With federal benefits expiring at end of the month, jobless North Carolinians unemployment benefits will be slashed by more than half

The $600 dollars from the FPUC is slated to expire on July 25th meaning if Congress doesn’t act, jobless North Carolinians are facing a steep drop in their weekly deposits.

NC legislators, governor call for repeal of restrictions on death investigation records

  Back at work, some North Carolinians still seek retroactive unemployment benefits

  DPS hires company for armed guard service despite history of disciplinary action

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

  Charlotte man says he’s being targeted by Code Enforcement, cited repeatedly for overgrown grass

  WBTV Investigates: COVID in the Carolinas

Continued Coverage

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

  Black American Airlines passenger says she was called racial slur before being kicked off flight

  While you were sleeping: North Carolina legislators restrict access to public records

  As COVID-19 patients increase, hospitals prepare for surge

  16-year-old scammed out of more than $2,000 after buying jet skis online

  NC superintendent asks auditor to investigate contract signed by state board chairman

  Judge denies state request to withhold some information about COVID-19 prison precautions

North Carolina prison officials asked a judge for permission to withhold some information about how its responding to COVID-19 in prisons

  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.

  Woman says she was billed thousands for a drug that should have been free

Gina Bond has multiple sclerosis. She gets special medicine a few times a year and, usually, it’s supposed to be free. But then she started getting a bill for thousands of dollars – with nobody willing to tell her why.

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

Law enforcement agencies across the state refuse to tell the public how they use force when policing their communities, citing provisions in state law they say shield such records from public view. Now, some state leaders say those laws should be re-examined.

  NC opens homeowner application program for those impacted by Hurricane Florence, Matthew

  As state unemployment insurance runs out, federal benefits kick in

  N.C. woman seeks in-network hospital services, gets surprise $1,200 bill

  NC’s prisons turn to private security guards to fill staffing gaps during COVID-19

  White House concerned by NC’s lack of COVID-19 testing

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

  Emails show Republican majority on Council of State objected to Governor’s order closing restaurants

New emails obtained by WBTV show the Republican majority on the Council of State objected to an order issued in mid-March by Governor Roy Cooper closing bars and restaurants to in-person dining. Council members had less than one hour to weigh in on the proposal.

  Employer must submit paperwork before woman can get unemployment benefits

Some workers who filed unemployment claims are waiting on their employers to fill out necessary paperwork before they can get benefits.

Prisons announce mass COVID-19 testing at Caswell Correctional after news investigation

North Carolina prison officials announced Friday that they will test all inmates at Caswell Correctional Center for COVID-19. The announcement comes a little more than a week after a network of journalists across the state revealed that a nurse who worked at the prison died of the virus.

  As more COVID-19 testing leads to prison workers being out, DPS asks other law enforcement if they’d work at prisons

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety is asking law enforcement officers from other state agencies whether they would be willing to work at state prisons in the event the agency has a major shortage of correctional officers due to COVID-19, according to documents obtained by WBTV.

  Media coalition sues N.C. Gov. 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.

  Charlotte tow truck driver facing lawsuit revives old business

Satterfield has managed three different tow truck companies since WBTV started investigating him a year ago and new paperwork filed with the state shows he's reviving a company that's already been in trouble.

  Meatpacking plant COVID-19 outbreak information limited, as confirmed case numbers grow

Many local and state health officials in North Carolina are refusing to release details of COVID-19 outbreaks at meatpacking plants, even as the number of cases at those facilities continue to grow, threatening both the health of workers and a critical link in the nation's food supply.

  Woman goes to hospital, billed thousands for services supposed to be free

Under the federal CARES Act, coronavirus tests are mandated to be free. So she says she was shocked when she received a bill for nearly $2,500.

  Several parents file complaints over refunds from local youth soccer academy

Many parents, instead of screaming and cheering for their teams, are screaming for a refund. They tell WBTV they’re getting the runaround from their kids’ sports leagues.

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

State Senate leader Phil Berger is demanding answers from the North Carolina prison system following a news report from WBTV and a statewide network of reporters Thursday that revealed the death of a Caswell Correctional Center nurse diagnosed with COVID-19.

  Former employee, leader at CPCC sues college for discrimination

In a lawsuit filed Thursday she claims the school is targeting senior, female leaders for termination and that the current president has taken a “wrecking ball” to the school’s previous success.

  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

NC prison officials did not acknowledge the death of a nurse who worked at Caswell Correctional Center until faced with repeated questions from a statewide network of reporters. At that same prison, testing for staff offered by the health department was delayed by prison officials for weeks.

  RNC delegates still coming to Charlotte despite pandemic

While the RNC has hired a health expert to ensure safety at the convention, WBTV started making calls asking delegates in different states if they had any reservations about attending because of the pandemic.

  NC lags in testing for COVID-19 in prisons. Experts say more will die unless that changes

Court documents filed by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety show the state lags in testing inside prisons compared to other states with comparable staffing. Experts say that, without more testing, inmates and staff will be at increased risk for contracting the virus.

  Employees asked to take pay cut when headed back to work

As businesses start opening up employees are going back to work but some of them are being asked to take a significant pay cut in order to keep their job.

  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.

  Mecklenburg Co. courts improving virtual court access after public shut out of hearing

Mecklenburg County court officials said they would take steps to increase the public's ability to access virtual court proceedings on Thursday, after questions from WBTV prompted by the public being shut out of a hearing earlier in the week.

  ‘Please call back another time’ - North Carolinians still struggle to get unemployment claims processed

A theme among some of them is that they don’t work typical 9-to-5 jobs but when they call the department of commerce to try and explain that they can’t get through.

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

New data released by NCDHHS show some hospitals across the state inconsistently reporting patient counts for COVID-19, resulting in skewed numbers published by the state. Health officials are working to streamline the reporting process.

  Woman claims apartment has mold, mildew and gaping hole

Aunjelis McNeill has submitted 7-maintenance requests in the first 8-weeks after moving in. It’s gotten so bad that she now fears for her son’s safety inside their apartment.

  The pandemic will drive up election costs. So far NC isn’t ready

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to drive up the demand for absentee ballots in this year's presidential election, bringing an extra cost that counties are not prepared to bare.

  AARP responds to Huntersville Oaks nursing home transfers amid pandemic

AARP has submitted a letter to Governor Cooper, calling for policy revisions to protect seniors who are being forced to move out of their home.

  No timeline for mass coronavirus testing in NC’s prisons

There is no timeline for if or when mass COVID-19 testing will be conducted for inmates or staff at North Carolina’s prisons, even as cases of the virus continue to rise inside prisons across the state.

  Before lawsuit, tow truck driver had history of skirting the law

A1 Towing Solutions owner David Satterfield is banned from towing and booting because of a temporary restraining order signed by a judge while the lawsuit progresses through the court system.

  Inspection reports show past problems at nursing homes hit hardest by coronavirus

A review of previous state inspection reports for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities hit hardest by the coronavirus in North Carolina show some had previously been cited for serious deficiencies.

  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.

  Charlotte tow truck driver sued by Attorney General for price gouging during pandemic

The complaint alleges that A1 Towing Solutions owner David Satterfield was charging truck drivers upwards of $4,000 after booting their vehicles and, in some cases, booting on properties where he did not have a contract to operate.

  NC care facilities, counties inconsistent in reporting outbreaks

The way in which outbreaks of COVID-19 are reported from nursing homes and other congregate living facilities to county health departments and, eventually, to the state are inconsistent, according to a statewide survey by journalists from a six-newsroom collaborative.

  Salisbury woman asks WBTV for help after she says apartment owner avoided making repairs

Cathy Stephens says the hole in her bathroom started as a water leak in the ceiling, but it’s turned into a massive hole with liquid dripping all over the floor.

  North Carolinians finally receiving federal PUS benefits

So far DES reports paying nearly $49 million in claims for the PUA program.

  Small business owners struggle to get access to capital

Small business owners say that requirements on some loan applications freeze them out from getting capital.

  Huntersville Oaks residents forced to leave to make room for those infected with COVID-19

Huntersville Oaks residents forced to leave to make room for those infected with COVID-19.

NC health officials to identify locations of nursing home outbreaks, reversing stance on patient privacy

Under pressure from advocacy groups and media organizations, North Carolina health officials said they would release details for the first time Monday on the locations of dozens of nursing homes and other group living facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks across the state.

  Parents, students want refunds for canceled school field trips

Many school field trips aren't organized by the school districts but travel agencies.

  75-year-old woman gets help removing hospital bed from home after reaching out to WBTV

What started out as an act of kindness with a rented bed for her dying husband ended in a nightmare and a plea to WBTV Investigates for help.

  Unemployment claims denied but updates in state and federal law could change that

More than 630,000 people have filed for unemployment insurance in North Carolina since March 15th but it’s unclear how many of those people have been denied.

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

The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 40 outbreaks at nursing home facilities in 26 counties as of Thursday morning but the state is refusing to identify which facilities and many counties won't share the information, either.

Mecklenburg County ‘Stay At Home’ order in effect until May 8, leaders look at re-opening businesses

County Commissioner Mark Jerrell is now leading a roundtable of business and health leaders to discuss a soft re-opening of the economy.

  State officials won’t answer questions after Coronavirus deaths at state-owned veterans home

Leaders at the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs won’t answer questions about what, if anything, they are doing to provide oversight of the four veterans nursing homes owned by the agency during the coronavirus pandemic.

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

The official count of deaths due to coronavirus in North Carolina does not include all people who have died due to the virus, a review of thousands of death certificates has found.

  McCrae Dowless indicted for collecting social security benefits while earning political campaign income

McCrae Dowless, a Bladen County man at the center of the election fraud controversy in the 9th Congressional District, has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

  Ticketmaster to offer refunds for Billy Joel concert

WBTV confirmed Monday afternoon the new policy would apply to the Billy Joel concert scheduled at Bank of America Stadium scheduled for last weekend and postponed until April 2021.

  Charlotte-area travelers struggle to get refunds from canceled cruise trips due to COVID-19

In the wake of the outbreak, thousands of passengers in Charlotte and across the country who put down deposits for upcoming cruises are wondering if they will ever get their money back.

  Woman charged nearly double on AT&T bill; WBTV steps in to help

A local couple called WBTV after they tried to reduce their monthly phone bill, but instead of having it reduced, it more than doubled!

  Waiting on a stimulus check? Here are some reasons it hasn’t arrived.

A WBTV Investigation found that some people who take advantage of bank products such as advances on tax refunds have not had the stimulus money deposited directly into their bank accounts.

  For prison officer cadets, a final exam. Then a warning they’d been exposed to coronavirus

Cadets in a NCDPS corrections officer basic training class were exposed to a classmate who tested positive for COVID-19 but were not immediately notified.

  North Carolinians stuck waiting for unemployment insurance

Many of WBTV viewers have reached out saying that they’ve waited weeks for answers after filing an unemployment claim.

  US Military sold ‘surplus’ ventilators, face masks as coronavirus spread across the country

The US Department of Defense sold hundreds of items that could be use as personal protective equipment and thousands of pieces of medical equipment used to help patients breath in February and March, as the novel coronavirus spread across the country.

  Charlotte faces revenue shortfall amid coronavirus pandemic

They could dip into their reserve funds to bridge the gap but it could come at a cost.

  Limited data makes it tough to model coronavirus’s spread, experts say

The limited testing for COVID-19 has made it difficult for scientists to accurately predict the spread of the virus, two professors at UNC Charlotte told WBTV on Monday. That same day, lawmakers announced the first random sample testing in North Carolina.

  Woman billed for COVID-19 test until WBTV starts asking questions

After the WBTV Investigates team started asking questions the bill was reduced but a patient advocate says it should still probably be free.

  NC lags other states in releasing Coronavirus-related information

As North Carolina health officials battle the outbreak of the Coronavirus across the state, the state has tightly controlled access to information related to the pandemic, providing some data but refusing to share others, even when requested.

  Legislative leaders say DMV deadlines will be changed after questions from WBTV

North Carolina’s legislative leaders signaled Wednesday that lawmakers would retroactively ease deadlines and regulations surrounding the state’s motor vehicle laws.

  Atrium employees denied hazard pay despite safety concerns

Atrium employees reached out to WBTV to express their concerns about how Atrium management is handling the COVID-19 crisis.

NC’s prisons curtail inmate transfers after WBTV investigation

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety announced on Monday it would curtail the movement of inmates between prisons and stop accepting new inmates from county jails for two weeks. The move comes days after a WBTV investigation.

  NC’s prisons have continued transferring inmates, holding worship services during coronavirus pandemic

The North Carolina prison system continued transporting prisons between facilities as recently as Thursday, even as positive cases of the Coronavirus were being confirmed in and staff.

  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.