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Extra Extra Monday: Texas explosion victims, sexual abuse at ICE centers, financial problems at the San Diego Opera

New Bay Bridge shows signs of rust in critical areas | The Sacramento Bee

Some of the most vulnerable and integral cable sections and rods on the new $6.5 billion Bay Bridge are rusting. A Sacramento Bee investigation found corroded cable strands and anchor rods inside supposedly sealed chambers that protect attachments for the main suspension span cable to the bridge deck girders. Experts said if corrosion worsens, it could lead to catastrophic damage well ahead of the planned 150-year service life of the bridge.

California's medical prison beset by waste and mismanagement | Los Angeles Times

California's $840-million ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Accident reports, deportations and school finances

Jail Crunch | Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project

OCCRP reporters filed freedom of information requests to prison authorities across Eastern Europe. The interactive visualization is a compilation of the data received from each prison authority, organized to demonstrate similarities and differences between prison demographics and crime categories across the region.

OCCRP journalists conducted dozens of interviews with convicted criminals throughout Eastern Europe. The videos are an extension of the Jail Crunch visualization and provide a personal window into how crime works in the region.

 

Drivers pay for accident reports | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A private company that sells vehicle accident reports for ...

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Extra Extra Special Edition: Vehicle recalls, police misconduct, U.S. Border Patrol tactics

We took a break from publishing Extra Extra during the 2014 CAR Conference. Here are some of the stories that ran while we were away:

 

Fords with faulty transmissions not recalled | WTAE Pittsburgh

Following the redesign of Ford Fiesta and Focus transmissions in 2011, hundreds around the country said they're concerned about the safety of the vehicles. They have reported difficulty shifting as well as odd crunching and grinding noises as the cars change gears.

Dozens of consumers in Western Pennsylvania filed lawsuits alleging that, despite assurances from dealers, the vehicles do not function properly. The cars have not ...

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Va. official uses tax dollars to fund vacation

The former police chief of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority appears to have charged a Las Vegas vacation to his public credit card, according to a report from Virginia TV station ABC 8 News.

The chief was scheduled to attend an annual training event in California, but his return tickets home were booked out of Las Vegas, the station found. The station examined credit card and travel reports, finding that the former chief used taxpayer money to pay for plane tickets for his wife as well as a handful of other, smaller expenses.

Last fall officials suspended the police ...

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Liquor law violations drop as Wash. officials turn their attention to regulating recreational marijuana industry

Disciplinary action taken against bars, taverns and restaurants has dropped sharply, according to Seattle's KING 5 TV. Documents obtained by the station showed that liquor license suspensions were down in 2013 and no licenses were permanently cancelled. 

The lax oversight could be a result of the Washington State Liquor Control Board taking on new responsibilities monitoring the state's emerging marijuana industry, KING 5 reported.

Welfare cash pulled from ATMs inside Colorado pot shops

FOX31 Denver compared Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cash transactions against locations of marijuana dispensaries and found that 19 different marijuana retail stores had at least one welfare recipient walk into their business.

Welfare recipients are also withdrawing money at liquor stores and strip clubs, the station reported.

Calif. teacher's aide kept working after border drug bust

A California special education substitute was allowed to stay in the classroom after he was arrested at the border with more than $500,000 worth of cocaine and methamphetamine, according to a report from NBC 7.

While state law requires law enforcement agencies to notify school officials about such arrests, the San Diego TV station found that “there's no similar federal law or mechanism for notifying schools of federal arrests.”

 

Thousands of welfare fraud tips purged at Wash. Department of Social and Health Services

More than two years after KING 5’s series of investigative reports about welfare fraud – and Washington State government’s lax oversight – the Seattle TV station looked into the progress of pledged reforms. The follow-up investigation uncovered that a re-vamped state fraud unit is struggling with enormous case backlogs and has dumped thousands of potential tips about fraud.

Phoenix Fire Department arson statistics called into question after investigation

A year-long investigation by KPNX-12 News’ Wendy Halloran revealed that innocent people were arrested and criminally charged in connection with arson fires that turned out not to be arson. Now the Phoenix Fire Department is no longer boasting it has the highest arson clearance rates in the country. The series of investigative reports triggered an internal affairs investigation of the arson unit director, the canine handler and another captain who admitted he arrested a woman solely because she was the homeowner.

Extra Extra Monday: More ATF stings botched, fired nurses still find jobs, secretive company forecloses on hundreds

ATF uses rogue tactics in storefront stings across nation | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Earlier this year when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposed a botched ATF sting in Milwaukee — that included agents hiring a brain-damaged man to promote an undercover storefront and then arresting him for his work — ATF officials told Congress the failed Milwaukee operation was an isolated case of inadequate supervision.

5-year food, alcohol bill for CVG board is $102K |  The Cincinnati Enquirer
Fare served included steak, sea bass, top-shelf drinks; events potentially violated open meetings laws.

Fired, they still find jobs as nurses | Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Holes in state ...

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