Investigate

ADEM & Shelby County Investigating Lay Lake Dump Site

Neighbors near Lay Lake are worried about the environmental impact of an illegal dump site and called us for help.

  JeffCo crews repair line, eliminate smell of human waste taking over Hoover neighborhood

  DNA Detectives: Scientists combining forensics with genealogy break ‘unsolvable’ cases

  Failed and Forgotten

  A trifecta of failures puts kids at risk

  Digital rollbacks: Millions of cars have false mileage on odometers

  Has your child’s identity been stolen? Find out how to protect their personal information

Continued Coverage

  Will proposed new vaping regulations in Alabama actually work?

Watching Your Wallet: Experts give advice on reining in your tax refund

  Essential oils: Medicine or myth?

  Birmingham City Schools making significant progress on state report cards

  Undercounting hate: FBI will not report its hate crime numbers again this year as required by law

  Effective or Inefficient: The debate over School Resource Officers

  How to land an Amazon Fulfillment Center job

Amazon delaying the opening of their fulfillment center in Bessemer may not be all bad news, here's how to use this extra time to make yourself an even better candidate for 1 of those 1,500 new jobs.

  Multiple jurisdictions not reporting hate crimes to the FBI

None of these suspected hate crimes were counted in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s year end tallies by jurisdiction, despite the 2009 Hate Crime Statistics Act mandating data collection.

  What’s being done to prevent ‘Poop train’ stink from returning to Alabama?

The town of Parrish is trying to move forward after "Poop train" stink.

  WBRC analysis: Every school on “failing” list has more than half of students on free/reduced lunch

There are 76 schools on this year’s list of so-called “failing schools” and they’re spread all over the state, in both rural and urban areas, some are very diverse, others hardly at all.

  Study: Half of Americans do not have $400 to survive a financial emergency

  Watching Your Wallet: Thousands of consumer complaints hidden in federal watchdog database

  Sex offender ruling could mean less information for police

  WBRC gets firsthand look at new camera technology helping Metro Area Crime Center helicopter

  Samford study may unlock secrets to improving your workout

  Birmingham woman wants roof she paid for three years ago to stop leaking

  Is Alabama’s new anti-bullying law working?

Alabama's new anti-bullying law was supposed to make it easier for schools to track and prevent bullying---but it's just now going into effect almost a year after passage.

  Watching Your Wallet: Experts explain the new tax code in simple terms

With sweeping tax code changes affecting this year's filings, experts from NerdWallet help explain how the changes will work for different people.

  Research shows more Americans are leaving their personal information open to thieves

Identity theft is a growing problem. New research shows 9 in 10 people took at least one big data security risk last year.

  Lifesaving devices often locked away in public places

AEDs save lives in cardiac arrests, but we had a hard time finding easily accessible AEDs in several of Birmingham's biggest or busiest public places.

  Untested water: 99.9 percent of foreign fish goes without testing for unsafe drugs

According to government reports, there is evidence that the main oversight agency for seafood, the Food and Drug Administration, has failed to meet new mandates to increase inspections at foreign food facilities.

  Delaying school start times could help your student

New research shows shifting school start times back could help students achieve more academically, but most local school systems seem resistant to the idea.

  State officials search for ways to stop robocalls

Fed up with a lack of meaningful results, 39 Attorneys General across the country are working to reduce the volume of robocalls to cell phone customers.

  Potentially deadly Radon gas levels high in some central Alabama counties

We found potentially deadly Radon gas levels in a handful of central Alabama counties.

  School bus tracking apps: Good or bad idea?

Tracking your child's school bus in real time using GPS and apps is now possible, but is it a good idea?

  Calculating hate: Federally mandated count leaves out untold number of crimes in America

Serious hate crimes from murders to attempted bombings do not show up in federal hate crime data, according to analysis by InvestigateTV.

Punishing hate: Paper tiger laws serve up little to no penalties for attackers

Prosecutors say some state hate crime laws are so weak they "aren't worth the paper they're printed on."

  Multiple sex offenders found on Facebook despite ban

Under Facebook's policies, convicted sex offenders are not allowed on the site; however, InvestigateTV identified multiple offenders who appeared to have recently active profiles.

  Could new tax law increase identity theft fraud cases?

The average tax refund last year was over $2,800. Morgan Stanley estimates refunds could be 26% higher this year due to changes in the tax code. That also means scammers could be out to find more victims.

  Four ways to protect your personal data

Monday January 28th is Data Privacy Day, before it arrives, here's 4 ways to protect your personal data from crooks.

  Cord blood banking industry expected to grow

Options increasing for both cord blood donation and private banking.

  Closing your bedroom door at night could save your life

Fire safety research shows why you should close your bedroom door at night when sleeping.

  Government shutdown stops employers from E-Verifying applicant immigration status

The shutdown fight centers on securing the border, but it's leaving what some call the "electronic wall" preventing illegal employment in the U.S. unfunded and not working.

  Medical mission leads White House official to UAB

Matt Might, Ph.D., and his wife embarked on a diagnostic odyssey when their first son was born with a condition never before diagnosed.

  Are extended warranties worth it?

We look into whether or not extended warranties are actually worth the money.

Watching Your Wallet: How much could you earn if you invested your coffee money?

Financial experts from NerdWallet say saving and investing as little as $20 a week can amount to $170,000 in retirement money.

  On your side investigation: Where’s my mail?

Why isn't a Bessemer neighborhood getting mail for days at a time?

  Finance experts advise consumers to freeze credit

A new law makes freezing - and protecting - your credit free and easier than ever.

  5 holiday savings apps and websites that could save you time and money

Trying to balance your budget during the holidays? Try using savings apps that could save you time and money.

  Start the new year with your finances in order

If you start in January, saving just $85 bucks a month will get you to $1,000 by the end of the year.

  How to maximize your end-of-year healthcare savings

Don't lose any of your healthcare savings dollars at the end of this year, here's how.

  Federal program to update public housing will take years in Birmingham

A federal program could one day bulldoze the apartment building to make way for new development by the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District.

Backlog of bureaucracy may be to blame for delay in Veterans Choice Program benefits

Problems with Veterans Choice Program could mean some veterans are stuck paying high medical bills.

  Investigating use-of-force cases in Alabama

Law enforcement experts say different rules in every state allow investigators a lot of latitude in how cases are handled.

  Prisoners used bolt cutters, hacksaw and handgun to escape maximum-security prison in Alabama

It's been almost a year since two prisoners somehow slipped out of a maximum security state prison and since then, no details have been released by ADOC on how the prisoners pulled it off.

  Watching Your Wallet: Strengthen your financial fitness before 2019

While many people think about health and wellness resolutions for the new year, financial experts recommend thinking about money goals too.

  Why can’t you see the body camera video?

Why can’t we see the body camera video from the officer-involved shooting at the Galleria? That’s the number one question so many of you are asking and the short answer is because of Alabama’s open records law.

  Receive a call from yourself? Don’t pick up

Federal Trade Commission warns about the rise in "neighbor spoofing" and why some scammers are using your own number to call you.

  Realtors, consumer advocates warn of closing funds scam

Consumer advocates raise warnings over an email and wiring fraud scheme

  Are Accountability Act scholarships working?

Donors have given millions of tax-deductible donations to Alabama Accountability Act scholarships in the last 5 years, but are these scholarships actually helping students achieve more in the classroom?

  Nuclear fallout: $15.5 billion in compensation and counting

Thousands of nuclear weapons workers are seeking compensation from a federal program that has ballooned far past initial projections - and some say they're being denied based on incorrect information.

Study finds top reported ‘speed trap’ locations around the state and Birmingham metro

Study finds top reported "speed trap" locations around central Alabama.

Watching Your Wallet: Company offering to help lower student debt under investigation

A company offering to help people reduce their student loan debt is now under investigation. One St. Louis woman says her debt actually increased after trying to work with the company.

  Mice. Mold. Messes.

Hundreds of Americans live in deplorable rental properties and their landlord is the federal government. The properties need $50 billion in repairs. Uncle Sam now is hoping that private investors will save public housing.

  Watching Your Wallet: Will Social Security be there when you retire?

Research shows many Americans are concerned with whether Social Security will be available when they retire, but many aren’t saving. NerdWallet experts help explain the realities of Social Security and what you can do.

  First Alabama baby conceived with INVOcell born in Northport

A new treatment for infertility in Alabama helps Tuscaloosa couple conceive their first child.

  Tracking Facebook political ads

New research predicts candidates and Political Action Committees (PACs) will spend $1.8 billion on digital ads in this 2018 midterm election cycle, but tracking who’s paying for these ads and how they’re targeting your Facebook feed can be tough.

  Password Security: New guidelines shift away from traditional wisdom

Most recent guidelines from the National Institute of Standards and Technology revise best practices for creating and updating passwords

You’re in a political ad. (But you don’t know who’s behind it)

Political organizations with shadowy origins are spending millions on Facebook ads, and some people featured in the ads don't know who the groups are either.

  6 On Your Side Getting Results: Dead tree removed from lines over Grants Mill Road

The 6 On Your Side team gets results when viewers noticed a dead tree leaning on phone lines and hanging dangerously over Grants Mill Road.

  Watching Your Wallet: Travel More, Spend Less

Brad Barrett took $4,000 Disney trip for a family of four for only $150. Seriously.

  On Your Side Investigation: Hundreds of thousands of cars with unfixed recalls in Birmingham

Hundreds of thousands of cars have open recalls in Birmingham.

  Thousands of recalls impact vehicles in B’ham

CarFax reports that southern states like Alabama have some of the highest number of recalls. Birmingham is one of the top offenders.

  Trick or Teeth: How to avoid dental rip-offs

Dental work can be costly. Insiders give WBRC tips on how to protect your teeth and your wallet.

  How are your schools protecting what’s on their computers?

A state audit in Mississippi found 20% of randomly-checked school computers had explicit content on them, so how are Alabama schools making sure your children aren't exposed to something similar, and making sure your tax dollars aren't paying for teachers to use school computers inappropriately?

  Uber adds ‘panic button’ to app that allows riders to call for help in emergencies

Uber adds 911 button to app to allow riders to call for help in an emergency.

Former ADOC officer faces drug charges as Alabama prison system struggles to combat contraband

Drug arrest of former correctional officer latest in ADOC effort to combat illegal drugs in prisons

  Watching Your Wallet: Budget now for holiday spending

Planning travel and shopping months in advance can pay off in the long run, financial experts say.

  New VA stats show AL veteran suicide rate higher than national average

Alabama veterans die by suicide at higher rate than the national average according to new numbers released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

  Alabama slow in rolling out new anti-bullying law

Despite a big push to update the state's anti-bullying laws and guidelines, our investigation found the Alabama Department of Education is slow in rolling out the new anti-bullying protocols months after the law took effect.

  Is your smartphone listening to your conversations?

Is your phone listening to your conversations? We spoke with a professor who is researching what happens to your information when it leaves your phone.

  Report: Customers are overpaying on a quarter of all prescriptions

A new study shows patients are overpaying on prescriptions sometimes because they are using insurance, rather than paying the cash price.

Education Association calls for end to state “failing schools” list

The state’s largest organization for public educators is calling on lawmakers to repeal the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA) in the most recent edition of the Alabama School Journal.

  How to follow your kids on all their social media platforms

Following your teen on Facebook is no longer the responsible way to parent--there's a lot of other platforms you need to be on and monitoring.