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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "California" ...

  • Exxon Mobil's Near Miss

    CBS News exposes a near miss at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Southern California that could have put 200,000 people at risk. https://vimeo.com/cbseveningnews/review/149886751/86f4329ecd
  • Surviving the Drought: We Investigate California’s Water Crisis

    We investigated California's drought to find out why a state that leads the world in innovation, technology, science and progressive policy can't seem to figure out how to solve a water crisis when other countries around the world can. We asked a simple question: if other countries can do it why can't California? And our months of investigation and interviews with more than 75 scientists, policy makers, innovators, designers, engineers and venture capitalists revealed that the problem of record drought in California isn't as much about lack of rain and snow but about lack of vision and stalemate because of entrenched and intractable policy and history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwT_GMRuEik http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Surviving-the-Drought-Investigate-California-Water-Crisis-338921102.html
  • Tijuana Tire Valley

    In an investigation that took us across the border, we explored the failure of the California state government to properly allocate funds collected from a consumer fee to prevent severe pollution of a bi-national region. We discovered California recycling fees were being used to ship tires to the border where they are sold and resold in Mexico; until the tires eventually wash back into environmentally sensitive lands in the United States. NBC7 Investigates uncovered a ballooning $60 million state "tire recycling management fund" that has since been targeted for better use by the Speaker of the Assembly. We followed tires from the California tire store to the border to deeper into Mexico to Tijuana, where tires are in such surplus they have become a fixture of architecture.
  • Unholy Water

    In a remarkable five-part investigative series, KCBS Reporter Doug Sovern revealed that St. Mary's Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, was systematically soaking homeless people at night to keep them from sleeping in the church alcoves. Doug discovered and exposed an illegal plumbing system, installed in the middle of the worst drought in California history. Doug's reports prompted action by city officials, the removal of the system, a public apology by the Bishop, and a new homeless initiative by the archdiocese.
  • Toxic Pesticides and Latino Schools

    Our investigation showed that California state regulators knowingly allowed majority-Latino communities and school districts to be disproportionately dosed with toxic pesticides.
  • Driving with suspended license top crime in Menlo Park, many lose cars

    The story shows that the majority of drivers cited for driving with a suspended license in Menlo Park, California are Latino or African American. Most of these citations resulted in the driver's vehicle being impounded for the statutory 30 day period. Many of the drivers affected had their licenses suspended not because of safety concerns such as DUIs, but because of other reasons, such as not paying for two minor traffic tickets and failing to show up in court. More than half of the drivers, according to towers, never retrieve their cars from impound lots, which is very likely due to the steep cost of retrieving the vehicles, which sometimes is worth more than the car. The story explores whether the punishment of losing a car fits the original violation.
  • Payday California

    The most significant chunk of local budgets in California goes to pay government workers. Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting took on the task of gathering, examining and making public what we pay employees in California’s 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities. We created a website for that information, Payday California (payday.cironline.org), adding important context to the data collected by the California State Controller’s Office on as many as 700,000 city and county employees annually from 2009 through 2013. The website also features additional employee compensation records obtained through open records requests from the 10 largest counties and 10 largest cities in California. The data we requested from cities and counties was more detailed than that released by the state controller. It included employee names and more detailed pay categories. In addition, Reveal standardized job titles so that readers could better understand where their tax money was going. We also conducted statistical analyses to find communities that were clear outliers in how they paid employees.
  • The Dark Side of the Strawberry

    California is the only state that keeps such detailed data on where pesticides are applied. It also is the place that grows 9 out of every 10 strawberries Americans eat. Complicating things further, strawberries are grown near where people work and live and where children go to school. Fumigants, such as chloropicrin, methyl bromide and 1,3-Dichloropropene, are some of the most heavily used pesticides in the state. They are gases, prone to drifting away from the field. An analysis of more than 20 million records of pesticide applications showed a surprising trend. The heaviest pesticide use was not in the Central Valley of California (the heart of the state’s agriculture), but in Monterey and Ventura counties — the strawberry capitals. This informed the rest of our reporting and led us to focus on the strawberry industry.
  • Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

    "Forcing the Spring" follows the legal challenge mounted against California's ban on same-sex marriage. It begins with the first efforts to stop Proposition 8 and the campaign to undermine the Defense of Marriage Act all the way to the final moments in the Supreme Court.
  • Fatal shooting exposes nepotism in the California Senate

    The California Capitol was rocked last year by criminal charges against three state senators accused in unrelated cases of bribery, perjury and conspiracy to traffic weapons. These were high-profile cases that garnered widespread media attention and public hand-wringing by politicians. What wasn't being covered by anyone else was the stories you will read here, about an ethical crisis simmering in the administrative side of the state Senate -- problems that had been largely ignored by the politicians elected to run the house. This entry includes 11 news stories I wrote over six months, a mix of enterprise investigations and breaking news. Rosenhall coverage led to significant changes in the administration of the California Senate.