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 "Maryland" ...

  • A Dangerous Delay

    In November 2018, Olivia Paregol’s father frantically called the University of Maryland from the intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The 18-year-old freshman, who had lived in a mold-infested dorm, was fighting for her life and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Was there anything else on campus making students sick? The director of the student health center knew of severe cases of adenovirus on campus but the public had no clue. Less than a week later, Olivia was dead from the virus and the outbreak would sicken dozens of students. It was only after her death that school officials informed the campus about the virus. Ian Paregol had more questions than answers: How long had the university known? Why didn’t they tell Olivia or other students when they showed up sick at the student health center? Washington Post reporters Jenn Abelson, Amy Brittain and Sarah Larimer interviewed more than 100 people and obtained thousands of pages of medical records, hundreds of emails, text messages, voicemails and other documents to reconstruct the events that led to Olivia’s death and threatened the health and safety of thousands of students at the University of Maryland campus. College officials said it would cost $63,000 to disclose internal emails about the outbreak, so reporters obtained many of those records from state and county agencies. In May, the Washington Post published “A Dangerous Delay,” a detailed investigation examining the outbreak of mold and adenovirus at the University of Maryland. The reporters revealed that the school waited 18 days to inform students about the virus and officials discussed — but decided against — notifying students with compromised immune systems, like Olivia, and those living in mold-infested dorms.
  • "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.
  • Carroll County Times: What Happened to Amy Metz

    The series reported on the suspicious death investigation into a Maryland's death during a snowstorm and how the lack of answers affected the woman's family.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shocking Force

    This first-ever data analysis of police use of Tasers revealed that departments across Maryland predominantly used the devices against suspects who, by their own assessment, posed no immediate threat, and showed that officers didn’t follow widely accepted safety recommendations, shocking people for longer than what’s recommended and firing at the chest despite warnings it could cause cardiac arrest.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Stories on mental health and policing seekt to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, WBAL told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. WBAL revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result.
  • Discharging Trouble

    The student reporters, working over a span of five months, found cases of elderly and disabled people who were discharged from a Maryland nursing home chain due to alleged financial concerns into unlicensed group or assisted living homes. Two people were assaulted in these homes. Attorneys and advocates for the poor said these were examples of a long-standing problem happening within the nursing care system in Maryland. These issues involve a combination of poor health circumstances, payment troubles, financial incentives to discharge patients and an unregulated underworld of group homes and unlicensed assisted-living facilities.
  • Rental Inspections

    Student rental housing being the chief industry of our small college town of Frostburg, Md., student reporter Brad Kroner worked for months to obtain city inspection data of rental units. The information finally provided showed 75 percent of rental units had not been inspected in the past three years, as required by municipal code, including many units owned by the mayor. Embarrassed by the published story that resulted, City Hall quickly released an updated set of data – which still showed the city was far from compliant – and said the first set was incomplete because its beleaguered staff had to compile the data from scratch. In other words, the city did not even have the data to know whether it was compliant, until an undergraduate filed a Maryland Public Information Act request asking for it.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Our stories on mental health and policing sought to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, we told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. We revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result. http://www.wbaltv.com/article/mental-health-and-policing/8566410