Hispanic girls lack high school sports participation

MaryJo Sylwester, in her swan song at USA TODAY before joining the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, used federal education data to help illustrate the comparative lack of participation in high school sports by Hispanic girls. “Nationally, about 36% of Hispanic sophomore girls played interscholastic sports, compared with 52% of non-Hispanics for the 2001-02 school year.” Money…

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Inmates awating trial drive up costs

Curtis Johnson of The (Huntingdon) Herald-Dispatch used Cabell County court and jail records to show that .”inmates facing felony charges, most of whom were awaiting trial, accounted for 62 percent of the month’s bill. That’s important, because if convicted, the state takes over the cost of their imprisonment.” The records show that “reducing the jail…

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County jails outdated fail to meet standards

Leon Alligood of The Tennessean reviewed state data to report on overcrowding in county jails. He found that “a total of 26 of the 129 jails statewide have been ‘decertified’,” because of varying reasons, ranging from unhealthy living conditions, to out-dated facilities. Of the 26 jails that were decertified, the average age of the facilities…

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Scout program overstated numbers to entice donors

The investigative team for WAGA-Atlanta investigated claims that Atlanta’s inner-city boy scout program grossly overstated their numbers to boost their image, in an attempt to convince potential donors to donate. “Insiders say the way the Boy Scouts account for members and troops inflates its numbers resulting in what insiders call Ghost Scouts and Phantom Troops.”…

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Governor’s office political dealings in question

Alan Judd of The Atlanta-Jounal Constitution investigated claims that the Georgia governor’s office put heat on the state’s consumer regulatory office over dealings with a major car dealership and donor to the governor’s campaign. “In the Bill Heard Chevrolet case, Hills’ inquiry became a key point in a series of events that, Smith says, undermined…

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Wal-Mart cashes in incentives, while many employees taking in medicaid

Sydney P. Freedburg and Connie Humburg of the St. Petersburg Times used state records to show that “Wal-Mart and four other large companies that receive state incentives have an estimated 29,900 employees or their family members enrolled in Medicaid. The figures suggest taxpayers may be double-subsidizing low-wage employment by paying companies to create jobs and…

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Oil tanker regulations ignored, trimmed back

Eric Nalder of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer investigated the inner-workings of a tanker fleet owned by the third-largest oil company in the nation, ConocoPhillips. The series was inspired by a mystery spill in Puget Sound. The company had denied that its ship, the Polar Texas, was the spiller, while the U.S. Coast Guard said the oil…

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