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 "NPR" ...

  • Ebola Crisis: Unprepared in Dallas

    For months in the summer of 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had warned the country’s health-care community that an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Western Africa could make its way here. The feds assured the public that America’s modern medical resources and infrastructure could avert a crisis. We were told hospitals had prepared and trained their staffs, using CDC guidelines, to address a virus they had never seen. Yet in late September, when a Liberian man named Thomas Eric Duncan walked into a Dallas emergency room with fever, headache and abdominal pains, his doctor and nurses found him unremarkable – just another of the night’s many victims of mishap and contagion. He was sent away after a few hours with antibiotics. None of the caregivers realized the encounter would soon become part of U.S. medical history.
  • Protecting the Players: How safe are your school’s helmets?

    Gannett Broadcast stations nationwide launched an unprecedented project sending FOIA requests to more than thousand school districts across the country in an effort to educate parents and schools about which student athletes are using lower-rated football helmets that could make those who wear them more susceptible to concussions.
  • Safe from War | Dead at Home

    This three-day series was the culmination of a yearlong project that took an unprecedented look at the untimely deaths of Marines in Southern California’s High Desert. We set out to produce something revelatory, and ultimately discovered trends that have never been reported before, and were likely unknown even to the military itself. Our series discovered that the rural Marine base in Twentynine Palms, CA suffered more non-combat deaths on American soil than war casualties between 2007 and 2012. Our reporting revealed that the base had an extremely high rate of off-duty car crashes, which was worsened by a culture of heavy drinking and a reckless, “invincible” mindset held by many Marines. The series also showed that Marines who took their own life at the Twentynine Palms base were twice as likely to be under the influence of alcohol as the average Marine suicide.
  • CLOSING COSTS

    In an unprecedented move -- billed to cut costs -- Chicago Public Schools shut down 49 of their school buildings in the summer of 2013, leaving them vacant and abandoned. Late in the fall of 2013, NBC5 Investigates filed a FOIA request to see how much was still being spent on these empty buildings in utility costs. For months, CPS delayed and then ignored our FOIA request, and it ultimately took a lawsuit by NBC5 to finally get CPS to turn over the documents, They showed that taxpayers were spending nearly as much on utilities for these vacant buildings as they were when the schools were open. NBC5 Investigates also obtained secret CPS reports showing extensive vandalism at some abandoned schools, resulting in additional costs for taxpayers to repair the damage.
  • Loaded with Lead: How gun ranges poison workers and shooters

    Roberto Sanchez suffered silently while racked with chronic pain. James Maddox quietly endured failing health. Manny Romo privately bore guilt for inadvertently exposing his children to an unseen peril. For decades, the stories of victims like these had gone untold until The Seattle Times’ “Loaded with Lead” series exposed a hidden danger pervading one of America’s most popular and growing pastimes. This series, the first of its kind, found that America’s gun ranges put workers, shooters and their family members at risk from an insidious poison: lead. “Loaded with Lead” laid bare how outdated industry safety standards, reckless shooting-range owners and lax regulation have contributed to hundreds of lead-poisoning cases nationwide. In an unprecedented analysis, our reporters discovered that regulators have only inspected 201 of America’s 6,000 commercial gun ranges, about 3 percent, in the past decade.
  • Oversight of Indiana Tiger Exhibit Big on Growl, Light on Teeth

    KyCIR’s radio/online/print investigation found that a Louisville-area nonprofit that houses wild animals has a troubled record; that state and federal officials have done little to address complaints; and the handling of lions and other exotic animals is potentially putting the public's safety at risk. The facility, Wildlife in Need, has a history of repeat violations of the Animal Welfare Act and for two years, federal inspectors cited the owner for not having cages tall enough to prevent tigers and lions from escaping. They found that despite these citations federal inspectors did not remove the animals, fine the owner or force him into compliance. Because of an obscure provision in Indiana law, state officials have no power to investigate or inspect the facility -- even after a neighbor shot and killed a 48-pound leopard that many believe was housed at the facility.
  • NAACP President / Phantom Nonprofit

    In late 2013, members of the Philadelphia NAACP began to question how that group’s finances had been handled by its president, Jerome Whyatt Mondesire. Eventually, more than twenty members of the group, including most of its executive committee, co-wrote a letter to Mondesire asking for answers to 22 questions about the group’s finances, especially why funds meant for the group appeared to have passed through another nonprofit organization, apparently run by Mondesire himself. AxisPhilly obtained that letter and, on January 21, 2014 first published it. An AxisPhilly investigation began to look into what the answers to them were. Over the course of 2014, they published six stories detailing the convoluted and troubling connections between the local NAACP branch’s finances and the Next Generation CDC, a separate (and legally-defunct) nonprofit controlled by NAACP president Jerome Whyatt Mondesire. That nonprofit, they discovered, had acquired property, donations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the name of the storied civil rights organization, apparently without the knowledge of its members and for uses that were not only unrelated to the storied civil rights group but appear to have been made up or which benefited Mondesire personally.
  • Under The Radar: A Scripps Washington Bureau Investigation of Military Sex Offenders After They Leave The Brig

    Under The Radar: A Scripps Washington Bureau Investigation In an exhaustive, unprecedented review of more than 1,300 military court martial cases the Scripps Washington Bureau discovered at least 242 convicted military rapists, child molesters, and other sex offenders have fallen under the radar and slipped through what a member of the House Armed Services Committee calls a “gaping loophole” in the system. Scripps discovered some military sex offenders go on to re-offend in heinous ways on unsuspecting victims in the civilian world. The Scripps investigation, “Under The Radar” has triggered action at the national, state and local level after exposing several major problems when convicted military sex offenders are returned to civilian life.
  • Harsh Treatment

    An unprecedented 18-month investigation in which 50 interns took part in gathering reports and records nationwide exposing widespread problems at residential treatment centers nationwide that posed danger to children and teenager with severe emotional, mental and behavioral problems. The work, done parallel and in collaboration with a Chicago Tribune series on residential treatment centers, found children being brutally attacked, and underpaid staff ill-equipped to protect them; found staff, struggling to maintain control, at times seriously injuring youth they were charged with protecting; found children running away, posing dangers to themselves and to the surrounding community; and found facilities directing staff members to tone down reports so as to minimize the incidents that occurred.
  • Who benefits from Supervisor grants?

    San Diego County supervisors have long had what many call a “slush fund,” millions of dollars they can spend in any way they wish. inewsource investigative assistant Leonardo Castaneda analyzed 16 years of records to find that while the funds are meant to help improve neighborhoods, generally through grants to nonprofits, half of the money has gone back to the county itself. Each supervisor had $1 million a year in these discretionary funds, but when Castaneda began his inquiry, the board was considering doubling that amount. In this rolling investigation, His project exposed the the loose rules for grantmaking and the fact that some supervisors take personal credit and acknowledgement for the funding — when that’s not allowed. Those practices fuel the critics who say the “slush fund” is less about improving neighborhoods and more about securing the supervisors’ re-election bids.