Here are this week's top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica's ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to MuckReads@ProPublica.org. The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured on our site and @ProPublica.
Children Die As Dangers Are Ignored, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Between 2007 and 2010, 35 babies died while napping at Missouri day cares. Most of those deaths happened at unlicensed facilities. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch report concluded that the deaths were preventable and a reflection of the state’s lax child-care regulations.
Contributed by @jeremykohler
Doubts Raised on Donations to Comptroller, the New York Times
The man who keeps tabs on New York City’s books has some explaining to do. The Times found several irregularities in comptroller and mayoral hopeful John Liu’s campaign finance reports, including ones that suggest some of his donors don’t exist. Liu has promised to conduct an internal investigation.
Contributed by @srubenfeld
With Goldman's Foray Into Higher Education, A Predatory Pursuit of Students and Revenues, the Huffington Post
Current and former admissions staffers at Education Management Corp., a company that operates for-profit colleges, describe a cultural shift after Goldman Sachs became a partner, with increased pressure to meet enrollment targets and to use more aggressive tactics. One former recruiter recalls that “it just got to the point where I felt like I was lying to these people on a regular basis.” Education Management Corp. insists the Goldman Sachs deal did not change its "focus on the student experience."
Contributed by @HuffPostBiz
Lost Letter: How Government Fails To Deliver On Worker Safety, iWatch News
Electrical explosions have been a recurring danger at large mail processing centers, yet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has certified many of them as model workplaces, even while issuing them penalties for violations. iWatch examined what’s behind OSHA’s “schizophrenic” approach.
Contributed by @emmanator
Perry Officials Censored Climate Change Report, Mother Jones
Texas environmental officials removed references to human-induced climate change from a state-commissioned report on sea-level rise. You can view the officials’ edits yourself, complete with tracked changes. When asked about the changes, a spokeswoman with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality responded "It would be irresponsible to take whatever is sent to us and publish it.”
Contributed by @jake_bernstein
Kosher Meat Still Slaughtered Inhumanely, the Forward
Two years ago, inhumane slaughtering methods at an Iowa kosher meat-processing plant drew public outcry and prompted reforms in the industry. But according to a Forward investigation, imported meat that has been slaughtered using those techniques is still being certified as kosher and sold in the U.S.
Contributed by @jdforward