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" ...

  • Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak

    CBS News exposes the unsanitary conditions at a Blue Bell Ice Cream factory in Texas that was linked to an outbreak of listeria that killed three people and sickened 10 others. In this three part series, former workers detail the complaints they shared with management which went largely ignored and we look at how random testing led to the discovery of the deadly bacteria. https://vimeo.com/cbseveningnews/review/149809921/28ecbaac49
  • Cruel and Unusual: The Texas Prison Crisis

    A WFAA investigation found that pigs are treated better than inmates inside Texas' prison system, where inmates are dying painful and preventable deaths and guards are also sickened by the stifling heat inside un-air conditioned units, prompting calls by critics at the United Nations and elsewhere for reform. https://vimeo.com/wfaa/review/151846234/686ead36ea
  • Something In The Water

    For years, the state of Texas has said there is no link between water contamination and natural gas drilling. WFAA’s “Something In The Water” series has made it difficult for the state to maintain that stance. Our series, which is still ongoing in 2016, focuses on how a fireball erupted from a rural family’s water well in the Barnett Shale natural gas field. Our investigation found gas drillers not properly cementing their wells to protect underground water, and fudging permitting paperwork with state regulators. Our stories have prompted a board of top EPA scientists to now question whether drilling is linked to contamination. https://vimeo.com/wfaa/review/151843222/9cb971b521
  • Private University Police Powers

    A short clip of dashcam video showing Rice University Police striking an unarmed suspect during an off-campus arrest spurred an 18-month investigation into the secrecy of private university police forces in Texas and ended with a new law forcing these institutions to open their police department records to public scrutiny. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agr6zjEPfzI&feature=youtu.be
  • Graves of Shame

    In the summer of 2014, a team of forensic anthropologists gathered in Brooks County, Texas, to unearth mass graves containing the remains of hundreds of migrants who had died on their journey north. Reports emerged of bodies buried in kitchen trash bags and skulls wedged between coffins. Within days, the Texas Rangers were asked to investigate. But the probe found no wrongdoing. Investigative Fund reporting fellow John Carlos Frey finds that the Rangers investigator spent all of two days compiling the report and missed massive criminal wrongdoing. In a story for the Texas Observer, Frey uncovers an illegal failure to collect DNA samples and properly label remains. He finds bodies buried less than a foot underground, in violation of Texas law, and other graves containing commingled remains. These violations have made it nearly impossible for families to identify and properly bury their missing loved ones. As a result of the piece the cursory investigation performed by Texas Rangers was nullified, organizations protested, and state representatives vowed to strengthen existing law.
  • Death on Sevenmile Road

    Reporter Melissa del Bosque spent two years trying to obtain video footage and documents to uncover the fatal shooting from a helicopter of two undocumented men and the wounding of another man. Del Bosque also traveled to Guatemala to interview a survivor of the shooting and speak with family members of the men who died. Through the journey, she unravels the legacy of U.S. military involvement in Guatemala and Texas’ rush to militarize the border and its deadly outcome on rural Sevenmile Road.
  • Investigating Texas "Calm Rooms"

    This nine-month-long investigation uncovered video showing a Texas teacher physically abusing an 8-year-old autistic boy, while forcing him into a closet-like-space known as a “calm room.” Our reporting led to the teacher’s firing, triggered a state review of the use of so-called “calm rooms” and prompted immediate changes in one of the state’s largest school districts. Our team discovered many school districts use “calm rooms” in ways that violate state law or at least skirt the edges of the law. The rooms were intended to give troubled kids a place to cool off in a crisis but instead are used like holding cells in some Texas schools. Parents are often never told when their children are placed in calm rooms because Texas law currently does not require notification. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FnL4NbW-WI&feature=youtu.be
  • Texas Concussions Uncounted

    The KHOU 11 News I-Team discovered serious flaws in Texas's counting of concussions in high school sports. Not only were only about one-in-five schools required to file weekly injury reports, even then those reports only covered one sport. Further investigation revealed many of the schools that were required to report injuries had not. Just as surprising, even the state's governing body for high school sports was unable to definitely say which schools were supposed to be reporting concussions under its own rules.
  • Racial Profiling Whitewash

    This KXAN investigation uncovered state and local law enforcement agencies wrongly reporting the race of minority drivers during traffic stops. KXAN analyzed more than 16 million Texas Department of Public Safety traffic stop records and revealed the state law enforcement agency systematically under-reported the number of minorities, mostly Hispanics, stopped on Texas roads by state troopers. The investigation questioned the validity of DPS racial profiling reports and led to immediate statewide changes in the way Texas troopers conduct traffic stops and record racial profiling data. KXAN found the same problem in the Austin Police Department which prompted an immediate audit of APD's traffic stop data and race recording practices which found APD in violation of the Texas racial profiling law. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kEG0q7WR1U
  • The secret world of government debt collection

    CNNMoney’s report, The Secret World of Government Debt Collection, exposes an industry rife with political corruption, aggressive tactics and legal loopholes. In this world, forgotten tolls can snowball into hundreds of dollars in debt and unpaid speeding tickets can land people in jail. We found that thanks to legal exemptions, collectors working for government agencies typically don’t have to follow the main federal law that regulates the debt collection industry, and state consumer protection laws often don’t apply either. All of this opens the door for steep fees that other debt collectors couldn’t dream of charging, and allows them to threaten consequences as dire as arrest. The report focused on one of the industry’s biggest players, Texas-based law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. Through our reporting, we uncovered this little-known firm’s massive influence and controversial political ties. For example, Linebarger spends more on state lobbying than Texas giants Exxon and Halliburton, and it pours millions of dollars into political campaigns. It even has current elected officials on its payroll and has become entangled in multiple bribery scandals. CNNMoney discovered it is also currently linked to an ongoing FBI investigation. But Linebarger continues to rake in lucrative government contracts, making its top executives and founders rich while the debtors it goes after are left scrambling to pay its steep fees. And because firms like Linebarger are powered by government agencies, consumers are left with little recourse.