Extra Extra : Drugs

After 13 years of wariness, FDA approves five potentially harmful new diet drugs

After 13 years of rejecting new diet drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed five potentially harmful products on the market in the last three years — including two in the last four months. The agency approved the drugs despite the potential for serious side effects — including suicidal thinking, increased heart rate and cancer risk — and no proof the drugs improve the main health concern posed by obesity: heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. 

Critics worry the new products will repeat the diet-drug mistakes of the past, which have led to decades of injuries, deaths and, in the ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Tracking charges for cops, undocumented overtime, police failure in Sharper case

A record of trouble | The Marshall Project

As California prepares to greatly expand its use of halfway houses for people leaving its overcrowded prisons, state officials have turned for help to a private halfway house operator that has been cited in other states for inadequate care, unchecked violence and repeated escapes at its facilities.

State DNR veterinarian says she was forced our over ‘on-the-record’ moose calf study objections | Timberjay

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources veterinarian found herself the subject of an internal investigation within days of expressing “on-the-record” concerns about the inhumane treatment of moose calves during the first ...

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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.

300,000 Oregonians depend on an addiction treatment system that’s broken

More than 300,000 people go untreated for alcohol or drug abuse in a state that has little knowledge about the effectiveness of its treatment clinics, The Oregonian found.

The paper spent months reviewing government records and interviewing officials and recovering addicts in Oregon. It found that while treatment clinics frequently report patient statistics to the state’s Addictions and Mental Health Services Division, the agency never uses the data.

The Oregonian looked at the numbers and found abysmal success rates. The ineffectual system costs nearly $6 billion a year, the paper found.

Extra Extra Monday: Drug-addicted nurses, police shootings and lottery winners

Addicted nurses steal patients’ drugs | The News Leader (Staunton, VA)

A statewide investigation by The News Leader found about 900 nurses publicly disciplined by the licensing board from 2007 to mid-2013 for drug theft and use at work.

Across Virginia, scores of patients in pain during the last decade were denied necessary medication because a nurse was stealing it.

 

In 179 fatalities involving on-duty NYPD cops in 15 years, only 3 cases led to indictments — and just 1 conviction | New York Daily News

A Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict white NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Death by deadline, online diplomas, vaccine court

Death by Deadline | The Marshall Project

An investigation by The Marshall Project shows that since President Bill Clinton signed the one-year statute of limitations into law - enacting a tough-on-crime provision that emerged in the Republicans' Contract with America - the deadline has been missed at least 80 times in capital cases. Sixteen of those inmates have since been executed -- the most recent on Thursday, when Chadwick Banks was put to death in Florida.

 

Milwaukee kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.'s death follows cascade of errors by fight officials | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed a series of missteps by fight officials ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Injury-leave program, secret service fumbles, the cost of rape

Blacks disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession in Pinellas, Hillsborough counties | Tampa Bay Times

Black people in Pinellas and Hillsborough are at least six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as white people. It's not because of who smokes pot and who doesn’t.

Racial disparities in pot possession arrests is not a new topic. But the disparities are particularly pronounced in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found.

 

L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter claims rise | L.A. Times

An injury-leave program for Los Angeles police and firefighters has cost taxpayers ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Florida law allows troubled charter operators to keep running schools

Shuttered: Florida’s Failed Charter Schools | Naples Daily News

As charter schools have boomed in Florida — 622 operated in 2013-14, up from 257 in 2003-04 — many have also busted. Since charter schools were first permitted in 1996, 269 out of nearly 900 opened charter schools have closed, a failure rate of about 30 percent. That tally includes six schools closed in Lee County and two closed in Collier County.

To better understand Florida’s charter school failings, the Daily News undertook a first-of-its-kind task, examining all charter schools that have closed since 2008. The newspaper reviewed hundreds of closure documents ...

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Missouri swore it wouldn't use a controversial execution drug. It did.

Missouri is using the same controversial drug to execute inmates on death row that has been used in a number of botched executions this year, a St. Louis Public Radio investigation has found. Use of Midazolam as a sedative in those botched executions prompted questions earlier this year to Missouri Department of Corrections officials, who said under oath that the drug would never be used.

But documents obtained by St. Louis Public Radio show that the drug has been administered in each of the state’s last nine executions. After refusing comment before the story ran, a Corrections spokesperson eventually ...

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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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