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Officials were warned about dangers of Wash. mudslide area

Snohomish County officials in a 2010 report were warned that neighborhoods along the Stillaguamish River were ranked “as one of the highest risk areas for deadly and destructive landslides," according to The Seattle Times.

The document contradicts claims from an emergency-management official that the area “was considered very safe” and that the slide “came out of nowhere.”

The Times also found state records showing that the plateau that gave way Saturday had been logged for almost a century. Scientists in recent decades had warned that the slope was becoming unstable and could potentially lead to calamity.

More coverage: Before and ...

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More Marines from Calif. base have died back home than in the war-torn Middle East

Since 2007, 28 Marines from the base in Twentynine Palms in southern San Bernardino County, Calif. have died in off-duty vehicle accidents, a rate higher than at other Marine Corps bases.

The Desert Sun examined each of these deaths during a yearlong investigation of non-hostile military fatalities in the desert. The paper analyzed thousands of pages of accident reports, autopsies and internal military reports, interviewed combat veterans, police and sheriff's deputies, scientists and doctors, and dozens of the many Marines and their families based at Twentynine Palms.

The story is part of a three-day series. Part two focuses on ...

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Jared Remy took advantage of court system

Jared Remy had glided through his first five criminal cases, but prosecutors thought the sixth one would be different.

Compared to what he had been charged with in the past — beating and choking his ex-girlfriend while she held their baby, cracking a friend over the head with a beer bottle in a jealous fit, elbowing and cursing out a police officer — the case that landed in Lowell District Court in January 2001 seemed minor: Threatening to commit a crime.

But for the first time, prosecutors had a victim willing to testify against Remy, son of one of the most beloved ...

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DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer spent county funds on herself

DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, a crusader for cutting government spending, has rung up thousands of dollars in personal purchases on her county Visa card.

The purchases include airline tickets bought during times the commissioner and her husband were having financial problems, an investigative by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found.

Hampton Roads Child Fatality Review Team lacks power, support

State law has always limited the way the Hampton Roads Child Fatality Review Team operates. It cannot subpoena people involved in cases, nor hand down directives based on its findings.

Ultimately, the lack of attention to the alarm the team sounds is the fault of no single individual or organization. It is an entire system that has accepted the death by abuse of an average of 13 children each year in the region.

Chinese green energy firm has possible links to Italian criminals, Sicilian Mafia

The story of Suntech’s fall links China to Italy, Germany, London and Wall Street, passing through some of the world’s leading tax havens and ending up — Dolce Vita fashion — in some of the most luxurious spots in Rome.

It’s a tale about the nexus of offshore financial secrecy and Italy’s onshore culture of corruption, featuring a cast of characters that includes figures linked to a businessman who has served, authorities allege, as a front for Mafia clans.

The story can be told in full detail for the first time thanks to secret offshore files and court ...

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Balancing privacy and gun rights against public and patient safety

Before he turned 21, Blaec Lammers had seen the inside of mental health facilities at least seven times.

One of those visits stemmed from following an employee for two hours at the Bolivar Wal-Mart wearing a Halloween mask and wielding a butcher knife.

None of that stopped that same supercenter from selling the 20-year-old a pair of AR-15-style, semi-automatic rifles in November 2012. Lammers was not in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System deployed to deny the wrong people access to firearms.

Tennessee inmate execution details kept secret

The state of Tennessee doesn't want you to know how it will kill the condemned.

It doesn't want you to know who will flip the switch, sending a lethal dose of pentobarbital through the veins of death row inmates. And it doesn't want you to know how it obtained that pentobarbital — which isn't available from any legal drug manufacturer — as well. State correction officials have even banned the media from visiting inmates on death row.

As Tennessee makes an unprecedented push to set execution dates, it is doing so in the shadows, cloaking its plans in ...

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Maryland prison system releasing violent criminals early after completing work and education programs

After Gregg Thomas pleaded guilty in 2004 to killing a teenager, a Baltimore judge ordered him to serve 15 years in prison. He was out in less than 10, and by last week he had been charged in the shooting ambush of off-duty Baltimore Police Sgt. Keith Mcneill.

The shooting, which left Mcneill in critical condition, put the spotlight on a poorly understood feature of corrections policy that reduces most Maryland sentences. Thomas was able to leave prison early because he had received credit for good behavior and had completed work and education programs that helped him shave off more ...

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