The New Orleans Police Department evidence room has tightened controls since $200,000 went missing five years ago.

But an Inspector General’s report finds some evidence in criminal cases remains at "high risk of theft or misplacement."

The 29-page report found the evidence room is plagued by a lack of documentation, poor record-keeping and vague guidelines.

It says staff members fail to conduct inventories each year and whenever a key-holder position changes. The report says that violates best practices and NOPD policy. 

In the next installment of an NPR investigation, Joseph Shapiro goes to New Orleans to look at the ways poor people are charged for their public defender in court.

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Charles Maldonado / The Lens


There has been a battle brewing over the fence on Newcomb Boulevard, which residents installed to block traffic from Freret Street. A group of residents and community associations responded with a lawsuit objecting to the gated closure of a public street.

As the floodwaters rose in New Orleans over Labor Day weekend in 2005, hundreds of people were left stranded at Memorial Medical Center, in triple-digit temperatures, without power or running water. Not all of them made it out alive — and in the aftermath, several medical professionals were arrested and charged with hastening the deaths of some of the sickest patients.

NPR has launched a new project examining whether public playgrounds nationwide are adhering to new requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act mandating they be accessible to kids with special needs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued new preliminary flood maps.

Louisiana’s delegation in Washington, D.C. is griping over FEMA’s disregard of local flood protection measures when it drew them.

Meanwhile, unless Congress succeeds in passing a delay, federal flood insurance rates are set to go up dramatically as soon as October. Many in Louisiana are facing increases of 20 percent or more.

And, as ProPublica reporter Theo Meyer has found, some may end up paying for insurance they don’t need.

Read the ProPublica article: Using Outdated Data, FEMA Is Wrongly Placing Homeowners in Flood Zones

Share your story: Tell ProPublica About Flood Map Problems Where You Live

In the Philippines, if you're not an OFW -- Overseas Filipino Worker -- it's like you're missing out.

Steve Myers / The Lens

The Lens, New Orleans’ investigative newsroom, has been following up on money distributed by the Nola for Life Fund. That’s the grant-making arm of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s hallmark campaign against violence, launched last year.

Charles Maldonado reports on government transparency for The Lens. He sat down with WWNO’s Eve Troeh to talk about his investigation into one nonprofit that received Nola 4 Life funds: It’s called Family Center of Hope.

Charter School Group May Owe More Than $250K For Student Meals

May 16, 2013

In a report over at The Lens today, Charter School Reporting Corps member Della Hasselle digs into a conflict between the state's Recovery School District and ReNEW Schools, a charter school group which oversees several Orleans Parish schools.

Hasselle and Steve Myers, Managing Editor of The Lens, came to WWNO to discuss the story.

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center via The Lens

This week state lawmakers and New Orleans city officials got a look at some proposals for riverfront development.

Tyler Bridges over at The Lens has been following the issue, which involves decisions about what to do with the World Trade Center, at the foot of Canal Street.