Extra Extra : Economy

$15 million in state funds held in non-profit bank account

KARK 4 News spent two months going through years of board minutes, financial documents and audits after receiving a tip that millions of state dollars were sitting in an out-of-state account, even as rice farmers continued to pay millions in check-offs each year. The station found that members of the state board voted to send this money into a nonprofit bank account, failed to report the revenue to financial officials and may have spent millions of those dollars without the authorization to do so.

Evicted and abandoned: The World Bank's broken promise to the poor

More than 3.4 million people have been physically or economically displaced by projects funded by the World Bank, according to an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Huffington Post and more than 20 other media partners.

The organization has regularly failed to meet its own policies, falling short of protecting people from harm caused when dams, power plants and other projects cause displacement.

The series is told in several parts, including a prologue, overview and a handful of close-up looks at specific regions that have been affected. One story examines how mass evictions in Ethiopia are ...

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Extra Extra Monday: National Guard cronyism, forfeiture abuse, a web of lawyers

Racial bias, cronyism tearing apart N.J. National Guard, senior officers allege | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The New Jersey National Guard prides itself on rigor and readiness, and, from its sprawling base southeast of Trenton, its members became a beacon of help after Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy ravaged portions of the state. But internal records obtained by NJ Advance Media show the Guard now faces a storm of its own, with at least four senior officers, including two top minorities, alleging a "toxic command climate," fueled by racial discrimination and retaliatory actions.

Iowa forfeiture: A ‘system ...

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Louisiana's film tax incentive program is popular, but a money-loser

As a part of a film tax incentive program pouring money into major movie studios, Louisiana put more cash into the movie "Green Lantern" than into the University of New Orleans this year.

As a part of an eight-part series titled "Giving Away Louisiana," the Baton Rouge Advocate looked at the billowing costs of a popular yet financially unhealthy program.

More than 100 projects qualified for incentives from Lousiana tax breaks in 2013 at an upfront cost of about $250 million. The program is the richest in the country.

Read the full story.

Extra Extra Monday: Baby boomers, school shootings and health licensing boards

Review shows health licensing boards voted improperly | The Boston Globe

Four Massachusetts health licensing boards met nearly three dozen times over five years without enough members present, casting a legal cloud over numerous votes on disciplinary proceedings, license applications, and investigations, according to an internal audit by the Department of Public Health.

The review, which confirms concerns first raised by the Globe a year ago, found the boards of pharmacy, physician assistants, dentistry, and perfusionists (who operate heart-lung machines during surgery) held 465 votes without a quorum from January 2008 to May 2013. Two observers said they were shocked by ...

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Six years after Hurricane Ike, Texas coast remains vulnerable

Hurricane Ike sent a clear message that the people and vital energy industry of greater Houston, one of America's largest urban areas needed protection from rising seas. Six years later, it remains an easy target as storm surges grow increasingly more destructive. Many major coastal cities are in the same boat.

A Reuters analysis of RealtyTrac data for the third installment of the “Water’s Edge” series found that at least $1.4 trillion worth of businesses and homes line the country’s tidal shores, yet the U.S. lacks a unified national response to rising sea levels. The ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Death by deadline, online diplomas, vaccine court

Death by Deadline | The Marshall Project

An investigation by The Marshall Project shows that since President Bill Clinton signed the one-year statute of limitations into law - enacting a tough-on-crime provision that emerged in the Republicans' Contract with America - the deadline has been missed at least 80 times in capital cases. Sixteen of those inmates have since been executed -- the most recent on Thursday, when Chadwick Banks was put to death in Florida.

 

Milwaukee kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.'s death follows cascade of errors by fight officials | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed a series of missteps by fight officials ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Child abuse deaths unheeded, strawberry pesticides, habitual drunk driving

Nursing homes unmasked: Who owns California’s nursing homes? | Sacramento Bee
As private investment groups scoop up an ever-larger share of the nation’s skilled-nursing care market, it has become increasingly difficult to decipher who owns the nation’s largest chains.

Elder-care advocates will tell you this is no accident: A convoluted ownership structure, they say, is a way for owners to hide assets and shield themselves from civil and criminal liability when patients are abused or neglected in their care. Confusing lines of ownership also make it harder for regulators to detect worrisome patterns of care among facilities within ...

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Athletes, teams donate big to political campaigns

An investigative team analyzed thousands of financial records from federal, state and local elections and discovered how sports teams, owners and athletes are contributing to political campaigns.

The 10 Investigates team from Tampa Bay and Sarasota’s 10 News found that many of the area’s major teams have contributed political funds – usually toward the state’s dominant party. The experts they interviewed suggest the money is seen as an investment to tip legislators toward passing stadium-friendly legislation.

To read and watch the full story, click here.

Extra Extra Monday: Uneven assessments, National Guard misconduct, Chicago migration myth

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By measure after measure, in cities, towns and villages across Wisconsin, property assessors are discounting uniformity and trampling on fairness, while officials with the state Department of Revenue do little to rectify the disparities, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found.

In dozens of communities, 20% or more of residential property taxes are being paid by the wrong people, according to the Journal Sentinel's analysis of Department of Revenue records for each of the state's 1,852 municipalities. The analysis considered communities ...

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