Fatigued crews, crude oil increase risk for disaster

As the industry to transport hazardous crude oil in the Northwest continues to grow, so does the threat of accidents caused by fatigued and sleep-deprived railroad workers.

Oregon Public Radio reports "railroad workers are more likely to get fewer than seven hours of sleep on work days, studies show. They also report sleep disorders beyond the norm for working adults. Crews fighting sleep deprivation are impaired at levels comparable to alcohol intoxication and can increase the risk of accidents anywhere from 11 to 65 percent."

And though accidents and injuries have decreased dramatically in the past few decades, fatigue remains ...

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Analysis of lottery data reveals problems, prolific winners

Some lottery winning streaks in Massachusetts defy belief, according to a Boston Globe analysis of lottery data. One family claimed 340 lottery tickets in less than two years. Another man has cashed in more than 12,000 tickets worth $600 in the past decade. Statisticians doubt it's luck. The lottery suspects they are "Ten Percenters" - cashing tickets for other people for a fee. The story follows a Palm Beach Post investigation in March that found some people cashing in hundreds of tickets in the Sunshine State.

Improve your watchdog skills for just $10 this summer

It’s the best deal you can get in the nation’s capital. For $10, you can learn investigative techniques from some of the best journalists in the country. Yes, $10.

IRE’s Watchdog Workshop will be held in Washington, D.C. on August 13. The workshop will take place at the AAJA annual conference, but it’s open to all journalists and students. Non-AAJA members are welcome to attend and you don’t have register for the full conference.

Check out our full line-up here: http://www.ire.org/events-and-training/event/1513/

Investigative Reporters (Watchdog.org)

Watchdog.org, a leader in state-based investigative journalism, is seeking experienced investigative reporters for its growing network of state-based news bureaus.

The ideal candidate will know how to find waste, fraud and abuse at all levels of government, exhibit sophisticated storytelling abilities, and be a self-starter prepared to create & lead a Watchdog.org state bureau. Selected candidates will be responsible for setting the Watchdog.org agenda for his or her entire state. Conversational and written Spanish-language skills, and TV and radio experience are a plus, but not required. 

We are particularly interested in candidates willing to cover Oklahoma, Western Pennsylvania ...

Abe Fellowship for Journalists (The Social Science Research Council)

Deadline: September 15, 2014

The Abe Fellowship for Journalists is designed to encourage in-depth coverage of topics of pressing concern to the United States and Japan through individual short-term policy-related projects.

The fellowship offers a $23,500 stipend for 6 weeks of research support in Japan and East Asia.

Fellows are expected to produce an analytical article or feature story that will inform public debate or a policy community one of the following topics:

  • Traditional and Non-Traditional Approaches to Security and Diplomacy
  • Global and Regional Economic Issues
  • Social and Cultural Issues

For information on eligibility criteria or to apply, please ...

Memo details problems in the Omaha VA police department

A memo obtained by KETV-Omaha helped the station shed light on problems with the police department attached to the VA’s Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.

The document accuses command staff of “unfair and unethical” hiring practices and describes a fight in the police squad room. The station also talked to officers with experience working in the Omaha VA police department.

Watch the story here.

Petition offers journalists a chance to support Risen

Last month, more than 1,600 IRE members gathered in San Francisco for training and to discuss the biggest issues facing our craft. Chief among them was the threat of government actions against investigative journalists and their sources, as underscored by Lowell Bergman's keynote speech, a panel on whistleblowers including Daniel Ellsberg and a showcase panel on surveillance.

Following the conference, we got a lot of inquiries from members about what they could do, specifically about New York Times reporter James Risen, who was the focus of much of Bergman's speech. The federal government is trying to force ...

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Behind the Story: How KATC exposed problems with early animal euthanasia in Louisiana

Video by KATC-Lafayette

You don’t need to work in a large newsroom to pull off an investigative story with impact. Earlier this year KATC-Lafayette’s Tina Macias and Allison Bourne-Vanneck revealed that in 2013 a Louisiana animal shelter euthanized a quarter of the dogs that passed through its doors in less than four days – the hold time stipulated by the parish’s animal control ordinance.

Macias, an investigative producer, used public records requests to track down documents on intakes and euthanasia drugs. When the shelter tried to charge the station thousands of dollars, Macias looked up the law and ...

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