School to concussed student’s mom: Sign away your right to sue

Jonathan Boland’s mom was told she’d have to sign a waiver to get access to records relating to her son’s injuries
Renee Boland was trying to understand where it all went wrong. When her son, Jonathan, was arrested for a string of 2016 convenience store robberies, it seemed so out of character that she wondered if his concussions, suffered playing football for Portland’s Parkrose High School and Portland State University, might have been a factor. In order to piece together the sequence of Boland’s return to play from a series of high school concussions, Renee and Jonathan Boland sent a request to Parkrose High School on March 16, 2018, asking for video footage of the games and copies of the medical documentation in Jonathan’s file. The reply from Parkrose administration stunned Renee. Karen Gray, the superintendent at the time, wanted Renee to submit not only a request for Jonathan’s records, but also give a written assurance that she would not sue the district.

What Washington’s fight over climate-friendly power grid is all about

Washington legislators are moving to reshape the state’s electricity grid in a dramatic way that favors renewable energy over the next three decades, and environmentalists are rejoicing that climate change is finally a top legislative priority. But is reducing Washingtonians’ contributions to global warming achievable without boosting power rates too high at privately owned utilities? Those are the utilities that rely the most on natural gas and other fossil fuels, and they help meet energy needs at about half of Washington households. Private utilities and Republican lawmakers are predicting cost increases or even “brownouts,” and urging a go-slow approach.

Missing the trainer: Small and rural schools are least likely to have athletic trainers

High schools with athletic trainers are much more likely to identify and treat concussions than schools without them. Analysis by Pamplin Media Group, InvestigateWest and Reveal shows that out of the 235 public high schools in Oregon, fewer than half have at least one athletic trainer. Nearly 47,000 students, or about 28 percent of students statewide, attend schools that do not have an athletic trainer.

Oregon’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’: Concussion investigation highlights role of athletic trainers

Oregon public high schools with athletic trainers are better able to identify athletes with concussions and reduce overall injury rates. Over a two-year period, there were 566 football concussion evaluations at schools with athletic trainers and 34 at schools without trainers, according to an analysis of records by InvestigateWest, Pamplin Media Group and Reveal of records from 119 high schools.

Rattling the data: Concussion investigation gleans lessons from public documents

A key finding of the yearlong investigation was that student athletes in Oregon get more frequent and more thorough medical evaluations for concussions at schools that employ athletic trainers. Schools with athletic trainers reported twice as many possible concussions per student athlete as did schools without a professional trainer. Football players at schools with trainers were more than three times as likely to be kept out of play until medically cleared.

Hawaii goes all-in on healing concussions: Athletic trainers placed in every high school

Hawaii is the only U.S. state to ensure that at least two athletic trainers work at every public high school. High schools that have athletic trainers are much more likely to identify and treat concussions than schools without them, according to studies and an analysis by Pamplin Media Group, InvestigateWest and Reveal.

WA foster kids sent to out-of-state group homes with checkered records

After a report by a government-appointed watchdog group found Washington foster kids sent to a group home in Iowa were mistreated, InvestigateWest documents how dozens of other Washington foster kids remain at group homes in South Carolina, Wyoming and Michigan that also appear to have mistreated children, according to reports from oversight agencies in other states.