Extra Extra : March 2012

School test scores raise questions across the nation

"Suspicious test scores in roughly 200 school districts resemble those that entangled Atlanta in the biggest cheating scandal in American history, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows." To learn how the reporters gathered information click here.

"The newspaper analyzed test results for 69,000 public schools and found high concentrations of suspect math or reading scores in school systems from coast to coast. The findings represent an unprecedented examination of the integrity of school testing."

NYPD using counterterrorism tactics on lawful citizens

New York's Freedom of Information Law fails concerned parents

Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Jason Whong showed that despite having the benefit of the newspaper's archives and knowing where to look and which dates to research, New York's Freedom of Information and open records law couldn't help him -- or any parent -- find much evidence of an accused sexual predator's history of similar crimes and convictions going back 42 years.

Million-dollar hospital bills on the rise

Justice program fails to commit nation's most dangerous sex offenders

Six years ago, the federal government set out to indefinitely detain some of the nation's most dangerous sex offenders, keeping them locked up even after their prison sentences had ended.

But despite years of effort, the government has so far won court approval for detaining just 15 men.

Far more often, men the U.S.Justice Department branded as "sexually dangerous" predators, remained imprisoned here for years without a mandatory court hearing before the government was forced to let them go, a USA TODAY investigation has found. The Justice Department has either lost or dropped its cases against 61 ...

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"Fracking" draws little oversight in California

Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Time, reports that "energy companies across California are injecting a mysterious mix of chemicals into the ground to tap oil deposits while frustrating attempts to regulate the controversial process, known as hydraulic fracturing."

"So far, nine states require energy companies to disclose what they put into the ground but the Brown administration, which has been trying to ease regulation of the energy industry, has yet to draw up any rules on the extraction method."


Californians drinking nitrate-contaminated water

Stett Holbrook, for the Food and Environment Reporting Network, reports that "nitrate contamination in groundwater from fertilizer and animal manure is severe and getting worse for hundreds of thousands of residents in California’s farming communities, according to a study released today by researchers at UC Davis."

"The report is the most comprehensive assessment so far of nitrate contamination in California’s agricultural areas."

Documents further confirm surveillance of Muslim-Americans

Startling connection between property value and city's health

Health Care Districts Holding onto Funds While Sick Go Untreated

At a time when the uninsured had to wait a year to be seen by a doctor, The Bay Citizen uncovered that California's Health Care Districts are hoarding funds which should be used for caring for needy patients. The Peninsula Health Care District, funded by tax-payers, held onto a $43 million reserve, but when San Mateo County officials requested $4 million for subsidized health care, the district refused. Why? Through their investigation, The Bay Citizen discovered that The Peninsula Health Care District and many similar districts stockpile funds and divert money to operating expenses, including lawyers, election fees, and ...

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