Extra Extra : Government (federal/state/local)

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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VA records show veteran rescheduled appointment after death

A delay in care at the Minneapolis VA led to the death of a young Marine, according to a report by KARE-Minneapolis. The veteran’s medical records also appear to have been falsified after his death. An FBI investigation was launched this week in repose to the station’s most recent report and previous reports in which VA whistleblowers claim they were ordered to regularly falsify patient data to meet performance measures.

Danger lurks underground from aging gas pipes

About every other day over the past decade, a gas leak in the United States has destroyed property, hurt someone or killed someone, a USA TODAY Network investigation finds. The most destructive blasts have killed at least 135 people, injured 600 and caused $2 billion in damages since 2004.

A crack found in a cast-iron service main caused an apartment building explosion in Birmingham, Alabama last year. Alabama Gas Corp. built and operated that pipeline, according to the Montgomery Advertiser, one of the Gannett-affiliated publications involved in the project.

The Advertiser recently went to court over Alagasco documents it obtained ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Ray Rice and the NFL, sexual assaults at the University of South Florida, a questionable robbery conviction

A stickup. A manhunt. A mistake? | The Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A long time ago, a family was robbed. The police pounced. A man went to jail. A lot of people wondered if the law got it right. It sure doesn’t look like it.

The Herald-Tribune spent nine months examining the case against Andre Bryant, now 28 and serving his seventh year in a Panhandle prison. New evidence suggests Bryant is not the robber and shows how lawmen developed tunnel vision during their inquiry, dismissing clues and other suspects during an abbreviated investigation.

 

Rice case: purposeful misdirection by team, scant investigation ...

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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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San Diego school district gets armored vehicle through 1033 Program

Why did the San Diego Unified School District acquire an armored vehicle? According to inewsource, when the mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP) became available through the Department of Defense’s Excess Property Program, or 1033 Program, the district jumped at the opportunity.

School officials said they wanted the armored vehicle to use for rescue operations. If there’s an active shooter, an earthquake or a fire, the school could use the MRAP to rip down a wall, a police captain told inewsource.

Students in a high school auto collision and refinishing program painted the MRAP, and the division plans to ...

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Flares in Eagle Ford Shale wasting natural gas

Using the state's own records, the San Antonio Express-News found that natural gas flares burning across the Eagle Ford Shale oil field incinerated enough gas over four years to supply every household that uses the fuel in San Antonio for a full year.

Analyzing more than 80 million oil field production records, the newspaper also found that the flares are emitting more pollution than all six oil refineries in Corpus Christi, and they are pouring out more ozone-creating compounds than 24 Texas oil refineries.

Despite the tremendous waste and pollution, seven of the 20 largest flaring operations escaped state ...

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Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

They were pulled over for a minor traffic violation and, instead of getting just a ticket, they had their money confiscated by police. An aggressive brand of policing has led to the seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from American motorists and others not charged with crimes. It’s a largely hidden side effect of the government’s push to have the police become the eyes and ears of homeland security on highways since the 9/11 terror attacks.

In a three-part series, The Washington Post examines how thousands of people have been forced to fight legal ...

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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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With veto power, Rick Perry influenced, targeted and vexed

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s history shows his recent and controversial use of the veto isn’t the only time he’s used the power for political reasons.

Perry, who faces pending charges over his veto threat to a district attorney after her drunk driving arrest, has a long and complex history with the veto, according to a story in The Austin American-Statesman.