Monthly Archives: June 2019

Have You Been Sued by a Hospital, Doctor or Other Memphis Institution? Tell Us About It.

by Beena Raghavendran, ProPublica, and Wendi C. Thomas, MLK50 This year, ProPublica and MLK50 are investigating institutions that profit at the expense of people who can’t afford to pay. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, a nonprofit health care system, makes millions and relentlessly sues the poor in Memphis — a city where nearly 1 in 4 residents live below the poverty ...

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“Dire” Law Enforcement Crisis in Rural Alaska Prompts Emergency Declaration, New Federal Funding

by Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr declared an emergency for public safety in rural Alaska on Friday and announced more than $10 million in funds as part of a sweeping plan to support law enforcement in Alaska Native villages. The U.S. Department of Justice will immediately provide $6 million to the state to hire, ...

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ProPublica’s Age Discrimination Series Wins Gerald Loeb Award

by ProPublica ProPublica’s Peter Gosselin and Ariana Tobin, in partnership with Vox’s Ranjani Chakraborty, have won a Gerald Loeb Award in beat reporting for their series investigating age discrimination in the workplace. The project explored, in new detail and specificity, how employers were shedding older workers, as well as the toll these tactics were taking on the lives of those ...

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The Sheriff Lost Reelection. Then the Spending Spree Began.

by Connor Sheets, AL.com A jumble of electrical cables dangles from a hole punched through the ceiling in Sheriff Blake Turman’s brightly lit office in rural Covington County, Alabama, near the Florida Panhandle. A year ago, Turman’s predecessor, Dennis Meeks, used sheriff’s office funds to buy and install a security camera system, financial records show. But the equipment is no ...

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Low-Wage Workers Are Being Sued for Unpaid Medical Bills by a Nonprofit Christian Hospital That Employs Them

by Wendi C. Thomas, MLK50 MEMPHIS, Tennessee — This year, a Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare housekeeper left her job just three hours into her shift and caught a bus to Shelby County General Sessions Court. Wearing her black and gray uniform, she had a different kind of appointment with her employer: The hospital was suing her for unpaid medical bills. ...

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ACLU Sues Pennsylvania State Police, Alleging They’ve Overstepped in Acting as Immigration Authorities

by Jeff Gammage and Angela Couloumbis, The Philadelphia Inquirer Pennsylvania State Police troopers have routinely violated the law by stopping and holding people based solely on their Latino appearance, terrifying drivers and passengers while usurping federal authority to investigate supposed immigration violations, the ACLU claims in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday. The troopers’ conduct, the suit says, has sent a ...

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More Than Me Shuts Down

by Finlay Young for ProPublica More Than Me, an American charity running 19 schools in Liberia, has announced it is closing its operations. The move comes eight months after a ProPublica investigation revealed the organization missed opportunities to prevent the rapes of girls in its care by senior staff member Macintosh Johnson, was not transparent about the extent of his ...

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The Nonprofit Hospital That Makes Millions, Owns a Collection Agency and Relentlessly Sues the Poor

by Wendi C. Thomas, MLK50 MEMPHIS, Tennessee — In July 2007, Carrie Barrett went to the emergency room at Methodist University Hospital, complaining of shortness of breath and tightness in her chest. Her leg was swollen, she’d later recall, and her toes were turning black. Given her family history, high blood pressure and newly diagnosed congestive heart failure, doctors performed ...

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This Memphis Hospital System Flouts IRS Rules by Not Publicly Posting Financial Assistance Policies

by Wendi C. Thomas, MLK50 MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Nonprofit hospitals across the country offer patients vastly different financial assistance with their bills, but one rule applies to all of them: They must publicize those policies in areas accessible to the public, including the emergency room. When a person walks into a hospital, “you want to be able to see it,” ...

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How We Tallied Medical Debt Lawsuits and Wage Garnishments in Memphis

by Wendi C. Thomas, MLK50, and Lylla Younes and Doris Burke, ProPublica We set out to determine how aggressively Memphis, Tennessee, hospitals, including market leader Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, use the courts to collect on unpaid medical debts. Once it became apparent that Methodist filed more lawsuits against patients and proportionately more garnishment orders, we also wanted to know how ...

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