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 "counties" ...

  • The Opioid Files

    The Opioid Files for the first time identified not only the counties flooded with the highest amount of prescription opioid pills at the height of the prescription drug crisis, but the specific manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies that were responsible for bringing those pills into communities. The Post found that over a seven-year period from 2006-2012, over 76 billion pills of hydrocodone and oxycodone were shipped to pharmacies across the country, more than enough for one pill per person in some communities. The Post also found that opioid death rates tracked with the rates of pills being shipped into those counties. And The Post identified counties and pharmacies with suspicious patterns and large amounts of pain pills. In making the data available by county- and pharmacy-level, The Post gave reporters from across the country the opportunity to write stories about their own communities and the impact that pills had on them.
  • WaPo: The Opioid Files

    The Opioid Files for the first time identified not only the counties flooded with the highest amount of prescription opioid pills at the height of the prescription drug crisis, but the pharmacies that were specifically responsible for bringing those pills in. The Post found that over a seven-year period from 2006-2012, over 76 billion pills of hydrocodone and oxycodone were shipped to pharmacies across the country, in some places more than enough for one pill per person per day in some communities. The Post also found that opioid death rates tracked quite well with the rates of pills being shipped into those counties. And The Post identified counties and pharmacies with suspicious patterns and amounts of pills. In making the data available in county- and pharmacy-level chunks, The Post allowed reporters from other organizations across the country to write stories about their own communities and the impact that pills had on them.
  • WUFT: Cost of Sunshine

    Public record requests of various county and local governments were made in an effort to determine the number of public record requests received by each governmental unit, the cost to provide access to the requested records, the fees recovered from requestors, and copies of agency public record access policies. Those governmental units not audited received a survey designed to obtain the same information sought in the public record requests. Public record requests included all county constitutional officers in nine Florida counties as well as the city clerk in the county seat. County constitutional officers include the state attorney; sheriff; clerk of court; tax collector; property appraiser; supervisor of elections; public defender; and school superintendent. Counties were chosen based on geographic and population diversity. Six state agencies were also included: Executive Office of Governor, Attorney General,Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Financial Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
  • WEWS-TV: Evading Justice

    The Ohio sex offender registry is supposed to help keep the public safe by providing access to information about convicts who have committed serious sexual offenses. But our extensive six-month-long investigation uncovered a loophole used by prosecutors and judges in one of the largest counties in the state that results in many accused rapists evading the registry. We found oftentimes the justice system allows suspects charged with rape to plead down to lesser and even completely unrelated charges – in a three-year period, there were more than 100 accused rapists who pleaded guilty to abduction, assault and endangering children, which allowed them to avoid registering as sex offenders. We also found many of those same defendants went on to be charged with another sexual offense after they evaded the registry, showing how this practice can put the public at risk.
  • The Texas Observer with The Investigative Fund: The Surge

    If Texas’s border counties have some of the lowest crime rates in the nation, why are they so heavily policed? As Melissa del Bosque shows, the State of Texas has gone all in on border security spending, devoting $2.6 billion to special-ops teams, armored gunboats, high-tech spy planes, and a surge of law enforcement personnel in the past several years — on top of a multibillion-dollar federal border security operation. For her piece for The Texas Observer, in partnership with The Investigative Fund, del Bosque interviewed residents and elected officials in these border counties, now among the most profiled and surveilled communities in America, who described how this two-fisted border security buildup has taken a toll on their civil liberties. In a separate analysis, Del Bosque joins with reporter G.W. Schulz to uncover how Texas's $15 million high-altitude spy planes have surveilled one border town at least 357 times and may have traveled multiple times into Mexican territory.
  • Testing the Waters

    "Testing the Waters" is a two-part investigation into concerns of lead contamination in local drinking water on the Alabama Gulf Coast. After an extensive analysis of public records, FOX10 News Investigates found eight water systems across Mobile and Baldwin counties have had testing results above the legal limit for lead content in the last three years. Further, FOX10 News found local public schools were not previously testing for lead content, so we requested to test for them. As a result of our investigation, both Mobile and Baldwin County Public Schools started testing some of its older schools that could be at risk. Moreover, during the course of our investigation, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has announced it will help test all public schools over the next three years.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Stories on mental health and policing seekt to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, WBAL told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. WBAL revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result.
  • Mental Health and Policing

    Our stories on mental health and policing sought to bring attention to the concern raised by advocates of the mentally ill—that police officers are often ill-equipped to handle calls for people in mental distress. It’s estimated as many as half of fatal police encounters involve people in mental health crisis. Over the course of several months, we told the stories of 3 young men, shot and killed by police in suburban Maryland counties. In each case, a mental health history was involved. We revealed the lack of uniform training and consistent use of crisis intervention teams. Without better effort to equip police, as first responders, a call to 911 can lead to a tragic result. http://www.wbaltv.com/article/mental-health-and-policing/8566410
  • Painkiller Profiteers

    The Gazette-Mail tracked the deluge of prescription opioids into West Virginia, following them to individual counties, pharmacies and families. The newspaper's investigation found that drug distributors shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in just six years, a period when 1,728 people fatally overdosed on those two painkillers.
  • Only in Kentucky: Jailers Without Jails

    Reporters R.G. Dunlop and Jacob Ryan revealed that more than a third of the state's 120 counties elect jailers that have no jails to oversee. Several earn hefty paychecks for little work, putting their cash-strapped counties in a pickle, and hire their own spouses or children as deputies. Only in Kentucky does this curious practice exist. https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/only-in-kentucky-jailers-without-jails