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Tuesday, Feb. 20, marked the five-month anniversary of the devastating blow that Hurricane Maria dealt to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

And while it saddens me to see the slow response our federal government has had in helping restore power and stabilize infrastructure in Puerto Rico, I am also very heartened to see a group of Wisconsinites picking up some of the slack.

This week, Viroqua business owner Alicia Leinberger and several other Wisconsin citizens have joined a team working to help restore reliable electricity in Puerto Rico. They are volunteering their time and skills to install donated solar panels to places that desperately need power, such as hospitals, homeless shelters, addiction recovery centers and small businesses.

Helping people who need help is a rural value of which I am most proud. But it is not just a rural value, it is a Wisconsin value as well. And it is the kind of value I wish to see represented in our government.

Kudos to Alicia and the rest of the team for setting the example.

Erin Malone, La Farge

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