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School Restraints, Narco-Terror Stings and More in 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.

Unrestrained, ProPublica

Restraint devices are rarely used on the disabled today. At AdvoServ, a chain of for-profit homes for disabled kids, it's not uncommon. One such school is Florida's Carlton Palms, where Adam, a severely autistic boy, was tied down hundreds of times, one time for not picking up his Legos.

Deadly Dentistry, The Dallas Morning News

Nearly every other day in the United States, someone goes to the dentist and ends up dead or injured, according to an investigation by the Dallas Morning News. In many states, there is little to no accountability as dentists continue to risk lives by taking unnecessary risks.

Fear at the tap: Uranium contaminates water in the West, Associated Press

Across the Midwest and into California, uranium is showing up in the water supply – sometimes up to four times the federal limit – and authorities aren't doing much to inform people that it's happening. "It says you can drink the water — but if you drink the water over a period of time, you can get cancer... They really don't explain," said one resident of a California farm working community.

The Narco-terror Trap, ProPublica

Is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration stopping narco-terrorism, or staging it? The agency warns that drugs are funding terrorism. But court records raise questions about the DEA's pursuit of narco-terrorism cases that often rely entirely on sting operations and DEA informants.

More: Watch the Vox/ProPublica explainer.

Pumped Dry, USA Today/The Desert Sun

This five-part investigation examines several locations where groundwater is drying up because of how fast it's being pumped from aquifers, including the United States, India, Peru and Morocco. In California, over 3,400 households have run out of water in the last two years.

More: Despite decades of accepted science, California and Arizona are still miscounting their water supplies.

Tyson Foods' Secret Recipe for Carving Up Workers' Comp, ProPublica

For over 25 years, meatpacking industry giant Tyson Foods has been using economic leverage — and a bit of arm-twisting — to rewrite the rules of workers' comp in many states. Oftentimes, those rules are to the detriment of workers.

An epidemic of questionable arrests by school police, Center for Public Integrity

Over the last 10 years, San Bernardino, Calif., police officers have arrested 6,923 juveniles. Meanwhile, police from the local school district arrested more than 30,000 between 2005 and 2014. This investigation examines the disturbing trend of questionable arrests by campus police.

Dirty Little Secrets: New Jersey's Poorest Live Surrounded by Contamination, WNYC

For years, New Jersey was home to chemical manufacturing plants that produced everything from Agent Orange to plastic.  In total, there are 14,066 known contaminated industrial sites in the state, and it is the responsibility of the Department of Environmental Protection to clean them up. But a WNYC investigation found that most of the state's poorest residents live within a mile of site with no cleanup plan in place.

Homeland Insecurity, Texas Observer

What's the easiest way to smuggle people into the U.S.? Join the Department of Homeland Security. For years, internal corruption has plagued the largest law enforcement body in the country – with it's officers facing little to no punishment for alleged crimes such as smuggling and bribery.

Irradiated, McClatchy DC

During the Cold War, they helped build our nation's nuclear arsenal. Now, they're paying with their lives. That is the legacy of over 70 years of nuclear weaponry on American soil – sick workers, scant compensation and for at least 33,480 people, death.

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