Extra Extra : Mapping

For a million fugitives, freedom starts at county line

Across the United States, local police are routinely allowing well over a million fugitives to escape justice simply by moving to another county in the same state, often just a few miles from where they allegedly committed their crimes, a USA TODAY investigation shows. The fugitives include thousands wanted for domestic violence, sexual abuse, manslaughter, repeat drunken driving and even rape.

 

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Go behind the story and learn how USA TODAY reporter Brad Heath pieced together a confidential FBI database to count fugitives who go free.

Pedestrians dying at disproportionate rates in America's poorer neighborhoods

A national analysis of traffic fatality data finds that, in most areas, it’s the poorer neighborhoods that experience the highest pedestrian death rates.

Governing magazine analyzed accident location data for more than 22,000 pedestrian fatalities reported in federal data from 2008-2012. Within metro areas, low-income census tracts recorded fatality rates approximately twice that of more affluent neighborhoods. Similarly, tracts with poverty rates below the national rate of 15 percent registered 5.3 deaths per 100,000 residents over the five-year period. By comparison, poorer neighborhoods where more than a quarter of the population lived in poverty had a ...

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'Staggering' pain claims in Brooklyn stoke suspicion

A USA TODAY analysis reveals that some of Medicare's top-earning specialists are in the New York City borough and sharing thousands of Medicare patients in volumes much higher than the norm. In hundreds of cases, patients have seen several pain specialists on the same day, shuffling between therapists who have billed Medicare for tens of thousands of procedures. In one case, a chiropractor and an occupational therapist saw the same patients on the same day more than 11,000 times in 18 months.

These high-earning occupational therapists, chiropractors and physical therapists have given Brooklyn an unusual distinction. It either ...

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Unfit for flight: Lies and coverups mask roots of small-plane carnage

A USA TODAY investigation shows repeated instances in which small aircraft crashes, deaths and injuries were caused by defective parts and dangerous designs, casting doubt on the government's official rulings and revealing the inner workings of an industry hit so hard by legal claims that it sought and won liability protection from Congress.

Wide-ranging defects have persisted for years as manufacturers covered up problems, lied to federal regulators and failed to remedy known malfunctions, USA TODAY found. Some defective parts remained in use for decades — and some are still in use — because manufacturers refused to acknowledge or recall the ...

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IRE members work to boost transparency, cooperation in Kenya

Land Quest is an experiment in cross-border investigative journalism by two European, two Kenyan and one American journalist that seeks to redefine both the focus and the audience of development reporting.

The data reveals Kenya as the battlefield between two competing financial interests: the flow of aid money from Europe to Kenya, and multinational profits from Kenya to Europe. Aid money flows into Kenya to help strengthen institutions and private companies, from agro-industrialists to oil barons.

The project, funded by a grant from the European Journalism Centre, is designed to raise awareness about the need for developed and developing countries ...

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Federal loopholes, local challenges complicate response plans for rural oil disasters

The federal government does not require U.S. railroads to have comprehensive plans for a worst-case oil disasters, according to the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.

That means no one knows if the railways that carried 4.2 million barrels of crude oil through the state last year are prepared for a catastrophe.

A handful of factors – including a declining number of volunteer firefighter/first-responders and a lack of information – complicate planning efforts in rural states like Maine.

Read the story here.


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Extra Extra Monday: The billion-dollar trophy deer industry, election spending, missing radon tests

Trophy deer industry linked to disease, costs taxpayers millions | Indianapolis Star

In less than 40 years, a relatively small group of farmers has created something the world has never seen before — a billion-dollar industry primarily devoted to breeding deer that are trucked to fenced hunting preserves to be shot by patrons willing to pay thousands for the trophies.

An Indianapolis Star investigation has discovered the industry costs taxpayers millions of dollars, compromises long-standing wildlife laws, endangers wild deer and undermines the government's multibillion-dollar effort to protect livestock and the food supply.

More than 100 publicly funded charter schools fail ...

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Mean Streets: Tracking traffic deaths in New York City

More than half of the 27 pedestrians killed by cars in New York City this year died on major roadways. That’s just one of the findings of a new WNYC analysis of traffic deaths, Mean Streets

WNYC worked with the NYPD to compile an accurate list of traffic deaths after finding discrepancies between its statistics and those kept by advocacy groups.

The station is tracking each death using an interactive database that includes names, dates, locations, street view maps and brief descriptions of the deaths.

Fugitives Next Door: Police won’t chase 186,000 felony suspects

Across the United States, police and prosecutors are allowing tens of thousands of wanted felons — including more than 3,300 people accused of sexual assaults, robberies and homicides — to escape justice merely by crossing a state border, a USA TODAY investigation found. Those decisions, almost always made in secret, permit fugitives to go free in communities across the country, leaving their crimes unpunished, their victims outraged and the public at risk.

Read the USA TODAY report. Check out some of the local reporting that’s come out of the project.

Ammonium nitrate sold by ton as U.S. regulation is stymied

Despite being banned in countries such as Afghanistan, China, Colombia, Germany, Ireland and the Philippines, the potentially explosive fertilizer ammonium nitrate  can be purchased pure and by the ton in the United States, according to the Dallas Morning News.

An investigation by the newspaper found that "for more than a decade, U.S. efforts to tighten controls over ammonium nitrate fertilizer have repeatedly failed, bogged down by bureaucratic gridlock and industry resistance. Regulations approved years ago remain unenforced and unfinished. Mere talk of safer substitutes has been blocked by those with profits at stake."