74 Seconds: The shooting of Philando Castile and trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez

MPR News produced a podcast that followed the fatal shooting of motorist Philando Castile in suburban Minnesota and the trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez. The podcast, 74 Seconds, was named after the amount of time it took for Officer Yanez to pull Castile over and fire seven shots into his car. Castile’s girlfriend, who was…

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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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You Could Pay Thousands Less For A Funeral Just By Crossing The Street

An NPR investigation found that consumers at funeral homes are paying vastly different prices for similar services when faced with a confusing system.  Consumers often do not know enough about their local ‘death care’ markets to make informed decisions during an emotionally and financially difficult time. Funeral homes can also be unclear about how much…

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Kentucky justice system tested in high-profile rape case

What happens when a wealthy, politically-connected businessman is the defendant in a rape case against his former caretaker? This story from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting reveals conflicts-of-interests in the investigation, brutal intimidation tactics, and the perks that a high community position can offer a person. The unnamed accuser was subject to strongly-worded threats…

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Vermont governor had indication of alleged EB-5 fraud

The latest investigation into Jay Peak resort by Vermont Public Radio and independent journalist Hilary Niles has found that, despite ongoing inquiries, Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration allowed Jay Peak Resort to resume marketing securities to fund developments in northern Vermont.  The move that returned Jay Peak owner Ariel Quiros and president Bill Stenger to the international…

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The Clean Energy Governor And The Columbia River Oil Refinery

Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who has cultivated a reputation as a national leader on climate change policy, has claimed ignorance about a proposed oil refinery in his state. But emails obtained by Oregon Public Broadcasting reveal the governor’s top advisors have been in discussions with the refinery for more than a year.

Unraveling the San Diego campaign finance scandal

“News broke in San Diego last week about a mysterious foreign national bent on influencing San Diego politics by illegally funneling money to political campaigns through a retired San Diego police detective and a undisclosed “straw donor.” Now, the politicians on the receiving end of the tainted funds are scrambling to distance themselves from the…

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How a recalled medical device killed a vet

“Despite the “urgent medical correction letter” posted at FDA.gov a trainer for B. Braun, the German manufacturer that produced the recalled morphine drip machine, came to the Seattle VA to teach nurses how to use the machine. According to the nurses, the trainer told them that a correction was coming soon for the device’s breakable…

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When children accidentally shoot siblings, parents rarely prosecuted

After a couple of recent cases invovling children accidentally shooting their siblings after finding loaded weapons in the house, Minnesota Public Radio analyzed state court data and found that prosecuting parents for leaving guns around kids is rare, but not unprecedented in Minnesota. MPR found that since 2001, 85 such cases have been prosecuted.