In our continuing attempt to alert you to important investigations around the country, we offer these two recent examples:
Reporters for the Charlotte Observer spent nearly two years investigating the treatment of workers in the poultry industry. This month they published their results, which in the words of the newspaper's editorial page found that "weak regulations and slack enforcement have made it easy for a dangerous industry to exploit illegal workers, underreport injuries and manipulate a regulatory system that essentially lets companies police themselves." The six-part series noted descrepancies between one poultry processor's safety claims and the individual workers who said they sustained serious injuries that never made it on the official company record. Government safety inspections of poultry plants, the newspaper reports, have dropped to their lowest point in 15 years. Two congressional committees have announced they will hold hearings as a result of the newspaper report.
In a project published last month, The Seattle Times revisited the last great football team from the University of Washington -- the squad that won the Rose Bowl in 2000. Using documents unavailable at the time, the newspaper found criminal conduct and hooliganism by the players. At least a dozen members were arrested that year or charged with a crime that carried possible jail time. At least a dozen others on that team got in trouble with the law in other seasons.
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