THE last seven days or so have been immensely challenging for the communities that comprise this wonderful region in which we live.
Then we had the news late in the week that the Riverina's already-struggling retail sector would cop another hammering through the closures of five Country Target stores, including Wagga's, next year.
All I can say is thank goodness Theo the stolen nine-week-old cavoodle was reunited with his adoring Springvale owners.
This week also saw the sentencing of the two young men responsible for the death of Wagga husband and father Craig Smith in a senseless street race.
We will never know what possessed Joshua Byrne and Matthew Cahill to engage in that street race on October 23, 2017.
Clearly they did not foresee the tragic consequences of their actions when they revved their engines and reached speeds of up to 140km/h.
But they should have.
It should have been blatantly obviously that nothing good could come of racing each other along Coleman Street on that beautiful spring day.
No one can argue ignorance to the road safety messages that are drummed into our brains every day in the media.
In fact, given their youth and inexperience, it should have been at the forefront of their minds when they got behind the wheel of their vehicles.
Selfishly, their desire for a fleeting adrenaline rush cost family, friends, colleagues and the community an honest, hard-working and much-loved man.
"Every day I remember that fact that Dad isn't here when he should be," Mr Smith's daughter, Jaimee Smith, told the court in February.
Every young driver should be made to read the words of Miss Smith and the other family members who delivered victim impact statements.
No one could read those words, hear of their hurt, and not think twice when considering taking a risk while behind the wheel.
All the best for what we can only hope is a much better week ahead,
Ross Tyson, editor