Problems with judiciary system plague city

Jerry Mitchell of The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger reports that the Hinds County judicial system “at times resembles an elephant balancing on toothpicks. A yearlong investigation by The Clarion-Ledger has uncovered many long-term problems that have not been addressed.” The county had fewer prosecutors and fewer indictments in 2004 than similar-sized cities. “Between 1998 and 2003, the…

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New schools planned on contaminated sites

Jason Method and James W. Prado Roberts of the Asbury Park Press looked at New Jersey’s $6 billion school construction program and found that the state authority had purchased at least 22 environmentally contaminated or possibly contaminated sites, including one radioactive Superfund site and another historic steel cable plant full of lead, beryllium, arsenic and…

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Teen driving fatalities data shows an alarming trend

Jayne O’Donnell from USA Today investigated teenage driving accidents across the United States and found an alarming trend. Nearly three-fourths of teenage accidents occurred when males were behind the wheel with 16-year-olds being the riskiest of them all. “Their rate of involvement in fatal crashes was nearly five times that of drivers ages 20 and…

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Prison health care company faces harsh criticism

Paul von Zielbauer of The New York Times spent a year investigating Prison Health Services, a private company that provides medical care in many of New York’s state prisons. “A yearlong examination of Prison Health by The New York Times reveals repeated instances of medical care that has been flawed and sometimes lethal. The company’s…

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Complaints high for Florida repair shop

Jim Schoettler of The Florida Times-Union used state records to show that auto repair shops in Northeast Florida were the subject of nearly 600 complaints since 1999. “Hundreds more are fielded by local agencies and the courts, while countless others are reported to the shops. No one knows how many people who suspect they’ve been…

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Politicians benefit from cheaper tickets

Dave McKinney of the Chicago Sun-Times obtained a list of state politicians who have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the top-ranked University of Illinois basketball team’s games at face value. “As demand for Illini tickets has rocketed off the charts, the university has dispersed more than 2,000 tickets to its trustees, dozens of state…

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Courtroom security lax for employees, officers

Laure Quinlivan in WCPO-Cincinnati investigated courthouse security and found lax security in which employees enter through side doors and avoid metal detectors. Thousands of others, including county employees, lawyers and law enforcement officers, get in just by flashing their identification to the deputy on duty. The station estimated up to 10,000 people can bypass the…

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Teacher pay rising faster than inflation

Kurt Rogahn of The (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Gazette found that teacher pay “is increasing at rates better than inflation, despite warnings from the state’s leading teacher organization that Iowa’s average teacher pay hasn’t kept pace with inflation.” One researcher says the numbers show pay has gone up quite a bit, though the averages say it…

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