Extra Extra : Consumer Safety

Inside the JBS Butchertown hog slaughter plant

The JBS Swift pork processing plant in Louisville has struggled during the past decade with odor violations, zoning disputes and fights over truck traffic. It's also dealing with tighter rules on how hogs are humanely handled and killed.

Twice in the last nine months, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has slapped JBS with "egregious violations" of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act at its Butchertown facility on Story Avenue.

Data breach mystery leads from Arizona counterterrorism site to China

Lizhong Fang, a Chinese national and computer programmer, had access to a variety of sensitive information during his short time at the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center in Phoenix. His work on facial recognition software allowed him to view the Arizona driver’s license database as well as law enforcement records.

Fang disappeared in 2007, and those responsible for hiring him say the privacy of up to 5 million people has been compromised. Officials never disclosed the possible privacy breach.

Read the story by The Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica.

In rush to find lethal injection drug, prison officials turned to a hospital

When the Louisiana Department of Corrections didn’t have the drugs it needed to execute inmate Christopher Sepulvado this January it turned to an unusual source: a hospital.

According to The Lens, the state bought 20 vials of hydromorphone from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital a week before Sepulvado’s execution. The hospital typically uses the drug to ease the suffering of patients. The private, nonprofit hospital didn’t know the drug was going to be used for an execution.

Read the story here.

 

Want to learn more about covering execution secrecy?

Journalists from four states recently joined IRE to discuss ...

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Records explain why US Airways flight buzzed city mall

A US Airways pilot in 2012 flew a plane so low to the ground that it buzzed a mall, according to a report by The Daily Times in Salisbury, Maryland

Edmund C. Draper, the pilot-in-command, purposefully lowered the plane to fly about 500 feet over his home, which is located near a busy shopping mall.

The Federal Aviation Administration in 2013 revoked Draper’s airline transport pilot certificate, but the paper found that he was issued a new one in 2014. He also holds a flight instructor certificate. 

Disciplined doctors find work in the drug industry, running clinical trials

By matching U.S. Food and Drug Administration data on clinical researchers against records of state medical board disciplinary actions in the four most populous states, this report in Matter found dozens of reprimanded doctors who subsequently were hired by pharma to test experimental drugs in clinical trials. Some had made mistakes that left patients dead or maimed. Others were themselves addicted to narcotics.

Fifty-nine 911 calls this year to sex offender group homes

Police have been called to two residential facilities housing sex offenders nearly 60 times since the beginning of the year, according to a report by WIVB in Buffalo, New York. Twice police reported sex offenders missing from the homes. Neighbors and officials are concerned about the number of calls as well as the close proximity to a children’s playground.

Sex offenders were relocated to the community after a secure facility was shuttered.

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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Theme park employees caught in sex stings, child porn arrests

A six-month investigation by CNN reveals 35 employees from Florida’s Walt Disney World, five from Universal and two from SeaWorld have been arrested for sex crimes against children, trying to meet minors for sex, or for child pornography since 2006. CNN obtained police interrogation videos, police and court records and interviewed some of the men who were arrested, as well as law enforcement. The investigation has prompted proposed legislation that would allow businesses catering to children to polygraph employees.

Extra Extra Monday: Investigations highlight problems at homeless shelters, group homes, jails

Reporting Rape, and Wishing She Hadn’t | The New York Times

A New York Times examination of the case, based in part on hundreds of pages of disciplinary proceedings — usually confidential under federal privacy laws — offers a rare look inside one school’s adjudication of a rape complaint amid a roiling national debate over how best to stop sexual assaults on campuses.

Whatever precisely happened that September night, the internal records, along with interviews with students, sexual-assault experts and college officials, depict a school ill prepared to evaluate an allegation so serious that, if proved in a court of law ...

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No one held accountable for deadly blast in Washington

Four years after one of the state’s worst industrial accidents, no one has been held publicly accountable for the deaths of seven workers at the Tesoro refinery on the outskirts of Anacortes, Washington.

According to Puget Sound Public Radio:

Refinery owner Tesoro agreed to pay millions to families of the dead, but the company continues to fight government accusations that it willfully put its workers in harm’s way. The families have also sued Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas, a company that advised Tesoro on how to inspect the refinery’s maze of high-temperature, high-pressure machinery.

With legal proceedings ...

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