Extra Extra : Workplace

Family members beat the odds in winning prized firefighting jobs

The Los Angeles Times uncovered a pattern of nepotism within the L.A. County Fire Department. The newspaper found that nearly 7 percent of the 2,750 firefighters are the sons of department veterans. Taking into account others such as brothers and nephews, relatives account for 13 percent of the staff, the investigation found.

The report also uncovers how interview questions – which should be locked away – have been passed around the department, landing in the hands of firefighters' family members as material to aid their preparations.

Extra Extra Monday: Uneven assessments, National Guard misconduct, Chicago migration myth

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By measure after measure, in cities, towns and villages across Wisconsin, property assessors are discounting uniformity and trampling on fairness, while officials with the state Department of Revenue do little to rectify the disparities, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found.

In dozens of communities, 20% or more of residential property taxes are being paid by the wrong people, according to the Journal Sentinel's analysis of Department of Revenue records for each of the state's 1,852 municipalities. The analysis considered communities ...

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Inside the JBS Butchertown hog slaughter plant

The JBS Swift pork processing plant in Louisville has struggled during the past decade with odor violations, zoning disputes and fights over truck traffic. It's also dealing with tighter rules on how hogs are humanely handled and killed.

Twice in the last nine months, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has slapped JBS with "egregious violations" of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act at its Butchertown facility on Story Avenue.

3 Phoenix arson investigators put on paid leave after investigation

Three members of the Phoenix Fire Department's once highly touted arson squad have been put on leave following a series of reports by 12 News (Phoenix-NBC).  Capt. Sam Richardson and Capt. Fred Andes and unit director Jack Ballentine were placed on paid administrative leave a day after the Arizona Department of Public Safety reported it had concluded a criminal investigation triggered by the station’s reports into the members' alleged misconduct and improper investigative techniques. DPS is recommending criminal charges against Richardson and Andes for numerous acts of dishonesty and making false statements during the DPS criminal probe.

Extra Extra Monday: Peace Corps medical care, homeless students in the suburbs, license plate cameras

Trail of medical missteps in a Peace Corps death | The New York Times

A Peace Corps spokeswoman called Nick Castle’s death, from a gastrointestinal illness, “a tragic experience.” To examine its own conduct, the agency took the unusual step of engaging an outside American expert, whose report concluded that despite medical missteps by a Peace Corps doctor who missed signs of serious illness, Mr. Castle’s death could not have been prevented.

But the story of his death — pieced together from interviews and confidential reports and documents, including his autopsy — raises serious questions about Peace Corps medical care and ...

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Memo details problems in the Omaha VA police department

A memo obtained by KETV-Omaha helped the station shed light on problems with the police department attached to the VA’s Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.

The document accuses command staff of “unfair and unethical” hiring practices and describes a fight in the police squad room. The station also talked to officers with experience working in the Omaha VA police department.

Watch the story here.

Theme park employees caught in sex stings, child porn arrests

A six-month investigation by CNN reveals 35 employees from Florida’s Walt Disney World, five from Universal and two from SeaWorld have been arrested for sex crimes against children, trying to meet minors for sex, or for child pornography since 2006. CNN obtained police interrogation videos, police and court records and interviewed some of the men who were arrested, as well as law enforcement. The investigation has prompted proposed legislation that would allow businesses catering to children to polygraph employees.

Commissioner uses Tennessee state troopers as chauffeurs

Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons is using state troopers as chauffeurs, according to a hidden-camera investigation by WTVF-Nashville.

State officials stand by the decision, saying that the commissioner’s time is valuable and that the drivers provide more time for him to answer emails.

Emails show that troopers drove Gibbons at least 31 times in a two-and-a-half year period.

'Staggering' pain claims in Brooklyn stoke suspicion

A USA TODAY analysis reveals that some of Medicare's top-earning specialists are in the New York City borough and sharing thousands of Medicare patients in volumes much higher than the norm. In hundreds of cases, patients have seen several pain specialists on the same day, shuffling between therapists who have billed Medicare for tens of thousands of procedures. In one case, a chiropractor and an occupational therapist saw the same patients on the same day more than 11,000 times in 18 months.

These high-earning occupational therapists, chiropractors and physical therapists have given Brooklyn an unusual distinction. It either ...

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No one held accountable for deadly blast in Washington

Four years after one of the state’s worst industrial accidents, no one has been held publicly accountable for the deaths of seven workers at the Tesoro refinery on the outskirts of Anacortes, Washington.

According to Puget Sound Public Radio:

Refinery owner Tesoro agreed to pay millions to families of the dead, but the company continues to fight government accusations that it willfully put its workers in harm’s way. The families have also sued Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas, a company that advised Tesoro on how to inspect the refinery’s maze of high-temperature, high-pressure machinery.

With legal proceedings ...

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