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.

  Costly Care: Medicare charged hundreds more than drug’s cost at cash value

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

  Enormous trash pile cleared in Jasper County

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

  Watching Your Wallet: Make smart money moves before 2020

  Affordable housing changes coming to West Savannah

Continued Coverage

  WTOC Investigates: Field drug tests producing false results

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

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

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

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

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

  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

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

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

  WTOC Investigates: Infestation frustration

  WTOC Investigates: Carnival ride inspections in Georgia

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

  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.

  Port Wentworth hopes to start drainage projects by year end

Shortly after we highlighted the problems with flooding in the area, Norfolk Southern reached out to the city. The city administrator said he hopes to have council approve a contract for the right of way at their October meeting.

  Savannah’s new parking system leads to more warnings, tickets

It’s been over a year since the city implemented a new parking system in downtown Savannah.

  Georgia attorney general reminding you to be smart with contractors

The biggest thing if you find yourself needing repairs done is to not rush into any decision. Slowing down and doing some homework can save you a lot of trouble. Making repairs is something a lot of people in our area have done over the past few years.

Law center ‘skeptical’ of oxygen injectors used in Savannah Harbor deepening project

In a WTOC Investigates update, WTOC has learned the Southern Environmental Law Center will not fight the Army Corps moving forward with the Savannah Harbor deepening project.

  State law fell short of enforcement on debris pile until it was too late

Records released to WTOC News by the SC DHEC reveal a long, contentious relationship with the owner of Able Contracting - one that goes back to 2013.

  State senator estimates S.C. will spend millions in debris fire cleanup

It could cost about $4.5 million to remove a smoldering debris pile that caught fire weeks ago in rural Jasper County, South Carolina.

  WTOC Investigates: Domestic abuse victim forced to call 911 twice for help

Imagine calling 911 in an emergency situation, but being unable to speak. Many would hope that a dispatcher could find you based on your call, but that’s not always the case.

  Georgia, South Carolina public schools struggle hiring diverse teachers

Georgia public education leaders are facing an alarming trend when it comes to teachers in the classroom. There is a massive lack of diversity when it comes to who’s teaching your children.

WTOC Investigates: Staffing numbers at Georgia state prisons

Prison workers say critical understaffing in some of our country’s prisons is leading to dangerous environments.

  Georgia Southern football player pleads not guilty, 911 call released of incident in Fla.

Audio obtained by WTOC from the Bradford County, Fla. Sheriff's Office sheds some light on the disturbing details that led to Georgia Southern University football player Quan Griffin and his two family members being arrested and charged with multiple felonies.

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

Widespread concern about understaffing in Mississippi's prisons has people calling for a change. They say inmates, correctional officers and surrounding communities are in danger.

  Savannah police chief pushes back on anonymous letter, speaks on officer shortage

The author of the letter, claiming to represent a group of Savannah police officers, accused Chief Minter of promoting people for political reasons and killing morale through moves he's made over the past year. It was sent to members of the media, city council, and posted on social media.

WTOC Investigates: Who will pay to extinguish the burning trash pile in Jasper County?

The cost continues to grow for a coordinated effort underway to extinguish a burning trash site in Jasper County, and some clarity came this week about who will pay for it.

  WTOC Investigates: 1 year since woman killed in alligator attack on Hilton Head Island

Tuesday marks one year since an alligator attacked and killed an elementary school teacher from upstate New York who was at her vacation home on Hilton Head Island.

  WTOC Investigates: Savannah State University focused on campus safety, student retention ahead of fall semester

Savannah State University kicked off the new semester today with a new person in charge. Interim President Kimberly Ballard-Washington will stay on campus until a permanent leader is hired, most likely by next year.

  Class action lawsuit filed against landfill owner in Jasper County

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Able Contracting, the company responsible for a trash pile that’s been burning since June.

  Inner harbor deepening set to begin for SHEP project, Army Corps spokesman says

The Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that the dissolved oxygen injector site on the Savannah River injected enough oxygen into the river to satisfy environmental demands.

  GBI director, lab workers aim at cutting down crime lab backlog

There are more than 36,000 items that are considered backlogged in state crime labs. That is evidence that is in the lab 30 days without being tested. There is good news; that backlog did shrink by about 200 items in the last month.

  Measure of Hate documentary explores the undercounting of crimes in America

InvestigateTV shows issues with undercounting hate crimes, including the FBI failing to meet a federal mandate to report. After months of reporting on this issue, this documentary also highlights results of the investigation, including police departments amending their records.

  Major Port Wentworth drainage projects wait in limbo

City leaders, the Georgia Department of Transportation, and the homeowner don’t dispute the flooding. The issue is whether the negligence or environmental changes are the reason.

  Local agencies help nationwide sex trafficking sting

A nationwide sting dubbed “Operation Independence Day” just wrapped up. The mission’s purpose was to identify and rescue as many victims of child sex trafficking as possible during the month of July.

Lost equipment possibly puts soldiers’ personal info in jeopardy

The Georgia Army National Guard is sending out letters to current and former military members about their private information being compromised.

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

By retirement, financial experts say you should have at least eight times your annual salary saved up. NerdWallet explains how to get there, decade-by-decade.

  WTOC Investigates: Military housing survey results released

In May, WTOC did a series of investigative stories about a survey by the Military Family Advisory Network highlighting some level of dissatisfaction of privatized military housing nationwide including at Ft. Stewart.

  WTOC Investigates: Fixing Fort Stewart

This year, the military declared it has a housing crisis with its on-base units. WTOC looked into the results of a national survey, and 70 men and women living at Ft. Stewart voiced concerns.

  EXCLUSIVE: Survey results show major problems with housing on military bases, including Fort Stewart

A new study released Wednesday unveiled what it said are widespread problems with privatized military housing. These families are being forced to deal with ongoing maintenance issues like leaks, mold, and even rats.

  WTOC Investigates: How the 2020 Census will affect public schools

Tens of thousands of local students are enrolled in public schools, schools that can’t survive without public funding. The U.S. Census plays a large role in that.

  Chatham County’s 911 center improving technology, filling vacancies

They’re currently updating their computer systems so first responders can be dispatched more quickly. They’re also about to start using a system that provides more accurate location data when someone calls 911. Finally, they’re actively hiring for 22 vacancies.

  WTOC Investigates: School bus inspections in Georgia

How do school systems make sure each bus gets a passing grade? It all comes down to inspections. Many inspections.

  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.

  Hilton Head mayor defends spending almost $17,000 on town-funded trip

The Hilton Head mayor and town manager are back from a trip to Italy.

  Former Rape Crisis Center executive director files lawsuit claiming discrimination

The former executive director of the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire is suing more than two dozen people tied to law enforcement and advocacy groups.

  City of Savannah, CSX working on issues caused by rail line

The City of Savannah met with the CSX Corporation at the end of June to discuss issues caused by a railroad crossing that runs right over President Street next to the Truman Parkway.

  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.

  WTOC Investigates: Makeup expiration concerns

Millions of women wear makeup, but some don’t know that what you put on your face could be infecting and ruining your skin if you use expired makeup.

  SCCPSS releases results of AdvancED accreditation report

The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System released the results of a monitoring review report carried out by accreditation agency AdvancED on Tuesday.

  No trial date set for man charged with July 4 City Market shooting

It has been over two years since violence erupted in the heart of downtown Savannah during the Fourth of July celebration and no trial date has been set for the accused.

  Water management company explains high bills for some in Bryan County

The CEO of Water Utility Management, the company that manages water out there, said this time of year, bills always take a big jump. Outdoor watering is the main reason.

  Census test is real

Next year, every American household will get a Census form to fill out, but before that happens, nearly half a million households will receive something called the “Census Test."

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

A NerdWallet financial expert offers tips on saving money on car insurance and cell phone bills: Watch this and don't pay for what you don't need.

  Did the work get done? Checking behind your mechanic

Car maintenance is necessary. We’ve had people call us and say work they paid for didn’t get done, so we got answers on how to check behind your mechanic.

  City of Savannah slow to transition to green cars

The City of Savannah unveiled its first two electric cars on Monday. They are a part of the Strategic plan to convert 15 percent of its fleet to hybrid or electric cars.

  Understanding the connection between your tax bill and the millage rate

So, what does the millage rate mean when it comes to your taxes? Click for a breakdown.

  WTOC Investigates: Unlocked cars and stolen guns

Unlocked cars are often a target for thieves to find stolen guns. In a WTOC Investigation, WTOC’s Romney Smith looked more into the numbers and how local police departments are tracking.

  Previous WTOC Investigations on sex crimes involving minors in GA

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster became the first governor in the country to sign a pledge to keep children safe while on the internet on Wednesday.

  Asked & Answered: Tracking and removing dangerous alligators

As a wrongful death lawsuit following an alligator attack sits in Beaufort County court, WTOC is getting a better idea of how South Carolina and Georgia monitor potentially dangerous gators.

Local doctor sentenced to prison for prescribing narcotics to non-patients

A Georgia physician with clinics in Pooler and Braselton was sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for illegally prescribing drugs to non-patients.

  Changes underway at Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield following ‘housing crisis’ for military members

Leaders at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield say big changes are underway to address what the military calls a ‘housing crisis.'

  SCCPSS facing lawsuit stating student raped on school bus in 2017

The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System is at the center of a civil suit. The lawsuit claims the district didn’t do enough to keep a 10-year-old student from being raped on a school bus back in 2017.