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Extra Extra Monday: Nebraska releases prisoners early; Koch brothers hold secret summit; Missile defense system proves unreliable
$40-billion missile defense system proves unreliable | Los Angeles Times
The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, was supposed to protect Americans against a chilling new threat from "rogue states" such as North Korea and Iran. But a decade after it was declared operational, and after $40 billion in spending, the missile shield cannot be relied on, even in carefully scripted tests that are much less challenging than an actual attack would be, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found.
The Missile Defense Agency has conducted 16 tests of the system's ability to intercept a mock enemy warhead. It has failed in eight of them, government records show.
Nebraska prison doors open too soon | Omaha World-Herald
The examination of prison records revealed that Nebraska Department of Correctional Services officials had released or were set to release dozens of prisoners years before their sentences were supposed to end.
All told, state officials had carved at least 750 years off the collective sentences of more than 200 of the state’s worst criminals. The problem: The department was using a formula that doesn’t square with how sentences should be calculated.
After The World-Herald revealed its findings Friday to Corrections Director Michael Kenney, he immediately directed staff to recalculate the sentences. He said he had been unaware of the problem.
Friends want probe of 77-year-old's death after arrest | Springfield News-Leader
Branson residents are questioning why city police arrested a 77-year-old man with health problems on an Arkansas bad check warrant from 1996 and held him in jail for five days.
Shortly after his release from Taney County Jail, Evans E. Ray was found dead in his home. It's unclear how long he was deceased in the home before he was found.
Uncertified teachers in NY state classrooms | Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, N.Y.)
The New York State Education Department’s most recent list of teachers whose credentials do not match their teaching assignments includes 4,280 assignments in more than 1,100 schools across the state, a Central New York Media Group review of state education records found.
While employing an unqualified teacher is a misdemeanor in New York, the state Education Department does almost nothing to crack down on instances where districts sidestep certification rules. The Education Department notifies school districts of instances where teachers may lack proper credentials, but its involvement ends there. Some school districts take action to fix the problem, and others do not.
Secret Summit: 24 hours with the Koch brothers | inewsource.org
Last weekend and into today, the billionaire Koch brothers and supporters converged on the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point. This columned, luxury compound, little more than an hour north of San Diego, has 400 rooms, a spa, a golf course, a private beach and six restaurants. Staff confirmed the entire hotel — including food and beverage service — had been bought out for a special event.
An event so secret it had a code name on the schedule: “T&R Sales Meeting.”
Hotel guests who weren’t part of the conference — including two inewsource reporters who stayed the night Friday — were escorted out of the hotel by security on Saturday afternoon.
Kids with no vaccinations clustered in some schools | The Columbus Dispatch
Some Ohio schools might as well have a target painted on the side of the building as far as public-health experts are concerned.
In some schools in the state, as many as 1 in 3 incoming kindergartners and newly enrolled older students have parents who oppose vaccines, according to a Dispatch analysis of schools’ immunization counts.
Bottom line is more than meets the eyes | The Virginian-Pilot
In one of the most recent releases, Medicare published data about payments to physicians and for outpatient services.
Dr. Alan Wagner’s name stuck out.
According to the records, in 2012, he collected upward of $6 million from the government insurance for seniors, the second-highest amount among nearly 20,000 physicians and other individual providers listed in Virginia. Only a Richmond-based radiologist specializing in minimally invasive procedures ranked higher, receiving $8.2 million from Medicare.
St. Clair County doles out more than $3.3 million in settlements behind closed doors | News-Democrat (Belleville, IL)
More than $3.3 million in legal settlements have been approved behind closed doors in St. Clair County in the past 10 years -- possibly in violation of the state's Sunshine laws.
The settlements range from $900,000 to a teenage boy allegedly sexually abused at the county's Juvenile Detention Center to $1,000 to a person claiming injuries when placed under arrest by sheriff's deputies. The county admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlements. County officials released the settlements to the News-Democrat following a request through the Freedom of Information Act.