On Your Side Investigations

  Father, son allege sexual misconduct at a Walker County high school

The Walker County Sheriff’s Department confirmed deputies were investigating what happened after that baseball practice.

  ‘I can’t get any help’: Alabama’s unemployment rate is down, but problems with unemployment claims system continue

  UPDATE: FEMA now offering funeral assistance for COVID-19 deaths

  UAB lab tracking variants of COVID-19, finding UK strain is dominant in state

  Tuscaloosa homeowner grapples with expensive flood repairs, city says they aren’t on the hook

  Why does the U.S. have so many mass shootings?

New push for statewide emergency alert system

Continued Coverage

  Uncollected: IRS fails to collect billions of dollars in tax debt each year, including from some of the wealthiest Americans

  Going on vacation? Experts say to consider travel insurance

  On Your Side: Protect yourself from phony contractors

  Effort to make public records more accessible clears first legislative hurdle

  Frustrated with trying to find a shot? Alabama ‘vaccine hunters’ can help

  Alabama ‘might’ get FEMA community vaccination center

  Fact or Fiction: Can COVID-19 impact brain function and mental health?

COVID-19 can produce acute or long-term effects on the brain through issues like post-COVID brain fog for long haulers to something as debilitating as psychosis.

  ‘Few’ cases reported in Ala. of providers unable to get extra dose out of Pfizer vial

Trimble said UAB has been pulling six doses of vaccine from the five-dose vials since December by using low dead space syringes. “Dead space” is the area between the syringe hub and the needle where vaccine gets trapped. It’s usually only a few drops, but in this case, enough to make a difference.

  Fact or Fiction: Can COVID-19 vaccines impact mammogram results?

Vaccines prompt an immune response from the body, which often results in enlarged lymph nodes. For a percentage of women, those enlarged lymph nodes translated to a false positive mammogram and a short-term cancer scare.

  Jefferson County Schools considering reimbursing parents after band trip was canceled

Dr. Gonsoulin said after it was decided a lawsuit wasn’t feasible, the district “pivoted” to come up with a plan to get parents the money they’re owed, including the possibility of the district reimbursing the cost of the trip.

How to contact the WBRC On Your Side Investigators

  When will we reach herd immunity in Alabama?

  Vaccine allocation up by nearly 70% in Alabama

  St. Clair County BOE sues travel company, claiming it failed to return $100,000 for trip canceled due to pandemic

  New Alabama unemployment helpline drawing criticism

  State laws and the lack of government oversight leave a multi-billion-dollar DNA paternity industry unchecked

  Repossessed: Pandemic-related moratoriums for car repos expire

In many states, vehicle repossessions decreased in 2020 due to the pandemic - particularly in states that issued moratoriums. Consumer law experts worry many Americans are about to face losing their cars.

  She went in for cortisone shot, came out with a $700 knee brace

A Birmingham patient went in for help with arthritic pain, and came home with a surprise medical bill. Her story could help you avoid a similar problem.

  Postal Workers Union Pres. calls mail delays after holidays ‘unacceptable’

At the end of January, Camise Samuel, President of the Birmingham Postal Workers Union, calls the delay customers are still experiencing “unacceptable.”

  Why did hospital administrators receive COVID-19 vaccine before other healthcare workers?

As Alabama is still in the process of vaccinating its healthcare workers, some of them have questioned who gets the vaccine first. Our On Your Side Investigators taking those concerns to state health leaders.

  On Your Side Investigations: Potentially toxic fumes created problems on U.S. flights in 2020 almost 150 times

We found almost 150 instances last year of flight crews reporting potentially toxic fumes onboard commercial flights in the U.S.

  West Virginia leads nation in COVID-19 vaccine rollout, can Alabama ever catch up?

We know the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Alabama is slow. State heath leaders say they are working to speed things up. One state that's setting the pace for vaccine rollout is West Virginia.

  State lawmakers question whether Birmingham Water Works Board member is serving legally

State lawmakers are asking whether the vice chair of the Birmingham Water Works Board can legally still serve on the board.

  Feds tell states to vaccinate people 65 and older, AL leaders say there’s not enough vaccines

Alabama’s plan closely follows recommendations given by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), but last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said states need to begin vaccinating people 65 and older.

Make Ends Meet: Tips to get financially fit this year

A new year is a perfect time to toss out old habits and start anew.

  Make Ends Meet: Money and Marriage

Marriage and money do not always make a perfect match.

  ‘It’s Russian roulette,’ says Alabama paramedic recovering from COVID-19 & pushing for workers’ comp

She worked for months transporting and treating COVID-19 patients while carefully wearing layers of PPE and following all of the protocols to protect herself from the virus, but then it happened.

  Northport pharmacy helping to vaccinate thousands of nursing home residents, workers

Senior Care Pharmacy is part of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a federal effort providing COVID-19 vaccines to people living and working in long-term care facilities.

  Mom who lost her son tries to change Alabama’s workers’ comp law

Mason Spurlin died after an industrial accident. His mom is now trying to change state law she says prevents families from holding companies accountable for deaths like Mason's.

  When what looks like local news isn’t

Several networks of sites that claim to be "local news" have common owners with a more pointed motivation.

  Will the Pfizer vaccine work for everyone? UAB doctor examines diversity in trial

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Black and Hispanic people are at least three times as likely as white people to be hospitalized with the virus, however, there are eight times as many white people than Black in Pfizer’s trial.

  On Your Side: Three years later, Jefferson County cemetery board still hasn’t met

Three years ago, state lawmakers created a board to keep a check on neglected cemeteries in Jefferson County. But the board still hasn’t met yet. So what’s the hold up?

  Cold Case in Lincoln: Forensic lab gives new hope for identifying woman

Her remains were found two days before the 2012 Aaron’s 499 NASCAR race, and now eight years later, officers still don’t know who she is.

  On Your Side Investigation finds more than 70 near misses for drones at Alabama airports

Our investigation found more than 70 incidents over Alabama skies in the last 4 years where pilots reported near-misses with drones.

  Housing Market: Is refinancing worth it?

A lot of people are buying homes right now because of historic low interest rates. Some are also using the low rates to refinance their homes.

  Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Int’l Airport CEO: ‘We are open’

A recent study by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found “low risk” of SARS-COV-2 transmission on planes because of “high-performing ventilation systems” and mandatory use of face masks.

  Should charter schools get PPP loans?

Charter schools in Alabama took PPP loans from the CARES Act, it's perfectly legal, but critics question whether it's double-dipping in federal funds.

  Housing Market part 3: A look at how many homes are selling right now

In part 3 of our look at the hot real estate market, we're digging into the numbers to see how many homes are selling right now.

THE INVESTIGATORS: Incident report details what led officers to encounter with Koy Moore

As the Baton Rouge Police Department continues to investigate claims that LSU freshman wide receiver, Koy Moore, was violated by three officers, an incident report obtained by the 9News Investigators details what led officers to that encounter in the first place.

  COVID Stimulus money went to companies with record of federal fines

Their stimulus watch database found 683 paycheck protection loans of at least $150,000 to Alabama companies. Those $658 million worth of loans went to companies who paid a combined $15 million in fines for violating federal regulations in the past decade.

  Data suggests COVID-19 racial disparities impacting decisions about education

An analysis of data provided by JCS and the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) shows schools with a predominately Black population had more students learning remotely than schools that are majority white.

  On Your Side: What makes a good offer when buying a home in a hot market?

We’re continuing to take a look at the housing market and why many homes are selling fast.

  Nurse practitioner field grapples with question of whether to standardize curriculum nationwide

Nurse practitioners are questioning their own education at some colleges. There’s no national standard on how to educate nurse practitioners, while medical education for doctors was standardized more than 100 years ago.

  On Your Side: Why is the housing market so hot right now?

The housing market is red hot right now. We dig into why and offer tips to buyers in this "seller's market".

  How secure are Alabama voting results?

After hackers hit a technology company who helps some states aggregate and release election results, we're investigating how Alabama makes sure your vote is counted and reported accurately.

  ADPH preparing for COVID-19 vaccine: ‘It’s a Herculean task’

Every state was required to submit a vaccination plan to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by mid-October, and the CDC has told states to be ready to put their plans in place by November 1.

Birmingham PD identifies victim in Titusville shooting Tuesday evening

The male victim, identified as 25-year-old Mondrelle Kellogg, was pronounced dead at the scene, the female victim was his wife, according to police reports.

Investigators say DNA links Nashville murder victim to Chilton County

A cold case murder in Nashville, Tennessee has ties to Chilton County. Nashville detectives are trying to identity a woman who was killed back in March of 1998. But what makes this case so interesting is how investigators were able to use DNA and ancestral research to link her to Chilton County.

  Alabama voter discovers he’s registered to vote in NY

An Alabama voter who hasn't lived in New York since 2002 discovered he was still registered to vote there, at an address where he's never lived!

Teen injured during shooting at a party in Jefferson County

Police found a 16-year-old girl with minor injuries. According to police, it does not appear that anyone was struck by gunfire.

Homicide investigation underway in Birmingham

The Birmingham Police Department is conducting a homicide investigation that occurred on Friday, June 27.

  Over 520-hours of basic training required in Alabama to protect and serve

Following the killing of George Floyd, who died when a now-former Minneapolis Police Officer held his knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes, protestors are calling for, among several things, more training for police officers.

  Wrong video conference help line routes to scammers

Incorrect tech support numbers posted on the internet lead to scammers trying to trick consumers into giving up their credit card information.

  Dozens of nursing homes cited for infection-related deficiencies early this year now have COVID-19 cases

An analysis of state nursing home inspections and records of COVID-19 infections associated with nursing homes by the Washington Post reveals dozens of facilities had infection-related violations in the months before coronavirus infections.

  Watching Your Wallet: Scammers found infiltrating legitimate job posting sites

Scammers are looking to take advantage of unemployed and furloughed workers looking for job online. They're even using common job search websites to target people.

  Robocalls advertising fake coronavirus-related products and bogus deals

Robocalls have turned from the usual social security fraud scams to coronavirus-related messages. The FTC says some are peddling fake products, and others are looking to cash in on stimulus checks.

On Your Side: Can’t pay your bills because of COVID-19?

Many vendors are working with their customers during this unprecedented crisis. For example, many utility companies will provide some form of forbearance. Call the companies you owe money and see how they are willing to assist you.

Pharmacists: Doctors writing prescriptions for possible COVID-19 treatment at expense of chronically-ill patients

Lupus patients say they are unable to get refills of their hydroxychloroquine after the announcement of clinical trials to study the drug for possible coronavirus treatment. Pharmacists say some doctors are writing prescriptions for friends and family members.

  Watching Your Wallet: Travel insurance likely won’t cover coronavirus-related cancellations

Travel insurance will cover cancellations in very limited situations, and pandemics aren't generally one of those. InvestigateTV looks at vacation refund policies.

COVID-19 Tracker: Check out the latest on test results around the country

InvestigateTV is monitoring coronavirus COVID-19 cases around the country and updating information here frequently.

  Watching Your Wallet: With coronavirus causing market volatility, financial experts help you watch your nest egg

With coronavirus COVID-19 impacting the economy, financial experts give you ideas on how to focus on long-range planning.

  Sanitized: Online listings for hand sanitizer, disinfectant advertise inflated prices

InvestigateTV finds hand sanitizer and wipes with majorly inflated prices; state attorneys general ask consumers to report price gouging.

  Tips limited despite dozens of witnesses in Birmingham man’s murder

Birmingham Police found Ki'Juan Harrell shot and nearly dead in a car in the parking lot at Fox Valley Apartments on Valley Drive early the morning of June 23, 2018.

  Congress takes up insurance rate discrimination

A House subcommittee is considering making changes to insurance laws to stop car insurance companies from basing rates on factors like credit scores.

Protecting personal information while job searching online

The BBB says before you apply for a job, make sure it’s a legit company. You can also contact them directly to make sure they’re actually hiring.

‘Without access to public records, there is no accountability’: A denial for ShotSpotter requests

The city has spent $2.6 million on something to fight crime but won’t allow media (or citizens) to access the data the system collects.

  FEMA grants not affordable for many devastated by Lee County tornado

WBRC FOX6 On Your Side Investigators spoke with several people who live in the area devastated by the storms and found many were unable to afford the grant.

  Rate Discrimination: Some insurance companies give better rates for customers with certain jobs, education

Drivers with less education or jobs that typically pay less may face higher car insurance rates, according to an industry insider.

Mother demands answers on Madison County Jail ‘IT issues’

Friday marks one week since the sheriff's office announced it had "IT issues," and still no elaboration has been given.

  Who’s carrying a gun on your child’s campus?

Alabama's SENTRY program armed some school administrators, but we know very little about how many and who.

  Patriot Penalty: Deployed service members come home to find higher auto insurance rates

Service members who cancel their car insurance to serve overseas may come back to find higher rate quotes after telling companies they didn't have coverage because of deployment.

  Watching Your Wallet: How to become a 401(k) millionaire

From using a specialized retirement plan to considering using a "robo advisor," experts explain how you can grow your retirement savings.

Poarch Creek casino proposal promises $1B for Alabama

Alabama lawmakers are listening but not committing to an offer from the Poarch Creek Indians. Tribe leaders say they will funnel $1 billion to Alabama if the state allows them to add two new casinos, table games like blackjack and craps and gives the Poarch Indians exclusivity.

  Costly Care: Medicare charged hundreds more than drug’s cost at cash value

A man noticed his insurance paid all of one medication, but then he discovered the federal government was billed hundreds more than market value.