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Best TV News Investigation 

Bannister Federal Complex series

Reporter Russ Ptacek was on this story like a white cat on black pants: hazardous chemical contamination at the Bannister Federal Complex, where non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons are manufactured. While this paper explored the complaints of sickened employees at the weapons plant, Ptacek focused on workers' illnesses at the neighboring General Services Administration, where employees thought they were a safe distance from the factory. Ptacek's extensive records requests revealed that sites on the GSA side of the complex — which includes day care for workers' kids — tested positive for hazardous substances. When GSA officials claimed that they had no knowledge of dead or dying GSA employees, Ptacek pointed to internal communications, written by those same officials, that proved otherwise. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control are now involved in testing. Meanwhile, a government audit spanked the GSA for withholding documents that should have been provided to Ptacek in his original records request. In sports terms, Ptacek's investigation was a perfect game, a hat trick and a triple-double, all in one.

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