The AP creates team of statehouse reporting specialists

The Associated Press announced Thursday it will create “a team of state government specialists” in an effort to bolster coverage of statehouses across America.

The new team will “be a resource to our statehouse reporters looking for help broadening the scope of their reporting,” Brian Carovillano, AP’s managing editor for U.S. news, wrote in a brief Q and A accompanying the announcement. They will also work with a projects team that will turn out “ambitious enterprise” journalism on state government.

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Utility companies are tearing up thousands of city streets to make repairs without permits

Thousands of city streets are being torn up by utility firms making repairs without permission, city records show. The number of fines levied against Con Ed, KeySpan Energy and smaller construction companies for illegally chopping up streets has risen 130% over the past five years, from 937 in 2008 to 2,153 in 2013, according to records obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request filed in November.

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