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10 Years Later, People Are Still Living in Toxic FEMA Trailers (MuckReads Weekly)

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email?  Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

People are still living in FEMA's toxic Katrina trailers — and they likely have no idea (Grist)

"In late 2008, FEMA had quietly sold about a thousand Katrina trailers and mobile homes as scrap; six months later, they were spotted in mobile home parks in Missouri and Georgia. ... The stickers that read 'NOT TO BE USED FOR HOUSING' were gone from the trailers almost as soon as they left the auction lot, though none of the buyers would admit to removing them."

How companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks (The Washington Post)

"One 24-year-old lead victim sold nearly $327,000 worth of payments, which had a present value of $179,000, for less than $16,200 — or about 9 cents on the dollar. Another relinquished $256,000 worth of payments, which had a present value of $166,000, for $35,000 — or about 21 cents on the dollar."

Arrests for minor crimes spur resentment in some Baltimore neighborhoods (The Baltimore Sun)

"Some residents complain that 'clearing the corner' — a practice of making arrests on minor offenses to disperse people in drug-infested areas or to investigate more serious crimes — is a law enforcement strategy that continues to harm residents and has contributed to a distrust of police. Though charges are often dropped by prosecutors, the arrests can remain on records for years."

Katrina washed away New Orleans's black middle class (FiveThirtyEight)

"African-Americans have long accounted for most of the city's poor, but before the storm they also made up a majority of its middle class and were well represented among its doctors, lawyers and other professionals. After Katrina, the patterns changed: The poor are still overwhelmingly black, but the affluent and middle classes are increasingly white."

Small group goes to great lengths to block homeschooling regulation (ProPublica)

"...the group has three 'bedrock' concerns — not only homeschooling, but also parental rights and religious freedom. In Washington, the group's efforts blocked laws that would have allowed grandparents to petition for visitation rights, claiming that such policies made it possible for disapproving grandparents to stop children from being homeschooled."

Police secretly track cellphones to solve routine crimes (USA Today)

"The records show that [Baltimore] police used stingrays to catch everyone from killers to petty thieves, that the authorities regularly hid or obscured that surveillance once suspects got to court and that many of those they arrested were never prosecuted. Defense attorneys assigned to many of those cases said they did not know a stingray had been used until USA TODAY contacted them, even though state law requires that they be told about electronic surveillance."

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