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Extra Extra Monday: Beef's raw side, pension spiking and reckless prescription writing

The Kansas City Star
Beef's Raw Edges 
"The Kansas City Star, in a yearlong investigation, found that the beef industry is increasingly relying on a mechanical process to tenderize meat, exposing Americans to higher risk of E. coli poisoning. The industry then resists labeling such products, leaving consumers in the dark. The result: Beef in America is plentiful and affordable, spun out in enormous quantities at high speeds, but it's a bonanza with hidden dangers. Industry officials contend beef is safer than it's ever been."

The Los Angeles Times
Dying For Relief: Reckless prescribing, patients endangered
"By the time the medical board stopped Estiandan from prescribing, more than four years after it began investigating, eight of his patients had died of overdoses or related causes, according to coroners' records. It was not an isolated case of futility by California's medical regulators. The board has repeatedly failed to protect patients from reckless prescribing by doctors, a Los Angeles Times investigation found."

The Associated Press
NY mostly ignored reports warning of superstorm
"More than three decades before Superstorm Sandy, a state law and a series of legislative reports began warning New York politicians to prepare for a storm of historic proportions, spelling out scenarios eerily similar to what actually happened: a towering storm surge; overwhelming flooding; swamped subway lines; widespread power outages. The Rockaway peninsula was deemed among the 'most at risk.'"

The St. Paul Pioneer Press
Public pension 'spiking': Overtime hours soar for St. Paul fire supervisors
"The Pioneer Press is publishing an on-going series of articles that examine issues surrounding the financial health of Minnesota s public employee pensions, which cover more than 450,000 current and retired workers and pays out more than $3 billion in benefits each year."

Welcome to IRE's roundup of the weekend’s many enterprise stories from around the country. We'll highlight the document digging, field work and data analysis that made their way into centerpieces in print, broadcast and online from coast to coast.Did we miss something? Email tips to web@ire.org

The Boston Globe
Unwanted at home, free to strike again|
"A yearlong Globe investigation found the culture of secrecy can be deadly to Americans and foreigners alike: Immigration officials do not notify most crime victims when they release a criminal such as Chen, and they only notify local law enforcement on a case by case basis. And even though immigration officialshave the power to try to hold dangerous people longer, that rarely occurs."

Arizona Daily Star
Border Patrol faces little accountability
"Even as the number of shootings by agents increases, the system for holding them accountable remains complicated and opaque, leaving the public in the dark about the status of the cases, an Arizona Daily Star investigation has found. One Arizona case has remained secret and "ongoing" for almost three years."

The Arizona Republic
Macho B: The last roar of a jaguar
"An Arizona Republic investigation revealed that Macho B was caught and killed in a web of intrigue involving environmental politics, border security, greed and scientific egos."

The Springfield News-Leader
Alarms at Wheaton Complex were disabled
The fire alarms in  apartments in Wheaton, Mo., for low-income residents where four adults and a child died in a Thanksgiving Day fire were disabled a decade ago by the company that manages the apartments. The company, Bell Management, Inc., of Joplin manages about 3,700 apartments in three states. The company president said Bell Management has disabled fire alarms at other apartments it manages but wouldn't say how many of the apartments lack working fire alarms or where they are. The apartments in Wheaton, Mo, did have working smoke detectors. Missouri does not have a statewide fire code that regulates when fire alarms when are required. The Wheaton apartments were partially financed by USDA Rural Development and regularly inspected by the agency.

Portland Press Herald
Deadly Force: Police and the mentally ill
"Five separate fatal shootings of mentally ill people by Maine police in 2011 prompted the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram to examine law enforcement's use of deadly force. Since 1990, police have fired on 101 people, many of them mentally ill, and in every case the state attorney general ruled that the shooting was justified."

The Miami Herald
What could go wrong when voting absentee? Plenty, it turns out
"Nearly 2,500 Miami-Dade County voters had their absentee ballots rejected this election in what amounts to a wake-up call for those who ignore or fall prey to the pitfalls of not voting in person."

The Press-Enterprise
Professionals ignored abuse at church, ex-members say
"Former members of a Corona church where the pastor is accused of child abuse say a police officer, firefighter and other professionals failed to protect children from psychological and physical harm, even though those professionals are trained to report child abuse."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Death on the Rails
Post-Dispatch reporter Todd Frankel found that railroad companies across the country often refuse to take even small steps to deal with the problem of people walking on their tracks. His story is based on more than 90 interviews and a review of thousands of pages of regulatory filings, court documents and industry publications. Some railroads defend their right to run trains with little concern for what may lie ahead. And for regulators, these types of accidents largely fall into a blind spot. The result is that pedestrian railroad accidents are now the leading cause of death on the rails. More than 7,200 pedestrians have been fatally struck by trains in the United States since 1997. An additional 6,400 have been injured. Each year on average about 500 are killed. In the first nine months of 2012, the number of pedestrian railroad deaths jumped 10 percent, while the number of all other railroad fatalities fell.

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