Unsafe bridges put public safety at risk

Dani Dodge of the Ventura County Star used Federal Highway Administration data to show that “twenty-eight of Ventura County’s 485 bridges are considered ‘structurally deficient’ … Bringing just 15 of those bridges up to standard would cost $50 million.” A map shows the location of the troubled spans, and a sidebar describes the condition of…

Read more »

Consulting work pays big for former employees

Brett J. Blackledge of The Birmingham News used state records to show that Alabama’s Department of Human Resources has spent millions on computer consultants, including payments to former agency employees who left DHR only to return for consulting work. “The agency responsible for helping needy children and families now is facing questions from federal officials…

Read more »

Net worths rise for some legislators while in office

Lucy Morgan of the St. Petersburg Times reviewed the annual financial disclosure forms filed by Florida state legislators, finding that “while 22 of the 160 legislators report their legislative salary as their principal income, a review of annual financial disclosure forms shows that 37 House members and 16 senators reported net worths of more than…

Read more »

Low tax penalty serves as cheap loan for some businesses

Lee Davidson of The Deseret Morning News used local records to show that “at least 443 land developers, real estate companies and construction companies owed more than a combined $5.17 million in back property taxes and penalties” as of January 2005. Ski resorts, an airline and telecommunications firm MCI are among the other tax delinquents…

Read more »

Rail safety in question

Scott Dodd, Bruce Henderson and Heather Vogell of The Charlotte Observer examine railroad safety, finding that “in the Charlotte region, nearly 800,000 people live within a mile of a major rail line,” an increase of 90,000 in the past 10 years. “Yet emergency planners don’t know how much hazardous material passes daily through uptown Charlotte…

Read more »

Coaches’ contracts with Nike raise ethical questions

Hartford Courant reporters Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman won a month-long legal battle for release of the contracts between University of Connecticut mens’ and womens’ basketball coaches Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma and Nike Inc. Over strenuous objections by the coaches’ lawyers, the state Ethics Commission decided that the contracts were public documents. A Courant…

Read more »

High donations pour in through campaign finance loophole

Michael Cooper of The New York Times found gaps in New York’s campaign finance laws. “Local parties can still accept unlimited corporate donations to their so-called housekeeping committees, which have few restrictions on how they can spend the money.” The Times uncovered a growing number of corporate donors topping the $100,000 mark, well above the…

Read more »

1 780 781 782 783 784 786