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 "Baltimore" ...

  • "Healthy Holly" and University of Maryland Medical System Investigation

    The “Healthy Holly” scandal began with a suggestion from a source, a state legislator who told Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater she thought there might be some irregular contracting practices going on at the University of Maryland Medical System. Broadwater, busy covering the General Assembly session, filed a public records request. The documents showed that Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and other members of the hospital network’s board of directors had no-bid contracts with the medical system -- though the extent of those contracts, especially Pugh's, were not fully described. Broadwater's story -- written quickly as a daily as soon as he received the documents -- was breaking news that got the attention of Maryland's political establishment: University of Maryland Medical System pays members of volunteer board hundreds of thousands in business deals. Immediately, Broadwater and other Baltimore Sun reporters followed their instincts and tips that were coming in -- including that Pugh had failed to print many of the books she’d been paid to produce, while thousands of others were sitting unread in a Baltimore school system warehouse. Meanwhile, Sun reporters pulled ethics forms, poured over tax records, filed public information requests and worked sources, breaking story after story that exposed a widening scandal that rocked the state of Maryland, perhaps more than any other series of articles in decades. Their work led to the resignation of the mayor, the UMMS CEO and other top officials, including every member of the medical system's board of directors.
  • What Transparency Looks Like

    Baltimore City Public Schools spends nearly $16,000 per student, per year, making it the third most funded among America’s 100 largest (Source: U.S. Census). But federal data (NAEP) ranks Baltimore schools as the third lowest performing. In 2017, Fox45 spoke with multiple sources who described a system-wide culture of pushing students through at any cost.
  • Cops and Robbers

    This series charts the path of perhaps the most corrupt officer to wear a Baltimore Police badge, from his history of ignored complaints of abuse and untruthfulness to showing the depths of crimes uncovered by a federal investigation, including drug trafficking and robbery. The story maps out how the corruption was not an isolated event confined to a particular unit, but rather ingrained in the culture of “plainclothes” police units long relied on to combat crime. It exposes new allegations, and educates readers who might otherwise not understand the negative effects of aggressive policing employed in Baltimore’s most high-crime neighborhoods.
  • Murder with Impunity

    Whether your murder is solved can sometimes depend on where you're killed. The Post found disparities in who gets justice and who's still waiting.
  • Fox45: What Transparency Looks Like

    Baltimore is a city in crisis. Its murder rate is the highest in the nation. Its school system is among the lowest performing. For decades, its government has hidden behind a culture of secrecy and corruption. More than one year ago, Fox45 decided it had enough and challenged the status quo. On behalf of students, parents and taxpayers, Fox45 took the drastic step of suing Baltimore’s $1.4 billion school system - one of the nation’s largest. In the fall of 2017, when City Schools denied the entirety of a Project Baltimore public records request concerning the results of an internal grade changing investigation, Fox45 sued the school board. That internal investigation stemmed from a series of Fox45 reports which exposed a culture of grade fixing and pushing students through a broken school system. To date, Fox45 has accrued more than $100,000 in legal fees. But, so far, City Schools has been forced to capitulate. Bit by bit, over the year, they have handed over more than 10,000 pages of documents. And our fight is not over yet. The trial is scheduled for February 11. When it concludes, Fox45 will take another drastic step and send a strong message by filing a motion to recuperate our legal fees from Baltimore City Public Schools. “What Transparency Looks Like” was produced by Project Baltimore, a team of Fox45 journalists committed to a long-term investigation into Baltimore area schools.
  • Baltimore Sun: University of Maryland football scandal

    University of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair died of heatstroke in June, weeks after he collapsed during football practice. His death sent shockwaves through the university community, eventually causing the president to be forced out, the football coach to be fired and the board of regents chairman to resign. We strove to investigate the circumstances of the student's death and how the university handled the subsequent fallout.
  • Baltimore Sun: The Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force Scandal

    The Baltimore Sun’s coverage of arguably the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the Baltimore Police Department continued into 2018, with the trials of the remaining officers charged in the federal case and the fallout from the case. The Sun produced work that revealed the suburban drug case that led authorities to the rogue squad, how the convictions thrust into question thousands of open and adjudicated cases involving the officers and what the trials revealed about the deep reach of the city’s drug economy.
  • Two-Hour Diploma

    “Two-Hour Diploma” started with a late-night hotline tip in February of 2018. Ten months later, at the time of this entry, the shock waves it produced continue to reverberate throughout the state of Maryland. Using deep dive, old-fashioned investigative journalism, this series produced results. A Baltimore high school was shut down after Fox45 enrolled an undercover student who received a diploma in two hours. Multiple state investigations were launched leading to other schools being shut down. Lawmakers, including the Governor, promised legislative action in Annapolis when session opens in January. And Fox45 jumped right through the massive loopholes this investigation exposed by opening our own church and school – right under the state’s nose. Two weeks after filing the paperwork, Good News Academy was certified and approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. As all this was unfolding, investigative reporter Chris Papst was sued by a school operator and physical threats were made against Papst and Fox45 for which the police were called. In an effort to stop the investigation, Fox45’s sources were threatened with violence and had their property vandalized. “Two-Hour Diploma” was produced by Project Baltimore, a team of Fox45 journalists committed to a long-term investigation of education in the Baltimore area.
  • Gone Too Soon: Revisiting the 1983 Murder of Joan Ann Charlton – A Comprehensive Collection of Information, 33 Years Later

    In September 1983, a 19-year-old Jamaican-American freshman from Baltimore, Joan Ann Charlton – who would have been the first member of her family to graduate from college – was found dead of multiple stab wounds on Frostburg State’s campus, a crime that was never solved. This student project seems to be the first journalistic coverage of the case of any kind in many years, and is the first comprehensive look at Charlton’s life, death and legacy ever published.
  • The death of Korryn Gaines

    These stories explored the death of Korryn Gaines after a six-hour standoff with Baltimore County police. Baltimore Sun reporters were able to shed light on the incident with stories about Gaines’ past encounters with police and social media postings, an exclusive interview with the neighbor who allowed police to drill holes in the wall he shared with Gaines’ apartment so they could monitor her movements, and another exclusive on court documents showing that police sought Gaines’ private Facebook messages and other account information. Reporters also explored other angles, such as the role social media is playing in encounters with police across the country. Finally, reporters gained exclusive access to the investigative file that provided a trove of information on how the standoff went down.