Resource Center

Stories

 

 

 

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.

 

 

 



Search results for "Dallas County" ...

  • Explosion at West

    Tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer at a central Texas plant exploded last April with the force of a small earthquake. The blast came just two days after the Boston Marathon and, in the national media, was overshadowed by events in the Northeast. While not the result of a terrorist attack, the explosion in West, Texas, was far larger and deadlier, and raised more significant public safety issues. In a series of investigative reports over eight months, The Dallas Morning News revealed that ammonium nitrate remains virtually unregulated by federal and state governments, despite its well-known explosive potential. (Timothy McVeigh used it in 1995 to blow up an Oklahoma City federal building.) Efforts to strengthen oversight have been blocked by industry lobbyists and government gridlock, The News found, even as the Pentagon sought bans on ammonium nitrate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In pro-business, anti-regulation Texas, the federal government’s lax oversight meant no oversight at all. West Fertilizer Co. – scene of the disaster – violated almost every safety best practice. No state agency was charged with preventing an ammonium nitrate blast. There was no public registry of companies that handled the compound, even though many facilities are near homes and schools. Texas prohibits most counties from having fire codes and does not require facilities like West to obtain liability insurance. Gov. Rick Perry and other state politicians, who created this wide-open environment, washed their hands of the problem. They said West was a tragic accident that no amount of regulation could have prevented. The News’ findings, however, proved otherwise.

    Tags: West Fertilizer Co.; Safety; State agency; Texas; Gov. Rick Perry

    By Maud Beelman

    Dallas Morning News

    2013

  • Critical Delays: Dallas County’s Response to the West Nile Epidemic

    In the summer of 2012, Dallas County became the epicenter of the worst West Nile virus outbreak in American history. This investigation revealed critical delays in Dallas County’s response contributed to the health epidemic, where 15 people died and more than 150 others were left with long-term disabilities including brain damage, and muscle paralysis in Dallas County alone.

    Tags: Health; West Nile virus; epidemic; Dallas

    By Investigative Reporter: Scott Friedman; Producer: Eva Parks; Photojournalist: Peter Hull; Researcher: Shane Allen; Executive Producer: Shannon Hammel

    KXAS-TV (Dallas)

    2012

  • Bail Bondsmen: Working the Numbers

    A year-long investigation into the bail bond industry by the Dallas Morning News focused on the relationship between bail bondsmen, the judicial system, and the county government. The investigation uncovered corrupt practices, sweetheart deals, and dysfunctional oversight that cost taxpayers many millions of dollars.

    Tags: Bail Bondsmen; County Government; Judicial System; Sweetheart Deals

    By Kevin Krause, Ed Timms

    The Dallas Morning News

    2011

  • Constables Under Fire

    The reporters uncovered evidence of widespread corruption, wrongdoing and incompetence in a series of investigative articles that targeted Dallas County constables, as well as questionable practices by a district attorney who was reluctant to investigate them.

    Tags: constable; corruption; Dallas; county; district attorney; incompetence

    By Kevin Krause; Ed Timms

    Dallas Morning News

    2010

  • "Arrested Developments: Crime Streets of Athens"

    The staff of The Red & Black spent several months collecting and compiling crime documents from law enforcement departments throughout Athens, Ga. The student reporters wanted to find and report current information on the "most crime-ridden residential streets in Athens-Clarke County," which is where the University of Georgia is located. The UGA population (students, faculty and staff) makes up a "big chunk" of Athens. The Red & Black takes a look at crime in the area to see whether or not the higher crime areas have an affect on those who "attend and work" at the university.

    Tags: UGA; University of Georgia; Athens; Athens-Clarke County; Athens Housing Authority

    By Jacob Demmitt; Polina Marinova; Carey O'Neil; Dallas Duncan; Mimi Ensley; Paige Varner; Wes Blankenship; William Brown

    The Red & Black (University of Georgia - Athens)

    2010

  • "Under the Influence"

    Dallas County has the "third-highest rate" of alcohol-related driving deaths. Reporters for the Dallas Morning News revealed that about "40 percent" of those who are sentenced for "intoxication manslaughter" are given probation instead of serving jail time to ensure treatment. The people of Dallas do not always agree.

    Tags: DWI; manslaughter; drunk driving; probation; Dallas; Texas Department of Public Safety; Lexis Nexis

    By Diane Jennings; Selwyn Crawford; Darlean Spangenberger

    Dallas Morning News

    2010

  • "Deporting Justice"

    In an ongoing television series, WFAA-TV reveals that thousands of felons accused of murder, rape and assault are often deported instead of standing trial. In Dallas, many of the accused felons are Mexican citizens who, instead of facing criminal trial in the states, are put on a bus and shuttled back to Mexico where they are set free. Deporting the accused felons also decreases the chance of "jail overcrowding."

    Tags: deportation; Dallas County; immigration; ICE; Immigration and Customs Enforcement;

    By David Schechter; Mark Smith; Kraig Kirchem

    WFAA-TV (Dallas)

    2009

  • Property Tax, Appraisals Explained

    When valuing a piece of land the sales price is needed but buyers and sellers of property are required to disclose the price. Appraisal districts must find the information itself but when an outside expert was hired to review the job of the appraisal districts, tens of thousands of errors were found where property values would be up to ten percent off.

    Tags: housing; realty; realtor; Dallas County Chief Appraiser; DCAD; property tax; real estate;

    By Tracy Delatte; Paul Adrian; Kevin Boie; Joe Ellis; Maria Barrs

    KDFW -TV (Dallas)

    2007

  • Cell Disease: Being sick in Dallas County's troubled jail can be a death sentence

    This story focused on the lack of adequate medical and mental health care coverage at the Dallas County Jail. The author chronicled several instances of medical neglect that resulted in very close calls for the inmates.

    Tags: prison; prisoners; health care; medicine; doctors; FOIA; Freedom of Information; public records; mental health

    By Matt Pulle

    Dallas Observer

    2005

  • The Price of Prosperity

    Lavigne found that Collin County, a suburb of Dallas, had one of the highest median income rates in the nation, and also one of the lowest median net worth rates among wealthy counties. Upon looking deeper, she found that bankruptcies had doubled in a five-year period, and there had been 3,300 foreclosures on homes, most of them in high income neighborhoods. She interviewed dozens of families, clergy, business people, finance experts and other residents of Collin county for her series, as well as accessing federal, state and local data. She found that many people were living beyond their means to keep up with their neighbors.

    Tags: Personal finance; median income; down-sizing; lay-offs; IT jobs; spending habits; credit card debt

    By Paula Lavigne

    Dallas Morning News

    2005