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 "debris" ...

  • Backyard Bombs

    In 1983, two boys were killed in San Diego as a result of old munitions explosion in a nearby canyon. San Diego County has a long military history of training camps and defense sites which have been turned into residential neighborhoods, but traces of that past are still seen today as some explosives were never removed.
  • Tons of Questions

    After wildfires destroyed 365 homes in San Diego, the city rushed to enter contracts with two companies to haul away mounds of potentially toxic debris. The Union-Tribune investigated and found that the contractors, A.J. Diani Construction C. of Santa Maria and Watsonville-based Granite Construction Co., claimed to haul far more rubble than privately hired companies did from comparable lots, failed to provide accurate documentation of how many tons they removed and billed the city millions more than stated in their contracts.
  • "Study Finds Diseases in 1918 Test Area"

    A year long health survey of residents in a 345-house area of Spring Valley showed shocking results. These houses were built over a series of trenches, bunkers, and laboratory debris fields that were part of a W W 1 chemical warfare test area. Investigation shows that 131 people were afflicted with 56 separate diseases, which can be linked to arsenic, mustard gas, and Lewisite.
  • Clout on Wheels

    This investigation revealed the waste and corruption within the city's Hired Truck Program, in which the city hires dump trucks and low-wage drivers to haul debris and material at city work sites. The newspaper found that many trucks sit idle while the company reaps payments from the city. One trucking company owner admitted paying bribes to city officials to get work, while others doled out campaign contributions to city officials. Following the series, the FBI arrested the man who ran the city's program, and 14 other people, including 10 current or former city employees, were arrested.
  • The fine print: Bush forces a shift in regulatory thrust

    This three-day series revealed how small, subtle regulatory changes by the Bush administration at three federal agencies have had large consequences for the American people. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has eliminated nearly five times as many pending regulations as it has completed. The Data Quality Act, slipped into an appropriations bill, directs the Office of Management and Budget to ensure all information disseminated by the government is reliable, but in practice it allows industries to challenge the need for stiffer regulations. A one-word change in another regulation accelerated "mountaintop removal" mining because the debris was reclassified from "waste" to "fill."
  • Columbia Tragedy; Weather ripe for icy debris; NASA culture muted danger signals; NASA's system misjudged risk

    A six-week investigation into the Columbia space shuttle, which exploded on Feb. 1, 2003. The investigation found, among other things, that conditions at the launch pad were perfect for ice and moisture accumulation and that NASA launched the shuttle although it had over 1,600 known problems.
  • The Columbia Disaster

    These stories are about the Columbia space shuttle accident. They include pieces on the frequency and severity of foam impacts on previous shuttles;a story that Columbia mission engineers had been worried about possible damage by the foam strike but had been dismissed by their superiors; reporting on the behind-the-scenes debate over whether to seek imagery of the damage and about the inadequacies of the efforts to try to predict damage; a story on how accident investigating board members were being paid by NASA in order to get around federal-open meeting requirements; and a look at 6 other chronic shuttle problems that have been accepted as "normal" by NASA engineers, just as foam was accepted.
  • The Missing Links

    "This is a story about the largest New York City contract ever involving the private operation of a municipal park facility. Golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his development partners are attempting to build New York City's first luxury golf course on top of an old landfill at Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, a site that has had a long history of environmental troubles. The developers are operating a new private landfill at the city park site, collecting construction and demolition debris worth tens of millions of dollars -- money that is helping finance construction of the golf course. After dumping began, levels of gases at times reached near-explosive levels, requiring emergency remediation work to protect residents of a nearby public housing project. Under the franchise agreement, the developers contend, the city of New York is liable for any further costs of environmental clean-up. The golf course project, a favorite of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, got rammed through city government without getting reviews and approvals required by city law."
  • The Shooting Gallery

    Hundreds of tons of space debris orbit the Earth. It can reach speeds of 30,000 miles an hour as it makes its circuit. As the US puts more permanent installations into orbit, the question of how to avoid or protect against the dangerous debris becomes a task of utmost importance. Lemley asks NASA how the agency goes about protecting astronauts, the shuttle, and satellites from these high speed projectiles.
  • Trash for Cash

    WTXF-TV report s about "... the illegal and widespread practice by city sanitation workers of picking up swag, trash that should be collected by private haulers. This practice, according to city officials, costs the city hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in lost trash dumping fees and productivity. One worker we spoke with told us he was told to pick up swag on his first day on the job and that workers would often make their illegal pick ups first and by the time they got to their regular route they would be on overtime..."