KATHLEEN VINEHOUT
PEOPLE FIRST

Playing Nice in the Sandbox and the River

“People are being driven off the river,” Sue told Black River area residents. “My kids can’t dive off the dock with the big boats. … It didn’t used to be this way. We could all get along - kayakers, canoers, and boaters. I wouldn’t dream of letting my kids kayak now.”

Friends of the Black River gathered to talk with boat owners about river use. Some felt big boats had taken over the river.

Playing nice in the sandbox means respecting others play. The six-year-old bully who throws sand and drives other children away does not ‘play nice.’
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Recovery Court Celebrates Ten Years of Changing Lives

Addiction may begin in a very private way. But, healing from addiction can take a village and can be very public.

“This is a big challenge,” Taavi McMahon, the Trempealeau County District Attorney told me. “People get up in front of everyone in open court and spill the beans about their whole life.”

Recovery Court in Trempealeau County recently celebrated 10 years of helping addicts return to a healthy life and avoid prison. I was blessed to be a part of the anniversary celebration held in Whitehall.
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Mississippi River is a Great American Treasure

“A single drop of water falling into the headwaters of the Mississippi in Minnesota would travel the river for 90 days to reach the Gulf of Mexico.” Gayle Harper, author/photographer, read this detail on the National Park Service website.

“Every cell in my body felt the impact of that and came to full attention. It felt as if someone had hit the ‘pause’ button on the world.”

She was captivated. How would it be to voyage the entire length of America’s Greatest River for 90 days with an imaginary raindrop?
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Will Broadband Show Up in Rural Neighborhoods

“I don’t want to promise you fiber where fiber is not going to come,” Kent Disch, AT&T Wisconsin External Affairs Director, told Ellsworth community leaders.

Pierce County business leaders and elected officials gathered with telecommunication company representatives and local cooperatives to push for resolution to Internet problems.

Business leaders asked companies why they would not or could not bring services to businesses that were more than willing to pay. A concrete company owner noted his company is growing but lack of good broadband “is a bottleneck.”  Broadband is needed to prosper.
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