48 Investigates

Some vacuum cleaners recalled after two reports of fires

Circuit boards in about 38,000 Rainbow SRX brand water-based filtration vacuum cleaners sold between June 2019 and June 2020 can spark and catch fire.

Over 520-hours of basic training required in Alabama to protect and serve

  Huntsville City Council addresses email concerns of sexual misconduct within police department

  Wrong video conference help line routes to scammers

  Dozens of nursing homes cited for infection-related deficiencies early this year now have COVID-19 cases

  Watching Your Wallet: Scammers found infiltrating legitimate job posting sites

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

Continued Coverage

Tracking the Coronavirus Crisis: A 48 First Alert

  Robocalls advertising fake coronavirus-related products and bogus deals

  Unemployment extensions looming for COVID-19 impacts

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

  Huntsville mom and son stuck in Uganda waiting for visa as coronavirus spreads

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

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.

  Council members claim city administration is hiding PFAS testing results from the public

  Woman’s medical records accessed illegally, blames husband’s ex-girlfriend

  New details on the home where an escaped murderer was captured

  First Responders: Breaking down language barriers

  Rate Discrimination: Some insurance companies give better rates for customers with certain jobs, education

  48 Investigates: Chairman Dale Strong sheds light on jail computer issues

  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.

  Poarch Creek casino proposal promises $1B for Alabama

Alabama lawmakers are listening but not committing to an offer from the Poarch Creek Indians. Tribe leaders say they will funnel $1 billion to Alabama if the state allows them to add two new casinos, table games like blackjack and craps and gives the Poarch Indians exclusivity.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  Inside the inspections: A Kitchen Cops special report

We're taking a deep dive into the inspection reports you see every week to find out what they really mean for you and your family's safety.

  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.

  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.

  Cash or consequences: The fight over unpaid child support

For those dealing with unpaid child support, some say it should be cash or consequences. But both can be hard to come by.

  48 Investigates: Madison County volunteer fire chiefs call out chairman on funding

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong is a volunteer firefighter for Monrovia. Other volunteer fire chiefs argue he's been using his position to benefit his station at the expense of others. He said the funding comes down to taxes- who pays them and how much.

  Top Alabama scams: What you need to know

You might think you’re too savvy to fall for a scam, but thieves are constantly using new tactics and finding ways to fool even the most skeptical people.

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.

  How school officials handle active shooter training with students

Active shooter drills in schools are becoming as regular as fire drills. But for young children in elementary school especially this can be a scary scenario.

  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.

  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.

  Cold Case: Huntsville man’s murder still unsolved after nearly 11 years

Nov. 26, 2008 is a day Saheva Davis will always remember. Her husband, Ricky Davis, died a violent death at a business in south Huntsville.

  Morgan County family desperate for justice after man caught on camera peeping on stepdaughter

Two sisters suspected someone living in their house was spying on them. It was caught on camera.

  ‘It’s a crisis under our feet’: Valley nursing homes putting the elderly at risk

Families are raising the alarm on understaffing in north Alabama's facilities.

  Huntsville police asking for help to solve 9-year-old cold case

Investigators are working to solve the nearly decades-old murder of Herbert Gray.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  Cold case: Leads run dry in Huntsville murder case

Dwayne Cook was murdered one year ago. Now police need help to close this case.

  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.

  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.

  Drug trafficking: Pipeline into Alabama

The DEA sees meth as the long term systemic problem, whereas opioids and heroin are still problems, but not a big as meth.

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.

Study: Ring cameras may not be as good a crime fighting tool as advertised

Ring doorbell cameras provide great video for our newscasts and for local police departments, they’re supposed to provide a deterrent to crime.

  Flagging down a football alternative

Football is still king in Alabama, but some parents are holding off on when they allow their children to play tackle football. Instead, they're replacing the helmets and shoulder pads with flags, as they decide if full contact football is right for their kids.

  Vets Take Aim At Cancer

Millions of dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer each year. Yet, new technology is allowing doctors to prolong the lives of more pets each year.

Watching Your Wallet: Spring housing market secrets revealed

Want to get top dollar for your home this spring? Or are you looking to buy your first home? NerdWallet gives tips for those on both sides of the equation.

  Closing the gender pay gap

While the pay gap between men and women is slowly closing, women are still having to deal with the issue of being paid less than their male coworkers.

  DNA Detectives: Scientists combining forensics with genealogy break ‘unsolvable’ cases

Scientists are using forensic genetics to help solve decades-old cold cases.

  Failed and Forgotten

The deaths of hundreds of children because of abuse or neglect goes unnoticed every year by agencies that protect kids. Congress and a 45-year-old law are largely to blame.

  A trifecta of failures puts kids at risk

When children die because of abuse or neglect, child protection agencies are often blamed – they are underfunded and overworked. But there are many other culprits who failed children.

  Digital rollbacks: Millions of cars have false mileage on odometers

Carfax experts say there are potentially more than one million cars on the roads with false odometer readings - meaning their mileage has been rolled back to make the vehicles look like they have less wear and tear.

  Tuscaloosa PD release bodycam video of woman’s arrest circulating on social media

Jhasmynn Sheppard was pulled over for leaving the scene of an accident that had happened earlier that day.

Watching Your Wallet: Experts give advice on reining in your tax refund

Rather than taking a tax refund check and splurging on a quick shopping spree, NerdWallet advises people make smart spending – or saving - plans.

  Undercounting hate: FBI will not report its hate crime numbers again this year as required by law

The Uniform Crime Reporting Act of 1988 requires federal law enforcement agencies to submit information about their cases to a federal database maintained by the FBI; however, those agencies are currently not submitting data, including information about hate crimes.

  Will Alabama gamble on sports?

Now that Mississippi and Arkansas have legalized sports betting, many people are wondering if Alabama will take a similar path by asking voters to change the state constitution.

  Watching Your Wallet: Thousands of consumer complaints hidden in federal watchdog database

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information about financial institutions, including complaints. But NerdWallet and InvestigateTV have found examples of complaints that don't show up in the database.

  State to investigate alleged mistreatment at Huntsville VA retirement home

Two former employees are alleging veterans are being mistreated at the home, and state records show it could go back years.

  Jemison High School labeled as failing; students and teachers disagree, citing big accomplishments and success

What is a failing school? According to lawmakers in Alabama, Jemison High School is failing because of low ACT scores. But the school is also celebrating after students have earned more than $600,000 in scholarships.

  Letters being used to smuggle Suboxone into Madison County Jail

Madison County Jail officials are battling a new war on drugs. Inmates have found a clever new way to sneak contraband into jail.

  Watching Your Wallet: Experts explain the new tax code in simple terms

With sweeping tax code changes affecting this year's filings, experts from NerdWallet help explain how the changes will work for different people.

  Dirty hands & dirty dishes in this week’s Kitchen Cops Report

Several restaurants were written up for hand washing issues this week, and one owner fires back at the system that gave him the lowest score on the list.

  Untested water: 99.9 percent of foreign fish goes without testing for unsafe drugs

According to government reports, there is evidence that the main oversight agency for seafood, the Food and Drug Administration, has failed to meet new mandates to increase inspections at foreign food facilities.

  Top online scams hitting Alabamians

"Non-delivery" is the number one scam hitting the top of the list for both the FBI and the Better Business Bureau for online scams.

  Calculating hate: Federally mandated count leaves out untold number of crimes in America

Serious hate crimes from murders to attempted bombings do not show up in federal hate crime data, according to analysis by InvestigateTV.

Punishing hate: Paper tiger laws serve up little to no penalties for attackers

Prosecutors say some state hate crime laws are so weak they "aren't worth the paper they're printed on."

  Multiple sex offenders found on Facebook despite ban

Under Facebook's policies, convicted sex offenders are not allowed on the site; however, InvestigateTV identified multiple offenders who appeared to have recently active profiles.

  Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights aims to combat backlogged rape kits

Some Alabama lawmakers and national victims groups are saying it's time for Alabama to create an inventory of sexual assault kits. They say, if it's mandated, kits sitting in evidence rooms would be tested quicker and victims would see justice much sooner.

  Alabama corrections putting murder convicts in public, unsupervised by department

One such murder convict just escaped last month, and a Valley woman is concerned her mother's murderer could be next.

  Local cabinet refinisher leaves work unfinished

More than a dozen people say they have been having the same problems with a local contractor.