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" ...

  • Visiting Judges Costs

    There are no limits on time off for elected officials, including county judges. When a judge is absent and has hearings scheduled, then a visiting judge is paid to fill-in. The money a visiting judge earns is paid out of tax dollars. One county judge has been absent over a month for three years.
  • Charity Caught on Camera

    As an Indiana charity collected $7 million in donations, this undercover WTHR investigation exposed stunning mismanagement that violated public trust. Months of surveillance and undercover video revealed (literally) tons of food and donations intended for the homeless shelter never made it to the homeless at all. Instead, much of the food went directly to the charity’s leaders – some of the most respected and powerful clergy in the community – who took the food for themselves, their friends, their family members, and even for their pets. The managerial abuses, neglect and dangerous living conditions uncovered by WTHR’s 13 Investigates team prompted immediate resignations, ongoing local and state investigations, and significant changes to protect the charity’s homeless residents and its donors. http://www.wthr.com/tags/grant-county-rescue-mission-13-investigates
  • Juvenile Sexual Assaults Victims of Dr. William Ayres: The Forgotten Victims

    For forty years, hundreds of juveniles in San Mateo County, California were sexually assaulted in court-ordered sessions by prominent child psychiatrist Dr. William Ayres. But when the victims spoke out, they were either ignored or punished by authorities. It wasn’t until 2002, when journalist Victoria Balfour contacted police on behalf of one of Ayres’ victims, a private patient, that a criminal case against Ayres began to get traction. In 2013, Ayres, a former President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, pleaded no contest to molesting boys who had been his private patients. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. However, Balfour had a fierce belief that the voices of his juvenile victims urgently needed to be heard in this case as well. When agencies in San Mateo County whose job it was to protect juveniles rebuffed her request to find the juvenile victims, Balfour embarked on a 3 and-a-half year project to find them herself. Working on a detective's theory that most of Ayres' juvenile victims were now in prison, she wrote to more than 300 inmates from San Mateo County and asked if they had been evaluated by Ayres. Balfour’s article recounts the horrifying and heartbreaking responses she received from inmates about their abuse by Dr. Ayres, one of the most prolific child molesters in recent California history.
  • Invisible Disaster

    For 16 weeks, the potent climate gas methane poured from a broken natural gas well in Los Angeles County. It would become the largest such accident in U.S. history. It drove thousands of sickened people from their homes, spurred dozen of lawsuits, cost a Fortune 500 company hundreds of millions of dollars and set back California climate efforts.
  • How Fire Feeds

    Last summer, three sparks set off a series of violent firestorms in southern Lake County, California, destroying thousands of homes and killing four people. Reveal took a deeper look at the fires using satellite images and government data to explore how and why the blazes moved through the county and what it means for the future of firefighting in the West. Here is a link to the interactive Reveal created with satellite data to show how the fires spread: http://fire.revealnews.org/
  • 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
  • The Color of Debt

    The heart of our main story was a first-of-its-kind analysis of debt collection lawsuits. Crunching data from five years of court judgments from three metropolitan areas — St. Louis, Chicago and Newark — we found that, even controlling for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones. This finding was drawn out through in-depth reporting on the ground in St. Louis. We focused on one neighborhood, Jennings, a mostly black suburb that borders Ferguson in north St. Louis County, to illustrate the impact.
  • Domestic Violence Dismissals

    “Domestic Violence Dismissals” analyzed the complex institution behind domestic violence court cases, specifically focusing on the high rate of case dismissals. On average, only 20 percent of cases of domestic violence in Athens County, Ohio, are prosecuted. The majority of the remaining 80 percent are dismissed, with a smaller percentage – but still substantial amount – of cases reduced to a lesser charge. Cases are dismissed for a multitude of reasons, often including a lack of response from the victim or a victims’ unwillingness to prosecute. The story further delved into the nuance of dismissing a domestic violence case.
  • King County Metro’s Bathroom Reform: Constipated or Incompetent?

    Following a six-month state investigation that concluded King County Metropolitan Transit was not providing bathrooms bus drivers could reach during their breaks, the transit agency made several promises. They included cleaning a troublesome portable at the end of the No. 36 -- its busiest route -- three times weekly, creating a new email address and phone line for operators to report problems, and assigning a staff member to respond to operators’ complaints. Metro broke all of those promises. As a result, a new portable at the end of that No. 36 line overflowed with human waste, making it unusable for more than two weeks.
  • Metro buses: Pedestrians in a blind spot?

    King County Metropolitan Transit District bus collisions with pedestrians grew substantially after schedules were tightened and drivers had less time to recover between trips. Collisions with walkers leaped 35 percent in the past four-plus years. And a group of accidents was disturbingly similar: A Metro bus manufactured by Orion turning left hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk. That model bus has a large pillar on the left-hand side of the windshield, making it difficult for the driver to see walkers while turning.