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Minnesota Fireman Charged with Arson, Has Criminal History

By Michael Klazema on 2/26/2015   |   Tags:   minnesota

A volunteer firefighter in Minnesota is facing charges of arson after allegedly starting several of the fires he helped put out. The man had a fairly extensive criminal record, but the fire department decided to take a chance on him anyway since the most recent charges were more than five years old.

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Alaska Moves to Mandate Background Checks for Psychologists

By Michael Klazema on 2/21/2015   |   Tags:   Alaska

Alaskan legislators are currently considering a bill that would require psychologists to go through background checks as a step in the licensing process. The state's board of psychology practitioners has been pushing a similar idea for a while now, but has been unable to see it through without Senate or House support.

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  • March 04 — A recent investigation by the Texas Education Agency has uncovered a number of background check oversights at Dallas Independent School District. As a result, the agency is stepping in to make sure that the school district properly updates its background check policies.
  • February 26 — A volunteer firefighter in Minnesota is facing charges of arson after allegedly starting several of the fires he helped put out. The man had a fairly extensive criminal record, but the fire department decided to take a chance on him anyway since the most recent charges were more than five years old.
  • February 25 — Police departments in Greensboro, North Carolina use thorough address checks and state-of-the-art lie detector tests to screen their officers. Such checks could go a long way toward cleaning up law enforcement throughout the nation.
  • February 23 — A county in Washington recently accused an office worker in the drug court of forging $8,000 worth of government vouchers for gas and clothes. The worker in question had two forgery felonies on her record, but the county didn't ever run a check on her due to a misunderstanding of EEOC regulations.
  • February 21 — Alaskan legislators are currently considering a bill that would require psychologists to go through background checks as a step in the licensing process. The state's board of psychology practitioners has been pushing a similar idea for a while now, but has been unable to see it through without Senate or House support.
  • February 19 — The state of Utah has a policy that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for "driving privilege" cards. A legislative proposal currently making it through the State Senate is calling for all applicants to have their names run through the FBI criminal database.
  • February 17 — There is currently no policy in place that requires high school sporting officials in Massachusetts to undergo background screenings. A new piece of legislation could require these referees to submit to background checks, but it's not currently clear how that policy would work, given other state regulations.
  • February 12 — Fort Lee, a military outpost in Virginia, will soon require all visitors to undergo a quick 10-minute background check before being allowed to enter the base. Military outposts throughout the country are expected to adopt similar policies in the coming months and years.
  • February 10 — A new law in Florida is fighting human trafficking by requiring all massage therapists to submit to fingerprinting and criminal background checks. But given the costly and time-consuming nature of the fingerprinting process, would name-based background checks be a better way to go here?
  • February 05 — Recent CNN investigations have revealed that airports are surprisingly lax on security when it comes to their own employees. Most airports don't require baggage handlers and other workers to go through security upon arrival, and almost none demand repeat background checks for long-term employees.