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Dear Neighbor,

I am honored to represent you in the state capitol. Below, you will find updates from the capitol and around western Wisconsin. Please feel free to reach out to me with your legislative and state agency concerns. 

In addition to this newsletter, you may follow me on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.






- Sen. Patty Schachtner

Little Falls Dam Groundbreaking  

On June 26, I participated in the groundbreaking for the reconstruction of the Little Falls dam, located in the Willow River State Park. The $20 million project is the culmination of years of work by state officials, stakeholders, and the surrounding community.

The Willow River State Park brings in close to one million visitors each year. By reconstructing the Little Falls dam, we are investing in our infrastructure and tourism economy while restoring an important resource for local residents to enjoy. I was excited to be a part of the groundbreaking and look forward to even more investment in our natural attractions and infrastructure here in western Wisconsin.


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Northwest Passage Kids Treatment Facility 

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege to visit and learn more about Northwest Passage, an organization providing residential youth mental health care here in western Wisconsin.

Northwest Passage has campuses in Frederic and Webster in addition to group homes in Hayward and New Richmond. Each year, they serve around 300 children and employ 180 individuals including counselors, teachers, psychologists, and support staff.

While I toured the campuses, what impressed me most was the incorporation of art therapy and sports to address trauma. In Fredric, Northwest Passage has a gym and helps girls compete against regional high school teams. For some girls, this was their first time playing on a team. In Webster, the campus is planning to offer a gallery where local artists can work rent-free in exchange for teaching art to these kids.

Many of these kids have experienced multiple traumatic situations and have been in multiple foster homes. Innovative programs like the ones provided by Northwest Passage invest in our kids so that they can respond to trauma and grow up to be successful adults.  


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Wisconsin Cheese Day 

On June 25, I celebrated Wisconsin Cheese Day by congratulating the UW-River Falls Dairy Pilot Plant for its contributions to our dairy industry. Also in attendance were representatives from the university, state, and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, including DATCP Secretary Shelia Harsdorf, Chancellor Dean Van Galen, and WEDC Vice President Vincent Rice. 

Wisconsin is the nation’s leading cheese producer, making over a quarter of America’s cheese. Wisconsin Cheese Day, held in conjunction with June Dairy Month, helps celebrate the important role dairy plays in our state’s heritage and economy.

I feel tremendous pride in our dairy and cheese products, partly because I grew up on a farm. But I also worry about family farms. Wisconsin has led the Midwest region in family farm bankruptcies seven of the last eight years. We have also been losing about 1.5 dairy farms each day since 2011.

The family farm is quintessential to our state’s heritage. It is a reflection of family, community, and honest work by our farmers. Beyond Wisconsin Cheese Day, we need to protect our family farmers by addressing trade uncertainty and creating a level playing field for smaller producers to compete.


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Foxconn Concerns Grow 

The Foxconn groundbreaking ceremony was held last Thursday, with President Donald Trump and Governor Scott Walker in attendance. Foxconn, a Taiwanese-based electronics manufacturer, will receive up to $4.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies. The project also diverts $90 million from local highway projects to accelerate Foxconn-related development. In addition to the financial cost, the corporation received generous exemptions from key environmental protections, including a required environmental impact study to understand Foxconn’s effects on our air and water.

As a state senator, I am committed to helping our communities grow by creating a level playing field and investing in our main streets. It is unfair that Foxconn operates under a separate set of rules than every other Wisconsin business. When Wisconsin ranks last in the nation for business startup activity, it means we invest in our entrepreneurs and main streets – not give away billions to a foreign corporation. It means we invest in our roads to expand commerce opportunities for commuters, farmers, and Wisconsin businesses.




District Events 


Siren Music in the Park

Thursdays, June 7 – August 23

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Relax and enjoy a summer concert at the Crooked Lake Park Band Shell (Siren School, if rain). A variety of performers are scheduled for your listening enjoyment - from patriotic, country, & gospel to blues, rock'n'roll, & Celtic! Refreshments are available by local non-profit organizations.


Fourth of July Festivities

Tuesday-Wednesday, July 3-4

All Day

Siren's July 4th festivities are not to be missed: Annual Freedom Five 5K Walk/Run - about 1,000 runners; hilarious bed races; Kiddie & Grand Parades; home-made pie & home-made ice cream social; patriotic Music in the Park concert; & culminating with spectacular fireworks over Crooked Lake! Plus be sure to come early and attend our July 3rd FREE STREET DANCE!



Music Over Menomin


6/7 pm

Enjoy free live music performances every Thursday during the summer on the Menomonie Public Library’s lawn.



Wednesday, July 4

This event celebrates Independence Day with music, games, good food, fun and fireworks! Bring your families for a fun-filled day of entertainment! Free live music at the lower beach area of Wakanda Park. Grand finale fireworks at dusk. Minimal fees based on the various vendors. Entrance fee to the park.




River Falls Days

Friday-Sunday, July 13-15

Each year, River Falls Days is held in Heritage Park on the banks of the scenic Kinnickinnic River. This free, family-friendly event has a carnival-like atmosphere with tons of food and entertainment. Festivities include a Friday evening parade, 10K/2mile/Kids Fun Run, live music and outdoor dancing, food vendors, fireworks, carnival rides, and much, much more!


Annual Independence Day Parade

Wednesday, July 4

1 pm

Nothing better than an old-fashioned small-town Independence Day parade! Even more interesting when your town is only two blocks long! Guess you might need to come visit and see! Parade starts at 1 PM.




Clam Falls

Wednesday, July 4

Fourth of July parade and fireworks.


Balsam Lake Freedom Fest

Friday-Sunday, July 6-8

Live music and Street Dance, Arts & Crafts, Boat Parade, Grand Parade, Queen Pageant, Bass Fishing Contest, Dancing, Fireworks, Classic Car Show. Root Beer Floats at the Polk County Museum. Free shuttle available.



St. Croix

Music in the Park – Greenwood Tree

Friday, July 6

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Come listen to various genres of live music at Music in the Park! Concerts in Veterans Park are organized by River Falls Community Arts Base and totally supported with local funding from Juniors Bar and Grill, the First National Bank of River Falls, the River Falls BID Board, River Falls State Bank, Bo's n Mine, Erin Tomlinson Financial, Family Fresh, and our weekly business sponsors. 


St. Croix RiverFest – Hudson

Week of July 17

JOIN US FOR Hudson’s annual RiverFest celebration on July 17-22.  The 2018 event will be expanded to include a wider range of activities designed to allow people of all ages to actively enjoy the Lower St. Croix River and all that it provides.  Several local organizations and individuals have collaborated to make “RiverFest – A Party with a Purpose” a success.  The five-day event celebrates the river while also recognizing the need to preserve its health and beauty.