Extra Extra : Social issues

TurboTax Maker Linked to Campaign Against Free Tax Filing

ProPublica recently reported that lobbyists for Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, reached out to community leaders and officials persuading them that pre-filled tax returns would essentially hurt low-income Americans. 

What community leaders and officials failed to realize was that the pre-filled tax returns, already endorsed by President Obama and President Reagan, would use information that the government already receives from national banks and employers. The pre-filled tax returns would be voluntary services that taxpayers could use and adjust, making it easier and cheaper for many Americans to file their taxes. 

Suicide rates increasing in region of New York

After NYT series, officials to transfer hundreds of children out of ‘deplorable’ shelters

City officials are moving more than 400 children and their families out of two city-owned shelters in the wake of a New York Times series about homeless children.

“For nearly three decades, thousands of children passed through Auburn and Catherine Street, living with cockroaches, spoiled food, violence and insufficient heat, even as inspectors warned that the shelters were unfit for children,” the Times wrote today.

“State and city inspectors have cited Auburn for over 400 violations — many of them repeated — for a range of hazards, including vermin, mold, lead exposure, an inoperable fire safety system, insufficient child care and the ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Abuse at private youth prisons, fertilizer plant blast could happen again, little accountability in Southwest Border killings

Gun license numbers don't tell whole story | Daily Herald
State data paints an imperfect picture of gun ownership across the suburbs.

Prisoners of Profit | The Huffington Post
Florida's Lax Oversight Enables Systemic Abuse At Private Youth Prisons.

Broken Bonds | Chicago Tribune
Despite borrowing $10 billion to fund school construction, Chicago still has an overcrowding problem. Millions also went to schools that now stand empty.

Waiting for the 8th |The Washington Post
The months seem a bit longer for a D.C. woman and her family after recent cuts to the food stamps they rely on.

It could happen ...

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Mass killing data records not being kept up to date

"USA TODAY examined FBI data -- which defines a mass killing as four or more victims -- as well as local police records and media reports to understand mass killings in America. They happen far more often than the government reports, and the circumstances of those killings -- the people who commit them, the weapons they use and the forces that motivate them -- are far more predictable than many might think."

Where is Childhood Homelessness Getting Worse?

The number of homeless students in the United States reached a record high last year, according to new data from the Education Department showing that 1.2 million children had no place to call home.

The troubling new report casts light on a problem that four years into the nation’s economic recovery, has only grown worse, a Frontline report explains. The total number of homeless children enrolled in preschools and K-12 programs rose 10 percent during the 2011-12 school year and 24 percent since the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year, according to the report.

In all, 41 states ...

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Decaying homes left to rot in Columbus

In the city of Columbus, housing-code enforcers reactively chase minor complaints, such as those about weedy lots and litter, rather than proactively writing up landlords for significant problems that could endanger lives, such as plumbing leaking raw sewage, inoperable furnaces and structural rot that could allow parts of houses to collapse. And some judges go easy on problem landlords because they are buddies or they believe they can cajole the bad guys into fixing their properties if they give them a little time, The Columbus Dispatch reported in a four-day series.

Some insurance companies exploiting those who aren't aware of the Affordable Care Act marketplace

According to an investigation by Talking Points memo, "across the country, insurance companies have sent misleading letters to consumers, trying to lock them into the companies' own, sometimes more expensive health insurance plans rather than let them shop for insurance and tax credits on the Obamacare marketplaces -- which could lead to people spending thousands more for insurance than the law intended. In some cases, mentions of the marketplace in those letters are relegated to a mere footnote, which can be easily overlooked."

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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