Yaël Ossowski is a national reporter for Watchdog.org. He previously worked at the Gaston Gazette newspaper and Fox 29 News in Philadelphia. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he has lived in three countries and worked across 37. Contact him at yael@watchdog.org and on Twitter @YaelOss. Follow his written and video exploits on Yael.ca.

Anti-corruption group’s ethics boards face ethical problems

By   /  August 31, 2015  /  Florida, Issues, News, Politics & Elections  /  No Comments

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Represent.us’s quest to get money out of politics comes with all-powerful ethics committees which are already leading to doubts about their efforts.

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Homeland Security descends into Erie to snoop out welfare fraud

By   /  August 14, 2015  /  News, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

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An investigation into suspected welfare fraud in Erie has brought the full force of a task force including the IRS and Department of Homeland Security. With a focus on terrorism and crime, it’s a wonder why DHS has assigned such importance to a case of welfare fraud.

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The Erie government agency that spends your gambling losses

By   /  August 10, 2015  /  News, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

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More than 55 percent of an Erie casino’s profits are required to go to the state coffers by law, but at least half a million makes its way to the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, the local government organization tasked with facilitating business development with funds taken from taxes on bets on the horse races or the slot machines.

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Western Pennsylvania school districts brought down by pension debt

By   /  July 31, 2015  /  Education, News, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

Photo by: Shutterstock

A frank assessment from Moody’s rating agency this week has given several Pennsylvania school districts sour financial notes, and western PA’s schools top the list.

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Rand Paul’s ‘Economic Freedom Zone’ a fix for western PA?

By   /  July 24, 2015  /  Economy, Jobs + Growth, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Rand Paul wants troubled cities declared “Economic Freedom Zones,” with targeted tax cuts and reduced regulation to promote growth and spur jobs.

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Erie stocks up on prison gear after shootings, but leaves community without answers

By   /  July 22, 2015  /  News, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

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In the wake of several shootings in the Erie area, the city council last week agreed to spend $25,000 to boost police equipment in the city’s jails, upgrading the systems to take fingerprints and mugshots of suspects.

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