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 "WBEZ" ...

  • Driven Into Debt

    This ongoing series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • WBEZ: A 'Broth of Legionella' And Why It Keeps Killing At An Illinois Veterans' Home

    Illinois law changed and the most expensive governor’s race in American history swung against the incumbent after WBEZ produced more than 40 enterprise stories in 2018 about the mishandling of recurring Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks tied to 14 deaths at the largest state-run veterans’ home.
  • Better Government Association and WBEZ: TRAPPED

    In Chicago’s public housing for senior residents, something as simple as taking an elevator can be dangerous. The Better Government Association and WBEZ 91.5FM investigated how the Chicago Public Housing Authority failed to maintain safe operating conditions in dozens of elevators.
  • Taking Cover, by WBEZ and the Better Government Association

    A Better Government Association/WBEZ investigation into shootings by police in the Cook County suburbs. The investigation found a startling lack of accountability, or even effort to improve following questionable officer-involved shootings. It also found many of these small suburban departments struggled to pay for basic training and discipline for officers, with no support from the state.
  • ProPublica Illinois: Driven Into Debt

    This series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • Chicago mayor's miracle graduation rates inflated

    As Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran for a second term, one of his main talking points was that during his first term graduation rates at the city's high schools shot up by 10 percent. But the rates he touted were inflated. The Better Government Association and WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio found that thousands of dropouts were wrongly labeled as transfers. Because of these reports, Emanuel and his school leaders were forced to revise down the graduation rates.
  • Of Natural Causes: Death in Illinois Prisons

    When WBEZ reported in 2011 and 2012 on prison conditions in Illinois we were struck by the number of complaints regarding the lack of healthcare in the Illinois Department of Corrections. They reported some of the worst cases (and there were many) like Christopher Clingingsmith who told the prison doctor that his jaw was broken but medical records show he recieved no care for 8 weeks. By that point his jaw had to be rebroken to fix it. The healthcare in Illinois prisons is provided by a private company that has a 1.4 billion dollar contract with the state but that company doesn’t seem to do a very good job providing the care that taxpayers have paid for. Given the horror stories we heard they wondered how many people were dying inside because of a lack of care. The reporting analyzed the cases of inmates who died while serving sentences in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
  • WBEZ probe leads to indictment of Chicago police commander

    Chicago officials have long treated complaints against police officers as if they were state secrets. Citizens file thousands each year but few lead to administrative discipline and almost none to criminal charges. It’s especially rare for a complaint to get a ranking officer in trouble. Since 2007, the city agency that investigates excessive-force complaints has recommended stripping the police powers of only three officers above the sergeant rank. Only one has involved alleged excessive force while on duty.
  • Heroin LLC

    Heroin, LLC is a multimedia investigation by WBEZ and The Chicago Reader that explores the supply chain and impact of heroin in the Chicago metro area and the Midwest. Heroin overdose deaths are up in Illinois. The drug is purer, it’s readily available, and the street price has plummeted. WBEZ and the Chicago Reader set out to examine how heroin gets to Chicago, how it moves throughout the city and suburbs, and how it is moved then throughout the Midwest. Our focus was this supply line, and the lives affected--often ruined--along the way.
  • Faces of Failure

    More Illinois children are dying from abuse or neglect than at any time in the past 30 years. The Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ partnered to take a closer look at the circumstances of those children who are dying. We found that not only are more children dying, but more are dying even after Illinois’ child welfare department had investigated the family for abuse or neglect in the past year.