Our top investigations, stories and databases of 2015 — and their impact

Our top investigations, stories and databases of 2015 — and their impact

inewsource takes pride in diving deep into stories, backing them up with facts and data. That process can take months, and we keep at it long after the first story is published.

We’re looking back at the investigations that most drew readers in during 2015 and that impacted the lives — and wallets — of people throughout San Diego. We also created an interactive graphic where you can explore our biggest projects and stories of the year based on pageviews.

It wouldn’t be an inewsource story without data, so we’ve listed the interactive databases that readers engaged with the most. Check the schools in San Diego Unified that have no air conditioning  and see for yourself how much bond debt school districts throughout the county have taken on.

Our impact in 2015

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Attorney Cory Briggs leaves court after arguing a case against the city of San Diego. Photo by Sam Hodgson.

Win for the taxpayers — The city of San Diego recouped more than $140,000 because of conflicts of interest inewsource exposed in its investigation of the business dealings of well-known environmental attorney Cory Briggs and his significant other.

An unidentified man, dubbed Sixty-Six Garage, has been on life support in a Coronado nursing home for 15 years.

An unidentified man, dubbed Sixty-Six Garage, has been on life support in a Coronado nursing home for 15 years.

Finding a name for John Doe — After a series of inewsource stories, a coalition on both sides of the border united in the search for the identity of a man who has been living on life support in a Coronado nursing home for 15 years. DNA was tested.

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Return of whooping coughinewsource and KPBS were the first to question the efficacy of the whooping cough vaccine in 2010. inewsource reported in 2015 that teens, who would have received a new version of the vaccine when babies, got sick at high rates in 2014.

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The great vaccine debateinewsource dug deep into vaccination trends, spotlighting schools with high rates of unimmunized kindergarteners and examining the logic behind parents’ refusal to vaccinate. A California law requiring vaccinations to attend school goes into effect July 1, 2016.

Temperatures in several classrooms at Challenger Middle School in Mira Mesa on Friday remained over 93 degrees during 7th period. Teachers agreed other recent afternoons had been hotter. Ingrid Lobet, inewsource

Temperatures in several classrooms at Challenger Middle School in Mira Mesa on Friday remained over 93 degrees during 7th period. Teachers agreed other recent afternoons had been hotter. Ingrid Lobet, inewsource

Cooling off — San Diego Unified school officials voted to accelerate air conditioning projects after inewsource documented temps in excess of 90 degrees in classrooms and found San Diego schools along the coast lacking.

An NCTD COASTER train travels north along the LOSSAN corridor. Photo courtesy NCTD.

An NCTD COASTER train travels north along the LOSSAN corridor. Photo courtesy NCTD.

Victory for public accessinewsource sued and won a case seeking to make public an assessment of management at the North County Transit District, where inewsource has examined financial and security problems. One page of the document was released, but the court of appeal said it “shed light on the District’s ability to perform its primary duty.”

See more of our top stories and projects of the year with this infographic showing what you were most interested in this year:

Our best interactives

Air conditioning in school — This map and searchable database allows parents in San Diego Unified to see the percentage of classrooms at their neighborhood school with air conditioning.

Kindergarten vaccination rates — This interactive map enables readers to explore the percent of students at San Diego County kindergartens that are up to date on their vaccinations. Almost 8 percent of students were not up to date during the previous school year.

A childhood bond — An election season isn’t complete without some school districts in the county asking their residents for permission to issue new bonds. Our interactive database lets taxpayers explore how much debt their local district already has accumulated.

Late-night flights — Planes aren’t supposed to take off from Lindbergh Field after 11:30 p.m., and if they do they’re supposed to be fined. We found that about half the time, airlines don’t get penalized for breaking curfew. Our interactive lets residents under the flight path explore when those violations happened and if the airline had to pay.

Taking a gamble — San Diegans spend a lot of money on the lottery each year — more than $300 million during fiscal year 2013-2014 alone. We mapped all the lottery retailers in San Diego County so residents can investigate for themselves how much of that money is being spent at neighborhood stores.

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We'll let you know when big things happen.

About inewsource staff:

inewsource staff
To contact us, email: contact at inewsource dot org, or see our about page for specific reporter info.