Safety net frayed for workers who supplied GM

Rich Johnson decided to attend Blackhawk Technical College to work on an associate degree after being laid off from Lear Corp. but stopped soon after due to a back injury. He now is struggling with  the loss of health insurance and unemployment benefits. "I wake up in the morning and I think, 'What direction am I going to go today?' Then other days I think 'I'm taking a break ... I'm tired,' " Johnson said.

After two years of unemployment, Rich Johnson has skidded into scary territory. The 55-year-old is among many in Rock County who’ve endured six months or more of unemployment. They are part of a grim statistic that casts a long shadow over the recovering economy. Continue Reading

Slideshow: A community transformed (Dairyland Diversity Part 6)

Reporter Jacob Kushner and photographer Jake Naughton went to Darlington, Wis., for the latest installment of our Dairyland Diversity package (it’s here: Immigrant dairy workers transform a rural Wisconsin community). And they came back with an unusual coming-to-America story. One in which the old guard and the new wave are actually living in relative harmony.
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