Extra Extra : Government (federal/state/local)

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.

Construction of a NASA test tower continued long after the rocket project was scrubbed

NASA spent $349 million building a new test tower it didn’t need, according to a report by The Washington Post. The agency in June finished construction of the Mississippi tower, which was designed for a rocket program canceled in 2010, after Congress ordered NASA to finish building it.

NASA will now spend about $700,000 a year to maintain the empty tower.

“Jerked from one mission to another, NASA lost its sense that any mission was truly urgent. It began to absorb the vices of less-glamorous bureaucracies: Officials tended to let projects run over time and budget. Its congressional ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Prenatal screening tests, prison labor programs and nonprofit donations

Oversold and misunderstood: Prenatal screening tests prompt abortions | The New England Center for Investigative Reporting

Sparked by the sequencing of the human genome a decade ago, a new generation of prenatal screening tests, including MaterniT21, has exploded onto the market in the past three years. The unregulated screens claim to detect with near-perfect accuracy the risk that a fetus may have Down or Edwards syndromes, and a growing list of other chromosomal abnormalities.

But a three-month examination by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found that companies are overselling the accuracy of their tests and doing little to ...

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Regulators lack resources to confront risks posed by exploding oil trains

Almost a year and a half after an oil train explosion devastated a Quebec town —and after three railcar explosions in the United States — those headline-grabbing measures have turned out to be less than they appeared. Idling oil trains are still left unattended in highly populated areas. The effort to draft new safety regulations has been bogged down in disputes between the railroads and the oil industry over who will bear the brunt of the costs. The oil industry is balking at some of the tanker upgrades, and the railroads are lobbying against further speed restrictions. The story and video ...

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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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Back in civilian world, military sex offenders fly under the radar

More than 240 military men and women who’ve been convicted of rape, child molestation and other sex offenses have disappeared from sex offender registries.

The Scripps D.C. bureau reviewed more than 1,300 military court martial cases and civilian sex offender registries across the country. The report found military sex offenders often return to civilian life, are allowed to keep their convictions quiet and end up offending again.

The story is told in two parts and was released nationally across Scripps stations. Here’s part one, hosted by the NBC affiliate in Kansas City, about an Army rapist ...

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Hundreds of police killings are uncounted in federal stats

About 45-percent of killings at the hands of police officers don’t show up in the FBI’s stats on justifiable homicides, making it difficult to determine how many incidents happen each year, a Wall Street Journal report has found.

The Journal put data from 105 of the country’s largest police agencies up against the FBI’s numbers and found more than 550 police killings were missing from the national tally or, in a small number of cases, not linked to the agency involved.

According to the Journal’s analysis, more than 1,800 police killings occurred within the ...

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Illinois sends state wards to residential centers despite attacks, abuse

In residential treatment centers across Illinois, juvenile state wards are assaulted, sexually abused and running away by the thousands — yet state officials fail to act on reports of harm and continue sending disadvantaged youths to the most troubled and violent facilities, a Chicago Tribune investigation found.

Reports of patient-on-patient sexual assault are commonplace at some of Illinois' largest and most relied-on facilities. Child prostitution schemes take root. Vulnerable children are terrorized by older ones and taught a life of crime. Some are preyed on sexually by the adults paid to care for them. And staggering numbers of wards, some as ...

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Louisiana's film tax incentive program is popular, but a money-loser

As a part of a film tax incentive program pouring money into major movie studios, Louisiana put more cash into the movie "Green Lantern" than into the University of New Orleans this year.

As a part of an eight-part series titled "Giving Away Louisiana," the Baton Rouge Advocate looked at the billowing costs of a popular yet financially unhealthy program.

More than 100 projects qualified for incentives from Lousiana tax breaks in 2013 at an upfront cost of about $250 million. The program is the richest in the country.

Read the full story.

Extra Extra Monday: Baby boomers, school shootings and health licensing boards

Review shows health licensing boards voted improperly | The Boston Globe

Four Massachusetts health licensing boards met nearly three dozen times over five years without enough members present, casting a legal cloud over numerous votes on disciplinary proceedings, license applications, and investigations, according to an internal audit by the Department of Public Health.

The review, which confirms concerns first raised by the Globe a year ago, found the boards of pharmacy, physician assistants, dentistry, and perfusionists (who operate heart-lung machines during surgery) held 465 votes without a quorum from January 2008 to May 2013. Two observers said they were shocked by ...

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