The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.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:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) 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 "back ground checks" ...
On the day that tips arose about a U.S. soldier who may have strafed two Afghan villages, I left the office for a flight to Tacoma. Within 48 hours of the soldier’s being identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, I and two colleagues broke the news that the emerging hagiography of Bales drafted by family and attorneys had more to it than the story of a soldier who enlisted at the ripe of 27 driven by outrage over the 2001 terrorist attacks—and then broken down by an unrelenting cycle of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Our story started with pure spidey senses: Bales’ s family and lawyer said he had left a stockbroker’s career to enlist, as they explained his call to serve. Yet he had not finished college and clearly had financial troubles, I had determined. And he was active in brokerage in the late 1990s in Florida I learned by checking assorted online records—which raised my suspicions about the quick-money penny stock trading that was commonplace then. Based on those instincts, while also doing the running daily story from Bales’ Army base in Washington state, I had checked some online brokerage records and enlisted Julie Tate to look at others and run through civil and criminal filings in Ohio (Bales’s home state and then nationally). Within an hour, I had found one suspicious record and Julie had found others and we were off on a 30-hour run of investigative reporting and boots on the ground interviews that yielded the breaking news of Bales’s more complicated—and less laudatory—past in the period just before he joined the Army. We located and I interviewed an elderly couple who had lost substantial savings in accounts managed by Bales and received copies of detailed financial records that corroborated their claims and showed Bales as the account manager. We also peeled back corporate records for a now-shuttered firm run by Bales and his brother with backing from a longtime friend and reached him to further flesh out the checkered professional history of the Staff Sgt. at the center of an explosive, fast-moving and intensely competitive story. The story demanded intense investigative reporting that netted notable results in far far less than 30 days of a breaking event.
The personnel director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati knowingly hired a criminal to run a new program designed to protect children. His job was to conduct the fingerprint and background checks now required of all volunteers who coach or help out in Catholic schools. The investigation uncovered the personnel director was a close personal friend of the criminal for more than 20 years and that the troubled young man claimed the personnel director had sexually abused him as a child. He claimed he continued his sexual relationship with the personnel director in exchange for jobs, money and clothes. The criminal had access to the social security numbers of thousands of Catholic volunteers. It was shown how he continued to commit crimes while employed by the Archdiocese, and how the personnel director continued to cover for him, even bailing him out of jail.
WIXT-TV examines how utility cutbacks of overnight emergency personnel effect response times to emergencies. "The story started at the newsroom police scanner. For months we had noticed that emergency personnel were frequently held up as they waited for utility crews to shut down power or turn off gas. In checking back, we found several instances (one where an entire factory burned to the ground) where fire chiefs believed the losses were attributable to utility actions."
The Journal Gazette investigates Indiana handgun laws and finds that state laws allow a felon from another state to use his or her real name to get a license to carry a handgun in Indiana because no nationwide back ground check is done. In addition, an Indiana handgun license allows a gun buyer to take immediate possession of a handgun while a nationwide background check is performed. The story found weaknesses in state background checks and reporting methods for criminal records. (Sept. 22, 1996)