GOOD: Jim Newell could have made a few thousand bucks by selling the signed 1905 photograph of Theodore Roosevelt, the nation’s 26th president and one of four whose sculpture graces Mount Rushmore. But after possessing it for 47 years and contemplating the sale, the Northern California man wanted to find out about Eben W. Martin, whose name was scribbled on the photo and clearly was the recipient of a personal note from Roosevelt. After doing a Google search, he learned Martin was a Deadwood businessman, lawyer and the one who built the Martin Mason Motel in Deadwood. He then reached out to the hotel and learned that it is now operated by Blake Haverberg, a distant relative of Martin’s. Newell then came to Deadwood to deliver the photo that is certainly priceless to Haverberg. Newell, a retired educator, taught us all a lesson with his thoughtfulness and generosity.
BAD: As the methamphetamine problem continues to plague our community and state, we learned last week that even more serious drugs have infiltrated area. A New York man has been charged with manslaughter and felony counts of possessing and distributing illicit drugs. These charges came in the wake of the death of a Lead women who died of heroin toxicity and fentanyl analog, a synthetic version of heroin that is more powerful and deadly. She was found dead in June 2016 at the age of 24 in her home — a sad end to a young life. The drugs that are now even making their way to rural South Dakota are much more addictive, dangerous and lethal than perhaps ever before. Everyone needs to do what they can to keep these killer drugs out of our communities.
UGLY: The eagle is an important symbol to Native Americans and the American public in general. As a result, it has become a commodity for those who traffic in migratory bird parts. It also is a crime that is taken seriously by state and federal authorities. Last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that 16 people have been charged with trafficking in eagles, hawks and owls, bringing the total to 30 people arrested in a long-running sting operation. Authorities said that more than 500 bird items representing 43 species were involved in what they called a black market operation. If the individuals arrested in the sting operation are found or plead guilty, they should pay a stiff price for this is not just simply a crime of greed, but a crime against nature and those who see these magnificent birds as much more than our feathered friends.