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" ...

  • An Impossible Choice

    inewsource exposed and documented a world where thousands of people, tethered to tubes and machines, are kept alive in places called “vent farms.” The state of California pays for all of their care, more than $600 million in 2013. A reporter and videographer secured unprecedented access to one of these units, producing an unvarnished portrayal of a system that keeps people alive at all costs. inewsource told the stories of families who refuse to let go of their loved ones when there’s no hope for recovery. And it became the first to compile and analyze California’s data on this population, learning that if the government wasn’t footing the bill for this care, this population wouldn’t exist.
  • Inside Sysco: Where Your Food is Really Coming From

    Sysco Corporation is the world’s largest food distributor. It’s a $43 billion dollar publicly traded corporation that supplies restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, and many other food facilities with everything from raw meat and dairy to fruits and vegetables. The company’s motto is “Good Things Come from Sysco.” But this yearlong investigation exposed the company’s widespread practice of storing fresh food in dirty, unrefrigerated, outdoor storage lockers for hours, before it was delivered to unsuspecting customers across Northern California. Employees across the U.S. and Canada later revealed that these sheds were part of the company’s food distribution practices for over a decade. The investigation uncovered a widespread network of sheds in places including Washington, Utah, Illinois, Tennessee, New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia stateside, in addition to Ontario and British Columbia in Canada.
  • Payday California

    After California taxpayers discovered the tiny town of Bell had been paying enormous and illegal salaries to officials there, many people asked: How did we miss this for so long? That’s when The Center for Investigative Reporting set out to create the most comprehensive database in the country of local government salaries. Although these salaries are public records, most taxpayers know little about whether the paychecks for city and county officials are fair. No statewide standards govern how local pay is set, leaving the public in the dark about whether their city managers, for example, are paid appropriately for the job and the community. With Payday California, CIR skillfully put into context the $40 billion a year that California cities and counties spend on their employees.
  • The Dark Side of the Strawberry

    California strawberry growers are hooked on a dangerous class of pesticides and, along with chemical companies, have exploited loopholes in local regulations and global treaties to keep using these chemicals, increasing cancer risk in more than 100 California communities and further depleting the ozone layer in the process. The Center for Investigative Reporting, also published online by The Guardian U.S.
  • In the Background: a KCRA-3 Investigation

    KCRA-3 found that the state of California was clearing people with arrests for child molestation, sex abuse of a minor, elder abuse, arson, even murder to work in daycares, elder care facilities, nursing homes and foster homes. The state would clear people to work who had multiple arrests and then investigate later. Yet those investigations took months, sometimes years to complete. As a result of our investigation the department changed their policy and a new state law was signed that would prevent the department from changing their policy back. No longer are people with arrests for violent crimes simply cleared to work and then checked later.
  • 60 Dead Inmates

    Between 2007 and 2012, 60 inmates died in San Diego County jail facilities, resulting in the county having the highest inmate mortality rate in California. It's a trend that's only gotten worse since a Bureau of Justice Statistics report showing that between 2000 and 2007, San Diego had the second highest death rate of California’s large jail systems. Through an exhaustive review of documents, CityBeat uncovered death attributed to excessive force by deputies, poor supervision of mentally ill and drug dependent inmates and a department that doesn't adhere to its own policies when it comes to monitoring the most at-risk inmates. This has resulted in at least five lawsuits against the county. We followed up our initial series by tracking deaths in 2013, and found continued lapses in policy and continued poor oversight of vulnerable inmates.
  • Surgeons or Salesmen

    This story exposed how many doctors are taking ownership stakes in medical device companies, giving them a cut of the profits for the hardware they put into patients. The report focused on a spine surgeon facing 28 malpractice suits in California.
  • Mello-Roos: The tax you choose

    This multi-media, interactive series is about a special tax Californians pay without thought or question. It amassed $200 million last year in San Diego County. There are loose spending guidelines, but it is a virtual ATM for local governments. The Mello-Roos tax -- named after the two legislators who created it -- takes a vote of one person, most often a developer, to enact. Accountability is almost nonexistent. inewsource spent a year peeling back the layers of Mello-Roos in a way that had not been done in the 30 years that the tax existed. We gathered tax data on nearly one million properties in San Diego County, mapped it and made it interactive so homeowners could participate in the quest for accountability. We pored through thousands of pages of invoices to follow the spending. We filed dozens of public records requests. Our investigation revealed mistakes in tax bills (some homeowners paying as much as $6,000 a year too much), systemic inequities and lack of oversight. Our work launched a city audit (ongoing), exposed a school district’s inappropriate use of funds, and prompted that same district to launch a website for homeowners so they could verify the accuracy of their tax bills. Most importantly, the series spurred homeowners to take action, demanding answers and transparency from their elected officials.
  • Drilling for Billions

    This series of stories focuses on the potential economic boost and environmental impact of extracting oil from Monterey Shale in Central California. To explore the topic 17 News traveled to western North Dakota to examine the impacts of their shale revolution. Experts in the piece explain the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or fracking is used in shale booms. We explore the practice as it is done in California speaking with engineers on the forefront of exploration. According to industry, KGET is the only station ever allowed to speak with Central California industry engineers about the widely talked about oil completion practice used everyday in our community. 17 News was also granted unprecedented access to AERA Energy's exploration department taking a look at information even those in the industry are not privy to.
  • L.A.'s Earthquake Risks

    The Los Angeles Times’ look at earthquake safety exposes how spotty mapping of faults, substandard construction and uneven regulation make hundreds of buildings in Southern California susceptible to collapse.