Excerpts from recent South Dakota editorials
Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, Yankton, Nov. 6
MMC Reaches Out To The World
During the last few weeks (and really, a lot longer than that), our nation’s political discourse has been infested with an undercurrent — and occasionally, an all-out deluge — of xenophobia, of animus toward outsiders, of rhetoric that reveals a dark and closed side of the world view some Americans have.
It’s been disheartening, to be honest, and just plain discouraging.
However, citizens from other countries can also present opportunities that can be embraced as positives.
For instance, a program has been implemented this fall at Yankton’s Mount Marty College (MMC) to deal with an influx of international students.
As reported in Tuesday’s Press & Dakotan, MMC has instituted a network of “welcome families,” who are local residents who volunteer to embrace these new students — there are 17 new international students this year — from other lands in order to give them a more welcoming and secure feeling to this place the rest of us call home.
This program allows Yankton to put its best foot forward — as it has done before with two recent international archery tournaments, for example — and permits people here to do what they do best: to be the welcoming, friendly face of this community.
The students interviewed for Tuesday’s story said they deeply appreciate the program, as do the local families involved. For the former, it’s a warm hand of friendship in an otherwise unfamiliar environment; for the latter, it’s a chance to broaden their boundaries as they extend their hospitality.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
And, indeed, it actually feels good, considering some of the aforementioned political rhetoric that dominated the news in the waning days of the midterm campaigns.
More than that, it’s a good move for Mount Marty, which is gradually expanding its reach on a global scale. Earlier this semester, the school announced an arrangement with the University of Southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic that can see both students and faculty involved in exchange ventures. Also, the influx of foreign students opens up new pipelines of potential recruitment for the school in other countries. As such, MMC is starting to think in broader terms while it also works to cultivate stronger recruitment closer to home.
The program does indeed serve as a reminder that we can welcome the world, find connections and commonalities with those who are different from us, and see that we can be stronger together than apart.
MMC’s global outreach and welcome-family program help do just that.
American News, Aberdeen, Nov. 8
Lovrien was the epitome of a public servant
In South Dakota we expect plenty from our public servants.
We expect them to be involved, intelligent and impartial.
Larry Lovrien met each of those thresholds. And that’s why so many parts of our community are hurting after his unexpected death last week.
A look at his robust resume plainly reveals how much he did for so many in Aberdeen and beyond:
— Long-time magistrate and circuit court judge.
— State’s attorney and deputy state’s attorney.
— Soccer coach, advocate and aficionado.
— Brown County Commission candidate.
— Presentation College instructor.
— Member of the James Valley Water Development District Board of Directors.
— President of both the Aberdeen and state soccer associations.
— Active community member.
For many, Lovrien was best known as a retired judge. In his career, he handled everything from traffic offenses to a murder case.
Lovrien always had control of his courtroom. And Judge Jack Von Wald, who worked with Lovrien in the judicial system for more than 15 years, said he was known for thoroughly researching cases before issuing rulings. That’s the mark of not only dedication, but a desire for justice.
Char Cornelius, chairwoman of the Brown County Republicans, called Lovrien a fixer. Before his time on the water district board and at the Brown County State’s Attorney’s Office, both groups had dealt with some tumultuous times. Lovrien calmed the waters.
Friend and veteran Brown County Commissioner Duane Sutton recalled Lovrien’s many contributions to Aberdeen soccer as a coach, organizer and much more.
For people who are not involved with the sport, that work might be easy to overlook. But it shouldn’t be. Lovrien’s love for soccer helped lay the groundwork for the hundreds of kids who today scamper across Aberdeen’s fields nearly every Saturday and Sunday the weather allows.
Few people are involved in such a wide swath of activities. That makes his loss substantial.
We offer our condolences to those who knew Lovrien well, particularly his family. We thank them from sharing his time and many talents with us.
Larry was the epitome of a true public servant. He was both well-liked and well-respected. He will be missed.
Madison Daily Leader, Madison, Nov. 6
New weather warnings could cut accidents
We appreciate a new winter weather warning recently added by the National Weather Service. “Snow squall” warnings will be now be issued during periods of brief but heavy snowfall.
According to the weather service, this refers to “sudden white-out conditions that move in and move on quickly. They typically only last 15 to 30 minutes and often cause flash freezing of road surfaces in addition to the whiteout conditions.”
Normally, only predictions of longer periods of snow or blizzards have been issued by the weather service.
A warning of this type of weather event is particularly useful for those of us in the northern Plains. We drive longer distances between cities, and there are fewer highway lights that would help in visibility. We’ve all been in white-out conditions when we can’t see cars or objects in any direction, and we worry about a reckless driver coming up behind us.
Snowfall rates can range between one to three inches per hour during in a snow squall. Visibility less than a quarter of a mile is also common within such winter storms.
The key use for us will be not to drive. A squall wouldn’t pose any particular risk for homeowners, and it typically wouldn’t cause ice buildup on power lines that might cause an outage.
The new warning went into effect at the start of the month after successful testing last winter. Warnings will be issued 10 to 20WateroW minutes ahead of an approaching squall.
We’ll watch and see how many warnings are issued this winter. It will be hard to estimate how many accidents are avoided by such warnings, but we’re eager to see if they are considered effective by winter’s end.