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3 Phoenix arson investigators put on paid leave after investigation

Three members of the Phoenix Fire Department's once highly touted arson squad have been put on leave following a series of reports by 12 News (Phoenix-NBC).  Capt. Sam Richardson and Capt. Fred Andes and unit director Jack Ballentine were placed on paid administrative leave a day after the Arizona Department of Public Safety reported it had concluded a criminal investigation triggered by the station’s reports into the members' alleged misconduct and improper investigative techniques. DPS is recommending criminal charges against Richardson and Andes for numerous acts of dishonesty and making false statements during the DPS criminal probe.

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 ...

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Prosecutors question police shooting that killed 4, decline to file charges

An investigation by WTVJ-South Florida has raised questions about a botched police sting three years ago. Officers in 2011 shot and killed four men – including their own confidential informant – during the raid. No charges were filed against the officers. Now prosecutors say they’re not sure if they deaths were justified.

Watch the station’s thee-part series, which includes video of the shootings: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Fatigued crews, crude oil increase risk for disaster

As the industry to transport hazardous crude oil in the Northwest continues to grow, so does the threat of accidents caused by fatigued and sleep-deprived railroad workers.

Oregon Public Radio reports "railroad workers are more likely to get fewer than seven hours of sleep on work days, studies show. They also report sleep disorders beyond the norm for working adults. Crews fighting sleep deprivation are impaired at levels comparable to alcohol intoxication and can increase the risk of accidents anywhere from 11 to 65 percent."

And though accidents and injuries have decreased dramatically in the past few decades, fatigue remains ...

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Analysis of lottery data reveals problems, prolific winners

Some lottery winning streaks in Massachusetts defy belief, according to a Boston Globe analysis of lottery data. One family claimed 340 lottery tickets in less than two years. Another man has cashed in more than 12,000 tickets worth $600 in the past decade. Statisticians doubt it's luck. The lottery suspects they are "Ten Percenters" - cashing tickets for other people for a fee. The story follows a Palm Beach Post investigation in March that found some people cashing in hundreds of tickets in the Sunshine State.

Memo details problems in the Omaha VA police department

A memo obtained by KETV-Omaha helped the station shed light on problems with the police department attached to the VA’s Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.

The document accuses command staff of “unfair and unethical” hiring practices and describes a fight in the police squad room. The station also talked to officers with experience working in the Omaha VA police department.

Watch the story here.

Extra Extra Monday: ATF stings, voter fraud and the new subprime bubble

Investigation: ATF drug stings targeted minorities | USA TODAY

The nation's top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not ...

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Red light cameras tag thousands for undeserved tickets

Thousands of Chicago drivers have been tagged with $100 red light fines they did not deserve, targeted by robotic cameras during a series of sudden spikes in tickets that city officials say they cannot explain, a Chicago Tribune investigation has found.

The Tribune's analysis of more than 4 million tickets issued since 2007 and a deeper probe of individual cases revealed clear evidence that the deviations in Chicago's network of 380 cameras were caused by faulty equipment, human tinkering or both.

New York officials sold graves of delinquent boys in a land deal

They were delinquent and unwanted boys sent to a state-run school in Rush to be reformed. When they died there, the state buried them on school grounds – then sold their graves in a land deal.

Now, the 14 dead boys buried in the woods in Rush are stirring uneasy feelings in the rural town, and forcing the state to confront its past and figure out what to do about the boys' neglected final resting place.

Relying on census records, news archives, death certificates and internal school documents, the Democrat and Chronicle pieced together the lives and deaths of these boys ...

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Reports reveal safety violations at many bioterror labs

Recent glaring safety lapses involving anthrax, smallpox and a dangerous strain of bird flu are the latest violations at a half-dozen laboratories run by federal health agencies, 11 labs run by universities and eight more operated by state, local or private entities, according to government reports stamped "restricted" obtained by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.

The reports by the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cited inadequate security procedures, lax inventory records for germs that could be used as bioterror agents and training concerns. Auditors warned in reports issued ...

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