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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

**FILE** Mary Kay Letourneau listens to testimony during a  court hearing on Feb. 6, 1998. Letourneau, 42, a former sixth-grade teacher, was freed from prison in 2004 after serving a seven-year term for child rape stemming from her relationship with Vili Fualaau, who was one of her students at the time and who fathered two children with Letourneau. (Associated Press)

Student-teacher sex: Where does it end?

The cases seem to be popping up everywhere — and with alarming frequency. Dozens of relationships between teachers and students have been reported just this year, but analysts say it's difficult, if not impossible, to know what is media hype and what is a genuine national problem. Published June 11, 2012

**FILE** Al Armendariz, Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 administrator, speaks at a town-hall meeting in 2010. (Courtesy of YouTube)

EPA's Armendariz of 'crucify' pledge a hearing no-show

House Republicans will have to wait for their chance to question former top Environmental Protection Agency official Al Armendariz, who became notorious for his pledge to "crucify" oil and gas companies in order to set a regulatory example. Published June 6, 2012

Sen. Jack Reed (left), Rhode Island Democrat, and Sen. Tom Harkin (center), Iowa Democrat, meet on Capitol Hill on Wednesday with college interns as they call for action on averting a July 1 doubling of interest rates on federal college loans for students. More than 30 million Americans are repaying student loans. (Associated Press)

Obama to outline options for student loans

With Congress still deadlocked on how to keep student-loan interest rates from doubling next month, President Obama is set to unveil a series of small-bore measures designed to grant some relief to the millions of Americans shackled by college debt. Published June 6, 2012

Jay Iselin holds a sign as he and other protesters gather at the entrance to the Marriott Westfields where the annual Bilderberg Conference is being held, Chantilly, Va., Thursday, May 31, 2012. The Bilderberg Conference is an annual meeting of highly influential people in private industry and public office from North America and Western Europe. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Demonstrators heckle Bilderberg attendees

International power brokers arriving in Chantilly for the 2012 Bilderberg conference were treated to a rude welcome by a raucous crowd of about 200 demonstrators Thursday afternoon. Published May 31, 2012

Just 2 U.S. colleges make grade in new ranking

The U.S. may have the most prestigious universities in the world, but the best of a new generation of schools are found elsewhere, a major new survey shows. Published May 30, 2012

The Westfields Marriott in Chantilly is under tight security in anticipation of the beginning of the Bilderberg conference Thursday. Police cars guard the main entrance, and security guards and police informed the media that anyone coming onto hotel property would be escorted off or arrested if they did not comply. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Security tighter than ever at Bilderberg conference

Chantilly's Westfields Marriott hotel is the site of an "unprecedented" security crackdown as the world's richest and most powerful arrive for the annual Bilderberg conference. Published May 30, 2012

Shale study's lead author faces 'green' backlash

Faced with mounting criticism, the State University of New York at Buffalo is distancing itself from a Marcellus Shale gas-drilling study released earlier this month by the school's own Shale Resources and Society Institute. Published May 28, 2012

Young workers are having a hard time getting even entry-level jobs. McDonald's managers, who once hired a lot of first-time workers, now can choose older employees with more experience who don't have to wait until classes end to show up. (Associated Press)

Number of high-school students with jobs hits 20-year low

Did somebody say McJobless? The American job market is no place for students as the number of employed high schoolers has hit its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to new figures from the National Center for Education Statistics. Published May 24, 2012

Thunder makes itself heard for changes in law

Rolling Thunder's imprint on Washington goes far beyond the roar of hundreds of thousands of bikes on city streets each Memorial Day weekend. The organization has aggressively pushed a broad legislative agenda, with several of its priorities now the law of the land. Published May 23, 2012

School officials fear a federal policy takeover

By expanding its "Race to the Top" education grant contest to the district level, the Obama administration has left some state education chiefs feeling elbowed out, saying Washington is trying to establish itself as the national school board. Published May 23, 2012

**FILE** Demonstrators outside the White House march in November with a replica of a pipeline during a protest of the planned Keystone XL pipeline that would bring tar sands oil from Canada to Texas. (Associated Press)

Opponents claim Keystone would boost gas prices

TransCanada's proposed $7.6 billion Keystone XL pipeline, a massive project that would transport Canadian oil to Texas refineries on the Gulf Coast, has been pitched as a way to lower domestic gas prices. But a coalition of environmental groups on Tuesday produced a new study claiming the pipeline would have the opposite effect. Published May 22, 2012

Cory Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, N.J., said Sunday that current presidential campaign debates are doing a serious disservice to voters. (Associated Press)

Attack Wright? Wrong. Attack Bain? Refrain

The economy remains the driving issue in the 2012 presidential campaign, but both sides have in recent days taken detours to deal with distractions and ghosts from the past. Published May 20, 2012

Pennsylvania gets high marks for rein on drilling for gas

Pennsylvania over the past three years has greatly reduced the number of environmental incidents related to natural gas drilling, and state officials appear fully able to oversee the industry without intrusion from the federal government, according to a study released Tuesday. Published May 15, 2012

Gov. Nikki Haley

National curriculum plan may face challenge

An influential group of conservative state lawmakers is on the verge of proposing model legislation to block the Common Core national education standards that have been heavily promoted by the Obama administration. Published May 10, 2012

Conservatives defend fired writer on race

Conservative commentators and think tanks have rushed in recent days to the defense of embattled journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley, who was fired from her job as a blogger with the widely respected Chronicle of Higher Education for questioning the value of black-studies programs. Published May 9, 2012

Solar project opens on federal property

Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar on Monday cheered on the opening of the first large-scale solar power project on federal property, just three days after his department rolled out new regulations on oil and gas companies doing business on those very same lands. Published May 7, 2012