Jill is an experienced investigative journalist who spent more than three decades at The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio. Jill investigated, among other things, naughty teachers, predatory mortgage brokers, slumlords, guardians who neglect and steal from mentally incompetent adults, and college campuses where rapes and other violent crimes are hidden. For kicks, she digs into sports and has written extensively about the dark side of youth, high school and college athletics. Her work has won dozens of state and national awards.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 12:50 PM CDT|
By Joce Sterman, Daniela Molina, Jill Riepenhoff, Payton Romans, Olivia Bianco, Ruth Cronin, Caroline Geib, Haley Miller, Mia Stewart and Jasmine Wright
The state where a baby is born determines what serious and rare disorders he or she will be screened for shortly after birth. It’s a patchwork of policies across the country that could have dire consequences. Some parents call it death by ZIP code.
Hazed and Excused: Colleges and universities rarely expel fraternities, sororities for hazing violations
Updated: Feb. 20, 2023 at 12:18 PM CST|
By Jill Riepenhoff and Joce Sterman
Bowling Green State University in Ohio agreed to a $2.9 million settlement with the family of Stone Foltz, who died in 2021 following an alcohol-fueled fraternity hazing event. The university vowed to unite with the Foltzes in their mission to eradicate hazing. The Foltzes sued Bowling Green, in part, for its failure to punish the bad actors on its campus in the years prior to Stone’s death. Their lawsuit listed dozens of examples in which allegations of hazing weren’t fully investigated by the university or cases in which fraternities and sororities were merely placed on probation for serious violations. It's a similar story at other campuses across the country.
Defective: New report on product recalls reinforces that a flawed federal law has led to unnecessary injuries
Updated: Feb. 9, 2023 at 5:24 PM CST|
By Jill Riepenhoff and Caresse Jackman
Despite its best efforts to safeguard consumers from dangerous household items, a report from a non-profit consumer group found the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is hamstrung, in large part, by Congress.
Defective: Federal database of consumer product complaints leaves out deaths, injuries the government and manufacturers know about
Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 2:45 PM CST|
By Jill Riepenhoff, Lee Zurik and Conner Hendricks
More than two decades ago, the death of a toddler in a recalled portable crib prompted Congress to pass a new consumer protection law. Yet today, children still are dying in unsafe products, recalls remain largely ineffective at ridding homes of dangerous products, and the CPSC website that was supposed to help creates a false sense of security, an InvestigateTV analysis of federal records shows.
Updated: Jan. 16, 2023 at 10:11 AM CST|
By Jill Riepenhoff, Joce Sterman, Meredith Hemphill, Ryan Murphy, Maddie Maloy, Julia Pearl, Mackenzie Lionberger, Tatum Hanson, Ashton Hackman and Sammi Bilitz
Hazing on college campuses claims lives and injures and humiliates countless others, yet government officials fail to enact strong laws to curb the persistent problem.
Defective: The federal government knows that consumers are using hundreds of dangerous everyday products
Updated: Nov. 14, 2022 at 11:13 AM CST|
By Jill Riepenhoff, Jamie Grey and Lee Zurik
When a company learns a product it sells could be defective and dangerous, it has 24 hours to let the federal government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission know about it. But it could take months or years for the public to find out about the company’s possible concerns, if they even come to light at all. InvestigateTV has been battling CPSC and companies to disclose information about the products companies have sounded the alarm on – an alarm that remains relatively silent.
Big Bucks, Big Buyouts: Public universities shell out millions of dollars firing coaches who didn’t win enough
Updated: Sep. 19, 2022 at 4:03 PM CDT|
By Jill Riepenhoff and Lee Zurik
For many college coaches, it pays to get fired. Over a 17-year period beginning in 2005, public universities have shelled out more than $1.1 billion in buying out the contracts of college coaches, according to an InvestigateTV analysis of NCAA financial data collected by Syracuse University. Most of that money was spent on football coaches who play at the highest level of Division I athletics. As football coaches' annual compensation now stretches into seven digits, massive severance payments also grow bigger and bigger.
Defective: When government safety officials learned about 13 deaths tied to an infant rocker, a federal law prevented them from immediately alerting the public
Updated: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:19 PM CDT|
By Jill Riepenhoff, Jamie Grey and Lee Zurik
After the deaths of 13 children over the last 12 years, this summer, Fisher-Price and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned parents not to let their children sleep in certain rockers the company has made since the 1990s. Now, InvestigateTV has discovered that during a 2021 Congressional hearing, the company dodged questions about whether it currently had products on the market linked to children’s deaths.
Updated: Jun. 2, 2022 at 1:47 PM CDT|
By Jill Riepenhoff
Safe Sleep for Babies Act will save lives by removing two dangerous baby sleeping products from the U.S. market.
Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 1:13 PM CDT|
By Jill Riepenhoff, Conner Hendricks and Lee Zurik
A new federal law takes effect in July that aims to clean up thoroughbred horseracing, which for years has been plagued by scandals, drugs and equine fatalities. Racing insiders have pushed for decades for such a measure and they welcome the new oversight.
Defective: Congressional Democrats say it’s time to lift the veil of secrecy on potentially harmful products in Americans’ homes
Updated: Feb. 14, 2022 at 5:20 PM CST|
By Jill Riepenhoff and Jon Decker
Consumer advocates say the time is long past due to lift the cloak of secrecy at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The issue rests with a provision in the Consumer Product Safety Act, known as Section 6(b), which requires the agency to receive approval from manufacturers before releasing any information about a specific product.
Defective: Government agency shackled by law often takes years to issue recalls on potentially dangerous products
Updated: Feb. 14, 2022 at 5:18 PM CST|
By Jill Riepenhoff, Lee Zurik and Jamie Grey
It takes years for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to remove dangerous products from the market because of its cumbersome rule-making process and ineffective recalls that don’t incentivize consumers to return or destroy dangerous items.
Updated: Feb. 14, 2022 at 5:09 PM CST|
By Jill Riepenhoff and Lee Zurik
The federal agency created to watchdog consumer products - from crock pots to xylophones - is muzzled by its governing law, which gives all the power to manufacturers, including those with dangerous toys, appliances and other items on the market. The Fisher-Price Rock N Play – an inclined sleep product that defied the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for safe infant sleeping – exposed all that is wrong with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT|
By Daniela Molina, Jill Riepenhoff and Lee Zurik
The lack of access to dental care plagues many parts of rural America.
Full Documentary: Bridging the Great Health Divide showcases efforts to fight disparities in rural America
Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 4:56 PM CDT|
By Lee Zurik, Jamie Grey, Jill Riepenhoff, Daniela Molina and Owen Hornstein
Bridging the Great Health Divide explores issues in rural America through the lens of residents, doctors and other health care providers.
Deserted: Access to healthy, fresh and affordable foods is elusive for millions who live in rural America
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT|
By Jill Riepenhoff, Daniela Molina, Jamie Grey and Lee Zurik
Before last year food insecurity impacted about 10% of all U.S. residents. Experts estimate that number has at least doubled since the pandemic.