Extra Extra : October 2012

Murder remains a stubborn crime to solve in D.C., despite drop

"Despite a stunning drop in homicides in D.C., murder remains a stubborn crime to solve and prosecute. The Washington Post has reviewed nearly 2,300 slayings in the city between 2000 and 2011 and found that less than a third have led to a conviction for murder or manslaughter, although the numbers have improved in the past few years."

"According to The Post’s investigation, more than 1,000 cases remain unsolved. In a 15-month study, Cheryl Thompson individually tracked every homicide in the District between 2000 and 2011 to learn what ultimately happened to each ensuing case."

Investigation into court loophole leads to conviction

"Investigative reporter A.J. Lagoe, with WRIC TV8 in Richmond, Va, uncovers widespread fraud in Virginia’s court-appointed attorney system. Criminal defendants are lying about their assets in order to qualify for a free lawyer and all too often getting away with it thanks to a loophole in Virginia law."

"Now a man profiled in the 8News investigation, is convicted on multiple charges and state lawmakers are vowing to take action to close the loophole."

Extra Extra Monday: Mysterious documents, consumer protection flaws, unlicensed religious homes

Welcome to IRE's roundup of the weekend’s many enterprise stories from around the country. We’ll highlight the document digging, field work and data
analysis that made their way into centerpieces in print, broadcast and online from coast to coast.

Did we miss some? Let us know.  Send us an email at web@ire.org or tweet to @IRE_NICAR. We’ll add it to the list and spread the word.

PBS Frontline
Mysterious Docs Found in Meth House Reveal Inner Workings of Dark Money Group
"Found in a meth house in Colorado, they were somewhat of a mystery ...

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"Green" buildings, products become big business in system that rewards minor, low-cost steps

$300 Million Meant To Help Florida Homeowners In Limbo

In this in-depth investigation of a $25 billion national settlement between five of the United States' largest banks and forty-nine states and the District of Columbia, ProPublica uncovers that the state of Florida was keeping $300 million meant to help needy homeowners on the brink of foreclosure.
ProPublica's investigation uncovers that Florida's attorney general had not revealed plans for a large portion of the settlement money. Out of the total settlement, $378 million is still up in the air- most of that money belonging to the state of Florida. 

Extra Extra Monday: Quick hits, not so special education and preferential treatment for public officials

Welcome to IRE's roundup of the weekend’s many enterprise stories from around the country. We’ll highlight the document digging, field work and data
analysis that made their way into centerpieces in print, broadcast and online from coast to coast.

Did we miss some? Let us know.  Send us an email at web@ire.org or tweet to @IRE_NICAR. We’ll add it to the list and spread the word.

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth
CDC says is recommended ariel spraying weeks before planes launched
"Was Dallas County's health commissioner slow to react to a key piece of advice ...

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Tennessee developers reaping benefits of tax savings meant for farmers

"A joint investigation by the News Sentinel and its sister E.W. Scripps newspaper in Memphis, The Commercial Appeal, found that developers, industry, golf courses and many other savvy property owners across Tennessee are reaping dramatic tax savings — often paying pennies on the dollar — because a 1976 law to prevent farmers from being taxed off their land is full of loopholes and timidly enforced by many of the state's 95 assessors."

State, city program gives security guards police powers

For decades, they have added an extra layer of eyes and ears on the streets, supplementing the sworn police force at no cost to taxpayers and protecting some of Baltimore's most venerable institutions. But some of the officers have also faced lawsuits and resident complaints, leading city police to re-evaluate whether to continue the program. City and state police do not provide or require training to the special officers, do not monitor their actions and do not generally investigate complaints against them. Employers are responsible for oversight.

Paid to stay at home

The paper found the state regularly pays employees not to work, even as it faces gaping budget gaps and service cutbacks. Between 2007 and September of this year, the 2,033 employees put on paid leave have cost the state $23 million, according to a Tribune analysis of state data.