Best Stories

Moving to Mexico

WRTV, Channel 6, Indianapolis

"Moving to Mexico" is an on-going investigative project documenting the clash between manufacturing, globalization, corporate greed, politics, and free trade policies, and how that amalgamation of issues impacts people in Indiana. It's the widely known story of how Carrier shared the news with its employees that it was moving 1,400 jobs to its operations in Monterrey, Mexico.

WRTV's comprehensive approach in telling the story of the lives impacted was spread across all platforms.

Staff: Rafael Sanchez, Reporter, Jason Scheuer, Photojournalist/Producer, Terri Cope Walton, News Director, PJ O'Keefe, Digital Director, Jana Soete, Assistant News Director, Seth Keever, Creative Services Director, Brady Gibson, Executive Producer, Brandi Pahl, Executive Producer

Squatter on my street

KTNV, Channel 13, Las Vegas

No matter where you live in the Las Vegas valley, no neighborhood is immune to squatters. Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears learned that firsthand when squatters moved onto her street.

Metro Police estimate there are about 5000 people living illegally in homes and condos throughout the Valley. And that has a negative impact for all the families in the neighborhood. Despite two new state laws, the problem of squatters remains widespread and there's no solution in sight. That's why 13 Action News started the Squatter Spotters campaign to shed light on the problem.

Staff: Darcy Spears, Reporter
Ozkar Palomo, Photojournalist/Editor

Dying for Change

KMGH, Channel 7, Denver

Denver7 spent nearly a year investigating domestic violence reports in Colorado and found case after case of law enforcement failing victims who asked for help. The investigations exposed repeated failures that left suspected abusers on the street. In some of those cases, the victims ended up dead. These investigations brought policy changes to several law enforcement agencies, prompted the termination of a city manager and caught the attention of state lawmakers who are now considering bringing legislation for the 2017 session.

Staff: Tony Kovaleski, Reporter, Brittany Freeman, Executive Producer, Andy Miller, Photojournalist/Editor, Ryan Luby, Reporter, Peter Lipomi, Photojournalist/Editor

Homeward Bound

WTVF, NewsChannel 5, Nashville and KGTV, 10News, San Diego

How are homeless people with long criminal records getting free bus tickets out of Nashville? The head of a group that is supposed to keep downtown clean and safe claims they are just trying to help people. But NewsChannel 5 discovered Nashville may simply be shipping its worst offenders to other cities. And police records show the behavior of many of those who were bussed out of Nashville do not improve in their new city. The problems continue, just for a different community. This is a multiple part series with help from sister station KGTV, 10News in San Diego.

Staff: Ben Hall, Investigative Reporter

Lessons from Aaron

WPTV, Channel 5, West Palm Beach, Florida

Aaron Beauchamp was a soccer-loving fourth grader in St. Lucie County, Florida, when he was the only student to die in a tragic school bus crash one March afternoon in 2012. More than three years later, WPTV reporter Katie LaGrone learned the National Traffic Safety Board used the crash that killed Aaron to help advocate for lap & shoulder belts on school buses across the country.

For the first time since the crash, Aaron's parents open up about their final morning with Aaron, their final words to him and the reality of knowing his death is now being used to save the lives of students nationwide.

Staff: Katie LaGrone, Reporter Cody Jackson, Photojournalist/Editor

Awards: Florida AP Award, Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, Regional Emmy Award

Lines of Loyalty

WFTS, ABC Action News, Tampa

The ABC Action News I-Team uncovered local firefighters and EMTs in "criminal motorcycle gangs." Federal and local law enforcement considers the investigation's findings a "public safety issue". Because of this series of investigations, the Hillsborough County administration cracked down on its employee policies to prohibit public safety employees like firefighters and paramedics from joining or participating in gang activity.
The State Fire Marshal's Office also is looking at trying to change a state law next year in order to set gang policy guidelines for all local fire departments.

Staff: Jarrod Holbrook, Reporter, Randy Wright, Photojournalist, Fran Gilpin, Investigative Producer

'Til Death: Ohio Women at Risk

WEWS, News 5 On Your Side, Cleveland

As part of its year-long investigation into domestic violence in Ohio, the News 5 On Your Side investigative unit revealed how the state fails domestic violence victims while allowing abusers to repeatedly game the system and attack victims.

This includes systemic loopholes that empower offenders, such as Ohio's lack of a centralized protection order registry, lack of service and enforcement of these orders, abusers' ability to legally purchase firearms, lax sentencing and other deadly flaws. The team also uncovered critical tools and solutions that could help save lives, and is working to get its findings before local lawmakers to help spur much-needed change.

Staff: Ron Regan, Reporter, Sarah Buduson, Reporter, Samah Assad, Investigative Producer, Andy Sugden, Photojournalist, Mike Harris, Photojournalist, Rob Gardner, Editor

Year-long investigation page

Newsy goes "Off the Trail"

Newsy

In 2016, leading video news network Newsy launched “#OffTheTrail,” a month-long video series delivering on-the-road coverage exploring the places, people and stories that deserve more attention during the presidential campaign season.

Newsy’s D.C.–based policy team traveled across the country to share stories about topics such as the Virginia island sinking due to climate change, the growth of voter ID laws, the Midwest’s clean energy boom, the heroin epidemic in West Virginia and voter turnout efforts in Arizona.

Instead of talking about the candidates’ every move, the team of journalists focused on the issues that matter. #OffTheTrail continued Newsy's mission of providing the analysis and perspective that sets it apart from the competition.

Zombie Voters

WTMJ, Channel 4, Milwaukee

After claims during the campaigning for the presidential election that ballots were being cast in the names of dead people, the I-TEAM at WTMJ explored the allegation. The I-TEAM report by found zero evidence of so-called "zombie voters" in Wisconsin's 2012 presidential election. The I-TEAM looked at 828,684 voter records, focusing on people who voted in 2012 from Milwaukee, Waukesha and Brown counties. The investigative team then performed a database match of those voter records with death records from the Social Security master death file. All 362 potential matches were then checked by hand against public records, revealing zero cases of fraud. Election law expert Richard Hasen praised the effort by the I-TEAM to debunk the Trump campaign's claim. "It's not very sexy work to be checking all these things, but it's important work," Hasen said.

Staff: Steve Chamraz - Reporter, Shaun Farrell, Photojournalist/Editor, Paul Marble, Photojournalist/Editor, Jeff Janca, Photojournalist/Editor, Tonya Simpson, Executive Producer

Thanksgiving Texting Twist

KNXV, ABC15, Phoenix

It was the Thanksgiving dinner invitation that went viral. Wanda Dench sent a text to who she thought was her grandson. Turns out it was a complete stranger named Jamal Hinton, who turns out, was very interested in the invitation. Rather than it becoming an awkward apology for the erroneous text, the two strangers struck up a conversation and a friendship.

The accidental invitation turned into an actual and formal invitation and Jamal made sure to attend. When Jamal shared the exchange on social media channels, their story gained the attention of people around the country and the world.

Staff: Nohelani Graf, Reporter

Parents Take on the Bullies

KGUN, 9 On Your Side, Tucson, Arizona

KGUN9's months-long investigation involving over a dozen exclusive reports uncovered discipline changes in Tucson's largest school district that led to major disorder at many Tucson Unified schools, putting students and teachers at risk and student learning in serious decline.

KGUN9's stories included many unreported physical assaults on students and teachers, illegal grade-changing by administrators to graduate troublemaker students, and irate parents who were at their wits' end with school leaders who were unwilling to resolve the heartbreaking serial bullying of their children.

Insider sources to KGUN9 said the district pushed to significantly reduce student suspensions and expulsions to meet a federal anti-discrimination court order.

As a result of the ongoing series of reports, the district secretly reversed course this school year on its more lenient discipline practices. Voters also ousted a key board member, and KGUN9's probe has prompted federal and state investigations.

Staff: Valerie Cavazos, Reporter

Glitch in Target Pricing

KSHB, Channel 41, Kansas City, Missouri

KSHB 41 Action News discovered Target stores across the country were charging more for items found in the baby aisle, than they were for the exact same items found in the pharmacy aisle.

When comparison shopping of the same products, one displayed in the pharmacy section and the other in the baby department, they found the pricing was different.

After contacting Target about the price disparity, a company spokesperson said it was a pricing error in the system and that the problem was fixed.

Staff: Jessica McMaster, Reporter, John Woods, Photojournalist