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

Legislators wine and dine at wholesalers’ expense

An investigation by the Detroit Free Press has found that beer and wine distributers are taking Michigan lawmakers with them every winter to a convention on a luxury resort. “The legislators fly for free to beachfront retreats like the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and the Hyatt Regency on Grand Cayman Island. They pay nothing…

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Campaign contributions still high despite law

David S. Bernstein of The Boston Phoenix analyzed campaign contributions to Massachusetts state legislative candidates, finding that “of the 650 registered lobbyists and 167 active PACs in the state, just 20 prominent lobbying firms and 10 large PACs collectively pumped more than $1 million into legislative candidates’ war chests in the past two years. And…

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FOI investigation finds most comply, but not entirely

Mark Chellgren of the Associated Press reported on an investigation led by the Kentucky Press Association and the Associated Press into “whether public offices are allowing citizens to view government documents. The investigation “showed most are obeying the state’s Open Records Act, but compliance is not uniform.” The results were mixed, varying from a smile…

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