Investigate

  Birmingham woman asking for help with unusual water bill

Dukes says she found a door hangar to tell her a meter reader had come back to double check the reading, but when she walked out to the meter, it was still caked in mud.

Sipsey Valley Middle School has new, certified storm shelter inside school, state law now requires it

  Locked Down: Inside the prison where inmates set each other on fire and gangs have more power than guards

  New safety technology to prevent hot car deaths may not go far enough

  Report: Toxic chemicals found in some popular school supplies

  FDA allowing new antidepressant on the market

  Measure of Hate documentary explores the undercounting of crimes in America

Continued Coverage

  How to (really) help your child’s teacher this school year

  How to turn annoying robocalls into cold, hard cash

  Watching Your Wallet: Decade-by-decade, experts help you save for retirement

  ADEM faces new criticism of oversight after Tyson spill

  Pickens County man finds out firsthand about timeshare pitfalls

  Airsoft gun design may be too realistic for law enforcement’s taste

  Fake Filters? Companies falsely claim to have prestigious water safety certification

With water quality and safety concerns across the country, many families are turning to water filters. But there are counterfeit filters and filters carrying fake certification marks.

  JCDH: 65 health score at popular Hoover restaurant posted last month by accident

Last month, a low health score at a popular Hoover business that hasn't been open that long got our attention. Turns out, the county health department posted it by accident.

  Inside Homewood Police pursuit policy

Homewood Police put a lot of effort into making sure a high speed chase doesn't spin out of control.

  Untested Waters: Feds take small steps toward inspecting more seafood

The FDA has a new strategy for imported food safety, and Congress has increased seafood inspection funds. But the U.S. still lags behind some other countries when it comes to inspections and regulations.

  CBD products put to the test: Are you getting what you’re paying for?

  Will Pickens County Sheriff get his state pension?

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

Watching Your Wallet: Experts say to shop around for the best deals on car insurance and cell phone plans

  Study: Ring cameras may not be as good a crime fighting tool as advertised

  Cullman County woman who survived tornado believes mobile home wasn’t tied down properly

  New warning for parents of babies on how they sleep

New Warning for Parents of Babies on How They Sleep

  You can now tell Amazon’s Alexa to delete your conversations

Amazon now allows you to delete conversations off your Alexa Echo device after privacy issues raised by consumers.

  Why are there so many unresolved car recalls?

New stats from CarFax show about 1 out of every 5 vehicles on the road are under some kind of recall and haven’t been fixed.

Surprise Medical Bills: What can you do to avoid them?

We’re looking into something you may want to check on the next time you go for a check up...surprise medical bills.

  Admissions scandal impact on local universities

How is the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal changing the way local universities conduct their admissions process?

  Watching Your Wallet: Make the most of your summer vacation

A frequent traveler and financial expert give their tips for saving money when booking flights and hotels.

  Study shows Alabama tornadoes are the deadliest in the U.S.

Research shows that Alabama tornadoes are the deadliest in the nation. The state averages 14 tornado deaths a year. From 1950 to 2016, over 630 people have died in tornadoes in Alabama compared to over 550 in Texas. A leading researcher gives us his opinion on why tornadoes are occurring more often.

Advocates for Alabama’s incarcerated oppose slowing parole

Bill would give Governor more power over paroles

  Why you can’t trust security cameras

Don't count on the cameras you see inside and outside of stores to protect you, we found plenty of reasons to be wary.

  Elderly Hoover man loses life savings in tech support scheme

An elderly Hoover man says he lost his life savings. He tells us he was tricked by someone he thought he could trust. Now he’s warning others.

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.

Watching Your Wallet: Spring housing market secrets revealed

Want to get top dollar for your home this spring? Or are you looking to buy your first home? NerdWallet gives tips for those on both sides of the equation.

  Birmingham Police working to bridge gap between youth and law enforcement

The Birmingham Police Department is working to better bridge the divide between law enforcement and youth in the community. Police Chief Patrick Smith says he's making it a priority. We’re looking into a programs that could help make a difference.

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

A Jefferson County spokesperson said the problem was a damaged manhole that was partially blocking the line.

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

Scientists are using forensic genetics to help solve decades-old cold cases.

  Failed and Forgotten

The deaths of hundreds of children because of abuse or neglect goes unnoticed every year by agencies that protect kids. Congress and a 45-year-old law are largely to blame.

  A trifecta of failures puts kids at risk

When children die because of abuse or neglect, child protection agencies are often blamed – they are underfunded and overworked. But there are many other culprits who failed children.

  Digital rollbacks: Millions of cars have false mileage on odometers

Carfax experts say there are potentially more than one million cars on the roads with false odometer readings - meaning their mileage has been rolled back to make the vehicles look like they have less wear and tear.

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

In 2017, more than a million children were identity theft fraud victims. Two thirds of those kids were under the age of 8 according to new research from the firm Javelin.

  Will proposed new vaping regulations in Alabama actually work?

A bill would ban stores and shops from selling vaping devices and limit the flavors stores can sell.

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

Rather than taking a tax refund check and splurging on a quick shopping spree, NerdWallet advises people make smart spending – or saving - plans.

  Essential oils: Medicine or myth?

Is there any clinical evidence that one essential oil can ease a migraine or stress?

  Birmingham City Schools making significant progress on state report cards

A five-year strategic plan seems to be paying off, according to school leaders.

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

The Uniform Crime Reporting Act of 1988 requires federal law enforcement agencies to submit information about their cases to a federal database maintained by the FBI; however, those agencies are currently not submitting data, including information about hate crimes.

  Effective or Inefficient: The debate over School Resource Officers

Experts in criminal justice, law enforcement, and education split on the role of 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

Managing money is a constant struggle for most families, but it’s worse for the average American than many might think.

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

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information about financial institutions, including complaints. But NerdWallet and InvestigateTV have found examples of complaints that don't show up in the database.

  Sex offender ruling could mean less information for police

A federal court ruling could strike down parts of Alabama’s sex offender law. A recent federal ruling says convicted sex offenders may not have to give internet provider information, instant messages or email addresses to law enforcement.

  Samford study may unlock secrets to improving your workout

A group of college-age males can bench press better if they’re listening to Drake than they could if they heard a Dierks Bentley ballad.

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

Three years ago, a Birmingham woman paid over $4,000 for a new roof. Three years later, it's still leaking. She called the On Your Side Investigators for help.

  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.