Extra Extra : Radio

Unraveling the San Diego campaign finance scandal

"News broke in San Diego last week about a mysterious foreign national bent on influencing San Diego politics by illegally funneling money to political campaigns through a retired San Diego police detective and a undisclosed “straw donor.” Now, the politicians on the receiving end of the tainted funds are scrambling to distance themselves from the scandal." Brad Racino and Joe Yerardi from Inewsource walk through how they unraveled the scandal.

How a recalled medical device killed a vet

"Despite the "urgent medical correction letter" posted at FDA.gov a trainer for B. Braun, the German manufacturer that produced the recalled morphine drip machine, came to the Seattle VA to teach nurses how to use the machine. According to the nurses, the trainer told them that a correction was coming soon for the device’s breakable plastic clip, but it was safe to use the machines until they were repaired."

When children accidentally shoot siblings, parents rarely prosecuted

After a couple of recent cases invovling children accidentally shooting their siblings after finding loaded weapons in the house, Minnesota Public Radio analyzed state court data and found that prosecuting parents for leaving guns around kids is rare, but not unprecedented in Minnesota. MPR found that since 2001, 85 such cases have been prosecuted.

Mental health patients falling through the safety net

KUOW's John Ryan reports that "in the past decade, a dozen patients of Washington’s Western State Hospital have killed themselves and more than a hundred others have tried."

"Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults in Washington state. But inside a psychiatric hospital like Western, patients are supposed to be safe, even from themselves. Ryan looks at how patients fall through the safety net."

Bronx prosecutors declined almost one quarter of all cases last year because of policy

"A months-long WNYC investigation has revealed that those accused of crimes in the Bronx have a greater chance of walking away without any charges than anywhere else in the city."

"In the Bronx, if a victim isn’t interviewed by prosecutors within 24 hours after an arrest, the DA will almost always decline to prosecute the case — an internal policy followed by no other DA's office in the city."

Millions of pounds of herbicide being sprayed on Oregon's forests

In collaboration with the Center for Investigative Reporting, The Atlantic and Living On Earth, Ingrid Lobet reports that "herbicides have become a crucial tool for Oregon's $13 billion timber industry." However, "in spite of precautions, lab results suggest that harmful chemicals are finding their way into residents' bloodstreams."

Antidote for prescription painkiller overdoses could save lives

"Washington state has one of the highest death rates from prescription opiates in the country. Overdoses from prescription painkillers now kill more people there than car accidents. And in King County, more people die from prescription painkillers than from methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin combined."

"However, a simple antidote could instantly reverse those overdoses. It's called Narcan, and by law, any citizen in this state can carry it. The problem is that it's hard to get. InvestigateWest in collaboration with KUOW's Carol Smith takes a look at efforts underway to get Narcan to more people."