Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "Alcohol" ...

  • The Death of a State Trooper

    Early on a Saturday morning in late March of 2019, a man drove the wrong way down a suburban Chicago expressway and crashed into another driver, killing them both. It’s the kind of news story that – unfortunately -- we all report too often. It’s also the kind of story that NBC5 Investigates regularly checks out, to see what might be behind the breaking news. In this case, we quickly discovered a man – Dan Davies -- who should never have been on the road, because of a system that simply (and repeatedly) didn’t work, eventually resulting in that early- morning crash. The man Davies killed: An Illinois State Trooper named Gerald Ellis, who was heading home to his family after his late-night shift. One witness at the scene said Trooper Ellis saved the lives of others, by steering into Davies’ oncoming car. Nearly every day over the two weeks following that fatal crash, NBC5 Investigates uncovered new court records and police reports, blood-alcohol analyses and dash cam video, social-media posts and States Attorney documents, all adding to a damning pile of evidence showing that Davies should have been behind bars the night of the crash, save for a series of mistakes by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Yet, every day, when we tried to get answers from that State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, there was only radio silence. The lack of response was so galling – especially from a taxpayer-funded office accountable to the public -- that we documented, online and in real time, the actual reporting process of our daily phone calls and emails, which simply sought the most basic answers on what her office did and didn’t do, in a case that clearly and ultimately resulted in the unnecessary death of an Illinois State trooper. Ultimately, Foxx was forced to respond and – finally – take responsibility for the mistakes that allowed Dan Davies to be on the road that night.
  • VTDigger: The flying fraternity

    A six-month investigation by VTDigger uncovered a “good ol’ boys club” at the Vermont National Guard in which male officials receive preferential treatment, break rules and abuse alcohol. We revealed numerous examples of how the Guard has created a toxic environment for women who say they have been sexually harassed and passed up for promotions.
  • Sobriety for Sale

    As a heroin/opioid epidemic gripped Washington State, KING 5’s investigative team uncovered corruption at a series of state-licensed drug and alcohol treatment clinics. “Sobriety for Sale” revealed the secret payments that left addicts untreated, courts misled, and the public at risk. The series also exposed shoddy oversight by the little known state agency that is supposed to be the watchdog over Washington’s 570 licensed treatment clinics.
  • Amarillo Economic Development Corporation Travel Expenses

    This series looks at travel expenses from the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) during a three-year period. The AEDC is mostly funded with taxpayer money with the Amarillo city council approving the almost $2 million operating budget. The findings include luxury hotel expenses, purchases of alcohol, meals at high-end restaurants, late check-out fees and rounds of golf. Some receipts were hand-written, unreadable or not itemized. There is little to no oversight of these expenses either by the organization or the city. The AEDC has no “written” policies on travel and the president approves his own expenses. Many of the meals, trips and rounds of golf are considered an investment, but there is no record of who attended because the AEDC says the deals are confidential. The organization has existed for 26 years but has brought in 34 businesses during that time to Amarillo.
  • Mixed Signals on Substance Abuse at San Diego State

    Following the repercussions of an undercover police drug raid in 2008, San Diego State crime statistics took an interesting turn. After the peak six years ago, the amount of alcohol-related incidents (DUI, Drunk and Disorderly, MIP, and more) steadily dropped, while the amount of students requiring medical transports for alcohol- or drug-related conditions skyrocketed. Madison Hopkins and Leonardo Castaneda, two editors at San Diego State's independent student newspaper, The Daily Aztec, investigated the reasoning behind this trend and what it meant for students.
  • Safe from War | Dead at Home

    This three-day series was the culmination of a yearlong project that took an unprecedented look at the untimely deaths of Marines in Southern California’s High Desert. We set out to produce something revelatory, and ultimately discovered trends that have never been reported before, and were likely unknown even to the military itself. Our series discovered that the rural Marine base in Twentynine Palms, CA suffered more non-combat deaths on American soil than war casualties between 2007 and 2012. Our reporting revealed that the base had an extremely high rate of off-duty car crashes, which was worsened by a culture of heavy drinking and a reckless, “invincible” mindset held by many Marines. The series also showed that Marines who took their own life at the Twentynine Palms base were twice as likely to be under the influence of alcohol as the average Marine suicide.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Ed: On Campus, Grenade Launchers, M-16s, and Armored Vehicles

    The Chronicle’s investigation revealed nearly 120 college police forces acquired military gear from the Department of Defense through the controversial 1033 program. Advocates contended the low-cost equipment is an indispensable resource during crowd-control situations or active-shooter incidents. Detractors argued the procurement of tactical gear fails to aid against the types of crimes that occur more frequently on college campuses, like alcohol-related incidents and sexual assault. Others worried military equipment is an especially poor fit on college campuses, and feared it may have a chilling effect on free expression.
  • ATF Gun Tracing

    CBS News obtained exclusive access to the National Tracing Center operated by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Martinsburg, West Virginia In our piece, we took the public behind the scenes of this massive facility in the heart of rural West Virginia to show how a gun is traced, guns used in crimes such as the Newtown Ct. mass shootings, Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, and that of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in Arizona.
  • License to Swill

    The Better Government Association and NBC 5 found that numerous Illinois police and fire labor contracts allow police officers and firefighters to arrive at work with a blood-alcohol level up to and including 0.079 – just below 0.08, at which drivers are legally considered intoxicated in Illinois. Turns out such contract language is, in many cases, decades-old and carried from one labor agreement to the next with little thought. The hazards of first responders being allowed to work “buzzed” is obvious: They deal with life-and-death decisions – whether in burning buildings or while pointing guns at suspects – that demand good decision-making and proper reaction times that alcohol can compromise. Our story came on the heels of the City of Chicago approving a $4.1 million settlement to the family of an unarmed man fatally shot by an on-duty Chicago cop who had been drinking alcohol prior to his shift.
  • Backfire

    The investigation revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) employed rogue tactics in undercover storefront strings in Milwaukee and across the country, including using those with mental disabilities to promote the operations – and then turning around and charging them with gun and drug crimes. The investigation found ATF agents set up operations near schools and churches, allowing them to arrest people on more serious charges; let felons armed with guns leave the fake storefronts; paid such high prices that people bought guns from stores and then quickly sold them to agents; bought stolen goods, spurring burglaries in the area; arrested and charged the wrong people; and drew in juveniles by allowing them to play video games, smoke marijuana and drink alcohol; failed to employ sufficient security, allowing sting storefronts to be burglarized; carelessly handled sensitive documents containing undercover officer’s names and vehicle information; and left behind damaged rental properties, failing to pay landlords for repairs. In Milwaukee, an ATF agent’s guns were stolen, including an automatic machine gun, which has not been recovered. The sting operations were part of an ATF initiative meant to go after “the worst of the worst” and target areas beset by violent crime. But in the Milwaukee operation and elsewhere, the defendants largely had nonviolent criminal backgrounds. Even a federal prosecutor criticized the ATF for the kinds of people targeted.