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 "Virginian-Pilot" ...

  • The Virginian-Pilot: Jailed in Crisis

    In a first-of-it’s-kind investigation, the Virginian-Pilot tracked down more than 400 cases across the country in which people with mental illness died in jails, documenting the scope of a tragedy that’s been unfolding for decades: too many people are being jailed instead of treated and many are dying in horrific ways and under preventable circumstances. The series goes on to detail how so many people ended up in jails because of a lack of mental health services and how some municipalities are finding ways to get them into treatment. The investigation prompted long-delayed action by the U.S. Justice Department to address the conditions for people with mental illness in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • Aging aircraft and hidden threats

    While the Navy spent big over the past 20 years on experimental mine hunting technology that may never work, it stopped investing in its mine-hunting Sea Dragon helicopters, which have spent the better part of a year grounded due to mechanical problems after a series of deadly accidents. Now the service is trying to play catch-up. The Sea Dragon’s troubles are a symptom of a much larger problem: America’s military aircraft have been flown hard during 15 years of combat in the Middle East, and nearly all of their next-generation replacements are years behind schedule and millions over budget. The result: Much of the nation’s fleet is flying far longer than planned and in need of critical maintenance to keep them going. Their investigation found that the United State's Marine and Navy aircraft fleet has dismal readiness rates, as evidenced in an internal report obtained by the IRP and Virginian-Pilot. They examine what effect this has on our military's ability to counter the threat of sea mines.
  • Sea Dragon Down

    The NBC News Investigative Unit, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, tand the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program revealed that the U.S. Navy’s Sea Dragon helicopters had killed more than 30 service members since they were launched in the 1980s, with the fatality rate rising in recent years – and that the Navy was trying to cover up the danger. The exclusive reporting of all three news organizations of the Navy’s cover-up helped spur the grounding of the entire fleet of more than 150 helicopters for most of 2015.
  • "Friends in Richmond"

    In this investigative report, the Virginian-Pilot found several lawmakers who have gotten jobs at the same universities "whose budgets they oversee" resulting in lucrative salaries. Lawmaker Del. Phil Hamilton was hired at ODU after solidifying state funding for a teaching program at the school and was paid $40,000 a year.
  • Investigation of Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

    The Virginian-Pilot found wasteful spending at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Top officials spent thousands of dollars on travel and unnecessary outdoor equipment purchases. Nineteen agency employees exceeded state-imposed spending limits. Three top officials resigned or were fired after the story ran, and criminal investigations ensued.
  • AIDS office has stumbled in meeting needs

    The Virginian-Pilot reports that "Norfolk has one of the worst track records in the country for using federal money to care for low-income AIDS patients. Over the past four years, the city has failed to spend an average of nearly $1 million annually from Title 1 of the Ryan White CARE Act, which pays to treat uninsured people with the disease."
  • How Capital One Changed State Laws

    The Virginian-Pilot examines the influence of Capital One on state legislation that eliminated fee limits on small loans aimed low-income borrowers. Not only did Capital One make campaign contributions to 62 of Virginia's 140 legislators, it has given $56 thousand since 1995, to Governor Jim Gilmore, whose administration lobbied for the bill. The bill's chief sponsor was also the highest recipient of contributions in the senate. E-mails and faxes showed that language drafted by Capital One made it directly into law.
  • Teachers fall short: Nearly half the new teachers haven't passed all the tests necessary for full credentials

    The Virginian-Pilot found that "nearly half the teachers who received new licenses in Virginia last year have yet to pass a national exam or complete course work traditionally required for full teaching credentials." Forty-eight percent of the 9,304 licenses issued from July 1999 to June 2000 received provisional or conditional licenses. In Norfolk and surrounding counties, temporarily licensed teachers make up between 5 and 10 percent of the teaching work force, "and the numbers are expected to rise as school systems scramble to address the lingering teacher shortage...The state estimated it would need 7,600 new teachers last school year, but Virginia colleges graduated only about 4,000."
  • The High Cost of Hard Time

    The Virginian-Pilot investigates the Viriginia prison boom. "The series traced a costly prison-building boom that Virigina undertook in the mid-1990s, diverting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from other pressing needs such as education and transportation. Moreover, it was sold on a false premise: that the state was in a grip of a violent crime wave. in fact, crime in Virginia, already low by national standards, was declining. As a result, the state overbuilt, ending up with some 4,000 surplus prison cells. To fill them, it is now importing out-of-state prisoners in a unique cell-for-hire program. The series also found that contrary to proponents' emphasis on violent crime, most of the new inmates coming into the system are nonviolent offenders -- especially drug offenders."
  • Facing Freedom: A Prisoner's Struggle to Return to Society

    John Hopkins and the Virginian-Pilot chronicle the life of Marvin Raynor following his release from prison. Raynor spent 11 years in prison for a small-time robbery he committed in 1989. The three day series begins 50 days prior to Raynor's release from the prison system. Raynor describes his fearful anticipation of freedom and the challenges he will face on the outside. Raynor is especially fearful of returning to a life of crime. Day two of the series looks at the Raynor's first few days of freedom. Day three talks of Raynor's struggles to find a steady job.