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Matt Blanchard was a great quarterback at Whitewater and now gets a chance with the Packers.
Matt Blanchard was a great quarterback at Whitewater and now gets a chance with the Packers. (Photo: UW-Whitewater)

Packers sign former UW-Whitewater standout QB Blanchard

The Green Bay Packers have signed quarterback Matt Blanchard, a former standout at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

General Manager Ted Thompson announced the signing of the 6-foot-3, 223-pound second-year player. He was originally signed by the Chicago Bears as a non-drafted rookie free agent on May 14, 2012. He was waived by Chicago toward the end of the preseason but was re-signed to the practice squad, where he spent the first 12 games of the season.

As an All-American quarterback, Blanchard maintained an accurate 70.4 percent average in pass completion, resulting in a total of 44 touchdown passes in the duration of his career as a starter at UW-Whitewater.

In addition to his completion efficiency, Blanchard demonstrated accuracy by throwing only five interceptions throughout his starting career. He went undefeated at UW-Whitewater all three years on the team, earning three national championships. 

The WI Shares program has led to many problems concerning child care in Milwaukee.
The WI Shares program has led to many problems concerning child care in Milwaukee.

EBT cards not a solution for WI Shares program flaws

Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards are not a solution to the most glaring flaws in the WI Shares program. A program whose neglectful funding has left our most vulnerable children stuck in a second class system of child care, with the highest quality providers working not towards a five-star YoungStar rating, but instead towards the day when they can leave the program altogether by serving 100 percent wealthier, private pay families.

Reimbursement rates have barely increased in 10 years, and over that period, the price of fixed costs like heating, electricity and food have continued to rise. This is breaking many child care providers in the City of Milwaukee who serve low-income families. Childcare continues to be a low-paid profession. Many workers receive poverty wages and are still expected to attain higher education and additional certifications to ensure increased YoungStar quality ratings.

The Department of Children and Families claims that they want all children to be cared for in high quality environments, but their cost-cutting actions speak louder than their empty words. You can’t cut your way to quality, but that is exactly what the current administration is trying to do by retaining a 5 percent rate cut for two-star providers.

It also unfairly discriminates against providers in Milwaukee County. In every other county in the state, if you are caring for a child with special needs, the provider is paid for 1.5 enrollment slots in recognition that the child will require more attention and care. This not only benefits the provider; it also benefits the child, who deserves a lower caregiver ratio to meet their needs. In Milwaukee County, where MPS sees a special needs pupil population of nearly 20 percent, special needs children are not given this extra enrollment consideration by WI Shares.

The Department of Children and Families also has totally unrealistic estimates of how much these struggling families can afford as a copay to providers, which l…

Gregg Allman (left on guitar) plays his hits at a Wednesday night show at the Northern Lights Theater.
Gregg Allman (left on guitar) plays his hits at a Wednesday night show at the Northern Lights Theater.

Northern Lights Theater set shows Allman's a survivor

Gregg Allman may still be playing cards with old man Fate, and he opened Wednesday night's concert by inviting those whom may have lost money in the casino to come in and drown their sorrows in some blues.

But God knows Allman has drawn many poor cards in his life, and it’s nearly a miracle he survived this long, with an almost savior-like gift for rebirth and renewal – especially in a life that’s been often gritty, unsavory and tragic, marked by the unforgettable deaths of his superlative guitarist brother Duane and Allman Brothers bassist Berry Oakley in a hauntingly similar motorcycle accident a year later. This Allman has borne the weight of drug addiction that very nearly killed him and several trying marriages, including a disastrous one to pop diva Cher. 

So the man who played the Northern Lights Theater still has the long blonde hair, beard and tattoos of a spiritual renegade, and many in the enthusiastic crowd perhaps felt like fellow travelers as the 67-year-old singer/songwriter, organist and guitarist transformed some of his trademark songs and put an indelible stamp on a number of blues high-water marks.

His unassumingly magnificent 2011 album "Low Country Blues" reasserted Allman’s profound commitment to the Southern blues idiom, deeply infused with gospel and strains of rock 'n' roll and jazz. The band’s consistently imaginative light show began with an extended tribute to classic bluesmen from Muddy Waters to Blind Lemon Jefferson to Robert Johnson.

So it was no surprise that Allman and his band really opened the floodgates of soulful passion with a stone classic T-Bone Walker song "Stormy Monday Blues," which he recorded on the Allman Brothers’ great "Live at the Fillmore East" album from 1971. Allman has massaged and expanded the tune for all its worth and made it the occasion to introduce his surprise guest performer Harvey Mandel, one the most singular and compelling blues-rock guitar stylists of his generation.

Though he …

Danielle Stobb and Maggie Polsean - two broke interns. Nice to meet you.
Danielle Stobb and Maggie Polsean - two broke interns. Nice to meet you.

Two Broke Interns: Hello, Milwaukee!

Danielle Stobb and Maggie Polsean are students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. They came up with the idea of 2 Broke Interns as a way to share Milwaukee from a student’s perspective. Follow the blog each week for stories, recommendations and advice for successfully exploring Milwaukee on a budget. 

Danielle Stobb:

I’m a broke intern and come May, when I earn my journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I’ll be an even more broke college graduate. It took me three years to graduate, even with a change in my major. My parents are proud and my bank account is thankful.

My hometown is Green Lake. It’s a don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it tourist town with an even smaller school. My graduating class was 20 students, most of which I knew from kindergarten. Growing up in Green Lake is one of the reasons I chose to attend college in Wisconsin’s biggest city. Milwaukee has so many places to go, things to see, people to meet … living in Green Lake was a mundane routine I was ready to break.

I have a type-A personality through and through. My desk is filled with post-it reminders and to-do lists. A Keurig sits nearby to brew my favorite chai. I click the refresh button on my email consistently.  

Over the past three years of living in Milwaukee I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me save money. I quickly realized my idea of purchasing groceries from Whole Foods (although so good) costs more, so I instead became a frequent visitor to Trader Joe's. I also learned that using public transportation is a great alternative to expensive parking on campus. It also means is engaging in small talk with the overly friendly riders. And as for dining out? I tend to order something I know will supply leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. If it’s good enough to eat once, I’ll eat it twice!   

I also save money in a rare way that most college students couldn’t fathom: I don’t party. In fact, I’m the one that breaks up college parties.…