car parked in breakdown lane

Outdated metrics and padded scoring: Federal vehicle safety ratings fail to properly inform consumers

This story was produced by FairWarning, a nonprofit news organization based in Southern California that focuses on public health, consumer and environmental issues.  Grade inflation in school makes it difficult to distinguish who is actually achieving in the classroom. The federal government’s vehicle safety rating system suffers the same problem. Today, 98 percent of all …

Truck and cars on road

Trump administration aims to ease commercial trucking safety rules

This story was produced by FairWarning, a nonprofit news organization based in Southern California that focuses on public health, consumer and environmental issues.  In Washington, D.C., a new Trump administration plan to relax safety rules for truck drivers has rekindled old heartaches for families across the country. On a sunny Labor Day morning in Oklahoma, …

Playground under water after flood

State of emergency

Katrina. Sandy. Harvey. Maria. Each was a disaster of shattering magnitude, battering America’s shores over the past two decades. But between these pivotal storms lie hundreds of smaller disasters that garner a fraction of the national attention and the billions of federal dollars that accompany them. A News21 analysis of Federal Emergency Management Agency data …

Methane leak explosion

The gas field next door: living amid old storage wells at risk of leaks

This story was produced by FairWarning, a nonprofit news organization based in Southern California that focuses on public health, consumer and environmental issues.  More Americans than previously estimated live within a city block of aged, underground natural gas storage wells, some more than a century old and most of them lacking modern designs to prevent …

A banking mystery

State regulators shuttered a local bank in rural Texas last month citing “insider abuse and fraud by former officers,” breaking a string of 17 months without a bank failure. Texas Banking Commissioner Charles G. Cooper called the closure of Enloe State Bank an “isolated case” in a recent interview. Other experts agree the May 31, …

a bag of methamphetamine

Missing the big picture?

Officials say drug abuse problems seldom involve only one substance. And while local officials are grateful for the funding, the grants can be spent only on creating solutions to combat opioids, such as prescription OxyContin, heroin and fentanyl.

Former White House advisor Steve Bannon

Creating an archive for ‘Trump’s Trade War’

After working for months on the PBS FRONTLINE documentary “Trump’s Trade War,” I could probably recite portions of Donald Trump’s May 1, 2016, campaign speech in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from memory. In the speech, Trump said: “We can’t allow China to continue raping our country, and that’s what they’re doing.” The speech features prominently in …