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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Houston Fire Department lacked rescue equipment needed during flooding

A senior Houston Fire Department captain wrote there were not enough life jackets or rescue boats available to first responders during the massive Memorial Day flood that swamped the city. KPRC-TV obtained 230 pages of internal fire department records related to the Houston Fire Department’s response to the historic flood, which left eight people dead. …

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Six years after Hurricane Ike, Texas coast remains vulnerable

Hurricane Ike sent a clear message that the people and vital energy industry of greater Houston, one of America’s largest urban areas needed protection from rising seas. Six years later, it remains an easy target as storm surges grow increasingly more destructive. Many major coastal cities are in the same boat. A Reuters analysis of…

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Tracking federal, state aid money after the deadly Oklahoma tornadoes

An investigation by Oklahoma Watch and KGOU found that almost three-fourths of the people who applied for FEMA aid following the killer twisters in Oklahoma last year were rejected. While tens of millions of dollars in state and federal aid were released following the storm, the process of receiving and using those funds hasn’t always…

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Many displaced by superstorm Sandy still wait for housing help

Seventeen months after Congress authorized up to $16 billion to fix homes wrecked by superstorm Sandy, tens of thousands of people still are living in damaged houses or paying rent on top of a mortgage as they wait for rebuilding help, reports The Wall Street Journal. About 15,000 New York City residents are seeking aid,…

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Data shows car accidents spike when sun aligns with Toronto street grid

Global News obtained 11 years of collision data and found that “Torontohenge,” when the setting sun aligns with Toronto’s east-west street grid and forces drivers to squint through salt-crusted windshields, coincides with the third-worst day of the year for car accidents. Get the full story and graphic.

Air quality monitoring falls short at Eagle Ford oil and gas wells

An oil boom is underway at the Eagle Ford Shale in Karnes County, Texas, but the development is diminishing the quality of life of the inhabitants of the rural county and possibly endangering their health, according to reporting by the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and the Weather Channel. Residents’ complaints are going unaddressed and…

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FEMA money unequally distributed in flooded Colo. neighborhoods

“It’s been four months since record floods tore up roadways and transformed the geography of northeastern Colorado. Since then, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has spent millions helping people affected by the disaster. Yet an investigation by FOX31 Denver found some neighborhoods are getting a lot less FEMA money than others.” Read the full story…

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Many Oklahoma schools not adequately prepared for emergencies

Despite a 10-year-old state law requiring schools to have up-to-date safety and disaster plans on file with local emergency management officials, 9 Investigates at KWTV in Oklahoma City and 6 Investigates at KOTV in Tulsa, Okla., found that few districts are in compliance. Often, fewer than half the schools in an area had current plans on…

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