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 "Van Osdo" ...

  • Fire Mutual Aid

    Several years ago tips to our newsroom led to what would be come a multi-year effort. Over the course of the years Action News Investigates uncovered slow fire response times as result of a broken and poorly managed system. In 2015, those investigations told in a station-produced documentary won a 2015 Peabody Award. That was only the beginning. Investigative reporter Paul Van Osdol has continued to stay on top of all fire and EMS response stories in the years that followed. In 2018, those stories were prominent once again. This entry highlights several failed responses to fires that in some case, if more efficient, could have saved lives. The entry also highlights the results of these investigations, a state commission review of local fire departments.
  • "Predator Priests" Grand Jury Report

    In August 2018, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a grand jury report outlining the alleged abuse of hundreds of children at the hands of priests in several Roman Catholic Dioceses across Pennsylvania. Investigative reporter Paul Van Osdol began immediately sifting through the report to find out where the men outlined in the report were today and what they were doing. The most shocking case he uncovered was that of an accused priest from the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese who was a practicing counselor just across the state line in Ohio.
  • Pennsylvania Turnpike investigation

    WTAE TV revealed waste, mismanagement and conflicts of interest at the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Emails showed turnpike officials congratulating themselves for their response to a storm that left more than 500 drivers stranded for more than 20 hours. Records revealed turnpike commissioners getting take-home cars even though they meet only once a month. Documents showed a turnpike commissioner cutting personal business deals with turnpike vendors. All this occurred as the turnpike hiked tolls and cut back on projects to deal with a financial crisis.
  • Burning Questions

    When your house catches fire, every second counts. An investigation by WTAE TV in Pittsburgh found a wide gap in response times by Western Pennsylvania fire departments. WTAE’s investigation found little has changed in the volunteer firefighting system since Ben Franklin started America’s first fire department in Philadelphia in 1736. Investigative Reporter Paul Van Osdol obtained data that revealed response times for communities throughout Western Pennsylvania. But that was only the beginning. http://vimeo.com/wtae/review/131571086/99ea45739d http://vimeo.com/wtae/review/150830783/ada0681965 http://vimeo.com/wtae/review/151430643/c0c500ace0
  • WTAE Investigates Fire Chief's Truck Deal

    Our stories resulted in a City of Pittsburgh investigation at the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire that is still ongoing at this time. The stories revealed that the City of Pittsburgh spent millions of dollars buying fire trucks from a company that formerly employed the Pittsburgh fire chief. Records obtained by WTAE showed the chief's former company won three consecutive contracts even though it was not the low bidder. The chief never disclosed his relationship to his boss or the agency that bought the trucks. The story also exposed a little-known city agency that operates in secrecy.
  • Gillece Services Complaints Investigation

    Complaints by viewers led the WTAE-TV team to investigate the Pittsburgh plumbing and heating company, Gillece. In this series, reporters revealed that Gillece accounted for "36 percent of all plumbing contractor complaints filed with the local Better Business Bureau.
  • "Schoool Radon"

    The state of Pennsylvania does not require schools to test for radon, a cancer-causing chemical. In fact, the majority of school districts in the western part of the state had not "done any radon testing." Testing in other districts registered levels many times higher than the "EPA maximum safe level." One district that tested positive for radon did not share the information with parents.
  • Watching the Watchdogs

    The story documented how six tax investigators for the city of Pittsburgh were failing to do their job. Instead of looking for deadbeat businesses, they were shopping, taking four-hour lunch breaks or simply going home. Moreover, some of them got reimbursed for mileage on the days they were not working. Their jobs are especially critical in difficult financial times, when Pittsburgh is under state oversight because of its poor finances. The story had added weight because this was not an isolated case of one or two employees; the entire department has only eight tax investigators and this investigation found six of them goofing off.
  • Patient Privacy

    Our investigation found more than 30,000 complaints nationally had been filed under HIPAA -- the health privacy law -- yet not a single hospital or doctor has been fined. The station obtained documents on hundreds of HIPAA investications in Western Pennsylvania and found all the caes were resolved through "voluntary compliance" - no fine or penalty. Moreover, the government office that oversees HIPAA actually violated patient privacy by inadvertently releasing names of some of the people who filed HIPAA complaints.
  • Battling for Benefits

    WTAE-TV found that veterans were waiting over a year for "their disability claims to be processed." In particular Western Pennsylvania "had the third-longest waiting period nationally."