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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2009 | Maeve Reston
The Los Angeles Police Department has reduced the backlog of untested DNA evidence kits from rapes and sexual assaults by two-thirds since last fall, but City Controller Wendy Greuel cautioned Thursday that "we still have a long way to go to resolve this issue." With Police Chief-designate Charles L. Beck at her side, Greuel outlined the results of a new audit one year after former Controller Laura Chick found that the LAPD's backlog of untested kits had grown to more than 7,000, with 217 languishing beyond the legal time limit for prosecuting suspects.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
California's registered nursing board has eliminated a backlog in licensing paperwork for approximately 4,000 recent nursing graduates, state officials have reported. But Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), who helped organize a town hall hearing on the delays Thursday in Modesto, said she remains concerned about license applications for 7,000 students set to complete their training in May and June. "Will it all start happening again?" Olsen said Friday in an interview. "It's unclear whether the breakdowns in the system have been fixed completely.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
California's registered nursing board has eliminated a backlog in licensing paperwork for approximately 4,000 recent nursing graduates, state officials have reported. But Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), who helped organize a town hall hearing on the delays Thursday in Modesto, said she remains concerned about license applications for 7,000 students set to complete their training in May and June. "Will it all start happening again?" Olsen said Friday in an interview. "It's unclear whether the breakdowns in the system have been fixed completely.
WORLD
January 31, 2014 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - Before serving as an interpreter for the U.S. military, Shafiq Nazari passed exhaustive background checks by U.S. military and intelligence agencies. The military trusted him enough to issue him an automatic rifle. He has fired it during several firefights with insurgents, fighting shoulder to shoulder with U.S. soldiers and Marines on about 200 combat missions in Afghanistan. Nazari, 38, a compact man with short-cropped hair and a trim black beard, has been issued a badge that gives him free run of a high-security U.S. base in downtown Kabul, where he translates for U.S. military advisors.
BUSINESS
October 4, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Marc Lifsher
More than a week after the state's top labor official ordered the California Employment Development Department to pay out all backlogged unemployment claims, many Californians have yet to see their checks. The California EDD had been working overtime to clear a backlog of unemployment claims that were snared when the agency's 30-year-old computer systems were upgraded over Labor Day weekend. The snafu affected tens of thousands of claims, delaying payments by several weeks, causing many to fall behind on rent, car payments and other bills.
BUSINESS
July 30, 2009 | Marc Lifsher
Stung by criticism, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger blasted his administration's Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, plagued by a massive backlog in handling appeals of jobless Californians denied unemployment compensation. The board has blamed the governor's policies for at least part of an 82,500-case pileup, citing state-ordered work furloughs for its employees. Now Schwarzenegger is firing back, saying board staff members, including judges, are not working hard enough.
NATIONAL
September 11, 2013 | By Alexandra Zavis
Mike Dalton starts his day at a Department of Veterans Affairs office in Oakland doing something he couldn't do a year ago: He signs on to a computer and calls up an application for disability compensation. With a few mouse clicks, he pulls the information he needs to rate a veteran's injuries. The new computer system is the centerpiece of a major overhaul that department officials promise will clear the backlog of claims that has had severely wounded veterans waiting months - if not years - to find out whether they will receive financial help.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 28, 2011 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
After 2 1/2 years spent chipping away at a backlog of DNA evidence that had been collected in thousands of rape cases and then was ignored, Los Angeles officials Wednesday announced that all of the potentially crucial material had been analyzed. "Today, we pledge to never let justice wait like this again," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a City Hall news conference with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other elected officials. "For every sexual assault evidence kit, there is an individual — a mother, a daughter, a friend — who rightfully deserves justice.
NATIONAL
March 17, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Despite President Bush's order for improvements more than two years ago, much of the federal government has barely made a dent in the huge backlog of unanswered requests under the Freedom of Information Act. An audit by the National Security Archive~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB246/eo_audit.pdf of 90 government agencies found mixed results from the Dec. 14, 2005, executive order that agencies clear the backlog and be more responsive. "Behind its ambitious facade . . . the order lacked both carrot and stick," the audit said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2012 | By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO — Horatius A. Carney spent seven weeks in a military hospital after injuring his knee while in the segregated Army Air Forces. He first filed a disability claim in 1947. He is still waiting for a response. Lisa Scott, an Army communications specialist who served in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm and Desert Shield, waited seven years for the Veterans Benefits Administration to approve her disability claim for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Ari Sonnenberg served three tours in Iraq and came home with a traumatic brain injury, PTSD and internal injuries.
NATIONAL
December 10, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Patricia Millett for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.) to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the first nominees approved since the filibuster rules were changed. Millett and Watt were among several high-profile nominees whose confirmation had been delayed for months because of Republican threats to filibuster, meaning their supporters needed 60 votes rather than a mere majority.
BUSINESS
November 5, 2013 | David Lazarus
Suzanne Dinatale lost her job as sales manager for a biotech company in July. She applied almost immediately for unemployment benefits to help cushion the blow. Dinatale, 41, of Manhattan Beach, said she had no problem receiving the forms she needed to get the ball rolling with California's Employment Development Department. "After that, nothing," she told me. "I called them and got hung up on. I sent emails that got no responses. " Dinatale is now dipping into her retirement savings to get by. "This is the first time I've ever needed unemployment," she said.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Marc Lifsher
The state Assembly has set an oversight hearing for Nov. 6 that will look into what went wrong when the state Employment Development Department launched a computer system upgrade that backfired, delaying unemployment checks to thousands of state residents. The EDD has been contending with a backlog of claims stemming from a Labor Day upgrade to its 30-year-old system that processes standing jobless claims. The trouble began when old data was transferred to the new software and halted as many as 300,000 claims for payment.  State workers have been working overtime to clear the backlog of claims.
BUSINESS
October 14, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Marc Lifsher
The California Assembly plans to hold a hearing as early as next month to probe the causes of a snafu at the Employment Development Department that caused tens of thousands of unemployment claim payments to be delayed. Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), who chairs the Assembly Insurance Committee, which oversees the unemployment insurance program, said Monday in an interview with The Times that his committee plans a postmortem on computer problems that have plagued the EDD. A hearing is tentatively set for November or December, Perea said.
BUSINESS
October 4, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Marc Lifsher
More than a week after the state's top labor official ordered the California Employment Development Department to pay out all backlogged unemployment claims, many Californians have yet to see their checks. The California EDD had been working overtime to clear a backlog of unemployment claims that were snared when the agency's 30-year-old computer systems were upgraded over Labor Day weekend. The snafu affected tens of thousands of claims, delaying payments by several weeks, causing many to fall behind on rent, car payments and other bills.
BUSINESS
September 25, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
The state Employment Development Department said late Tuesday it will begin to pay out all backlogged unemployment benefits as soon as Thursday.  The backlog of about 80,000 claims began when the EDD upgraded its 30-year-old computer system over Labor Day weekend with the aim of streamlining benefits processing. But the new system malfunctioned, forcing state workers to approve payments manually.  The agency has forced hundreds of employees to work around the clock to reduce the backlog, which has affected about 15% of claims filed since Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2011 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Police Department has cleared a decades-old backlog of untested DNA evidence collected in rapes and other sexual assaults and made hundreds of arrests because of the testing, the department reported Tuesday. The accomplishment was tempered somewhat, however, by continued staffing shortages in the department's laboratory that remains too small to keep pace with new cases. Victim advocate groups and elected officials in late 2008 put intense pressure on the LAPD to address the thousands of pieces of DNA evidence that had sat untouched in storage freezers for years.
NATIONAL
September 11, 2013 | By Alexandra Zavis
Mike Dalton starts his day at a Department of Veterans Affairs office in Oakland doing something he couldn't do a year ago: He signs on to a computer and calls up an application for disability compensation. With a few mouse clicks, he pulls the information he needs to rate a veteran's injuries. The new computer system is the centerpiece of a major overhaul that department officials promise will clear the backlog of claims that has had severely wounded veterans waiting months - if not years - to find out whether they will receive financial help.
NATIONAL
August 10, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey
EDGARTOWN, Mass. - President Obama said his administration had reduced the backlog of veterans waiting to receive benefits, and he dismissed criticism of his healthcare law, mounting one last defense of his policies before heading to this island retreat for vacation. Speaking to disabled veterans in Orlando, Fla., early Saturday, Obama said his administration had reduced the number of delayed compensation and disability claims by nearly one-fifth over the last five months. The enormous backlog has been a source of frustration among veterans and provoked sharp criticism of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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