GOOD: It’s amazing what can be accomplished when a problem is brought to the public's attention. In April, the Journal published a front-page story about the persistent problem of medical waste from Regional Health finding its way into the Rapid City landfill, which are safety violations that can have serious consequences for the hospital and community. According to the story, the city had been working with Regional for a year to resolve the problem with little success. After the public was made aware of the repeated violations by Regional, the health-care company apparently applied a laser-like focus to the problem. Now, both the city and the state Department of Health are reporting that the bags of medical waste are no longer being dumped at the city landfill. It's great to see that problem finally cleaned up.
BAD: After spending at least $400,000 over the past decade, it appears that Rapid City has hit a dead end in its legal dispute over who is responsible for the previously poor condition of roads in the Big Sky subdivision. The South Dakota Supreme Court rejected claims made in the appeal that asserted the subdivision’s developers owed the city $914,000 for road repairs. The case was launched in 2008 and initially heard in 2011 by the Supreme Court. The city’s persistence in this case was clearly not rewarded and now raises questions about why the appeal was pursued in the first place. Was it on the advice of the attorneys the city retained or was the city just determined to fight the developers at whatever the cost? Regardless, the big winner was the law firm that represented the city. Now, if only the city would put as much energy into creating a plan to improve the overall condition of residential streets, a source of consternation for many in Rapid City.
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UGLY: Gamers, beware, you now may have a legitimate mental health “condition,” according to the World Health Organization. On Monday, the United Nations health agency said the “gaming disorder” is an addiction that affects around 3 percent of all video gamers, who are mostly young adults or children. So like with substance abuse and gambling, it’s an activity that can ruin the lives of those who choose to spend hours a day engaged in an alternate reality. “We come across parents who are distraught, not only because they're seeing their child drop out of school, but because they’re seeing an entire family structure fall apart,” one addiction specialist said. This determination hardly comes as a surprise to anyone who has seen a friend or loved one cloister themselves in a room at every opportunity to play video games, sometimes with strangers. It’s sad to see youth squandered in this way. Maybe this news will encourage more of them to start enjoying reality or get the help they need.