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Specialized endoscope linked to deadly superbug

The deadly pattern of illnesses began to emerge in 2012 at hospitals in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Chicago. In each case, the culprit was a bacteria known as CRE, perhaps the most feared of superbugs, because it resists even "last defense" antibiotics — and kills up to 40% of the people it infects.

And in each case, investigators identified the same source of transmission: a specialized endoscope, threaded down the throat of a half-million patients a year to treat gallstones, cancers and other disorders of the digestive system. Yet neither the scopes' manufacturers nor the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates them, have ...

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Extra Extra Roundup: Stolen weapons, wage enforcement and prison inmates

Business tangles with wage enforcement system for decades | Rocky Mountain PBS I-NEWS

More than 30 years of public records and internal documents dealing with Bradley Petroleum, one of Colorado's oldest employers, show the company has repeatedly been investigated for violating federal and state labor law, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has found. In particular, for a pattern of suspending employees for shortages, reporting them to the police for alleged theft, and then permanently withholding the employee's final check despite a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing

 

No new conviction, but sent back to prison | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

More than ...

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County consultant awarded contract despite not paying rent

Tom Akers and his consulting firm have enjoyed a long, lucrative relationship with Clark County.

Akers & Associates has a two-year, $227,500 county contract, the most recent in a line of business arrangements since 2007, when he was hired to teach small and dis­advantaged businesses how to navigate the county’s procurement process and secure county contracts. Under Akers’ guidance, the county's program offers classes on fundamental business practices such as cash-flow management.

But while paying Akers to teach others how to run their businesses and work with the county, the county has sued its favored consultant over ...

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Middle school principal resigns amid misconduct allegations

The San Marcos Daily Record obtained records showing that a middle school principal placed on administrative had been linked to allegations of misconduct.

According to the documents, teachers accused Ricardo Soliz of “threatening to transfer a teacher if he wouldn’t help him build a case to fire other teachers at the school, pressuring teachers into using a teaching tool he preferred and sending unsolicited personal messages to teachers outside of work hours.”

Soliz submitted a letter of resignation in December.

Money stolen in the U.S. flowed to Cuba through criminal pipeline

U.S. policy created for humanitarian reasons 50 years ago has fueled a criminal pipeline from Cuba to Florida, enabling crooks from the island to rob American businesses and taxpayers of more than $2 billion over two decades.

A yearlong Sun Sentinel investigation found money stolen in the United States streaming back to Cuba, and a revolving door that allows thieves to come here, make a quick buck and return.

The Sun Sentinel traveled to Cuba, examined hundreds of court documents, and obtained federal data never before made public to provide the first comprehensive look at a criminal network facilitated ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Jailers without jails, deadly debris, and state medical examiners

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Only in Kentucky: Jailers Without Jails | Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Jeanette Miller Hughes is the personification of a wasteful, nepotism-laced but little-discussed system that costs Kentucky taxpayers approximately $2 million annually. She is one of 41 elected county jailers across the state who don’t have jails to run. And she is the highest paid of them all.

Only in Kentucky does this curious practice ...

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Investigations into infant deaths in N. Carolina are flawed

In the latest installment of its series about North Carolina's dysfunctional medical examiner system, The Charlotte Observer published stories showing how faulty investigations into infant deaths routinely leave key questions unanswered. Medical examiners almost never go to infant death scenes and sometimes flout a state requirement to look at the baby’s body – two steps that national experts say are crucial to competent death investigations. Experts say infant deaths deserve special attention because children are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. But by some measures, N.C. medical examiners investigate infant deaths even less rigorously than those of adults.

Veterinarians face conflicting allegiances to animals, farmers - and drug companies

Veterinarians are taking a crucial new role in public health in 2016 -- gatekeepers to tons of farm animal antibiotics now freely dispensed without prescription and contributing to a surge of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" that infect people.

What will the companies selling antibiotics do about that? A Reuters investigation found broad, pervasive and mostly undisclosed financial ties between drugmakers and veterinarians:

Pharma companies gave $3.3 million to the main U.S. veterinary association over the past four years. Zoetis, the world's largest animal drug maker, named a prominent veterinary dean to its board at $240,000 a year, almost doubling ...

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New Jersey paid fees to Mary Pat Christie's firm after state investment was terminated

New Jersey taxpayers have paid significant fees to a firm that employs Mary Pat Christie, the wife of Gov. Chris Christie, according to the International Business Times. The state pension system in 2011 supposedly ended a $150 million investment in Angelo, Gordon & Co., but records obtained by the Times show that hundreds of thousands of dollars continue to flow to the firm. Mary Pat Christie joined the company in 2012 as a managing director.

300,000 Oregonians depend on an addiction treatment system that’s broken

More than 300,000 people go untreated for alcohol or drug abuse in a state that has little knowledge about the effectiveness of its treatment clinics, The Oregonian found.

The paper spent months reviewing government records and interviewing officials and recovering addicts in Oregon. It found that while treatment clinics frequently report patient statistics to the state’s Addictions and Mental Health Services Division, the agency never uses the data.

The Oregonian looked at the numbers and found abysmal success rates. The ineffectual system costs nearly $6 billion a year, the paper found.