Extra Extra : Government (federal/state/local)

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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Wounded soldiers allege mistreatment in the Army’s Warrior Transition Units

Hundreds of current and former soldiers based in Texas have filed complaints over the last five years about the Army’s Warrior Transition Units, which were set up to serve soldiers with physical and psychological wounds.

The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV used the records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, to describe and examine "an often challenging regimen of medical treatment and a military culture of order and discipline."

Many of the complaints involve soldiers describing harassment and mistreatment at the WTUs.

College disciplinary boards impose slight penalties for serious crimes

Secretive college judicial systems make it easy for students responsible for violent offenses – including sexual assault – to transfer between schools.

The Columbus Dispatch and Student Press Law Center used disciplinary records from 25 public universities to identify students who had transferred despite university punishment. Some of the students were reprimanded for more than one serious offense at the same school. Sanctions for such offenses are often minor – placing a student on probation, issuing a written reprimand, or ordering the accused to write a paper.

The investigation also found that most schools don’t understand or refuse to follow state and ...

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A 20-year-old’s death hints at trouble in the multi-billion dollar rehab industry

Brandon Jacques’s parents flew their son to a far-away rehab center in hopes it’d cure him of his worsening bulimia and alcoholism.

Instead, Jacques was passed around and failed by an unregulated and profit-driven system, cut off from communicating with his family. He eventually died after going into cardiac arrest at a detox center at which the family didn’t even know he was living, according to an investigation by Vice.

Across the country, legislators have struggled to keep up with the fast-growing and supremely expensive non-hospital rehab industry. Fueled by the commercialization of rehab through reality TV ...

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Federal records shed light on ‘staggering disparity’ in U.S. arrest rates

While police in Ferguson, Missouri arrest black people at a rate almost three times higher than people of other races, an analysis by USA TODAY found that trend extends to cities across the country. At least 1,581 police departments arrest black people at rates even more lopsided than in Ferguson. USA TODAY based its findings on arrests reported to the federal government in 2011 and 2012.

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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Poorly rated nursing homes got HUD-guaranteed mortgages anyway

Hundreds of the country’s worst nursing homes have received mortgages backed by The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity.

HUD requires nursing homes applying for construction and rehabilitation loans to provide quality reports. Still, an analysis of loan and ratings data found that the number and volume of one-star facilities receiving HUD insurance climbed every year from 2009 to 2012.

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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Maryland alcohol deliverymen discovered drinking on the job

While reporting on a story related to county alcohol deliverymen, the Channel 4 NBC Washington I-Team noticed suspicious activities from the driver and "helper" in the delivery truck they were following. The men would take long breaks in private houses to eat and sleep, while leaving thousands of dollars of alcohol unattended on the side of a public road. When they were spotted more than once with Styrofoam cups in their hands before and during their drives, the journalists' suspicions were raised even more.

A confrontation with the drivers was prompted by finally witnessing the deliverymen pouring drinks out of ...

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INN members find top election ‘Power Players’

NJ Spotlight

They are heirs and heiresses, self-made millionaires and philanthropists. They are health care CEOs, financial analysts, venture capitalists, general contractors, scientists, authors and lawyers.

They are some of this nation's biggest "Power Players."

The Investigative News Network and some of its member newsrooms have taken a unique look at the largest campaign finance donors from each of these states to candidates and committees in federal elections and all 50 states.

INN used data from two of its members, the National Institute for Money in State Politics and the Center for Responsive Politics, to analyze the top individual ...

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