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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** Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (Associated Press)

Wisconsin Gov. Walker: Unions 'want me dead'

With a June recall election all but certain, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker believes the debate is no longer just about collective bargaining rights for state workers. Union leaders and others, he said, have made it personal. Published January 5, 2012

Northstar Disposal Services LLC in Youngstown, Ohio, has halted operations at its injection well, which disposes of brine used in gas and oil drilling, after a series of small earthquakes in the area, including a magnitude 4.0 on New Year's Eve. (Associated Press)

'Fracking' waste disposal tied to Ohio earthquakes

The disposal of wastewater used in the booming practice known as "fracking" is responsible for a rash of recent earthquakes in Ohio, and critics have latched on to the seismic events as evidence that the popular natural gas extraction method is dangerous and should be banned. Published January 3, 2012

On teaching evolution: New year, old fight

It's a new year, but familiar debates continue to rage over God, evolution and exactly what the nation's students should learn about each. Published January 1, 2012

Colleges buying up .xxx websites to prevent porn

A growing number of universities are shelling out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to keep their names, logos and students off of the dark side of the Internet. Published December 28, 2011

"Right now, there are no real incentives to dissuade colleges and universities from continuing to raise tuition. It's not going to be easy, but there's no excuse for complacency," Vice President Joseph R. Biden told high school students in Florida this month. (Florida Times-Union via Associated Press)

Degree of frustration with cost of college

As tuition costs skyrocket and graduates walk away with ever-rising amounts of debt, American colleges now face a choice: Remain a part of the problem, or begin contributing to a solution. Published December 26, 2011

**FILE** U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (Associated Press)

Run rogue bus operators off road, industry urges

The Obama administration's "relentless" war on unsafe bus companies has claimed at least a dozen victims over the past two years — and the industry wants to see more. Published December 25, 2011

Bill Graves, president of the American Trucking Association, objects to the restart provision in the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration work rules. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Shift on trucker safety rules

The Obama administration on Thursday backed down from part of its plan to trim truckers' workdays, but the new regulations still left both the big-rig industry and its critics fuming. Published December 22, 2011

Charter schools must succeed or close

Unlike their traditional counterparts, charter schools aren't guaranteed an endless existence. And that, supporters say, is a good thing. Published December 21, 2011

Fracking firm calls EPA move a threat to whole industry

The company at the center of a nationally watched battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over the safety of natural gas "fracking" fears the case could have a "chilling" effect on the development of a booming source of domestic energy. Published December 20, 2011

**FILE** President Obama speaks March 14, 2011, about revising the No Child Left Behind education law during an address at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va. (Associated Press)

Record numbers fail to clear No Child bar

The numbers keep getting worse for the nation's education system. In the 2010-11 academic year, 48 percent of public schools — a record high — failed to meet the "adequate yearly progress" benchmarks established by the No Child Left Behind act, according to a new study by the Center on Education Policy, a nonpartisan think tank. Published December 15, 2011

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivers a speech during the Puerto Rico Education Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

More school hours don't guarantee better test scores

Students who spend more hours in the classroom aren't guaranteed higher test scores, and many nations that outpace the U.S. on standardized reading and math assessments keep their children in school for much less time, according to a report from the National School Boards Association. Published December 13, 2011

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

NEA proposes criteria reform for teacher jobs

Performance, not seniority, would play the primary role in whether teachers keep their jobs under a broad reform plan released by the National Education Association last week. Published December 11, 2011

** FILE ** Dirt is moved over a water pipeline that will be used at a natural gas drilling site in Washington, Pa. Proponents of extracting natural gas from shale tout fracking as the key to satisfying the nation's booming energy appetite.  (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

Bad water found at fracking site

Chemicals used to tap natural gas wells in the booming practice known as fracking may be responsible for groundwater contamination in a small town in Wyoming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. Published December 8, 2011

** FILE ** D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. schools' test-score gap by race largest in U.S.

While students in other large urban school districts have made significant progress on standardized reading and math tests in recent years, achievement gaps between black and white students remain stubbornly high, with the most lopsided disparities of all coming in the nation's capital. Published December 7, 2011

Reid

Senate will hear compromise plan on payroll-tax cuts

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is set to offer a "compromise plan" Monday to extend payroll tax cuts now scheduled to expire at the end of the month, a fellow Democratic senator said on "Fox News Sunday." Published December 4, 2011

Former corporate executive Herman Cain greets the crowd Saturday at a campaign event in Atlanta, where he suspended his Republican presidential campaign. (Associated Press)

Cain's exit puts spotlight, target on Gingrich

With Herman Cain suspending his campaign over the weekend, the spotlight in the GOP presidential field is now focused squarely on Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House whose surprise front-runner status has made him the target of rivals and critics less than a month before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. Published December 4, 2011