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It was neat to see how the three schools we cover — Freeman Academy, Freeman Public and Menno High School — pulled off graduation last weekend. Some districts didn’t even hold a commencement, so that our students got a chance to be recognized as scheduled amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is noteworthy. Congratulations to the schools for pulling it off and the students for earning their high school diploma. It truly is one of life’s true mile markers.


The novel coronavirus has done plenty to disrupt lives around the world, from the relatively small inconvenience of not being able to gather in large social settings to the worst of it all — death from COVID-19, which as of Tuesday morning had claimed more than 171,000 lives worldwide, more than 43,000 in the United States and eight in South Dakota.

To say our lives have been interrupted is an understatement.

Publisher's column: Better safe than sorry

Ordinarily, the Courier would be giving ample space in this week’s issue to Sunshine Week, the annual observance recognizing the vital role newspapers play in covering local government and holding our elected officials accountable.

EDITORIAL: Science and facts, not political posturing, should drive the coronavirus discussion

Our opinion: There’s a lot we don’t know about the coronavirus outbreak, but using the new disease as a pawn on the political chessboard isn’t good for anybody.

Everyone seems to be talking about coronavirus — COVID-19 — and with good reason. We’re all struggling to understand the impact on everything from an individual’s health to the global economy and everything in between.

EDITORIAL: School board: replace those bleachers

There are three good reasons why the Freeman Public School Board should vote to approve the purchase and installation of new bleachers for the not-so-new-anymore Freeman Junior-Senior High School gym, which was discussed at the school board’s Feb. 10 meeting:

1. The money is there.

2. No other major improvement to the physical plant is anywhere on the horizon.

3. 28 years and counting.

So, let’s break it down.


EDITORIAL: House Bill 1057 puts youth in danger

Our opinion: Criminalizing medical treatment a misguided approach to ‘protecting children’ in South Dakota; state senate should strike down bill.


Last week, the Courier editorial raised concerns about Senate Bill 54, which would take local control away from citizens of cities and counties by banning their ability to ban use of plastic bags and plastic straws.

EDITORIAL: Ban on ban is a bad idea

Our opinion: South Dakota lawmakers should vote against a bill that would allow the state to prohibit town and county agencies from setting their own rules about plastic.


If you and your family decide to stop using plastic bags and plastic straws, should the state tell you that you can’t do that? Most people would say, “no, it’s my choice.”

Death Notice: Elrod Kaufman

Elrod Kaufman, 79, of Freeman, S.D., passed away on Jan. 9 at Oakview Terrace. A Celebration of Life will be held Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Salem Mennonite Church, with family present from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 at the church. Elrod is survived by his wife, Harriet (Mueller); daughters Jill Whittington, Caldwell, Idaho and Sue (Jeff) Higgins, Boise, Idaho; son, Don, Freeman; two granddaughters and three great-grandchildren.