Local Matters, reprinted with permission

After a hard-won federal reform to increase worker safety in North Carolina, USDA and OSHA officials failed to keep their promises, as inspections decreased and positions went unfilled, John Drescher reported. Now, workplace deaths are on the rise. THE ASSEMBLY
A Chicago alderman repeatedly used his position and connections to target and intimidate his critics, including digging up and releasing years-old police reports on a local business owner, Ariel Parrella-Aureli reported. BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO
Hawaii officials can deny medical care to the elderly if the burden of COVID-19 on hospitals worsens under Gov. David Ige’s “Crisis of Care” plan, which the state declined to publicly release, reporter Allison Schaefers learned after obtaining a copy of the plan. HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER
The nursing homes owner who left nearly 850 of his patients in an unsanitary warehouse following Hurricane Ida has been a generous supporter of both Democratic and Republican politicians in Louisiana, Julie O’Donoghue reported. LOUISIANA ILLUMINATOR
Portland, Ore. has unusually long 911 call wait times that have been increasing since late 2020, reporter Maxine Bernstein found after analyzing dispatch data after it took 7.5 minutes for callers to get through about a shooting at a downtown restaurant. THE OREGONIAN
State law enforcement in South Carolina opened a probe after reporters Stephen Hobbs and Thad Moore exposed a town councilman’s undisclosed financial ties to the local water system. THE POST AND COURIER
In Michigan, millions in federal coronavirus relief dollars went to for-profit cyber schools that were already remote, Luca Powell reported. RECORD-EAGLE

Local Matters was founded by Joey CranneyAlexandra Glorioso and Brett Murphy. This week’s list is by Cranney, Murphy, Lulu Ramadan, and Bethany Barnes. We draw largely from front-page stories published by more than 100 daily newspapers in all 50 states. Local stories from online publications or weekly newspapers are occasionally considered. If you have a published story that deserves consideration, please email us at localmatters@ire.org.