearfish, which has around 12,000 residents and is one of western South Dakota’s booming communities.

BAD: Gene Abdallah is a former U.S. marshal, state Highway Patrol director and state senator from Sioux Falls. Now, the 81-year-old man is Attorney General Marty Jackley’s nominee to the state Board of Pardons and Parole, which sits in judgment of inmates seeking or hoping to retain their freedom. In the wake of the nomination, a former lobbyist accused him of rather peculiar behavior — asking to watch her go to the bathroom. Abdallah has denied the charge forcefully. He didn’t help himself, however, by publicly telling the woman she “can go to hell.” Jackley, a candidate for governor, responded to the woman’s charge by saying he stands by his nominee and his denials rather than looking into the matter as one might expect from the state’s top law enforcement official.

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UGLY: Vandals might be too generous of a description for those who punched large holes in the walls of two century-old buildings once used to store dynamite for the former Homestake Gold Mine near Lead. Thoughtless, reckless, clueless and destructive come to mind for starters. After discovering the historically restored buildings had become a party spot for drinkers, Bureau of Land Management officials sought to secure the building with padlocks, which proved to be no deterrent as someone busted their way back into the buildings by penetrating a double–layer brick exterior, an act that now threatens the stability of Powder House No. 2. The BLM, which estimates damage at $25,000, now offers a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. If anyone has information on this senseless attack on history, call 892-7025. It’s important these individuals be held accountable for attempting to destroy public property.

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