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Investigations: Regulators deflated totals in tire-related crash deaths

in Investigations

Eli Wolfe FairWarning Without saying why, federal traffic safety officials have quietly altered crash data, revealing that more than three times as many people die in wrecks linked to tire failures than previously acknowledged. For several years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that the annual death toll from tire-related crashes was 200. Then…

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Former DNR employee: Staff pressured to OK Kohler golf course on rare Wisconsin wetlands and state park

in Investigations

Project pits business and political interests against environmental concerns. ‘This is one of the most special places I have ever been,’ retired DNR ecologist says. By Sarah Whites-Koditschek Wisconsin Public Radio “Here’s our thistle! This is a rare, very rare plant,” retired wetland ecologist Pat Trochlell exclaimed as she stood at the edge of Lake…

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Last-minute surprises and secretive moves hide Wisconsin lawmakers’ actions from public view

in Investigations

Anonymous budget amendments and ‘Body Snatcher’ bills give power to special interests and change the scope of legislation with no chance for public input By CV Vitolo-Haddad and Dee J. Hall Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism It was 10:30 p.m. on June 3, 2011, the last day of deliberations on Wisconsin’s state budget. Members of…

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Bent on swaying lawmaking, drugmakers funnel millions to members of Congress

in Health/Investigations

Emmarie Huetteman and Sydney Lupkin, Kaiser Health News Before the midterm elections heated up, dozens of drugmakers had already poured about $12 million into the war chests of hundreds of members of Congress. Since the beginning of last year, 34 lawmakers have each received more than $100,000 from pharmaceutical companies. Two of those — Reps.…

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Excavation on Thomas Street alarms residents

in Breaking News/Investigations/News

By Shereen Siewert WAUSAU — Despite repeated assurances from city officials that any excavating of Thomas Street soils would include a water truck to minimize potential toxic dust transferred to nearby residents’ yards, crews spent several hours Thursday digging in the corridor without that safety measure in place. City officials were unaware of the excavation,…

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Chemotherapy drugs for pets pose rising risk for vets

in Investigations

By Stuart Silverstein/FairWarning During a 2006 biopsy of a worrisome growth on his thyroid gland, while a needle was still lodged in his neck, Arizona veterinarian Brett Cordes was surprised by a question from his endocrinologist. The doctor, Cordes said, “asked me if I handled chemotherapy and hazardous drugs” at work, and he acknowledged that…

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Safety agency nixes tracking deaths involving ROVs

in Investigations

By Eli Wolfe/FairWarning Despite mounting casualties from crashes of recreational off-highway vehicles, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has shot down a proposal to track injuries and deaths involving the popular trail machines. Commissioners voted 3-2 against adding the vehicles, known as ROVs, as a category to the agency’s annual report on all-terrain vehicle, or…

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Asian restaurants and Chicago employment agencies accused of exploiting Latino workers in Midwest

in Investigations/News

Poor immigrants are offered housing and jobs but end up isolated and underpaid; ‘We work, but sometimes they treat us bad,’ says one Mexican employee By Belle Lin Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism Alexandra Arriaga Chicago Sun-Times CHICAGO — On a cool Monday evening in August, a few minutes after the 10 p.m. closing of…

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Report: Violence against emergency room staffers on the rise

in Health/Investigations

By Eli Wolfe/FairWarning Slaps, kicks, bites and curses are daily hazards faced by staff in hundreds of emergency rooms. And the threat of workplace violence seems to be getting worse. A new survey has found that nearly 50 percent of emergency physicians have been physically assaulted on the job, and nearly 70 percent believe violence…

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Insurers accused of conspiring to deny Lyme disease coverage

in Health/Investigations

By Cameron Langford/Courthouse News TEXARKANA, Texas (CN) – Twenty-eight people claim in a federal antitrust lawsuit that Lyme disease victims are being forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment because health insurers are denying coverage with bogus guidelines established by their paid consultants, who falsely say the disease can always be cured…

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