investigations

Investigations
5:44 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

When Telemarketers Pocket Money Meant For Charity

Telemarketers at work at an InfoCision call center. The for-profit company solicits millions in charitable donations each year and also provides marketing services to for-profit clients.
Courtesy of InfoCision

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 1:55 pm

Americans donate billions of dollars to charity each year, and a portion of that money is raised by telemarketing solicitations.

Some of those charitable contributions are solicited by InfoCision Management Corp., an Ohio-based telemarketing company that, on its website, claims to raise more money for nonprofit organizations over the phone than any other company n the world.

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Health
12:21 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

DHH probes Lafayette Association for Retarded Citizens

State investigators say one client of the Lafayette Association for Retarded Citizens developed a bowel obstruction and another developed an antibiotic-resistant staph infection because association employees did not administer medicine properly.

The Advertiser reports that the association had a Feb. 19 deadline for correcting problems found in December by the health standards section of the Department of Health and Hospitals.

It says neither DHH nor association Director Glenn Weber would comment on whether LARC met that deadline.

Mickey Shunick
1:13 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Face expert examining remains found Tuesday night

Officials at the Lafayette Parish Coroner's office say the body believed to be Mickey Shunick is in such an advanced stage of decay they had to send it to face identification expert at Louisiana State University.

Keith Talamo, chief medicolegal investigator at the coroner's office, said Wednesday Mary Manhein at the LSU FACES Laboratory will be handling the investigation of the body. Police found it buried at a cemetery about 100 yards off of La. Highway 10.

Talamo said it will be 24-48 hours before they will be able to identify the remains.

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Latest News
11:54 am
Mon August 6, 2012

State auditor takes second look at Jefferson Parish health clinics

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor says a second review of financial records at Jefferson Community Healthcare Centers has uncovered illegal use of public money and transactions involving former Jefferson Parish Councilman Byron Lee and his family.

The auditor found that more than $200,000 in clinic funds was transferred the personal bank account of former chief financial officer Ebony Williams and that $135,000 in public money was used for unearned benefits as well as political donations, a for-profit business investment and a Christmas party.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Federal Mine Agency Considering Tougher Response On Black Lung

Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va., at the end of his shift. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57.
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 7:54 am

NPR and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) have learned that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Labor Department are putting together a team of agency experts and lawyers to specifically consider how to bolster coal mine dust enforcement given the statutory and regulatory weaknesses detailed by NPR and CPI this week in stories about the resurgence of black lung.

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Latest News
12:36 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Audit: Waste tire program not tightly monitored

A new audit says the state Department of Environmental Quality didn't have proper controls over a state program meant to keep tires from being dumped illegally, allowing overpayments.

The report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office says DEQ allows waste tire processors to weigh their own tire shipments, rather than confirming the weight through a third party. Since the payments are based on weight, the audit says the lack of confirmation gives processors an ability to overstate what they've done.

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Historic Preservation
9:30 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Nonprofit requests demolition for house that city spent $35,000 to save and move

The nonprofit that owns this house in Tremé requested permission to tear it down, but has since said it's making efforts to renovate it.
Karen Gadbois The Lens

In a blow to housing preservation efforts, the nonprofit owners of a home that was moved from the new Veteran’s Affairs Hospital site to Tremé recently asked for permission to demolish the historic house.

The city spent $35,000 to move the house and donated it to Providence Community Housing.

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Community Development
6:53 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

City looking to spend federal money more efficiently, quickly

The Hoffman Triangle III project aimed to complete nine new homes for first-time homebuyers by the end of last year. But only 5 were completed, according to a city report detailing how federal housing grant funds were spent in 2011.
Tom Gogola The Lens

It seemed like a simple enough question: How much of a $25 million annual federal allocation did Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration spend last year to help struggling residents and address blight?

The precise figure is hard to decipher, city officials said. On the one hand, the city spent more than $25 million because of money rolled over from previous years. But it didn’t spend all of its 2011 money, citing project delays.

As they do annually, the feds are letting the money roll into this year, so the city hasn’t lost any funding.

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NOAH Investigation
8:30 am
Wed April 18, 2012

City contractor accused in kickback deal is set to plead guilty and is cooperating

City officials used bright signs to tout remediation work by the New Orleans Affordable Homeownership program.
Karen Gadbois The Lens

As expected, a one-time city contractor facing federal charges in a Nagin-era kickback scheme is cooperating with investigators and is set to plead guilty next week, according to his attorney and U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office.

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The Lens: New Orleans Parking Enforcement
7:45 am
Fri March 30, 2012

New Orleans tightens rules on who gets the boot — and parking revenues soar

Motorist's nightmare.
Wikipedia creative commons

 

Feel like the city’s got a boot on your neck? How about on your tire?

There’s a reason why. In the past year, New Orleans parking officials have become much more aggressive in the use of devices that immobilize cars with outstanding parking tickets.

“[W]e used to boot vehicles if they had more than three violations,” said city Department of Public Works parking administrator Zepporiah Edmonds, in testimony Wednesday afternoon before the City Council’s Budget-Audit Board of Review.

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