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 "perry" ...

  • Role of Obama-era school discipline policies in Parkland massacre

    Most news media neglected a huge part of the Parkland school massacre. They did so by focusing largely on the roles played by gun laws and mental illness in Nikolas Cruz’s rampage. Paul Sperry went against the grain, in a series of reports for RealClearInvestigations that exposed a central factor in the horror: an Obama-era push that made school discipline more lenient across the country because of concerns that minority students, especially African-Americans, were being disciplined at much higher rates than other Americans. Sperry was the first to report, and to comprehensively detail, this broad and ultimately misguided effort to end the “school to prison pipeline.”
  • Insult to Injury

    As Tesla races to revolutionize the automobile industry and build a more sustainable future, it has left its factory workers in the past, still painfully vulnerable to the dangers of manufacturing. Our reporting shows that Tesla prioritized speed over safety, ignored its own safety experts and denied proper medical care to injured workers. And in order to make its safety record look better than it really is, Tesla has kept injuries off the books. Our radio segments take listeners into the factory and behind the scenes, as whistleblowers tell their secrets and workers show the toll on their lives.
  • The Poor Kids of Silicon Valley

    Silicon Valley is built on the promise of the American Dream. Rags to riches. Anyone can make it. Apple and Google grew out of garages there. Yet CNN Opinion columnist John Sutter and videographer Brandon Ancil found this valley of riches, the heart of the U.S. tech industry, to be plagued by widespread and severe child poverty. Sutter argued that this is not only a moral outrage in this era of income inequality, it also undermines this valley’s future and that of the country. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/03/opinion/ctl-child-poverty/#0
  • Dallas' Evil Genius

    In recent years, Texas has shifted responsibility for the disposition of radioactive waste from state agencies to a private entity, Waste Control Specialists (WCS), owned by billionaire Harold Simmons, a major Republican donor.
  • Border surge began as crime fell

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other top state officials sold a massive border state police and Texas National Guard buildup on tales of violent transnational crime spilling across the Rio Grande River. In a void of federal border security, only Texas could stem the tide, the narrative went. But after a months-long open records battle with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a finalist for the 2015 IRE Golden Padlock Award, and an unprecedented data analysis, the Houston Chronicle proved violent crime rates had been declining for years before the surge and were not significantly affected by the extra manpower.
  • Most trafficked mammal

    The pangolin -- a little-known, scale-covered mammal -- is thought by scientists to be the most trafficked mammal in the world. Conservationists fear it could go extinct before most people realize it exists. To try to ensure that doesn’t happen, CNN’s John Sutter traveled, at times undercover, to Vietnam and Indonesia to introduce readers and viewers to this loveably introverted creature, and to expose the massive, illegal trade in its meat and scales. Traveling alone, and at times using hidden cameras and recording devices, Sutter met with wildlife traffickers and pangolin in Sumatra, Indonesia. He followed undercover wildlife cops in Hanoi, Vietnam, to a number of restaurants and markets that deal in pangolin products. This work exposed the ease with which pangolin traders are able to operate in these countries, in part because the pangolin has maintained a lower profile than rhinos and elephants. It also helped explain the rise in demand for pangolin scales and meat in Southeast Asia. Sutter’s work also humanized and popularized the pangolin, a creature he described as “elusive, nocturnal, rarely appreciated and barely understood.”
  • Explosion at West

    Tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer at a central Texas plant exploded last April with the force of a small earthquake. The blast came just two days after the Boston Marathon and, in the national media, was overshadowed by events in the Northeast. While not the result of a terrorist attack, the explosion in West, Texas, was far larger and deadlier, and raised more significant public safety issues. In a series of investigative reports over eight months, The Dallas Morning News revealed that ammonium nitrate remains virtually unregulated by federal and state governments, despite its well-known explosive potential. (Timothy McVeigh used it in 1995 to blow up an Oklahoma City federal building.) Efforts to strengthen oversight have been blocked by industry lobbyists and government gridlock, The News found, even as the Pentagon sought bans on ammonium nitrate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In pro-business, anti-regulation Texas, the federal government’s lax oversight meant no oversight at all. West Fertilizer Co. – scene of the disaster – violated almost every safety best practice. No state agency was charged with preventing an ammonium nitrate blast. There was no public registry of companies that handled the compound, even though many facilities are near homes and schools. Texas prohibits most counties from having fire codes and does not require facilities like West to obtain liability insurance. Gov. Rick Perry and other state politicians, who created this wide-open environment, washed their hands of the problem. They said West was a tragic accident that no amount of regulation could have prevented. The News’ findings, however, proved otherwise.
  • Leadership problems at Florida State College at Jacksonville

    Through public records requests, we forced the release of several documents Florida State College at Jacksonville sought to withhold: the wrongdoing investigation of a top executive who was also a VP at a college in New Jersey, and the five-figure bonuses given annually to most of the college's top brass. We also used Florida's public records laws to get expense reports and emails that showed little oversight on spending and infighting among board members divided over what action to take. Board members for the most part had little public discussion about their votes. Our reporting on the expenses, possible Sunshine violations and problems in the college's awarding of financial aid led to two state investigations into the college's foundation spending and overall finances.
  • Leadership problems at Florida State College at Jacksonville

    What started as a look at problems in the financial aid department led to a widespread review of college operational issues and spending that angered taxpayers and frustrated students. Through several months of reviewing records and rooting out sources, we found that the college had almost no controls on the president's spending and the board offered little oversight. We learned that this was common throughout the state after we reviewed all presidential contracts in Florida - and found lots of big-money perks. Our stories prompted two consulting reviews by the college and two statewide investigations, one from the inspector general into the president's spending and a second from the Florida College System into FSCJ's finances. The president and two other top-level leaders left the college, and reforms are expected from the Legislature this year.
  • Cheating Our Children

    After using a sophisticated data analysis to expose anomalous gains on standardized tests in Atlanta Public Schools -- anomolies that were shown in 2011 to signal chearing at 44 schools -- the Atlanta Journal-Constitution set out in late 2011 to apply its analysis to school test scores nationwide.