Diana Sanchez, 19, experienced homelessness while she was living in Milwaukee during her senior year of high school. At one point in the school year, she says she was regularly escorted from her school by police after staying too long in the building due to not having anywhere to go. Here, she is photographed at a family friend's house in Camden, N.J., on Feb. 9, 2020. She now lives in New Jersey with her mother. Hannah Yoon for Wisconsin Watch
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Homeless youth, crumbling roads, border wall, phonics focus, voting technology

Of note: This week we highlight a story reported by Princess Safiya Byers of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Francisco Velazquez, a Wisconsin Watch intern. It follows the struggles of Diana Sanchez to find safe shelter during her final year of high school in Milwaukee — hopping between the homes of extended family members and friends. She sought help from local shelters and other services but was told she didn’t qualify for services because she wasn’t pregnant. Experts and advocates say there are few options for the hundreds of homeless young people in Wisconsin. 

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Diana Sanchez, 19, experienced homelessness while she was living in Milwaukee during her senior year of high school. Hannah Yoon for Wisconsin Watch

Nowhere to go: Why Wisconsin’s homeless youth go uncounted and underserved

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service/Wisconsin Watch — February 20, 2020

Young people’s behavior can be criminalized either because they are facing homelessness, or youth can become homeless because they have been incarcerated. And for a variety of reasons, some young people don’t report that they are homeless. This leaves them in vulnerable positions — undetected by institutions that offer shelter, food and other services.

The struggle to mend America’s rural roads

The New York Times — February 18, 2020

As supersized vehicles bear heavier loads, maintenance budgets can’t keep up. Like hundreds of other small agricultural counties and towns around the country, Trempealeau County in west-central Wisconsin is overwhelmed with aging, damaged roads and not enough money to fix them. Meet the Wisconsin farmers paying the price.

Holly Hartz guides kindergartner Journee Randall through a reading lesson at Allis Elementary, where students use cotton balls to re-create the shapes of letters and words selected through a roll of dice. John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal

Phonics in focus: Advocates push Wisconsin for ‘science of reading’

Wisconsin State Journal — February 17, 2020

After largely sitting on the sidelines of a decades-long debate over how to teach children to read, Wisconsin’s education agency is taking a rare step, saying phonics should be taught in an “explicit and systemic” manner. 

Oshkosh Corp. orders could be slashed under plan to divert $3.83 billion for Mexico border wall

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — February 14, 2020

Oshkosh Corp.’s military vehicle production is poised to take a hit from a Defense Department plan to divert $3.83 billion from elsewhere in its budget to build 177 miles of President Donald Trump’s Mexico border wall. However, Friday evening, in an announcement unrelated to the defense spending diversions, the Pentagon said that Oshkosh has received $407.3 million in orders for Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.

Also read: An old and contested solution to boost reading scores: Phonics

Voting booths are seen at the polling place at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wis., on Feb. 18, 2020. The primary for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice and a Madison Metropolitan School District board position took place that day. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Is this the future of voting? Microsoft brings latest in voting technology for a test run in small-town Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — February 18, 2020

In an age of international hackers and rising concern about election security, a lot of people are searching for a silver bullet in voting technology. Voters in the town of Fulton, 8 miles north of Janesville in Rock County, gave Microsoft’s ElectionGuard software a tryout. 

Earlier from Wisconsin Watch: How hackers could attack Wisconsin’s elections and what state officials are doing about it

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