Charity money goes to fund-raiser

Bill Smith of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch used tax records to show that “a foundation run by some of Missouri’s top police officials has raised millions of dollars on behalf of charity, but more than 80 percent of those contributions have gone to the foundation’s Texas-based fund-raiser.” The group raised about $3.1 million between 2000…

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High pay for civilian contractors

Kevin Begos and Phoebe Zerwick of the Winston-Salem Journal used details from federal contracts to contractors in Iraq to calculate a basic labor rate of $350,000 a year for a “liaison officer under the contract that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Charlotte’s Zapata Engineering to help dispose of captured munitions. It’s 10 times…

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War fatalities hit hardest in Vermont

Jody Tillman of the Valley News used state-by-state analysis to compare Vermont’s fatality numbers compared to other states. The Valley News found that Vermont had the “highest death rate of any state among soldiers and Marines deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan between March 1, 2003, and October 31, 2004: 5.6 per 1,000 troops.” They also…

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Racist covenants still exist

Judy L. Thomas and Gregory S. Reeves of The Kansas City Star studied homeowner association rules in the Kansas City area, finding that “more than 1,200 documents involving thousands of homes still contain racist language banning blacks, Jews and other ethnic groups. For the first half of the 20th century, racially restrictive covenants were routinely…

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N. Texas high school athletes using steriods

Gregg Jones and Gary Jacobson of The Dallas Morning News found that steroids in north Texas high schools are “readily available and commonly used.” In a four-month investigation, “The News interviewed more than 100 current and former high school students, coaches and parents about steroids in high schools.” They found students buy the drugs from…

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Election records found fallible

Greg Borowski and Stacy Forester from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal investigated voter logbooks and found discrepancies between votes cast and number of people who voted. “The newspaper’s review found 24 cases where there is a discrepancy of at least 5%, with more ballots than voters listed in a ward. Logbooks for another 20 wards showed…

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Working poor face tough challenges

Heath Foster, Paul Nyhan and Phoung Cat Le of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer have a series on the working poor in King and Snohomish counties, concluding that “nearly half a million people in King and Snohomish counties, about a quarter of them children, are surviving at no more than twice the federal poverty level

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