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

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Search results for "Pittsburgh" ...

  • The Search for the Lost Bomber

    43 years ago a B-25 crashed into the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh. The plane was never recovered, and some wonder if the goverment secretly removed the AIr Force bomber.
  • Tracking a Child Molester

    Octogenarian and boys choir organizer John Shallenberger has been in the news in Pittsburgh for years. He is a wealthy businessman, convicted twice for child molestation. In August 1998, a Pennsylvania judge issued an arrest warrant for Shallenberger on a contempt of court charge. The judge ruled that he violated a court order prohibiting him from recruiting youth for trips abroad. Reporters found that Shallenberger had place classified ads in alumni newsletters at his alma maters.
  • The Plane Truth

    The series is a result of a two month review of federal air safety documents in the Aviation Safety Reporting System or ASRS. The documents are part of a system that is little known outside of aviation circles. It allows anyone involved in flying to anonymously and confidentially report incidents, accidents or problems they witness or are involved in. We reviewed 2000 such reports on Pittsburgh International Airport, dating back to 1988. The review revealed many incidents and even accidents that the public never heard about. The investigation also uncovered a pattern of problems with runway and taxiway signs at the airport that have led to near miss incidents on the ground. The investigation also revealed an alarming number of accidents between planes and ground vehicles in the terminal parking area.
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    Over the course of 1996, the Benchmarks team of reporters, artists and editors developed 43 measurements of civic performance and used them to compare the Pittsburgh region to 14 other similar America cities. Their findings highlighted Pittsburgh weaknesses in exports, job growth, business startups, new and expanded facilities, construction, population growth, population age, migration, labor force participation, unemployment, per capita income, smart government, bond ratings, cost of living, black infant mortality, medical costs, and air quality. In particular, their work put a spotlight on the hidden costs of civic fragmentation, best illustrated by the fact that Allegheny County, the metro county surrounding Pittsburgh, is home to 130 other independent municipalities, each wit its own taxing powers, bureaucracy and debt structure. (March 31, June 30, October 20, December 1, 29, 1996)
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    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigates a growing trend in hospital care towards replacing nurses with less-trained, lower-paid aides. Using unlicensed aides may result in injury or death for patients when aides are asked to perform duties they are not equipped to handle. Many hospital administrators insist the money saved by hiring aides is an economic necessity; however, after surveying several hospitals the Post-Gazette found the hospitals either did not save any money or did not save as much as expected. (Feb. 11-14, 1996)
  • The 737's Rudder-Control Concerns

    The fall 1994 crash of USAir 427 prompted the Seattle Times to launch an investigation into Boeing 737 jetliners. The rudder system on the 737's can sometimes malfunction and make the airplane dangerously difficult to control. A USAir 737 crashed near Pittsburgh last September, killing all 132 passengers. United has accelerated replacement of a 737 rudder-system part in which investigators have found defects.
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    The Tribune-Review finds that two of Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy's longtime friends are key figures in a $42 million plan to redevelop the mayor's neighborhood. Both were awarded potentially lucrative no bid contracts. (Nov. 19 - 20, 1995)
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    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a series of comprehensive and exclusive reports about the turmoil surrounding freshman U.S. Rep. Enid Greene Waldholtz, R-Utah, and her husband Joseph. The Post-Gazette investigation found that the family trust Joseph Waldholtz said was the source of his personal wealth didn't exist, where Waldholtz fled, and contributors on Enids' Congressional campaign who denied making contributions or were nothing more than ficticious names. (Nov. 14 - 19, 23, 24, 28, Dec. 12 - 14, 16 1995)
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    Bankers and government officials entrusted two of Pittsburgh's most precious businesses--the hometown brewery and candy maker--to Michael Carlo, believing him when he said he would save jobs. An investigation by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed that they wanted to believe him so much they were oblivious to a host of warning signs: prior FBI investigations; prior allegations of checkkiting; dozens of tax liens; lawsuits from unpaid creditors; and other Carlow businesses that had failed. (Dec. 10 - 11, 1995)
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    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigates a claim by four conservative groups, funded by Pittsburgh financier and newspaper publisher Richard M. Scaife, that former deputy WHite House Counsel Vince Foster did not die by his own hand. (April 30, 1995)