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OUR VIEW: Week in review: the best, worst

CHEERS to the official dedication of Mitchell's Veterans Park at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street on Saturday. Each of the five primary branches of the military is represented, as are those killed in action. Considering the level of community involvement needed to make the project happen, the hard work of the project's donors certainly deserve to be recognized. Most readers will remember just a few years ago when that property had become an eyesore at the entrance to the city's Main Street area. Today, Mitchell's Veterans Park is a community asset for which everyone in the city can be proud.

HISSES are in order to the news of some serious crashes along area roads and highways this weekend. More campers, trucks and motorcycles are on Interstate 90 and on the less-traveled roads, there's farm equipment trying to get around, as well. It's a reminder worth noting every day but especially during the summer driving season: wear your seat belt and drive safely.

CHEERS to the area athletes who qualified for the South Dakota State Track and Field Meet and those in baseball and golf who are competing at state events in the next week. It was a short season for many of these athletes because of the weather but there were still some strong performances. This area has some very solid small-school golf programs and four area high school baseball teams made the state tournament, as well. Congratulations to those athletes on their successful seasons.

HISSES to some of the news about the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures for South Dakota population in small communities, in which more than half of South Dakota's cities are estimated to be shrinking. Overall, the state has grown by 6.8 percent since 2010 in total residents and the state's 20 largest cities — Mitchell included — continue to see a slight uptick or better in population. But the state's smallest communities are struggling to hold on to the residents they have. It's not a new problem for this state, but it will need to be a continued focus for the region's leaders to continue to make those communities attractive places to live and work.