The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "miners" ...

  • First. tell no one

    This series are an investigation into how the state's medical licensing and discipline agency works in tandem with the private Medical Society of New Jersey to keep impaired and incompetent doctors in practice, and much of their history secret.
  • OxyContin Investigation

    A WWL-TV investigation discovers that OxyContin, a powerful painkiller popular among drug users, could be easily obtained by prescription from certain doctors. Those were writing prescriptions after performing only cursory physicals, and their offices were crowded by drug addicts until late in the night. Many prescriptions have been filled through Medicaid, WWL-TV reports. The investigation sheds light on one specific case - those of Dr. Jacqueline Cleggett - who wrote an OxyContin prescription to a patient whose son died from an injected overdose.
  • Death in a small town

    NBC investigates a deadly mining operation near Libby, Montana, where more than 100 former workers and their relatives have died of asbestos-related illnesses. Although the mine closed in 1990, the dying continues, NBC reports. The story reveals that W.R. Grace, the company that operated the mine, was aware of the health risks years before warning the miners about the asbestos danger. "The program supplied a fresh alert to thousands around the country who may have products such as home insulation made from Libby's vermiculite ore in their homes."
  • Nature of the Beast

    New Times reporter Bob Burtman investigates the record of plastic surgeon Billy Ringer, a man responsible for injuring patients, stealing drugs from his own clinic, and sexually harassing his own staff. In one of his worst cases, Ringer left a needle in a patient's chest as well as a gaping hole in her stomach. Ringer also had continued drug abuse problems that he hid from his patients, as he stole many narcotics from his own practice. Because of the New Times story, the Texas Board of Medical Examiners suspended Ringer's license and the D.E.A. in undertook a narcotics investigation.
  • Doctors in Debt

    Dallas Business Journal examines the federal government's "troubled efforts to collect on $168.8 million in student loans remaining from the defunct Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL) program. About 1,700 chiropractors, dentists and other former medical students have found their starting salaries too low to repay their student debts, the story reveals. The Journal's analysis of the government data about the debtors shows "discrepancies in payment records, departures from agency rules and confusion among those running the system." The defaulted doctors' debts could cost some of them their licenses, Patrick reports.
  • Death Without A Ripple

    The Los Angeles Times Magazine reports on just one of L.A. County's Jane or John Does that the medical examiners office tries to match with an identity each year. Jane Doe #59 was found in a gully, strangled to death and afterwards burned. No one ever called to claim her and she was never matched to any missing persons reports. Eventually she was cremated and placed into a grave simply marked "1996" in the county cemetery.
  • Bad Research Clouds Death Reports

    "An analysis by the Orlando Sentinel "found glaring mistakes in research by the Office of Drug Control in its campaign to spotlight the dangers of so-called 'rave' drugs. Its official tally of rave-drug deaths reached 254. But blaming that many deaths on the club scene was grossly misleading. The state's research included dozens of errors." Among those lumped in with state's tally: terminal cancer patients; senior citizens who took painkillers under doctor's supervision; a four-year-old who died from medicine intended to treat a headache. In an effort to combat designer-drugs, "the drug office asked the state Medical Examiners Commission to send reports on every death from 1997 through 1999 that tested positive for any of 20 listed drugs." But a number of drugs found in people were not typical 'rave drugs'.
  • A Royal Fall: When Eagan-based Royal Conservatories hit financial trouble, the owners pinned their hopes on a man they thought was a seasoned executive. But his resume - and even his name - turned out to be a lie.

    Moore explains how ex-convict Charles Suntheimer, a.k.a. Charles Schuler, brought the small company he was hired to turn around to bankruptcy. Among other lies, Suntheimer told his employers at Royal Conservatories that he was a medical doctor with an additional PhD from Harvard, and a participant in the FBI's witness protection program. "The company had hired Schuler even though few of his references checked out." Royal Conservatories fired him in May 2000 after his background was revealed, but it was too late to revive the company. When the company filed for bankruptcy in October 2000, it had $42,503 in assets and $1.5 million in liabilities. The story of the company's demise illustrates how "hiring an unknown quantity can prove to be fatal -- especially for a struggling small business where internal controls are lax and the need to resuscitate the company immediate."
  • The Human Cost of coal Mining

    America's coal industry is plagued by growing numbers of death and injuries linked to company negligence and safety infractions. An examination of the worst U.S. mining disaster in 17 years, which killed 13 Alabama miners on Sept. 23, 2001, found unsafe practices, poor emergency planning and lax enforcement by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. In the underground mines of the Appalachian coal cradle, the Tribune found rising unwarrantable failure to follow mine safety laws; coal mine operators who knowingly broke safety laws faced few consequences from a hamstrung federal enforcement system.
  • Grave Secrets: Breakdown in N.C. Death Investigations

    A six-month Charlotte Observer investigation found that North Carolina's system for investigating death is fraught with problems. "Medical examiners have failed to detect at least five homicides from 1993 to 1998, including three in which they had to dig up the bodies to perform autopsies. And errors and oversights have jeopardized hundreds more death investigations in those years." Among the reasons for these oversights and errors: busy doctors rarely visit the scenes of suspicious deaths; N.C. does not require specific training in death investigation for the people authorized to do them; some medical examiners seldom order autopsies when they should; when autopsies are performed, the wrong doctors (e.g. gynecologists) are often doing them. This four-day series utilized databases of more than 395,000 death records in North Carolina and 225,000 death records in South Carolina from 1993 to 1998, and 50,000 computer records from the officer of N.C. medical examiner. Reporters also reviewed 600 N.C. death certificates and dozens of autopsy reports by hand.