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 "training" ...

  • Mine Dangers/Mine Safety

    This series on mine safety by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette uncovered several problems: with training, mine seals, ventilation, airpacks and fire suppression systems. Reporters Roddy and Twedt found out that the Mine Safety and Health Administration "narrowed its definition of work-related deaths, making its annual death tally artificially low and allowing them to declare that mining was safer than ever."
  • BCTI Investigation

    The Business Computer Training Institute has left behind many taxpayer-backed debts and unsatisfied customers. There are holes in the training school that expose the for-profit higher education.
  • Private Security in a Post-9/11 World

    As the focal point of a study of the private guard industry in New York state, WNYC looks at Tristar Patrol Services, "which had seen a dramatic expansion after the September 11 attack in NYC, getting more than $80 million in contract work with the City of New York." The company had more than a thousand employees, mostly young minority males, and they had the task of protecting all of the city's office space, infrastructure and Fire Department facilities. The investigation found that Tristar's owner, Gary Zimmer, had been convicted of assault and had to resign as a police officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, yet attained the right to hold a security guard company license when a judge, believing the owner's misrepresentation of his criminal case, granted him an exemption from state law. In addition, there were other issues as Tristar "had been disqualified from doing state work for misrepresenting it had properly credentialed guards, but went on to win a multi-million dollar, multi-year City contract." The company failed to properly compensate guards, including not paying for vacation or advanced state security credentials, and Tristar also did not pay "hundreds of thousands of dollars it was required to pay the union representing the guards to cover union dues and health and welfare benefits required by the contract." But because of the New York Secretary of State's lack of investigators, regulations were not enforced. Also, there is no uniform requirement across the country for the training and qualifications for security guards and companies.
  • Sex Offenders: Steps Away

    WPLG reports on lax enforcement of Florida's sex offender law. No convicted sex offender is supposed to live within 1,000 feet of a day care centers, but the investigation discovered that 536 such people were doing exactly that, including some in apartments overlooking day care centers. Law enforcement asserted it "lacked the resources and manpower to enforce the law." The state legislature is planning to take a hard look at what must be done to improve the situation. As part of the investigation, reporter Julie Summers compiled information including maps of the centers in relation to the offenders, and a list of Web sites people can use for more information.
  • Broken Promises, Broken Lives

    An investigation finds "widespread mistreatment of mentally retarded and mentally ill people in Missouri, including sexual assaults, beatings and neglect in thousands of incidents that led to hundreds of injuries and 21 deaths." Further, the state has not followed its own law and policies in the investigation and reporting of the mistreatment, drawing the ire of the federal government. In addition, the police and prosecutors did not always do their own investigations "of suspicious incidents." The newspaper also discovered that "the public and private system of care relies on underpaid, overworked caregivers in dangerous jobs with little training."
  • Strains for Airport Screeners

    The story revealed that federal airport screeners have the highest injury rate in the nation; injuries were causing screeners to miss about 250,000 work days a year; some of those absences led to screeners missing training, and violating a federal law requiring all checked luggage to go through bomb-detection machines. The story also found that the Transportation Security Administration had known about the injury problem for more than a year but had taken little action to improve the situation.
  • Athletes at Risk

    The Herald-Tribune examined the Florida High School Athletic Association's safety policies and regulations to protect the health of high school athletes. They found that the FHSAA lobbied against new health safety measures and kept inadequate records of student deaths. Safety measures did not incorporate the latest life-saving technologies or training.
  • Win, Lose or Draw: Gambling for Jobs

    This series examines Kentucky's economic development program's failure to create jobs and alleviate poverty across the state, and especially in the poorest areas. Incentives given to businesses for more than 14 years did not result in the contractually agreed-upon number of new jobs. The state program was loosely monitored and shrouded in secrecy. Funds allocated for high tech job training were diverted to creation of malls and industrial parks that remained mostly vacant. Overall, after 14 years, Kentucky's poverty ranking was not improved by the development programs.
  • Aches and Claims

    The Herald-Leader found that Lexington police and firefighters retire on tax-free disability more than three times as often as Kentucky State Police officers. Many of these retirees then go on to new jobs, including ones similar to those that they were supposedly too disabled to perform. Others lead active lifestyles, including marathon running and training for war. Many retirees are some of Lexington's most notorious officers, retiring on disability before they can be fired or disciplined.
  • License to Shrill

    This series exposed the shabby empire of Gary Probst, king of the state's commercial driving schools. Over a 10-year period, Probst built the largest franchise in the state using a series of tactics designed to circumvent the law. The state, well aware of his activities, did nothing to stop him. The story includes the following findings, among others: Probst employed unlicensed instructors who never received required training from the state; the state conducted over 40 investigations of Probst's schools, but never took action against him; Probst falsified records.