Watchdog articles

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Lax oversight of gov’t-supported Florida nonprofit contributes to taxpayer losses

Lax oversight of gov’t-supported Florida nonprofit contributes to taxpayer losses

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Hilda Hall-Dennis was no stranger to nonprofit community work. Over the course of 11 years, she managed three nonprofits in South Florida. In February 2006, she launched her own nonprofit — the Business Technology Development Corp., a business incubator subsisting on government grants. GRANTS: Hilda Hall-Dennis

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As pump prices tumble, states feel pinch of lower oil prices

GOING DOWN?: An employee at a gas station posts new gasoline prices recently. By Rob Nikolewski │ The skydiving price of gasoline is good news for drivers across the country, but it’s causing headaches for budget directors in oil-producing states that are now revising their numbers downward and hoping the that prices stabilize quickly.

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‘Free’ stimulus broadband project costs MN taxpayers millions

By Tom Steward | Watchdog Minnesota Bureau “Get connected, stay connected, live connected.” That marketing tagline sums up how Lake County officials manage to keep one of the most expensive federal stimulus broadband projects in the country alive. The costs of the Lake Connections fiber optic network project in the vast northern Minnesota wilderness continue

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Stimpson blasts Virginia’s public-private deals

STALLED OUT: A public-private deal to build a $1.4 billion toll-road section of U.S. 460 ended up going nowhere. Now Virginia taxpayers are on the hook, with no new highway to show for it. By Kenric Ward | Virginia Bureau STAFFORD, Va. – Virginia’s use and alleged misuse of public-private partnerships for road construction

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Nebraska audit finds welfare fraud, lack of oversight

By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska’s state auditor has unearthed a variety of problems with the way Nebraska doles out welfare and monitors the program, including $11,000 in payments for six months’ worth of cab rides, even though the welfare recipient owned a car. WASTE-BUSTER: State Auditor Mike Foley has found

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Wisconsin Supreme Court to take up John Doe complaints

Part 152 of 152 in the series Wisconsin’s Secret War By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter MADISON, Wis. – After nearly a year of waiting, the parties in a politically charged John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative groups will have their day in the state’s highest court. One constitutional law expert tells Wisconsin Reporter

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Escuelas charter en Florida: Saltan en crecimiento y preferencia

Por William Patrick y Carlo Maffat | Información reciente descubierta por la Alianza Nacional de Escuelas Chárter públicas les da a sus oponentes algo de qué preocuparse. Las escuelas chárter son la opción de reforma educativa de mayor crecimiento según el informe de diciembre. ESCUELAS CHARTER: La alternativa a las escuelas publicas aumenta inscripciones

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OPPD’s expected rate hike hardly a shocker

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog If, as expected, OPPD announces this week that it is raising rates next year, it’ll be keeping a long-standing tradition firmly intact. During the last 11 years the Omaha Public Power District has charged its customers more every year, except one. The Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Station surrounded by the Missouri

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Still more politicized pseudo-science?

By Paul Drissen Widening efforts to blame neonicotinoid pesticides for honeybee “colony collapse disorder” and other “beepocalypse” problems have taken a fascinating turn. Insisting that scientific evidence shows a clear link between neonics and honeybee population declines, EU anti-insecticide campaigners persuaded the European Union to impose a two-year ban on using the chemicals. Farm organizations

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DWD pays out $86.3 million in fraudulent jobless claims, audit finds

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter MADISON, Wis. – The state Department of Workforce Development over the past few years has paid out $86.3 million in unemployment benefits to people bilking the system, according to an audit released Tuesday. The nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s report shows the employment agency made 681,400 in total overpayments amounting