Tags : Uplink blog

Uncover wage theft with Department of Labor data

Wage theft happens more than you realize, and in some hidden places. Workers in fast food restaurants, big-box stores or hotels aren’t the only ones. We’ve found examples of Colorado’s teachers, doctors and even mortuary workers whom employers have illegally denied wages by skimping on overtime, meal-breaks or just refusing to pay.

Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has started using data from the U.S. Department of Labor to uncover examples of industries and businesses that chronically violate wage laws. The data present fertile grounds for digging across ZIP codes and industries. This guide will help you use ...

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Arrest, conviction data shed light on repeat drunken drivers in Wisconsin

The I-Team created an interactive visualization showing OWIs in each county.

Consistently named as the state with the highest number of binge drinkers in the nation, alcohol is tightly woven through Wisconsin’s culture. Drinking and driving, despite the many programs aimed at educating drivers about its dangers, is widespread, and Wisconsin remains the only state in the nation where first-time driving while intoxicated is not a crime.

Impaired driving has been the subject of many investigative projects over the years throughout the state, but the Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team chose to narrow its focus considerably in November when ...

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Arrest records, census data reveal racial disparities in marijuana arrests

Many of us have read national stories about racial disparities in marijuana arrests. We wanted to tell our own readers what that looks like with local police departments and local people.

We found that the disparity not only exists in our area, but is much worse than disparities reported on the national and state level.

Black people in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are at least six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as white people on a per capita basis.

We had started working on stories independently. After we discovered that, our editors agreed to give us ...

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Census data disproves long-standing mass migration myth in Indiana

The Journal & Coureir used U.S. Census data to look at migration between Chicago and Tippecanoe County.

In recent decades, the population of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, has grown dramatically – moving the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette from comfortable small Midwestern towns to Indiana’s sixth largest metropolitan area.

Fueled by the accompanying uptick in crime and diversity, a common perception among locals holds that an influx of low-income black families displaced by Chicago’s Plan for Transformation (the dismantlement of public housing high rises) has flooded Tippecanoe with populations that bring crime and strain social services. As a result ...

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Gender gap in prostitution-related arrests found in crime data

NECIR used Google Fusion Tables to map state data

We knew that more women than men were arrested for prostitution-related crimes across the U.S. despite the fact that such offenses take both buyers and sellers.

What we wanted to find out was how each Massachusetts town differed in arrest patterns and if that gender disparity had changed following the passage of a 2012 state law meant to target the demand that fuels the lucrative and often violent commercial sex trade across the United States.

The data – provided to us by the Massachusetts State Police – showed that the gender gap ...

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Database quantifies wasted natural gas from Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas

An interactive map shows how the volume of flared gas in Texas counties has increased over time – especially in the Eagle Ford Shale. 

The energy boom that’s showering rural South Texas with money is also wasting an irreplaceable natural resource.

Drive through the bustling oil patch of the Eagle Ford Shale, located about an hour away from San Antonio, and you’ll quickly lose count of fiery gas flares that dot the countryside.

Natural gas is cheap. Pipelines are expensive. So instead of collecting the fossil fuel, many oil and gas operators build tall, metallic flare stacks to burn ...

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Database quantifies wasted natural gas from Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas

An interactive map shows how the volume of flared gas in Texas counties has increased over time – especially in the Eagle Ford Shale. 

By John Tedesco, San Antonio Express-News

The energy boom that’s showering rural South Texas with money is also wasting an irreplaceable natural resource.

Drive through the bustling oil patch of the Eagle Ford Shale, located about an hour away from San Antonio, and you’ll quickly lose count of fiery gas flares that dot the countryside.

Natural gas is cheap. Pipelines are expensive. So instead of collecting the fossil fuel, many oil and gas operators build ...

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Job data, press releases used to measure effectiveness of North Carolina incentive programs

When the Great Recession reached its peak at the end of 2009, a lot of what you heard and read from news organizations about the state of the economy felt depressingly similar.

Long lines at unemployment offices. Big crowds at job fairs. And everywhere, mounting horror stories from families struggling harder than ever before to make ends meet.

Amid this pervasive gloom, some supposed bright spots popped up regularly in our inboxes, courtesy of the North Carolina governor’s press office.

New jobs, as few as six and as high as a 1,014, were on their way to the ...

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National database used to report on hit-and-runs in Colorado

9News map of hit-and-run injuries 
Click here to view

It all started with an observation from 9News Denver investigative reporter Chris Vanderveen: Doesn’t it seem like there have been a lot of hit-and-runs in Colorado?

That started a year-long, joint investigation by 9News and Rocky Mountain PBS I-News that included analyzing electronic databases, getting police records from dozens of jurisdictions and poring over court documents.

We started with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System database to find out how many hit-and-run fatalities had taken place in Colorado during the most recent five-year period with ...

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Federal, state data used to track civil asset forfeitures in Virginia

When police seize cash, cars and other property, it’s usually taken through a legal process known as civil asset forfeiture.

Critics say the system gives police a financial incentive to take property with relative ease and makes it difficult for people to get it back.

We wanted to take a look at how much money is flowing through local departments as a result of this process. It turned out to be a lot.

In Virginia, agencies received more than $57 million over the past six years, according to the findings of a Virginian-Pilot examination of state and federal data ...

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