One of the many reminders of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting around Newtown, Conn. The heart has 26 crosses, one for each victim of the 2012 shooting. Photo by Morgan Spiehs/News 21.

In aftermath of gun tragedies, radically different responses in Conn., Ariz.

In the weeks after the Conn. and Ariz. mass shootings, background checks and weapons bans consumed political debates in every corner of the country. Families of victims pleaded for stronger regulation, while gun-rights advocates stocked up on ammunition, fearing impending restrictions. This report is part of the project titled “Gun Wars: The Struggle Over Rights and Regulation in America,” produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 initiative.

Massachusetts State House (Lauren Owens/NECIR)

Legalizing debt service companies in Mass. raises concerns

A proposal to legalize for-profit debt relief services in Massachusetts could win approval by the Legislature over the next few weeks, raising concerns among consumer advocates and nonprofit competitors, who say these firms prey on the poor, indebted, and desperate.

Kimberly Parker’s brother and sister, Ed Boleza and Stephanie Deeley, have been vocal about the need for answers since her death. (Lauren Owens/NECIR)

Questionable management, lax oversight, contribute to long delays in issuing of death certificates in Mass.

An enormous number of lives have been put on hold because of the state Medical Examiner’s inability to timely process death. While state officials have singled out underfunding as a key reason, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting found questionable management decisions and a pattern of lax oversight contributing to long delays in producing death certificates.