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 "volunteer" ...

  • "Healthy Holly" and University of Maryland Medical System Investigation

    The “Healthy Holly” scandal began with a suggestion from a source, a state legislator who told Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater she thought there might be some irregular contracting practices going on at the University of Maryland Medical System. Broadwater, busy covering the General Assembly session, filed a public records request. The documents showed that Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and other members of the hospital network’s board of directors had no-bid contracts with the medical system -- though the extent of those contracts, especially Pugh's, were not fully described. Broadwater's story -- written quickly as a daily as soon as he received the documents -- was breaking news that got the attention of Maryland's political establishment: University of Maryland Medical System pays members of volunteer board hundreds of thousands in business deals. Immediately, Broadwater and other Baltimore Sun reporters followed their instincts and tips that were coming in -- including that Pugh had failed to print many of the books she’d been paid to produce, while thousands of others were sitting unread in a Baltimore school system warehouse. Meanwhile, Sun reporters pulled ethics forms, poured over tax records, filed public information requests and worked sources, breaking story after story that exposed a widening scandal that rocked the state of Maryland, perhaps more than any other series of articles in decades. Their work led to the resignation of the mayor, the UMMS CEO and other top officials, including every member of the medical system's board of directors.
  • Detroit Free Press: They look like cops, but they're not

    A Detroit Free Press investigation found that police agencies across Michigan are supplementing their ranks with unlicensed civilians, commonly called reserve officers, who wear uniforms and badges and carry guns. But these volunteers are unregulated and not subject to state-established training standards, despite frequently assisting real cops on patrol and, sometimes, with arrests. No one had ever tallied the number of reserve officers in Michigan, so the Free Press did and uncovered a staggering number, and many who had committed crimes and other misdeeds.
  • CBS: AmeriCorps Misconduct

    This CBS News Radio investigation probes allegations of widespread misconduct at the federally-funded AmeriCorps program. Part of the investigation details extensive sexual harassment allegations against the grandson of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Stephen Black, an Alabama attorney and founder of AmeriCorps grant recipient Impact Alabama. The report triggered Impact America to severe ties with Black, and the University of Alabama to launch a Title IX investigation before firing him as an instructor. It relied heavily on public records from FOIA requests, along with interviews with current and former Impact Alabama and AmeriCorp volunteers, lawmakers, and federal oversight officials.
  • The War on Women Is Over—and Women Lost

    The aim of these stories was to take the effects of five years of severe new abortion restrictions out of the realm of abstraction and show readers how drastically these laws had made the experience of getting an abortion more difficult. This was done primarily through interviews with volunteers who help women secure funding for an abortion and arrange their onerous travel schedules; women who had crossed state lines for their abortion; abortion providers struggling to comply with new regulations; and by analyzing internal numbers from abortion clinics who treat large numbers of women from out of state.
  • Volunteer Fire Companies: Short of standards, long on cash

    An investigation into Delaware's 60 volunteer fire companies. The News Journal found that fire companies fell short of national response-time standards in one out of every six structure fires statewide between 2003-06.
  • Peace Corps Failing Volunteers

    CBS News has obtained evidence that the Peace Corps is struggling with sexual assaults in its ranks. A survey shows nearly 20 percent of volunteers experienced some type of sexual assault, and more than half of those say they suffered repeat attacks. Pressure to change a culture of victim-blaming goes back years, but some survivors still claim they are blamed or punished. Kris Van Cleave reports.
  • Burning Questions

    When your house catches fire, every second counts. An investigation by WTAE TV in Pittsburgh found a wide gap in response times by Western Pennsylvania fire departments. WTAE’s investigation found little has changed in the volunteer firefighting system since Ben Franklin started America’s first fire department in Philadelphia in 1736. Investigative Reporter Paul Van Osdol obtained data that revealed response times for communities throughout Western Pennsylvania. But that was only the beginning. http://vimeo.com/wtae/review/131571086/99ea45739d http://vimeo.com/wtae/review/150830783/ada0681965 http://vimeo.com/wtae/review/151430643/c0c500ace0
  • Why Did The Washington Post Name The White House Volunteer Accused In Prostitution Scandal?

    The Washington Post broke several details about the United States Secret Service this year and received high praise. But The Washington Post's explosive Oct. 8 allegations about a former White House volunteer soliciting a prostitute during a 2012 trip to Cartagena, and unsubstantiated claims of a White House cover-up, deserved scrutiny. The Huffington Post looked deeply at the alleged "evidence" and published private correspondence between editors and attorneys to show that much of what was promoted as new information on Oct. 8 had been rebutted more than seven months earlier. It was later revealed that a key source for the The Post had prostitution allegations against himself, raising more questions about the paper's decision to publish such potentially damaging claims.
  • Killed in the Line of Training

    Neal Smith had excelled at his first day in an elite firefighter training exercise. But on Day 2, trapped in a small space and weighed down by 75 pounds of gear, he became disoriented in the fog and collapsed on the second floor of the building he was making his way through. A trainer screamed at him to get up, but he couldn't. His internal temperature was 108 degrees; his brain was swelling. When Mayday was called it was too late. Rushed to a nearby hospital, the experienced firefighter died there later that day. Most people assume that all firefighters are trained by their own fire departments. But departments in small town Texas actually have been sending their personnel to the East Texas Firemen's and Fire Marshal's Association, a nonprofit trade group for volunteer firefighters. And unlike a governmental agency, there is no oversight of that group's methods or standards. As a subsequent investigation by the state fire marshal's office and by the National Institute of Safety and Health revealed the training camp was so poorly run that several other firefighters had dropped out (saying they didn't want to risk their lives), passed out or been taken to the hospital. Had safety procedures standard in most fire departments been in place – such as a simple tub of ice – Smith could have been saved at the training camp site.
  • Smart ALEC Oregon

    A team of KBOO reporters carried out a six-month investigation researching, cataloging and analyzing Oregon legislation which has been influenced, or created by, the American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC). ALEC states that their organization is "the nation’s largest, non-partisan, individual public-private membership association of state legislators...which works to advance the fundamental principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism at the state level." KBOO volunteer investigative reporters reviewed hundreds of Oregon state legislative activities, and interviewed dozens of state legislators and lobbyists, to uncover ALEC influences.