Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



  • Data Center Dud

    This report uncovered the story behind a $1 billion data-center proposal at Rowan University in New Jersey that officials rejected before the public learned of it. The Rowan project failed in 2011, and the reasons why later became relevant in Delaware, where the state's largest university was weighing a nearly identical plan from the same developers -- complete with a 279-megawatt, gas-fired power plant, and backed by top Delaware politicians and $7.5 million in public funds.

    Tags: center; power; plant; new jersey; developers

    By Melissa Nann Burke

    The News Journal (Delaware)

    2014

  • Miami VA Secrets Exposed

    The death of a young Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran inside the Miami VA’s drug treatment center led to a series of stories that revealed glaring problems with the way deaths inside the hospital were being handled. In this case, CBS4 News discovered the parents were told their son may have choked to death on a sandwich when in fact he had overdosed on drugs. When the family arrived, grief stricken and looking for answers, they were instead handed a large black garbage bag containing their son’s personal belongings. CBS4 News also discovered VA police officials were not notified about the suspicious death for several hours and the detective who would normally investigate such matters was never contacted. Those stories in turn prompted the VA Police detective to come forward and expose even more serious problems, including allegations of drug dealing inside the hospital. The detective agreed to speak on-the-record and on-camera about how his efforts to investigate illegal activities inside the hospital were stymied by VA administrators.

    Tags: florida; hospital; overdose; police; affairs

    By Jim DeFede; Cari Hernandez; Muhamad Hassan

    WFOR-TV (Miami)

    2014

  • 2008 Mumbai Attacks

    The intelligence agencies of three nations did not pull together all the strands gathered by their high-tech surveillance and other tools, which might have allowed them to disrupt the 2008 Mumbai attacks -- a terror strike so scarring that it is often called India’s 9/11.

    Tags: mumbai; india; attacks; intelligence; agencies; international

    By Sebastian Rotella; Tom Jennings; Anna Belle Peevey; James Glanz; David Sanger

    ProPublica/Frontline/NYT

    2014

  • Pay for Delay

    Are generic drugs delayed to market by so-called “pay-for-delay” deals between brand and generic drug manufacturers? PBS NewsHour Weekend investigated these deals and other practices that opponents like the Federal Trade Commission say are meant to impede generic competition and protect profits. PBS NewsHour Weekend profiled Karen Winkler, a 46-year-old mother of three with Multiple Sclerosis. A deal was struck over her M.S. drug that opponents say delayed the generic to market. Then, the manufacturer raised the price to get patients to switch to its new extended-release version. Unable to afford it, Karen went off the drug until it went generic in 2012. PBS NewsHour Weekend shed light on complicated, secretive pharmaceutical deals rarely examined on national TV. These deals affect thousands of patients, but few know anything about them. And in cases like Winkler’s, they can have profound consequences.

    Tags: manufacturers; generic; brands; prescription; ftc; profits

    By Megan Thompson; Tracy Wholf; Judith Starr Wolff; Denis Levkovich; Sarah Sheffer; Marc Rosenwasser; Scott Davis; Stephen Segaller; Neal Shapiro

    PBSNewshour

    2014

  • Stolen Wages

    In the last eight years both the Washington Legislature and the Seattle City Council passed laws to address wage theft, which happens when employers withhold wages or deny benefits rightfully owed to an employee. It’s a misdemeanor under city and state law. And yet in hundreds of cases annually, InvestigateWest learned, Washington fails to retrieve workers’ shorted wages. Meanwhile, the city ordinance has yet to bring about even a single prosecution of employers who withhold pay. The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has sped up wage complaint investigations over the past several years, yet four in 10 cases take longer than the legally mandated 60 days. And the department collects less than $6 out of every $10 it says workers are owed, an analysis of state records by InvestigateWest found. These shortfalls reported by InvestigateWest threaten to undermine a flagship achievement of worker advocates and Seattle city leadership: the new $15-an-hour city minimum wage that will begin to go into effect this year.

    Tags: wages; workers; misdemeanor; benefits; theft

    By Allegra Abramo; Jason Alcorn; Robert McClure

    InvestigateWest

    2014

  • The Gazette

    Broken Code was a Gazette investigation into athlete misconduct at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Air Force’s failure to hold coaches and other leaders accountable for the acts of their players. It also examined the systems and the culture that led to widespread misconduct at a school where cadets pledge to live by a strict honor code. The stories showed a raucous culture on teams, especially the football squad, with sexual assault, academic misconduct, drug use and binge drinking. The Air Force had punished players but kept the pattern of misconduct tightly under wraps while taking no actions against leaders. The reporting later revealed a backdoor that lets star athletes into military academies despite serious academic deficiencies that would see them denied admission otherwise.

    Tags: air; force; academy; misconduct; assault; sexual

    By Tom Roeder; Joanna Bean

    The Gazette

    2014

  • Waiting for Disaster

    A relentless WXYZ-TV investigation is credited for prompting major proposed reforms to Michigan’s mental health code; measures that probate judges say will save lives and drastically improve care for the state’s most vulnerable. The ongoing series documented an underfunded, disjointed and sometimes inhumane state mental health system that, in 2014, was rated 41st out of 50 states. In 9 separate reports, WXYZ’s relentless series documented the plight of men, women and children struggling with a mental illness who received meager care from the state. Through its reporting, WXYZ prompted the Governor’s office to form a special task force designed to change Michigan law and provide more meaningful care for the mentally ill.

    Tags: michigan; probate; judge; care; state; underfunded

    By Ross Jones; Ann Mullen; Adam Brewster; Johnny Sartin; Ramon Rosario; Randy Lundquist

    WXYZ-TV (Detroit)

    2014

  • Loaded with Lead: How gun ranges poison workers and shooters

    Roberto Sanchez suffered silently while racked with chronic pain. James Maddox quietly endured failing health. Manny Romo privately bore guilt for inadvertently exposing his children to an unseen peril. For decades, the stories of victims like these had gone untold until The Seattle Times’ “Loaded with Lead” series exposed a hidden danger pervading one of America’s most popular and growing pastimes. This series, the first of its kind, found that America’s gun ranges put workers, shooters and their family members at risk from an insidious poison: lead. “Loaded with Lead” laid bare how outdated industry safety standards, reckless shooting-range owners and lax regulation have contributed to hundreds of lead-poisoning cases nationwide. In an unprecedented analysis, our reporters discovered that regulators have only inspected 201 of America’s 6,000 commercial gun ranges, about 3 percent, in the past decade.

    Tags: gun; range; employee; safety; poison

    By Christine Willmsen; Lewis Kamb; Justin Mayo

    The Seattle Times

    2014

  • Chicago police failing to register sex offenders

    These stories detail the Chicago Police Departments systematic failure to register sex offenders. The offenders trying to follow the law are turned away from police headquarters. The department refuses to register them because they don’t have enough staff to handle the volume of offenders. The offenders are then vulnerable to arrest for ‘failure to register.’ The arresting agency is the Chicago police department, the agency responsible for their failure to register.

    Tags: sexual; rape; police; failure; register

    By Robert Wildeboer; Cate Cahan

    WBEZ Radio (Chicago)

    2014

  • Rialto Unified Holocaust essay assignment

    The 26,000-student Rialto Unified School District in Southern California asked its 2,000 eighth graders this spring to write an in-class essay assignment on whether or not the Holocaust occurred, and gave students print-outs from a Holocaust denial site as one of three "credible sources" they were required to base their work on. The district initially claimed that no students had denied the Holocaust occurred, but after the students' essays were obtained through a California Public Records Act request, it turned out that dozens of students had done so, some of them earning high marks along the way. The revelation led to international condemnation, the establishment of a new lesson plan for the rising ninth graders, the departure of high-ranking officials within the district and may have contributed to the school board president choosing to not run for reelection.

    Tags: holocaust; elementary; school; denial; international

    By Beau Yarbrough

    Los Angeles News Group

    2014