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 "tunnel" ...

  • The Profiteers

    The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively. Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • Border Patrol

    We believe this is the most extensive investigation on the U.S. border conducted by a Sunday news program in 2016. We begin by revealing one of the biggest issues that’s gotten lost in the debate over illegal immigration: the disturbing increase in drug smuggling. In Border Control, we find evidence that our southern border is not under U.S. control. In Tunnel Vision, we expose some of the underground tunnels that cartels have used to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. In Bordertown, USA, we provide an unusual profile of a U.S. border town so influenced by illegal smugglers and drugs, that the culture has worked its way into the fabric of daily life: Douglas, Arizona. In Crossing the Line, we take an eye opening look at the corruption inside U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And in Cuban Exodus, we exclusively reveal the “mind-boggling” number of Cubans surging across the Mexican border into the U.S.
  • Connecticut Nurse Among Highest Prescribers In U.S.

    Tunneling through reams of newly-released national prescriber data in January 2015, C-HIT senior writer Lisa Chedekel came across a tiny bit of information that is fundamentally changing how Connecticut views pain treatment. Lisa found an odd nugget that lead to a flood of stories: an advanced practice registered nurse working out of a clinic in tiny Derby, Connecticut was among the nation’s top 10 prescribers of the most potent pain killers in the Medicare drug program. The ARPN, Heather Alfonso, wrote more than 8,700 prescriptions for opioids and other Schedule II drugs in 2012 – far more than any pain specialists or doctor.
  • Money Down the Drain

    In Money Down the Drain, Northeast Ohio Media Group reporters explored whether there is a less costly, greener alternative to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s $3 billion plan to manage stormwater and sewage by boring giant tunnels beneath the region. The series mapped the district’s history of favoring so-called “gray infrastructure” to comply with federal clean water laws and debunked sewer officials’ claims that green technologies – such as water retention ponds - would inherently be more costly than tunnels. The reporters researched the efficacy of alternative sewer management plans and visited Philadelphia, considered by many to be leading a movement by U.S. cities considering greener solutions to their messy sewage overflow problems. The four-part series concluded with an examination of potential opportunities to transform large expanses of vacant property in Cleveland into park-like stormwater retention features. The team did not set out to prove that green infrastructure is superior to tunnels. Rather, they aimed to expose the district’s failure so far to consider alternatives that officials in other cities believe could save their ratepayers millions – if not billions – of dollars, while driving home to readers just how much the tunnels will cost them. Within a month of the series’ conclusion, sewer district officials announced that they would spend $900,000 on green projects near a major road expansion program and pledged to study the possibility of replacing large stretches of the planned tunnel with green infrastructure.
  • A Huge Hurt for Taxpayers

    The length and cost of job-related injury leaves taken by city of Los Angeles employees are growing rapidly, the Los Angeles Times found, primarily because the employees take home more money when they’re out with claimed injuries than they do when they show up for work. Payments to injured police and firefighters, who get 100% of their salaries, tax-free, while out on leave, rose 30% from 2009 to 2013, The Times found. Fewer than 5% of the injuries were attributed to acts of violence, smoke inhalation or contact with fire, city data show. About 50% were blamed on “cumulative trauma,” ailments that afflict aging bodies regardless of profession: back strain, knee strain, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome. Cumulative trauma was also the leading cause of injury among the city’s civilian workers, who typically get 90% of their salaries, tax-free, while on leave.
  • Scandal in Illinois Workers' Compensation System

    More than 230 guards at the Menard Correctional Center, a maximum security Illinois prison, claimed to have acquired carpal tunnel syndrome of the wrist by turning keys or operating cell locking mechanisms. These claims resulted in in taxpayer-funded partial disability payments totaling more than $10 million paid to guards who returned to work full-time operating the same locks.
  • Prison Workers Compensation Investigation

    The reporters find that hundreds of guards at a Illinois maximum security prison were receiving large taxpayer-funded injury awards for carpal tunnel syndrome they claimed came from unlocking cell doors. The state had spent $30.6 million on these settlements over three years. As a result of the investigation, the Illinois Department of Insurance launched a civil and criminal investigation.
  • "Easy Money, BTO Business: The Truth of 'Tax Shield of Macquarie'"

    In an attempt to develop the country of Korea during an economic crisis, the government established the Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) system, which allowed a toll fee to be applied to many roads. However, in order for the system to work, an additional system, the Minimum Revenue Guarantee, had to be introduced. The MRG guaranteed companies receive a "minimal income level from the government" when the toll fee fell "short of projections." This angered many people who did not use the roads due to the high toll fee.
  • Beneath the Neon

    The book follows Matthew O'Brien as he explores Las Vegas' underground flood control system for more than four years. Among his discoveries, O'Brien details access into casinos and airports and describes the people he found living in the tunnels.
  • Tollway Junket

    "The North Texas Tollway Authority, a public entity, sent 5 representatives on an all-expenses paid trip to Vienna, Austria to attend the International Bridge, Tunnel and Tollway Association's annual meeting. The trip cost tollway users more than $42,000 dollars and our hidden cameras revealed some representatives dining on five star meals, catered by companies with multi-million dollar construction contracts."