Extra Extra : Government (federal/state/local)

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 ...

Read more ...

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 ...

Read more ...

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 ...

Read more ...

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

Share your work with Extra Extra:

Email your story suggestions to extraextra@ire.org.
Please include a working URL for the story. You may also include an optional synopsis of 100 words or less.

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 ...

Read more ...

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.

Construction of a NASA test tower continued long after the rocket project was scrubbed

NASA spent $349 million building a new test tower it didn’t need, according to a report by The Washington Post. The agency in June finished construction of the Mississippi tower, which was designed for a rocket program canceled in 2010, after Congress ordered NASA to finish building it.

NASA will now spend about $700,000 a year to maintain the empty tower.

“Jerked from one mission to another, NASA lost its sense that any mission was truly urgent. It began to absorb the vices of less-glamorous bureaucracies: Officials tended to let projects run over time and budget. Its congressional ...

Read more ...

Extra Extra Monday: Prenatal screening tests, prison labor programs and nonprofit donations

Oversold and misunderstood: Prenatal screening tests prompt abortions | The New England Center for Investigative Reporting

Sparked by the sequencing of the human genome a decade ago, a new generation of prenatal screening tests, including MaterniT21, has exploded onto the market in the past three years. The unregulated screens claim to detect with near-perfect accuracy the risk that a fetus may have Down or Edwards syndromes, and a growing list of other chromosomal abnormalities.

But a three-month examination by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found that companies are overselling the accuracy of their tests and doing little to ...

Read more ...

Regulators lack resources to confront risks posed by exploding oil trains

Almost a year and a half after an oil train explosion devastated a Quebec town —and after three railcar explosions in the United States — those headline-grabbing measures have turned out to be less than they appeared. Idling oil trains are still left unattended in highly populated areas. The effort to draft new safety regulations has been bogged down in disputes between the railroads and the oil industry over who will bear the brunt of the costs. The oil industry is balking at some of the tanker upgrades, and the railroads are lobbying against further speed restrictions. The story and video ...

Read more ...