Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.
Wisconsin welfare reform could be model for GOP: Reid Wilson of The Hill writes: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is a handful of votes away from implementing one of the most sweeping overhauls to a state welfare system in decades. As President Trump and Republicans around the country begin contemplating entitlement reforms, Walker’s legislation could serve as a model, both in state capitals and in Congress. ‘We are removing barriers to work, investing in job and skills training for the unemployed and underemployed, and expanding programs that incentivize work,’ Walker said when he announced his Wisconsin Works for Everyone proposal. ‘We are making it easier for people to get a job and ensuring that everyone who wants a job can find one.’ Legislation that passed the state Assembly last week would require able-bodied parents of children to work or undergo training in order to receive benefits for more than three months. Recipients already subject to work requirements would have to work 30 hours a week, up from 20 hours under existing law. The bills would also exclude from welfare programs anyone who owns a home valued above $321,000, or personal vehicles worth more than $20,000. They would create a $20 million fund to privatize welfare and training programs, put the photos of food stamp recipients on state-issued cards to combat fraud, and create individual health savings accounts for Medicaid recipients.” Read more.
Waukesha students, faculty who participate in National School Walkout could face punishment: Darryl Enriquez of Now News Group writes: “Waukesha School District students and faculty who participate in the National School Walkout during class time next month commemorating the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Florida high school will be considered disruptive and could face disciplinary action, a district email sent Tuesday to parents said. Superintendent Todd Gray wrote the email to halt the support of ‘one or more individuals’ who are promoting the event locally through Womensmarch.com. An individual is ‘advertising that the ‘School District of Waukesha’ or ‘Waukesha Area Schools’ are participating or involved. This is not accurate,’ Gray wrote. ‘The district is not participating or involved in this event. We have requested the individual cease using our district name or referring to our district for this event.’ The posting could not be easily found on the website. ‘Participation in a walkout is disruptive and against school regulations and will subject students to disciplinary measures,’ Gray wrote. The walkout is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 14 in all time zones. It calls for students, faculty, parents and others to walk out of school for 17 minutes, one minute for each person killed in the Florida shooting.” Read more.
Wisconsin teen invents device to protect students during a shooting: Zoe Szathmary of Fox News writes: “One high schooler has come up with a device to prevent active shooters from getting inside classrooms – and to keep students safe. He calls it the ‘JustinKase.’ It’s a product made of steel that latches to a door frame to bar entry. ‘Unlike other products, JustinKase does not allow a door to open even a crack which means students & staff can remain safe while emergency personnel race to the scene,’ creator Justin Rivard, a student at Somerset High School in Wisconsin, explains on his website. Rivard came up with the idea for the safety product, which he sells online for $95, two years ago – when he was just 15. He spent months refining it. ‘You can lock a door with a lock, it can get shot out,’ Rivard told KARE. ‘You can lock a door with this, it can’t get shot out. You can’t get around it.’ The 17-year-old is now reaching out to schools to spread the word about his product. His own school already ordered 50 of them, one for each room in the building, according to KARE.” Read more.
A ‘Revelation’: Harley-Davidson hints at a name for its electric motorcycle engine: Rick Barrett of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes: “Harley-Davidson might be using the name “Revelation” for the engine of its new electric motorcycle, according to a trademark application. Harley isn’t confirming it, but the company has filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for the name ‘H-D Revelation,’ in a listing that includes electric drives for vehicles, engines for motorcycles and batteries for vehicles. In January, the company said its first electric bike would be available for sale within 18 months. It’s been called ‘Project Livewire’ and has been in the works for more than four years. Thousands of motorcyclists have taken test rides on the bike that’s been on tour as Harley has gathered consumer feedback. Other Harley-Davidson bikes have similar sounding names for the engines, such as ‘Evolution’ for Sportsters and ‘Revolution X’ for the Street 750. One thing for sure: The new electric motor won’t have the syncopated ‘potato, potato, potato’ rumble that resonates from Harley V-Twin engines, a sound the company once tried to trademark. By comparison, it’s going to be very different.” Read more.
Famed evangelist Billy Graham dies at 99: CNN reports: “Evangelist Billy Graham — a confidant to presidents, a guiding light to generations of American evangelicals and a globe-trotting preacher who converted millions to Christianity — died Wednesday at the age of 99, his spokesman confirmed to CNN. Graham passed away at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, spokesman Jeremy Blume said. The skinny preacher with the booming voice evangelized to nearly 215 million people over six decades and prayed with every US president since Harry Truman. Several presidents, including Lyndon Johnson, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, relied closely on his spiritual counsel. He was tall and handsome, with a disarming aw-shucks demeanor and a Southern twang to his voice. But Graham’s influence, historians say, was monumental. Some called him ‘America’s pastor,’ others referred to him as the ‘Protestant pope.’ Graham is reported to have persuaded more than 3 million people to commit their lives to Christianity and his preaching was heard in 185 of the world’s 195 countries, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.” Read more.
Democrat takes Kentucky House seat in district Trump won by 49 points: Margaret Hartmann of the New York Daily News writes: “Republicans hoping that predictions of a Democratic midterm wave are overblown got some bad news on Tuesday night. Democrat Linda Belcher won a special election in Kentucky’s House District 49, beating Republican Rebecca Johnson by 68 percent to 32 percent. The district went for Trump by a vote of 72–23 in 2016, and Mitt Romney carried it by 66–33 in 2012. Democrats have now flipped 37 legislative seats across the country since Trump’s election. Of course, special elections aren’t necessarily indicative of midterm success. Both candidates have a history in the district that likely played into voters’ decisions. Belcher entered politics when her husband, Democratic state Representative Larry Belcher, died in a car crash in 2008. She went on to serve in the legislature from 2008 to 2012, and from 2014 to 2016. She lost her last election to Republican Dan Johnson by fewer than 200 votes. In December Johnson killed himself, two days after he was accused of molesting a 17-year-old girl. A day later, his widow, Rebecca Johnson, who has denied the allegations, said she would run for his seat. The Johnsons had previously generated controversy with their social media posts; Dan had posted images that depicted the Obamas as apes, and Rebecca shared memes that made light of domestic violence and drug use, and endorsed secession.” Read more.