The Rapid City Journal talks about the Governor's Hunt. And they aren't filing a lawsuit or anything.
In today's Rapid City Journal, Kevin Woster's column squarely gives the Governor's hunt credit for a $70 million dollar donation from Denny Sanford making the Homestake Lab a reality:
Denny Sanford got his limit last year at the governor's invitational pheasant hunt. And if things go well, South Dakota could get $70 million in return.Read the whole thing here at the Rapid City Journal.
OK, OK, it's not quite as simple as three roosters for $70 million. The October shotgun gala was actually just the starting point in discussions between Sanford and Gov. Mike Rounds that led to the big announcement last week that the Sioux Falls banking executive was offering to kick in $70 million to the Homestake underground science laboratory project.
There were some "ifs" of course, the first and biggest being that the National Science Foundation must select the old Homestake mine as the site of the underground lab. And second, the NSF must then provide $10 million for research grants at the lab.
We'll have to wait and see on those, probably until this fall or early winter. But Rounds already has taken care of a couple of the other "ifs" in the deal. He agreed to name the laboratory, if it's built, after Sanford. Likewise with an above-ground science-education center that would be built as part of the $70 million deal.
Sanford already has his name on some big-ticket items, including the state medical school - now the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota - and the newest light on the Sioux Valley Hospital horizon of possibilities in Sioux Falls - the Sanford Children's Hospital.
Sanford earned those namesakes with gifts of $20 million and $16 million. He also wanted to slap his name on a new football stadium at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, thanks to a promised donation of $35 million. But that deal fell through, at least in part because the Golden Gophers' powers that be thought Sanford was hanging too many "ifs" onto the donation.
It's far from a sure thing that South Dakota will ever see the $70 million promise for the Homestake, er, Sanford lab. But if it happens, the ring-necked pheasant - a bird rarely seen in the vicinity of Homestake - will be at least partially responsible.