It must be Monday if the weekend rain has stopped. Here’s what you might have missed over the weekend from our Watchdog team and others here at The Oklahoman:
–Watchdog reporter Randy Ellis has a comprehensive look at the inspection records and star ratings of a privately run day care in Oklahoma City that has gotten in trouble lately over lax supervision.
- Academy rating stays unfazed after Oklahoma City child care center’s violations
- Oklahoma City day care center has reported issues to DHS
In related DHS stories, the Tulsa World has the latest on a private group’s lawsuit over the state’s foster care system, as well as how much money DHS has spent defending itself using outside attorneys. Meanwhile, a similar fight is brewing in Massachusetts over that state’s foster care system.
–Watchdog reporter Ann Kelley has been on the case of the Liberian girls who were adopted by a Fairview couple from the beginning. Kelley talked to Liberian officials who have been concerned enough about several U.S. adoption cases, including the Oklahoma one, to temporarily halt adoptions from the African nation.
–Our Washington bureau reporter Chris Casteel followed a recent Congressional hearing that looked at how much data schools and other educational institutions are collecting on schoolchildren.
–In related education news, reporter Megan Rolland looks back at the fight over House Bill 1017 back in 1990. The parallels to today are striking: Tea Party protests, taxes and educational funding efforts (like the battle over this year’s State Question 744).
–Meanwhile, Capitol reporter Michael McNutt has the latest on the infighting among the loose coalition of Tea Party interests in the state.
–The tragic mine accident in West Virginia has gotten a lot of attention in the last couple of weeks. On Sunday, the Washington Post took a look at the “revolving door” of lobbyists and industry regulators in the mining industry:
More than 200 former congressional staff members, federal regulators and lawmakers are employed by the mining industry as lobbyists, consultants or senior executives, including dozens who work for coal companies with the worst safety records in the nation, a Washington Post analysis shows.
The revolving door has also brought industry officials into government as policy aides in Congress or officials of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), which enforces safety standards.
The movement between industry and government allows both to benefit from crucial expertise, but mining safety experts say it often has led to a regulatory system tilted toward coal company interests. That, they say, has put miners at risk and left behind a flawed enforcement system that probably contributed to this month’s Massey Energy mine explosion in West Virginia.
–The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges Friday against the investment bank Goldman Sachs over some questionable mortgage trades. New York Times reporter Louise Story follows up her previous reporting on the issue with a look at how much top Goldman executives were following those trades at one of their units.
–California nonprofit news outlet CaliforniaWatch reported how that state’s nursing homes have been reaping millions in subsidies, even as they cut staff.