Extra Extra

Extra Extra Monday: Hospital wealth and worsening care conditions, congressional travel on foreign tabs and airline animal deaths

The San Antonio Express-News
Eagle Ford pay is high, but work can be fatal
"Since 2009, at least 11 employees working for drilling companies and spinoff industries in Eagle Ford Shale counties have suffered horrific deaths that could have been prevented, according to OSHA investigations obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."

New state law conceals records of abuse, neglect in nursing homes
"Families’ abilities to hold potentially negligent nursing facilities accountable have been diminished by a recent change in state law that bars records of abuse and neglect from use in the courts, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has found."

Gannett Wisconsin Media
Inspecting ambulances in Wisconsin is a one-man job
"A Gannett Wisconsin Media review of state inspection reports obtained under open-records law found 23 percent of the ambulances in Wisconsin violated at least one state requirement during the last two years, even though inspections typically are announced to emergency providers a week in advance. Those inspections are conducted by one State Patrol employee who is responsible for reviewing every ambulance in Wisconsin, traveling full-time in a cycle that brings him to each county every two years. The most common violations are easily fixed with a new light bulb, but more serious problems regularly go unchecked until the state inspection."

The Star Tribune
Appeals of denied permits get guns into questionable hands
"Since 2003, at least 299 Minnesotans deemed too dangerous or otherwise unfit for a gun-carry permit were able to obtain them on appeal to the sheriff or a judge, a Star Tribune analysis shows." 

The Arizona Republic
Arizona's troubled teens: At risk and overlooked
“Some of Arizona’s most severely troubled youths have reportedly been sexually and physically abused in residential treatment centers amid lax oversight by the state agencies that license, monitor, fund and assign children to the facilities, an Arizona Republic investigation has found.”

The Dallas Morning News
Parkland hospital built wealth as patient care conditions worsened
“Parkland Memorial Hospital quietly amassed more than $1 billion in cash reserves even as deteriorating patient-care conditions brought it to the brink of closure, an analysis of financial records shows.”

The Seattle Times
Putting a face on human trafficking
“As officials try to raise awareness about the existence of people who have been trafficked, a Seattle woman tells her unusual story. Her mother’s family was victimized by her father, a Ph.D. and concert violinist who worked with the U.N.”

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 Washington Post
Congressional staffers often travel on tabs of foreign governments
“A Washington Post examination of congressional disclosures revealed the extent of this congressional travel for the first time, finding that Hill staffers had reported taking 803 such trips in the six years ending in 2011.”

NBC Bay Area
Airline Animal Deaths Raise Concern
“After a five-month analysis of government documents, the NBC Bay Area Investigate Unit uncovered that in a six-year span 302 animals have died, been injured, or have disappeared in the care of commercial airlines.”

Austin American Statesman
Worker shortages drive calls for high school curriculum changes
“It is what much of Austin’s manufacturing looks and sounds like today. Advanced machinery producing precision products. A computer monitor at virtually every workstation. And a workforce with an increasingly advanced set of technical skills. The difficulty is finding workers with the skills to make it all go.”

Orange County Register
The bank, the school and the 38-year loan
“In early 2008, residents of Placentia and Yorba Linda approved a $200 million school construction bond after reading those fliers and being assured repeatedly that ‘their money will be spent wisely.’ What happened instead was that Measure A led to a debt so large and long lasting that it mortgaged the future of their children's children.”

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