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Editorial: Smiles all the way around ... the earth

Positive flow: Earth Day will come a month early this year. Well, at least in the New Richmond School District it will.

The first order of T-shirts that Hillside Elementary fifth-grader Paige Hanson designed for a national competition will arrive in March — well in time for the official Earth Day: April 22. As reported in the Jan. 25, 2018, New Richmond News, the young artist won $500 in supplies and 50 T-shirts to share with her school.

The late U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson launched the Earth Day movement in 1970. Since he represented Wisconsin, we find it especially sweet that a Wisconsin girl won the T-shirt contest. That and her charming design using emojis of the earth are truly something to smile about.

We hope she, her classmates and students don those the shirts as soon as they arrive and wear them often to share the Earth Day message in March, April and many days and months to come.

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.

Positive flow: What are the odds that a community of 2,700's high school football program could produce two NFL players — a league that has about 1,700 players?

For Somerset's Jack Cichy and Gaelin Elmore, it's not about the odds. It's about personal drive, performance and perseverance.

Elmore, a 2014 Somerset High School grad, recently declared himself eligible for the 2018 National Football League Draft. He spent his college years starring on the defensive lines at University of Minnesota and East Carolina University.

Cichy, another Spartan, was a University of Wisconsin standout linebacker. He lost his senior season to injury, but not his goal. Rather than use an injury waiver to play for the Badgers again, he's putting all his rehab energy into preparing for the April 26-28 NFL Draft. He heads to the NFL Combine that begins Feb. 28.

Fewer than 2 percent of high school football players ever make an NCAA roster. The NCAA reports than 1.5 percent of its nearly 74,000 players go major pro.

These two young men have already beat the odds. Why not again?