Investigations

  Tennessee announces plans for $732M surplus funds meant to help the state’s working poor

The Tennessee Department of Human Services admitted last week that it has a surplus of $732 million. That money is supposed to help those who have children and are experiencing financial difficulties.

THE INVESTIGATORS

Jessica Jaglois

Jessica Jaglois

Investigative reporter

Jessica Jaglois is an investigative reporter at WMC Action News 5. She has a particular interest in investigating stories about government corruption and waste, criminal justice and issues facing children.

As the city of New Orleans's most honored investigative reporter, Lee Zurik has been uncovering and reporting impactful stories on WVUE since 2009. Following up his tenacious inquiries with detailed analysis and powerful storytelling, Lee delivers unprecedented accountability of government officials, private citizens and corporations.

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa

Investigative reporter

Rachel DePompa is NBC12's On Your Side Investigator. Before joining WWBT in March of 2008 Rachel worked in Roanoke, Bristol and Harrisonburg.

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

  Consumer Reports explains how to protect your privacy when using smartphone health apps

Tennessee lawmakers call out Department of Human Services for keeping $732M in surplus funds

  State opened investigation at FedEx’s Memphis hub last month after workplace amputation

  The Investigators: Blighted properties become havens for crime

  Are grocery delivery services right for you?

Continued Coverage

  Safeguard your prescription information with these tips from Consumer Reports

  The Investigators: Thousands of blighted homes impacting Memphis neighborhoods

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

Searchable Memphis blight map

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

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

  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.

  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.

  Fake Filters? Companies falsely claim to have prestigious water safety certification

  Memphis nursing home tied to national investigation into patient neglect and mismanagement

  Memphis woman says she was duped by a fake customer service number for Cash App

  Untested Waters: Feds take small steps toward inspecting more seafood

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

Watching Your Wallet: Spring housing market secrets revealed

  Mississippi sees major spike in reports of possible child abuse in recent years

WMC dug into several years of data that Mississippi provided to the federal government for the annual Child Maltreatment Report and found the number of children who’ve experienced abuse in Mississippi grew 41 percent in just four years.

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

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

  Children abused, families move

A federal agency has ignored a 2006 federal law requiring the creation of a national child abuse registry, leaving an untold number of children in harm’s way when their families move to new states.

  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.

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.

  Public charter schools sign ‘morality clause’ with Catholic church

A network of Memphis charter schools is facing questions and a potential lawsuit over an agreement with the Catholic Dioceses of Memphis.

  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.

  Programs offer resources to make daycare more affordable for TN parents

Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill that would give state employees a new childcare option by allowing daycares to open in state owned or leased buildings.

  Elderly train crash victims highlight severity of collisions in Mid-South

Data from the Federal Railroad Administration shows dozens of trains - at least 48 - collided with cars in Tennessee last year, an increase from the year before.

  Pros and cons of concierge medicine: Why experts say it’s not for everyone

Concierge medicine gives patients with chronic conditions unfettered access to their doctors, but experts say it's not for everyone.

  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.

  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.

  Expanded Shelby County crisis center to offer help to more crime victims

A nearly century-old building full of Memphis history is finding a new identity helping the city's hundreds, if not thousands, of victims of crime.

  Breakthrough medical procedure can help prevent miscarriage

A medical breakthrough is giving hope to pregnant women struggling to carry their babies full term.

  Measure of hate: Statistics on Mid-South hate crimes likely inaccurate

Each year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation release hate crime statistics to give the public crucial information about the safety of communities. But how reliable is the information in those reports?

  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.

  Kirby High set to reopen after rat infestation

Kirby High School is set to reopen months after a rat infestation closed the school.

Watching Your Wallet: How much could you earn if you invested your coffee money?

Financial experts from NerdWallet say saving and investing as little as $20 a week can amount to $170,000 in retirement money.

  Watching Your Wallet: Strengthen your financial fitness before 2019

While many people think about health and wellness resolutions for the new year, financial experts recommend thinking about money goals too.

  MAS combats animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect

More than 8,300 animals have been taken in by Memphis Animal Services so far this year.

Arkansas man who had artificial heart receives donor heart

A Mid-South man who was being kept alive by the artificial heart he carried in a backpack now has a real donor heart!

  Positive Parenting: Why spatial skills matter

The words you use during playtime with your baby and toddler do matter.

Failure to Fix: Investigating HUD oversight in public housing

Thousands of Americans live in unsafe and unsanitary homes with mice, mold, and lead paint. They don't have the money to fix the problems, and neither does their landlord.

  Digital Dining: Putting food apps to the test

Delivery apps make ordering from your favorite restaurants easier than ever. But what are you really paying for that convenience?

  Do SkyCop cameras actually reduce crime?

Two-thousand cameras monitoring 500 locations – is it the future of crime-fighting, or do these cameras provide a false sense of security?

  Nuclear fallout: $15.5 billion in compensation and counting

Thousands of nuclear weapons workers are seeking compensation from a federal program that has ballooned far past initial projections - and some say they're being denied based on incorrect information.

A change of heart: Mid-South teen kept alive with artificial heart

An "artificial heart" is the only thing keeping Chadarius Johnson alive.

  Changing the Game: Middle schooler plays basketball with one hand

A Mid-South middle schooler is changing the game one bucket at a time. She's a standout on the basketball court not only for what she brings to the sport, but also what she doesn't.

  Do red light cameras make drivers safer?

Red light cameras and the tickets they generate make millions of dollars for the city of Memphis. But do they make the streets or drivers any safer?

  Election security top of mind in Tennessee

With early voting underway across the Mid-South, it’s not just candidates looking to secure votes.

  Half of red light camera tickets remain unpaid

Three little words that can make a driver's blood boil: red light cameras. Memphis started the controversial traffic program nearly a decade ago.

Watching Your Wallet: Company offering to help lower student debt under investigation

A company offering to help people reduce their student loan debt is now under investigation. One St. Louis woman says her debt actually increased after trying to work with the company.

  Mice. Mold. Messes.

Hundreds of Americans live in deplorable rental properties and their landlord is the federal government. The properties need $50 billion in repairs. Uncle Sam now is hoping that private investors will save public housing.

  Watching Your Wallet: Will Social Security be there when you retire?

Research shows many Americans are concerned with whether Social Security will be available when they retire, but many aren’t saving. NerdWallet experts help explain the realities of Social Security and what you can do.

  More pet owners turning to cutting-edge pain relief methods

WMC Action News 5 looked into some of the cutting edge medical procedures -- once only considered for humans -- that are being put to use on our four-legged family members.

Dangerous Deliveries: Why are black women dying during childbirth?

Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications, according to the Centers for Disease and Control.

Who’s behind Facebook’s political ads?

This election cycle, thousands of political ads have bombarded our social media feeds, but who's really behind them?

  Scholarships cashing in on e-gaming tournaments

Parents, if your kids are obsessed with playing Fortnite, there's now potential to cash in on the craze.

You’re in a political ad. (But you don’t know who’s behind it)

Political organizations with shadowy origins are spending millions on Facebook ads, and some people featured in the ads don't know who the groups are either.

  Hot Wheels: Where vehicle thieves are striking

Police records reviewed by the WMC Action News 5 investigators point to dramatic increases in the number of vehicles stolen in Memphis, Shelby County and the suburbs.

  Watching Your Wallet: Travel More, Spend Less

Brad Barrett took $4,000 Disney trip for a family of four for only $150. Seriously.

Warning signs you’re on a phony website

Credit bureau Experian says online shopping fraud is booming, with a more than 30 percent jump from 2016 to 2017.

  MPD issued 50 reprimands after rolling out body cameras 2 years ago

Memphis police have been using body cameras and in-car dash cameras for about two years.

  Breakthrough procedure can provide solution to snoring

There’s now a medical breakthrough helping Mid-Southerners get back to sleep without the sounds.

  Watching Your Wallet: Budget now for holiday spending

Planning travel and shopping months in advance can pay off in the long run, financial experts say.

  Strict sex education teaching laws could be leading to ‘growing threat’ of STDs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 100 people a day learn they have HIV. But it's new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis doctors are most concerned about. The CDC calls it a "growing threat."

  Memphis working to make streets safer

Walking in Memphis can be deadly. The Bluff City remains atop a national list of metro areas where pedestrians are in danger.

  Report: Customers are overpaying on a quarter of all prescriptions

A new study shows patients are overpaying on prescriptions sometimes because they are using insurance, rather than paying the cash price.

  Big Pharma was supposed to self-police fentanyl prescriptions. It failed. Patients died.

Internal documents show lax enforcement, missed opportunities by the federal government.

  You can help uncover political ad targeting on Facebook

Use the Facebook Political Ad Collector to help categorize ads and understand why they are targeting you.

Autopsy identifies officers in Ismael Lopez case

Officials have released the names of two Southaven police officers involved in the deadly shooting of Ismael Lopez last summer.

  Pest-infested high school will be shut down for ‘as long as it takes’

Kirby High School will be shut down for the rest of the semester.

  School board member offers solutions for pest problem at Kirby HS

A Shelby County Schools Board Member took to Facebook to offer solutions to the pests problem at Kirby High School.