Resource Center


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 where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "sickness" ...

  • When Immunity Fails: Whooping Cough Epidemic

    KPBS and the Watchdog Institute investigated the whooping cough outbreak of 2010 that sickened thousands of people across the country and killed 23. This investigation contributed to the launch of new studies on the disease.

    Tags: whooping cough; immunization; sickness; babies; vaccination; pertussis

    By Joanne Faryon; Jessica Plautz; Kevin Crowe; Roxana Popescu; Sandy Coronilla

    The Watchdog Institute


  • "Greed v. Guardianship"

    This investigation reveals serious flaws in the Maricopa County Probate Court. Families have complained of being "violated" by their court appointed guardian, which was most often the Sun Valley Group. Families accused SVG of taking control of their finances, selling anything of value and keeping the money. Some were even kept from visiting sick loved ones who had been placed in care facilities.

    Tags: Sun Valley Group; probate court; Maricopa County; Arizona Supreme Court; public records; court documents; guardianship

    By Maria Tomasch; Joe Ducey; Aaron Wische; Vivek Narayan; Matthew Anzur; Patrick Lancaster

    KNXV-TV (Phoenix)


  • Puppy Pipeline

    The Post tracked a puppy mill pipeline stretching from the Ozarks to South Florida, one that brought thousands of sometimes-sick puppies from mass-operations to local pet stores. At least 2,500 puppies were delivered to Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties from out-of-states breeders in an 11-month period. Roughly one in three of those came from breeders or distributors cited for problems by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees wholesale dog breeding. Citations varied from keeping animals in too-small and rusting cages with exposed nails or wires, to caked feces, to infestations of roaches and other insects that covered the walls and ceilings of kennels. In dozens of cases, kennel owners averted USDA inspection entirely.

    Tags: puppy mill; puppies; USDA; dog breeder; breeding; Department of Agriculture; animal mistreatment

    By Pat Beall; Jennifer Sorentrue; Adam Playrofd

    Post (Palm Beach, Fla.)


  • "Big payout, little oversight at NEIU"

    After receiving a tip from a member of the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit (NEIU) board, reporter Sarah Hofius Hall began investigating the retirement of Fred Rosetti, former executive director of the NEIU. She revealed that the board "blindly and quietly" removed caps on accrued vacation and sick days, which meant Rosetti would have received slightly more than half a million dollars in payouts upon retirement.

    Tags: NEIU; payouts; right-to-know request; Abington Heights; Alvin Hollister; vacation days; sick leave; Italy

    By Sarah Hofius Hall

    Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)


  • Benefits Denied

    This series reveals the “shameful failing of both the state and federal government in living up to its promises to both Indiana’s most vulnerable and it’s most brave”. The story began when a “1.3 billion dollar state welfare contract” was cancelled and “new federal directives were sent to every V.A. office nationwide”. Further, when people were sick and turning to the V.A. for help, their requests were denied.

    Tags: Department of Veterans Affairs; medical care; Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA); support; military; soldiers; agencies

    By Sandra Chapman; James Hall; Steve Rhodes; John Whalen

    WTHR-TV (Indianapolis)


  • What's in your burger?

    This story revealed how a number of restaurants aren’t following health code guidelines. These violations include not using gloves, not cooking at correct temperatures, no mouth guards at buffets, no sanitizer in rag buckets, dirty restrooms, no dates on food in the refrigerator, and storing food where it is subject to contamination.

    Tags: health inspection; records; Cedar City; food; sickness; food protection code; Public Health Department; home-owned; chains; privately owned

    By Candice Sandness



  • Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, And Margie Ricahrd's Fight to Save Her Town

    "Night Fire describes how a four-street, all-black community in Norco, Louisiana challenged the world's second biggest oil company, Shell Oil, over a series of deadly plant explosions and recurring sicknesses in their neighborhood."

    Tags: oil; explosions; pollution; toxic; air; black; Norco; Shell; Margie Richard; poison;

    By Ronnie Greene

    Miami Herald


  • The Social Security backlog

    A four-part, multi-article series examined the backlog of social security cases, particularly in the Portland, Ore. area. When presented with the findings, Social Security top official Commissioner Michael J. Astrue acknowledged the backlog of disability claims has gone "seriously in the wrong direction." The reporters found that most people who fight for Social Security benefits after being initially denied with their cases, but the average wait for a disability hearing was 512 days -- 669 days in the Portland office. The series highlighted that the system was particularly hard on veterans as well. Also, using internal Social Security figures, the reporters determined that the agency would pay about $9 billion in benefits to people who no longer deserved them. They later found that the real cost for the failure to review disability cases was between $10 and $11 billion.

    Tags: social security; veterans' care; Department of Veteran's Affairs; disability hearings; medical benefits; Freedom of Information Act

    By Brent Walth; Bryan Denson

    Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)


  • Sick drivers causing fatal wrecks

    The story (and follow-up pieces) exmined the issue of dangerous sick drivers who fill U.S. highways. The July 21 story found that hundreds of thousands of drivers carry commercial licenses even though they also qualify for full federal disability payments. The tractor-trailer and bus drivers have suffered seizures, heart attacks or unconscious spells that led to deadly crashes, with violations found in every state.

    Tags: bus drivers; truck drivers; National Transportation Safety Board; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; blackout

    By Hope Yen; Frank Bass

    Associated Press


  • Careless Detention

    Four-part series on the medical treatment of immigrant detainees in the United States. Goldstein and Priest exposed the shoddy, unethical and, at times, fatal treatment of immigrants during their detentions and as they were being deported to their native countries. Their stories led readers deep inside America's network of immigration prisons--a world that had grown exponentially in the years since 9/11, yet remained largely unknown and hidden from view. Their stories documented the deaths of 83 detainees. And in one of the most stunning revelation, Goldstein and Priest disclosed the previously unreported scope of a practice of forcible sedation of immigrants with dangerous psychotropic drugs during deportation to their native countries; they found more than 250 instances in which the drugs were used on people with no history of psychiatric problems. Their stories also revealed that the most prevalent cause of death among the immigrant detainees is suicide, including the hangings of detainees known to be in such fragile mental health that they had been assigned suicide watchers. They profiled the slipshod treatment of an ailing Korean immigrant, a legal U.S. resident for three decades detained in a rail in the Arizona desert, with a history of recurrent cancer. And they documented the flawed medical practices, bureaucratic ineptitude, sloppy record-keeping and staff shortages that cause detainees who are sick to suffer and sometimes to die.

    Tags: detained immigrants; September 11th; 9/11; medical treatment of prisoners; immigration prison; HIPAA

    By Amy Goldstein; Dana Priest

    Washington Post