DEQ issues permit for water treatment system at Chemours site

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has issued a permit for a water treatment system at Chemours' Fayetteville Works site to remove PFAS from a contaminated stream that flows into the Cape Fear River, state officials announced Friday.

  As early voting days approach, some NC counties still need poll workers

  Part Four: Cover-Up Culture? WECT Investigates how the embattled NHCS system can move forward and heal from decades of abuse

  WECT Investigates: Homeowner learns contractor operating without a license

  Part Three: Cover-Up Culture? WECT Investigates claims of retaliation in the face of abuse reports at NHCS

  R.C. Soles placed on ‘disability inactive status,’ State Bar investigation suspended

  NC needs more poll workers this year, but the pandemic has made them harder to find

Continued Coverage

  Part Two: Cover-Up Culture? - WECT Investigates administrators’ response to sexual abuse at New Hanover County Schools

  DEQ, Chemours agree to further PFAS control measures; CFPUA ‘surprised’ by proposal

As COVID-19 spikes in some ZIP codes, causes aren’t always clear

  Detective’s tactics questioned after more charges dropped for lack of evidence

  How the state chose cooperation over public information and meatpacking plant virus cases went unpublished

  Sheriff’s office ordered to hand over investigative files in New Hanover County teacher sex scandal

NC attorney general announces formal investigation into PFAS contamination

Attorney General Josh Stein on Monday announced that his office has launched a formal investigation into the manufacturers and other entities responsible for the per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in North Carolina.

  Part One: Cover-Up Culture? - WECT Investigates decades of sexual abuse at New Hanover County Schools

WECT Investigates took a deep dive into decades of admitted and alleged sexual abuse by New Hanover County Schools employees.

  As COVID-19 spread in meatpacking plants, workplace complaints piled up

Of 75 complaints and referrals related to COVID-19 and the meat packing industry through July 15, none have prompted fines or even a site visit, the NC labor department says.

  NC virus testing started slow, pace gradually catching up to national average

Documents obtained by the N.C. Watchdog Reporting Network show state health leaders waited until mid-April to begin formulating a comprehensive state-wide testing plan. At the same time, North Carolina was slipping to the bottom of the back in per-capita testing compared to other states.

  Fired WPD officer files appeal, claims wrongful termination

NC still lacks plan for regular mass testing in nursing homes

  CFCC provides heavily redacted legal bills after WECT hires attorney

Cooper calls death records secrecy bill ‘problematic’ as lawmakers weigh changes

  Top lawmaker says NCGA will ‘revisit and correct’ bill that would limit access to death investigation records

  NHRMC releases COVID-19 data as state rep. demands NC harden virus directives to hospitals

  As COVID-19 patients increase, hospitals prepare for surge

Leaders at health systems around the state say a combination of better medical care and larger stockpiles of protective gear mean they can handle surges in COVID-19 patients more effectively today than they could three months ago. But those same leaders warn that the additional capacity still has a

NC kept moving hundreds of inmates during pandemic. Experts say that increased risks.

NC prison officials transferred more than 1,000 inmates between various prisons in April and May, at a time when they said inmate movement had been largely restricted. Experts say each inmate movement increased the risk of spreading the virus.

  How do cops use force in NC? Most agencies won’t say

Nationwide, transparency advocates have pushed for the release of use-of-force records themselves, which provide far greater detail on each incident and the law enforcement officers involved.

  Experts, judge voice concern as NC’s prisons resume moving inmates amid COVID-19 spread

Some medical experts expressed concern that resuming transfers would increase the chances that COVID-19 would be spread further inside the prisons.

  Embattled professor responds to questions about discrepancies on his resume

Some viewed the now-tenured professor as untouchable because of first amendment protections of his free speech, but new questions about claims on Adams’ resume may be his undoing.

WPD Interim Chief Donny Williams addresses the death of George Floyd

Donny Williams, Interim chief of the Wilmington Police Department, wrote in a Twitter post, Friday afternoon, that he was deeply troubled by what he saw happen to George Floyd.

Brunswick County Sheriff expresses disgust over the actions that led to George Floyd’s death

"The heinous act perpetrated on George Floyd was reprehensible."

  NC limits information on meatpacking plants’ COVID-19 outbreaks as case numbers grow

“The virus gets into a meat plant and that can turn disastrous,” one expert says.

Media coalition sues Cooper, cabinet agencies for COVID-19 records

A coalition of more than two dozen media outlets filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking the release of a list of records related to COVID-19 that the state had, so far, refused to provide.

EPA regional staff was ‘unaware’ of GenX consent order, probe finds

An investigation by the internal watchdog for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found “insufficient communication and coordination” within the agency allowed DuPont, and later Chemours, to discharge the toxic compound GenX into the Cape Fear River virtually unchecked for nearly a decade.

  CFCC refusing to disclose itemized bills or reason for recent spike in attorney’s fees

CFCC has repeatedly refused to disclose itemized legal bills, or to explain the surge in expenses, saying the bills are protected by attorney-client privilege. Public records law experts say otherwise.

Senate leader demands answers after report about prison nurse’s COVID-19 death

Barbara Anne Stewart died May 7 at a Danville, Virginia, hospital at the age of 57, about a month after she tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

  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.

Nurse’s COVID-19 death raises questions about delayed testing at NC prison

One week after the nurse died, prison officials began offering a limited run of free testing to staff members at off-site locations across the state.

  Federal grand jury declines to bring charges against Chemours regarding Clean Water Act

An investigation into the conduct of Chemours at its Fayetteville Works plant did not result in federal criminal charges.

  Canceled by COVID: Loss of 2020 Azalea Festival will cost Cape Fear economy millions

The 73rd annual Azalea Festival was canceled because of COVID-19.

Experts: Without more COVID-19 testing, “more people will die” in prisons

When little testing is done, undetected cases of COVID-19 are inevitable, said one expert.

  Work to repair an ‘inactive’ dike could pick up this week after decades of neglect

A Wilmington-based engineering firm is scheduled to begin drilling work this week in the Kelly area in Bladen County in what would mark the first significant work to bring a dike back into working order and protect citizens in the area from potential flooding dangers.

  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.

Records reveal data gaps in one of NC’s key COVID-19 metrics

An analysis of limited data provided by the state shows significant gaps exist in responses to the survey, sometimes from the state’s largest hospitals.

  WPD: Man charged with Monday night shooting on Princess Place Drive

The Wilmington Police Department has arrested and charged a man in connection with a shooting Monday night.

  The pandemic will drive up election costs, and so far NC isn’t ready

Despite the urgent need for funding — the 2020 general election is less than six months away — North Carolina lawmakers have yet to substantively address requests made by the state board of elections.

Elizabethtown police investigating fatal shooting

After a shooting that occurred May 4, Elizabethtown police has launched a homicide investigation.

  History of deficiencies at many NC nursing homes with big outbreaks

Statewide, cases at those facilities account for nearly 18% of all laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus and more than half of the total deaths reported in the state.

  Drug Dependence: COVID-19 weakens already fragile U.S. drug supply

Unlike many other countries, the FDA doesn't require a "made in" label on drugs, even though the federal agency estimates 80% of the ingredients and 40% of the finished drugs are manufactured overseas.

UPDATE: City manager authorized to look into allegations within police department

When council came out of the closed session, Mayor Craig Caster stated, “In our closed session, our manager was given authorization to look into the allegations presented in the special meeting about the police department.”

  Officer alleges police chief made lewd remarks to women; closed meeting scheduled

Boiling Spring Lakes Commissioners have called a closed session meeting to discuss personnel, just days after receiving a complaint from a member of the police department alleging sexual harassment and uneven discipline polices by the new chief of police.

Coronavirus is tearing through NC nursing homes, but the state won’t say which ones

Nursing homes and other congregate care facilities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19

  Official coronavirus death counts may give incomplete picture of virus’ toll

With continued testing shortages, it may be some time before a clear idea of the death toll emerges.

  Attorneys launch new civil suit regarding former NHCS band teacher arrested for sex crimes

Attorneys have filed a new lawsuit against NHCS regarding the alleged actions of a former teacher.

  Additional victims added in Mike Kelly lawsuit

An amended complaint was filed Thursday, April 16.

NCDEQ requiring Chemours to make extensive changes to Corrective Action Plan

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality announced Tuesday that it is requiring Chemours to make extensive revisions to the proposed Corrective Action Plan the company submitted in December.

  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.

  Hospitals worry about staffing as providers prepare for surge of coronavirus patients

Ventilator and equipment shortages have been the primary topics of conversation around COVID-19, but there appears to be a shortage of personnel as well.

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.

State Rep. Smith to make 50% more than predecessor in interim EM role

State Representative Carson Smith will serve as interim Emergency Management Coordinator for at least four months in Pender County.

Tracking coronavirus: A look at COVID-19 testing in Southeastern NC

WECT has joined with several other media outlets around the state to take a look at the testing process for COVID-19 as the number of cases of the novel coronavirus grows.

  As coronavirus ramps up in North Carolina, many questions still left unanswered

Statewide reporting collaborative tracking COVID-19 testing in N.C.

  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.

Search warrants are powerful. Yet few N.C. courts track how often they’re kept secret

Making the warrant public acts as a check on the incredible authority of the state. It's a testament to the value we put on our right to unreasonable search.

  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.

Charter school administration responds to lawsuit from former employee

Attorneys have responded to the suit filed in December.

  CFCC leadership concerns make state, national headlines

In addition to the Martin Center report, the New York City-based National Review Online has now picked up on the story, calling the situation at CFCC an “abuse of power.”

  Search warrants detail alleged sex act by former band teacher with NHC middle schooler

WECT has obtained search warrants that appear to detail the crimes against a seventh victim in the Peter Frank case. The alleged incidents happened prior to those that first reported against other students, and appear to be more serious.

  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.

  Judge Ray files counter complaint against people behind unflattering political flyer

A New Hanover County judge has hired a law firm to go after political opponents of hers for distributing campaign materials about her past controversies. Judge Sandra Ray says the campaign flyers do not have the proper campaign advertising disclosures, and are factually inaccurate.

‘A display of soft pornography’: 47 North Carolinians complain to FCC about J-Lo, Shakira Super Bowl halftime show

Despite a thrilling second half resulting in Kansas City’s first Super Bowl win in 50 years, it’s safe to say one of the most talked about aspects of the big game was the halftime performance featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

  Elections intimidation complaint filed against Judge Sandra Ray

According to complainant Mike Korn, Ray confiscated campaign material Korn had handed out to a voter, including a pamphlet discouraging people from voting for Ray. Additionally, Korn indicates that Ray threatened legal action against him.

  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.

  Hazing, alcohol violations reason for disciplinary actions taken against 4 UNCW Greek organizations

Six of UNCW’s 30 Greek organizations are not in good standing with the university.

  Bladen County Commission approves agreement for repairs to White Oak Dike

Nearly a year and a half after Hurricane Florence dumped catastrophic rainfall on Southeastern North Carolina, leaders in Bladen County are moving to prevent future damaging flooding in at least one part of the community.

  Middle school band teacher charged with sex crimes fired by New Hanover County Schools

Peter Frank's employment has been terminated by the board of education.

  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.

Mark Ruffalo, star of ‘Dark Waters,’ expected to visit Wilmington for a screening of film

The movie is about DuPont’s contamination of drinking water in West Virginia; it hits very close to home for people in southeastern North Carolina worried about GenX contamination

  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.