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" ...

  • Sprawl Developer Won't Take No For an Answer

    This was a two-person investigation into political corruption, environmental damage, public danger and regulatory capture presented by a developer’s attempt to build a suburban sprawl project in rural San Diego County. We spent two months diving into lawsuits, environmental reports, wildfire warnings and campaign finance disclosures to understand how billion-dollar real estate developments take shape outside of public eye, even if they contradict adopted regulatory guidelines. It resulted in an elected official, poised to enrich himself by voting in favor of the project, being forced to recuse himself from voting, which led to the project’s indefinite suspension.
  • Harvest of Terror, Parts 1 & 2

    The first story in the series detailed for the first time the worst instance of workplace rape in modern Florida history. The report revealed how a rural sheriff's office and local prosecutors had failed at least five women who reported being sexually assaulted by their bosses at a packing plant. The piece also revealed how the plant's owner ignored multiple warnings that women were being assaulted at the facility. The second piece documented the larger problem of rapes among migrant women in rural Hendry County, Florida. It described unreported recent rapes in the area and showed that the small county's sexual assault rate is significantly higher than the national average.
  • Sandra Bland jail suicide

    When Sandra Bland died in a jail cell in a rural Texas county, the Houston Chronicle was the first to report the suicide – an issue that had already been on the radar of Chronicle crime reporter St. John Barned-Smith. He’d already been writing about lesser-known suicides of inmates, who can be jailed in Texas on the whim of a traffic cop and kept there by Justices of the Peace without any law degree. Chronicle journalists were the first to report on Bland’s previous suicide attempt, they quickly requested and posted key documents and video, produced a more detailed profile of Bland and put the issue in context with the larger problem of jail suicides all across Texas.
  • The Seventh Precinct vs. Jack Franqui

    Before Newsday published a two-part investigation exposing the disturbing circumstances surrounding Jack Franqui’s death, the public had been told little about his suicide in a holding cell of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Seventh Precinct on Jan. 23, 2013. And what the public had been told was false.
  • No Body's Fault: An anatomy of a suicide in the county jail

    When James Lee Peters killed himself in the Humboldt County jail, this very act suggested a failing of the mental health and criminal justice system. The North Coast Journal wanted to explore the possible failings of those systems.
  • Examinations get scrutiny

    The medical examiner story started with an unimaginable tip in July, when Dr. Jon Smith, Ventura County’s chief medical examiner, was placed on leave. In June, Smith supposedly had directed an unqualified assistant to perform autopsies while he was on vacation more than 2,000 miles away. Wilson and Carlson not only verified the tip, but disclosed Smith had determined the cause of death for at least two men he never examined. The two men’s bodies had been released from the morgue to their families by the time Smith had returned from his vacation.
  • Lack of Prosecution in Animal Abuse Cases

    We investigated why Kansas City and Jackson County rarely prosecuted cases of animal abuse. We learned animal control officers in Kanas City have no training or background in investigating these type of cases. Our investigation revealed only three cases of animal abuse were sumbitted for felony prosecution in the past two years. http://fox4kc.com/2015/03/31/woman-says-shes-lost-trust-in-kc-heartbroken-by-the-way-her-dead-dog-was-dumped/ http://fox4kc.com/2015/01/30/resident-demands-change-following-fox-4-investigation-into-kcmo-animal-abuse/ http://fox4kc.com/2015/01/29/fox-4-investigation-are-kc-animal-abusers-being-held-accountable-for-cruelty/
  • Public Corruption in Nassau County

    A federal investigation into New York State Senator Dean Skelos and his son’s job with a firm that had a contract with Nassau County raised the prospect that additional problems with the county contracting process had escaped federal attention. Newsday assigned four reporters to determine whether the expenditure of tax dollars had been corrupted, and over the course of the year, the newspaper published parallel investigations that have led to local and federal investigations, an impact on local elections and important questions about how the county’s top officials conduct public business.
  • Bank got caught in 'death spiral'

    This story looks at decisions that led to the Bank of Clark County's failure, and determines that the mistakes were twofold, and in the end each made the other worse. By ignoring its own guidelines, the bank issued loans to borrowers who later could not pay them back. By using risky deposits to fund these loans, it created a trap it could not escape.
  • Busted! Breast Cancer, Money and the Media

    On Nov. 5, 2015, the Point Reyes Light launched an investigative series on a breast cancer scare that never should have happened. “Busted! Breast cancer, money and the media” dives into the question of who is most at risk of breast cancer. Hint: Contrary to popular belief, it is not wealthy white women. Focused on Marin County, Calif. and similarly affluent communities, the weekly series demystifies how breast cancer risk is calculated and explains how researchers and the media exaggerate risk factors, spreading unwarranted fear of the disease. In the 10-part serial, reporter Peter Byrne explains how scientific data have been manipulated to promote non-scientific agendas to the detriment of women in underserved populations. “Busted!” reveals internal audits showing that data in the California Cancer Registry is not of research quality. The series details how cancer registry officials attempted to derail the investigation. Busted! is changing the conversation about breast cancer risk and policy in the San Francisco Bay Area, and, hopefully, around the nation.