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" ...

  • LA's Nuclear Secret / KNBC-TV Los Angeles

    A yearlong investigation by KNBC-TV revealed that dangerous radioactive materials were secretly released into the air above Los Angeles for years, and the government has covered it up. This I-Team investigation exposes the once-secret nuclear experiments at the Santa Susana Field Lab, tucked away in the hills between the San Fernando and Simi valleys. We found evidence that these radioactive releases, and the mishandling of toxic chemicals at the Field Lab, might be responsible for thousands of illnesses and deaths. https://vimeo.com/150828999 http://data.nbcstations.com/national/KNBC/la-nuclear-secret/
  • Down and Out at Inglewood Unified

    Inglewood Unified serves a low income, high minority community which sits in the shadow of Los Angeles. By just being born in this city kids are already at a disadvantage: high crime, high poverty, high teen pregnancy. So when the District received tens of millions of dollars in state aid as part of takeover, the hope was to clean up the schools. KPCC wanted to find out if that happened. We investigated Inglewood Unified schools and found conditions at an all time low: campuses dealing with rats, fire safety problems, exposed wiring and an increase in violence. We also found campus security was eliminated while the new superintendent of the district received a $150,000 a year personal security detail. There were results from their investigation, including a massive clean up and repair of schools, rehiring of campus security personnel and an end to the superintendent's security detail.
  • Crimea Property Grab

    While the world's attention was bracketed on the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Associated Press set out to investigate what was also happening to the south, in Crimea, the territory unilaterally annexed by Russia from Ukraine in March. Mills, based in Moscow, and Dahlburg, then AP's Brussels news editor, and a former Moscow-based staffer for the AP and the Los Angeles Times, meticulously tracked down example after example of property taken over by Crimea's new leaders under a so-called nationalization law, against the rules of Russia's own constitution. The AP interviewed victims who lost millions in farms, factories or other assets, and whose efforts to get justice or compensation have been thwarted. The story was the first to extensively report the large-scale grab for real estate and other forms of property under way in Crimea, and to show that in some cases, the new pro-Moscow leadership installed in power had benefited personally.
  • Flawed Crime Stats at the LAPD

    A Times investigation into the Los Angeles Police Department’s crime statistics found the agency routinely under reported violent crimes. Serious offenses were classified as minor, artificially lowering crime levels reported to the public. The articles prompted a city audit of LAPD crime data and resulted in the department changing its crime reporting procedures. Since those reforms, the LAPD has documented its first increase in crime in more than a decade.
  • A Huge Hurt for Taxpayers

    The length and cost of job-related injury leaves taken by city of Los Angeles employees are growing rapidly, the Los Angeles Times found, primarily because the employees take home more money when they’re out with claimed injuries than they do when they show up for work. Payments to injured police and firefighters, who get 100% of their salaries, tax-free, while out on leave, rose 30% from 2009 to 2013, The Times found. Fewer than 5% of the injuries were attributed to acts of violence, smoke inhalation or contact with fire, city data show. About 50% were blamed on “cumulative trauma,” ailments that afflict aging bodies regardless of profession: back strain, knee strain, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome. Cumulative trauma was also the leading cause of injury among the city’s civilian workers, who typically get 90% of their salaries, tax-free, while on leave.
  • Relative Advantage at the Los Angeles County Fire Department

    A Los Angeles Times investigation uncovered a broad pattern of nepotism and cheating in the hiring of Los Angeles County firefighters, findings that prompted immediate reforms in the agency and an ongoing investigation into possible wrongdoing by employees. Although hiring for the highly coveted jobs is supposed to be based solely on merit – and 95% of applicants are rejected – The Times found that the Fire Department employed an improbably large number of sons and other relatives of current and former firefighters. It also found that relatives had ready access to confidential questions and answers for job interviews. In addition, the story disclosed that the son of a high-ranking department official was hired despite failing 13 of 14 exams on EMT work, a critical part of the job. The story included a digital presentation of the findings.
  • Product of Mexico

    Americans have grown accustomed to year-round supplies of fresh, affordable fruit and vegetables. “Product of Mexico,” a four-part Los Angeles Times series, made vividly clear the human costs of this abundance. The 18-month investigation found that many farm laborers at Mexican export farms are essentially trapped for months at a time in rat-infested camps, often without beds and sometimes without functioning toilets or a reliable water supply. Those who seek to escape have to contend with guards, barbed-wire fences and threats of violence. Major U.S. companies have done little to enforce social responsibility guidelines that call for basic worker protections such as clean housing and fair pay practices.
  • LA Schools iPad Debacle

    The Los Angeles Unified School District is home to the largest school technology expansion in the country. KPCC sifted through more than a thousand district emails and found close ties between technology executives and the superintendent and his staff, calling into question whether the bidding process was fair. After the stories aired and were published on our website, the superintendent canceled the contract, then resigned. The FBI is currently investigating the bidding process.
  • 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.
  • Lifting a Cloak of Secrecy

    The Los Angeles Times and Californians Aware waged a successful, year-long battle to pry loose public records surrounding the fate of the taxpayer-owned L.A. Memorial Coliseum.