GOOD: A new hospital and clinic in the area is the result of a true team effort. On April 30, Regional Health will open its $21.7 million Custer Hospital and Clinic that includes a healing garden with a fountain and more than 600 plants. The hospital wing has eight patient rooms, a hospice suite, expanded emergency rooms and an expanded laboratory. The cost of the new health care facility is being shared by Regional Health ($14 million), the city of Custer ($4 million) and the rest through community donations and fundraisers. That's great teamwork.
BAD: It was just a few weeks ago when snow was welcomed — replenishing thirsty soil and eradicating dry conditions. Now, the snow dampens our spirits. On Friday, nearly 10 inches fell on the mostly frozen tundra of Rapid City. So far in April, Rapid City has officially recorded 17 inches of snow compared with an average of 4.5 inches. The extended winter season has brought 60 inches of snow compared with an average of 36.6 inches in Rapid City. While it might only be cold comfort, it could have been worse this past weekend, however. Central and Eastern South Dakota suffered through a blizzard that dumped as much as 18 inches of snow in places while winds reached 50 mph. The forecast does call for higher temperatures this week but with a chance of snow on a couple of nights, which means the wintertime blues are still hanging around.
UGLY: The race for South Dakota’s lone House seat is getting national attention although not the kind seen in tourism brochures. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is based in Alabama, accused state Sen. Neal Tapio of Watertown in an article on its website of having a “history of anti-Muslim hate.” South Dakota Voices for Justice is quoted as saying Tapio wants a terrorist attack on U.S. soil to bolster his election chances. Tapio, who has made immigration concerns a centerpiece of his campaign, was defended on Facebook by campaign consultant Shad Olson, a former TV news anchor from Rapid City, who really didn't deny what Tapio had said. He called his comments on the issue “direct, honest and transparent, if inelegantly phrased” and then lowered the boom on critics. “Neal Tapio is not implying a hope for a terrorist attack,” he wrote. “Morons. No one outside the intellectually dishonest opportunism of his mainstream RINO opponents and their sycophantic obsequious fan clubs would be so dishonorably malevolent as to want someone to believe otherwise. You are dismissed.” So that's what an elegantly phrased comment looks like?