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 "county" ...

  • Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Investigating DCS

    This in-depth investigation uncovered serious safety concerns inside Dallas County Schools (DCS), a government agency responsible for transporting more than 75,000 students to school each day in the Dallas Fort Worth area. http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Dallas-County-Schools-Investigative-Series-401118835.html
  • Lead Poisoning in Erie County and Buffalo

    Buffalo’s lead poisoning problem due to old housing stock and water utilities is getting out of hand. Investigative Post found that both the Erie County Water Authority and the Buffalo Water Board cut corners in their lead sampling programs for drinking water.
  • The death of Korryn Gaines

    These stories explored the death of Korryn Gaines after a six-hour standoff with Baltimore County police. Baltimore Sun reporters were able to shed light on the incident with stories about Gaines’ past encounters with police and social media postings, an exclusive interview with the neighbor who allowed police to drill holes in the wall he shared with Gaines’ apartment so they could monitor her movements, and another exclusive on court documents showing that police sought Gaines’ private Facebook messages and other account information. Reporters also explored other angles, such as the role social media is playing in encounters with police across the country. Finally, reporters gained exclusive access to the investigative file that provided a trove of information on how the standoff went down.
  • Lifting the lid on Long Island's courts

    Gus Garcia-Roberts and Will Van Sant dug out the hidden details of a fraud and drug investigation or Robert Macedonio, one of Suffolk County's most influential and flamboyant lawyers, that revealed allegations of serious corruption within the district attorney's office and kicked off a year-long effort by Newsday's investigative team to expose secrecy, cronyism and strong evidence of high-level criminality in the operation of the criminal-justice system.
  • Kentucky Constables: Untrained and Unaccountable

    Reporters R.G. Dunlop and John Boel revealed widespread misconduct by county constables across Kentucky. Their reporting showed constables are gods unto themselves, armed with badges and guns but almost always with no formal training. In case after case, they often pose a threat to public safety. http://kycir.org/series/kentucky-constables-untrained-and-unaccountable/
  • Heroin: Killer of a generation

    Confronted by a nationwide heroin epidemic in a county known as the nation's rehab capital, The Palm Beach Post exposed the sordid underbelly of the unregulated sober home business, identified bogus addiction treatment lab tests and created the state’s first and only cost analysis of the heroin epidemic. The Post's reporting culminated with publication of the photographs and mini-profiles of all of the 216 people who died from heroin-related overdoses in Palm Beach County in 2015. Federal and state officials arrested sober home operators, and county, state and federal lawmakers pledged action to curb the epidemic and treatment abuses. http://apps.mypalmbeachpost.com/ourdead/
  • Rape Victim Jailed: Jenny's Story

    A mentally ill rape victim who had a breakdown on the witness stand while testifying against her attacker was thrown in jail by the Harris County District Attorney's Office for nearly a month. Prosecutors worried she would not return weeks later to complete her testimony. The prosecutor’s conduct and the abuse the rape victim was subjected to in jail was exposed by the reporters. The reporters exposed a series of mistakes by jail staff that further victimized the woman. The outrage and fallout from their reporting quickly became the central campaign issue in the race for Harris County District Attorney between incumbent Devon Anderson and challenger Kim Ogg. On election night, Ogg defeated Anderson by a 7 point margin and cited the “Jenny” story as the defining issue of the campaign in her acceptance speech. Ogg fired the prosecutor who handled the case and started a new sex crimes unit to protect victims and witnesses. State senators on both sides of the aisle filed new legislation for the 2017 session to mandate legal representation for witnesses held on bonds for their testimony, a statewide solution to the problem the reporters exposed.
  • Life & Death: Homicide rates and trauma care in Cumberland County

    This story examined the impact advances in trauma care on homicide rates in our rural county in Pennsylvania. While homicide rates have dropped rapidly since the mid-1990s, the aggravated assault rate has not. The theory behind the assertion is the only difference between a serious aggravated assault and a homicide is that a homicide results in a death. If more patients are being saved through advances in trauma care, the homicide rate would drop without a reduction in the underlying violent crime. The lethality of assaults dropped in Cumberland County from more than 10 percent in 1995 to less than two percent in 2015. Had lethality remained at the 1995, the number of homicides in Cumberland County 1995 and 2015 would have doubled from 48 deaths to 100.
  • Failure to Protect series

    In a four-day series, The Daily Sentinel examined the killings of three children who were known to the local child-welfare system, as part of a broader examination of the child welfare and foster care systems in the county. The purpose was to inform the public about how the children ended up living with the people who ultimately killed them or were accused of killing them, the warning signs, the fallout that resulted from the deaths, and identify possible changes to the system that could prevent future killings.
  • Racial Arrest Breakdown

    The investigation used jail booking data to track the race and gender of every person charged with “Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana” in Greenville County over a period of several years. Then they used court records and law enforcement FOIAs to track the location of each arrest. Finally they used census data to understand the demographic composition of each neighborhood in the county. When they were finished, they’d found that black people were arrested for PWID at a far higher rate than white people, neighborhoods with the most black people saw far more arrests, and the rate of black people charged was disproportionate with the demographics in each area. They further established that black and white people use and sell the drug at similar rates meaning the discrepancy with arrests was due to differences in enforcement policy.