Extra Extra

Extra Extra Monday: Unfilled prison staffs, overfilled fire departments, nonprofit political spending and gun laws

Center for Public Integrity
Nonprofit spends big on politics despite IRS limitation
“The American Future Fund’s investment in California was part of a nationwide, political advertising spree in 2012 that exceeded $29 million, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of state and federal records.”

The Boston Globe
Another free pass for Ivan the Incorrigible
“This long-running spree of crime has led US immigration officials to try, at least three times in the past 12 years, to detain and deport Vaclavik. But each time he has challenged the effort with a lawsuit — and each time immigration has backed off and set him free.”

The Portland Press Herald
Is the Portland Fire Department overstaffed?
“The newspaper's analysis of regional staffing levels indicates Portland is an outlier in New England, even among a sample of smaller communities, which tend to have more firefighters per capita. And that finding is supported by two national rankings -- an annual profile of U.S. fire departments and an independent ranking based on U.S. Census data released every five years -- that show Portland also is a large fire department compared to similarly sized communities nationwide.”

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 San Antonio Express-News
Failure to fill spots worsened jail staffing crisis
“The Bexar County Jail's staffing crisis has been exacerbated by chronic absenteeism among a handful of jailers that was mishandled by former Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz, forcing more deputies to work extra shifts and causing a huge increase in overtime costs.”

The Springfield News-Leader
Suspect in dumping of teen's body has been investigated before
“The Springfield ex-convict, now 48, became the subject of high media interest in the fall when police said he was seen with teenage runaway Khighla Parks shortly before she died. What went unreported, however, is that authorities have investigated Balbirnie in connection with rape or statutory rape of at least two other girls in the years before the death of Khighla, 15.”

The New York Times
Selling a new generation on guns
“Threatened by long-term declining participation in shooting sports, the firearms industry has poured millions of dollars into a broad campaign to ensure its future by getting guns into the hands of more, and younger, children.”

The Tampa Bay Times
Teen gunman Benjamin Bishop: Rage drove him to kill, gun laws were no obstacle
On Oct. 28, authorities say, Bishop used a 12-gauge shotgun — a weapon he obtained in spite of a criminal record and history of mental illness — to kill his mother and her boyfriend as they lay in bed. Detectives say he has confessed to the killings of Imari Shibata and Kelley Allen, both 49.

The Austin American Statesman
DPS exec gets extra pay under special deal
“The 43-year-old Kidd, a former district fire chief in San Antonio, appears on no state payroll. His state-furnished perks — including a vehicle and continuing contributions to his San Antonio retirement plan — are missing from the public list of those afforded other DPS officials.”

The Arizona Republic
Support for families lacking in state
“Legislators and child-welfare experts say the governor's plan is akin to treading water and will make the foster-care system bigger. They say it will do little to ease caseloads for CPS workers, reduce the time foster children spend in care, or improve the well-being of kids and families because it won't stem the flow of children coming into the system.”

The Salt Lake Tribune
Money trail in John Swallow saga leads to friend of Sen. Harry Reid
“The money trail in the alleged bribery scheme embroiling Utah Attorney General John Swallow now points to a Las Vegas lawyer who is a close friend of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Attorney Jay Brown has deep ties to the Nevada Democrat and is associated with a law firm that received money from Richard Rawle, the late Provo entrepreneur who participated in a deal with St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson.”

The Toledo Blade
UT agency's chief draws faculty fire
While the University of Toledo slashed millions from its budget, squeezed more tuition out of students, and increased class sizes, it also was funneling millions into its economic development arm and paying $1,200 a day to the man who manages that agency.

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