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 "city" ...

  • California Prosecution Fees

    The Desert Sun uncovered how residents of three cities in the Coachella Valley were being billed massive fees that paid for private attorneys the city had contracted to go after the residents' for minor city code violations. Petty offenses, like having a messy yard or hanging a Halloween decoration on a street light, led to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars being demanded of the residents. If they couldn't pay, liens were assessed. Following the reporting, the cities stopped the practice, state lawmakers made it illegal in California and a class-action lawsuit led to at least one city refunding the residents.
  • Toxic City: Sick Schools

    Children in Philadelphia public schools endure environmental hazards -- deteriorated asbestos, damaged lead paint, festering mold and rodent droppings -- that deprive them of a healthy place to learn and thrive. In reaching our major findings, we conducted 175 scientific tests at 19 elementary schools at a cost of nearly $9,000, built a custom database to analyze more than 250,000 room-by-room environmental records, and interviewed more than 120 teachers, parents, students and experts.
  • Food Plight: Cafeteria Inspections Reveal Critical Health Violations at New York City Schools

    Our reporters scoured reams of health inspection records and discovered that nearly half of New York City public school cafeterias were hit with at least one critical violation in 2017. A closer look found that the four dozen schools with the worst inspections records largely serve some of the city’s poorest students. The most sickening cases include schools where 600 rodent droppings and 1,500 flies were found in food preparation and consumption areas – conditions that are breeding grounds for potentially dangerous food-borne illnesses. Our team of students conceived of the story and used the data, obtained from the New York City Health Department under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, to create a filterable interactive graphic that parents can use to uncover details of violations found at their child’s school.
  • FLIPPED: Secrets Inside a Corrupt Police Department

    A year-long investigation by a one-man-band investigative reporter revealed institutional and systemic failures inside a large Metro Atlanta police department. By cultivating internal police sources, he was able to demand specific, hidden public records that uncovered the following scandals the Roswell Police Department tried to keep secret from the public: Officers arrested a driver for speeding using a ‘coin flip’ app; Police covered up a K9 brutally mauling a teen suspect who had already surrendered; Top sergeant intentionally froze a 13-year-old boy to get him to tell the truth; Department concealed the release of a suspected drunk driver - one of its own officers; and Officer failed to help a dying prisoner because that officer was already under investigation. This investigation and public records fight resulted in the resignation of the police chief, the firing of three police officers, and an overhaul of the city's open records system to improve public access.
  • Tragedy on Table Rock Lake

    Shortly after 7 p.m. on July 19, 2018, a duck boat carrying 31 people sank on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo., about 210 miles southeast of Kansas City. Reporters at The Kansas City Star immediately started reporting and writing from the newsroom, eventually confirming that 17 people had died. At the same time, a team of reporters and photographers headed to Branson. That night, reporters also began investigating what went wrong, and at 6:45 the next morning, less than 12 hours after the accident, The Star published its first investigative story on the incident.
  • Indian Hills Community College

    The Indian Hills Community College baseball team in Iowa ousted two of its coaches — one of them a hall of fame coach — in May. After a more than four-month investigation, the Daily Iowegian found the coaches were removed after an internal investigation that coaches forced players to work for security companies at NFL and Big 10 games in Minneapolis and Iowa City, all while assigning fake names to foreign-born students so they could work around federal immigration law. The money went to the baseball program, not the players.
  • Silent Majority/Mayoria Silenciosa

    A first-of-its-kind analysis found deep patterns of under-representation of the fast growing Hispanic population on city councils and county commissioners courts across Texas. http://projects.statesman.com/news/latino-representation/
  • Dark Money: London's dirty secret

    ''Dark Money: London's Dirty Secret'' pierced a world that is normally hidden from all but those who enjoy great wealth or great power: the world of financial secrecy. At a moment when public debate is dominated by inequality and tax evasion, the Financial Times turned a glaring spotlight on the City of London and explained its role in a global system of illicit finance that serves the kleptocrats, criminals and the super-rich. One of the most-read stories of the year on FT.com, Dark Money was a riveting narrative that exposed a system designed to look impenetrable to outsiders. The City’s secrecy specialists spin webs of front companies, offshore accounts and dummy directors that allow tainted wealth to flow around the globe incognito. This system takes dirty money and makes it look clean. It creates a secret world whose existence is corrosive to the rest of society – a piggy bank for untouchable power.
  • 'Not Wanted': Racial Bias at Trump Properties

    In the weeks leading up to the presidential election, the NBC News Investigative Unit and MSNBC broadcast an in-depth report on the Trump family business’s racist practices in the 1960's through the early 1980's, when African-Americans seeking to rent apartments in New York City were turned away because of the color of their skin.
  • Taking out a Reverse Mortgage Ruined My Life

    Dozens of senior citizens in New York City are caught in a rising tide of reverse- mortgage foreclosures that threaten to put some of the city’s most vulnerable residents out on the street. Because reverse-mortgage borrowers in foreclosure lack the protections — including mandatory settlement conferences and a 90-day notice requirement — instituted for traditional borrowers after the 2010 robo-signing scandal, these seniors are at risk of losing their homes far more quickly than forward-mortgage borrowers, who get an opportunity for negotiations overseen by the court. The debts at issue are relatively small, averaging just $10,000, but can trigger the loss of a home worth thirty times that amount or more.