Freelance reporter and Center for Investigative Reporting veteran Will Evans came on board with California Watch in October to look specifically for a focused, compelling story having to do with the awarding of stimulus grants and contracts in California.

And he found a barnburner.
 
Evans combed through a database of stimulus funding in California, looking specifically at some of the biggest recipients. He also reviewed public records and other databases to find details about stimulus recipients that may surprise you.
 
Stay tuned. We’ll be posting our story on this site Saturday night by 10 p.m. Several newspapers – including the San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union Tribune, Los Angeles Daily News, Ventura County Star, the Orange County Register and La Opinion – are planning to run our story Sunday.

And if you want to check out our database on stimulus recipients to find your own nuggets, have at it. We have $18.5 billion in stimulus spending on our Data Center site, and we’ll be updating it every quarter.
 

Mark Katches is a past editorial director for The Center for Investigative Reporting. He is currently editor of the Oregonian and vice president of content for the Oregonian Media Group. Previously, he built and ran investigative teams at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Orange County Register. Mark was the primary editor of Pulitzer Prize-winning projects in both 2008 and 2010 and edited or managed five other stories that were Pulitzer finalists. Projects he edited or directed also have won the George Polk Award, the IRE award and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Award as well as the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize, the Sigma Delta Chi Award and the National Headliner Award. Multiplatform projects produced by CIR staff under Mark's guidance won a national News & Documentary Emmy, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, a George Foster Peabody Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award. He has overseen projects or websites that have won four Online Journalism Awards in the last decade, in addition to logging more than a dozen OJA finalists. In 2001, he was part of a reporting team that won the Gerald Loeb and IRE awards for a series of stories detailing the rising profits from the human tissue trade. He completed a Punch Sulzberger Fellowship at Columbia University in 2013 and has taught reporting classes as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford University. Mark served on the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors for four years and oversaw the IRE mentorship program for six years.