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A Retired Detective Says He’s Too Sick to Testify at Murder Trials. Now Those Cases Are Falling Apart.

In St. Louis, murder investigations often rely on a single detective, making them vulnerable if the detective is unable or unwilling to come to court. But a former homicide investigator said he has no obligation to cooperate, claiming that “retirement is meant to be retirement.”

Reporting From the Midwest

Our team in the Midwest covers Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri. Based in Chicago, it grew out of our first regional publishing operation, which focused on people living and working in Illinois. Read more.

There Were Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse at a Youth Center. Indiana Kept Sending Boys and Money Anyway.

Inadequate and potentially illegal policies allowed supervisors to ignore what one psychologist called an “assembly-line” of abuse.

Wisconsin’s Legislative Maps Are Bizarre, but Are They Illegal?

Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case has garnered national attention. But a little-explored aspect of the suit — the pervasive presence of “Swiss cheese” districts — could have huge ramifications for the outcome.

America’s Dairyland

OSHA Investigates Small Dairy Farms So Rarely That Many Worker Advocates Don’t Bother to Report Deaths and Injuries

Worker advocates say the federal agency’s patchwork of enforcement across the country is fundamentally unfair. Many don’t contact OSHA over safety incidents because they’ve heard so frequently that small farms can’t be investigated.

Local Reporting Network Partners

ProPublica is supporting local and regional newsrooms as they work on important investigative projects affecting their communities. Some of our past and present partners in the region:

Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Illinois
The Southern Illinoisan
Carbondale, Illinois
WBEZ
Chicago, Illinois
The Daily Herald
Arlington Heights, Illinois
The Business Journal
Youngstown, Ohio
Outlier Media
Detroit, Michigan

Insurance Executives Refused to Pay for the Cancer Treatment That Could Have Saved Him. This Is How They Did It.

A Michigan law requires coverage of cancer drugs. One insurer came up with a “defensible” way to avoid paying for treatments that offered Forrest VanPatten his last chance for survival. “We crossed the line,” says a former executive.

La OSHA Rara Vez Investiga Las Granjas Pequeñas. Por Eso Los Defensores de Los Obreros No Reportan Muertes o Lesiones.

Un mosaico irregular en la implementación de las normas laborales a través del país significa que muchas muertes y lesiones de los trabajadores en las granjas no son investigadas por oficiales de seguridad del gobierno.

Aprueban $8 Millones Para Viviendas Para Obreros de Granjas. La Policía Intentará Cerrar las Brechas Lingüísticas.

Funcionarios electos del Condado Dane en Wisconsin dijeron que las reformas responden a la investigación de ProPublica sobre la muerte de un niño nicaragüense en una granja lechera en 2019.

Officials Approve $8 Million for Housing for Immigrant Dairy Workers in Wisconsin

Dane County lawmakers cited ProPublica reporting for the moves to improve the lives of dairy workers in southern Wisconsin.

Inside Illinois’ Youth Lockups, Children Go Without Basic Services and Face “Excessive” Punishments

State audits point to troubling conditions in juvenile detention centers, but no agency has strong enough oversight to bring about change.

A Sweeping Report on a Michigan School Shooting Finds Multiple Failures and a Troubled Aftermath

Parents, already shaken by the fatal incident at Oxford High School, lost confidence in the school district when it hesitated to find and acknowledge accountability for the 2021 shooting.

In 2018, We Reported on an Abusive Cop. He Was Just Sentenced to a Year in Prison.

Five years after ProPublica and the South Bend Tribune partnered to investigate police misconduct in Elkhart, Indiana, reporter Ken Armstrong reflects on the incremental but powerful impact journalism can have on communities.

Los trabajadores de las granjas lecheras de Wisconsin están muriendo. Muchas de las muertes no son investigadas.

A veces la OSHA investiga las muertes en granjas pequeñas si éstas proveen viviendas a los trabajadores inmigrantes. En otras ocasiones, la agencia dice que no puede hacer nada.

Why OSHA Doesn’t Investigate All Dairy Farm Deaths

OSHA sometimes investigates deaths on small farms if they provide housing to immigrant workers. Other times the agency says it can’t take action.

Minnesota Attorney General Opens Investigation Into Controversial Contract-for-Deed Real Estate Practices

Following a ProPublica and Sahan Journal report, authorities are examining fast-tracked real estate deals for possible civil charges.

A Detective Sabotaged His Own Cases Because He Didn’t Like the Prosecutor. The Police Department Did Nothing to Stop Him.

Across the country, police have undermined and resisted reform. To protest a prosecutor, one detective was willing to let murder suspects walk free, even if he’d arrested them and believed that they should be behind bars.

Federal Scrutiny, Plunging Revenue Plague a Private College’s Attempt at a Turnaround

Baker College once was Michigan’s largest private nonprofit school, built on questionable promises of employment and cost. But a new school year brings a fresh host of financial and reputational problems.

In Nasty Fight Over Election Maps, Wisconsin GOP Counters Threats to Its Power

Heavily redrawn election districts in the battleground state gave Republicans firm control of the legislature — and the leeway to move aggressively against officials and judges they perceive as threats.

A Chicago Cop Is Accused of Lying Under Oath 44 Times. Now Prosecutors Are Dropping Cases That Relied on His Testimony.

Former Chicago officer Jeffrey Kriv faces charges for perjury and forgery after getting out of dozens of traffic violations by claiming his girlfriend had stolen his car. Now, cases that stem from arrests Kriv made are in jeopardy.

How Norfolk Southern Is Addressing Blocked Train Crossings in Hammond, Indiana

The railroad company has delivered on early, short-term fixes for the trains blocking kids from getting to school, but some officials are skeptical it will follow through on bigger, permanent changes.

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Most Read

    How a Big Pharma Company Stalled a Potentially Lifesaving Vaccine in Pursuit of Bigger Profits

    A vaccine against tuberculosis has never been closer to reality. But its development slowed after its corporate owner focused on more profitable vaccines.

    How Columbia Ignored Women, Undermined Prosecutors and Protected a Predator For More Than 20 Years

    For decades, patients warned Columbia about the behavior of obstetrician Robert Hadden. One even called 911 and had him arrested. Columbia let him keep working.

    Post-Roe America

    Idaho Banned Abortion. Then It Turned Down Supports for Pregnancies and Births.

    Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the state’s GOP-led Legislature has disbanded a maternal mortality committee, failed to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage and turned down federal grants for child care.

    Unwatched

    Louisiana Supreme Court Ruling Overturns Reform Law Intended to Fix “Three-Strikes” Sentences

    The ruling was a victory for state attorney general, Jeff Landry, but defense attorneys say it could also help their clients’ requests for reduced sentences.

    Local Reporting Network

    With Every Breath

    Philips Kept Complaints About Dangerous Breathing Machines Secret While Company Profits Soared

    Tainted CPAP machines and ventilators went to children, the elderly and at least 700,000 veterans despite internal warnings. Company insiders said the devices posed an “unacceptable” risk.