Extra Extra : Mapping

IRE members work to boost transparency, cooperation in Kenya

Land Quest is an experiment in cross-border investigative journalism by two European, two Kenyan and one American journalist that seeks to redefine both the focus and the audience of development reporting.

The data reveals Kenya as the battlefield between two competing financial interests: the flow of aid money from Europe to Kenya, and multinational profits from Kenya to Europe. Aid money flows into Kenya to help strengthen institutions and private companies, from agro-industrialists to oil barons.

The project, funded by a grant from the European Journalism Centre, is designed to raise awareness about the need for developed and developing countries ...

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Federal loopholes, local challenges complicate response plans for rural oil disasters

The federal government does not require U.S. railroads to have comprehensive plans for a worst-case oil disasters, according to the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.

That means no one knows if the railways that carried 4.2 million barrels of crude oil through the state last year are prepared for a catastrophe.

A handful of factors – including a declining number of volunteer firefighter/first-responders and a lack of information – complicate planning efforts in rural states like Maine.

Read the story here.


Reporting on hazardous materials?

Get data from NICAR's recently updated hazardous materials database.

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Extra Extra Monday: The billion-dollar trophy deer industry, election spending, missing radon tests

Trophy deer industry linked to disease, costs taxpayers millions | Indianapolis Star

In less than 40 years, a relatively small group of farmers has created something the world has never seen before — a billion-dollar industry primarily devoted to breeding deer that are trucked to fenced hunting preserves to be shot by patrons willing to pay thousands for the trophies.

An Indianapolis Star investigation has discovered the industry costs taxpayers millions of dollars, compromises long-standing wildlife laws, endangers wild deer and undermines the government's multibillion-dollar effort to protect livestock and the food supply.

More than 100 publicly funded charter schools fail ...

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Mean Streets: Tracking traffic deaths in New York City

More than half of the 27 pedestrians killed by cars in New York City this year died on major roadways. That’s just one of the findings of a new WNYC analysis of traffic deaths, Mean Streets

WNYC worked with the NYPD to compile an accurate list of traffic deaths after finding discrepancies between its statistics and those kept by advocacy groups.

The station is tracking each death using an interactive database that includes names, dates, locations, street view maps and brief descriptions of the deaths.

Fugitives Next Door: Police won’t chase 186,000 felony suspects

Across the United States, police and prosecutors are allowing tens of thousands of wanted felons — including more than 3,300 people accused of sexual assaults, robberies and homicides — to escape justice merely by crossing a state border, a USA TODAY investigation found. Those decisions, almost always made in secret, permit fugitives to go free in communities across the country, leaving their crimes unpunished, their victims outraged and the public at risk.

Read the USA TODAY report. Check out some of the local reporting that’s come out of the project.

Ammonium nitrate sold by ton as U.S. regulation is stymied

Despite being banned in countries such as Afghanistan, China, Colombia, Germany, Ireland and the Philippines, the potentially explosive fertilizer ammonium nitrate  can be purchased pure and by the ton in the United States, according to the Dallas Morning News.

An investigation by the newspaper found that "for more than a decade, U.S. efforts to tighten controls over ammonium nitrate fertilizer have repeatedly failed, bogged down by bureaucratic gridlock and industry resistance. Regulations approved years ago remain unenforced and unfinished. Mere talk of safer substitutes has been blocked by those with profits at stake."

Extra Extra Monday: Campus safety, veterans' addictions and modern-day slaves

Campus crime reports not painting accurate picture of safety around USF, Univ. of Tampa, elsewhere | WSTP-Tampa Bay
Following a rash of violent crimes around the USF campus, WTSP’s investigative team digs into federal Clery Act reporting to expose the hidden dangers around many college campuses.  Most students will never know their off-campus apartments are often in the most dangerous parts of town – and most universities do little to prepare them for it.

VA’s opiate overload feeds veterans’ addictions, overdose deaths | Center for Investigative Reporting
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the agency charged with helping veterans recover from ...

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Highway exhaust plagues many schools in Washington state

An InvestigateWest analysis found nearly 30 public schools in Washington sit within 500 feet of a major road, which decades of study have shown cause lifelong respiratory problems and asthma attacks through air polution and can boost school absenteeism. In one case of a school that re-opened in close proximity to a highway, 21 months passed between a concerned email from a health expert and action from the Seattle Schools officials. The re-opening of that school, John Marshall Junior High, accordign to InvestigateWest represents "one example of how, when it comes to air pollution near roads, Washington state school policies ...

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Florida's chronic, tragic record of pedestrian crashes

The Orlando Sentinel completed its three-part series “Blood In the Streets” this week, examining Central Florida’s chronic, tragic record of pedestrian crashes, the worst in the country. Using state and federal data, reporters Scott Powers and Arelis Hernandez reviewed thousands of pedestrian crashes to target scores of interviews. Their findings: The problems are rooted in many decades of sprawling development and road planning and a careless culture. Drivers who kill pedestrians face life-changing grief and guilt. Victims and families find little support and no closure from the justice system. And no transportation plans address the ultimate problem: high speed.

Extra Extra Monday: Medicare prescribers, payday loans, swift deportations and secret consulting work

Medicare Drug Program Fails to Monitor Prescribers, Putting Seniors and Disabled at Risk | ProPublica and The Washington Post
"Prescription data obtained by ProPublica shows widespread use of antipsychotics, narcotics and other drugs dangerous for older adults, but Medicare officials say it's not their job to look for unsafe prescribing or weed out doctors with troubled backgrounds." Also published this weekend is a database of Medicare's prescription drug program.

Beyond Payday Loans | Marketplace and ProPublica
"A near billion dollar company, World Finance is the largest of an often-overlooked breed of high-cost lender: installment lenders. Ranging from a few hundred ...

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