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 "construction" ...

  • Rusted Cables, Cracked Welds - Trouble on the Iconic Bay Bridge

    This investigation uncovered gross construction lapses on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge that cost taxpayers billions of dollars and still jeopardize the safety of the multitudes that cross the iconic span every day.
  • Temporary Workers, Permanent Insecurity

    The investigation into the issue of workplace safety of temporary workers emerged as a joint investigation between ProPublica and Univision News' investigative unit. Univision's investigative unit then continued investigating and exposed different cases of injured temp workers, including the death of a temp worker in a sugar plant. Blue-collar temp work is the fastest-growing and more dangerous segment of the U.S. labor market. Since the 2008 recession, companies have increasingly turned to temporary employees to work in factories and warehouses and on construction sites. In some states, temp workers are six times as likely to be injured than permanent employees doing similar jobs.
  • Corruption in Iraq

    Before the Iraqi district of Sinjar in Ninewa province fell into the hands of the Islamic State, foul drinking water was making people sick with preventable diseases. The U.S. tried to fix the problem by digging wells and treatment facilities, but poor oversight and shoddy work from contractors left the area no better than it had started, despite millions of dollars spent in reconstruction money. An investigation into Iraqi efforts to fix the problem after the U.S. withdrew showed that projects remained unfinished, but money for maintenance and fuel continued to pour into the pockets of local officials. In an area where extremists use frustration over corruption to recruit followers. the implications of this corruption couldn’t be more serious.
  • ABC News Brian Ross Investigates: Olympic Gold, Olympic Greed

    With terror threats already dampening the spirit of the games, an ABC News Brian Ross Investigation into dramatic charges of corruption exposed the organized crime figures behind Russia’s winning bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. It also exposed the internal corruption behind the multi-billion dollar construction of the Olympic venue in Sochi, a seaside resort better known for palm trees and beaches, located near a hotbed of Islamic terrorists. It is a story of bribes, suitcases filled with cash and a whistleblower who claims there’s a contract on his life because he dared to speak out.
  • Contract to Cheat

    Contract to Cheat told an overlooked and poorly understood story of a construction industry dominated by companies willing to cheat on the backs of laborers and honest competitors. Using payroll records submitted for federally funded projects, reporters in eight McClatchy papers, the company's D.C. bureau and ProPublica examined the extent of the problem and exposed the government regulators who let it happen.
  • Strings Attached

    One of Tampa’s largest homeless charities, New Beginnings of Tampa, for years made money off its destitute residents through a legally questionable “work therapy” program. Homeless people -- including the mentally ill and addicted -- were required to work unpaid concessions shifts at professional sporting events and concerts, and in construction, telemarketing, and a bevy of other industries in exchange for shelter. While claiming to provide counseling to the homeless sent to the charity by local law enforcement, hospitals, and the courts, the charity employed no one clinically trained to counsel the mentally ill or addicted, and required residents to sign over food stamps, Social Security checks, and any other income. Many former residents said they worked there for months -- and should have earned more than they owed in rent -- but were never paid.
  • Fort Detrick's $10 million fire

    A major fire in the U.S. Army's flagship biomedical lab caused over $10 million in damage to its highest-security research suites, which are still under construction. The spark may have come from a welder's torch.
  • Contract to Cheat

    McClatchy Newspapers is proud to submit "Contract to Cheat" for consideration in the Philip Meyer Journalism awards "Contract to Cheat" relied upon federal payroll records submitted by private companies building public projects. The records enabled reporters to estimate the lost tax revenue associated with the illegal practice of treating workers who should be employees as independent contractors. Tens of thousands of pages of payroll records formed the backbone of our report, while the construction workers and company owners listed on the reports allowed us to capture the human impact of the labor scheme. Wrestling the records into usable and compelling data was a significant - though worthwhile - challenge for McClatchy staff.
  • Exhausted at School

    Gaze out the windows of John Marshall Junior High in Seattle and you will see cars and trucks whizzing by on the busiest freeway in the state, Interstate 5. John Marshall is one of 28 public schools and more than 125 day cares that InvestigateWest has found built within 500 feet of Washington’s highest-traffic roadways. That’s close enough to put children’s health at risk, say health researchers. For “Exhausted at School,” InvestigateWest combined data from multiple state agencies and pored over dozens of academic studies to understand the threat of toxic pollution and its effect on kids’ health at school. Our reporting immediately spurred Seattle Schools officials to action: they added a new policy to issue air quality alerts to principals, and announced plans to upgrade a decades-old ventilation system at John Marshall. Officials in Olympia and Washington, D.C., considered and then rejected the notion of banning or severely restricting construction of schools inside the pollution plume, according to interviews and records obtained by InvestigateWest. Meanwhile, state officials do not enforce rules requiring day cares to be built on environmentally safe sites. So schools and day cares continue to be built in the danger zone around freeways, and children pay the price – years after the dangers were conclusively proven. “Exhausted at School” is a collaboration between InvestigateWest and KING 5 Television.
  • L.A.'s Earthquake Risks

    The Los Angeles Times’ look at earthquake safety exposes how spotty mapping of faults, substandard construction and uneven regulation make hundreds of buildings in Southern California susceptible to collapse.