Kavanaugh thanks a big waste

Thank you to the 13 state senators who voted against commending senators Thune and Rounds for their votes to confirm Kavanaugh. The confirmation of Kavanaugh was contentious and divisive, and bringing it up again only serves to pour salt into the wounds of those who believe that Christine Blasey Ford was telling the truth.

It re-victimizes all those who have come forward to tell their own stories of abuse. I would like to see legislators stop using controversial and corrosive issues to grandstand and make a name for themselves. Instead, please focus on issues important to all South Dakotans, like education, affordable health care, economic development, infrastructure, and protecting the environment.

Debbie Renner

Rapid City

Suicide should be a priority

When will suicide prevention and mental health care become a priority? Would it shock you to action to learn that the number of people who died in Pennington County in 2017 and 2018 was more than 30, surpassing Montana’s nation-leading rate? South Dakota rose to have the sixth highest rate of suicide in the nation in 2017.

The Front Porch Coalition and its first response suicide survivor team have helped surviving family members and friends. We have learned from them about the many important issues that the rest of the community needs to make a priority.

What can you do? Educate yourself. Learn the signs of mental illness and suicide and how to help. Attend our suicide prevention training workshops or host one. Contact your city, county, and state elected officials and insist they approve funding for suicide prevention mental health care services. Learn how to get involved and help. Go to www.frontporchcoalition.org to learn more.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, text “Talk” to the National Crisis Textline at 741-741; Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255); Call the Front Porch Coalition at 605-348-6692 or go to www.frontporchcoalition.org. For immediate help, call 911.

Stephanie Schweitzer Dixon

Rapid City

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Thanks for the medicine, Doc

Hats off to Dr. George Jenter, who’s served the area with healthy doses of medical knowledge, community-first attitude and a fine bedside manner. I met Jenter in the early ‘70s as a sickly 12-year old struggling with health issues who’d been on medicine most of my life. Our doctor was away so Dr. Jenter stepped in.

Not wanting to keep taking pills and treatments, Jenter prescribed me an unusual tonic. Knowing my love of football, he advised me to write my favorite Kansas City Chiefs player. If I kept taking my medicine and treatments, he’d ensure the letter was delivered. Writing a Chiefs players posed a challenge for a Cowboys fan, but I kept my end of the bargain, writing Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson. Summoned to his office weeks later, Jenter gave me a packet from the Chiefs, including a signed photo of Dawson, a team photo and some stickers. That package helped me through a very difficult time.

Jenter has helped countless families through difficult times, always with professionalism, country humor, pride in community. I still have that autographed photo, reminding me of a difficult time in my life and how Jenter got me through it. Enjoy retirement, Doc.

Darrell Shoemaker

Rapid City

Unpaid federal worker fees waved

Northwestern Engineering Company owns and/or manages apartments and living spaces in five states. The company was founded in 1925 and is proud of its values. Dating back to the Bank Holiday in 1929, when there was no way to cash or issue payroll checks, the company attempted to help working families by issuing script, which was accepted for payment by other local merchants.

Today we are notifying all federal employees who are living in any of those corporate-owned spaces and “that are furloughed or working with no paychecks” that we will await the resumption of payment from the government before we expect payment. We will charge no late fees, commence any eviction or any other process listed in these individual's leases for nonpayment until the shutdown is lifted.

Stanford Adelstein, chairman emeritus

Todd Hollan, director of operations

Rapid City

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