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Mistrial declared in Cherrier trial

Editorial: Commission would drive transit discussion

Go with the flow: St. Croix County Board soon will consider a proposal to create a transit commission. The goal is to make it easier to tap state and federal funding for local projects, thereby reducing the burden of any public transit on county taxpayers.

We also see a benefit in broadening the community discussion about transit, which having a commission instead of a subcommittee would bring.

Some people adamantly reject spending any county dollars on transit. They argue transit growth should come out of the private sector.

While wanting to reduce taxpayer burden is admirable, the reality is that transit needs are growing and government will have to play some role for successful implementation. Government should do those necessary and worthwhile things that people can't on their own. Transportation — roads, bridges, mass transit and more — is one of them.

The vote could come as early as Feb. 8. We will look forward to the debate.

Making waves: Republicans in Madison still must be feeling a little stunned after Patty Schachtner won the Senate District 10 special election, reclaiming the seat for Democrats after 17 years. The official results put her victory at 10 percentage points over Rep. Adam Jarchow: 54.6 percent to 44.16 percent. She was the voters' overwhelming choice in Pierce and St. Croix counties.

Sheila Harsdorf relinquished the seat to become Wisconsin's secretary of agriculture.

Gov. Scott Walker certainly got a message. That night he posted: "WAKE UP CALL: Can't presume that voters know we are getting positive things done in Wisconsin. Help us share the good news."

Democrats clearly hope that sharing the news of their victory in a right-leaning district will mean more gains in the Senate and Assembly come fall and even the governor's seat.

Positive flow: The University of Wisconsin-River Falls' service dog training project is the first of its kind in the University of Wisconsin System and could become a banner program. Housed within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, the program is a nifty collaboration with the nonprofit Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs. Together, PawPADs and select students are training dogs for people with physical disabilities — from diabetes to autism — whose lives are about to improve in ways these young people likely will never see.

And the acronym of the UWRF Assistance Dog Education Program and Training program? ADEPT. How perfect is that.

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