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 "local business" ...

  • Democrat and Chronicle: Rochester food truck builder burns customers nationwide

    When reporters at the Democrat and Chronicle received a call from a distressed food truck owner who had been burned by a local food truck builder, a quick records check revealed a surprising tally of lawsuits and tax liens for what had been regarded as a prominent local business. That led to a six-month investigation that revealed a business in a downward spiral, bringing down customers across the country as they cut corners on workmanship and accepted deposits of $10,000 to $42,500 and strung customers along for months. The gripping narrative painted a sobering downside to the hot food truck industry.
  • The Carissa Carpenter Saga

    For 16 years, a charismatic woman named Carissa Carpenter skittered across California and South Carolina, drumming up investors - and public support – for an extravagant, multi-billion-dollar movie studio project she vowed to deliver to the various rural regions, hungry for economic development. The problem? The lavish proposals never came to fruition and, until The Bee’s investigation, Carpenter was never held accountable – or even exposed - for the millions lost by investors or by local business associates, who were rarely paid for their work before she vanished again.
  • War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City

    The hour-long documentary War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City takes an unprecedented look at the impact of corruption on the East St. Louis, Illinois area, one of the poorest and most violent communities in America. The program was broadcast twice during prime time; Tuesday night at 8 pm on August 28, and the following Saturday night at 7 pm. This project was the result of an ongoing decade-long probe of government waste, corruption, police misconduct, and violence in East St. Louis and the surrounding villages by investigative reporter Craig Cheatham. Our documentary begins with a detailed look at police misconduct and corruption, how it has contributed to the breakdown of public safety in the East St. Louis area, and why local politicians tolerated such outrageous behavior by their officers. The second part of our documentary focuses on the impact of derelict and vacant housing, the slumlords who own the property and the people who live in some of the worst housing in the metro area. Our investigation also uncovered new connections between politicians and legendary slumlord Ed Sieron, who was business partners with a longtime mayor. In addition, KMOV revealed that of the 500 mostly rundown properties that Sieron owns in East St. Louis, only 13 were cited for code violations. That lack of accountability for the notorious slumlord, empowered him and made the people living in his homes feel powerless. War Zone also exposes the way East St. Louis communities have sold their economy to vice-driven businesses like strip clubs, liquor stores, a casino, and convenience marts that had a long history of selling illegal synthetic drugs. Our investigation found that nearly all of these businesses failed to employ a significant number of East St. Louis residents, even though they received millions of dollars in tax incentives that are paid by East St. Louis residents. At the same time East St. Louis is handing out tax breaks to wealthy out-of-town businessmen, it repeatedly refused to provide the same tax incentives for local residents who wanted to create family friendly businesses that would employ people living in the East St. Louis area.
  • You Want a Piece of Me

    “Homeless teen Corey Black thinks his fortunes have changed when a prominent local businessman offers to buy his kidney. The venture ultimately falls through, leaving Corey right back where he started. The story tracks Corey as the events are unfolding”.
  • Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

    Many local business owners began to believe something bizarre was happening when sales reps from Yelp.com offered to remove negative reviews off of the website. The only way the negative reviews could be removed was if the local businesses would advertise with Yelp. If the business owners refused the offer, they began noticing positive reviews disappearing.
  • A County Divided

    The series documented the effects of an Latino immigrants to Ellijay - a small, predominantly white town in north Georgia. It specifically covers the impact immigrants have had on the workforce and local businesses.
  • Teflon Don

    Local businessman Donald Boehm took millions of dollars with the help of lawyers, Realtors and an account, from the estate of his own cousin and other business associates. Boehm was thought to be connected with the 2004 death of one of the business associates that he was stealing money from.
  • The High Cost of Being Poor

    This series shows how businesses and merchants in the Buffalo area prey upon people living near poverty level. Examples include corner grocery stories that illegally cash checks and charge super-high fees, predatory loans for housing and cars, and the high cost of using rent-to-own appliances.
  • Lost and Found Furniture

    This investigation focused on a local moving company that mistreated its clients' belongings. Ralston found out that the company lied to clients about where their furniture was being stored, and sometimes even sold their clients' possessions at yard sales.
  • Water under the bridge

    Florida has over 100 communities with bridges that need replacing. Sarasota is a perfect example of what can go wrong in these situations. The city spent money fighting a high-span bridge that local businesses wanted.