Extra Extra : Social services

Extra Extra Monday | Mass. deals with ‘zombie’ boards, new details about GM recall, Minn. screens out child abuse reports

Minnesota counties 'screen out' most child abuse reports | Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minnesota’s counties received nearly 68,000 reports of child abuse or neglect last year but closed most of those cases without investigation or assessment.

A review of state and federal data by the Star Tribune shows that the number of child abuse reports being screened out without any protective action rose last year to the third-highest rate in the country.

In all, the state screened out more than 48,000 such abuse reports last year ­— and authorities often made their decisions after only gathering information from a phone ...

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Government computer glitch left thousands in N.C. without food stamps

Thousands of people went without food stamps in North Carolina last year after government computers across the state crashed, according to the Huffington Post.

According to the report:

"The food stamp delays can be traced to troubles with a computer system designed by Accenture, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. The company is among a small group of politically connected technology contractors that receive government business across the country despite previous criticism of their work.

Accenture won the North Carolina contract after spending thousands of dollars on political contributions and lobbying in the state. North Carolina hired Accenture ...

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Extra Extra Monday: American Indian casinos, oil field fatalities, student absenteeism

Suicide rate hits 25-year high in region | Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal

Craig Russell Wishnick is one of 238 residents of Dutchess and Ulster counties to die by suicide in the five years ending in 2011, 73 more than in the five years ending in 2003, according to a Poughkeepsie Journal analysis of death certificates over a 13-year period. That is an increase in harder-hit Dutchess of 62 percent and the first hike in the county rate after a quarter-century of steady and solid decline.

 

Does Utah’s air pollution increase school absences? | The Salt Lake Tribune

Health problems are a ...

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Welfare cash pulled from ATMs inside Colorado pot shops

FOX31 Denver compared Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cash transactions against locations of marijuana dispensaries and found that 19 different marijuana retail stores had at least one welfare recipient walk into their business.

Welfare recipients are also withdrawing money at liquor stores and strip clubs, the station reported.

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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Florida's unemployment benefits website was not ready for launch and state can't explain why

Florida’s new unemployment benefits website, CONNECT, “launched so riddled with technical glitches that it has left thousands of unemployed Floridians without the money they need for food, rent and bills,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“The problems are so bad that the (Department of Economic Opportunity) began fining the contractor $15,000 a day and federal officials intervened, convincing the state to pay the back claims so claimants could get their money. Two months after CONNECT's debut, so many claims remained unpaid that the DEO hired an extra 330 employees, at a cost of $165,000 a ...

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Thousands of welfare fraud tips purged at Wash. Department of Social and Health Services

More than two years after KING 5’s series of investigative reports about welfare fraud – and Washington State government’s lax oversight – the Seattle TV station looked into the progress of pledged reforms. The follow-up investigation uncovered that a re-vamped state fraud unit is struggling with enormous case backlogs and has dumped thousands of potential tips about fraud.

Extra Extra Monday: Pollution control plans, juvenile justice and inmate deaths

Wis. freeing more sex offenders from mental lockup | WisconsinWatch.org

Wisconsin officials have nearly quadrupled the number of offenders released from state custody after they were committed as sexually violent persons. The risks to residents are reasonable, officials say, because the state’s treatment programs are working and new data suggest these offenders are less likely to reoffend than previously thought.

The story is the first part of “Rethinking Sex Offenders,” a three-day series by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and Wisconsin Public Radio.

 

Mass. children under state protection die from abuse with alarming frequency | The New England Center ...

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Massachusetts children under state protection die from abuse with alarming frequency

"Since 2001, more than 95 Massachusetts children whose cases were overseen by state social workers have died directly or indirectly because of abuse or neglect, according to state statistics. The death toll is likely considerably higher because state officials haven’t revealed how many died from 2011 to 2013," reports the New England Cener for Investigative Reporting. "Some of the deaths make headlines, but many more children die anonymously, half of them before they celebrate their first birthday, according to state reports." Read the full story here.

Extra Extra Monday: Pilots addicted to automation, 911 operators lacking training, county officials send poor to unlicensed care facility

Service Members Left Vulnerable to Payday Loans | Deal Book--The New York Times
Nearly seven years since the Military Lending Act came into effect, government authorities say the law has gaps that threaten to leave hundreds of thousands of service members across the country vulnerable to potentially predatory loans.

Detained border crossers may find themselves sent to ‘the freezers’ | The Center for Investigative Reporting
According to interviews and court documents, many immigrants have been held for days in rooms kept at temperatures so low that men, women and children have developed illnesses associated with the cold, lack of sleep, overcrowding, and ...

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