Stories that Matter
Recent powerful work from our newsrooms
News From The States
Criminalizing the vote: GOP-led states enacted 102 new election penalties after 2020
National democracy reporter Kira Lerner examined how 26 states have enacted, expanded, or increased the severity of 120 election-related criminal penalties since the 2020 election. The vast majority of the new penalties were enacted in 18 Republican-controlled states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Kansas voters defeat abortion amendment in unexpected landslide
For the Kansas Reflector, Sherman Smith and Lily O’Shea Becker covered the state’s historic August vote to preserve constitutional abortion rights. The outcome could have far-reaching political implications, with a governor’s race and congressional seats on the ballot in November. It also means reproductive health care will remain available in a state where six girls younger than 14 were among nearly 8,000 patients who received an abortion last year.
NC Policy Watch
State recovery office awarded troubled construction company $80 million in homebuilding contracts while thousands of Hurricane Matthew survivors remained displaced
Lisa Sorg of NC Policy Watch wrote a series of profiles and stories during an ongoing investigation into the state Office of Recovery and Resiliency, which has mishandled the RebuildNC program. Five and half years after Hurricane Matthew devastated parts of North Carolina, hundreds of households, equivalent to thousands of people, still do not have permanent homes; they are living in motels, travel trailers, with relatives, or even in their damaged houses.
Interior Department report details the brutality of federal Indian boarding schools
Shaun Griswold of Source New Mexico detailed revelations in a U.S. Interior Department report on boarding schools designed and run by the federal government to eradicate Indigenous people. It described rampant abuse and confirmed that the government used the tribes’ own trust money to pay for schools that destroyed their family bonds and culture.
Idaho Capital Sun
Taking COVID-19 funds, Cole was ‘reckless’ with lab operations, records and former staff say
Idaho Capital Sun reporter Audrey Dutton investigated a local pathologist and fount of misinformation who received state and federal COVID funds for testing. Instead, he misrepresented his facility’s capabilities, prescribed patients ivermectin for coronavirus, and misdiagnosed two patients with cancer. He also gave speeches falsely linking COVID vaccines to cancer.
Known to be toxic for a century, lead still poisons thousands of Midwestern kids
For The Missouri Independent and NPR’s Midwest Newsroom, reporters Allie Kite and Niara Savage spent months investigating why so many children in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska have elevated levels of lead in their blood at a rate far above the national average.