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 "Texas" ...

  • Boom in Oil and Traffic Deaths

    Nationwide, oilfield workers are far more likely to die on the road than other workers. Meanwhile, Texas has become the deadliest state in total traffic fatalities during the last five years. The rise in deaths are taking place during the state’s boom in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." This series explores why there are so many oilfield-related traffic deaths and the impact on loved ones left behind.
  • The Cost of Troubled Minds

    The Cost of Troubled Minds uncovers a crisis involving the treatment of the mentally ill in Texas. Investigative reporter Andy Pierrotti traveled thousands of miles across Texas and neighboring states to conduct interviews, speak to experts and review government documents. The investigation shows the state’s lack of resources, outdated facilities and a shortage of mental health care professionals ultimately cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The stories show how the problem puts a vulnerable population at risk, as told through the people and families impacted by untreated mental illness. A week following the investigation, a state report confirmed our findings and recommended overhauling the agency responsible for treating the mentally ill. In response to our investigations, a state senator filed legislation to help address shortages of mental health professionals in Texas.
  • A High Price to Pay: How property tax lenders prey on the state's most vulnerable homeowners

    The story began as a class assignment at Columbia Journalism School and we continued work on it for about a month after we had graduated. This was the first in-depth examination of property tax lending, a kind of predatory lending unique to Texas.
  • KVUE Defenders: Dangerous gas pipes

    When a young father is killed in his own home by a gas explosion it rattled more than just his neighborhood. KVUE set out to find out not only what caused his death, but if it could happen to anyone else. What they uncovered was a decades long history of concern over cast iron gas pipes and that thousands of miles of those same pipes were still in neighborhoods across Austin, Texas and the rest of the country. Their investigation has drastically improved the safety of thousands of Central Texas homeowners and opened the door for others to learn about the pipes outside their home.
  • Dental Drama

    For nearly five years, the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), a subsidiary of Xerox, allowed workers with limited expertise to approve dental claims for Texas’ Medicaid program, the joint state-federal insurer of poor children. State spending on orthodontic services spiraled out of control: Between 2003 and 2010, Texas Medicaid payments for orthodontic services grew by more than 3,000 percent — from $6.5 million to $220.5 million — while program enrollment only grew 33 percent. Our investigation found that three years later, the state’s aggressive campaign to recover misspent Medicaid dollars had failed to prove any dental providers intentionally committed fraud. Meanwhile, the state maintained its contract with TMHP, and continued to pay the company between $168 and $185 million annually to continue processing certain Texas Medicaid claims.
  • Disabled Boy Affected by a 20 Year Old Mistake in Texas Law

    The initial story covered how a 4 year old hearing impaired, yet bright child, had been demoted from kindergarten to Pre-K 4 under the premise that he was too young to enter kindergarten in the State of Texas. This was done by the Corpus Christi Independent School District even though district officials placed the boy in Pre-K 4 as a three year old because he was so smart. His parents told us that they believed the district demoted him because his kindergarten teacher had trouble keeping up with his hearing aid system (I.E. changing the batteries when needed). The District said it was simply because he was too young. One of those requirements struck the Texas Education Agency by surprise. A requirement that said a child had to pass a 3rd grade level test to enter kindergarten early. In short, a law that the entire state has followed for 20 years is simply a drafting error.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education: Confessions of a Fixer

    Brad Wolverton's “Confessions of A Fixer” exposes how one former coach perpetuated a widespread cheating scheme that benefited hundreds of college athletes at dozens of institutions. Based on countless interviews conducted since the summer with Mr. White, the “fixer” himself, the startling narrative represents a milestone in the ongoing conversation on academic impropriety in college athletics, and exposes online education’s particular weaknesses to cheating. The piece was published on Dec. 29 and a week after, the University of Texas at Austin launched an internal investigation into the allegations in the story. Shortly thereafter, another central institution in the story, Adams State University (CO), had frozen enrollment in its correspondence courses, started a review of its student-verification process, and cancelled a class mentioned in the article.
  • KRIS-TV: "Unaccountable"

    A South Texas school teacher bounced between three school districts, each time leaving amid allegations of misconduct with female students. After the teacher sued the station over a report concerning allegations of misconduct with a female student, KRIS uncovered a troubling trend showing just how far school districts will go to avoid bad publicity in how they handle such cases. In one case, a school district went so far as to give the teacher a thank-you letter after it was found he had made unwelcome advances to a female student.
  • Big Oil, Bad Air

    Texas lies at the epicenter of the nation’s hydraulic fracturing – fracking – boom. What began in the Barnett Shale of North Texas 15 years ago has spread to the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and across the United States, to include regions unaccustomed to dealing with the fossil fuel industry. Until early 2014, the national media had paid little attention to the frenzy of drilling in the Eagle Ford, one of the most active shale plays in the world. It seemed the right place for us to explore a little-discussed yet critical aspect of the boom: toxic air emissions associated with wells, compressor stations and processing plants.
  • The Real Death Valley

    Over the past five years, the remains of more than 400 migrants have been recovered in in rural Brooks County, Texas, some 70 miles north of the Mexico border. Yet no news organization had investigated why these deaths were occurring. Our investigation showed that stepped up border enforcement, interior border checkpoints, a lack of federal funds to support local law enforcement, inadequate emergency water supplies, and inadequate 911 emergency response by the U.S. Border Patrol contributed to this dramatic spike in deaths in what has become one of the deadliest migrant corridors in the American Southwest.