GOLD: Just one in every 371 United States citizens gets to call themselves a South Dakotan. We’re such rare jewels, we’ve generally accepted that we’ll get overlooked, overflown or overtly dismissed. No, we say, Mount Rushmore isn’t in North Dakota. Have you ever been to Minnesota? It’s just west of there. Yeah, we’ve also driven across South Dakota — it’s flat, windy, and very hot or cold. Yep, that’s the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits. Our other major mascot is a coyote.
It’s no wonder we begin to doubt our worthiness for the world stage. What business do prairie pretenders have competing with real deals?
And then something big emerges — like the SDSU Women’s Basketball Team, seeded sixth in its bracket and making a determined run to the Sweet 16, beating both Quinnipiac and Syracuse before losing on Friday to Oregon, which later claimed a spot in the women’s Final Four. The Jacks proved they belong on the big stage.
Fighting your way through a metropolitan throng of competitors isn’t the only way to prove or discover your worth. Maybe, there’s something to be said for the big dreams and strong belief in self that comes from the silence and space which fills the Northern Plains. The successes of the Lady Jackrabbits will fill the dreams of more young South Dakotans, who now will be able to clearly see themselves topping their own worlds. Jacks on the move.
GULLY: To the 23 Meade County landowners who found themselves slapped with $1 million in liens and made unwitting pawns in a chess game among big oil companies and subcontractors: We feel your pain.
These landowners were innocent bystanders to a contract collision that involves Brandenburg Drainage of Maquoketa, Iowa, Diamond Willow Energy of New Town, North Dakota, and TransCanada of Alberta, Canada. Let’s hope their company lawyers can quickly clean up all details before the mess requires landowner action.
You have free articles remaining.
GOLD: Last week brought three cheers for economic development in Rapid City. The city’s population climbed above 76,000 — exactly where Sioux Falls was 50 years ago. Ellsworth Air Force Base announced a B-21 Raider mission that will sustain it over the coming generation. And the board of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce voted to become a division of Elevate Rapid City, which will lead to better coordination on a more strategic vision for economic development efforts. This last move still must be passed by a vote of the chamber membership, but approval is both encouraged and expected.
GULLY: There’s not much left to say about the lasting damage caused by these enormous violations of trust. Last week, a judge sentenced a priest to six years in prison for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl inside a Rapid City church. John Praveen will be eligible for parole after three years.
Praveen admitted in a signed document to touching the girl's breasts above her clothes without her consent for sexual gratification. Praveen reportedly "solicited" the girl in a confessional booth, then found her as she tried to hide and reached underneath her sweater.
In an emailed statement, Rapid City Bishop Robert Gruss apologized to the victim and her family on behalf of the Diocese of Rapid City, calling Praveen's actions sinful, traumatic and a betrayal. We agree.
Also last week, the Trump administration announced it would create a task force to investigate how a former Indian Health Service doctor in Pine Ridge was able to sexually assault children in his care. We're pretty sure everyone has a pretty good idea how that happened. Let’s focus on taking concrete steps to ensure these things don’t continue happening.