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 "Open Records Act" ...

  • Locked Out; Broken Homes

    Shalhoup reports on how the renovation of eight public housing complexes "drifted off course - barring hundreds of poor families from decent housing and making room for middle-class tenants who pay full rent." The second story shows the fate of the displaced poor families, who received vouchers for reduced rent, and ended up in living in substandard buildings. The "negligence resulted in 50 families falling ill in one Section 8 apartment complex, due to a severe mold infection."
  • Death on the installment plan; To die inside

    Prendergast reports on flaws of the medical care system in prisons. The investigation finds that "on the average, prisoners die at a much younger age than the general population;" hepatitis C is the primary cause of death in Colorado prisons; and there is a growing number of lawsuits over "substandard care and outright neglect."
  • On the road again

    WTHR -TV reports on problems with getting and keeping drunken drivers off the road. The main finding is that many convicted drunken drivers keep on driving on suspended licenses. The investigation exposes defendants driving "away from court just minutes after being sternly admonished not to by the judge." A computerized DUI case database shows that the problem is pervasive, and there is a pattern of drunken driving recidivism. The investigation also sheds light on "a surprising and little-known change in the law that eliminated mandatory jail time for convicted drunken drivers caught driving while suspended."
  • Dying in darkness, Ugly Results of State Care Revealed

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on mental retardation deaths in Georgia. The series documents 163 deaths since late 1997 "when Georgia aggressively transferred people from state institutions to community settings." Many deaths in these privately managed group homes resulted from abuse and neglect. Mentally retarded victims suffocated, choked, drowned in bathtubs, or were dehydrated and malnourished. Deaths were usually reported late, and bodies were rarely autopsied. The stories find that the state has been "ill-equipped to protect the people it moved into these privately-run homes." The findings are based on database analysis of records of people with mental retardation in Georgia, and death certificates.
  • Operation Safety Net

    The Greeley Tribune reports on "how Sal Salazar, a well-known local nonprofit organizer, spent more than $100,000 in state grant funding." The story reveals that Salazar, who operates a program for troubled youth, cannot document what he did with the money. Though a few local youth group report receiving help from Salazar's organization, neither they nor he can remember specific amounts. City and state officials have failed to supervise the spending of the grant.
  • Cashing In and related stories

    The series examines the involvement of private contractors in the building of Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The analysis of the database of the payments relating to the construction process shows that the participation of the subcontractors and material suppliers "was better for their image than their bottom line." The investigation reveals that t"the state of Ohio got the biggest nag from Paul Brown Stadium" and that "more than 24 % [of the payments for the stadium] ... went to companies or individuals that contributed cash to the local Republican Part or to Hamilton County's republican commissioners." The analysis also finds that the money that "went to minority or women-owned firms ...is far short of what county leaders pledged..."
  • Reeling

    This Houston Press investigation examines the reasons for several fish kills in Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas, which "has been considered one of the premier largemouth bass fisheries in the nation." The story reveals that the lake has a pollution problem, although "the cause for Rayburn's woes cannot be answered with certainty," The investigation exposes multiple discrepancies in the studies of the state environmental agency and the fact sheets provided by the largest pollutant, a " huge paper mill on the reservoir's upper reaches." The reporter predicts that the pollution problem may get worse, as the state environmental agency is "leaning toward approving a proposal from the paper mill to downgrade the lake's water quality standards."
  • Free Ride

    "Taxpayers in Harrison County, Miss., foot the bill for an impressive fleet of county government vehicles. Elected officials and scores of county employees have take-home automobile privileges with little oversight to prevent personal use of the vehicles and little though toward saving tax dollars. Many officials and employees drive expensive gas-guzzling sorts utility vehicles...The state of Mississippi has 4,400 such passenger vehicles worth $150 million, which cost $17.9 million for mileage reimbursement in 1999." After the story roughly 25 percent of the vehicles were ordered to be parked.
  • Brave New CU: The university at a crossroads

    "The Colorado Daily's investigation initially centered around CU President John Buechner's Total Learning Environment initiative, but became focused on Buechner's administration and the CU Foundation after an early tip led us to question his hiring of a personal friend, Fran Raudenbush, to spearhead development of the TLS, the most expensive initiative in the university's history."
  • Public Records, Private Rules

    "The project tested access to public records and compliance with Kansas Open Records Act in all 105 Kansas Counties. Requested were county commission minutes, city bills approved for payments, high school coaches' total compensation and standard offense reports from county sheriffs. Of 420 requests, 35 were denied outright. About a third of the denials were by sheriff's offices. Eight percent of all requests were partially filled; for example, visitors were allowed to look at a document but not copy it, or were given salary numbers on a Post-It note instead of the document describing the salary's structure. But more than half of all agencies pressed their visitors for information on their employers and their reason for requesting the document - information not required by law. Visitors to sheriff's offices were generally greeted with suspicion, and occasionally with hostility. "