Extra Extra : May 2012

Narcotic pain medicine use on the rise among seniors

"A Journal Sentinel investigation by John Fauber and Ellen Gabler has found that, increasingly, narcotic drugs have been prescribed for chronic pain, an area where their safety and effectiveness is unproven, especially for older patients."

"Though a growing number of experts believe the drugs may do more harm than good, the country's aging population has become a prime market for the $9 billion-dollar-a-year industry."

Hospitals charging up to 10 times the amount for state-mandated test

In a report by the Springfield New-Leader, it has been found that some hospitals in the southwest Missouri region are charging close to 10 times the amount for a state-mandated blood test on infants.

"The state charges $65 for the blood test which includes processing the blood, delivering it to the state lab, receiving the results and billing for the procedure. The state lab fee is set by state regulation, but hospitals can set what fees they decide are warranted to cover the procedure."

Thousands of nonprofits misreporting donations


The project was conducted in partnership with the nonprofit watchdog group GuideStar. Scripps developed a searchable database allowing readers to search performance of nonprofit groups in their state and county.

Milwaukee Police Department misreporting violent crime

"A Journal Sentinel investigation has found that even though the Milwaukee Police Department have been touting a fall in crime for four years, hundreds of beatings, stabbings and child abuse cases were missing from the count."

"More than 500 incidents since 2009 were misreported to the FBI as minor assaults and not included in the city's violent crime rate, the investigation found. That tally is based on a review of cases that resulted in charges - only about one-fifth of all reported crimes."

Children who skip vaccinations raise threat of dangerous outbreak

An Arizona Star investigation has found that "one in three Arizona schools last year had kindergarten classes with vaccination rates so low children were left vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks such as measles, mumps or pertussis."

It was discovered that "the worst offenders, by far, are charter and private schools, some with vaccination rates as low as 50 percent in Pima County and under 30 percent in Maricopa County. Rates need to be 80 percent to 95 percent, depending on the disease, to prevent the spread of infection."

Humanitarian institutions contributing to deforestation

Emails reveal how University of Montana's administration handles cases of alleged rape

Antidote for prescription painkiller overdoses could save lives

"Washington state has one of the highest death rates from prescription opiates in the country. Overdoses from prescription painkillers now kill more people there than car accidents. And in King County, more people die from prescription painkillers than from methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin combined."

"However, a simple antidote could instantly reverse those overdoses. It's called Narcan, and by law, any citizen in this state can carry it. The problem is that it's hard to get. InvestigateWest in collaboration with KUOW's Carol Smith takes a look at efforts underway to get Narcan to more people."

Analyzing Governor Walker's calendars

In a three-part series for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Kate Golden and Amy Karon used the state’s open records law to receive Gov. Scott Walker’s official calendars.

"To analyze how Walker has used his time as the state’s chief executive, WCIJ reporters created a database of the more than 4,400 entries in Walker’s calendars from his first 13 months in office, through Jan. 31, 2012."

NJ school officials cheating the students

"An Asbury Park Press investigation has exposed how Lakewood, New Jersey school officials slashed the high school’s graduation rate to win a $6 million federal grant, lied to parents of special education students to save money, spend millions of dollars busing school children to religious and otherwise private schools, and showed how a lawyer made millions from one of the poorest districts in New Jersey. Federal and state officials are now investigating."