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 "wider" ...

  • Hidden Threat: The Kissing bug

    This investigation by KXAS-TV and The Dallas Morning News revealed kissing bugs may pose a much more significant threat to human health in Texas than the CDC has ever indicated. The bugs carry a dangerous parasite, a silent killer that can lead to heart failure and death. They have already infected hundreds of thousands of people in South America, Central America and Mexico. But, our team of reporters and producers discovered kissing bugs have also infected at least ten people in Texas. A fact revealed for the first time exclusively in the first report. Hundreds of dogs in the state are sick and many are dying. Even more concerning, the human and animal toll may be much higher than the numbers show, because few people or dogs are ever tested for the disease. This series was also the first to demonstrate how the nation’s blood supply may be at risk from kissing bugs and a lack of regulations to prevent the spread of the parasite through blood transfusions. Our reports had an immediate impact, alerting thousands of people to the presence of the bugs and the dangers they bring. Hundreds of Texans responded by sending bugs to the state lab for testing and other news organizations across the country picked up our reports taking our findings to an even wider audience. https://youtu.be/a2xykL8ixSs
  • Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Domestic Violence

    "Police Wife" shows that spousal abuse is much more prevalent in police homes than in the wider population and that most police departments do little to stop it. The book also shows that the problem has impacts well beyond police families and is connected to a wide range of other issues, including botched responses to 911 domestic calls at other homes, police sexual harassment of women cops and female drivers at traffic stops, police killings of African Americans and growing social inequality. This is by all evidence the first book worldwide in journalistic form on this issue.
  • Who’s the Grossest Grocer in New York?

    In our “Grossest Grocer” series, Patch journalists uncovered dozens of grocery stores that could sicken the communities we serve, and made a vast database of state records available to the wider public for the first time. To find New York supermarkets with a history of food safety problems and tell their stories, we exclusively obtained a state database of inspection records through a Freedom of Information Law request and protracted negotiation with the state. Our editors spent months analyzing millions of violations observed by state inspectors, conferring with experts, and verifying our finds with on-the-ground reporting. We published more than 70 articles in this series, and an interactive map with detailed data on all of New York’s retail food stores -- more than 33,000 businesses, from corner bodegas to major grocery chains.
  • Blood In The Streets

    The Orlando metropolitan region is a classic example of late 20th century-sprawl, lacking in comprehensive urban planning and built around available roads. The metropolis experienced explosive growth following the founding of Walt Disney World (1971), SeaWorld Orlando (1973) and Universal Orlando (1988.) Government agencies responded to the growing population's transportation needs primarily by making the existing roads wider and faster. By the 21st century it became apparent that pedestrians were never a significant part of the planning. It became apparent because so many of them were getting run down and killed, even though most people, it seemed, avoided walking. By almost all accounts Orlando had become the most dangerous city in the country for pedestrians. The Orlando Sentinel set out to explore the plight of pedestrians and the drivers who hit them, telling the stories of those killed or seriously injured, those who had to live with it, and the public institutions - the road agencies, police, hospitals and courts - that, ultimately, coped ineffectively with the carnage. To do so, we carefully analyzed highway patrol data on thousands of crashes and reviewed full crash investigation reports and court files on scores of them. We tracked down survivors, victims' families and drivers. And we used their stories (backed by volumes of data) to show how dangerous walking in Orlando had become.
  • Semper Fi: Always Faithful

    Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger was a devoted marine for nearly 25 years. As a drill instructor, he lived and breathed the Marine Corps and was responsible for training thousands of new recruits. When Jerry’s nine-year-old daughter Janey died of a rare type of leukemia, his world collapsed. As a grief-stricken father, he struggled for years to make sense of what happened. His search for answers led to the shocking discovery of one of the largest water contamination sites in US history. For thirty years, unbeknownst to the Marines living there, the Marine Corps improperly disposed of toxic cleaning solvents that contaminated the drinking water at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base. It is estimated that nearly one million Marines and their families may have been exposed to high levels of carcinogens through the water. 25 years after the wells were finally closed, only a fraction of former residents know about their exposure to the toxic chemicals. In the process of investigating the Camp Lejeune contamination, a larger issue comes into focus - the abysmal environmental record of the military. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense is the United States’ largest polluter, which raises grave questions about environmental conditions at other bases across the country. “Semper Fi: Always Faithful” is a timely and sobering story of the betrayal of US soldiers and is a call to action for more environmental oversight of military sites.
  • Wheelchair Users Feel Locked Out

    This article discusses the debate about accessible housing. Many disabled people say it's nearly impossible to find a home that is accommodating to a wheelchair (the doors need to be wider, the home can't have stairs, etc.) Some people say there should be laws to force builders to construct more accessible homes, but builders say there isn't a big enough market to do that.
  • The Asphalt Rebellion

    For decades, traffic engineers have been designing wider, straighter roads. Now, some communities are challenging that approach.
  • In Black and White: Old Memos Lay Bare Metlife's Use of Race to Screen Customers

    The Wall Street Journal looks at the practice of MetLife, "the largest publicly held life insurer", to systematically discriminate against nonwhite customers. The story reveals that although the company claims to have stopped practicing race-based underwriting decades ago, "new documents show ... that race-based practices remained in effect years longer, and applied to a much wider range of policies." The investigation exposes "techniques not disclosed before, such as subjecting nonwhites to a more complicated application process, which tended to limit them to smaller policies costing more and carrying fewer benefits." The article points to examples of racial underwriting and follows lawsuits related to the issue.
  • Illinois Townships: Bargain or Boondoggle?

    "Often overshadowed and overlooked, Illinois' 1,433 township governments last year collected almost half a billion dollars from taxpayers although many did not need the money and hundreds wound up spending as much on bureaucracy as on services. In September, for example, Benton Township paid $7,500 for two employees to pass out $500 in welfare to five needy people in Franklin County... Illinois clings to the tradition of its townships governments while neglecteing serious questions about their usefulness, such as: Are townships efficient grassroots government or outdated vestiges wasting millions to do jobs that overlap services already offered on wider scales by county, munincipal and state governments?"
  • Great Escape: How Fannie Mae Gave the Slip to Adversaries Seeking to Rein It In

    The Wall Street Journal reports on the critics of Fannie Mae, who say it has "converted its business-buying, packaging and reselling home loans- into a political currency that can be as potent as campaign contributions." In addition, critics question the mortgage company's "privileged, quasiofficial status" saying it gives them unfair advantages. Fannie Mae refutes the argument saying they have "convinced policy makers that the benefits from its rapid expansion-wider home ownership-outweigh any downside." Now legislators have begun to take sides. Kulish and Schlesinger report on this year long debate.