Extra Extra

Extra Extra Monday: buried in grain, wired for waste, immigrants in solitary cells and democracy denied

Buried in Grain | NPR, Center for Public Integrity
“Nearly 180 people — including 18 teenagers — have been killed in grain-related entrapments at federally regulated facilities across 34 states since 1984, records show. Their employers were issued a total of $9.2 million in fines, though regulators later reduced the penalties overall by 59 percent. Read about the incidents here.”

Wired for Waste | Charleston Gazette
“In 2010, West Virginia received a $126 million federal stimulus grant to bring high-speed Internet across the state. The Gazette is scrutinizing the state's stimulus spending in an ongoing series of reports.”

A gulf family’s oil troubles | Reuters
“At its peak around five years ago, the Al Sari family owned the largest independent oil trader in the Gulf region, with branches in London and Singapore, and a fleet of dozens of ships. These days, its FAL Oil Co trades more in controversy than oil.”

Gun deaths shaped by race in America | The Washington Post
“Analysis of data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows new view on how race forges the experience of gun deaths in America, and how that shapes opinions on the threat posed by guns and gun policy.”

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

Comp time empty promise for MDOC prison guards | Clarion Ledger
“Mississippi Department of Corrections officials insist their comp time policies are legal and, indeed, authorized by the Mississippi Personnel Board. But at face value, the resulting system has required 25 prison guards to work more than 1,000 extra hours for free, according to a Clarion-Ledger analysis of MDOC records.”

Gambling firms drove flawed Minnesota e-pulltab funding plan | Star Tribune
“The botched projections showing that electronic pulltab sales would explode in Minnesota and immediately start paying for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium were based largely on estimates made by gambling businesses with a vested interest in the new but untested form of charitable gaming, the Star Tribune has found.”

Immigrants held in solitary cells, often for weeks | The New York  Times
“New federal data shows that on any given day, about 300 immigrants are held in solitary confinement at Immigration and Customs Enforcement centers, a practice psychiatrists worry is overly punitive.”

Democracy Denied | The Chicago Tribune
"In Illinois, those in power are allowed to kick challengers off the ballot, meaning voters don’t get a say on Election Day. The Chicago Tribune examined the system that allows this – it is actually supposed to ensure election integrity – and found scores of candidates removed from ballots over relatively minor paperwork issues, such as a loose paperclip or a missing word on a form. The newspaper found panels of decision makers often had a political interest in their ruling."

Watching Tony Die | KPNX 12 News-Phoenix
"Investigative Reporter Wendy Halloran, KPNX 12 News-Phoenix (NBC) was finally able to provide the most accurate depiction of what happened to severely mentally ill prisoner Tony Lester. It’s a story the Arizona Department of Corrections did not want you to see. The DOC did everything in its power to keep Halloran from obtaining a video that shows how correctional officers responded to the suicide of Lester. The DOC spent $26,000 of taxpayer money to keep it hidden from public scrutiny. Halloran and KPNX filed a lawsuit against the department. A Superior Court judge ruled the DOC had wrongfully denied Halloran’s public records requests."

Plea deals undermine Nevada gun laws | Reno Gazette-Journal
"As federal and state officials across the country debate new gun laws, I created a database to see how offenders are prosecuted at the federal level under the current gun laws. I found that plea deals and weak indictments have led to relatively lenient sentences."

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