48 Investigates

  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.

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

  Flagging down a football alternative

  Vets Take Aim At Cancer

Watching Your Wallet: Spring housing market secrets revealed

  Closing the gender pay gap

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

Continued Coverage

  Failed and Forgotten

  A trifecta of failures puts kids at risk

  Digital rollbacks: Millions of cars have false mileage on odometers

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

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

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

  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

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

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

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

  Top online scams hitting Alabamians

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

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.

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.

  Small Huntsville business target of potential $13K scam

If you own a small business, you know how much it takes to make it a success. So when a scammer tries to steal that success, it hurts even more, including your bottom line.

  Study: One energy drink can harm our blood vessels

Caffeine packed energy drinks are popular. You've heard the health risks about drinking them before, but you may want to pay attention to a new study.

  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.

  Finding family through DNA kits

More Americans are discovering long lost family members by using affordable in-home DNA test kits.

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.

MISSING PERSON: Jazzmine Sierra Holt

Jazzmine Sierra Holt of Tuscumbia has been reported missing by the Colbert County’s Sheriff’s Office.20-year-old Holt suffers from schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder and her mother said she has not had her medication in several days.

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.

  Using cryptocurrency in the Tennessee Valley

Bitcoin is thriving and people in the Tennessee Valley are using it as they shop.

  Radon: A silent killer

You can't see it and can't smell it but radon gas can seep into your home and greatly increase your risk for lung cancer. It's a real threat for those of us here in the Tennessee Valley and the only way to know you have it, is to test your home.

  Watching Your Wallet: Travel More, Spend Less

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

  Thousands laid off as PESG leaves Michigan; fears it could happen in Huntsville

Thousands of people in Michigan were notified late Monday evening that they were out of a job, leaving nearly 100,000 students without classroom instructors. This same company has hundreds of employees in Huntsville.

  Big hits, lower numbers

Fewer kids are playing football in the United States as parents worry about the effects of concussions. North Alabama coaches are responding with a greater emphasis on safety.

  New stats & new law in AL to combat human trafficking

Alarming data continues to surface on human trafficking in Alabama. The numbers back up the need for more education and tougher legislation targeting the buyers helping fuel the multi-billion-dollar industry.

One arrested following shooting on Triana Boulevard

One person has been arrested after Huntsville police responded to a call of a shooting on Thursday.

  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.

  Huntsville group slapped with lawsuit over evictions

A Huntsville group is slapped with a lawsuit after tenants receive questionable evictions. It goes deeper, these same tenants contacted WAFF to highlight the living conditions at their apartment complex in Huntsville and the group over it, promising to bring people in off the streets.

  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.

Lincoln County officials seize drugs, money, weapons during search

Authorities in Lincoln County seized drugs, money, and weapons in a search.

School systems continue to evaluate sentry program

Alabama schools are considering whether or not to implement the sentry program

  Prescription for wiping out debt

We all love to find a good bargain. Yet what if you could save more than one hundred thousand dollars on something? A young couple from Huntsville claims they paid off their house in 6.5 years by using a debt reduction software program.

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

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

  FBI Investigators search Huntsville home

Huntsville Police confirm they have a police report against a Michael Scott Harris of the same address for criminal computer tampering encoded data fraud.

Glaucoma numbers increase in baby boomers

In the next decade, a disease impacting the vision of baby boomers will triple from more than 2 million cases to upwards of 6 million.

  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.

Kitchen Cops: Pink Substance in the Ice Machine & 3 Great Food Trucks

Several schools are on our top performers list, but one local cafeteria was hit hard by health inspectors.

  Mold infests government housing in Huntsville

A mold infestation at Searcy Homes has one mother concerned for her family.

  What to keep in mind when hiring a contractor

Imagine hiring a contractor to replace your roof and paint your home, but you're left with shoddy work or work never finished.

Doctors escape punishment for profiting off prescribing opioids to those who don’t need them

Doctors who received the most money from a controversial drugmaker to prescribe its potent opioid have faced little scrutiny for their role in what federal agents have called a scheme.

Licensed to pill: Former opioid patient speaks

WAFF 48 News is examining another side to this story from a former patient of one of those doctors and the fight to break her habit.

5 doctors indicted for overprescribing opioids for kickbacks

Drugmaker Insys paid doctors in hundreds of thousand of dollars in kickbacks if they prescribed an opioid painkiller made for cancer patients. Of the doctors indicted, only one was a cancer specialist – the others were plastic surgeons, sports medicine doctors or psychologists.

WAFF 48 Special Report: Doctor shortages in AL

The American population is expected to rise 11 percent by the year 2030. Yet, the number of doctors isn't keeping pace.

Seat belt sorrow: Mourning parent, state trooper discuss teen driving safety

Parents, you try to your best to keep your children safe, especially when they reach a life milestone like getting their driver's license.

Digital forensics in the Tennessee Valley: A WAFF 48 special report

A new lab is making it easier for authorities across the region to track and attack crimes like ID theft, skimming and child pornography.

Case study: Dr. Howard Diamond

Federal investigators know of at least 22 of his patients who died of prescription-drug overdoses since 2012. An untold number of others became addicted to opioids he prescribed.

Case study: Dr. Mahmood Ahmad

Between 2014 and 2015, Ahmad wrote 1,450 prescriptions for the opioid spray, an average of 14 a week. All told, he collected about $150,000 from a company promoting opioids.

Case study: Dr. Morris Brown

On average, Brown saw 560 Medicare patients a year and wrote 5,700 opioid prescriptions that were billed to the Part D drug benefit program between 2013-2015.

Doctors get rich from controversial drug maker as patients become addicts

While the doctors got rich from kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company, their patient, a suburban soccer mom, became and addict while taking an opioid drug over prescribed to her.

Some top opioid providers raise red flags

Family physicians, nurse practitioners and doctors whose health care focuses on non-narcotic therapies are some of the nation's most prolific opioid prescription writers in recent years.

Doctors who flood the country with opioids face little scrutiny, repercussions

Doctors who over-prescribe pills can easily move from state-to-state while avoiding punishments from state medical boards, who are slow to punish them.

Federal agents raid doctor’s office and suspected ‘pill mill’

Federal agents raid Dr. Mark A. Murphy, who is one of the top opioid prescribers in the U.S. In a 3-year span, Murphy wrote more than 70,000 opioid prescriptions to just 3,200 Medicare patients.

Better Business Bureau warns against Ebay scam

According to the North Alabama Better Business Bureau, online payment scams keep evolving.