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 "Los Angeles" ...

  • Feed 5: Best of Show and Tell

    1) Jennifer Kraus (WTVF-Nashville) This story exposes problems at the Nashville office of international charity "Feed the Children." In a four-month investigation, WTVF-TV's undercover cameras caught the charity's staff loading up their personal cars with donated items and taking the items home. 2) Deborah Sherman (WFXT - Boston) Costa Rican trips for child sex. Actually spoke with girls who used to get paid by American tourists for sex. Focuses on one area man charged with this crime. 3) Anna Werner, David Raziq (KHOU-Houston) KHOU-TV reports that "You're in physical pain. You need help. So you go to your doctor expecting needed relief and comfort. But what if in the process of treating you, you realize this healer's touch has become 'sexual?' That's what dozens of Houston women claimed happened to them when they were referred to a local health professional, a professional they claimed used their trust to molest and even rape them. His name is Shin Higashiura and he claimed to be a Master of Shiatsu, also known as acupressure, a Japanese massage therapy that promises health benefits...." 4) Jilda Unruh (WCCO-Minneapolis) An investigation reveals that automatic door sensors can't detect certain colors. The doors often close on elderly people, causing them harm. 5) Tom Merriman/Jeff Harris (WEWS-Cleveland) The story investigates how state-trained lifeguards perform on state beaches as compared to privately trained lifeguards on private beaches. Follows both teams though a simulation. The state team fails horribly and never recovers the dummy planted for them to rescue. 6) Jim Schaefer; Shellee Smith (WXYZ-Detroit) WXYZ-TV discovered that the leaders of Highland Park, a poor city surrounded by Detroit, had virtually ignored a major problem in the 911 emergency response system while continuing to enjoy the relatively expensive perks of their jobs. While claiming there was no money in the budget to fix the problem, the mayor leased a brand-new Lincoln with city cash. Undercover video found citizens at risk, fire fighters in danger and no one helping. 7) Drew Griffin (KCBS-Los Angeles) "The Real ConAir" Investigation reveals department of corrections transporting convicts on commercial flights. Passengers are not told who's sitting beside them. Planes are forced to land because of disturbances during the flight. A girl is sexually assaulted by one of these convicts. 8) Robb Leer; Maria Tomasch (KSTP-Minneapolis) Inmates can change their names on the taxpayer's dime. 9) Jeremy Rogalski; Bill Dutton; Gerry Lanosga; Kathleen Johnston (WTHR-Indianapolis) WTHR-TV reports that "a source mentioned to us that numerous DUI cases were being dismissed because police witnesses fail to appear in court... After we crunched a slice of our county's criminal justice data ... We found thousands of DUI cases - nearly one in ten - thrown out because cops didn't show..." 10) Wes Williams; C.J. Ward (KPNX-Phoenix) Security guards with criminal records have a "License to Steal." 11) Tony Kovaleski; Matt Goldberg (KPRC-Houston) Ninety-eight guns were discovered in schools in 10 of Houston's largest school districts -- that works out to 5,864 students per gun. 12) Phil Williams; Chris Clark (WTVF-Nashville) WTVF-TV's investigation into the backgrounds of school teachers found more than three dozen convicted felons working in Metro Nashville-Davidson County schools. 13) Chris Halsne; Kim Albro; Dave Weed (KWTV-Oklahoma City) Voters handed Oklahoma City Schools a 93 million dollar bond in 1993 to improve schools. The money is now gone, but many projects remain unfinished. KWTV-TV's investigation found millions of dollars in waste, fraud and mismanagement. 14) Laure Quinlivan; Jeff Keene; Ken Fulk; Mark Shafer; Scott Diener; Stuart Zanger (WCPO-Cincinnati) WCPO-TV's investigation "... to monitor County officials as they began spending nearly a billion dollars of taxpayer money... earmarked to build two, new sports stadiums for our city's professional sports teams, the Bengals and Red. As (the) investigation enters its third year, work on the first stadium is two-thirds complete and ground will soon break on the second. Already, our investigation has revealed broken promises, manipulation of numbers in official reports, political cronyism in contract awards, creation of 'pass-through' companies and other questionable and possibly illegal activities...." 15) Jim Barry; John Campbell; Sam Zeff; Jennifer Snell; Denise Haley; Brad Naw (WTXF-Philadelphia) After transit union strike crippled Philadelphia's bus and subway service for forty days, WTXF-TV investigated the region's transportation agency - Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. SEPTA is one of the largest and most expensive transit systems in the county. This investigation exposed a widespread culture of laziness and dishonest work habits that was allowing hundreds of buses with potentially dangerous problems out onto the street each day. 16)Darcy Spears; Kim Kruger (KVBC-Las Vegas) "Taken for a Ride". Taxi drivers getting kickbacks for taking clients to certain bars/stripclubs.
  • 2002 IRE National Conference Show and Tell Tape #2

    2002 IRE National Conference (San Francisco) Show and Tell Tape #2 features the following stories 1) Tim Minton (WNBC-New York City) Security at local hospitals are lacking. 2) Brian Collister (KMOL-San Antonio) An inordinate number of court case have been thrown out of the local county court because judges ruled the defendants lacked a speedy trial. 3) Clips from a PBS project concerning scientists' genetic experiments. 4) Kevin Quinn (KFSN-Fresno) Area residents are suspicious of a local Muslim village called Baladullah, where the sounds gunfire has been heard emanating from the grounds. 5) Dan Noyes (KGO-San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose) Guardrails in California are often installed incorrectly, turning the protective barriers into potential dangers. 6) Craig Fiegener (ABC 30 Action News) Fifteen travelers are swindled by a travel agency, which sold them unconfirmed tickets for a cruise. 7) Joel Grover (CBS 2-Los Angeles) An undercover investigation reveals that valet parking attendants at LA's hottest night clubs steal from their customers. 8) Paul Gallagher (60 Minutes) An investigation of the U.S. Marine Corps' MV-22 "Osprey" aircraft reveals serious mechanical problems that contributed to two crashes in 2000, which killed 23 Marines. 60 Minutes also reports that "senior officers in the Osprey squadron had deliberately falsified maintenance records and lied about the aircraft's readiness -- in an apparent effort by the Marine Corps to win Pentagon approval for full production of the aircraft, at a projected cost to U.S. taxpayers of $41 billion." 9) Tom Martino (KDVR-Denver) An undercover investigation reveals that many beauty salons use a dangerous chemical to make fake nails. 10) (WGHP-Greensboro) An investigation reveals that construction works who built the homes in a subdivision failed to install the chimneys correctly, making them dangerous for those who live there. 11) Darcy Spears (KVBC-Las Vegas) A hearing aid center uses bait and switch tactics to take advantage of the elderly. 12) Jim Kenyon (WSTM-Syracuse, New York) Criminals in Canada involved in advance fee loan scams trick Americans out of thousands of dollars. 13) Bob Segall (WITI-Milwaukee) An undercover investigation reveals that security guards at a local county courthouse don't do a good job of stopping banned items from entering the building. 14) Karen Hensel (WISH-Indianapolis) Marian County inspectors don't always review homes under construction. 15) (WBTV-Charlotte, N.C.) Members of the Iredell-Statesville School Board use district funds to attend an education conference -- but then skip the convention and go on a vacation to Disney World, all on the taxpayer's dime. 16) Valeri Williams (WFAA-Dallas/Fort Worth) WFAA-TV follows up its 2000 IRE Awards entry with this return investigation into Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital. Reporter Williams and producer Schucker continued their investigation, focusing on Dr. Lydia Grotti and her connection to suspicious and overlooked deaths in the emergency room. As a result of WFAA-TV's investigation the Texas Department of Health began conducting its own investigation and discovered additional deaths that took place in the ER. The county district attorney's office called in a special prosecutor to examine a total of eight suspicious deaths in connection with Dr. Grotti at the hospital. On Tape #2 is a short clip of Williams' work. Tape #3 features the entire series of stories she played at Show and Tell.
  • NFL Ledgers Reveal Profits Depend on New Stadiums

    The article is based on evidence presented during Raiders v. NFL case, in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles (Exhibit 681), that emphasizes in the level of revenue and expenses of the 31 NFL team and finnancial data as far back as 1989. The new wave of stadium construction and development and fight over the NFL franchises at exhorbitant prices is explained as stadiums had become the majour source of income for the teams and franchises are approached as capital investments for the team owners.
  • At FBI, a Traitor Helped in Search for Subversives

    A joint investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Los Angeles Times reveals that Robert Philip Hanssen, a confessed spy for the Soviet Union in the 1980s, headed up a domestic spying program for the FBI during that same decade."The role -- and historical irony -- of confessed traitor Hanssen has not been reported before..." The Times and CIR broke the story with the help of 2,815 pages of "formerly classified documents recently obtained under a federal Freedom of Information Act request submitted nearly 15 years ago."
  • USA Today Sprawl Index

    The USA Today build its own sprawl index and reports on how different metropolitan areas score on it. According to the index, Nashville is the nation's most sprawling metropolitan area of 1 million residents or more with a score of 478. New York scores only 82, and Los Angeles scores a 78. The index is based on analysis of census data. A major finding is that a boom in population does not necessarily trigger sprawl, and that it occur when the population in a metropolitan area is shrinking. Another finding is that availability of water, geography, government and culture are the most important factors in limiting or allowing sprawl. For example, "L.A.'s expansion is narrowed by the ocean, mountains and limited water," the story reports.
  • Explaining Terrorism

    The Los Angeles Times provides explanations and warnings of the terror threat to the United States published before September 11, and further explanations and insights after the attacks about the methods and nature of the terror networks behind the attacks. Major findings include: the Millennium bomb plot aroused fears of sleeping terrorism cells in the U.S.; two months before the attacks reporters documents the high level of threat from sleeper cells throughout the West; after the attack the Times identified Mohammed Atta as the leader of the plot; a major terrorist threat was exposed in Western Europe and Bosnia; tied September 11 hijackers to the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole; foretold problems for Islamic charities; detailed the warnings authorities missed prior to September 11; discovered bin Laden's extensive use of aircraft and secret U.S. fears as early as 1996 that terrorists might use crop dusters as weapons.
  • Unholy Alliance

    A New Times investigation reveals "how the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, at the instigation of Cardinal Roger Mahony, entered into a secret deal with one of the nation's largest funeral service company, Stewart Enterprises, Inc." The funeral chain and the Catholic church agreed to build for-profit mortuaries on the ground of church cemeteries. As a result, unsuspecting Catholics have been steered by parish priests -- pressured by the archdiocese -- to use the Stewart mortuaries at prices double than those of identical services provided by independent mortuaries. "It is an arrangement that appears tied to the cardinal's ambitious push to build a spanking new $193 million cathedral in Los Angeles," the Times reports.
  • Stalking in L.A.

    The New Yorker examines the work of the Los Angeles Threat Management Unit, the only police unit in the nation devoted exclusively to combating stalking. The story compares the anti-stalking strategies of the cops at the unit with the those suggested by private consultants who have given advice to the L.A. police. While cops' standard procedure is based on obtaining a restraint order and arresting the stalkers, consultants recommend for victims to change their homes, jobs and phone numbers. The article details a few cases that the threat unit has been dealing with for years, and finds that the 'safety' strategy advised by the consultants has been more successful.
  • Thanks to Utah politicians and the 2002 Olympics, a blizzard of federal money - a stunning $1.5 billion - has fallen on the state, enriching some already wealthy businessmen

    A Sports Illustrated investigation looks at the federal spending for the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002. The magazine estimates the amount of the spending at $1.5 billion by analyzing data from the General Accounting Office, and various federal and Utah state agencies. No federal agency or official is responsible for monitoring the spending, the story reveals. The key finding is that a millionaire developer, a billionaire ski-resort owner, and even a church are benefitting from infrastructure and security projects to which the magic word 'Olympics' is attached. The article compares the 2002 Games spending to what the government paid for previous Olympics in Lake Placid, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
  • Who Needs a Prescription

    Los Angeles Times Magazine looks at the trend of prescription drugs going over the counter, and finds that this poses risks to patients. For example, chronic pains sufferers are prone to gastric disorders because they often take the popular analgesic ibuprofen, or medications that have it as an active ingredient, the story reveals. The reporter examines cases of people who sued pharmaceutical giants like Johnson and Johnson because its product Tylenol turned out to cause catastrophic liver failures. A major finding is that drug manufacturers often fail to warn customers that some medications interfere with the efficacy of other drugs, if taken at the same time. The article describes FDA's drug testing and auditing procedures.