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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.

I ask that you help share this newsletter with your friends and family. An informed community is a strong community, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss our communities' concerns. 





- Sen. Patty Schachtner

Written Off Community Screening

Matt Edwards’ journal documents years of life addicted. To explain his changing body, Matt told people he had cancer. Learn more about the personal struggles of addiction at a community screening of Written Off. The screening will take place on Thursday, October 25 between 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the University of Wisconsin – Stout, Jarvis Hall Science Wing Room 114. A trailer of Written Off is available here.

Following the screening, I will host a panel discussion featuring Menomonie Police Chief Eric Atkinson, Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf, UW-Stout Professor Julie Bates-Maves, Dunn County Criminal Justice Coordinator Sara Benedict, and participants from the Dunn County Treatment Court. I hope you can join us for this important community discussion.


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School District Visits

I had the pleasure to visit Frederic and Glenwood City school districts last week. On Sunday, October 14, I attended Frederic School District’s suicide prevention walk and movie screening of The S Word. One of the most significant barriers to mental health care is stigma. I was proud to see the support from our community for youth and adults who may be facing mental health disorders or struggling with suicidal thoughts. Community sponsors included the Burnett County Mental Health Task Force, the Mental Health Task Force of Polk County, and the Frederic Public Library. 

On Friday, October 19, I met with Glenwood City Superintendent Tim Johnson. I also had the opportunity to meet with Jessica Erickson’s high school social studies class. The class recently completed a community survey and presented their findings to me. I was excited to see young students engaged in civics.


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November 6 Election Reminder 

A general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6. If eligible, you can register to vote at your polling location on Election Day. In order to vote, you will need a photo ID such as a state ID card, a state driver’s license, or a U.S. passport. A full list of acceptable photo IDs is available at

Eligible voters may also vote early through in-person absentee voting at your municipal clerk’s office in some communities. Contact information for your municipal clerk’s office and your Election Day polling location can be found here.


October is Farm to School Month   

October is National Farm to School month. All over the country, farm to school programs are empowering children to make informed and healthy food choices. These programs are also strengthening local food supply chains and building up local economies.

Wisconsin's Farm to School program has been no exception. Since the program's formal creation within the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection in 2009, it has helped get locally-grown food into school cafeterias. As a result, over 565,000 Wisconsin students have access to healthier and more nutritious food.

Despite the success of the Farm to School program, the governor's 2017-19 biennial budget proposal would have eliminated Wisconsin's Farm to School coordinator and the 15-member council that advises lawmakers on local food supply chains and school partnerships. Wisconsin, which was one of the first states to create the coordinator position, would have been among the first to eliminate it.

Educators and local-food advocates highlighted the benefits of the coordinator position during the budget process. In a two-year period, the former coordinator helped divert $1.4 million in federal funding to local Wisconsin farmers and secured over $200,000 in grants. Additionally, 164 Wisconsin school districts purchased nearly $9.2 million in food from local farmers in 2015, which advocates argue was boosted because of the Farm to School program.

Even if you are not a student, there are great ways to celebrate National Farm to School month. Visit a local farmers market. Purchase from local farmers and main street entrepreneurs. Donate fresh and healthy food to a food shelf. We can all play a part to honor our agricultural heritage and create healthier communities.


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District Events


Crex Howl-o-ween Event

Saturday, Oct. 27; 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

A fun filled family evening at the Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area! Take a guided interpretive hike behind the Visitor Center lit up with Jack-O’Lanterns, learn about wildlife through a variety of activities, and enjoy some seasonal treats! Wear a costume! Recommended to bring: flashlight. All ages welcome. 


13 Moons Full Moon Program

Wednesday, October 24; 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Learn the history and folklore of the Full Moons in a series of 13 programs to be held at Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park throughout the year.

-How did our ancestors use the moons to keep track of time?
-What is a blue moon?
-What is so special about the full moons of 2018?

This is a family-friendly program, open to all ages and backgrounds. The cost for each session is $5 per person, $10 per family, FREE to members of Burnett County Historical Society. For information on how to become a member, go to our Membership Page.




Written Off Movie Screening and Panel Discussion

Thursday, Oct. 25; 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Please join me in a screening of Written Off, a documentary film of Matt Edwards' battle with addiction. Following the screening, we will have a panel and community discussion regarding addiction and mental health in our region. 



Treats on the Trail: Children’s Halloween Walk

Saturday, October. 27; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.  

Treats on the Trail is a special exhibit and program at the Rassbach Heritage Museum. Entrance fee is $3 per child. Contact the Dunn County Historical Society at 715-232-8685 for more information.




Pumpkin Party in the Park

Saturday, October 27; 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

A fun time for families at Ellsworth's East End Park! Hot dogs, cookies, and hot chocolate, plus games and fun for the kids. One of the many highlights... The costume parade and contest, which will take place at 11:30! Bring a donation for the food shelf and you will get a little pumpkin! 


Trick or Treat Downtown River Falls

Wednesday, October 31; 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Join us for a family friendly Community Trick or Treat and Scarecrow contest sponsored by the Ellsworth Public Library.  Look for scarecrows in front of participating businesses to identify those welcoming trick or treaters.  While you are collecting treats, take note of the scarecrows and vote for your favorite via the library's Facebook page. 




“Howlin Halloween” at the Festival Theatre

Sunday, Oct. 28; 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Free family-friendly fun! Join us for games, music, entertainment and dress yourself up for a costume contest! This is a FREE event at the Taylors Falls Community Center.

For the seventh year in a row, Festival Theatre is hosting a Howlin' Halloween Party complete with food, contests and, of course, sketch comedy and entertainment from our 2018 Artistic Company!

The fun will start with games, tricks, treats, and a costume contest. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume. Donations are appreciated and are used to support programming. Bring a friend and come in costume!


Polk County Homemakers Christmas Fair

Saturday, Nov. 3; 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Arts & crafts fair, demonstrations and a bake sale.



St. Croix

Trick or Treat on Locust Street

Tuesday, October 30; 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Start at Nelson & Lindquist and get a Free Pumpkin candy bucket. Vote for the best Pumpkin carving at the Hudson Flower Shop. 

Bring a $5+ donation for Hudson Area Backpack Program and get a Facebook photo for your child in their costume at Marnie Marie Photography.


Hudson Boomers and Seniors Expo

Saturday, November 3; 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Don’t miss this chance to be part of an exciting array of services and resources for Boomers and Seniors in Hudson, WI and the surrounding St. Croix County area!