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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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…

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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…

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