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 "Wisconsin" ...

  • A Deadly Legacy Of Poisons From The Past

    Business Week reports on buried industrial waste from manufactured gas that is leaking toxins into the environment, and who's left holding the bill. The nationwide cleanup is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Toxic tars, wood chips are iron filings that were used to remove sulfur and cyanide from manufactured gas were often dumped or buried illegally. Under the right conditions (as occurred Wisconsin) this waste can generate poisonous cyanide gas.
  • Political Pawns

    Governing reports about the use of issue advocacy televisoin ads in Wisconsin. These ads esacpe disclosure laws because they don't support any specific candidate. But the result can be that candidates have no connection to those who run ads supporting them and no idea who's behind opposition ads. In close races, like in Wisconsin, the amount spent on these ads can be vastly more than the candidates spend.
  • Shortcut to Failure

    More people than ever are taking the General Education Development (GED) test in America, but some are beginning to say the 60 year-old program is becoming useless. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Chicago (where the program was originally created during WWII) believe the test to be at an 8th-grade reading and writing level, not that of a high school equivalency. Unfortunately many employers and universities recognize the GED certificate as equal to a high school diploma, "making the GED, in effect, the nation's largest high school." Murphy investigates how the GED has become the choice for many people, ages 16 - 24; and why some researchers believe the people with a GED are more likely to break rules, drop out of college, and have a higher job turnover rate.
  • Badgers shoe discounts may violate NCAA rules

    "The University of Wisconsin suspended 26 football players -- nearly a quarter of the nation's fourth-ranked team -- for one to three games on Thursday for accepting hundreds of dollars in unadvertised show discounts in violation of NCAA rules." Other athletes, including swimmers, rowers,soccer players, hockey players, runners golfers, and basketball players, rode the pine, too, and were order to pay back the discount difference to a charity. NCAA bylaws, Rule 16.01.2 states "Exception for Benefits Available to Other Students: The receipt of a benefit by a student athlete of his or her relatives or friends that is not authorized by NCAA legislation is not a violation if it is demonstrated that same benefit generally is available to the institutions students of the student body determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.
  • The Death of Family Health Plan: Was it a victim of competition? Or did management changes, regulatory loopholes and bad information contribute to its demise?

    Gunn charts the demise of Family Health Plan, a Wisconsin HMO. This demise "was a remarkable meltdown of a once well-established, even venerable player in the local health-insurance marketplace...The insurer was a casualty of the massive changes that have swept through the health-care and health-insurance industries, and of the wholesale turnover of the insurer's top management during the course of those changes."
  • Power Failure

    Milwaukee Magazine examines the reasons "that led the once admirable Wisconsin Energy to the biggest environmental pollution penalty in state history." The report describes how 26,000 tons of cyanide-laced waste have been uncovered "buried under Wisconsin Energy's high-tension lines in West Allis and at two other sites..." The investigation details the inside story behind the arrogant and "idiot strategy" Wisconsin Energy had followed in court. The story points out that the legal battle - currently ending with a "groundbreaking $104.5 million verdict" - may reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • License to Kill

    "This Fox 6 investigation found many of Wisconsin's registered deer hunters are breaking the law every time they head into the woods -- and the state is allowing them to do it." Using two databases from the Wisconsin Office of Court Operations and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Fox 6 "cross referenced the two lists, revealing the state is selling gun-deer permits to more than 1,200 convicted felons -- people who aren't legally allowed to hold a firearm, let alone hunt with one."
  • Marine Corps Toxic Water

    "For nearly twenty years, the US Marine Corps knew thousands of Marines and their families had been exposed to toxic drinking water at a North Carolina training base. But most Marines were never told about their exposure to the toxins - until a Wisconsin woman called Fox 6 News." WITI-TV investigated the leak toxic chemicals into the water supply at Camp Lejeune, NC, that may have resulted in the contamination of nearly 200,000 Marines. The chemicals that leaked into the water supply at Camp Lejeune have been known to cause cancer, as well as birth defects, and may have affected more people than the Corps first realized.
  • Wisconsin's Death Penalty

    "The series detailed serious shortcomings in the state prison health care delivery system and described dozens of cases in which inmates died under questionable circumstances . . . Police and coroner investigations, if they existed at all, were often cursory, and record-keeping was slipshod. Only about one-third of prison officers were up-to-date in CPR . . . Almost none of the cases had been referred to the local district attorney's office for review. Few inmate families, much less the public, knew how the deaths had occurred."
  • Domestic Violence in Minnesota

    "Last year in Minnesota, 28 men killed their wives or girlfriends -- more than any other year on record. Sixteen used a gun. Six chose knives. Four relied on their bare hands, beating or strangling their lovers to death. The crimes tore apart families and left 61 children without mothers. We assembled a team of reporters to get behind those horrific numbers to tell readers why men kill women they claim to love, and why those who batter are rarely punished and often return to attack their victims again and again. We examined the special challenges that women in rural Minnesota and Wisconsin face in escaping abusive relationships. And we looked at some measures that may hold hope in battling this growing problem." Story includes biographies of the victims.