Small towns

Mayor Deborah McIsaac does paperwork in Baltic's city administration building during the fall of 2023. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Baltic controversy serves as cautionary tale about big development in small towns

BY: - October 21, 2023

BALTIC — Mayor Deborah McIsaac said she was shocked when she took office in 2022 and discovered a housing development in town had been given the green light without basic paperwork ensuring accountability. “I’m like, ‘seriously?’” McIsaac said.  The situation evolved into a political crisis — including a failed mayoral recall — for the town […]

Main Street Aberdeen on Nov. 4, 2022. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Try this in a small town

BY: - October 17, 2023

I’m not a fan of the controversial Jason Aldean song “Try That in a Small Town,” which glorifies vigilante violence. Unlike Aldean in his Nashville mansion, my three children and I actually live in a small town in impoverished Hopkins County, Kentucky. I sleep in our only bedroom with my toddler, while my daughter sleeps on the couch and […]