Extra Extra : October 2005

Vast scope of priest abuse in Los Angeles

Jean Guccione and Doug Smith with contributions from William Lobdell of the Los Angeles Times tracked the assignments of 228 priests from 1950 through 2003 who have been named or identified as the subject of abuse complaints. The analysis reveals that because the accused priests moved around the archdiocese on average every 4.5 years, the total number of parishes in which alleged abusers served is far larger

Ford leaves behind toxic legacy in N.J.

"Toxic Legacy" is a five-part series by reporters at The Record exploring the environmental and health impacts of paint sludge and other industrial waste dumped a generation ago in watersheds and other environmentally sensitive areas by the Ford Motor Co. For 25 years, ending in 1980, the automaker operated a massive assembly plant in Bergen County that produced nearly 6 million vehicles and an ocean of industrial waste. Much of that waste remains where it was dumped, including a woodland watershed that's home to a low-income community whose members claim Native American ancestry. "The Record found that Ford repeatedly ... Read more ...

Unlicensed drivers responsible for deadly accidents in Va.

Bill Burke, with contributions from David Gulliver, of The Virginian-Pilot report that with swelling illegal migrant populations in Va., rogue vehicles being driven by unlicensed drivers have been responsible for a string of deadly accidents . "Since 2002, more than 90 people have been injured and 18 killed on the Eastern Shore in accidents involving Hispanic workers driving rogue vehicles. "Tennessee's lax registration regulations enable several migrants to get Tennessee tags because Tennessee does not require identification or proof of insurance when a vehicle is titled and plates are issued, as long as the motorist pays cash.

Metro officials spend excessively on travel in Mich.

Steve Neavling of The Bay City Times reviewed records to show that the Bay Metropolitan Transportation Authority has spent about $200,000 since 1999 on airfare, lodging, rental cars, valet parking, out-of-town meals and other travel expenses. These expenses came at a time when the agency was forced to reduce the schedules of bus routes and offered employees an early-retirement buyout to trim a $320,000 deficit. "The review of Bay Metro records is part of a Times ongoing examination of travel and meal expenses incurred by public agencies in Bay County. The first story revealed that the county's ... Read more ...

Medical care under examination

Bill McKelway of the Richmond Times-Dispatch is doing a series of reports on the state of hospitals and medical care in the Richmond area. The latest in the series reports the story of Danielle Moore, a former prison guard who delivered a baby girl with severe cerebral palsy after staff and doctors at the hospital - Community Memorial Healthcenter — delayed the procedure. Medical experts who reviewed the case established that she had grounds for a medical malpractice suit and the baby should have undergone an emergency delivery long before she did. "Four obstetricians who reviewed the file concluded that baby's ... Read more ...

Open records survey carried out in Ky.

The Kentucky Press Association, The Associated Press, various newspaper and professional groups and several university student programs carried out a public records survey to determine whether public offices are allowing citizens to view government documents. "More than 100 students, volunteers and newspaper employees visited four local government offices on Oct. 21 seeking specific public records. They were told to act as any ordinary citizen when making their requests in the government offices." The survey showed that while most offices abide by the state's Open Records Act, compliance is not consistent. A request to inspect the city budget was readily ... Read more ...

Hmong girls raped, prostituted by gangs

Pam Louwagie and Dan Browning of the Star Tribune report on the growing problem of young Hmong girls who are raped and prostituted by Hmong gangs. A preliminary analysis found that "these girls were six times more likely than other victims to have been raped by five or more males ". The newspaper used an FBI list of Hmong surnames to extract data on prosecutions of these crimes. The stories explore the clash of cultures that hampers investigation of the crimes and allows them to continue with increasing frequency. See how this story was reported.

City approved slipshod repairs on homes

Mike McGraw and Michael Mansur of The Kansas City Star report that an investigation by The Kansas City Star revealed that the taxpayer-supported home maintenance program overseen by the city's former housing agency approved of shoddy repair work on homes leading to leaky roofs, sagging ceilings, buckling and poorly repaired foundations and dangerous furnaces and flues. Contractors working with the Housing and Economic Development Financial Corp., also known as HEDFC, even charged one elderly couple $700 for smoke detectors. "They didn't do the work that should have been done to ensure a safe and habitable house, such as ... Read more ...

Tough measures keep prisoners behind bars for life

Adam Liptak of The New York Times , examined information about prisoners serving life sentences in all 50 states, finding "that about 132,000 of the nation's prisoners, or almost 1 in 10, are serving life sentences. The number of lifers has almost doubled in the last decade, far outpacing the overall growth in the prison population . Of those lifers sentenced between 1988 and 2001, about a third are serving time for sentences other than murder, including burglary and drug crimes." Janet Roberts of The New York Times' computer-assisted reporting unit led the research for this series. The story includes ... Read more ...

Generous deals for Wash. dentists

Michelle Nicolosi of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Washington state's dental board has been slow to act and has cut generous deals with some of the state's most complained-about dentists. The P-I investigation found that dentists were allowed to continue working in Washington with little restriction long after they lost licenses in other states, or were caught running dangerously unsanitary clinics, or had repeatedly injured patients. Dental board members and staffers from other states reviewed actions taken by the Washington's dental board and agreed that Washington has given some dentists much more leeway than they deserve. "The ... Read more ...