Records show New York fails to verify that repairs are made on vehicles

An analysis from the Times-Union in Albany, New York, found that the state has routinely failed to impose serious penalties or seek criminal charges against operators and transportation companies who take unsafe vehicles on the road. The investigation came after the crash involving a Ford limousine in upstate New York that killed 20 people in October. The…

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Twin Cities’ checks of Uber, Lyft drivers appear to be hit or miss

A criminal record or history of bad driving won’t prevent people from becoming Uber or Lyft drivers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Star Tribune identified 176 drivers for the ride-sharing companies and found that nearly a third had committed offenses that violated Uber and Lyft’s hiring standards or violated ride-sharing ordinances in the top…

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Reuters finds lead levels higher than Flint’s in thousands of locales

Flint, Michigan, is likely the most well-known lead hotspot in America. But a Reuters examination of lead testing results across the country found that Flint doesn’t rank among the nation’s most dangerous areas for lead poisoning. Reuters found almost 3,000 places with poisoning rates much higher than the Michigan city. To identify these locations, Reuters…

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Across Florida, families of the mentally ill are dying for help

A six-month investigation by the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale found that people with mental illness have killed or brutally assaulted at least 500 loved ones in Florida since 2000. During that time, Florida’s spending on mental health programs has declined significantly. While family members struggle to seek medical help for a mentally ill loved…

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Designed for fairness, Florida’s sentencing system fails to account for prejudice

“Bias on the Bench,” a yearlong investigation by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, found that judges across Florida sentence black defendants to longer punishment than whites, even when they committed the same crimes under almost identical circumstances. The four-part series shows that racial inequalities in criminal sentencing are rampant throughout Florida. Blacks are found guilty more often…

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Police pursuits lead to a shocking number of deaths every year

In 2014, four police pursuits ended in four separate deaths: a 75-year-old Navy veteran, a 42-year-old nursing assistant, a grandmother, and a speeding motorcyclist. All four chases happened within four miles of one another. And all shared one other characteristic: Everyone killed was black. A first-of-its-kind investigation by USA TODAY revealed that, on average, 90…

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National Guard inaction exposes communities to lead

America’s National Guard armories host community events from weddings to school sleepovers. They also house indoor firing ranges where part-time soldiers once tested their skills. Every time someone pulled the trigger, a bullet cast off bits of lead.  The Oregonian/OregonLive’s 18-month investigation found that the Guard’s neglect allowed lead dust to build up and contaminate…

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Texas officials stunned to learn of city housing authority and its problems

When the mayor of Kyle, Texas received a letter about mismanagement in the city’s independent housing authority, he was surprised — mostly because he had no idea the agency existed. The letter was sent by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regional office in San Antonio and obtained by The Austin American-Statesman. The paper…

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Baltimore felony conviction rates fall under State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby

After a new top prosecutor took office in Baltimore in January 2015, felony convictions dropped even as violent crime increased in the city. The Wall Street Journal examined all closed felony cases between 2011 and August 2016 and found that only about 53 percent of felony cases have ended in a conviction since Marilyn Mosby…

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