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Public and private schools lacking in measles vaccination rates

According to a USA TODAY analysis of immunization data in 13 states, nearly one in seven public and private schools have measles vaccination rates below 90% — a rate considered inadequate to provide immunity. 

Among the 13-state sample, results show what many experts have long feared: People opposed to vaccinations tend to live near each other, leaving some schools dangerously vulnerable, while other schools are fully protected.

Snow plows hit a Chicago alderman's street - five times

Snow removal crews hit a Chicago alderman’s quiet block five times in three days, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Teaming with the plow tracker service clearstreets.org, the Sun-Times found that crews visited the alderman’s street twice on Sunday, twice Monday and a final time Tuesday morning, clearing the street down to the pavement. Meanwhile, nearby side streets remained unattended to and covered by deep snow as late as Monday afternoon.

The area of West 51st Street is home to Ed Burke, Chicago’s longest-serving alderman, and his wife, Anne, a justice of the Illinois ...

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Twin Cities Archdiocese transfer of assets may protect it from bankruptcy creditors

For decades, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been shifting money into separate nonprofits that may be beyond the reach of its creditors in bankruptcy court. The nonprofits were created for various reasons, but they carry the potential benefit of protecting the church’s assets from liability linked to clergy abuse suits. The moves are seen as prudent by some church finance leaders, while others view them as maneuvers to transfer money to places where victims and their lawyers will have a harder time reaching it.

Read the story by the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Oklahoma Parole Board grants few approvals

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended for parole just 30 of the 322 inmates that came before them in January, according to a report by The Oklahoman.

In recent months Gov. Mary Fallin appointed three board members – all with ties to the Oklahoma City Police Department or former Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy. There are five seats on the board, although one is currently vacant.

Some defense attorneys believe the board is now stacked against inmate seeking clemency.

In D.C. area dozens killed for cooperating with police

According to a Washington Post examination of hundreds of police and court records, at least 37 people in Washington, D.C. and Maryland have been killed since 2004 for cooperating with law enforcement or out of fear that they might. Eighteen of those occurred in the District. Comparable data in Virginia could not be obtained.

In jurisdictions where homicides can be tough to prosecute even when witnesses to crimes cooperate, the killing of those witnesses has made it more difficult to bring criminals to justice, often resulting in violent offenders remaining on the streets. The slayings of seven witnesses or ...

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Unlimited permits strain Boston’s parking system

Boston is reviewing its parking policies after the Boston Globe reported that the city gives away unlimited amounts of residential parking permits for free. While most homes claim just one permit, the Globe found that more than 300 people have five or more.

One couple had 11 in a neighborhood where parking is scarce. A city worker in another dense neighborhood had five vehicles, but just one private parking space; the rest were on the street.

Officials said they would review the decades-old program to see if there are ways to alleviate the parking problems. Potential changes could include limiting ...

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Empty beds plague Illinois hospitals

Crain’s Chicago Business conducted an unprecedented examination of state records for every hospital in Illinois and found nearly 4 out of every 10 beds lying vacant. Buffeted by population shifts and changes in health insurance, the hospital industry in Illinois has far more capacity than it needs. Crain’s tells the story behind the numbers in an industry socked by drastic transformation.

California dental board cases are taking longer despite an increase in inspectors

The Dental Board of California aims to close disciplinary cases within a year and a half, but an investigation by U-T San Diego found that it actually takes the board twice as long. The delays allow for injuries and even deaths to occur.

It took the board 13 years to resolve a case involving a meth-using dentist. A review of dental board data found that it takes an average of 1,185 days to complete an investigation.

While the board has hired more investigators, delays occur when the office cannot find qualified dental experts to analyze the board's findings. 

Specialized endoscope linked to deadly superbug

The deadly pattern of illnesses began to emerge in 2012 at hospitals in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Chicago. In each case, the culprit was a bacteria known as CRE, perhaps the most feared of superbugs, because it resists even "last defense" antibiotics — and kills up to 40% of the people it infects.

And in each case, investigators identified the same source of transmission: a specialized endoscope, threaded down the throat of a half-million patients a year to treat gallstones, cancers and other disorders of the digestive system. Yet neither the scopes' manufacturers nor the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates them, have ...

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Extra Extra Roundup: Stolen weapons, wage enforcement and prison inmates

Business tangles with wage enforcement system for decades | Rocky Mountain PBS I-NEWS

More than 30 years of public records and internal documents dealing with Bradley Petroleum, one of Colorado's oldest employers, show the company has repeatedly been investigated for violating federal and state labor law, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has found. In particular, for a pattern of suspending employees for shortages, reporting them to the police for alleged theft, and then permanently withholding the employee's final check despite a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing


No new conviction, but sent back to prison | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

More than ...

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