WTOC Investigates

  Asked & Answered: How reliable are COVID-19 tests?

  Hinesville family tired of dealing with sewage issue

  Records show teen charged with obstruction in Hutcheson case was arrested for DUI, hit-and-run a month earlier

  Police report reveals new details in deadly shooting of Statesboro teenager

  WTOC Investigates: Analysis shows Savannah businesses received hundreds of millions of dollars in PPP loans

  Asked & Answered: Know your flight refund rights

Continued Coverage

  Asked & Answered: Who handles workplace safety complaints about COVID-19?

  Ahmaud Arbery’s death renews efforts to dissolve the Glynn Co. Police Department

  Lawsuit accuses Glynn County Police Dept. of corruption, negligence

  911 calls show Greg McMichael previously confronted someone for break-ins

  Wrong video conference help line routes to scammers

  Attorney in Arbery case says person on video may have been getting water

  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.

  Suspect in Arbery case missed state-mandating training requirement while working as DA investigator

One of the suspects involved in the Ahmaud Arbery case retired from the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a criminal investigator for 24 years.

  Man charged in Ahmaud Arbery’s death called 911 nearly 2 weeks earlier

Newly released 911 audio from a February 11th incident gives more context to the Ahmaud Arbery murder investigation.

  911 calls, incident reports shed light on previous issues in Glynn County neighborhood

WTOC obtained 10 incident reports and radio communication logs from at least 5 prior 911 calls in Satilla Shores, the neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery was killed in February by armed homeowners.

  GBI officially joins review of how prosecutors handled Ahmaud Arbery death

  Ahmaud Arbery shooting investigation is latest source of criticism for Glynn County PD

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

Some nursing homes now battling COVID-19 previously cited for infection-control failures

Cases, deaths continue to increase as Georgia prepares to start reopening

  Robocalls advertising fake coronavirus-related products and bogus deals

  Asked and Answered: Businesss facing COVID-19 related fines

A $1,000 fine is what some Savannah businesses now face if they don’t follow the mayor’s “Shelter in Place” order.

  Asked and Answered: Are elective surgeries canceled?

Certain medical procedures and surgeries are being put on hold. A federal agency has given guidance and examples, but ultimately it comes down to doctor discretion.

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.

  Asked & Answered: Daycare, gym closures - do I still have to pay?

Daycare for many parents is expensive. In some cases, the financial burden is like having a second mortgage.

  Are evictions allowed during a pandemic?

Several people have contacted WTOC to say their work hours have been cut and they're struggling to pay rent.

  Vacation rental companies change policies amid Coronavirus concerns

Vacation rental companies are changing their cancellation policies in the face of all the uncertainty. We’ve heard from concerned people wondering how to move a trip dates or get a refund.

  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.

  Georgia Department of Labor outlines unemployment benefits

Thousands of Georgians will eventually start filing for unemployment. So how does that work, and how much will you get paid? The state is already seeing an uptick in partial unemployment claims.

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.

  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.

  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.

  Arrests down, tickets up since marijuana ordinance change in Savannah

Is a recent change in punishments for marijuana possession making a difference in Savannah? The new ordinance allows officers to write a ticket for breaking a city code when someone has less than an ounce of marijuana. The department thinks the change is working.

  New method of DNA testing could help solve 1994 murder of Savannah teenager

A new method of DNA testing could help solve the 1994 murder of a teenage girl. Savannah Police say evidence preserved from back then could finally link a suspect to the crime scene.

  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.

  Red light cameras: Are they working?

A WTOC Investigation found serious crashes have decreased in the years since the Savannah city leaders installed red light cameras at several intersections. However, it also uncovered a growing number of unpaid tickets.

  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.

  Asked and Answered: How traffic lights get installed

We get a lot of questions from people asking about the process of putting in traffic lights in communities, especially in places that are growing quickly.

  Chatham Apartments residents scramble for new living space

An affordable housing crunch deepens for the elderly and disabled in Savannah.

  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.

  New SSU police chief subject of criminal investigation in North Carolina, according to state law enforcement agency

WTOC confirms a North Carolina district attorney is weighing whether to criminally charge Savannah State’s new police chief, according to the North Carolina’s state law enforcement agency.

  Illegal Contact: Banned drugs found in athletic performance supplements

Current and former NFL players say they have tested positive for drugs because of contaminated supplements. Scientists say it's a problem not just for athletes but anyone taking supplements - particularly those in performance-enhancement categories like weight loss and muscle building.

  Hinesville family scammed out of rental home

A family of five set to move into their new rental Friday is now without a home due to a scam.Despite touring the property themselves and even having a key to the home, they found out, it wasn’t theirs.

  Camden Co. Spaceport leaders amend FAA application for rocket launches

People living along Georgia’s coast will have to wait longer to see if the Federal Aviation Administration approves a Spaceport in Camden County.

  Former Saluda Co. deputy involved in Shai Werts’ case had troubled past

You’ll remember Deputy Charles Allen Browder III. He’s the one seen in video arresting Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts for what he thought was cocaine on the hood of his car.

  SLED opens criminal investigation into former Bluffton police officer

The chief accused him of serious misconduct in a letter to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. The chief wrote that an internal investigation revealed Harman threw away evidence in a case involving a drug recognition expert.

  Extra steps to protect your home from hackers

More and more people are turning their homes into "smart homes.” The average American household has 9 internet connected devices. It’s estimated there are now more than one billion internet-connected devices in homes across North America. That number will nearly double by 2025.

  Chatham County 911 center struggles to fill vacancies

Constant ringing is the last thing you want to hear if you need help and dial 911. Unfortunately, it’s happening in Chatham County because of a critical workforce shortage at the 911 center.

  Historic changes to military malpractice law allows federal government to be sued

We’ve heard a lot about impeachment during the last two weeks of the year. But also during that time, Congress approved and President Donald Trump signed into law a historic change for those in the military.

  Enormous trash pile cleared in Jasper County

An enormous debris pile in Jasper County that burned for six months is now clear.

  Recognizing Hate: FBI begins counting its own hate crime cases in federal data, inaccurate numbers remain

After years of breaking the law, the FBI has finally and quietly released its own hate crime statistics. As InvestigateTV uncovered in Measure of Hate, while the FBI published annual hate crime statistics, the agency failed to release its own numbers.

  Watching Your Wallet: Make smart money moves before 2020

From maxing out retirement contributions to checking your car insurance rates, experts say there are a few smart financial steps to take before the new year starts.

  Affordable housing changes coming to West Savannah

As the cost of housing continues to climb, so does the number of people who cannot afford a decent place to live. Savannah taxpayers recently signed off on a $10 million plan to tackle blight and affordable housing.

  WTOC Investigates: Field drug tests producing false results

A $2 drug test kit used routinely by law enforcement is still sometimes leading to wrongful arrests.

  Conservation groups locked in legal fight over seismic surveys off Atlantic coast

The federal government is weighing whether to give 5 companies permits to start seismic blasting off the Atlantic coast. The governors of each state along the Atlantic coast have objected.

  Repairs taking longer than expected on McQueen’s Trail in Chatham County

The McQueen’s Trail runs alongside Highway 80 as you’re driving to Tybee Island. The original project converted the original railroad tracks to Tybee Island with a trail.

  Preying on patriotism: Sham veterans and first-responder charities ousted for deception, their professional fundraisers largely left unscathed

Sham veterans and first-responder charities have been put out of business for misusing donations but their third-party, for-profit fundraisers remain in business.

South Carolina dealing with lack of properly trained nurses for sexual assault victims

Many sexual assault victims in South Carolina don’t have access to a properly trained nurse after a rape. The state is trying to address a shortage of sexual assault nurse examiners, or SANEs.

  Watching Your Wallet: Don’t break your gift budget this holiday season

Americans plan to spend an average of $825 on holiday gifts this year, according to NerdWallet. Experts give you ways to stay on budget and find the best deals.

  Cashing in on Charity: Donations meant to help sick children, wounded veterans, abused animals instead benefit for-profit fundraisers

Professional fundraisers are for-profit companies that contract with charities to solicit donations by telephone or through the mail. The industry is loosely regulated and can keep as much as 100% of donated dollars.

  Statewide data shows less than half of child sexual abuse charges in SC end with prison time

The 14th Circuit solicitor, Duffie Stone, said a lack of physical evidence is often why the charges are dropped. Stone said change is already on the way. His office recently opened a new facility that he believes is a game changer.

  Protecting your home during the holidays

More than 55 million Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving.

  Military leaders pushing for participation in new, on-post housing survey for Fort Stewart and HAAF

They say any feedback – good or bad – is necessary for their next steps. The latest push follows changes at the highest levels of the Army to improve housing on installations across the country.

  ‘Opportunity Zones’ hope to bring economic boost to Savannah communities

A federal initiative meant to transform poor communities by offering lucrative tax breaks is expected to give certain areas of Savannah an economic boost not seen in years.

Missed Opportunity: Federal initiative meant to help poor neighborhoods benefits the rich

Neighborhoods with an average income of about six-figures are labeled “distressed” by the federal government.

  Hidden Damage: Wrecked, flooded border patrol truck sold at dealership without damage declared

A Virginia man bought a car from a dealership. The title and history looked clear, but it turned out the truck had a dangerous history.

  WTOC Investigates: Infestation frustration

A rat problem in a Savannah woman's apartment building has gone on for months.

  WTOC Investigates: Carnival ride inspections in Georgia

Carnival rides are a popular attraction this time of the year. With so many carnivals popping up at county fairs and even in parking lots, it was time to take a closer look at how those rides are inspected.

  DFCS case file provides details on lives, deaths of twins in Hinesville

According to the case file provided to WTOC in an open records request, case workers told Claudette Foster not to leave the children with her boyfriend. They also told her not to spend the night with him.

  Majority of Gulfstream layoffs are from Savannah facilities

One of the largest employers in the Coastal Empire laid off hundreds of people.

  Ga. Dept. of Public Safety still dealing with ransomware attack

This impacts the Georgia State Patrol, Motor Carriers Compliance Division, and Capitol Police. The department can’t access any records from before July 26th.

  Fake Filters? Made-up addresses, strange receipts and copycat websites reveal knock-offs on the market

After several strange clues, a Michigan father questions whether his water filters are authentic. Experts say counterfeit filters are a growing problem in the United States.

Former owners of bankrupt Daufuskie Island resort face new federal charges

A grand jury re-indicted JT Bramlette and Anthony Hartman, accusing them of defrauding investors, lenders, the Beaufort County Treasurers Office, and the IRS. So far, only Hartman has pleaded not guilty; he did so October 9th.

  Records: Glynn Co. deputy accused of shooting wife had previous domestic violence incident

A Georgia deputy accused of shooting his wife in a Nashville, Tenn. hotel room had a previous arrest for a domestic violence incident.

  Loud, overnight roadwork disrupts Savannah neighborhood

The Georgia Department of Transportation said they’re working overnight to do the work when less people are on the roads. In full transparency, the reporter who did this story lives in the area.

  Watching Your Wallet: Student loan debt reaches all-time high

College graduates now owe the most money in history; experts say it's best to pay it back sooner rather than later.

Owner of burning trash site agrees to close facility

A debris recycling center on fire in Jasper County will close its doors.

  Youth has higher rates of HIV infection in Coastal Ga.

Georgia ranks No. 1 in the nation for new HIV infection rates.