Resource Center

Stories

 

 

 

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.

 

 

 



Search results for "Federal Government" ...

  • New egg safety plan shows cracks in the system

    It’s been almost three years since more than 500 million eggs were recalled in 2010 because of an outbreak of Salmonella that caused nearly 2,000 illnesses - the largest outbreak of its kind on record. Yet under a new egg safety plan approved shortly before the recall, all egg production facilities are still not inspected as required by the plan.

    Tags: Salmonella outbreak; eggs; food safety; egg safety plan; government reports; inspection records; recall data; federal oversight agencies

    By Sam Robinson

    Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

    2013

  • Brian Ross Investigates: A Murder, A Mobster and the FBI

    This story started as a local news investigation into a stolen car but quickly revealed a tale of corruption inside the federal government, with national implications. We found a former Russian mobster, operating a thriving luxury car business in Florida, had been accused of various crimes by consumers - but that those crimes were not pursued by local police. In looking further at Mani Chulpayev, we found he had been a highly-regarded government informant, snitching on those in the Russian crime world. In return, it appeared he was being given a pass for crimes he continued to commit himself. As a result, the FBI has launched an investigation into the agent who was Chulpayev's handler for years. And Chulpayev now awaits trial for what prosecutors say was his role in the murder of a local hip-hop artist, amid allegations that the murder investigation had stalled for a year due to his handler's interference.

    Tags: FBI; Mani Chulpayev

    By Brian Ross

    ABC News

    2013

  • Explosion at West

    Tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer at a central Texas plant exploded last April with the force of a small earthquake. The blast came just two days after the Boston Marathon and, in the national media, was overshadowed by events in the Northeast. While not the result of a terrorist attack, the explosion in West, Texas, was far larger and deadlier, and raised more significant public safety issues. In a series of investigative reports over eight months, The Dallas Morning News revealed that ammonium nitrate remains virtually unregulated by federal and state governments, despite its well-known explosive potential. (Timothy McVeigh used it in 1995 to blow up an Oklahoma City federal building.) Efforts to strengthen oversight have been blocked by industry lobbyists and government gridlock, The News found, even as the Pentagon sought bans on ammonium nitrate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In pro-business, anti-regulation Texas, the federal government’s lax oversight meant no oversight at all. West Fertilizer Co. – scene of the disaster – violated almost every safety best practice. No state agency was charged with preventing an ammonium nitrate blast. There was no public registry of companies that handled the compound, even though many facilities are near homes and schools. Texas prohibits most counties from having fire codes and does not require facilities like West to obtain liability insurance. Gov. Rick Perry and other state politicians, who created this wide-open environment, washed their hands of the problem. They said West was a tragic accident that no amount of regulation could have prevented. The News’ findings, however, proved otherwise.

    Tags: West Fertilizer Co.; Safety; State agency; Texas; Gov. Rick Perry

    By Maud Beelman

    Dallas Morning News

    2013

  • Revealing the Cost of Government Contractors

    Federal procurement actions, whether for information technology, consulting services or project management, occur in a black box, closed off to the public and opaque to the inquiries of journalists and the public. For the most part, failures of these contractors remain low profile. That is, until the calamitous launch of Healthcare.gov, when the public saw firsthand--on a website that millions needed to use to secure health insurance--how badly these highly paid, politically connected firms and the federal employees who supposedly oversee them had done their handiwork.

    Tags: government contractors; federal procurement actions; information technology; consulting services; project management; Healthcare.gov; federal employees; Affordable Care Act

    By Kathy Kiely; Peter Olsen-Phillips

    Sunlight Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

    2013

  • The Suspicion Within

    Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

    Tags: NSA; Obama administration; federal employees; Insider Threat Program; U.S. national security; Peace Corps; Social Security Administration; Education and Agriculture departments; classified material

    By Marisa Taylor; Jonathan S. Landay

    McClatchy Newspapers

    2013

  • Undisclosed Hazards

    While methamphetamine production has been on the rise in New York and Pennsylvania, there are no federal or state rules about what makes a former meth lab clean, and no law requiring landlords or property sellers to disclose to renters or buyers that a property was once a meth lab. Employees at state or local government agencies contacted for the report thought other state or local agencies are responsible for overseeing or mandating cleanup, but the task is mostly left to local code enforcement departments, who have no guidance from their states.

    Tags: methamphetamine; New York; Pennsylvania; federal; state; meth lab; government agencies; legislators

    By Jason Whong

    Star-Gazette (Elmira, N.Y.)

    2013

  • In Harm's Way

    "In Harm's Way" uncovers a pattern of poor government regulation and dangerous safety problems in the booming interstate bus industry, which now carries as many passengers from city to city as domestic airlines--700 million passenger rides a year. In an investigation that took most of the year, the KNBC I-Team exposed how federal regulators routinely allow unsafe buses to remain on the roads, sometimes with fatal consequences. In 2013, California had a record number of major bus crashes--11 of them--with hundreds of injuries and over a dozen deaths.

    Tags: broadcast; dangerous safety problems; poor government regulation; bus industry; federal regulators; fatal, bus crashes, California

    By Joel Grover; Chris Henao; Ernesto Torres; Phil Drechsler; Keith Esparros; Kris Li; Bobbi Eng

    KNBC-TV (Los Angeles)

    2013

  • A Rush of Financial Questions

    The Better Government Association (BGA) spent eight months researching the finances of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill), his campaign committees, and nonprofits he founded or otherwise is affiliated with. Our findings, published with the Chicago Sun-Times in a two-part series, paint a troubling portrait of Rush, and question whose interests he’s really serving in Congress.

    Tags: Better Government Association; Rep. Bobby Rush; campaign committees; nonprofits; Congress; Chicago; federal law; taxes

    By Sandy Bergo; Chuck Neubauer; Patrick Rehkamp

    Chicago Sun-Times

    2013

  • Nuclear Waste

    What could possibly be wrongheaded about a U.S.-Russian effort to eliminate 64 tons of plutonium that could be fashioned into thousands of nuclear weapons? Begun in the 1990’s, it was blessed by four presidents, including Barack Obama, who called it an important way “to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons.” To carry it out, the federal government spent billions of dollars on a South Carolina plant to transform the Cold War detritus into fuel for civilian nuclear power plants, an act meant to turn swords into ploughshares — all with surprisingly little debate or oversight in Washington. When the Center for Public Integrity looked closely at the project, after hearing of some of its troubles, we found plenty of scandal. Our major conclusions are reported in our "Nuclear Waste" series of four articles totaling around 12,000 words that were published in June 2013.

    Tags: nuclear waste; nuclear weapons; power plants

    By Douglas Birch, R. Jeffrey Smith, David Donald, Alex Cohen

    Center for Public Integrity

    2013

  • Hanford's Dirty Secrets

    “Hanford’s Dirty Secrets” exposed mismanagement, wasted tax dollars and a cover-up by government officials and private contractors at the country’s most contaminated site -- the Hanford Nuclear Reservation located in Washington state -- where the most complex environmental cleanup effort in human history is underway. The liquid and solid waste housed at Hanford is dangerously radioactive and toxic, and any leak has the potential to pose serious threats to human and environmental health throughout the Pacific Northwest. The federal government produced plutonium at Hanford for the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan and for the U.S. nuclear arsenal throughout the Cold War. This production left behind millions of gallons of cancer-causing nuclear byproducts, much of which remains stored in aging underground tanks at Hanford. KING’s reporting showed that the government contractor in charge of the tanks ignored signs of leaking nuclear waste for nearly a year while the company collected millions in bonus money from the Dept. of Energy for its "very successful" stewardship of the waste holding tanks. In addition, we revealed that during the year the contractor failed to address the leak, the company wasted millions of taxpayer funds on a project rendered useless by the very fact that the tank was leaking

    Tags: nuclear waste; Hanford; radioactive; toxins; Dept of Energy

    By usannah Frame, reporter; Steve Douglas, photojournalist; Russ Walker, Executive Producer; John Vu, graphic designer; Mark Ginther, News Director

    KING-TV (Seattle)

    2013