Questionable payments to Oregon ranchers who blame wolves for missing cattle

An EarthFix examination found Oregon has made a questionable pattern of wolf compensation payments to Oregon ranchers that contradict established knowledge of the state’s wolf population. With no consistent system for verifying unfound livestock losses, the state has little way of knowing for sure whether it’s denying some ranchers their due compensation or paying out…

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Florida’s top economist on sporting event impact isn’t an economist

The state of Florida spends nearly as much money every year on professional sports stadiums as it does maintaining the state’s top tourist attraction, its beaches.  However, WTSP in Tampa Bay found the author of so many economic impact reports that support sports subsidies does not appear to be the expert economist state leaders have…

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Nearly a fifth of Illinois 9/11 loans deemed uncollectible

An analysis by the Chicago Tribune shows that nearly a fifth of the “economic injury disaster loans” made to Illinois small businesses in the wake of the 9/11 attacks have been deemed uncollectible by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The charge-off rate for the banking industry is well under 1 percent of loans. About half…

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Cutting tuition grants wouldn’t save as much as Texas lieutenant governor claims

Hundreds of thousands of minority, poor and middle class students could miss out on an opportunity to attend college if Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gets his way. Patrick wants to eliminate programs that require 20 percent of all tuition collected by schools to go to students who demonstrate financial need. By doing away with…

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Puerto Rico gives away more than $519 million to multinational seed

During a decade of fiscal crisis, Puerto Rican officials awarded multinational seed corporations preferential tax rates, tax exemptions, industrial incentives and wage subsidies. An investigation by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo) found that companies including Monsanto and Pioneer Hi Bred received more than $519.7 million in public funds. Both companies…

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A look inside the shady industry that profits on mugshot photos

A team of journalists at Fusion’s The Naked Truth found that people have long taken an interest in looking at mugshots, but that the gawking has taken a more commercialized, troubling turn since the late 1800s. That fascination then morphed into printed magazines of mugshots, usually only with a citywide or regional reach. Now, however,…

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‘Panama Papers’ expose crime and corruption hidden by offshore accounts

More than 100 news organizations collaborated to report on the “Panama Papers,” a cache of 11.5 million documents that illustrate the hidden financial dealings of current and former world leaders, politicians and public officials. Among their findings: Associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies. Offshore…

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Women and minorities in Texas government make less than white men — and the gap is growing

Data analysis by The Dallas Morning News found that, for a decade, the wage gap has been growing. Women and minorities working for the state of Texas make less money than their white, male counterparts in similar jobs. Women earn 2 cents less on the dollar today than they did in 2006, the paper found.…

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Memo allowed Cincinnati sewer district to spend $680 million without oversight

A six-line memo written in 2007 allowed the Metropolitan Sewer District in Cincinnati, Ohio to spend as much as $680 million in public funds with little to no oversight. A Cincinnati Enquirer investigation found that the 2007 memo written by a former city manager “eliminated critical checks and balances just as the sewer district embarked…

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Tracing the origins of a mysterious disease that cost the pork industry $1 billion

More than two years ago a rare and fast-spreading virus arrived in the U.S., killing hundreds of baby pigs and costing the pork industry roughly $1 billion. Harvest Public Media spent months examining the outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, a virus never before seen in the U.S., studying documents and talking to scientists and other…

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