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 "repairs" ...

  • Under the Hood: The AAMCO Investigation

    AAMCO, the world’s largest transmission repair chain, pulled its multi-million dollar advertising campaign, retrained more than 700 franchise owners nationwide, conducted thousands of dollars in overdue repairs and now faces a class action lawsuit filed by its own franchisees all as a result of our year-long investigation.
  • Backfire

    The investigation revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) employed rogue tactics in undercover storefront strings in Milwaukee and across the country, including using those with mental disabilities to promote the operations – and then turning around and charging them with gun and drug crimes. The investigation found ATF agents set up operations near schools and churches, allowing them to arrest people on more serious charges; let felons armed with guns leave the fake storefronts; paid such high prices that people bought guns from stores and then quickly sold them to agents; bought stolen goods, spurring burglaries in the area; arrested and charged the wrong people; and drew in juveniles by allowing them to play video games, smoke marijuana and drink alcohol; failed to employ sufficient security, allowing sting storefronts to be burglarized; carelessly handled sensitive documents containing undercover officer’s names and vehicle information; and left behind damaged rental properties, failing to pay landlords for repairs. In Milwaukee, an ATF agent’s guns were stolen, including an automatic machine gun, which has not been recovered. The sting operations were part of an ATF initiative meant to go after “the worst of the worst” and target areas beset by violent crime. But in the Milwaukee operation and elsewhere, the defendants largely had nonviolent criminal backgrounds. Even a federal prosecutor criticized the ATF for the kinds of people targeted.
  • Backfire

    The investigation revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) employed rogue tactics in undercover storefront strings in Milwaukee and across the country, including using those with mental disabilities to promote the operations – and then turning around and charging them with gun and drug crimes. The investigation found ATF agents set up operations near schools and churches, allowing them to arrest people on more serious charges; let felons armed with guns leave the fake storefronts; paid such high prices that people bought guns from stores and then quickly sold them to agents; bought stolen goods, spurring burglaries in the area; arrested and charged the wrong people; and drew in juveniles by allowing them to play video games, smoke marijuana and drink alcohol; failed to employ sufficient security, allowing sting storefronts to be burglarized; carelessly handled sensitive documents containing undercover officer’s names and vehicle information; and left behind damaged rental properties, failing to pay landlords for repairs. In Milwaukee, an ATF agent’s guns were stolen, including an automatic machine gun, which has not been recovered. The sting operations were part of an ATF initiative meant to go after “the worst of the worst” and target areas beset by violent crime. But in the Milwaukee operation and elsewhere, the defendants largely had nonviolent criminal backgrounds. Even a federal prosecutor criticized the ATF for the kinds of people targeted.
  • NC Auto Inspection's-Failing the Test

    Every year, North Carolina auto owners must take vehicles to private garages for state-mandated safety and emissions testing meant to prevent traffic crashes and curb pollution. Drivers cannot put a car on the road legally unless it passes inspection. A review inspection data showed the program is undermined by unscrupulous garages who do a volume business, passing unsafe cars, and by other who take bribes or cheat customers with uncessary repairs.
  • Outsourcing Safety: Boeing Jets Repairs in El Salvador

    KIRO Team 7 investigators travel to El Salvador, uncovering a series of safety lapses at a Boeing jet maintenance facility. We found unqualified $2 an hour mechanics, the use of broken parts, failures to properly connect electrical wiring inside aircraft and the hiring of a work force that had trouble reading English-only Boeing jet repair manuals. This team of reporters also uncovered the locations of where major U.S. carriers take their jets out of the country for repair (Guadalajara, Taipei, Hong Kong, El Salvador, Beijing, Mexico City and Guatemala).
  • Chicago Takes on Bad Developers, With Mixed Results

    Some Chicago neighborhoods face a troubling conundrum. Thousands of condominiums that were built during the "housing boom" are "proving to be poorly built." Leaks and electrical issues are only a couple of the problems homeowners are facing. In an effort to help the homeowners, the city of Chicago filed lawsuits against the condo developers. The effort has backfired. Many developers have fled the country, which leaves the homeowners with thousands of dollars in repairs that are needed to fix the code violations.
  • Start Freakin'

    In Seattle, "Stop Freakin', call Beacon" is the catch-phrase that propelled Beacon Plumbing into an instantly recognizable brand and the region's largest emergency plumbing service. We found the company doing unlicensed plumbing work, shoddy repairs, and overcharging customers. Ensuing investigations revealed that the man in the Beacon uniform might not be a plumber at all and that his former dress code may have included pinstripes at the State lock-up.
  • Forced Out

    This series from the Washington Post investigates the corrupt practices of landlords driving tenants from their homes under the guise of refusing repairs or forcing families to live without heat, hot water or electricity. This was in response to a law meant to give tenants a voice in the city's redevelopment. In recent years, tenants had fled more than 200 rent-controlled apartment complexes without the chance to vote on redevelopment. With empty buildings, landlords quickly reaped $328 million in condominium sales and avoided $16 million in conversion fees.
  • They Failed to Act

    The nation's largest commuter railroad system failed to address a major public safety hazard that it had known about for years. Through tenacious shoe-leather reporting, the staff of Newsday documented a danger long ignored by the Long Island Railroad and by state and federal regulators. Armed with Stanley tape measures, they found dangerous gaps between the platform and trains at the railroad's busiest stations, holes large enough for passengers to fall through.
  • A risky game

    "Arizona State University performed emergency repairs to its Sun Devil Stadium to repair rusting beams that posed serious risks to fans. Crews worked 24 hours a day on a first round of repairs while the university did not disclose the risk to the public." The damage was not caused by the fans who spilled their drinks, but because the university had not waterproofed the stadium correctly.