Our paper this week carries themes of community connection, innovation, and new life. It also carries the news of a significant increase in COVID cases.
It’s hard to hold the devastation of COVID in one hand and the growing vibrancy of Eagle Butte in the other. The virus continues to bear down on our community and we continue to rise to the challenge.
Yet holding the creative tension of community is exactly what local newspapers do. We know that local news brings people together and decreases polarization.
The rise in COVID cases in the last week is serious. Cases on Cheyenne River went from 62 to 74 from last week to this. As in the rest of the country, local hospitals and ICUs (including IHS) are stressed.
In the midst of this global pandemic, local entrepreneur Kelsie Kay Haskell opened Kelsie Kay’s Coffee Depot in a new expanded location this week. (As her neighbors on Main Street, we at the paper are thrilled! Be sure to pick up a copy of the West River Eagle when you go in for a latté.)
Also this week, the South Dakota Native American Tourism Association launched its five-year plan with the goal to bring responsible and appropriate tourism to reservations and tribal areas in South Dakota.
While Kelsie Kay’s is sure to be a destination, the tourism endeavor also speaks to what’s good about life in Eagle Butte and on CRST.
Lastly, the City took point to engage local business and organizations to launch a month-long clean up effort in partnership with National Clean Up Day. This is just one more example of people making a difference in their hometown and on a typical American Main Street.
The West River Eagle serves the community by stepping into these stories between grief and joy; death and new life; so that we can better see the things that unite us.
Seek out things that unite us this week. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, get a cup of coffee, help a neighbor.