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 "dams" ...

  • BuzzFeed News: The Edge

    Figure skating, one of the most popular sports at the Winter Olympics, has a problem: Scoring is often slanted in favor of the judges' home countries. In this exclusive analysis, BuzzFeed News showed that one third of the officials selected to judge the 2018 Winter Olympics had, in recent seasons, demonstrated a home-country preference so strikingly consistent that the odds of it occurring by random chance were less than 1 in 100,000.
  • BuzzFeed News: The Edge

    Figure skating, one of the most popular sports at the Winter Olympics, has a problem: Scoring is often slanted in favor of the judges' home countries. In this exclusive analysis, BuzzFeed News showed that one third of the officials selected to judge the 2018 Winter Olympics had, in recent seasons, demonstrated a home-country preference so strikingly consistent that the odds of it occurring by random chance were less than 1 in 100,000.
  • Inside the Box

    Portable classrooms come cheap and fast. They offer a lifeline for districts with more students than building capacity, a problem recent projections show will worsen in coming years. But in Washington and Oregon, like at schools across the country, the temporary structures more often than not become permanent fixtures, InvestigateWest and EarthFix learned. The consequences can be serious, as for fourth-grader Shaylee Adams, who suffered high fevers, coughing and swelling.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education: Confessions of a Fixer

    Brad Wolverton's “Confessions of A Fixer” exposes how one former coach perpetuated a widespread cheating scheme that benefited hundreds of college athletes at dozens of institutions. Based on countless interviews conducted since the summer with Mr. White, the “fixer” himself, the startling narrative represents a milestone in the ongoing conversation on academic impropriety in college athletics, and exposes online education’s particular weaknesses to cheating. The piece was published on Dec. 29 and a week after, the University of Texas at Austin launched an internal investigation into the allegations in the story. Shortly thereafter, another central institution in the story, Adams State University (CO), had frozen enrollment in its correspondence courses, started a review of its student-verification process, and cancelled a class mentioned in the article.
  • Big Oil, Bad Air

    Texas lies at the epicenter of the nation’s hydraulic fracturing – fracking – boom. What began in the Barnett Shale of North Texas 15 years ago has spread to the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and across the United States, to include regions unaccustomed to dealing with the fossil fuel industry. Until early 2014, the national media had paid little attention to the frenzy of drilling in the Eagle Ford, one of the most active shale plays in the world. It seemed the right place for us to explore a little-discussed yet critical aspect of the boom: toxic air emissions associated with wells, compressor stations and processing plants.
  • Fatally Flawed

    A five-part series by The Charlotte Observer revealed that the officials assigned to investigate suspicious deaths routinely fail to follow crucial steps, raising questions about the accuracy of thousands of rulings. The effects of a botched investigation on surviving family members can be devastating. Killers can go free. Widows can be cheated out of the life insurance payments they deserve. In some cases, reporters found, grieving relatives were forced to launch their own inquiries into how a loved one died. Compiling the report wasn’t easy. Observer reporters first requested the state’s database of suspicious deaths in early 2012. For 18 months, the state stalled and provided incomplete data. In the summer of 2013, the Observer threatened legal action. Only then did the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner turn over its complete database.
  • Deadly Mills

    The aftermath of two sawmill explosions in British Columbia, what caused them, and why regulatory charges were never laid, even though survivors, an industrial hygienist and the labor union insisted that the companies did not pay proper attention to warnings, and ignored the history of sawdust fires and explosions in North America. The explosions were preventable, but the companies did little or nothing to secure the mills while they were creating large amounts of particularly combustible sawdust.
  • Potential Senate candidate tied to dark money groups

    Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's connections to two secretive political nonprofit groups runs much deeper than the would-be Senate candidate let-on in July 2013. While Schweitzer was at the helm of the Democratic Governor's Association, that group funneled more than $300,000 to a Helena-based non-profit run by Schweitzer's appointee to head the state's Office of Political Practices. From there the money ended up in the bank account of a mysterious Washington, D.C.-based political non-profit. What that group spent the money on is still a mystery. Schweitzer, an outspoken critic of the influence of "dark money" on Montana politics, deflected questions about his involvement with the organizations. A top aide to Schweitzer's said a common post office box was the only connection between the former governor and the two groups. A Tribune investigation found that Schweitzer ties to the people and organizations involved in the mysterious organizations ran much deeper than a shared address.
  • "Adams County: Exposing a Culture of Corruption"

    This KMGH-TV investigation that began with uncovering of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts in exchange for gifts and free construction and landscape work at the homes of top county officials, has resulted in the convictions of those officials and the owner and employees of a county subcontractor for cheating taxpayers out of millions of dollars. The investigation spanned five years and prompted a fundamental change in county government and reforms in policies, procedures, and the county charter through voter referendum to insure transparency and best practice. We believe this long term investigation represents the important role journalists play in representing the citizenry, holding government accountable through in-depth reporting, and prompting significant structural change for the long term benefit of the community.
  • Panama: Dam Promises or Dam Lies?

    Panama is embracing its role as one of Latin America’s fastest growing economy by undertaking massive infrastructure projects, such as the expansion of the Panama Canal and a metro in Panama City. However, as these projects develop Panama is on the brink of exceeding their electricity capacity. To address the national crisis the country is investing in the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam in Western Panama. The completion of the dam is expected to result in cheaper and more sustainable energy by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. However, not everybody is optimistic about the prospects of the dam. Standing in the way of the project is Panama’s largest indigenous group, the Ngäbe-Buglé. Even though the dam is not being built inside their semi-autonomous region, they say its reservoir threatens their way of life.