Extra Extra : July 2006

"Conduct Unbecoming" Continues

Eric Nalder and Lewis Kamb of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer uncover more police abuses in a continuation of the "Conduct Unbecoming" series. In their latest installment -- focusing on a specialized King County Sheriff's unit assigned to police the Metro regional transit system -- Nalder and Kamb, with assists from P-I beat reporters, turned out a quick-hitter investigation off a daily news story involving officers' controversial arrests of demonstrating bicyclists. In three weeks, the reporters used personnel documents and arrest, incident and complaint reports to supplement interviews with whistleblowers and other resources for this one-day package. Computer-assisted reporting specialist Daniel Lathrop complemented ... Read more ...

"Teflon Don"

The Times Herald-Record's Michael Levensohn conducted an exhaustive investigation painstakingly detailing how a local businessman, Donald Boehm, looted an estate of millions of dollars and has become the focus of a police investigation in the most notorious unsolved killing in the region. The reporting for this story began in April 2004 with the bankruptcy filings of three of Boehm's companies. In the two years since, Levensohn conducted dozens of interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of court filings, contracts, property and bank records, correspondence and other documents to report this story.

House of Lies

An extensive four-part series by Debbie Cenziper, Susannah Nesmith and Tim Henderson of The Miami Herald has uncovered extensive corruption in the Miami-Dade Housing Agency. Their investigation uncovered a system which has operated like "an unchecked cash machine for developers and consultants and its own leaders and failed the families it was meant to serve." Such failings include millions being allocated for housing that was never built while developers kept the money. The agency also "diverted another $5 million money earmarked by state law to build homes for the poor to pay for a new office building complete with a ... Read more ...

Indianapolis library expansion mired in mess of mismanagement

The Indianapolis Star's Kevin Corcoran looks into the construction project to expand Indianapolis's Central Library which is now two years behind schedule and more than $50 million over budget. An extensive review of documents and interviews with involved parties suggest that the Library Board's decision not to employ a general contractor led to this debacle. A Marion County grand jury looked into conflict-of-interest concerns regarding three of the Library Board members. No charges have been filed.

Air Marshals Warn System Failures Threaten Security

In a coordinated series that broadcast in Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Dallas, investigative reporter Tony Kovaleski of 7NEWS in Denver spoke to 17 Air Marshals from those four cities who believe current policies jepordize national security. Don Strange, a former director of the Air Marshal Service's Atlanta office, addressed his concerns in memos to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff wherein he claimed current policies "unnecessarily enganger the lives of federal air marshals and the flying public." In addition, the marshals interviewed assert that innocent people are being placed on watch lists simply to meet expected monthly quotas ... Read more ...

Death at Memorial Hospital

Following the announcement of murder charges against a New Orleans doctor and two nurses on duty in the wake Hurricane Katrina, CNN continues its Emmy-nominated investigative series, "Death at Memorial Hospital" with exclusive interviews with siblings of the accused Dr. Anna Pou, who maintains her innocence. "In October, CNN reported exclusively that after deteriorating conditions -- with food running low and no electricity -- some medical staff openly discussed whether patients should be euthanized," says a CNN.com report by Drew Griffin, produced by Kathleen Johnston.

Witnesses, Army records describe confusion and cover-ups in Tillman case

ESPN.com offers a series delving deeper into the 2004 death of Pfc. Pat Tillman, who left the NFL to serve with the Army Rangers in Afghanistan, and the questions still under investigation by the defense department. TThe story of Tillman's patriotism and personal sacrifice made headlines, but the Pentagon later acknowledged that he was killed by friendly fire. "For the past five months, in an effort to shed light on how Tillman died and whether there was an attempt to use his good name and valor for political purposes, ESPN.com has interviewed nine of the 35 Rangers ... Read more ...

Organic food standards backed by weak oversight

Paula Lavigne of The Dallas Morning News found that "the United States Department of Agriculture does not know how often organic rules are broken and has not consistently taken action when potential violations were pointed out." Audits and inspection reports point to weak oversight of the certifying organizations that bestow official organic status on behalf of the USDA to more than 20,000 producers worldwide.

America's Racial Expulsions

Indiana boaters lack safety skills