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Editorial: A rescue, a wakeup call, a pawfect program

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.

Positive flow: A good dog, a good neighbor and a good police force. A Prescott man (and his community) are blessed to have all three. Kim Darke, 60, was searching for his beloved pet when he fell into the icy Mississippi River but somehow managed to climb out. Two hours later, an unidentified neighbor spied the dog running loose, realized Darke was missing and alerted Prescott Police Department.

The temperature was hovering around zero when officers found Darke 17 minutes after the call. Tragedy averted, thanks to a caring neighbor and a diligent officer.

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.