Extra Extra

Extra Extra Monday: Minority students, superintendent pay, college degrees, sexual assault on campus

AFA superintendent calls for investigation of athletic transgressions | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)

U.S. Air Force Academy cadet athletes flouted the sacred honor code by committing sexual assaults, taking drugs, cheating and engaging in other misconduct at wild parties while the service academy focused on winning bowl games and attracting money from alumni and private sources in recent years, a Gazette investigation has found.

The findings are egregious enough that academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson told The Gazette that she has called for an Inspector General’s investigation of the athletic department.


Few Central Texas campus sexual assaults reach police | Austin American-Statesman

When University of Texas police officers escorted two football players to jail 10 days ago on sexual assault charges, the case served as a public example of how seriously officials took a woman’s claim and the speed with which detectives conducted a full-scale investigation.

Yet on the campus of more than 50,000 students, and within the Travis County criminal justice system, the arrests came in striking contrast to the way sexual assault allegations typically play out at Central Texas colleges and universities.


Springfield's minority students outpace teachers | The Springfield News-Leader

Nearly one out of every five Springfield students is now a minority.

But the possibility that those students will have a teacher or another adult in the building who looks like them is fairly slim.

Only 200 — or 5 percent — of all Springfield Public Schools teachers and staff are minorities.


Madison Co. airport study: Big money, secrecy | The Clarion-Ledger

An airport feasibility and site selection study set in motion a secret spending spree — by a publicly supported agency — on a project whose legitimacy is suspect and whose principal always seems to be at the front of the line when Madison County spends big bucks on engineering fees.

Executed in executive session without any public input, “Project Phoenix,” the code name given to the study, has operated in total anonymity.


Case shut, questions linger about investigators in Murdock murders | Omaha World-Herald

It has been eight years since Wayne and Sharmon Stock were slain in their rural Murdock, Nebraska, home by shotgun-wielding teenagers on a drug-fueled crime spree. The criminal case is closed, the lawsuits are over, and the killers sit in prison.

Still, a mystery lingers: If the four investigators other than Kofoed did nothing wrong, why did their employers agree to a nearly $2.5 million settlement?


Long Island school superintendents top state educators' pensions | Newsday

Long Island school superintendents, retired or still working, are receiving the highest pensions among New York State educators -- benefits that can reach more than $300,000 a year, state records show.

Nineteen of 20 educators receiving the highest pensions statewide, and 34 of the top 50, served as schools chiefs in Nassau or Suffolk counties, according to New York State Teachers' Retirement System data obtained by Newsday under a Freedom of Information Law request.


Killer deals: Jackson leads all counties in probation for second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter | The Kansas City Star

Jackson County gave twice as many probation sentences for voluntary manslaughter as all of Missouri’s other circuit courts combined, The Kansas City Star learned by analyzing state data from 2009 through 2013. The county is also generous in giving probation to those convicted of second-degree murder.

Few city students get college degrees | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY)

According to newly released data, of all the city students who get their high school diploma and enroll in college, fewer than one out of 10 manages to get a college degree. Factoring in separate data on those who never make it to college, barely one in 40 Rochester ninth-graders ends up with an associate's or bachelor's degree.


Poverty spreads across Mecklenburg, North Carolina | The Charlotte Observer

U.S. Census Bureau estimates released in late June show that North Carolina had the country’s largest increase in the percentage of people living in distressed neighborhoods, more than doubling in the decade since 2000.

In Mecklenburg, 1 in 4 residents lived in distressed neighborhoods in 2010, up from 1 in 10 in 2000, the Observer found. These neighborhoods have at least 20 percent of residents living below the federally established poverty level – for a family of four, a yearly household income of $23,850 or less.


Fewer black Georgians sent to prison | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Substantially fewer African-Americans are being locked up in Georgia, a remarkable and historic change in a state that has long packed its prisons with disproportionate numbers of black offenders.


Florida jury rules man with low IQ not guilty in ATF sting | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

From running an undercover gun-buying operation near a school to ensnaring people with mental disabilities, afederal storefront sting run in Florida bore a strong resemblance to other flawed ATF operations nationwide.

But one of those cases turned out very differently.

In the wake of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports exposing the agency's use of people with disabilities in such operations, the attorney for one defendant went to trial and made the difficult-to-prove argument that her client was entrapped by agents.


Denver pays millions to settle abuse claims against police and sheriff | The Denver Post

Nearly $13 million of the $16.7 million paid out by the city of Denver to settle legal claims in the past decade involved the police and sheriff departments, a Denver Post analysis has found.

Fifty-eight percent of that total payout was for cases where excessive force or civil rights violations were at issue.


Arizona slow to spend aid for housing | The Arizona Republic

More than $35 million held in a fund created to help Arizonans hurt by bad lending and foreclosure tactics remains unspent more than two years after a landmark mortgage settlement with major banks.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has spent 28 percent, or more than $13 million, of the $49 million in National Mortgage Settlement money under his control, through late July. Spending has accelerated this summer, according to an Arizona Republic review.


Drillers did not report half of spills that led to fines | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Half the spills at Marcellus Shale well sites that resulted in fines weren’t spotted by gas companies, which are required by state law to look for and report spills of drilling-related fluids.

That is one of the main conclusions of a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review of hundreds of thousands of state and company documents for every incident at a Marcellus well site that led to a fine against a driller through the end of 2012.


The Prosecutor and the Snitch | The Marshall Project

New evidence has revived questions about Cameron Todd Willingham’s guilt: In taped interviews, Webb, who has previously both recanted and affirmed his testimony, gives his first detailed account of how he lied on the witness stand in return for efforts by the former prosecutor, John H. Jackson, to reduce Webb’s prison sentence for robbery and to arrange thousands of dollars in support from a wealthy Corsicana rancher. Newly uncovered letters and court files show that Jackson worked diligently to intercede for Webb after his testimony and to coordinate with the rancher, Charles S. Pearce Jr., to keep the mercurial informer in line.


Why Recalled Cars Stay on the Road | The Wall Street Journal

A Wall Street Journal analysis found that the auto recall process often takes longer than it's supposed to. Federal regulators often miss internal time targets for how long it's supposed to take them to complete an investigation. They missed those goals in more than 70% of the recalls the Journal examined. Auto makers can challenge federal investigations and drag out the recall process if they're resistant to a recall. Auto makers can ultimately challenge recalls in court. It takes over a year to start investigating, recall, and start fixing a vehicle more than 1/3 of the time. In one in 10 cases, it takes longer than two years.

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