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Extra Extra Monday: National Guard cronyism, forfeiture abuse, a web of lawyers

Racial bias, cronyism tearing apart N.J. National Guard, senior officers allege | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The New Jersey National Guard prides itself on rigor and readiness, and, from its sprawling base southeast of Trenton, its members became a beacon of help after Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy ravaged portions of the state. But internal records obtained by NJ Advance Media show the Guard now faces a storm of its own, with at least four senior officers, including two top minorities, alleging a "toxic command climate," fueled by racial discrimination and retaliatory actions.

Iowa forfeiture: A ‘system ...

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Seafood workers held against their will may be catching the fish you eat

Following a year-long investigation, the AP has uncovered an intricate web of slave-caught seafood. Reporters spoke with more than 40 current and former slaves in Benjina, an island village in Indonesia, and, with the help of a sympathetic worker, the AP was able to capture footage of workers being held against their will, in cages, barely big enough to lay down in.

The slave-caught fish can wind up in the supply chains of some of America's major grocery stores, such as Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway; the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart; and the biggest food distributor, Sysco. It can ...

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Municipal courts are well-oiled money machine

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigated the municipal court system and found a money-driven system favoring connections and cash over justice.

The report reveals the system is set up to operate in secret and to direct business to lawyers. It expands on the Department of Justice’s findings that Ferguson’s police department acted as a collection agency for a "constitutionally deficient" court.

To read the full story, click here.

Oregon man commits no crime, but held in jail for 900 days

A material witness in a murder case has been held in jail pending trial for nearly 900 days, according to a report by The Oregonian. Benito Vasquez-Hernandez, 58, spends his days like any other inmate at Washington County Jail, despite the fact he’s not charged with any crime.

The death of baby Ada Mae and the tragic effects of veteran addiction

A Veterans Affairs office's penchant for over-prescribing painkillers did more than spread addiction. It was the root of dozens of tragedies that scarred the region around Tomah, Wisconsin.

Reveal dug into the death of six-week-old Ada Mae. The horse and buggy she was cradled in with her family was struck in 2009 by a Dodge Caravan, the driver of which was a Marine Corps veteran high on painkillers and tranquilizers from the Tomah VA.

The investigation unravels the widespread addiction problem among veterans and details the collateral damage.

For the full report, click here.

Extra Extra Round-up: Whistleblowing farmers, no oversight for IT contractors, and grand jury investigating landfill contractor

Cock Fight: Meet the Farmer Blowing the Whistle on Big Chicken | Fusion

Craig Watts is a chicken farmer – and now, a whistleblower. Fusion documented Watts’ journey, from his struggle to speak out to the reaction of his employers: Perdue Farms. Two months after going public with his grievances, Watts says he has been visited 26 times by company representatives and even placed on a “performance improvement plan.” Meanwhile, the majority of chicken farmers live at or below the poverty line, four companies control more than half of the industry, and animals are subjected to insufferable living conditions.

Assault of Central ...

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After report, prosecutors charge man in connection with real estate fraud scheme

Prosecutors have charged a man in connection with a widespread real estate fraud scheme detailed in reports by KSHB-Kansas City.

Willis L. Watson, 35, faces nine different counts of felony forgery and theft, according to KSHB’s latest report.

Reporter Ryan Kath found that someone had been stealing homes by forging signature of both the living and the dead. Often, he found, the homeowners had no idea.

Kath discussed the investigation as part of IRE’s "Behind the Story" and "Story Shorts" series. 

911 location data severely lacking in some areas

In an era when your mobile phone can tell Facebook, Uber or even video games where you're located – with amazing accuracy – 911 operators are often left in the dark. Your chance of 911 getting a quick fix on location ranges from as low as 10% to as high as 95%, according to hundreds of pages of local, state and federal documents obtained and reviewed by USA TODAY and more than 40 Gannett newspapers and television stations across the country.

High-profile San Diego lawyer investigated for questionable real estate transactions

Cory Briggs, a San Diego-based lawyer, may have been involved in fraudulent land deals, according to an inewsource investigation.

The most notable transactions include two $1.5 million dollar deeds of trust - liens against a property - that were nearly three times more than the actual value of the homes, according to the investigation.

When confronted about the allegations, Briggs threatened to call the police if reporters didn't leave his office.