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DTopp: convicted felon looking for a fresh start

David Topping was arrested at 19 for securities fraud. He was a naive kid with an ambitious business plan, who just got in over his head.Now, Topping’s a convicted felon, looking for a fresh start. He’s launched a new reputation management company in Wilmington.

  Broken Blue Laws: Push to privatize NC liquor sales

North Carolina is one of 17 states where the state still controls the sale of liquor, and a growing chorus of voices is questioning the wisdom of continuing this system set up in the wake of prohibition.

Congressman Jones wants VA to try to recoup wasted tax money

Congressman Walter Jones is trying to get your tax money back, after the VA's inspector general found the government overpaid by $2.3 million to lease land for Wilmington's VA clinic from the New Hanover County Airport Authority.

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.

Landlord moves to sell Wilmington VA clinic amidst criminal investigation

The private owners of the Wilmington VA clinic are looking to sell the facility to a new buyer. These developments come just days after news first broke about a criminal investigation by the VA inspector general into the leasing procedures and bidding process used when the clinic was built.

Inspector General finds potential fraud involving Wilmington VA Clinic

The Inspector found that the VA overpaid by millions to lease the land underneath the Wilmington clinic from the airport authority. Despite multiple requests, the VA was also unable to provide federally required paperwork detailing competing offers to build the clinic.

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.

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.

Big Pharma was supposed to self-police fentanyl prescriptions. It failed. Patients died.

Internal documents show lax enforcement, missed opportunities by the federal government.

You can help uncover political ad targeting on Facebook

Use the Facebook Political Ad Collector to help categorize ads and understand why they are targeting you.

Catholic leaders in Charlotte, Raleigh allowed priests to continue ministry despite abuse reports

Catholic leaders in North Carolina allowed priests to continue serving in active ministry, despite reports that those priests had engaged in inappropriate behavior, documents show. For months, WBTV has been gathering internal church documents, some dating back to the 1980s, related to two priests.

In letter to governor, New Hanover Co. rep asks: 'What does Chemours have to hide?'

A New Hanover County representative who is also the senior chairman of the House Committee on River Quality has sent a letter to Governor Roy Cooper expressing concern about the Chemours Company and GenX.

DEQ to host public info session on GenX

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public information session on the state's GenX investigation on Thursday, Aug. 30.  The event will be held at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Center at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown.

Commissioners limit travel spending following public scrutiny

According to travel reimbursement forms from a recent National Association of Counties conference in Nashville, TN, some local counties have made significant changes to save taxpayers money on county commissioner travel.

Protected by law: Did school system’s inaction open door to teen’s rape?

Sending sexually suggestive texts to a student was not enough to get Nicholas Oates fired from New Hanover County Schools. The former middle school special education assistant at Myrtle Grove Middle School was reinstated from an unpaid suspension in 2016 when sheriff's officials determined the texts about the size of his anatomy to a child did not break the law.

Wilmington officials discuss unknown topics behind closed doors

It took us more than six months to get them, but the City of Wilmington recently released Council's closed session minutes from 2017. The original minutes we were given are brief, and provide few details about what was discussed by public officials behind closed doors.

EPA to host forum on GenX, other compounds in Fayetteville Tuesday

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a community engagement event in Fayetteville on Tuesday, August 14, to discuss GenX and other chemical compounds found in local water.

'It's pretty bad': Lab testing of NC stormwater positive for fecal bacteria, WECT investigation reveals

A WECT investigation discovered bacterial contamination, including pathogens found in feces, in stormwater samples from Southeastern North Carolina.

Saffo, White respond after Chemours declines public meeting

Chemours declined a public meeting and instead offered local leaders a tour of its Fayetteville Works plant, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and New Hanover Co. Board Chairman Woody White said Monday.

Bill Skills: Saving on your cable bill

It's become one of the biggest bills you may get in a month, so much so that many people are dropping cable altogether. As we continue our Understanding Your Bill series, we're taking a look at your monthly cable bill, and how you can make sure you're not being overcharged.

WECT INVESTIGATES: Lab tests show bacteria levels in NC stormwater

You don't need a Ph.D. in Microbiology to know that stormwater buildup is yucky, gross, and just plain dirty.

  Case settled, ticket dropped after allegations of special treatment by WPD

There has been a legal settlement in an unusual car crash we first reported two years ago. A number of people raised concerns when a man who had been drinking pulled out of a bar parking lot on Market Street, striking another car and injuring the driver.

Bill Skills: Understanding your power bill

It can be one of the biggest bills you get in a month. And electric bills tend to be even higher in the heat of the summer, so we're delving into your power bill to make sure you understand your charges and are getting the most for your money.

Southport violated open meetings law when discussing police chief’s arrest

The Southport Board of Aldermen violated open meetings law Thursday when it convened an emergency meeting to discuss the arrest of Police Chief Gary Smith.

CFPUA releases latest results from testing for GenX

GenX levels in finished water samples at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant increased to 33.3 parts per trillion on July 2, according to a Cape Fear Public Utility Authority news release.

Bill Skills: Saving on your cell phone bill

Smartphones have gotten increasingly expensive, and monthly cellular and data plans can take a significant bite out of your budget.

Local leaders send letter to Chemours; NHC commissioner Watkins 'sick and tired' of company's silence

Wilmington leaders have once again invited officials from the Chemours Company to join them for a discussion on chemicals in our drinking water.

Bladen County leaders double down in support for Chemours

Citing the company's importance to the local economy, Bladen County leaders have again voiced support for Chemours in emails sent to the NC Department of Environmental Quality.

State says Chemours' filter systems offer is premature

State officials say Chemours was premature with its offer to install and maintain granular activated carbon filtration systems at homes around the company's Fayetteville Works Plant in Bladen County that have tainted well systems.  Michael Scott, the Director of the Division of Waste Management with the NCDEQ who wrote to residents regarding the company's offer, said Chemours acted before the state's study on the system is completed.

Chemours offers filters to owners of tainted water wells

State Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Bridget Munger said Chemours is acting without consulting the agency.

Health officials to test blood, urine of residents living near Chemours' Fayetteville Works site

Federal, state, and county officials will test the blood and urine of up to 30 residents living near Chemours' Fayetteville Works facility for the presence of GenX and 16 other per- and polyfuloroalkyl substances.

  Bill Skills: Understanding your water bill

Your water bill from CFPUA is one of the bills we hear a lot of complaints about in the newsroom. Typically, it's after a customer has experienced an undetected leak, or they've had a new water meter installed and their bill has spiked. We're delving into those and other water-related consumer concerns in our continuing series called Understanding Your Bill.

Southern Environmental Law Center files lawsuit calling for DEQ action on GenX

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit in New Hanover County Superior Court calling on the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to use its authority to require the Chemours Company to immediately stop all discharge of GenX and other chemically related compounds from its Fayetteville Works facility.

Chemours has new contact person for bottled water distribution

Residents in Bladen, Cumberland and Robeson counties have a new contact for bottled water issues related to GenX, an unregulated compound discharged into the Cape Fear River by the Chemours Company at its Fayetteville Works site.

How to save on your medical bills

We frequently get questions in the newsroom from people who don't understand their bills, or who feel they've been overcharged. When it comes to medical bills, it pays to do some research in advance. You can also save thousands by paying cash, and paying quickly.

Pitcher accused of killing wild goose on Ashley High School baseball field

A wild goose was killed on the Ashley High School baseball field. Parents contacted WECT with concerns of a cover up.

Comment period on proposed court order against Chemours ends July 11

A 30-day public comment period for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality's proposed order against Chemours will end on July 11.

CFPUA using $450K from NC bill to sample, test for contaminants

A bill that provides funding for water quality-related efforts includes $450,000 for the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. In a news release, CFPUA said the money will be used for water sampling and testing of treatment technology to address PFAS and other contaminants in drinking water.

Drunk driving deaths are down in New Hanover, but not in Brunswick

As we approach the 4th of July in the midst of the busy summer travel season, we're taking a look at highway fatalities on local roadways. The news is mixed.

GenX found in fish in lake near Chemours plant

GenX was found in fish in a lake less than a mile from the Chemours plant in Bladen County, according to a new study conducted by the Department of Environmental Quality.

CFPUA waiting on response from Dept. of Environmental Quality

Shortly after a new toxicological report on perfluorinated compounds was released last week by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority contacted two state agencies for additional information. One responded. The other hasn't.