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" ...

  • Blood Lessons

    The Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle spent months examining whether the nation’s oil refineries had learned the lessons of the deadly explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery in 2005, one of the most horrific and studied industrial accidents in U.S. history. What our reporters found was astonishing: that preventable deaths in the industry have barely slowed in the decade since the blast in which 15 workers lost their lives.
  • Undrinkable

    Imagine if you turned on the tap and the water that poured out was undrinkable. That's the reality facing an estimated 100,000 Texans — many of them impoverished Latinos living along the Mexican border. The Texas Tribune exposed this public health crisis in a five-part series in March — a crucial reporting project that revealed the malfeasance, red tape, environmental woes, political infighting and cultural barriers that stood in the way of getting clean, safe water to the neediest parts of the state.
  • Paid to Prosecute

    A joint Texas Tribune/Austin American-Statesman investigation revealed that the state's largest and oldest provider of workers’ compensation coverage — Texas Mutual Insurance — had paid millions of dollars to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to get public prosecutors to pursue alleged crimes against the company. It was an enormous conflict of interest that had flown under the radar for more than a decade, a private justice system that gave special treatment to one insurer — and subjected many unsuspecting blue-collar workers to lawsuits.
  • State contracting scandal fallout

    In December of 2014, a high-ranking Texas health official resigned following weeks of questions by the Houston Chronicle and Austin American-Statesman about a $110 million no-bid contract. In the days and weeks after the resignation, the Houston Chronicle used sophisticated data analysis to show how the official had gotten away with egregiously stretching the rules of a $2 billion state purchasing program and to show how flaws in the program would make it easy for others to exploit it.
  • A Racial Divide in Texas

    An analysis by students in UT-Austin's Spring 2015 investigative reporting class found that licensed peace officers in Texas are disproportionately white. In many communities, the face of law enforcement doesn’t look much different than it did before the Civil Rights Movement. In hundreds of cities, counties and towns across the state, white officers still dominate the ranks, even in communities where whites are the minority.
  • Missed signs. Fatal consequences.

    A series of stories about how Texas state law required the filing of a child fatality report when a child dies of abuse or neglect, but no one looked at them afterward to look for patterns, trends or red flags to help prevent such deaths in the future. So we analyzed them and reported on what we found. http://projects.statesman.com/news/cps-missed-signs/ https://github.com/statesman/cps/
  • Border surge began as crime fell

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other top state officials sold a massive border state police and Texas National Guard buildup on tales of violent transnational crime spilling across the Rio Grande River. In a void of federal border security, only Texas could stem the tide, the narrative went. But after a months-long open records battle with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a finalist for the 2015 IRE Golden Padlock Award, and an unprecedented data analysis, the Houston Chronicle proved violent crime rates had been declining for years before the surge and were not significantly affected by the extra manpower.
  • Elder Abuse Unreported

    This KXAN investigation uncovered allegations of sexual assault at Longhorn Village, a retirement community and assisted living center created by the University of Texas Alumni group, Texas Exes. They found that despite having evidence abuse and neglect occurred, the state agency that regulates and investigates assisted living facilities found no wrong doing. Their analysis of abuse investigations data showed the vast majority of abuse and neglect cases in assisted living facilities were “unsubstantiated” by state investigators.
  • Rep. Steve Stockman investigation

    Sunlight began investigating allegations of campaign finance violations by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas). In 2014, Sunlight published a series of stories about the questionable practices, and after Sunlight's reporting, the Office of Congressional Ethics launched an investigation into the congressman's campaign. The OCE went on to recommend a subpoena for Rep. Stockman.
  • Peril in the Oil Patch

    Deaths in the oil fields reached a 10-year high nationwide in 2012, and the Houston Chronicle spent more than a year examining the carnage behind the nation’s oil and gas boom. A kick-off series published in February 2014 identified the most death-prone oil patch employers and explored why the government has failed to keep its promise to enact specific onshore drilling regulations and why, as a result, offshore workers receive more protections than those in states like Texas. The stories mined government reports, examined workers' comp insurance claims, profiled workers and their families and confronted Texas employers responsible for a disproportionate numbers of deaths. The newspaper went on to explore information on deaths in traffic accidents related to the oil boom that were published and aired in September 2014 in a collaboration that included radio reports by a reporter from Houston Public Media. With that partnership, the series reached far more oilfield workers and their families – who are based in far-flung areas throughout Texas. The final story in the Chronicle series, published in December, revealed how oilfield accidents are often under-reported nationwide – benefiting drilling companies who sometimes hide accidents to win contracts. The series included print stories, interactive maps and audio reports.