South Carolina to Produce Chemical Banned by 172 Countries ; Ghost Ships, Crop Circles, and Soft Gold ; and More Picks 3/2

Moving Millions, Leaving Mayhem (Chris)

The author writes, “In its rush to grow, Garda took shortcuts that put unsafe trucks and error-prone drivers on the road, a Tampa Bay Times investigation has found. The company has spent so little on maintenance that its trucks have often lacked reliable brakes, seat belts or even seats. It gave drivers barely any training, pressured them to work at a frantic pace and let some keep driving as they crashed again and again. The result has been armored trucks hurtling out of control in communities across America — swerving into traffic, plunging into ditches and smashing into cars.”

South Carolina to Produce Chemical Banned by 172 Countries (Mili)

The author writes, “Gulbrandsen Chemicals Inc., of Orangeburg, SC, plans to begin producing pentachlorophenol when North America’s only maker of the material closes a factory in Mexico next year.”

A Paranoid Militia Infiltrating Texas Police Is Bent on Rebellion (DonkeyHotey)

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “A revolution-minded, conspiracy-bent militia group named the Oath Keepers is recruiting law officers in Hood County to take up arms in what the founder predicts will be a ‘bloody civil war’ against the U.S. government. A national director of the Las Vegas-based Oath Keepers, John D. Shirley, moved to rural Hood County in 2015 and has been appointed by county commissioners as a constable, giving him both access to confidential information and a political platform to recruit more militia members.”

US Opioid Crisis: 100,000 Overdose Deaths May Have Gone Uncounted (Gerry)

From New Scientist: “Far more people in the US may have died from opioids in the past two decades than previously reported, according to a new analysis of unclassified drug deaths carried out using machine-learning algorithms.”

Ghost Ships, Crop Circles, and Soft Gold: A GPS Mystery in Shanghai (Gerry)

The author writes, “A sophisticated new electronic warfare system is being used at the world’s busiest port. But is it sand thieves or the Chinese state behind it?”