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Extra Extra Monday: Motorcycle novelty helmets, secrets of the gulf oil spill and unregulated day cares

How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators | MSNBC
“One avenue of investigation is already closed off to forensic officials working the Boston Marathon bombing case due to efforts dating back decades by the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.”

What BP Doesn’t Want You to Know About the 2010 Gulf Spill | Newsweek
“What has not been revealed until now is how BP hid that massive amount of oil from TV cameras and the price that this “disappearing act” imposed on cleanup workers, coastal residents, and the ecosystem of the gulf. That story can now be told because an anonymous whistleblower has provided evidence that BP was warned in advance about the safety risks of attempting to cover up its leaking oil”

As Firearm Ownership Rises, Florida Gun Murders Increasing | Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
“Murders by firearms have increased dramatically in the state since 2000, when there were 499 gun murders, according to data from Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Gun murders have since climbed 38 percent — with 691 murders committed with guns in 2011.”

Booming Sales of Novelty Helmets Boost Toll of Motorcycle Deaths | Fair Warning
“Even as more than 800,000 novelty helmets are sold in the U.S. every year, and as motorcycle crash deaths mount, federal regulators have never acted with urgency to crack down on the popular but flawed headgear. Proposals to limit sales of the novelty helmets have been delayed over and over again.”

Texas fertilizer company didn't heed disclosure rules before blast | Reuters
“A person familiar with DHS operations said the company that owns the plant, West Fertilizer, did not tell the agency about the potentially explosive fertilizer as it is required to do, leaving one of the principal regulators of ammonium nitrate - which can also be used in bomb making - unaware of any danger there.”

Watchdog report: Is the old Kodak dump safe? | Democrat and Chronicle

“For nearly three decades, Eastman Kodak Co. buried tons of radioactive waste at a company-owned site along Weiland Road in Greece. The low-level waste, most of which will remain radioactive for billions of years, is still there at Eastman Business Park, in a now-closed landfill bordered on two sides by houses and apartments. Route 390 and Latona Road separate the site from more residential neighborhoods to the west. But the landfill receives virtually no government oversight.”

Many DAs, judges, lawmakers stay in office after DWIs | American-Statesman
An American-Statesman analysis shows that, unlike Cole, other district attorneys, as well as judges and elected officials, have chosen to remain in office after their DWIs. In some cases, they have tried to separate their professional work from their personal mistakes. When Tarrant County state District Judge Elizabeth Berry was arrested for drinking and driving in 2008, other judges handled her DWI cases until charges against her were dropped, recalled Warren St. John, then president of the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

The Hell of American Day Care | New Republic
“In the United States, despite the fact that work and family life has changed profoundly in recent decades, we lack anything resembling an actual child care system. Excellent day cares are available, of course, if you have the money to pay for them and the luck to secure a spot. But the overall quality is wildly uneven and barely monitored, and at the lower end, it’s Dickensian.”

NRA spends record money on lobbying this year | Center for Public Integrity
“As gun control debates raged in Congress early this year, the National Rifle Association increased its federal government lobbying expenditures to record levels, new filings with the U.S. Senate indicate.”

Billing puts psychiatrist in two places at once; Minnesota alleges false billing | The Star Tribune
“A psychiatrist working in state mental health hospitals engaged in a pattern of false billing claims while collecting more than $430,000 in payments beyond his base salary over three years, according to investigative documents obtained by the Star Tribune. Dr. Robert B. Jones, who oversaw psychiatric care for hundreds of patients across Minnesota’s northern region, billed the state for services while he was actually working at his private medical practice and his family farm, according to findings documented in three investigators’ reports. As a result, investigators concluded, patients under state care likely failed to receive the treatment they needed.”

 

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