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" ...

  • Cleveland firefighters abused sick leave and shift trades

    The Plain Dealer documented that Cleveland firefighters systematically abused sick leave and shift trading policies and city administrators failed to hold the firefighters accountable. The newspaper also examined the political clout of firefighters and how other cities dealt with similar fire department abuses.

    Tags: sick leave; fire department abuses

    By Leila Atassi; Rachel Dissell; Tom Ott

    Cleveland Plain Dealer


  • Death Takes A Policy

    In a look at how the insurance industry has transformed from its traditional bread and butter of selling life insurance to selling complex financial products, ProPublica's Jake Bernstein and This American Life's Alex Blumberg explore how one man used variable annuities to make a fortune at the expense of other people dying. The story is told through the lens of Joseph Caramadre - a Rhode Island lawyer who is adept at exploiting fine print. Caramadre would offer $2,000 to $10,000 dollars to people who were close to death in exchange for their personal information so that he could buy an annuity on their life and then pocket any profit when that person died. Some involved with Caramadre's plot viewed him as a modern-day Robin Hood, offering sorely-needed financial support during their last days, while others cast him as a criminal taking advantage of people in a vulnerable state. While the ethics of his scheme are debatable, insurance companies and the government don't think there's much to dispute as criminal charges were brought against Caramadre for engaging in identity theft, conspiracy, and two different kinds of fraud for preying on the sick and deceiving the terminally ill to make millions for himself and his clients.

    Tags: insurance; life insurance; bernstein; blumberg; propublica; this american life; identity theft; fraud; conspiracy

    By Jake Bernstein; Alex Blumberg

    ProPublic/This American Life


  • Meningitis Outbreak

    When an unprecedented outbreak of fungal meningitis began last fall in Tennessee, The Tennessean reacted with aggressive and highly interactive coverage that has led the nation. Before other media realized the significance of the outbreak, which has sickened more than 650 people in 19 states, The Tennessean was already analyzing the regulation of specialty pharmacies and digging into the contracts and connections of the New England Compounding Center, the Massachusetts firm suspected of shipping contaminated steroids responsible for the illnesses. As of today, the outbreak has killed 40 people nationwide, 14 of them in Tennessee. More than a hundred more are still sick. We quickly reported problems associated with New England Compounding Center, lag times on informing victims and regulation slip-ups in the drug compounding industry that allowed companies to operate outside of the law.

    Tags: Health; meningitis; New England Compounding Center; steroids

    By Tom Wilemon, reporter; Walter F. Roche Jr., reporter; Lisa Green, health editor; Duane Marsteller, business reporter; Jessica Bliss, reporter; Josh Brown, reporter

    The Tennessean


  • Poisoned Places: Tonawanda

    It's difficult to definitively link any one person's illness to air pollution from a particular plant. But the concerns about the health effects of Tonawanda Coke's toxic pollution rallied a small group of people in Tonawanda -- most of them sick -- to force complacent regulators to clean up the air. The case highlights the risks posed to communities around the country by an environmental regulatory system that largely entrusts companies to voluntarily disclose how much toxic pollution they emit and that can take years to act once violations are discovered.

    Tags: air pollution; toxic emission; Tonawanda; Coke; health effects;

    By John W. Poole; Elizabeth Shogren; Sandra Bartlett; Kristen Lombardi; Alicia Cypress

    National Public Radio


  • 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