Extra Extra

Extra Extra Roundup: Tax delinquency, wrongful foreclosure, false confessions and school abuse

Center for Investigative Reporting
VA’s ability to quickly provide benefits plummets under Obama
“Internal VA documents, obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting and authenticated by the agency, reveal that delays newly returning veterans face before receiving disability compensation and other benefits are far longer than the agency has publicly acknowledged. The documents also offer insight into some of the reasons for those delays.”

The Houston Chronicle
Pasadena Superfund site's owner indicted, missing
“In reality, prosecutors said, he is a polluter responsible for a 17-acre disaster - hundreds of dumpsters and concrete tanks vaporizing hazardous chemicals into the air, the worst spoils of the petrochemical industry draining into Vince Bayou in Pasadena.”

L.A. Weekly
Wells Fargo Typo Victim Dies in Court
“Delassus and his attorney did not discover until May 2010 that a mis-entered number had dragged Delassus into this spiral. As court documents obtained by L.A. Weekly show, after admitting its error, Wells Fargo foreclosed on Delassus anyway and sold his condo.”

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 Chicago Tribune
Polygraphs and false confessions in Chicago
“A Tribune investigation finds that Chicago police have long ignored voluntary standards for polygraph exams, even as those methods and the examiners themselves have factored into cases costing the city millions of dollars in damages.”

The New York Times
Share of Homes With Guns Shows 4-Decade Decline
“The rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 35 percent in the 2000s, suggesting a shift in demographics even as the debate over gun control remains contentious.”

The Washington Post
F-35’s ability to evade budget cuts illustrates challenge of paring defense spending
“The reasons for the F-35’s relative immunity are a stark illustration of why it is so difficult to cut the country’s defense spending. Lockheed Martin has spread the work across 45 states — critics call it “political engineering” — which in turn has generated broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.”

San Jose Mercury News
School abuse reporting: Training murky despite horrifying cases, survey finds
“As news emerged over the past year of three horrifying abuse cases in Bay Area schools, one common thread linked them: In Brentwood, Moraga and San Jose, school officials knew enough to suspect vulnerable children were being harmed, but failed in their legal duty to alert authorities. Now, a survey by the Bay Area News Group of 94 local school districts reveals the problem of haphazard compliance with child abuse laws is far larger than those three errant districts.”

The Oregonian
Oregon Energy Department re-evaluating $30 million in tax credits to wind farm
“The Oregon Department of Energy says it is re-examining its recent approval of $30 million in tax credits to the Shepherd's Flat wind farm in eastern Oregon, and has consulted the Department of Justice. An analysis by The Oregonian suggests there may be grounds under state rules to revoke the credits.”

The Miami Herald
Deep trouble: How sea-rise could cause havoc in South Florida
“The maps were intended to show how rising sea levels threaten some of Miami-Dade County’s most vital facilities. If they prove anywhere close to accurate, the fate of three major sewage plants would represent only the tip of a hulking, hugely expensive iceberg of concerns for South Florida.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Ravaged by Neglect
“Philadelphia's failure to enforce tax law has diminished both quality of life and property values. A single ruinous, tax-delinquent house in the working-class 4400 block of North Orianna Street in the city's Feltonville section has lowered the value of the homes within 500 feet by a total of $38,000, a new analysis finds.”

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