Resource Center


The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "public infrastructure" ...

  • Ebola Crisis: Unprepared in Dallas

    For months in the summer of 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had warned the country’s health-care community that an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Western Africa could make its way here. The feds assured the public that America’s modern medical resources and infrastructure could avert a crisis. We were told hospitals had prepared and trained their staffs, using CDC guidelines, to address a virus they had never seen. Yet in late September, when a Liberian man named Thomas Eric Duncan walked into a Dallas emergency room with fever, headache and abdominal pains, his doctor and nurses found him unremarkable – just another of the night’s many victims of mishap and contagion. He was sent away after a few hours with antibiotics. None of the caregivers realized the encounter would soon become part of U.S. medical history.

    Tags: ebola; texas; health; care; virus

    By Sue Ambrose; Reese Dunklin; Brooks Egerton; Dianna Hunt; Sherry Jacobson; Daniel Lathrop; Miles Moffeit; Steve Thompson; Jeffrey Weiss

    The Dallas Morning News


  • Oil Train Safety Put At Risk

    Oregon Public Broadcasting's investigation into worker complaints about BNSF Railway's documents how the company has prioritized speed and profits over safety, with a history of retaliating against workers who report accidents, injuries and safety concerns. Railroad safety has come under public scrutiny now that trains are hauling millions of gallons of oil across North America. In the Northwest, BNSF carries the vast majority of the especially combustible Bakken crude from North Dakota and neighboring states. The railroad now moves nearly 20 oil trains per week through the Columbia River Gorge. Worker fatigue is a major contributor to these dangers on the rails. As they uncovered, irregular work schedules and sleep disorders are a well-known contributor to train derailments, and yet, the industry has failed to make the adjustments that have been identified as ways to reduce the risk of crashes and derailments.

    Tags: worker; safety; infrastructure; accidents; injury

    By David Steves

    Oregon Public Broadcasting


  • Greed, corruption in George West

    Our investigation uncovered the fact that the city of George West used a public infrastructure loan called a “certificate of obligation” to purchase housing for the city manager and other, select city employees. They justified the expenditure by placing the homes in a city-owned park. Which they called a “park improvement.” The first story gave birth to several follow-ups, with more to come.

    Tags: public; funding; parks; housing; corruption

    By Rick Spruill; Andrew Ellision; Lee Sausley; Jennifer Lira; Paul Alexander; Hollis Grizzard; Greg McAlister; Cameron Gorman

    KRIS-Corpus Christi


  • Dangerous Dams

    There are several "high hazard" dams in Maryland which the state Department of the Environment considers unsafe and a threat to public safety. Some of these dams are in imminent danger of failing. A "high hazard" dam indicates that a collapse would cause loss of life and damage to residential, industrial or agricultural areas, public utilities and infrastructure. The story detailed lax enforcement of rules and regulations when a dam owner is told by state inspectors to fix problems.

    Tags: Dams; safety; breach; unsafe; high hazard

    By David Collins; Augusta Brennan Jones; Joyce Karp; Gregory Marsh; Charles Cochran; James Finney; Roy Taylor

    WBAL-TV (Baltimore)


  • U.S. Government Hysteria In Computer Security reports on the U.S. government's "panicked approach" to computer security before and after September 11th, 2001. The articles look at "plagiarism and other shenanigans" in the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center, the role of the National Security Council in giving computer virus technology to the Chinese government, an examination of the attempt to limit FOIA in the name of computer security, and an effort to keep the trials of hackers away from public scrutiny.

    Tags: computer security; September 11; 2000; FBI; National Infrastructure Protection Center; National Security Council; FOIA; sixth amendment

    By Rob Rosenberger;George C. Smith;Lewis Z. Koch


  • Swing Districts Favored Over Minority Areas

    Chicago Reporter looks at how "$780 million was doled out of Illinois over the past two years." The money was portion of the $12-billion Illinois Fund for Infrastructure, Roads, Schools and Transportation (FIRST), the story reveals. The millions were given to political party leaders to spend on projects aimed to boost legislators in politically vulnerable districts. Lawmakers in white districts received more than those in black and Latino districts, the publication reports. A major finding is that, at the time when Illinois entered a fiscal crisis, the "decisions about who got the money and for what projects were settled behind closed doors, without public oversight."

    Tags: Illinois public records law; economy; public infrastructure; money and politics; Illinois House; Illinois Senate; voters; state government; state legislature; minorities; civil rights; CAR

    By Beth Musgrave;Jennifer Whitson

    Chicago Reporter


  • Socialized Water

    Forbes Magazine reports on the true costs of government controlled water utilities. "In privatizing its water supply, the U.S. lags behind Europe, but this may change as evidence mounts about the relative inefficiency of public water," Forbes reports. Higher government salaries and more employees per customer are cited as reasons government controlled water cost more.

    Tags: water; infrastructure privatization

    By Tim W. Ferguson

    Forbes Magazine


  • Easy Street

    Under Mayor Bob Lanier, the city of Houston invested more than $4 billion in various infrastructure rebuilding programs administered through the Public Works and Engineering Department. Armed with a virtual blank check, the department spent freely - with little attention to fiscal or ethical propriety.

    Tags: None

    By Bob Burtman

    Houston Press


  • The Black Hole

    Boston Magazine discloses how the Big Dig, the largest public works infrastructure project in American history, became rife with political deals, conflicts of interests and questionable accounting practices, leaving an embarrassing mess for all of the key figures, a still uncompleted project and possible indictments for the formerly charmed head of the project July 1994.

    Tags: MA Cober Zuk Weld Central Artery / Tunnel Project 9 pages; Big Dig; public project financing

    By John Strahinich;William P. Coughlin

    Boston Magazine


  • Bechtel's $45 million screw job

    A four-month SFBG investigation concluded that the city of San Francisco is wasting money on a contract with Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation to help manage reconstruction of the city's water system. The story looks at the problems of privatization.

    Tags: Bechtel; Mike Quan; San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; PUC; San Francisco Water Alliance; privatization

    By Savannah Blackwell

    San Francisco Bay Guardian