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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.

Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

Patty Thompson of West Palm Beach, Fla., reaches up to touch the name of her husband, Spc. Raymond Clark Thompson who has been added to the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial following a Mother's Day ceremony to honor Raymond and three other American servicemen who have been added to the wall, Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 12, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Wife keeps promise to memorialize Vietnam veteran at wall

Ray Thompson came home from Vietnam in 1969 badly wounded, having lost four ribs, a kidney and his spleen. It wouldn't have been in his nature, said widow Patty Thompson, to grapple with the federal government just to see his name etched into the black granite of the memorial wall. But it's most certainly in hers. Published May 12, 2013

Whether taking the test online or with a pencil, ACT Education Division President Jon L. Erickson is concerned by what students know. "Our data suggests that about 40 percent  got to a college-readiness level in English, math, reading and science." (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Switch to digital for ACT admissions exam is bumpy

The ACT college admissions exam is going digital in 2015, and its creators fully expect some bumps along the way. Just as the company earlier this week announced its new 21st-century testing method, schools in Kentucky were reverting to the classic pencil-and-paper approach after ACT's online assessment system crashed. Published May 9, 2013

**FILE** Gina McCarthy stands on stage in the East Room of the White House in Washington on March 4, 2013, as President Obama announced he would nominate McCarthy to head the EPA. (Associated Press)

Republicans boycott vote for EPA nominee Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy's already bumpy road to becoming Environmental Protection Agency administrator took another detour Thursday morning when Senate Republicans boycotted a committee vote on her nomination, blocking it for now. Published May 9, 2013

No charges against two Castro brothers: Prosecutor

In a surprising development, a Cleveland prosecutor now says there will be no charges filed against brothers Onil and Pedro Castro in connection with the decade-long captivity of three young women. Published May 8, 2013

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, a sheriff's deputy stands outside a Cleveland house from which three women escaped on Monday after being held in captivity for about a decade, police said. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland police say there's no proof they ignored calls to kidnapping house

A number of Cleveland residents said Tuesday that they had called police after seeing or hearing strange things at the Castro home, where three women allegedly were held hostage for a decade. But city police, while not accusing anyone of lying, are pushing back against accusations they didn't do their job. Published May 8, 2013

** FILE ** On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, members of an FBI evidence response team carry out the front screen door from a house in Cleveland where three women were held against their will for a decade. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland 911 dispatcher's handling of Berry phone call under review

When Amanda Berry escaped from a decade of captivity on Monday night, her first act was to call 911 and beg for help from authorities. But the actions of the 911 call-taker, who hung up on Ms. Berry before police arrived, are now under investigation. Published May 8, 2013

Neighbors and friends of Amanda Berry clap as she arrives at her sister's home in Cleveland on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Ms. Berry, 27, Michelle Knight, 32, and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, 23, apparently were held captive for a decade, police said. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus return to Cleveland homes after years in captivity

As Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus made triumphant returns home Wednesday, authorities in Cleveland charged their captor with multiple counts of kidnapping and rape for putting the women — along with a third, Michelle Knight — through a decadelong hell of sexual abuse and complete disconnect from the outside world. Published May 8, 2013

Keystone XL would reduce long-haul truck traffic, thus less emissions

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline contend that it would lead to dramatic increases in greenhouse gas emissions, but a supporter of the $7 billion oil sands project says approval would help cut harmful emissions and make the transport of American oil much more efficient.. Published May 7, 2013

** FILE ** Seattle police Officer Jim Britt demonstrates an unmanned aerial vehicle during an informational meeting at which the police attempted answer questions about their drone program at the Garfield Community Center in Seattle on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. The mayor of Seattle ended the police department's drone program in February after residents protested. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Colin Diltz)

States push new privacy blueprint for drones

A coalition of state officials is drawing up a uniform blueprint for drone privacy laws in an effort to head off a patchwork of conflicting rules and regulations being adopted across the country. The model legislation could, theoretically, be used by lawmakers everywhere to put in place a uniform system, as opposed to the state-by-state approach unfolding now. Published May 7, 2013

**FILE** Alabama Tea Party member Kay Day of Irvington, Ala., demonstrates in front of the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., as lawmakers gathered inside on Feb. 5, 2013, the first day of their regular legislative session. Day was protesting Alabama's efforts in the Common Core education guidelines. (Associated Press)

State school systems rethink Common Core standards

The growing backlash against the nationwide K-12 school standards known as Common Core, bubbling to the surface in Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere, has become the hottest story in education. Published May 6, 2013

Embrace of massive online courses rising

Massive open online courses are sweeping the globe, but some higher education leaders argue that the classes, better known as MOOCs, need to be embraced cautiously. Published May 6, 2013

A court ruling could let New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lift the moratorium on fracking while putting the onus for the ultimate "no" decision on local officials. (Associated Press)

Ruling favors local control of fracking

With its ruling on Thursday, a New York appeals court delivered a key victory to environmentalists in their fight to keep fracking out of the state. Published May 2, 2013

N.Y. court: Towns can ban fracking

The state's governor hasn't decided whether to allow fracking, but a New York appeals court on Thursday ruled that local governments have the right to ban the controversial practice. Published May 2, 2013

Drones are considered efficient tools for law enforcement, but a third of Americans worry that their privacy will suffer if the unmanned devices are used regularly in U.S. skies, according to a poll. Congress has directed the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with safety regulations to clear the way for routine domestic use of the aircraft within three years. (Vanguard Defense Industries via Associated Press)

Defense lawyers want to educate public on drones

Arguing that its site will fill "a critical public need" for information, the nation's leading group of defense lawyers launched on Tuesday an online drone information center. Published April 30, 2013