German towns recovering from flood deal with Katrina-type issues; Kenneth Polite to focus on violent crime

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Since high school dropouts have little opportunities for good-paying jobs and often have to rely on publicly funded hospitals for health care, cutting the dropout rate by 50 percent could save the state as much as $119 million a year in Medicaid spending, a recent study shows.

The Times-Picayune failed to note 107 of the 117 schools (or 91.4 percent) could not or would not furnish records related to their expenditure of taxpayer dollars, primarily because these schools did not maintain separate accounts for voucher funds. The independent auditor could not effectively determine whether those voucher schools were in compliance. Despite Superintendent John White’s claims to the contrary, the audit also revealed at least 13 schools were overcharging voucher students, a clear violation of the rules.

Passau needs tourists to refill its empty coffers, but the sight of groups of sightseers strolling through the city’s lanes with a camera in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other, stopping to gawk at the destroyed store windows and the moldering ruins of restaurants, is difficult for many residents of the recently flooded neighborhoods to bear.

Criminal Justice

In recent years, the L.A.P.D. has been conducting an unusual experiment in community policing in Watts. Its centerpiece, the Community Safety Partnership, is the department’s collaboration with a group of residents known as the Watts Gang Task Force. Every Monday morning, community leaders meet with top police commanders to discuss what’s happening in the Watts gang world — who’s feuding with whom, where criminal investigations stand, which are the issues residents are worried about. What makes the initiative unusual is that many of the task force’s participants have close ties to street gangs. Some … are former gang leaders. Others are the mothers and grandmothers of notorious gang leaders past and present.

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