THUMBS UP to the continued to success of the Mount Marty College women’s basketball team. The Lancers, ranked 24th in the latest NAIA Division II poll, beat Northwestern on Wednesday to improve to 18-9, 12-7 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. That victory gave MMC a road sweep of the GPAC’s four Iowa programs — Northwestern, Morningside, Briar Cliff and Dordt — and moved the team into a five-way tie for second. MMC travels to Midland on Saturday before returning home to face Dordt on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
THUMBS UP to the record-breaking tourism figures for the Yankton region. The area scored a huge success in terms of the camping numbers at Lewis and Clark Lake, thanks to a combination of an early start in March, more mid-week camping during the summer and the continued season into November. The impressive figures didn’t end there, as some visitor sectors saw double-digit growth. The region also benefited from events such as the World Archery Youth Championships and national cribbage tournament. This year looks for continued growth with the National Park Service centennial, expanded Ribfest and Rock N’ Rumble events, and improvements at area campgrouinds. In this case, rolling out the red carpet can bring a lot of green — as in, outside dollars for the regional economy.
THUMBS UP to the news that major flooding doesn’t appear imminent in the Missouri River Basin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported all flood waters have been evacuated from the mainstem reservoirs. In addition, the basin has seen little plains snowpack. It’s hard to believe five years have passed since historic Missouri River flooding, and the current conditions don’t show any indication of coming near that scene anytime soon.
THUMBS DOWN to congressional Republicans who have decided they won’t even listen to the Obama administration’s final budget proposal. In a move that breaks decades of tradition and foists a middle finger at the president, GOP has decided not to invite White House budget director Shaun Donovan to budget hearings. “Rather than spend time on a proposal that … will double down on the same failed policies that have led to the worst economic recovery in modern times, Congress should continue our work on building a budget that balances and that will foster a healthy economy,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Georgia). So, in a blatant election-year move, the GOP has decided to ignore the president, whose proposal is usually a starting point for negotiations anyway. In fact, this is doubling down --- but more so on the exasperating, disrespectful political theater that has overtaken Capitol Hill and has given Congress some of its lowest approval ratings ever. Apparently, these politicians just can’t help themselves.