‘OSHA is AWOL’: Critics say federal agency is where workplace COVID-19 complaints go to die (A1)
Note: On the first day of my internship at the Miami Herald, I was given a news tip about nurses at a local hospital not being provided proper personal protective equipment. By the end of the day, I had obtained a voicemail from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration saying that the national agency wasn’t conducting any COVID-19 related inspections and decided to take the story in an entirely different — and bigger — direction. I conducted research into OSHA’s action on COVID-19 both in Florida and at the national level (and didn’t find much other news coverage), obtained public records of closed COVID-19 complaints, used Excel to sort through them for relevant ones, and called several of the relevant companies I flagged. I also professionally communicated with a prickly OSHA spokesperson, familiarized myself with the agency’s policies enough to explain them expertly and convinced an OSHA employee to tell me what was really going on. Two weeks later, my thorough single-byline national investigation into OSHA’s lack of action on COVID-19 related complaints ran on the front page of the Sunday edition of the Herald.
(Published in the July 5, 2020 edition of The Miami Herald and online)
COVID-19 turned their Miami Springs nursing home into a death trap. The virus killed 52. (A1)
Note: A few weeks into my internship at The Miami Herald, I was put as the lead reporter on an investigation into how 52 residents of one Florida nursing home died of COVID-19. I taught myself how to decipher lawsuits, other court documents and inspection reports; became a whiz at finding people through LexisNexis, Accurint and social media; and conducted heartbreaking interviews in both English and Spanish. I also professionally interacted with the nursing home owners who threatened to sue us but ultimately did not. After all the reporting was done, I was able to carefully put the pieces together and write a compelling story that explained exactly what happened and how things went so wrong so quickly.
(Published in the Aug. 30, 2020 edition of The Miami Herald and online)
Copycat websites, newly minted companies, double dippers cashed in on PPP loans (A1)
Note: After my internship officially ended, I was asked to stay on for another week to help with this project. The other reporter and I looked through hundreds of companies to try to figure out whether they had existed before the Feb. 15 deadline that they had to be operable by to be eligible for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. More than 75 companies appeared to have been created after the deadline. I contacted banking experts to contextualize the story and what may happen as a result to these companies and/or banks that lent them money. The resulting story was widely read and shared.
(Published in the Sept. 13, 2020 edition of The Miami Herald and online)
They rent Airbnbs to party. In suburban Sacramento, good times have turned violent (A1)
Note: Another journalist and I stumbled onto this story after reporting on a shooting at an airbnb party in a Sacramento suburb. We started looking into it more and found three separate incidents that occurred in the region within two months. We talked with experts and found that social media was a large contributor to the violence, as it brought strangers to the parties.
(Published on SacBee.com on July 28, 2019 and in print)
Philadelphia’s junkyards are a dumpster fire (A1)
Note: I pitched this investigation after writing a series of articles about one particular problematic junkyard. During an interview for one of those stories, my source said “you know, it’s not just this junkyard that’s the problem.” That prompted me to dig deeper into the issue, and I found that all but four of the 40-plus junkyards had racked up several violations.
(Published in the Aug. 7, 2018 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer and online)
Homeowners may hate them, however property taxes aren’t going anywhere … but up (A1)
Note: I collected and analyzed information from 60 different school districts in four counties and attended three school board meetings for this story. I found that taxes had been on the rise for the past 10 years and were forcing people out of their homes. The article garnered over 13,000 page views and nearly 50 comments on Philly.com, all about taxes.
(Published in the July 11, 2018 print edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer and online)
Teachers in high demand, but Davis salaries continue to lag (A1)
Note: This 3,000 word story is a result of the question: Why doesn’t my math teacher have a teaching credential? After asking the question, I spent four months with another student journalist interviewing teachers and district employees, researching other schools’ teacher compensation and gaining a basic understanding of district-provided health care benefits.
(Published in the Aug. 24, 2016 edition of The Davis Enterprise and online)