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 "Utah" ...

  • University of Utah Student Killed; Who Is Murder Suspect Ayoola Ajayi?

    Twelve days after the disappearance of University of Utah student, Mackenzie Lueck this summer, and following an exhaustive investigation by law enforcement, police arrested and formally charged the suspect in her death, Ayoola Adisa Ajayi. Ajayi faces four charges in connection to Lueck’s violent murder, including aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping. KSL Investigators knew Ajayi was the person of interest in this case because he owned the small property in Salt Lake where multiple search warrants were executed in the case prior to his arrest. Before authorities released his name to the public, KSL Investigators worked to learn everything they could about the 31-year-old immigrant, originally from Africa, so we could break the investigation as soon as the suspect’s name was released. Although much of a person’s immigration status is private information, representatives with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Ajayi is a lawful legal resident and he was at the time of his arrest. However, the KSL Investigators exposed how he came to this country and revealed possible oversight by Utah State University and the federal government when he dropped out of school a number of times and was posting online about seeking to find a wife to keep his citizenship status.
  • 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.
  • Girls in polygamous Kingston Group continue to marry as young as 15, records show, sometimes leaving Utah to marry cousins

    While much of the focus of any polygamous group is on marriages that happen outside the law, an investigation showed how in one sect girls as young as 15 are driven or flown out of Utah to marry legally. This is done to find states that are less restrictive about the ages of the brides and grooms and where cousin marriages are legal, and in order to keep girls in the sect.
  • Mental Lockdown

    Born Jan. 4, 1992, Ryan Allison would spend almost the last half of his life in locked-down institutions because of his mental illness. In 2014, the 22-year-old Allison took his own life by diving off head first from a sink or toilet fixture in a suicide watch cell in the prison's mental health unit. Allison is an example of how inmates struggle with mental illness from behind bars. The Utah Legislature is currently considering a historic investment in criminal justice reform, including funding community mental-health treatment centers.
  • The Putah Creek Legacy

    This series explored the history, impact, and implications of a 25-year, $12 million river restoration project along Lower Putah Creek, a small waterway that runs along the border of Yolo and Solano counties in northern California. Putah Creek has been managed for human use for almost 150 years: a new channel rerouted it around the town of Davisville in the 1870s, levees were erected along it in the 1940s, and a dam halted and diverted its flow in the 1950s. Its story mimics hundreds of other rivers, streams and creeks throughout California. It would be largely unremarkable save for a lawsuit that thrust it to the forefront of restoration ecology.
  • Inside Sysco: Where Your Food is Really Coming From

    Sysco Corporation is the world’s largest food distributor. It’s a $43 billion dollar publicly traded corporation that supplies restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, and many other food facilities with everything from raw meat and dairy to fruits and vegetables. The company’s motto is “Good Things Come from Sysco.” But this yearlong investigation exposed the company’s widespread practice of storing fresh food in dirty, unrefrigerated, outdoor storage lockers for hours, before it was delivered to unsuspecting customers across Northern California. Employees across the U.S. and Canada later revealed that these sheds were part of the company’s food distribution practices for over a decade. The investigation uncovered a widespread network of sheds in places including Washington, Utah, Illinois, Tennessee, New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia stateside, in addition to Ontario and British Columbia in Canada.
  • Utah's top cop goes down

    A yearlong investigation of Utah Attorney General John Swallow, who ended up resigning after less than a year in office, as a result of stories The Salt Lake Tribune broke. This entry represents a sampling of the nearly 200 stories, sidebars and graphics about the scandal, which transfixed Utah's political establishment and Tribune readers.
  • How America Gives

    Does a person’s address influence how much they give to charity? The Chronicle analyzed tax and demographic data to determine that tax breaks, politics, faith – even the neighborhoods they call home – can have a profound effect on generosity. Regional differences in giving are stark: In states like Utah and Mississippi, the typical household gives more than 7 percent of its income to charity after taxes, food, housing, and other living expenses, while the average household in Massachusetts and three other New England states gives less than 2 percent. How America Gives explores these differences by state, city, county, and ZIP code and provides the most extensive analysis of generosity ever done. The project includes a sophisticated interactive database that allows online users to explore these differences and compare giving by community.
  • UTOPIA

    Behind vaunted promises of lightning-speed Internet access and an economic boon for 11 Utah cities lay a basic budgetary fact: The municipal fiber-optic network known as UTOPIA had been in operation for more than 10 years while consistently losing taxpayers millions of dollars annually and never reaching completion. So when a state audit flagged chronic fiscal problems with the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, The Salt Lake Tribune took an in-depth look at all aspects of the troubled project — from the point of view of its sponsoring city governments whose budgets were jeopardized by mounting UTOPIA debts. Wading through thousands of city documents, meeting minutes and technical specs obtained through open-records requests and interviewing dozens of sources, Tribune reporters brought to light a picture of mismanagement and financial crisis even more dire than one painted by state investigators.
  • Injection Wells - The Hidden Risks of Pumping Waste Underground

    Over the last several decades, U.S. industries have dumped more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic waste – a volume roughly four times that of Utah’s Great Salt Lake -- into injection wells deep beneath the earth’s surface. These wells epitomize the notion of out of sight, out of mind, entombing chemicals too dangerous to discard in rivers or soil. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for overseeing this invisible disposal system, setting standards that, above all, are supposed to safeguard sources of drinking water at a time when water has become increasingly precious. Abrahm Lustgarten’s series, “Injection Wells: the Hidden Risks of Pumping Waste Underground,” lays out in frightening detail just how far short regulators have fallen in carrying out that mission. His analysis of hundreds of thousands of inspection records showed that wells often fail mechanical integrity tests meant to ensure contaminants aren’t leaking into water supplies and that companies repeatedly violate basic rules for safe disposal. EPA efforts to strengthen regulation of underground injection have been stymied time and again by the oil and gas industry, among the primary users of disposal wells. As the number of wells for drilling waste has grown to more than 150,000 nationwide, regulators haven’t kept pace, leaving gaps that have led to catastrophic breakdowns. And Lustgarten’s most surprising finding was that the EPA has knowingly permitted the energy industry to pollute underground reservoirs, handing out more than 1,500 “exemptions” allowing companies to inject waste and other chemicals into drinking water aquifers.