Extra Extra

Extra Extra Monday: Peace Corps medical care, homeless students in the suburbs, license plate cameras

Trail of medical missteps in a Peace Corps death | The New York Times

A Peace Corps spokeswoman called Nick Castle’s death, from a gastrointestinal illness, “a tragic experience.” To examine its own conduct, the agency took the unusual step of engaging an outside American expert, whose report concluded that despite medical missteps by a Peace Corps doctor who missed signs of serious illness, Mr. Castle’s death could not have been prevented.

But the story of his death — pieced together from interviews and confidential reports and documents, including his autopsy — raises serious questions about Peace Corps medical care and how the agency responded to a volunteer’s dangerous illness. Three months before he died, Mr. Castle suffered gastrointestinal problems and complained to his Peace Corps doctor of worrisome weight loss, but he received scant follow-up care.


Shocking increase of homeless students in suburbs | The Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)

In Northwest suburban Cook County, which includes high school districts 207, 211 and 214, there are 55 percent more homeless students than two years ago. In DuPage and Lake counties the numbers have risen by more than 35 percent.

Experts attribute the higher numbers to a slow economic recovery, job loss, divorce, death of a parent or other family dysfunction, but they also say schools are doing a better job identifying homeless kids. Driving that is the McKinney-Vento Act, which requires schools to track their homeless students, provide assistance and connect families to community services.


New York knows where your license plate goes | The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY)

In a crime-fighting tactic that sets civil libertarians' teeth on edge, police in Monroe County and other urban counties across New York state are collecting and archiving tens of millions of records that track vehicle movement. The records are stored in a series of loosely connected secure computer servers, accessible directly or indirectly by police from one end of New York to the other and by federal Homeland Security officials. Each of the records, which are gathered by license plate cameras mounted on police cars or at fixed locations, includes a photograph and the time and place that a particular vehicle was imaged. Strung together, the records can paint a picture of where a person has traveled — whether to the scene of a crime, a doctor's office or to church.


Assisted living homes’ new management has troubled history of its own | Green Bay Press-Gazette

New managers hired to oversee daily operations at a chain of troubled assisted living homes in the Green Bay area previously sold off dozens of their own facilities amid abuse and neglect charges linked to resident deaths, according to records obtained by Press-Gazette Media.

Country Healthcare Inc. owner Debra Tegge contracted Madison-based Arete Senior Concepts in February to manage her properties after state inspectors found repeated incidents of abuse and neglect occurring under her leadership.


Hospital documents directly contradict district attorney | WVUE – New Orleans and The Times-Picayune

St. Tammany Parish Hospital has handed over records to us that spell out its working arrangement with the district attorney's office - a $30,000-a-year arrangement.

The records show the arrangement was with the district attorney's office as a public institution - but Walter Reed has been depositing that money into his own checking account.


Hundreds of vets died or injured under VA care, data shows | KNBC – Los Angeles

Hundreds of veterans suffered harm or died from medical mistakes termed "adverse events" while receiving care from the Department of Veterans Affairs last year, according to new data obtained by NBC.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, NBC found 575 of the estimated 6 million patients annually treated by the department were affected by adverse events, up 74 percent from 330 in 2010.  The VA did not disclose details or individual outcomes.


State senator calls for criminal probe of Bay Bridge construction problems | The Sacramento Bee

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is calling for a criminal investigation into construction problems on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and said the release this week of a Senate investigative report will show how the California Department of Transportation knowingly accepted substandard work at taxpayer expense.

The report also confirms a June investigation by The Sacramento Bee that revealed how Caltrans knowingly accepted flawed, potentially hazardous work by a Chinese firm that welded most of the new suspension span roadway and tower, DeSaulnier said.


Searching for the unforgotten | The Boston Globe

Among the many illegal migrants who die crossing the southern US border, hundreds are never identified, buried without ceremony, casket, or name. Connecting the dead with those who mourn them is the mission of a cadre of college students, who aren’t about politics but about dignity — for people like Santos Interiano, who crossed into Texas a year ago and simply vanished.


State AG's office: Workers comp commission actions based on 'incorrect' advice | The Tulsa World

The state Attorney General’s Office says it gave “incorrect” advice related to the Open Meeting Act to members of the state Workers Compensation Commission, raising questions about whether the agency’s recent layoffs of 16 employees and other actions in past meetings are valid.

Aaron Cooper, a spokesman for Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said Pruitt’s office reviewed issues raised in a Tulsa World investigation of the commission.


City Hall watchdog launches sweeping probe into red light camera program | The Chicago Tribune

City Hall’s top watchdog announced Friday he has launched a sweeping probe of the city's besieged red light camera program in response to a Tribune investigation that found suspicious ticket spikes at dozens of intersections throughout the city.

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson said his office will examine the shortcomings exposed by the Tribune’s reporting to ensure the program is run “more efficiently, fairly, and in a manner fully deserving of the public’s trust.”


Public housing official paid contractor for work husband did | The Center for Investigative Reporting

Sidney “Sid” Holter isn't licensed with the state to do contracting work with public agencies. On the housing authority’s official records, his name never appears as an agency contractor. But he does have a connection to the housing authority. His wife, Debra Holter, is the agency’s maintenance manager and issued the contract for the work her husband performed.

The Richmond Police Department opened a corruption investigation into Debra Holter last week after CIR began asking top city officials about her husband’s work. She’s on administrative leave, according to the city.

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