For years, FieldTurf made millions selling faulty fields

A six-month investigation by NJ Advance Media found that FieldTurf, the leading maker of artificial sports fields, sold an estimated $570 million in product that it knew would not live up to marketing hype or sales promises.  Duraspine was marketed to cities as long-lasting and the best turf money could buy. However, internal emails obtained…

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Auto body fumes a frequent complaint in San Diego

Complaints about fumes coming from San Diego-area car painting operations are among the most frequent reported to air authorities, according to a report by inewsource. An analysis of records found that more than 10 percent of air complaints in San Diego County cite auto and truck painting. While the industry has taken steps to move…

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Amazon’s same-day delivery excludes some predominantly black ZIP codes

Amazon offers same-day delivery service in 27 metro areas, but data analysis by Bloomberg found that some minority neighborhoods don’t have the same access as their predominately white neighbors. Bloomberg compared Amazon same-day delivery areas with U.S. Census Bureau data and found that in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, black citizens are about half as…

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Tampa tow trucks violating law aimed at preventing drunk driving

WTSP-TV identified how illegal towing in Tampa was encouraging intoxicated bar patrons to drive their cars home, out of fear of towing. The story prompted immediate efforts to improve consumer protections outside bars and restaurants – not just in Tampa, but in neighboring cities now considering similar ordinances. The investigation is part of WTSP-TV’s series on…

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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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Minneapolis, St. Paul school districts are among least integrated

A Star Tribune analysis of enrollment data found that elementary students in Minneapolis and St. Paul are attending increasingly segregated schools. At the same time, many suburban districts – once overwhelmingly white – are become more diverse. Nineteen elementary schools in Minneapolis have student populations that are more than 80 percent minority. Two are almost…

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Virginia car-title lenders enter the world of consumer-finance loans

A four-part series from WAMU 88.5 News in Washington, D.C., explores how car-title lenders in Virginia have moved into the shadowy world of consumer-finance loans, allowing them to get around restrictions on how much interest they can charge and how long the loans can be extended. Meanwhile, borrowers of traditional car-title loans are increasingly failing…

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Boston Globe analyzes database of 6.8 million parking tickets

Everyone hates parking tickets. But some people in Boston have decided that parking illegally and risking a ticket is cheaper than paying for a garage downtown, where rates can exceed $40 a day. The Boston Globe mined a database of 6.8 million tickets to discover nearly 100 vehicles had 500 tickets or more in the…

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Millions of at-risk plants and animals legally enter the U.S.

The bounty includes shoes fashioned from caimans and pythons, coral cut from reefs for aquariums and jewelry, turtle cartilage for soup, iguanas for pets, elephant ivory piano keys, teeth from hippos, sperm whales and grizzlies. Millions of specimens of vulnerable wildlife — whole plants and animals and their parts — enter the United States each…

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No enforcement, uneven transparency on California golf water rules

Despite mandatory water restrictions, an investigation by The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California shows it’s impossible to tell how many golf courses are following the rules. Amid a serious drought, California Governor Jerry Brown required golf facilities pumping groundwater from their own wells to reduce their consumption by 25 percent or only water the…

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