State of the Union

Two northwestern Wisconsin residents will have an in-person view of Tuesday's State of the Union address by President Donald Trump. 

A city official from Melrose and a retired educator from Webster will join federal lawmakers for the speech on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Ramon Knudtson, director of public works for the Jackson County village of Melrose, president of the Wisconsin Rural Water Association and a volunteer with the Melrose Fire Department for the last 38 years, will join U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse for the event.

“Wisconsinites like Ramon are the heart of our rural communities," Kind said in a news release. "It is an honor to invite him as a tribute to our first responders and volunteers who work tirelessly to lift our communities higher and move us forward.”

Knudtson said in the release he is excited to be in Washington fighting for the water industry.

“Clean water is something we take for granted, but many communities across our state don’t have reliable water sources," he said. "With partnerships between advocacy associations and the government, we can work together to help everyone get this essential need.”

Retired educator Diane Whitcraft of the Burnett County village of Webster will join U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin for the speech.

Whitcraft has multiple sclerosis and had been taking the same medication for more than 23 years until she made the difficult decision in 2017 to stop taking it because she no longer could afford the out-of-pocket costs.

“Drug companies received huge corporate tax breaks from President Trump but they continue to stick Americans with skyrocketing prescription drug prices,” Baldwin said in a news release. “I’ve heard from countless Wisconsinites like Diane who can't afford the medicine they have relied on for years. They want Washington to act and it is past time for President Trump to keep his promise to work with Congress on real legislative solutions. We need to help Wisconsin families get the medication they need, at a price they can afford.”

Whitcraft said she hope the president outlines a plan to lower prescription drug costs in his speech.