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Letters to the Editor

True colors


The paper recently covered a story in which a man who committed felony child abuse, someone who nearly killed a small child, was placed on one year of probation, served six days of jail, paid money to the county and was ordered to pay restitution that wouldn't begin to cover future medical expenses.

No programs, no attempt to rehabilitate or even really punish. That man would even have the case expunged if he kept it together for a year. Five months later, that same man brutally abused and nearly killed another small child, a toddler.

This case, and too many others like it, are why I ran for office. While I almost certainly will not run again, I write this as a heads up for 2020. Most people do not pay close attention to our local justice system. We assume no news is good news and everything must be fine. Things are not fine. I invite the voters of St. Croix County to become informed and invested in the happenings of our local justice system, as the injustices trickle throughout the community and affect everyone.

The surgeon who operated on the most recent innocent defenseless child said that the injuries were "akin to the type of head injury a child would suffer in a high velocity car accident without restraints or severe shaking." Five months earlier, our DA gave this guy a sweetheart deal for essentially the same set of circumstances. The case was continued out past the November election, as were other similarly important cases. As a result, even though these relaxed on crime deals contradicted his law and order campaign slogan, they couldn't be used against him as they were finalized after the election.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a DA who handles marijuana cases more seriously than nearly killing a child. There are no words for the injustice.

Sarah Yacoub


'Livable wage' proposal comments


After reading the article,"Committee discusses living wage ordinance for St. Croix County" (May 25, 2017), I would like to add a few comments.

The chair of the committee states that he does not know if the fair market system works because some service providers pay their employees a salary that is below the poverty level. I have to assume the fair market system is working because the value of labor is determined by the skills that the employee brings to the service provider. If the salary offered is not commensurate with the skill level of the employee that person will either not stay with the employer nor accept the position offered.

Mr. Smith, with Eau Claire Citizen Action, seems to believe the market system is working because he states that if the wages for a particular job are too low there will be high turnover and additional expense to the employer in repeat training. That is true. This will increase expenses and decrease efficiency and the work product will be affected hurting the business (employer).

After reading how important it is to pay employees a livable wage and that no who works should live in poverty, I read about the exclusions from the proposal. Apparently it is permitted for "cultural institutions, non-profit organizations and other government entities" to pay their employees less than a livable wage. Where are the moral and philosophical aspect concerns about these people working and living in poverty? Do these employees not deserve a livable wage? Amazingly "other government entities" are exempt! Another example of do as the ruling class says but they do not have to do.

This whole proposal smacks of the proverbial camel's nose under the tent. If this should pass, I would not at all be surprised, in a few years, reading that there is a new proposal for a county-wide minimum wage for all businesses whether or not they contract with the county.

Another example of politicians being generous with someone else's money.

Gerard Weingartner


Is there something we should know?


In 1985, my husband, elementary-age daughters and I sponsored a refugee Hmong family from Laos. He 19, she 17, their toddler almost 2 and she 7 months pregnant.

Having lived in a camp for two years, after having escaped by running through the jungles from the Viet Kong, America was life. Were they vetted? No, since they had no other place to go and no way to check their background. In all these years, there has never been an instance of violence in these relocations.

Fast forward. We learn that our government now works with church bodies to bring refugees, many which are Muslim, to the U.S., also not vetted even though hundreds are known to have been involved with Jihad in their home countries.

Are there things citizens should know about Islam?

(Editor's note): The author attached a fact sheet to her letter titled "Facts About Islam You Need to Know," at

Meredith Berg


Congratulations to HMS STEM teams!


Given that America's president has turned his back on science and collaborative problem solving, the recent accomplishments of two Hudson Middle School STEM teams are even more important, certainly more noteworthy.

Both of the projects researched by these two award-winning HMS teams addressed matters related to catastrophic outcomes of climate change — clean water scarcity and flood prevention. While America searches for ways to live with the shame of its anti-science, anti-intellectual president and majority party, the contributions of these girls to scientific knowledge and evidence-based learning become even more critical.

Girls actively engaged with science — that's a source of hope on two levels. Even while the Republican party (Hudson's own Congressman Sean Duffy included) continues to strip health care access and reproductive rights away from women and girls, these Hudson girls have shown they are willing to tackle consequential challenges. Learning early that their voices and scholarship can solve problems and make a difference prepares them for standing up to anyone who tries to undermine their opportunities and potential. One day, they will become voters.

Secondly, the girls worked creatively, cooperatively and diligently with issues and problems that science can solve. Again, we have a president and majority party which hold science and problem-solving collaboration in contempt. It's mind-boggling to realize that our junior high girls demonstrate more intellectual curiosity and a greater willingness to collaborate on serious climate-change solutions than their adult political "leaders!"

Finally, congratulations to HMS, its science teachers and curriculum and especially to the two winning teams of girls! They understand that climate change is real. They know that working together brings about creative and workable solutions to serious problems. They are a reason to be hopeful for the future.

Judith Klingsick


Regarding St.Croix EMS sale


I am personally very hurt, angry, and quite frankly disappointed in our City Council. I stood before them and was able to present my issues and they were met. I had faith. Now, I feel the council has turned their backs on the very people that save our lives.

If this is to go through—and by the sound of it the public doesn't have a choice—it will be taking away the very people that know us. It's a slap in the face to the employees. All that they've done.

The response times I am concerned with, and many other things! As well I should be. My son has to rely on an epi pen, if I need someone there.. it's gotta be NOW.

why can't the public speak? The very public that's getting your votes. The contract moves along smoothly without public input. It's an outrage. Sounds quite greedy.

Save St. Croix EMS.

Darah Wilcox


Flag Day event


Did you know that June 14 is officially Flag Day? While it may not be as popular as the Fourth of July, it does mark an important day in American history. June 14, 1777 is the birthday of the Stars and Stripes, the day which our flag was adopted as the official flag of the United States.

To honor this historic occasion the St. Croix-Chequamegon Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is presenting a patriotic program paying tribute to the Flag of the USA as well as honoring our veteran and patriots.

The event will take place on Flag Day, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at Greenwood Cemetery, River Falls (north side of Division St adjacent to Hoffman Park.) The event will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. We encourage you to bring a lawn chair as well as any worn flag of the USA (no state flags please) for a proper retirement according to the U.S. Flag Code: "The flag, when it is in such condition the is it no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

A commemorative partner with the Dept. of Defense participating in the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration, the DAR is proud to extend special recognition to our Vietnam veterans as part of the event.

The DAR will be joined by members of American Legion Post 121 presenting the program which will include Flag Folding and POW/MIA Missing Man ceremonies prior to the flag retirement ritual.

The DAR has long promoted patriotism through commemorative celebrations, memorials, scholarships and activities for children, and supporting military personnel and their families. For more information about DAR and its programs visit

Cathy Leaf


Hope going strong


Gregory's Gift of Hope's first annual golf tournament, hosted by Clifton Hollow in River Falls, will be July 28. For more information, call 715-246-2467.

Gregory's Gift of Hope, the only operating "no kill" shelter in St. Croix County, provides daily shelter, care and medical attention to animals who find themselves abandoned, abused, injured, homeless or given up by their owners. This takes a lot of time and funds.

GGOH currently has a group of dedicated volunteers that work tirelessly to provide what is needed for over an average of 100-120 animals per day but the funds are always needed in efforts to save "those who speak another language." Please consider joining us in our efforts to save lives. We need all the help we can get to keep providing this invaluable service to the communities.

Our efforts never waiver, we continuously work to find homes for animals left behind. We provide surgeries and aftercare to those who come to us injured and who need of emergency care. Recent animals in need have been Seiko, Montana, Mae, Mica, all in need of immediate surgeries and care, and Woodsie, Brennan, Jessie, Ms. Callie Calico, Fifi, Tippy and Darby who were all kittens and young cats who needed shelter and care. Please read their stories on our website or Facebook page. When they're in need Gregory's is there, when they're injured Gregory's is there, when they're abandoned Gregory's ia there.

We recently had a successful dog wash at Chuck and Don's Pet Food Outlet in Hudson on May 6, our Woof and Whiskers event on May 20 at Big Boy's Barbeque in Hudson and our monthly fundraising efforts bagging groceries for funds at New Richmond Family Fresh. All of these events continue to get the word out about what our organization is doing behind the scenes as well as try and raise the funds needed to continue providing or services.

We welcome visitors to see first hand what we do. Tours are available by calling 715-246-2467 or stopping in at 1374 Highway 65, New Richmond, on scheduled visiting days found on our website.

Jean French

Gregory's Gift of Hope

Board-appointed volunteer

County raising taxes


The liberal wing of the county board is about to raise your taxes in St. Croix County.

This same group proposed making our county a "sanctuary" county back in January.

The Administration Committee, led by a Hudson supervisor, is studying a proposal to require any private enterprise doing business with St. Croix County to pay a "living wage." I am all for

workers earning as much as they can in the capitalist society we live in.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development lists St. Croix County's April unemployment rate at 2.7 percent. A factory in the St. Croix Valley pays a pretty good starting wage for anyone who can pass a drug test. They can't find enough workers. When big government creates more regulations for small businesses it inevitably leads to higher costs to taxpayers and consumers and lost jobs for workers at the entry level.

Lee Brown


Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

(715) 426-1068