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" ...

  • Cell Tower Deaths

    A ProPublica/Frontline analysis of every cell tower-related fatality since 2003 found that tower climbing has a death rate roughly 10 times that of construction, making it one of the most dangerous jobs in America. AT&T, in particular, had the worst track record with more fatalities on its subcontracted jobs than its three closest competitors combined. Yet cell-phone carriers’ connection to tower-climbing deaths has remained largely invisible, because climbers do not work directly for the communications giants whose wireless networks they enable. They are subcontractors – and a microcosm of a larger trend in American labor, in which companies increasingly outsource their riskiest jobs, avoiding scrutiny and accountability when workers die. Our reporting team penetrated deeply into the world of climbing, examining each of the 50 cell-tower deaths since 2003. Our reporters found climbers were often shoddily equipped, poorly trained and compelled to meet tight deadlines, sometimes by working through perilous conditions. And our investigation also revealed OSHA’s struggles to improve safety in tower climbing and fields like it. Labor experts and even former OSHA chiefs described the agency as woefully ill-equipped to handle enforcement issues that have come with the growth of subcontracting.
  • KOMO TV: Under the Bridge

    Our ongoing investigation “Under the Bridge” began with a tip about workers drinking on the job and ultimately uncovered a pattern of design flaws, construction mistakes and contract violations made in the building of the largest floating bridge in the world.
  • Hidden Wealth of Azerbaijan President

    The President of oil-rich Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, has been compared to a Mafia crime boss in US diplomatic cables, and man analysts refer to him as a dictator. OCCRP looked deeper than those labels and found that the Aliyev family has systematically grabbed shares of the most profitable businesses in the country. Investigative reports by OCCRP and Radio Free Europe have revealed and more importantly proven for the first time that the ruling family has secret ownership stakes through offshore companies in the country’s largest businesses, including banks, construction companies, gold mines and phone companies. The government Aliyev runs gave these shares. The family also has secretly amassed high-end property in places like the Czech Republic. The Azeri government responded to the revelations first with silence and now claims that OCCRP is an agent of the rival Armenian government. Aliyev’s administration also failed to investigate the harassment and blackmail of OCCRP and RFE journalist Khadija Ismayilova earlier this year. While Azerbaijan has worked at improving its image worldwide, OCCRP’s reporting makes clear that a petty dictatorship remains in control.
  • Project Simoom

    Our investigation "Project Simoom" revealed how the Swedish government in secret helped Saudi Arabia with the planning of an advanced weapons factory. In order to hide the plans from the public a state agency set up an illegal dummy corporation formed with cash from the military intelligence service to handle the project with the saudis. Our disclosure forced the Defence minister Sten Tolgfors and his staff to resign, and stopped the construction of the weapons factory, the investigation has won several awards including the number one broadcast award in Europe "Prix Europa"
  • Unsafe, Unsound: School Construction Safety In Colorado

    The Denver Post's series examined several failures that led to closure, for safety concerns, of a new $18.9 million elementary school in rural Northwestern Colorado town of Meeker- and the broader implications for school construction in the state. The DP demonstrated that the design-and-build firm made a series of mistakes and fought back when questioned, that a state official missed a glaring error in reviewing the project, and that the local school board allowed children to attend classes in the building for months, despite being warned about structural deficiencies.
  • Saving Millions to Cost Billions

    The executives who run the local power plant in St. Petersburg said from the start that their customers should help pay a $2.5 billion repair bill at their nuclear plant because no one could have predicted or prevented the disaster that crippled the facility and shut it down. But the Tampa Bay Times revealed gaping holes in that argument. Porgress received multiple warnings from employees and contractors about their approach to the project. An internal report obtained by Tampa Bay Times even warned the utility against self managing such an ambitious construction effort.
  • On Shaky Ground

    An investigation that uncovered systemic breakdowns in the way the California state enforces seismic safety standards during public school construction.
  • A Taxing Matter

    The Skagit Co. Assessor's Office did not finish adding new construction to its tax rolls, meaning dozens of local districts did not receive at least $350,000 in tax revenue needed to help fund programs and services.
  • Costly Detours

    The Journal News' investigation of the troubled reconstruction of Interstate 287 revealed rampant cost overruns and delays amid lax oversight by state and federal authorities. The lapses drove the cost to more than $63 million per mile, twice as much as similar projects elsewhere.
  • Million-Dollar Wasteland

    "This series investigates the federal government's largest housing construction program for the poor. It found that the program has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on stalled or abandoned projects and routinely failed to crack down on derelict developers or local housing agencies that funded them."