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 "kentucky" ...

  • Can You Fight Poverty With A Five-Star Hotel?

    My story is about the World Bank’s private investing arm, the International Finance Corporation, the IFC. It reveals that the IFC is a profit-oriented, deal-driven organization that not only fails to fight poverty, its stated mission, but may exacerbate it in its zeal to earn a healthy return on investment. The article details my investigation through hundreds of primary source and other documents, dozens of interviews around the world and my trip to Ghana to see many projects first-hand, to recount that the IFC hands out billions in cut-rate loans to wealthy tycoons and giant multinationals in some of the world’s poorest places. My story details the IFC’s investments with a who’s who of giant multinational corporations: Dow Chemical, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Vodafone, and many more. It outlines that the IFC funds fast-food chains like Domino's Pizza in South Africa and Kentucky Fried Chicken in Jamaica. It invests in upscale shopping malls in Egypt, Ghana, the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. It backs candy-shop chains in Argentina and Bangladesh; breweries with global beer behemoths like SABMiller and with other breweries in the Czech Republic, Laos, Romania, Russia, and Tanzania; and soft-drink distribution for the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and their competitors in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mali, Russia, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, and more. The criticism of most such investments -- from a broad array of academics, watchdog groups and local organizations in the poor countries themselves -- is that these investments make little impact on poverty and could just as easily be undertaken without IFC subsidies. In some cases, critics contend, the projects hold back development and exacerbate poverty, not to mention subjecting affected countries to pollution and other ills.
  • Al Qaeda in Kentucky

    This exclusive ABC News investigation found that American counterterrorism officials were investigating more than a dozen cases of possible terrorists who have slipped into the U.S. under the refugee program. With rare access inside current and ongoing major terrorism investigations, the in-depth investigative reports broadcast on "Nightline," "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Good Morning America" told the story of how a little noticed arrest of two men in Kentucky led to a major national security investigation that commanded the attention of top officials, including President Obama. The Iraqis were not refugees fleeing persecution, as they had claimed to immigration authorities, but were al Qaeda-iraq terrorists who had targeted U.S. troops in northern Iraq with bombs and sniper attacks. A key piece of evidence was that the fingerprints of one defendant were located on an improvised explosive device stored in a box for six years in an FBI warehouse, which had been found buried in a Baiji, Iraq road by American soldiers in September 2005. Worse, the two Iraqi insurgents, who had lied their way into the U.S. as alleged refugees -- and escaped drawing scrutiny until they were serttled in Kentucky -- were plotting to ship- heavy arms back to Iraq in an FBI sting, and were also discussing U.S. Homeland revenge bombings, the FBI learned. ABC News was able not only to tell the story of this incredible counterterrorism investigation by the FBI with help from the U.S. military, but also connect a specific bombing in Baiji that killed four Pennsylvania National Guardsmen to the Iraqi defendants. The exclusive ABC News investigation, which was broadcast on the network's three major newscasts as well as online with stories and web extra videos, also broke the news of current FBI counterterrorism investigations of suspects inside the U.S. whose fingerprints are being checked with those lifted from devices in evidence at the FBI's secret "bomb library," where ABC News was shown 100,000 IEDs collected from warzones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.
  • Women and Danger

    The four stories in this entry zoom in on women and families battling crime and punishment across the world. The stories are not only investigative reports but personal narratives that shed crucial light on the modern battles families face. For instance, in "Thanks for Ruining My Life," a Kentucky teen gets into legal trouble for tweeting the names of two boys who sexually assaulted her—defying a court order to stay silent about the crime. Reporter Abigail Pesta was the first to get an extended interview with the teen girl, Savannah Dietrich, about her legal crisis and the aftermath, a saga that raised questions about the courts and free speech in the age of social media. In "Laws Gone Wild," Michigan mother Francie Baldino starts a movement against sex-offender laws when the laws ensnare her teenage son for having underage sex with his high-school sweetheart, landing him in prison with predators and pedophiles for more than six years. Pesta was the first to report on this new movement of mothers and tell this family's personal story as well. The stories sparked a discussion across the media and blogosphere about crime and modern law, bringing in a slew of letters and comments.
  • Women Warriors

    The 10 stories in this entry all focus on women and families battling crime or questionable laws around the country and around the world—from sexual slavery, to cyberstalking, to "honor killings," to rape. The stories are not only investigative reports but personal narratives that shed crucial light on the modern battles families face. For instance, in "Thanks for Ruining My Life," a Kentucky teen gets into legal trouble for tweeting the names of two boys who sexually assaulted her—defying a court order to stay silent about the crime. Reporter Abigail Pesta was the first to get an extended interview with the teen girl, Savannah Dietrich, about her legal crisis and the aftermath. In "Laws Gone Wild," a Michigan mother, Francie Baldino, starts a movement against sex-offender laws when the laws ensnare her teenage son for having underage sex with his high-school sweetheart, landing him in jail for more than six years. Pesta was the first to tell this family's narrative. The stories all sparked conversation across the media and political spectrum. One, "An American Honor Killing," was adapted into an hourlong documentary for the CBS News show "48 Hours." To tell these stories, Pesta pored through mountains of police reports and court documents, and spent months convincing some of the subjects to tell their tale.
  • Breakdown

    In a series of articles entitled “Breakdown,” The Times used the full gamut of multimedia tools to document how bigger purses, swelled by casino money, had corrupted the track. The money encouraged trainers to rely on pain medicine and race thousands of tired, injured and unfit horses, often with catastrophic results. Within days of The Times’s first article, the Jockey Club, the most influential industry group, proposed a nationwide ban on the use of drugs on race days and stiffer penalties, including lifetime bans for repeat offenders. “The status quo had been very much in evidence prior to the New York Times story — after which all hell broke loose,” wrote Barry Irwin, a prominent horse owner, breeder and Kentucky Derby winner. Beyond cataloging carnage on the track, The Times found 3,800 cases of trainers illegally drugging horses since 2009, mostly to enhance performance or mask injuries. Meanwhile, equine veterinarians — who bear the greatest responsibility for protecting the health of a horse — abandoned their oath by reaping profits from drugs they prescribed and by routinely turning medical decisions over to unqualified trainers whose primary goal was to win races.
  • Assault victim's tweets prompt contempt case

    For 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich, it was like being victimized twice – first by the two boys who sexually assaulted her while she was passed out and then sent photos of the assault to their friends; secondly, by a secretive juvenile justice system that appeared more interested in protecting her attackers than her. Frustrated by what she felt was a lenient plea bargain for her two attackers, Savannah lashed out on Twitter – despite a judge’s warning that no one should talk about the incident because the case was in juvenile court. "There you go, lock me up," Savannah tweeted, as she named the boys who she said sexually assaulted her. "I'm not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell." Though threatened with contempt of court, Savannah refusal to stay quiet, and her decision to talk publicly to Courier-Journal reporter Jason Riley resulted in a series of stories that drew national attention and helped pry the lid off Kentucky’s secretive juvenile courts – potentially opening more cases in the future to ensure justice is done.
  • Behind Closed Doors, Kentucky City Buys Controversial Building For $1.3 Million

    Danville, Kentucky’s purchase of the former Boyle County Industrial Storage Facility, better known as the BISCO building, drew a lot of controversy along with legal battles during the second half of 2012. During its Aug. 13 meeting, Danville City Commission unanimously voted to buy the building at auction for $1,237,550. However, a bidder hired by the city had already won the property in auction three days before. Also, on the day of the auction city officials had cut a check for 10 percent of the BISCO building’s purchase price. Residents raised concerns about the secretive nature of the purchase, especially since then-Commissioner Ryan Montgomery’s father, Mike, had a long-standing business relationship with the building’s former owner Mitchell Barnes. After being publicly prodded, Mayor Bernie Hunstad also acknowledged that his wife, Susan, worked for the bidder the city hired to handle the auction process.
  • MSD

    Corruption in the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District. The MSD oversees sewer treatment, storm water management and Ohio river flood control for the several hundred thousand people who live in Louisville and Jefferson County, Kentucky. Throughout the investigation, The Courier-Journal discovered that MSD board members owned companies that they were doing business with the agency they served, excessive bonuses to top officials, and a secret $140,000 lawsuit with an HR chief when he threatened a whisteblower lawsuit.
  • The Brutal Death of Amy Dye

    The story finds that many reports of suspected child abuse in Kentucky were "screened out" as not meriting investigation and others were not substantiated after an investigation.
  • Brian Ross Investigates: State House Scoundrels

    The story explores the unsettling problem of state house corruption and reveals what really happens at Kentucky's annual conference of state lawmakers.