Nebraska’s well-known and successful investor, Warren Buffett, mentioned public pension obligations in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders: “Local and state financial problems are accelerating, in large part because public entities promised pensions they couldn’t afford. Citizens and public officials typically under-appreciated the gigantic financial tapeworm that was born when promises were made that conflicted with a willingness to fund them. Unfortunately, pension mathematics today remain a mystery to most Americans.”
The month of March has long been coined as “March Madness” when basketball fans around our country fill out brackets and cheer on their teams. In recent years, South Dakotans have had the opportunity to cheer on teams from the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University as they qualified for the Big Dance. In South Dakota, March also marks the time when high school basketball tournaments are played and the champions in three classes are crowned. A lesser known fact is that March
South Dakota Newspaper Association When Bob Schieffer - longtime chief Washington correspondent for CBS News - gives a shout-out to the Mitchell Daily Republic for its investigative reporting, it doesn’t get much better. That is exactly what happened one evening last week in the nation’s capital. Daily Republic Editor Seth Tupper was at the National Press Club to accept an award from the national Public Notices Resource Center for the Daily Republic’s reporting about a secret $175,000 severance package between the Huron school and a former superintendent.
Editor’s Note: The students in Jordan Weisbeck’s Government class at Timber Lake High School submitted letters to the editor on issues before the S.D. Legislature. Although the Topic normally requires a signature, an exception is being made for these student writers.
“I can write my thoughts and feelings about a topic or text in an organized manner.” “I can give reasons for my thoughts and feelings” “I can write a conclusion.” —From the South Dakota Common Core standards for fourth grade English and Language Arts Now that the Legislature has successfully defended the Common Core standards, South Dakota schools can get on with what they do best — teaching kids. The three lines above are from the standards for writing. At each grade level the standards for writing become more sophisticated, more advanced, tougher.
It’s been said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. From now until April 15, the majority of law-abiding citizens will be compelled to pay attention to the latter. I’m no exception. I pulled out my tax stuff last weekend and attempted to make sense of those pesky little things called numbers. I sat at the dining room table, accompanied by a heaping pile of receipts from 2013, and scanned each slip for business expenses and other tax-deductible items. Along the way, I took a trip down memory lane.
I noticed the following headline in the February 4 edition of the Pierre Capital Journal, while I was in Pierre for a gathering of the South Dakota Municipal League: “SDHSAA Board Closes Meeting to Talk about Open Meetings.” The headline was followed by this opening paragraph: “Nearly all of the Republican leaders in the Legislature want to require the South Dakota High School Activities Association to comply with state laws on open meetings and public records. The association’s board of directors responded Tuesday by meeting for 90 minutes behind closed doors to discuss the situation.”
The subject was love, of course, with Valentine’s Day upon us, and that’s why the grizzled and semi-grizzled members of the world dilemma think tank had settled upon it. Well, to be fair, they agreed to talk about someone else’s love life, naturally. The problem – the romantic mystery – was Sarah McKinley. It started small, with just a few people wondering why this attractive woman was – still or again (no one knew which) – single. In a valley where being single is looked upon as a sin of omission, all those inquiring minds wanted to know.
Nearly two years ago, I became aware of a problem with our state’s criminal justice system. I learned South Dakota’s imprisonment rate was higher than any of its six neighboring states. Per capita, we were locking up 75 percent more men than North Dakota and four times as many women as Minnesota. Maintaining the status quo would mean building a new women’s prison and a new men’s prison within the next 10 years.