School choice advocates hope to build on gains

Beginning this fall, taxpayer money will help children move from public to private schools in Racine. But according to a nonpartisan group, expanding vouchers to Racine will add nearly $3 million to the state’s costs over the next two school years. Part three of three in a series.

School choice big winner in state

Dozens of Wisconsin political players have received millions of dollars from individuals and interest groups committed to promoting alternatives to public schools. Part two of three in a series.

The selling of school choice

A vast and interconnected array of school choice proponents — including the Walton family, heirs to the Walmart fortune — is changing the face of education in Wisconsin. Part one of three in a series.

Are choice schools better?

School choice proponents argue that private vouchers give students in troubled school districts the opportunity for a better education. But the numbers don’t always back them up.

Road builders brew up public support

The Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, a powerful state lobby group, is taking its case for more and better roads directly to the people — by running ads during Badgers’ and Brewers’ games.

At Lambeau Field and beyond, how a police force stepped up security after 9/11

Ever notice that semitrailer parked on Lombardi Avenue during Green Bay Packers home games? It’s there to prevent possible vehicles armed with explosives from getting anywhere close to Lambeau Field, said Green Bay police Lt. Jim Runge. That security tactic, often unnoticed by many, goes a long way toward ensuring fans’ safety, he said. Since 9/11, law enforcement agencies and emergency responders nationwide have received federal funding for new equipment and logged hours of special training to be prepared for a large-scale crisis.

"Force-on-Force" drills at Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Two Creeks, in rural Manitowoc County, may involve mock adversaries approaching the facility from Lake Michigan. Courtesy of NextEra Energy

Evacuation plans in place but officials don’t expect all people, animals to leave

Town chairman Lee Engelbrecht says his hogs, sheep, heifers and feeder steers likely would stay put on the family farm if a disaster ever struck Point Beach Nuclear Plant, about a mile away, or Kewaunee Power Station, five miles north on Wisconsin 42. Engelbrecht, 57, didn’t think that was a very realistic possibility before 9/11 … or now. “Nobody living in Two Creeks has any fear about living near Point Beach,” says the lifelong resident on Two Creeks Road.

Nuclear security teams prepare for mock attacks

TOWN OF TWO CREEKS — Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials say there has never been a security breach into an American power plant. It’s certainly not a matter of luck, say staff members at the NRC and Wisconsin’s two nuclear power plants — Kewaunee Power Station and Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant in the town on the northern edge of Manitowoc County. Sara Cassidy, manager of nuclear communications for NextEra Point Beach, says the industry has spent $1.2 billion and many thousands of hours of training in the decade since 9/11 on security enhancements in response to NRC mandates.