Disabled but working, denied unemployment in North Carolina

Two people tell WBTV they were denied unemployment benefits after they were fired because they used to receive disability payments.

Pharmacists: Doctors writing prescriptions for possible COVID-19 treatment at expense of chronically-ill patients

  Some workers have to wait months for unemployment

  Supply shortage prompts NC to limit coronavirus testing

  Healthcare workers worry hospital policies putting employees, patients at risk

  Meck Sheriff not enforcing evictions, some sheriffs are

  Mecklenburg Sheriff not enforcing evictions, some sheriffs are during COVID-19 outbreak

Continued Coverage

  Workers question whether they were fired illegally during COVID-19 pandemic

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

  Watching Your Wallet: Travel insurance likely won’t cover coronavirus-related cancellations

  ‘Shelter-in-place’ a possibility in Mecklenburg Co. as gyms, health clubs, theaters ordered to close for 4 weeks

  Charlotte city employees worry about sick time during pandemic

COVID-19 Tracker: Check out the latest on test results around the country

  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.

  Parents left frustrated, helpless by Cardinal Innovations’ denial of care for their children

Three calls to the WBTV Investigates tip line reveal three families struggling to cope with children in need of critical care that is being delayed or denied by Cardinal Innovations. The agency is currently under fire by Mecklenburg County officials for delayed or denied care to mentally ill clients

  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.

  Panthers-MLS talks started in 2018, email shows

The email shows that both Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones and Mayor Vi Lyles were scheduled to be at the meeting.

  Two companies investigated by WBTV also investigated by EPA

  Congress takes up insurance rate discrimination

Judge wins re-election despite scrutiny over handling of cases

  Homeowners question Meck appraisal methods

  Families still waiting for family court orders, despite judge’s denials

  Charlotte pays IT contractor to fly to work from Israel

  Judge denies restraining order that would block WBTV story from airing

A Mecklenburg County judge took WBTV to court, trying to get a temporary restraining order to stop WBTV from broadcasting and publishing a story that she believed would be defamatory and inaccurate.

  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.

  Five Charlotte murder cases from 2019 dismissed, thrown out due to lacking, incorrect evidence

In three of those cases, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested the wrong person and the case was dismissed after prosecutors reviewed additional evidence, raising questions about the evidence work leading up to filing murder charges.

  Corruption trial for Durham billionaire starts in Charlotte federal court

The trial of a Durham billionaire and two associates accused of trying to bribe the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner is set to begin in a Charlotte federal court on Wednesday.

  NC company charges veterans for benefits advice they could get for free

A North Carolina company is charging veterans thousands of dollars for services obtaining disability benefits that veterans could get for free, a WBTV investigation has found. The VA has warned about companies engaging in such practices.

  Teen takes plea deal after Atrium ER assault

A 16-year-old boy who was violently assaulted by hospital security guards and then punched in the face by a sheriff’s deputy with his hands cuffed behind his back took a plea deal in juvenile court Monday afternoon.

Lincoln Co. deputy off the job after WBTV investigation into assault on teen

A Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy left the sheriff’s office following a WBTV investigation into the deputy’s use of force on a 16-year-old outside an emergency room.

  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.

  Video shows teen assaulted by Atrium security, Lincoln Co. sheriff’s deputy outside ER

Jessica Long took her 16-year-old son to the emergency room at Atrium Health – Lincolnton because she was worried he was having a mental health emergency. Instead of getting treatment, he was violently assaulted by hospital security guards and a Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy.

  Records show city manager deferred to CMPD chief after first CRB decision

Records obtained by WBTV show Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones largely deferred to CMPD Chief Kerr Putney over a 2017 decision over whether to side with Putney or the Citizens Review Board in a use of force case.

  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.

  Banned from business in AZ, man starts roof repair company in NC

State records show that the owner of RCA, Brent Emerson, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in 2009 after being convicted of selling fraudulent pharmaceutical websites to people in Arizona. He was ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution.

  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.

  Dozens of families in limbo as Mecklenburg Co. judge takes years to enter orders

Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Aretha Blake has not entered orders in 52 family court cases she heard in 2017, meaning those families are left without decisions on matters including child custody and child support. Blake won't answer questions about why she hasn't entered orders.

  Customers call for more security at Extra Space Storage after 60 break-ins in five years

In one lawsuit a customer filed against the company there are even allegations employees might have stymied the investigation and assisted the burglar.

  WBTV hidden camera investigation captures stem cell sales pitch doctor calls ‘misleading’

A WBTV hidden camera investigation went inside a seminar hosted by a local medical clinic advertising stem cell treatment to prospective patients and found a sales pitch one local doctor said was misleading.

  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.

  Forged checks and forgotten repairs: Contractor and adjuster face insurance investigation

Homeowners allege a contractor and public adjuster took their money, forged their names on checks and never repaired their roofs. Now the North Carolina Department of Insurance is investigating the two companies.

  Judge in Silent Sam case had frequent contact with UNC lawyer in days before lawsuit was filed

The judge who approved the settlement between the UNC Board of Governors and the Sons of Confederate Veterans regarding the Silent Sam statue was in frequent contact with an attorney for the UNC BOG regarding the case before it was filed, text messages show.

  Raleigh lawyer pleads guilty to lobbying-related charges after WBTV investigation

Raleigh lawyer and lobbyist Mark Bibbs pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor charges in a Wake County courtroom Monday. His charges came as the result of a WBTV investigation.

  Commissioners spend thousands on travel expenses with no budget to reign them in

WBTV has numerous questions still unanswered about commissioner travel expenses, including why records for an expensive trip to Pittsburgh were not originally turned over by county staff.

  Councilman hasn’t filed conflict of interest form since 2018

City policy notes that council members are only investigated for ethics violations if a complaint is filed against them with the city clerk.

  Money, Politics and Panthers: Charlotte elected leaders receive donations from Panthers brass right before MLS talks

Tepper made a $5,200 contribution, the maximum allowed at the time it was made, to Mayor Vi Lyles campaign committee.

  Price is Right: How Lowe’s and MLS deals differ for Charlotte

Lowe’s and Honeywell received business investment grants from the city and county that help offset the cost of property taxes they would pay on their new facilities.

  Negotiations over MLS deal set to begin, still questions over finances for other projects

While the outlook for the hospitality funds was positive, the lack of information left some city council members wanting more.

  Lawmakers add funding to scholarship for children of wartime veterans

The North Carolina General Assembly unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would appropriate an additional $2.4 million in funding for a state scholarship for children of wartime veterans.The bill was introduced following a series of stories by WBTV.

  Charlotte prepares for RNC but won’t share details showing how

The city hasn’t released when their RNC committees were formed, when they meet, who their members are or what their general scope of work is.

  Man collapses, lays unattended in Mecklenburg Co. jail for seven minutes in drug overdose

An inmate at the Mecklenburg County Jail collapsed from a drug overdose and spent nearly seven minutes slumped over on a couch before jail staff checked on him. His mother wants answers as to how her son got drugs inside the jail and why staff didn't act sooner to try and save him.

  CARFAX customers say company’s incomplete vehicle reports cost them thousands of dollars

Several customers bought used cars with clean CARFAX customers but CARFAX reports run at later dates showed significant issues with the cars.

  NC House to consider more money to fund scholarship for children of wartime veterans

The North Carolina House of Representatives will consider a bill next week that would add an additional $2.4 million in funding to support a state scholarship for children of wartime veterans.

  WBTV files lawsuit to obtain Cooper travel records

WBTV has filed a new lawsuit seeking records related two two trips Governor Roy Cooper took last year for political fundraisers in New York City.

  Customers stuck with $11,000 filter and questions about water test

All of the people WBTV spoke with were brand new homeowners.

  Concerned daughter captures elderly mother’s nursing home abuse on hidden camera in N.C.

A concerned Gaston County woman put a hidden camera in her mother's room at a nursing home to ensure her mom was getting appropriate care. Instead, the video caught two nursing assistants abusing her mother within 24 hours of the camera being installed. The DA won't press charges.

  Duke Energy to close all coal ash basins in deal with environmentalists, regulators

Duke Energy has agreed to excavate all of its unlined coal ash basins in North Carolina as part of an agreement it announced Monday morning with environmental activists and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

  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.

  Charlotte Diocese releases list of credibly accused clergy

The Diocese of Charlotte released its list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse late Monday morning.

  Construction advocate outlines ways you can protect yourself in a contract

Homeowners can ask for information from the contractor ahead of time that should give them a good idea if they're hiring the right company.

  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.

  Charlotte releases records related to Danquirs Franklin shooting

Emails related to the officer body worn camera video from the shooting of Danquirs Franklin were released from the City of Charlotte.

  WBTV, Hendrick Automotive partner to get veteran a new vehicle

WBTV partnered with Hendrick Automotive Group and Kia of Concord to get a veteran a new, bigger vehicle that could accommodate the scooter he needed to get around.

  State Superintendent takes K-3 literacy contract fight to court as depositions reveal new information

North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has asked a state Superior Court judge to decide the fate of a contract awarded by his department for software that evaluates the literacy of students in kindergarten through third grade.

  Is this what Charlotte’s future stadium could look like? Is it worth it for taxpayers?

Renovations to Bank of America Stadium are only a stop gap for Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper.

  Speaker, staff ignored requests for additional money for children of wartime veterans scholarship

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and a top staffer ignored repeated requests for additional funding for a scholarship that supports children of wartime veterans, new emails provided to WBTV show.

  MLS announcement doesn’t come with details of taxpayer dollars for soccer project

Mayor Vi Lyles said that there will be a public process determining how the money will be spent.

  Governor directs scholarships for children of wartime veterans be paid at full amount following WBTV investigation

Governor Roy Cooper took steps on Monday to ensure children of wartime veterans--including children whose parents were wounded or killed in combat--received a full room and board allowance as part of a state scholarship.

Contact the WBTV Investigates Team!

The WBTV Investigates team works every day to uncover corruption, expose wrongdoing and help people. If you have information about something you think the public needs to know, send us an email or call our tip line.

  Capacity Reached: Questions about Charlotte’s funding of stadium renovations and other projects

Financial numbers analyzed by WBTV show that the city is close to reaching the debt capacity for its hospitality funds as city officials refuse to provide a list of current and future projects those funds are spent on.

Panthers official files for list of potential Charlotte MLS team names

The applications were filed by Panthers Vice President and General Counsel Stephen Argeris on December 6th.

  Children of wartime veterans scramble to repay money after state makes last-minute cut to scholarship

Children of wartime veterans—including children whose parents have been killed or injured in combat—are scrambling to adjust to major cuts to a promised state-funded scholarship weeks before the semester is set to end.

  City of Charlotte can’t answer how tax funds are being spent on big projects ahead of MLS decision

City council members asked months ago for a list of capital projects the city is pledged to but City Manager Marcus Jones has not provided that information as important financial decisions loom over the city.

  New lawsuit alleges Village of Marvin mayor, councilmen harassed, threatened rival mayoral candidate

A new lawsuit filed by a candidate who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in the Village of Marvin alleges the mayor and others threatened and harassed their political opponent because he voiced support for another political rival of the group.

  No more comp time for City of Charlotte employees

The policy change comes five months after a WBTV investigation lead to delaying the new comp time policy.

  Woman questions stem cell treatment advertised on radio after paying thousands with no pain relief

A local woman paid $6,000 for stem cell therapy and other regenerative medicine treatments in hopes it would help cure the chronic pain in her foot. Instead, she says it did nothing. A Charlotte doctor has advice on what to look for when considering whether stem cell therapy would work for you.

  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.

  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.

  S.C. veteran pushes for change after cancer goes undiagnosed by Army for more than 2 years

A veteran from York County, SC is joining other veterans who are backing proposed legislation that would allow service members to sue for medical malpractice.

  Second whistleblower details allegations of harassment, retaliation by senior VA official amid inaction by whistleblower protection office

A second senior employee in the regional VA office that covers Virginia and North Carolina has come forward with public allegations of retaliation and abuse at the hands of a senior VA official.

  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.