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Extra Extra Monday: Dying elephants, Medicare loopholes and fracking our food supply

The Seattle Times
Glamour Beasts: The Dark Side of Elephant Captivity
“Zoos' efforts to preserve and propagate elephants have largely failed, both in Seattle and nationally. The infant-mortality rate for elephants in zoos is almost triple the rate in the wild.”

Food and Environment Reporting Network
Fracking our food supply
“In Pennsylvania, the oil and gas industry is already on a tear—drilling thousands of feet into ancient seabeds, then repeatedly fracturing (or “fracking”) these wells with millions of gallons of highly pressurized, chemically laced water, which shatters the surrounding shale and releases fossil fuels. New York, meanwhile, is on its own natural-resource tear, with hundreds of newly opened breweries, wineries, organic dairies and pastured livestock operations—all of them capitalizing on the metropolitan area’s hunger to localize its diet. But there’s growing evidence that these two impulses, toward energy and food independence, may be at odds with each other.”

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 something? Email tips to web@ire.org

The Orange County Register
For-profit education under fire
“For-profit colleges have been on the hot seat lately for collecting billions in revenue from federal student loans while too often leaving students saddled with debt and ill-equipped to get jobs. Half the students enrolled at the largest for-profit schools leave without a diploma within four months.  Corinthian Colleges is one of the companies under the spotlight. Its colleges charge some of the industry’s highest tuition and steer students into expensive private loans that half of them eventually default on.”

The Miami Herald
Nevin Shapiro’s two roles: Miami Hurricanes sugar daddy, pseudo agent
“As judgment day nears for UM, Nevin Shapiro’s dual roles — illicit benefactor and pseudo sports agent — are coming into focus.”

The Tennessean
DCS withholds files on child deaths
“The Department of Children’s Services continues to withhold details about the children’s lives and deaths and what steps the state’s $650 million child protection agency took — or did not take — to protect them.”

The Tampa Bay Times
Preacher who closed school after whipping investigation again caring for boys
“But what is now called Truth Baptist Academy is not licensed as a children's home or accredited as a boarding school. None of the state agencies that oversee such facilities were aware the church was caring for children.”

KUOW
Sea Trial Leaves Shell's Arctic Oil-Spill Gear "Crushed Like A Beer Can"
Shell Oil and federal regulators have been tight-lipped about a failed test of the energy giant's Arctic oil-spill equipment in Washington state. But a freedom-of-information request by KUOW reveals what happened beneath the surface of Puget Sound.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Fake medical providers slip through Medicare loophole
“For years, officials at the agency that administers Medicare have known that fraudsters sign up as health care providers using UPS Store mailboxes and other post office box like addresses as their location. But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it lacks the technology to identify these locations because they look like legitimate street addresses, not like the easily identified post office box addresses.”

CNN
Questions surround $55 million program to cut violence in Chicago
CNN Senior Investigative Producer Scott Zamost and Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin reveal that money spent on a $54.5 million anti-violence program in Chicago paid for teens to hand out fliers, go to museums, yoga class and march in a parade with the governor. The program was announced the month before Quinn was elected.

The Argus Leader
Hospital Helicopters: Worth the Cost?
The Argus Leader reviewed Medicare billing data for three hospital helicopter services in South Dakota and found that just 3 percent of flights were for accidents. The overwhelming majority of the flights were for hospital transfers. Critics say helicopters, which costs thousands per flight, are being used when cheaper ground ambulance services would work.

Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
13th Grade: How Florida Schools Are Failing To Prepare Graduates For College
"Florida’s K-12 public education system has graduated hundreds of thousands of students in the past decade who couldn’t read, write or solve math problems well enough to take some college-level courses."

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