U.S. tariffs again made big headlines last week. What readers may not know is that tariffs could kill the writers of those headlines. We're talking about community newspapers. While recent stories have focused on steel, soybeans and pork — and the potentially devastating effects a U.S.-China trade war would have in the Heartland — a similar battle is underway with our neighbors to the north over a simple, everyday commodity: paper.
The balance sheet is clear. Wisconsin no longer needs a treasurer. Voters will head to the polls Tuesday—in droves, we hope—to decide some significant local races and the Wisconsin Supreme Court race between Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet. There also is a proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate the state treasurer. We hope voters don't ignore this ballot measure, because there are few direct opportunities for them to make an immediate change in their government.
This is Sunshine Week, the seven days each year since 2005 when people who believe in transparent, accountable government draw special attention to the laws that • allow us to know what our local, state and federal governments are doing every day of the year, and • point out where laws could be stronger to ensure open government today and tomorrow.
The First Amendment protects people's right to say hateful things — including hurtful and false words about minorities, religious groups, men, women and more. We call that freedom of speech. As long as such incendiary words aren't spoken in a setting that evokes violence, just about anything goes, as courts have confirmed over the years. But just because someone has the right to say something doesn't mean that person has a right to have those thoughts published on this page.
Last year, nearly 235 sponsors provided 2.87 million free meals to Wisconsin children from low‑income families during the summer. These sponsors operated 905 sites statewide. That's a good start, but there are plenty of other children at risk of going hungry from the day after classes end until the start of the 2018-19 academic year. Imagine 90 days of missed or spotty meals. Wisconsin's Summer Food Service Program already has put out the word that more sponsors and programs are needed for summer 2018. And time is of the essence.
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.
Families living in the upper Midwest should be feeling pretty good — subzero weather and all. The cold, hard truth — when you look at the WalletHub survey data — is that states with four genuine seasons lead the nation as the best places to a raise a family. Coincidence? Don't tell that to local kids who all seem to love the recent snowfall.
You'll go to bed Friday night and wake Saturday as you did today, living in a free land. You can thank every veteran — from those determined Minutemen of the Revolutionary War to the dedicated service men and women of today protecting our nation, from the forgotten Spanish American War soldiers to the spat-upon Vietnam War veterans who did what their nation asked of them.
Minnesota and Wisconsin state laws require vehicles to stop for school buses when the bus driver activates the flashing lights and has the crossing arm fully extended. Drivers need to stop at least 20 feet from the bus and remain stopped until the arm is closed and the bus begins to move. Despite this, an estimated 828 vehicles per day illegally pass school buses in Wisconsin, according to Wisconsin School Bus Association. Minnesota isn't far behind, where as part of a School Bus Stop Arm survey 3,659 bus drivers counted 703 violations in one day.
Midwest gold is flowing. We refer to corn. Farmers and custom-combine professionals are hard at work harvesting 2017's bounty. This means motorists need to be alert for large, slow-moving ag vehicles transporting crops to markets, grain elevators, processing plants, river barges and railroad yards. The risk is especially great on rural, two-lane roads like those in Dakota and Washington counties. Several related factors make encounters between standard vehicles traveling 55 mph or greater with farm equipment going perhaps 25 mph risky.