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 "threats" ...

  • Two-Hour Diploma

    “Two-Hour Diploma” started with a late-night hotline tip in February of 2018. Ten months later, at the time of this entry, the shock waves it produced continue to reverberate throughout the state of Maryland. Using deep dive, old-fashioned investigative journalism, this series produced results. A Baltimore high school was shut down after Fox45 enrolled an undercover student who received a diploma in two hours. Multiple state investigations were launched leading to other schools being shut down. Lawmakers, including the Governor, promised legislative action in Annapolis when session opens in January. And Fox45 jumped right through the massive loopholes this investigation exposed by opening our own church and school – right under the state’s nose. Two weeks after filing the paperwork, Good News Academy was certified and approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. As all this was unfolding, investigative reporter Chris Papst was sued by a school operator and physical threats were made against Papst and Fox45 for which the police were called. In an effort to stop the investigation, Fox45’s sources were threatened with violence and had their property vandalized. “Two-Hour Diploma” was produced by Project Baltimore, a team of Fox45 journalists committed to a long-term investigation of education in the Baltimore area.
  • Student threatened professor more than a year before killing him

    This USC Annenberg Media special investigation uncovered that despite receiving a written warning that a student intended to kill his professor, USC administrators allowed him back on campus to work with the man he threatened and would go on to stab to death on campus. This story revealed that USC did not have a system in place to adequately track threats to campus safety and make sure students with serious mental illness were well enough to be in school.
  • Aging aircraft and hidden threats

    While the Navy spent big over the past 20 years on experimental mine hunting technology that may never work, it stopped investing in its mine-hunting Sea Dragon helicopters, which have spent the better part of a year grounded due to mechanical problems after a series of deadly accidents. Now the service is trying to play catch-up. The Sea Dragon’s troubles are a symptom of a much larger problem: America’s military aircraft have been flown hard during 15 years of combat in the Middle East, and nearly all of their next-generation replacements are years behind schedule and millions over budget. The result: Much of the nation’s fleet is flying far longer than planned and in need of critical maintenance to keep them going. Their investigation found that the United State's Marine and Navy aircraft fleet has dismal readiness rates, as evidenced in an internal report obtained by the IRP and Virginian-Pilot. They examine what effect this has on our military's ability to counter the threat of sea mines.
  • Dangerous Exposure

    Toxic chemicals seeping from industrial sites across the State of Indiana are contaminating neighborhoods and putting families at risk of dangerous exposure. 13 Investigates discovered most Indiana homeowners are in the dark about toxins lurking below the ground or in the air. The companies responsible for the contamination promised to clean up their messes as part of a voluntary program offered by the State. In exchange, the state provides participating companies legal immunity from getting sued, but 13 Investigates discovered major breakdowns in accountability. Companies hiding out in the program for decades failed to clean up as promised. At the same time Indiana's top environmental watchdog agency failed to enforce the rules to keep homeowners safe. 13 Investigates Reporter Sandra Chapman uncovers what's hidden, presses for answers and finally gets government admissions that the State simply lost track of some sites and poorly managed others. In response the state created new directives to prevent stalled cleanups from exposing neighborhoods to toxic threats. http://youtu.be/cbACoNGvHMU http://www.wthr.com/tags/dangerous-exposures
  • How to Spin the Science News

    This story is an exploration of the tactics used by the Food and Drug Administration to control media coverage. The agency cultivates a coterie of journalists whom it keeps in line with threats, while it denies others access, even deceiving them with half-truths in attempts to handicap them in their pursuit of a story. At the same time, it uses a controversial tool -- the so-called "close-hold embargo" -- to exert control over the media, even though using that tool is a direct violation of FDA's (and HHS') written policy. https://www.documentcloud.org/public/search/Project:%20%22FDA%20Embargo%20documents%22
  • The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater

    The historic agreement reached in Paris in December that will curb carbon emissions is heartening, but oil isn’t the only resource being pumped out of the ground at an alarming rate—with catastrophic consequences for the planet. In an eye-opening series for USA Today, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, CA, and other Gannett newspapers, Pulitzer Center grantees Ian James and Steve Elfers investigate the consequences of groundwater depletion, an overlooked global crisis. “Groundwater is disappearing beneath cornfields in Kansas, rice paddies in India, asparagus farms in Peru and orange groves in Morocco,” writes Ian. “As these critical water reserves are pumped beyond their limits, the threats are mounting for people who depend on aquifers to supply agriculture, sustain economies and provide drinking water. In some areas, fields have already turned to dust and farmers are struggling.” Climate change will only exacerbate the crisis, yet few seem to be taking this existential threat seriously. “Even as satellite measurements have revealed the problem’s severity on a global scale, many regions have failed to adequately address the problem,” says Ian. “Aquifers largely remain unmanaged and unregulated, and water that seeped underground over tens of thousands of years is being gradually used up.”
  • Danger Zone: Examining safety in the oil and gas boom

    In its "Danger Zone" investigation, EnergyWire found that lax safety procedures in the booming oil and gas drilling industry are killing workers. The series showed that many of the threats to workers, such as explosions and toxic gases, also threaten the general public.
  • Mass. courts fail to shield juveniles in holding areas

    Since Sept. 2010, Massachusetts has been in violation of a federal law requiring courthouses to protect juveniles from being verbally abused or threatened by adult inmates in courthouse holding areas. This has resulted in annual penalties that slashed about $500,000 in grant money intended for at-risk youth and intervention programs in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system. It’s a problem that will cost $1.34 million to fix 11 “high priority” courts, as Massachusetts officials sought — and failed to receive — a waiver from those penalties from the Justice Department.
  • Cleveland Clinic cases highlight flaws in safety oversight

    A three-month Modern Healthcare analysis of hundreds of pages of federal inspection reports reveals the 1,268-bed Cleveland Clinic Hospital spent 19 months on “termination track” with Medicare between 2010 and 2013 as a result of more than a dozen inspections and follow-up visits triggered by patient complaints. The Cleveland Clinic is far from alone in facing the only sanction the CMS can apply to hospitals when serious safety problems and violations of informed consent rules are brought to light by patient complaints. An analysis of Medicare inspection data found that between 2011 and 2014 there were at least 230 validated serious incidents— dubbed “immediate jeopardy” complaints—that led the agency to threaten hospitals with losing their ability to serve Medicare patients unless they immediately fixed the problems. Overall, there were at least 9,505 CMS complaints lodged in that time against 1,638 hospitals, which included low-severity “standard level” violations; midlevel “condition level” violations; and the less common but most serious “immediate jeopardy” complaints. Only the most serious and condition-level complaints can lead to threats of being cut off from government funding. Only in very rarest of circumstances has the CMS followed through on the threat. The CMS’ ultimate goal with hospital inspections “is to ensure compliance with Medicare rules, not close down hospitals that are essential to local communities,” a CMS spokeswoman said.
  • Danger Zone

    The expansion of oil and gas drilling in the United States has turned the world's energy economy upside down. For the first time in 20 years, the country is producing more oil than it imports. The rapid increase in production, driven by hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," has also started a passionate argument about safety and environmental protection. But the drilling industry's status as one of the most dangerous in the country for workers is often overlooked. It's rarely mentioned, even though many of the threats to workers, such as explosions and toxic gases, also present a threat to the general public.