Stories

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

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Search results for "Oregon Public Broadcasting" ...

  • Northwest Jails' Mounting Death Toll

    Since 2008, at least 306 people across the Northwest have died after being taken to a county jail. Until now, that number was unknown, in part because Oregon and Washington have not comprehensively tracked those deaths in county jails. If they did, they would find a crisis of rising death rates in overburdened jails that have been set up to fail the inmates they are tasked with keeping safe. Key findings: - Over the past 10 years, the rate of jail deaths has trended upward in Oregon and Washington. In 2008, county jails in Washington had a mortality rate of about 123 deaths for every 100,000 inmates. By 2017, that rate was 162. Jail population data for 2018 were not yet available at the time of publication, but reported deaths spiked that year. A conservative estimate puts the 2018 mortality rate closer to 200 deaths per 100,000 inmates. - In 2018, police shot and killed 39 people between Oregon and Washington, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. For that same year, our investigation found 39 deaths in Oregon and Washington county jails. - At least 70 percent of Northwest inmates who died in the past decade were awaiting trial at the time of their deaths, still considered innocent under the law. - More than 40 percent of deaths happened within an inmate’s first week in jail. A third of all inmates who died never made it past three days. - Suicide, by far the leading cause of jail deaths in the Pacific Northwest, accounted for nearly half of all cases with a known cause of death.
  • OPB: This Solar Startup Spent Big, Then Left Customers In Limbo

    A two-part radio series uncovers financial mismanagement and ponzi scheme tactics at one of the country's fastest growing solar companies, which cratered and owed millions of dollars to its customers, vendors and employees across Oregon, Nevada and Utah.
  • Contaminated Soil Lingers Where Apples Once Grew

    An Oregon Public Broadcasting and Northwest Public Radio collaboration found Washington officials failed to address known soil contamination at former orchard sites, leaving children at risk of exposure that could elevate their risk of lowered IQ, behavioral problems or cancer later in life.
  • Unprepared

    Unprepared was a multi-platform series, culminating in a broadcast documentary, that examined Oregon's failure to prepare for the known risk of a major earthquake. Reporters conducted hundreds of interviews, accessed government documents and built their own databases in a year-long effort that exposed many inadequacies in current seismic preparedness and the state’s lagging response. http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-fuel-breakdown-90-percent/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/earthquake-oregon-coastal-towns-cease-to-exist/ http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/episodes/2701/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/earthquake-oregon-bridges-collapse/ http://www.opb.org/aftershock/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/oregons-seismic-achilles-heel/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/unprepared-schools-and-hospitals-at-risk/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/seismically-vulnerable-bridges-in-oregon/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-fuel-breakdown-90-percent/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-14-gallons-water/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/living-off-your-quake-kit-weekend-wrap-up/ http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/earthquake-what-holds-us-back-from-being-prepared-for-a-disaster/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/new-hospital-planned-in-tsunami-zone/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/unprepared-towns-along-coast-manage-tsunami-risk-in-different-ways/
  • Oil Train Safety Put At Risk

    Oregon Public Broadcasting's investigation into worker complaints about BNSF Railway's documents how the company has prioritized speed and profits over safety, with a history of retaliating against workers who report accidents, injuries and safety concerns. Railroad safety has come under public scrutiny now that trains are hauling millions of gallons of oil across North America. In the Northwest, BNSF carries the vast majority of the especially combustible Bakken crude from North Dakota and neighboring states. The railroad now moves nearly 20 oil trains per week through the Columbia River Gorge. Worker fatigue is a major contributor to these dangers on the rails. As they uncovered, irregular work schedules and sleep disorders are a well-known contributor to train derailments, and yet, the industry has failed to make the adjustments that have been identified as ways to reduce the risk of crashes and derailments.