Records show New York fails to verify that repairs are made on vehicles

An analysis from the Times-Union in Albany, New York, found that the state has routinely failed to impose serious penalties or seek criminal charges against operators and transportation companies who take unsafe vehicles on the road. The investigation came after the crash involving a Ford limousine in upstate New York that killed 20 people in October. The…

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More than 1,000 Oregon daycares have failed to prove water is free of lead

A third of licensed daycares in Oregon failed to prove that their drinking water didn’t contain high levels of lead, The Oregonian/OregonLive found. Daycares in the state are required to test their water for the first time this year after reporting from the newsroom prompted a rule change. While child cares had until the end of…

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Despite warning, Cook County board president took 6 months to fire chief of staff for inappropriate behavior

When the president of the Cook County Board in Chicago announced she had fired her chief of staff for “inappropriate behavior,” she denied twice that she knew anything about the allegations against him before his firing in mid-September. But Toni Preckwinkle knew about the concerns regarding his behavior with women six months earlier, the Chicago Tribune…

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Troopers Collect Huge Vacation and Sick Time Payouts While Under OT Investigation

Within the Massachusetts State Police, troopers who retire while under investigation for criminal charges are collecting thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds, NBC10 Boston Investigators found. Several veteran law enforcement officers retired earlier this year after a widespread overtime scandal. They cashed in on unused vacation and sick time from throughout their careers to collectively…

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Early voting changes hit NC rural voters hardest, analysis shows. But will it matter in 2018?

An investigation from WRAL News in North Carolina found that early voters in the state’s poor and rural counties were disproportionately farther away from their nearest voting location, compared to voters in urban and wealthier counties. From 2014 to this year, the total number of early locations dropped by about 17 percent statewide. Two counties lost…

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Hate in Maryland: From racist taunts to swastikas to a campus stabbing, bias reports up sharply in state

The Baltimore Sun found that reports of hate crimes are on the rise in Maryland after a review of hundreds of pages of documents. Hate crimes increased 35% since 2016, the paper found, and rose to a pace of more than one report per day.  The statewide increase echoes a national trend. And while authorities…

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Selling senior care: Costly dementia care failing to keep Oregon seniors safe

The Oregonian spent more than a year investigating memory care in Oregon, where over 100,000 records and accounts from hundreds of memory care workers and families showed evidence of abuse, high prices and understaffing. Confirmed cases of abuse are more than twice as prevalent in memory care facilities as they are in other types of Oregon…

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How a company’s natural gas keeps blowing up Texas homes — while customers pay the tab

More than two dozen homes across North and Central Texas have blown up since 2006 because of leaking natural gas, an investigation by The Dallas Morning News found. Nine people died; at least 22 others were badly injured. And the state agency over pipeline safety rarely fines companies for serious safety problems, even when they…

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