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" ...

  • Chicago does little to control police misconduct - or its costs

    The City of Chicago spent more than $210 million for police misconduct lawsuits from 2012 to 2015, according to a Chicago Reporter analysis. The Police Department exceeded its annual budget for lawsuits by almost $50 million, on average, in each of those years. Yet, unlike some other major cities, Chicago doesn’t analyze the lawsuits for trends, identify the officers most frequently sued, or determine ways to reduce both the cost of the cases and officer misconduct. Rather than rein in the practices that lead to these settlements, officials have borrowed millions to pay for police lawsuits, adding to the city’s crippling debt.
  • Unsafe at Any Level

    When news broke of the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan, much of the nation, its political leaders and journalists turned their focus toward this blue collar city an hour’s drive north of Detroit. Reuters journalists M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer turned their attention toward the next Flint, searching for communities facing environmental perils that had not yet come to light.
  • The Wet Prince of Bel Air

    During a time of severe drought, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting wanted to learn more about the users of the most water in California. Reporters found that one homeowner in Los Angeles’ posh Bel Air neighborhood had used 11.8 million gallons of water in a single year during a drought emergency and that 4 of the top 10 known mega water users were also in Bel Air. But city officials wouldn’t reveal who those customers were. So in a follow-up story, Reveal used satellite analysis and public records to identify the seven most likely culprits. https://www.revealnews.org/article/the-wet-prince-of-bel-air-who-is-californias-biggest-water-guzzler/
  • LAPD underreported serious assaults, skewing crime stats for 8 years

    A Los Angeles Times machine-learning analysis found that the Los Angeles Police Department misclassified an estimated 14,000 serious assaults as minor offenses in an eight-year period, artificially lowering the city's crime levels. Reporters used an algorithm to learn key words in crime report narratives that identified offenses as serious of minor, and then used it to review nearly eight years of data in search of classification errors.
  • The Impact After the CHA Plan for Transformation

    Data from U.S. Housing & Urban Development, the Chicago Housing Authority and the U.S. Census Bureau was analyzed by census tract in the city of Chicago and by municipality in the six-county suburban area for the years 2000 and 2015. In 1999, Mayor Richard M. Daley boldly promised to transform public housing in Chicago — in part by tearing down the high-rise housing projects that lined the city’s expressways and surrounded the Loop. Today, nearly every Chicago neighborhood — and almost every suburb — has felt the impact of the Chicago Housing Authority’s “Plan for Transformation,” a Better Government Association and Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found. https://cst.carto.com/viz/2a5170a2-2ec4-11e6-93e7-0ecd1babdde5/public_map https://cst.carto.com/viz/c1072cca-3438-11e6-bce7-0e31c9be1b51/public_map
  • Philly's Invisible Youth

    In a major multimedia investigation for Al Jazeera America, Laura Rena Murray writes about the alarming increase of homeless youth in Philadelphia and the utter failure of the child welfare agency and the emergency shelter system to care for them. By 2011, one in 20 of the city’s public high school students identified as having been homeless. Between 2009 and 2013, that percentage increased by 73 percent. There are many reasons youth end up on the streets. Most are trying to escape violent homes. http://projects.aljazeera.com/2015/12/homeless-youth/resources.html
  • The Shame of Sonoma County: Supervisors Refuse to Restore Library Funding

    For a period of three months in 2015, I investigated and authored a three part investigative series of articles about the cutback of Monday library hours in Sonoma County. The stories, published on the Sonoma Independent.org and read by thousands of concerned citizens, shed entirely new light on the budget priorities of the County during the four years since the County’s woefully underfunded library system closed its doors on Mondays for the first time in a century.
  • Bird-dogging the Buffalo Billion

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the "Buffalo Billion" program in 2012 with the intention of revitalizing the Western New York economy. Investigative Post's reporting documented the extraordinary lengths to which Cuomo administration has gone to withhold disclosure of how the $1 billion is being spent. Our reporting also revealed that lucrative development contracts were awarded to major donors to Cuomo's campaign committee and that SolarCity, the major beneficiary of the state's spending, is losing vast amounts of money and under federal investigation. Subsequent reporting detailed that minority hiring goals for the SolarCity project, involving the construction of a $750 million solar panel manufacturing plant, were lowered and that African Americans made up less than 6 percent of the workforce.
  • China's Animal Activists

    In China, passion for animal welfare is driving a grassroots movement challenging economic interests and political authorities. In 2014 activists confronted the dog meat trade as never before, intercepting transports on the highways and attempting to stop an annual dog meat festival in the city of Yulin. Most acted out of a deep love for animals, which has awakened as pets have become increasingly popular among the middle class and the Buddhist value of compassion has reemerged after decades of disfavor. This article tells the story of several weeks during June of 2014 when a group of activists went to Yulin to challenge the festival.
  • Lax building inspections, lurking danger

    When a building collapsed in Center City Philadelphia, killing six people and injuring 13, attention quickly focused on the reckless demolition contractor who cut corners in taking down the building. Then it shifted to the city agency charged with overseeing demolitions and ensuring safety. Chagrined city officials pledged safety reforms and stepped up enforcement. An Inquirer investigation revealed just how empty those promises were and documented dangerous conditions in buildings across the city.