Extra Extra

Extra Extra Monday: Public schools lose millions to crooks, radon hotbeds, campaign-finance funded luxury

Center for Investigative Reporting/Esquire
The Shooter
"The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care."

The Tampa Bay Times
Public schools lose millions to crooks and cheaters
“Axson's case points to a larger problem with mandated tutoring in Florida: The program pays public money to people with criminal records, and to cheaters and profiteers who operate virtually unchecked by state regulators.”
Lobbying preserved millions for Florida tutoring companies
"Every year for nearly a decade, private tutoring companies have made millions in Florida because the federal government required school districts to hire them. That was in danger of changing last February, when the state won freedom from mandated private instruction for poor children in the state's worst schools.But the tutoring industry wasn't letting go without a fight."

KPNX 12 Phoenix
Raked Over the Coals
Investigative Reporter Wendy Halloran exposed unethical conduct by members of the Phoenix Fire Department’s Fire Investigations Unit. Arson investigators are caught trying to manipulate the arson dog while investigating a house fire. The Phoenix Fire Department boasts the highest arson clearance rates in the country. Did they arrest a woman for arson with faked evidence? Arson investigators, under oath, testified the arson dog is far superior than any crime lab. But they never showed this video to the Grand Jury. And the City of Phoenix refuses to talk about it. Barbara Sloan says they’re trying to railroad innocent people into prison.

The Center for Public Integrity
Current gun debate may not help beleaguered ATF
"So for now, the bureau remains systematically hobbled by purposeful restrictions, flimsy laws, impotent leadership and paltry budgets. And it’s not at all clear there’s anything on the horizon that would change that situation."

Milwaukee Journal Constitution
ATF's Milwaukee 'Fearless' storefront had little to ward off burglars
“Who would imagine the thieves would have unfettered access to the place for three days, propping open the door with a shoe and returning the next day with a moving truck to finish the job?”

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

USA Today
Ex-House members spend campaign money after they depart
"Former House members are spending their leftover money to pay for everything from luxury cars to foundations that bear their names, a USA TODAY review of new campaign-finance reports shows. The practice is legal but raises questions among government watchdogs about whether these accounts are used as political slush funds."

The News Tribune
Army won't release details of report on Madigan hospital
"Army leaders insist they have fixed flaws in Madigan Army Medical Center’s behavioral-health department that resulted in the misdiagnoses of hundreds of patients. But they have refused to release reports that could substantiate their findings and shed light on what happened at the Army hospital last year."

The Star Tribune
Minnesota is a hotbed for radioactive gas radon
"More than 40 percent of Minnesota home radon tests conducted in the past 13 years show unsafe levels of the radioactive gas, according to a Star Tribune analysis of state records. Yet Minnesota has no mandatory radon testing of homes, schools or day care centers; no requirement that homeowners test for radon before selling a house; and weaker real estate disclosure rules than some leading states."

ProPublica
Will Democrats sell your political opinions to credit card companies?
"For years, state Democratic parties have been gathering information about individual voters' political leanings. They have noted down the opinions voters shared with canvassers — which candidates they said they supported or their positions on policy issues. Now, the record of what people told Democratic volunteers may go up for sale — and not just to political groups.

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