Dear Hunter, The outdoors beckon as the Minnesota firearm deer season continues and Wisconsin's begins on Saturday. The air is crisp — just as you like it — and the snowfall should make tracking deer easier. Farmers have nearly completed their harvest, clearing the fields. Sounds as though conditions are just about perfect.
Manufacturing is in a pretty good state in both our states. The one thing almost every local manufacturer needs, however, is workers. Manufacturing accounts for more than 18 percent of Wisconsin's gross domestic product. That adds up to $56 billion annually, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Industry employed more than 461,000 people two years ago and continues to grow.
The list seems like "must-reads" for a literature class and a personal bucket list. In fact, these books share another distinction: They have been challenged and sometimes actually banned — some from specific U.S. school districts and others from entire countries. In this 21st century world in which writers — including reporters — are continually under attack for telling people's stories, the 2018 theme for Banned Books Week seems especially broad and meaningful: "Banning Books Silences Stories."
State governments have a plethora of services and information available online. People want it. They need it. Pew Research finds that approximately one-third of U.S. adults reported using an app or the internet to access information provided by their state government in the past 12 months. Availability isn't enough, however, and people too often can't get to the information or services easily, based on a new report by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The conclusion is that citizens deserve better.
Students are heading back to school. Take a deep breath and it's a heart-warming moment — snapping of first-day photos, meeting new teachers, seeing friends again. Then exhale and fears creep in — being bullied on the bus, being approached by strangers, worrying about school violence and specifically school shootings. No place is completely safe, but schools are the safest place overall for children to be when not at home with a caring, responsible adult. National statistics support this statement. Consider a few findings from two recent, related reports:
Pulitzer Prizes for 2018 will be announced Aug. 16. The awards — 13 each year — recognize achievements in American journalism as well as literature and music. This year's announcement day also will mark a concerted effort by numerous editorial boards across the nation to draw attention to the vital role the free press (i.e. newspapers like this one) plays in our nation.
If you're thinking about skipping Tuesday's primary election, think again. Our representative form of government uses primaries for two main purposes: • to select a candidate to represent a political party for a certain race in the general election. • to narrow the field of candidates in non-partisan races to two for each seat. But there are other, less tangible reasons of equal importance.
Slowly, slowly, the Minnesota judicial system moves closer to the openness in Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota courtrooms. A pilot project on video and audio coverage of criminal proceedings proved successful, so the Minnesota Supreme Court this month appropriately made permanent most of the rules tested over the past 2 1/2 years.
Bills passed during the Minnesota legislative session and signed into law by the governor typically take effect Aug. 1. This year four laws had a July 1 date. Three you could consider tweaks to existing laws, but one is of particular note for parents of young athletes: Trainers now need a license.
Three crashes on Wisconsin roads killed five people over the 2018 Memorial Day weekend. Not to be outdone, Minnesota had six deaths in six separate crashes.