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Extra Extra Monday: Breaking the banks, assisted living, street gang recruiting and crowdsourced investigations

Breaking the Banks | Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“An investigation that began three years ago has found that at least half of Florida’s community banks failed because their leaders were greedy, arrogant, incompetent or sometimes corrupt. The newspaper obtained previously confidential state records that show how failed bankers broke the law, manipulated financial documents and gorged themselves on insider deals. These bank records had never before been collected by an American newspaper.”

Life and Death in Assisted living | ProPublica and Frontline
“More and more elderly Americans are choosing to spend their later years in assisted living facilities, which have sprung up as an alternative to nursing homes. But is this loosely regulated, multi-billion dollar industry putting seniors at risk? In a major investigation with ProPublica, FRONTLINE examines the operations of the nation’s largest assisted living company, raising questions about the drive for profits and fatal lapses in care.”

Alexandria Police Shield Information on Officer-Involved Shooting | Alexandria Gazette Packet
“No video. No audio. No transcripts. The Virginia Supreme Court operates in a total blackout. The Alexandria Gazette Packet exposes the shocking lack of transparency at the commonwealth's top court.”

Suffolk street gang said to be recruiting kids as young as 9 | NewsDay
“A North Bellport street gang that calls itself the "Natural Born Killers" is recruiting children as young as 9 years old to join the group, said residents and the head of the Suffolk County Legislature's public safety committee.”

ESU Foundation: Where did the $250G contribution go? | Pocono Record
The Pocono Record posted nearly 14,000 public documents (won in a protracted public records court battle) in a search for clues about what happened to money pledged to project at a public college. The effort paid off as a reader flagged a needle in the haystack.

U.S. allowed Italian kidnap prosecution to shield higher-ups, ex-CIA officer says | McClatchy
“A former CIA officer has broken the U.S. silence around the 2003 abduction of a radical Islamist cleric in Italy, charging that the agency inflated the threat the preacher posed and that the United States then allowed Italy to prosecute her and other Americans to shield President George W. Bush and other U.S. officials from responsibility for approving the operation.”

What happened with Khighla Parks? | The Springfield News-Leader
“The News-Leader looked at records from Missouri's Children's Division and found that the family of a girl whose body was found in Truman Lake in September had been repeatedly investigated for allegations including drug use by the girl's mother and inadequate supervision.”

Critics question billion-dollar tutoring program | Sacramento Bee
“A decade after schools were required to offer tutoring sessions by third-party vendors, an increasing number of school districts and researchers say the multibillion-dollar system is broken.”

U.S. Spends $24 Million On ‘Propaganda Plane' Few Can See or Hear | Foreign Policy
"For the last six years, the U.S. government has spent more than $24 million to fly a plane around Cuba and beam American-sponsored TV programming to the island's inhabitants. But every day the plane flies, the government in Havana jams its broadcast signal. Few, if any, Cubans can see what it broadcasts. "

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