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Extra Extra Monday: terrorism fears and chemical plants, mental health gaps, factory farm pollution

Terrorism fears have led government to cloak the danger of hazardous chemical plants | The Houston Chronicle
"Around the country, hundreds of buildings like the one in West store some type of ammonium nitrate. They sit in quiet fields and by riverside docks, in business districts and around the corner from schools, hospitals and day care centers. By law, this shouldn’t be a mystery. Yet fears of terrorism have made it harder than ever for homeowners to find out what dangerous chemicals are hidden nearby. Poor communication can also keep rescue workers in the dark about the risks they face."

Milwaukee County mental health system traps patients in cycle of emergency care | The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Milwaukee County's mental health system focuses less on continual care and more on emergency treatment than any in the nation. Despite scandals, studies and promises of reform, the system is like many of its patients: It never gets better."

Welcome to IRE's roundup of the weekend’s many enterprise stories from around the country. We'll highlight the document digging, field work and data analysis that made their way into centerpieces in print, broadcast and online. Did we miss something? Email suggestions to web@ire.org


In California, incarcerated students fall through gaps in special education laws | The Center for Investigative Reporting
"California and federal laws allow students with disabilities to receive special education until age 22. But the laws are vague enough that deciding who should provide that education is unclear."

Now, You Can’t Ban Guns at the Public Pool | ProPublica
"For 20 years, Charleston has been an island of modest gun restrictions in a very pro-gun rights state. But its gun laws — including a ban on guns in city parks, pools and recreation centers — are now likely to be rolled back, the latest victory in a long-standing push to deny cities the power to regulate guns."

Minneapolis cops rarely disciplined in big-payout cases | The Star Tribune
"Despite nearly $14 million in payouts for alleged police misconduct over the past seven years, the Minneapolis Police Department rarely concluded that the officers involved did anything wrong, according to a Star Tribune analysis. Of 95 payouts from 2006 to 2012 to people who said they were victims of misconduct, eight resulted in officers being disciplined, according to records from the police and the city attorney’s office. The 12 costliest settlements were for cases that did not result in any officer discipline, the Star Tribune found. They included the $2.19 million paid in the case of a mentally ill man shot dead in 2006 by police, and the $1 million paid in the case of a woman severely burned by a police flash grenade in 2010."

As Factory Farms Spread, Government Efforts to Curb Threat From Livestock Waste Bog Down | Fair Warning
"As factory farms take over more and more of the nation’s livestock production, a major environmental threat has emerged: Pollution from the waste produced by the immense crush of animals."

Law to protect news sources could backfire in some cases, experts say | St. Louis Beacon
"Contrary to conventional wisdom, the proposed federal shield law backed by the press and President Barack Obama wouldn’t help reporters protect their sources in big national security cases, such as the recent ones involving the AP and James Rosen of Fox. In fact, the law could make it harder for the press to protect sources in those cases."

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