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 "Houston Chronicle" ...

  • Houston Chronicle: Prison denies inmates dentures

    One main story and two follow-ups on denture policy in Texas prisons.
  • Houston Chronicle: Silent Spills

    A joint investigation by the two news organizations (Houston Chronicle and AP)found that industrial spills unleashed by Hurricane Harvey in Houston were far worse than publicly reported. Impacted citizens were kept in the dark about their size and seriousness. State and federal officials misled the public with repeated assurances that no health hazards existed. Six months after Harvey, Texas regulators had not announced a single enforcement action from 89 incidents investigated. Reporters from the Chronicle and AP filed dozens of records requests, unearthing long-hidden government-funded research and cross-referencing spill data collected from a hodgepodge of state and local agencies to determine the true scope of the damage. The vital watchdog role they performed highlighted a lack of will by Texas state regulators to effectively police the petrochemical industry. But its industry-friendly approach had weakened local efforts to build cases against the worst polluters, many of them repeat environmental offenders.
  • Houston Chronicle: Out of Control

    When new residents of Houston first hit the roads, many come to the same realization: This is not normal. The highways are a labyrinthine mess. The motorists drive at extraordinarily high speed, often distracted. At night, drunk drivers weave in and out of traffic. Those factors lead to daily tragedy. Chronicle reporters knew the carnage was unusual. In 2016, they began investigating the scope of the problem. The findings: the greater Houston region was the nation’s deadliest major metro area for roadway fatalities, with more than 640 deaths annually – or the equivalent of three fully loaded 737s crashing and killing all aboard, every year. They found declining speeding enforcement, even as deaths rose. They also discovered similar results with DWI and distracted driving enforcement.
  • Houston Chronicle and ProPublica: Heart Failure

    Heart recipients at an acclaimed hospital were dying at a high rate, and patients had been kept in the dark. After an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica, Medicare cut off funding and the hospital replaced its lead surgeon.
  • How Texas Keeps Tens of Thousands of Children Out of Special Education

    In “Denied,” the Houston Chronicle revealed that a group of Texas state officials had arbitrarily decided what percentage of students should receive special education services and had enforced the benchmark by intensely auditing school districts for “over-identification.” The effort, which began in 2004 but was never announced and remained completely unknown outside of district special education departments, saved the state billions of dollars but denied critical help to tens of thousands of children with disabilities. As a result, the Chronicle reported, Texas now provides special education services to a lower percentage of its students than any other state in the country – by far. If Texas gave services at the same rate as everybody else, more than 250,000 more children in the state would be receiving services such as tutoring, counseling and therapy.
  • Denied: How Texas Keeps Tens of Thousands of Children Out of Special Education

    In “Denied,” the Houston Chronicle revealed that a group of Texas state officials had arbitrarily decided what percentage of students should receive special education services and had enforced the benchmark by intensely auditing school districts for “over-identification.” The effort, which began in 2004 but was never announced and remained completely unknown outside of district special education departments, saved the state billions of dollars but denied critical help to tens of thousands of children with disabilities. As a result, the Chronicle reported, Texas now provides special education services to a lower percentage of its students than any other state in the country – by far. If Texas gave services at the same rate as everybody else, more than 250,000 more children in the state would be receiving services such as tutoring, counseling and therapy.
  • Chemical Breakdown

    A 2014 toxic gas release at DuPont’s pesticide plant outside Houston killed four workers and endangered the surrounding community. In response to those deaths, the Houston Chronicle delved deep into the chemical industry, and the way government regulates these potentially harmful facilities. The Chronicle partnered with experts at Texas A&M to establish a methodology for analyzing chemical inventories to create a potential harm index for facilities throughout the Houston area. Our investigation showed facilities with a high potential for harm were all over the metro area, the government has failed at every level to protect the public and the EPA's chosen solution - a network of local emergency planning committees is destined to fail.
  • Chemical Breakdown

    A 2014 toxic gas release at DuPont’s pesticide plant outside Houston killed four workers and endangered the surrounding community. In response to those deaths, the Houston Chronicle delved deep into the chemical industry, and the way government regulates these potentially harmful facilities. The Chronicle partnered with experts at Texas A&M to establish a methodology for analyzing chemical inventories to create a potential harm index for facilities throughout the Houston area. Our investigation showed facilities with a high potential for harm were all over the metro area, the government has failed at every level to protect the public and the EPA's chosen solution - a network of local emergency planning committees is destined to fail.
  • The Bandidos and the Waco Melee

    After rival bikers and police engaged in a deadly shootout at a Waco restaurant, many questions lingered about what prompted the fight, who fired the fatal shots and why so many were arrested - even seemingly innocent. But police and prosecutors stopped talking and a judge imposed a gag order Most reporters let the story drop - but not Houston Chronicle Reporter Dane Schiller, a long-time organized crime specialist. His doggedness resulted in a series of stories – significant take-outs and regular blog posts - that shed light on the bad blood between biker gangs, raised questions about how police overreacted to the gathering and exposed the weaknesses of the charges against many of those arrested.
  • Sandra Bland jail suicide

    When Sandra Bland died in a jail cell in a rural Texas county, the Houston Chronicle was the first to report the suicide – an issue that had already been on the radar of Chronicle crime reporter St. John Barned-Smith. He’d already been writing about lesser-known suicides of inmates, who can be jailed in Texas on the whim of a traffic cop and kept there by Justices of the Peace without any law degree. Chronicle journalists were the first to report on Bland’s previous suicide attempt, they quickly requested and posted key documents and video, produced a more detailed profile of Bland and put the issue in context with the larger problem of jail suicides all across Texas.