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 "tunnels" ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "Tunnel Troubles"

    Following the flooding and shutdown of a major tunnel thoroughfare, this investigation found a host of maintenance and safety concerns at a host of other area tunnels, including improperly functioning floodgates and broken fire hydrants and water valves. A bridge tunnel administrator who neglected the maintenance problems resigned after the stories aired.
  • The Poisoning of Whitaker

    A Willamette Week investigation reveals that Oregon's worst performing middle school contains levels of radon, a radioactive gas, far in excess of the safe maximum determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The school is also notorious for unhealthy levels of carbon dioxide caused by the lack of open windows and the circulation of air through contaminated underground tunnels. District officials have been aware of the problems for more that a decade, the story reports. One of the major findings is that the radon contamination and the poor air quality have "contributed to chronically high student and teacher absenteeism ... and academic achievement far lower than would be predicted by Whitaker's socioeconomic level."
  • Big Dig Drinking

    "The Big Dig/Central Artery project is the largest construction project in the country. The federally funded project will cost taxpayers an estimated 14 billion dollars. More than four thousand workers are building bridges and tunnels that millions of commuters will travel on. We watched as Big Dig workers left job sites, walked into bars, and drank at lunch. Many of the construction workers didn't have anything to eat, and then went back to work and operated heavy equipment. We wondered about the quality of work being done if some of these people were 'working under the influence'. Some workers walked right past the Big Dig's main office to get to the bars. If we could see what was happening, why couldn't state officials? After our story aired, the Big Dig launched its own investigation and two workers were fired."
  • 1999 IRE National Conference Show and Tell Tape #4

    1999 IRE National Conference (Kansas City) Show and Tell Tape #4 is the fourth in a nine-part series. This tape includes: 1.) Anna Werner (KHOU-Houston) Sexual message 2.) Chris Halsne (KWTV-Oklahoma City) "Mismanagement 101" Waste of a million-dollar school bond. 3.) Shellee Smith/Jim Schaefer (WXYZ-Detroit) Fire station's alarm left behind in a move. Now someone has to run to the fire house to let them know about a fire. Huge delays in the system. It can be fixed simply by relocating the old system. 4.) Scott Brooks (WSOC-Charlotte, NC) Getting guns from unlicensed dealers during a gun show. 5.) Carol Kloss (KETV-Omaha) Home improvement fraud 6.) Matt Goldberg/Tony Kovaleski (KPRC-Houston) "Steroids for Sale" Man posing as physician's assistant dispenses steroids without prescriptions to residents and even police officers 7.) Eileen Walden/Sandra Chapman (WISH-Indianapolis) The investigation reveals the lax security at the Indiana state capital. There have been many thefts in recent years. AN intricate web of underground tunnels links several buildings in the capital complex. Once inside, the reporter moves around freely and even reaches the offices of state senators. The reporter manages to carry out an empty box that looks as though it has a computer inside. No one blinks an eye.
  • (Untitled)

    Los Angeles Times discloses that numerous segments of subway tunnels in earthquake-sensitive Los Angeles were built with concrete thinner than designed, raising serious questions about the quality of subway construction and inspection, Aug. 29 - Nov. 17 1993.
  • (Untitled)

    Wall Street Journal reveals Dow Chemical Co. has tried to maintain a low profile on the problems surrounding Sarabond, a product that strengthens mortar; reveals the product, first used in 1965, apparently corrodes steel, prompting several lawsuits against Dow as buildings and tunnels begin to crumble, March 21, 1989.