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" ...

  • Kentucky Shortchanging Coal Miners' Safety

    This series of the Courier-Journal "exposed lax state enforcement of mine-safety violations." The reporter found that the Kentucky mining board "rarely used its full authority to revoke or suspend companies' mining licenses and miners' certifications," when hearings were held on mine-safety cases. The series focused also on the failure of the board to formally review "nearly 100 cases since 1990 in which Kentucky coal companies and/or supervisors were convicted of federal mine-safety violations." The investigation exposed cases of falsified tests detecting coal-dust levels, improper handling of explosives, illegal smoking underground and falsified safety training documents.
  • Cold War Poison: The Paducah Legacy

    The Louisville Courier-Journal investigates the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a uranium processing plant built during the Cold War. In 1999, workers from the plant filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that they were exposed to harmful radioactive materials. The Courier-Journal obtained memos from plant administrators that shows they knew about possible hazards, but ruled them to be "acceptable risks."
  • Cagle's and Tax Breaks

    The Lexington Herald-Leader investigates Cagle's Keystone Foods and the large number of Hispanic workers the new plant has brought to the area. The plant was intended to provide jobs for the area's poor. However, many locals did not like the repetitive tasks they were asked to perform at Cagle's and quit soon after it opened. Cagle's officials filled the open positions with Hispanic immigrants. Local law enforcement agencies have discovered that many of the replacement workers are actually illegal immigrants. Police were tipped off to the problem when they blocked a road near the Cagle's plant. Officers ticketed many Hispanics for having fake driver's licenses and driving unregistered cars.
  • Coal Synfuels: A $1 Billion Federal Tax Scam?

    The Charleston Gazette investigates the many coal synfuel plants that opened up in Southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky in the fall of 1999. Synthetic fuel, or synfuel, has become more popular with energy providers since 1979. That year, Congress passed a bill that would give a tax credit to those who produce synfuels. The hope was that the bill would help make the U.S. more energy independent in the wake of the Arab oil embargo. While the bill has made the nation less dependent on foreign oil, it has also caused problems for traditional, domestic coal miners. Because they receive a tax credit, synfuel producers charge less for their product than traditional coal miners. Thus, energy suppliers are turning more and more to the cheaper synfuel. Synfuel producers are threatening to put traditional miners out of business.
  • Schooled Out of Poverty

    Education Week tells the story of the Wolfe County School System. Wolfe County, located in eastern Kentucky, is one of the poorest counties in the United States -- 40 percetn of its residents live bellow the federal poverty line. Efforts have been made to improve Wolfe County (President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty was, in part, directed at the county), however little has changed. Today, residents believe a solid education for the region's young people will help the younger generation finally break free from poverty. Education Week examines evidence from other, similar districts that seems to indicate that the residents of Wolfe Country have to reasons to be hopeful.
  • Justice on the Rocks: How Kentucky Courts Violate DUI Laws

    About 200 people died in alcohol-related traffic accidents in Kentucky in 1999. An investigation by the Herald-Leader reveals that many of the DUI defendants have their charges dismissed or amended simply because judges and prosecutors are not following a state law. "Nearly one out of every five DUI cases in Kentucky is dismissed or amended down to a lesser charge... there are many reasons for the dismissing or amending charges... in many cases, judges and prosecutors have simply gone easy on DUI defendants."
  • Same Place Different World

    Fast Company profiles the town of Campbellsville Kentucky which was the home of a Fruit of the Loom factory until 1997. Now, Amazon.com has moved into the town and brought with it a number of changes.
  • Don't Ask, Don't Kill

    Vanity Fair Magazine tells the story of Private First Class Barry Winchell's murder in the barracks of Delta Company at Fort Campbell on the Tennesse-Kentucky border. Winchell, a closet homosexual in the military, was murdered by fellow soldier Calvin Glover because of his sexual preference. Glover smashed Winchell's head in with a bat after another soldier, Justin Fischer, egged him on.
  • Tracking a Serial Killer

    This report uses maps to track graphically Angel Maturino Resendez, a serial killer wanted for eight murders in Kentucky, Texas and Illinois.
  • Home Builder Steve Taulbee Tearing Down Dreams

    A WKYT-TV investigation of Kentucky-area home builder Steve Taulbee revealed that he was continuing to build homes despite a series of lawsuits filed against him by at least four banks. "An analysis of the lawsuits found that in a lot of cases banks were just lax in checking liens prior to granting Taulbee loans. In some cases, properties were mortgaged for two to three times their value, In other cases, the homes were only built on paper..."