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CFPUA praises Chemours’ requirements in revised consent order; will reconsider pending legal action

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is reconsidering its motion against Chemours after the chemical company filed a revised legal agreement with the state Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday.

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

Hate crimes in the Cape Fear: How local trends compare to national trends

With hearing set to begin, a look back at the election fraud investigation

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

Rouzer says office can do little to help with White Oak Dike, will look at flood mitigation

Final documents set stage for election fraud hearing

Continued Coverage

  Millions of dollars are needed to repair the White Oak Dike, but where will the money come from?

Failure to Protect: Decades of dike’s neglect leave residents with unanswered questions

State concerned over Columbus County board’s dismissal of election protest on technicality

While working, claiming residence in Columbus County, acting sheriff routinely gassed patrol car in Lumberton

NHCS board declines citizen request for investigation

80,000 driver’s records wrong due to DMV computer glitch

Interim college president draws six-figure salary while his own search firm looks for successor

WECT has learned the interim president of the college also works for the firm hired to conduct the college’s presidential search, a fact that isn’t sitting well with some college employees.

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.

  Landfill’s lifespan ‘drastically reduced’ as Florence recovery, area growth squeeze resources

Months after storm, who will pay for debris removal in gated neighborhoods still up in the air

Greene pays $25K bond to keep sheriff’s seat, for now

VA will work to recover improper payments if fraud confirmed

Woman’s ballot thought to be missing was actually counted; state cites clerical error

Restrooms still an issue at Port City Marina two years later

  Former high school teacher facing new charges for sex crimes

A former New Hanover County high school science teacher is facing new charges in an ongoing criminal investigation into inappropriate relationships he had with his students and other minors. Mike Kelly was recently charged for sex crimes that happened a decade ago against a newly discovered victim.

McCready campaign, NCSBE call for Harris petition to be dismissed

Wake County Superior Court has not set a date to hear a petition from Republican Mark Harris — but the stage is set for one.

Business disputes complaints, plans to sue for defamation

Topping wrote an elaborate post on his own website, attempting to discredit his accusers, and telling readers that “WECT Can Not Be Trusted,” after our report detailing the growing number of customer complaints about his company, DTopp.

NC attorney general investigating Wilmington business

The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office is investigating a downtown Wilmington business accused of taking customers’ money and not providing promised services. WECT has received complaint after complaint about this business.

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.

Hidden in plain sight: A decade of local politics culminates in national election fraud investigation

In a small office space located just a few blocks off US Highway 701, two women held down operations as the phones rang nearly non-stop for a week.

  ‘KKK’ writing, racial epithets draw interest in 5-year-old girl’s killing

Race could have been a factor in the sexual assault and murder of a 5-year-old girl in a rural Pender County community, according to court documents unsealed this week.

After years of litigation, couple’s lawsuit over their property’s flooding nearing end

A legal battle over whether the city of Boiling Spring Lakes should have to compensate a couple whose property flooded because of a city project is nearing an end, more than four and half years after the couple sued the Brunswick County community.

At least 21 candidates used Dowless, Red Dome over last decade

These candidates, whose constituencies cover Bladen County, Columbus County, Pender County, Brunswick County and New Hanover County, all listed Dowless, Red Dome, Politico Management Services or Patriots for Progress on their official campaign finance reports.

Commissioner says sheriff’s residency concern will be fine if ‘we leave it alone’

Columbus County Commissioner Edwin Russ confirms the newly elected sheriff of the county is living in a motorhome sometimes on a property he is claiming as his primary residence.

NBC’s Chuck Todd expects new election in NC-9 because of fraud investigation

The investigation into potential election fraud in Bladen and Robeson counties has grabbed national headlines. Chuck Todd, the moderator of NBC's “Meet the Press”, said Friday many pundits in Washington, DC are expecting a new election in North Carolina's Ninth District as a result.

Hiring red flags, officer safety cited as concerns in Southport police audit

A lengthy audit of the police department in Southport shows several areas of concern for newly-installed Chief of Police Todd Coring to tackle.

Evidence indicates Sheriff Jody Greene may not live in Columbus County

Tax records indicate there is no home at the address where newly elected Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene is claiming as his primary address.

NC election fraud: Concerning number of absentee ballots not returned in Columbus Co.

As evidence mounts of election fraud in Bladen County, WECT has learned this may not be an isolated problem. WECT has just uncovered that things in Columbus County may be even worse.

WECT INVESTIGATES: Murder or self-defense in car repo death?

William Kohler Jr. is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jeff Lowe, a repo man who was towing Kohler’s truck away from his house when he was shot and killed. Kohler said it was pitch black outside, and he thought he was being robbed.

Casey Roman: ‘Clearing the Air’ about her latest special report (”1on1 with Jon Evans” podcast)

Casey Roman has tackled heavy issues like opioid abuse, prostitution and homelessness in her documentaries and special reports for WECT News. Her latest effort centers around lawsuits filed against hog farms, with multi-million dollar judgments that have put some local farmers out of business.

‘Person of interest’ in elections fraud investigation was ‘throwing ballots in the wastebasket,’ Democratic party chair says

Bladen County Democratic Party Chairman Ben Snyder says said in an interview with WECT that reliable sources have told him McCrae Dowless, who is at the center of an elections fraud investigation so serious voters may have to go back to the polls for an elections do over, upped the ante this electio

Bladen elections vice-chair explains sudden resignation

Amidst the Bladen County elections fiasco which has delayed the certification of a US Congressional race, another top elections official has just resigned.

Political committees for McVicker, Harris issued subpoenas in elections investigation

The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement confirmed several pieces of information surrounding the investigation into potential elections fraud in the Ninth Congressional District race, including the fact that the political committee of Bladen County Sheriff James McVicker received a subpoena

NC Senators call for creation of committee to evaluate District 9 voting irregularities

Three Republican Senators from North Carolina are calling on Governor Roy Cooper to create a bipartisan task force to investigate voting irregularities spanning multiple election cycles, including the 2016 gubernatorial election.

Pleas, promises, and probation: Suspects in trooper’s death put 2nd chance in jeopardy

A WECT investigation of court records and transcripts reveal court-appointed attorneys, assistant district attorneys and a judge went out of their way in Chauncy Askew and Raheem Davis' prior criminal cases to help them succeed.

Wilmington’s fine-est hour: Parking trends in a growing downtown

From 2013 to 2018, more than 123,000 parking tickets were issued in Wilmington. As the city grows, parking officials work to keep up.

  DMV Commissioner granted exceptions despite staff advice, rulings

North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Torre Jessup took action on at least four occasions that reversed the recommendation or decision of staff, hearing officers and, in one case, a Superior Court judge, to the benefit of specific individuals.

Handwritten notes show efforts to collect absentee ballots in exchange for money in Bladen Co.

The two people who provided the notes to WBTV asked they not be identified to provide documents that could later become evidence in the ongoing investigation by the North Carolina State Board of Elections and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Campaign worker for N.C. congressional candidate has criminal history

WECT uncovered documents at the Bladen County Board of Elections office that show McCrae Dowless, a convicted felon who has done prison time after convictions for fraud and perjury, personally turned in hundreds and hundreds of absentee ballot requests leading up to the November election.

‘Unreasonably excessive’: Price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Florence

In the weeks following Hurricane Florence, hundreds of complaints of price gouging poured into the North Carolina Attorney General’s office.

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.

Laptops, iPads, musical instruments: Teachers report hundreds of items missing following Florence

Hundreds of items were reported missing by teachers across the region as they returned to their classrooms after Hurricane Florence.

Answers to frequently asked insurance questions after Hurricane Florence

A Wilmington insurance agent sat down with WECT to share advice and answer some of the most common questions people with insurance claims for storm damage are asking.

UNCW students seek answers to larceny cases on campus

After a month of no answers, UNCW students are wanting to know what the school is going to do about the several counts of larceny. Dozens of students reported items stolen after coming back from the hurricane.

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.

Clearing the air: The hog farm lawsuits

In 2013, China-based WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods. The $4.7 billion merger combined the United States' top pork producer with the world’s biggest pork producing company. According to some members of the agriculture community, the massive price tag made the company a target for lawsuits.

DMV Commissioner uses inflated numbers in presentation on long wait times to lawmakers

North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Torre Jessup included data in a presentation to state lawmakers on Thursday that included numbers sharply higher than the numbers in the same data set provided to WBTV by the DMV just a month earlier.

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.

Hundreds nearly kept off voter roles after registering at DMV

Nearly 400 people who registered to vote or attempted to change their voter registration at the DMV were nearly kept off the poll books due to a technical glitch.

Brunswick County Schools admits it ‘inadvertently’ broke state law in superintendent search

Brunswick County Schools “inadvertently” broke state law when it failed to notify the public of two official meetings where board members interviewed candidates for superintendent and ultimately came to an agreement on its top choice, a school spokesperson said on Monday.

  Lack of student loans prevents entrepreneur from getting a loan

Already having an understanding about the costs associated with a start-up, Jacob Tippet had a hard time justifying college’s price tag. That amount of money could transform his career now, while the classroom had no guarantees.

15,000 untested rape kits sit on shelves across the state. What will leaders do to get them processed?

More than 15,000 rape kits—some decades old—are sitting on shelves at law enforcement agencies across the state.

Watching Your Wallet: Travel More, Spend Less

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

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.

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.