On Your Side Investigations - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

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  • Miscommunication allowed rape suspect to be released from jail

    Miscommunication allowed rape suspect to be released from jail

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 11:23 PM EDT2018-08-15 03:23:03 GMT
    Journey Fraser (Photo source: Perry County Sheriff's Department)Journey Fraser (Photo source: Perry County Sheriff's Department)

    “It upsets me in the worst kind of way, to know that if just a few people had done their job, this wouldn’t have ever happened to me,” said Britni Cole.

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    “It upsets me in the worst kind of way, to know that if just a few people had done their job, this wouldn’t have ever happened to me,” said Britni Cole.

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  • Man charged with rape hours after being released from jail on same charge

    Man charged with rape hours after being released from jail on same charge

    Wednesday, August 1 2018 8:05 AM EDT2018-08-01 12:05:38 GMT
    Journey Fraser is currently in the Perry County Jail on a $1.25 million bond. (Photo source: WDAM)Journey Fraser is currently in the Perry County Jail on a $1.25 million bond. (Photo source: WDAM)

    “He looked at me and come with his hands like this towards my neck. I fought him for a little while," said Cole. "He come at me again and was holding me down.”

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    “He looked at me and come with his hands like this towards my neck. I fought him for a little while," said Cole. "He come at me again and was holding me down.”

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  • News 7 Investigation: Tornado victim's contractor troubles

    News 7 Investigation: Tornado victim's contractor troubles

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 11:40 PM EDT2018-07-18 03:40:56 GMT
    Now, out of money and living with her mother, Johnson says she feels ripped off. (Photo source: WDAM)Now, out of money and living with her mother, Johnson says she feels ripped off. (Photo source: WDAM)

    The tears first came back in January of 2017 when her Bennett Street home in Petal was destroyed by a tornado. The place she called home for 13 years was gone.

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    The tears first came back in January of 2017 when her Bennett Street home in Petal was destroyed by a tornado. The place she called home for 13 years was gone.

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  • News 7 Investigation: Ellisville courthouse repairs

    News 7 Investigation: Ellisville courthouse repairs

    Tuesday, July 3 2018 11:35 PM EDT2018-07-04 03:35:54 GMT
    Water leaking from the roof has already damaged many documents. (Photo source: WDAM)Water leaking from the roof has already damaged many documents. (Photo source: WDAM)

    In a world of external beauty, we're told it's what’s underneath that counts. When it comes to the Jones County Courthouse in Ellisville and the new roof on top of it, that’s certainly the case.

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    In a world of external beauty, we're told it's what’s underneath that counts. When it comes to the Jones County Courthouse in Ellisville and the new roof on top of it, that’s certainly the case.

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

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

    Tuesday, July 3 2018 12:01 PM EDT2018-07-03 16:01:10 GMT
    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. (Source: Raycom News Network)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. (Source: Raycom News Network)

    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.

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    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.

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  • Preventing the Pain: Raising awareness about teen suicide

    Preventing the Pain: Raising awareness about teen suicide

    Tuesday, June 5 2018 12:27 PM EDT2018-06-05 16:27:11 GMT
    Statistics show suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens in Mississippi. (Photo source: WDAM)Statistics show suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens in Mississippi. (Photo source: WDAM)

    Health professionals say it is a "significant health problem" and we've experienced it in the Pine Belt, teen suicide. Statistics show suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens and Mississippi.  After a recent tragedy in Lamar County, we sat down with Superintendent Tess Smith. "You know, just immediately my heart goes into my throat because there is always that fear did a child hurt themselves, did anyone hurt themselves?  But especially one of ...

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    Health professionals say it is a "significant health problem" and we've experienced it in the Pine Belt, teen suicide. Statistics show suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens and Mississippi.  After a recent tragedy in Lamar County, we sat down with Superintendent Tess Smith. "You know, just immediately my heart goes into my throat because there is always that fear did a child hurt themselves, did anyone hurt themselves?  But especially one of ...

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  • Do bulletproof backpacks work?

    Do bulletproof backpacks work?

    Tuesday, June 5 2018 12:27 PM EDT2018-06-05 16:27:00 GMT
    With school safety a hot topic around the country, some parents are turning to bulletproof backpacks to send their students to class with extra protection. (Photo source: WDAM)With school safety a hot topic around the country, some parents are turning to bulletproof backpacks to send their students to class with extra protection. (Photo source: WDAM)

    With school safety a hot topic around the country, some parents are turning to bulletproof backpacks to send their students to class with extra protection.  The backpacks can be pricey, so with the help of the Jones County Sheriff's Department, we put the backpacks to the test. WDAM 7 purchased a Guard Dog Security Pro Shield Bulletproof Backpack off Amazon for $119.00 in the days following the mass shooting at the Florida High School last month.  In a quick ...

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    With school safety a hot topic around the country, some parents are turning to bulletproof backpacks to send their students to class with extra protection.  The backpacks can be pricey, so with the help of the Jones County Sheriff's Department, we put the backpacks to the test. WDAM 7 purchased a Guard Dog Security Pro Shield Bulletproof Backpack off Amazon for $119.00 in the days following the mass shooting at the Florida High School last month.  In a quick ...

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  • Bullying at the bus stop — what can you do?

    Bullying at the bus stop — what can you do?

    Tuesday, June 5 2018 12:26 PM EDT2018-06-05 16:26:58 GMT
    Nationally, 28% of students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying. Over 70% of young people and staff have seen bullying in their schools. (Photo source: WDAM)Nationally, 28% of students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying. Over 70% of young people and staff have seen bullying in their schools. (Photo source: WDAM)

    Nationally, 28% of students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying.  Over 70% of young people and staff have seen bullying in their schools. "Bullying is an issue that has been for many, many generations and it's sad," said Wayne Folkes, Assistant Superintendent for the Lamar County School District.  "It can be a social aspect of it, it can be a verbal or it can be a physical." The term bullying can be used frequently, but it's important ...

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    Nationally, 28% of students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying.  Over 70% of young people and staff have seen bullying in their schools. "Bullying is an issue that has been for many, many generations and it's sad," said Wayne Folkes, Assistant Superintendent for the Lamar County School District.  "It can be a social aspect of it, it can be a verbal or it can be a physical." The term bullying can be used frequently, but it's important ...

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  • Through the Eyes of a Burglar

    Through the Eyes of a Burglar

    Tuesday, June 5 2018 12:26 PM EDT2018-06-05 16:26:44 GMT

    There were an estimated 1,515,096 burglaries at homes across the country last year.  According to the FBI, 23,354 of those were in Mississippi. 

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    There were an estimated 1,515,096 burglaries at homes across the country last year.  According to the FBI, 23,354 of those were in Mississippi. 

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  • Restaurants ready "To-Go" in Downtown Hattiesburg

    Restaurants ready "To-Go" in Downtown Hattiesburg

    Tuesday, June 5 2018 12:26 PM EDT2018-06-05 16:26:37 GMT
    Source:WDAMSource:WDAM
    Source:WDAMSource:WDAM

    Restaurants, bars and businesses in an area of downtown Hattiesburg are getting ready for the new "To-Go Cup" ordinance to take effect next week.

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    Restaurants, bars and businesses in an area of downtown Hattiesburg are getting ready for the new "To-Go Cup" ordinance to take effect next week.

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  • On Your Side: Trailer thefts in the Pine Belt

    On Your Side: Trailer thefts in the Pine Belt

    Tuesday, June 5 2018 12:26 PM EDT2018-06-05 16:26:14 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM

    Do you have a trailer sitting in your front lawn or maybe at your business? You may think those expensive locks will keep your belongings safe from thieves, but local law enforcement say to think again.

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    Do you have a trailer sitting in your front lawn or maybe at your business? You may think those expensive locks will keep your belongings safe from thieves, but local law enforcement say to think again.

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  • On Your Side Investigation: Are you being tracked?

    On Your Side Investigation: Are you being tracked?

    Tuesday, June 5 2018 12:26 PM EDT2018-06-05 16:26:01 GMT
    On Your Side Investigation: Are you being tracked?/Photo credit: WDAMOn Your Side Investigation: Are you being tracked?/Photo credit: WDAM
    License plate reader/Photo credit: WDAMLicense plate reader/Photo credit: WDAM

    Big brother, or an investigative tool?  Tens of thousands of automated license plate readers are snapping photos of plates right now across the country. The technology is also here in the Pine Belt and across Mississippi. 

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    Big brother, or an investigative tool?  Tens of thousands of automated license plate readers are snapping photos of plates right now across the country. The technology is also here in the Pine Belt and across Mississippi. 

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  • Waiting on Justice: Pretrial detention in Mississippi

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 11:27 PM EDT2018-05-23 03:27:19 GMT
    Innocent until proven guilty, but for thousands of pretrial detainees currently in county jails across Mississippi, it can seem the other way around. (Photo source: WDAM)Innocent until proven guilty, but for thousands of pretrial detainees currently in county jails across Mississippi, it can seem the other way around. (Photo source: WDAM)

    Innocent until proven guilty, but for thousands of pretrial detainees currently in county jails across Mississippi, it can seem the other way around. "In our constitution, we're not guilty until proven guilty or they plead guilty," said circuit judge    "Pretrial detention is a problem set across the state of Mississippi,"  it's not a new problem, defendants sitting in jails waiting for their cases to make it through the court system. a list of pi...

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    Innocent until proven guilty, but for thousands of pretrial detainees currently in county jails across Mississippi, it can seem the other way around. "In our constitution, we're not guilty until proven guilty or they plead guilty," said circuit judge    "Pretrial detention is a problem set across the state of Mississippi,"  it's not a new problem, defendants sitting in jails waiting for their cases to make it through the court system. a list of pi...

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  • Human trafficking still a problem in MS, experts say

    Human trafficking still a problem in MS, experts say

    Thursday, March 15 2018 11:36 PM EDT2018-03-16 03:36:23 GMT
    Last year, Mississippi received a B rating on human trafficking from the prevention group Shared Hope International. (Photo source: WDAM)Last year, Mississippi received a B rating on human trafficking from the prevention group Shared Hope International. (Photo source: WDAM)

    Last year, Mississippi received a "B" rating on human trafficking from the prevention group Shared Hope International. That rating is an upgrade from the “D” rating the state was given in 2011.

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    Last year, Mississippi received a "B" rating on human trafficking from the prevention group Shared Hope International. That rating is an upgrade from the “D” rating the state was given in 2011.

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  • Are we becoming numb to violence?

    Are we becoming numb to violence?

    Thursday, March 8 2018 10:55 PM EST2018-03-09 03:55:47 GMT
    Psychology Fellow at Southern Behavioral Medicine David Gavel considers the question: Are we becoming numb to violence? (Photo source: WDAM)Psychology Fellow at Southern Behavioral Medicine David Gavel considers the question: Are we becoming numb to violence? (Photo source: WDAM)

    The October 2017 Las Vegas shooting remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. 58 people were killed. Only a month later, another shooting, 26 killed by a gunman inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The latest shooting happened on Valentine's Day. 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida. Those shootings are just scratching the surface of the acts the FBI defines as mass shootings, four or more shot at once.

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    The October 2017 Las Vegas shooting remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. 58 people were killed. Only a month later, another shooting, 26 killed by a gunman inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The latest shooting happened on Valentine's Day. 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida. Those shootings are just scratching the surface of the acts the FBI defines as mass shootings, four or more shot at once.

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  • MS police chief suspended after video showing alleged marijuana use surfaces

    MS police chief suspended after video showing alleged marijuana use surfaces

    Tuesday, March 6 2018 6:55 PM EST2018-03-06 23:55:48 GMT
    WDAM has obtained video that allegedly shows Lumberton Police Chief Shane Flynt smoking what he implies to be marijuana. (Photo source: viewer submitted)WDAM has obtained video that allegedly shows Lumberton Police Chief Shane Flynt smoking what he implies to be marijuana. (Photo source: viewer submitted)

    Lumberton Police Chief Shane Flynt has been suspended with pay, according to Mayor Quincy Rogers.

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    Lumberton Police Chief Shane Flynt has been suspended with pay, according to Mayor Quincy Rogers.

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  • Over 800 guns reported stolen in Hattiesburg in 5 years

    Over 800 guns reported stolen in Hattiesburg in 5 years

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:27 PM EST2018-02-26 17:27:27 GMT
    In the last five years, there have been more than 800 weapons reported stolen in the City of Hattiesburg. (Photo source: WDAM)In the last five years, there have been more than 800 weapons reported stolen in the City of Hattiesburg. (Photo source: WDAM)

    In the last five years, there have been more than 800 weapons reported stolen in the City of Hattiesburg. Some of those weapons have been linked to murders and other violent crimes in the Hub City, as well as other places around the country. “A criminal thinks very maliciously, and they don’t want something that will tie them back to a crime,” said Hattiesburg Police Captain Branden McLemore. “So of course, they are going to take the opportunity to steal...

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    In the last five years, there have been more than 800 weapons reported stolen in the City of Hattiesburg. Some of those weapons have been linked to murders and other violent crimes in the Hub City, as well as other places around the country. “A criminal thinks very maliciously, and they don’t want something that will tie them back to a crime,” said Hattiesburg Police Captain Branden McLemore. “So of course, they are going to take the opportunity to steal...

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  • Over 400 auto burglaries in Hattiesburg, HPD turns to technology to help

    Over 400 auto burglaries in Hattiesburg, HPD turns to technology to help

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:27 PM EST2018-02-26 17:27:16 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    So far, in 2017 the Hattiesburg Police Department has recorded 454 auto burglaries in the Hub City. MOBILE USERS WATCH LIVE HERE An auto burglary is considered a “Part 1 Offense,” and it’s one thing the police department is setting their sights on reducing. “Any citizen of Hattiesburg should be able to go to the actual local shopping center and go there and not have to worry about their vehicle getting broken in to," said Hattiesburg Police De...

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    So far, in 2017 the Hattiesburg Police Department has recorded 454 auto burglaries in the Hub City. MOBILE USERS WATCH LIVE HERE An auto burglary is considered a “Part 1 Offense,” and it’s one thing the police department is setting their sights on reducing. “Any citizen of Hattiesburg should be able to go to the actual local shopping center and go there and not have to worry about their vehicle getting broken in to," said Hattiesburg Police De...

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  • Officer retention and lacking numbers inside Hattiesburg Police Department

    Officer retention and lacking numbers inside Hattiesburg Police Department

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:27 PM EST2018-02-26 17:27:12 GMT
    Photo Source: WDAMPhoto Source: WDAM
    Photo Source: WDAMPhoto Source: WDAM

    MOBILE USERS WATCH LIVE HERE Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved.

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    MOBILE USERS WATCH LIVE HERE Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved.

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  • On your side investigation: School resource officer qualifications

    On your side investigation: School resource officer qualifications

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:27 PM EST2018-02-26 17:27:00 GMT

    Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved. 

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    Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved. 

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  • breaking

    On Your Side Investigation: The City of Hattiesburg's gang problem

    On Your Side Investigation: The City of Hattiesburg's gang problem

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:26 PM EST2018-02-26 17:26:52 GMT
    A map outlines the gangs in Hattiesburg that police are tracking. Source: HPDA map outlines the gangs in Hattiesburg that police are tracking. Source: HPD
    A map outlines the gangs in Hattiesburg that police are tracking. Source: HPDA map outlines the gangs in Hattiesburg that police are tracking. Source: HPD

    Does the City of Hattiesburg have a gang problem? 

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    Does the City of Hattiesburg have a gang problem? 

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  • breaking

    2 criminally charged in 2016 pharmacy raids

    2 criminally charged in 2016 pharmacy raids

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:26 PM EST2018-02-26 17:26:51 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM

    Two people have been criminally charged in connection to a federal investigation that allegedly defrauded the federal government in hundreds of millions of dollars.

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    Two people have been criminally charged in connection to a federal investigation that allegedly defrauded the federal government in hundreds of millions of dollars.

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  • EXCLUSIVE: Charles Bolton and Billy McGee address jail food, tax crimes

    EXCLUSIVE: Charles Bolton and Billy McGee address jail food, tax crimes

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:26 PM EST2018-02-26 17:26:34 GMT
    Both Sheriff Billy McGee and Charles Bolton speak regarding the Forrest County jail investigation, and Bolton's recent tax fraud conviction. Source: WDAMBoth Sheriff Billy McGee and Charles Bolton speak regarding the Forrest County jail investigation, and Bolton's recent tax fraud conviction. Source: WDAM
    Both Sheriff Billy McGee and Charles Bolton speak regarding the Forrest County jail investigation, and Bolton's recent tax fraud conviction. Source: WDAMBoth Sheriff Billy McGee and Charles Bolton speak regarding the Forrest County jail investigation, and Bolton's recent tax fraud conviction. Source: WDAM

    Last week WDAM 7's Ryan Moore spoke exclusively to the Mississippi FBI Director and the regional IRS Director about former Chief Deputy Charles Bolton's conviction, and the ongoing investigation into the Forrest County jail.

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    Last week WDAM 7's Ryan Moore spoke exclusively to the Mississippi FBI Director and the regional IRS Director about former Chief Deputy Charles Bolton's conviction, and the ongoing investigation into the Forrest County jail.

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  • On Your Side Report: Public corruption in the Pine Belt

    On Your Side Report: Public corruption in the Pine Belt

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:26 PM EST2018-02-26 17:26:33 GMT
    Forrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAMForrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAM
    Forrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAMForrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAM

    Former Forrest County Chief Deputy Charles Bolton and his wife, Linda Bolton, were convicted of tax crimes after a multi-year investigation that started with the Forrest County Jail.

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    Former Forrest County Chief Deputy Charles Bolton and his wife, Linda Bolton, were convicted of tax crimes after a multi-year investigation that started with the Forrest County Jail.

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  • On Your Side Investigation: Jones County records hundreds of fires, what's the cause?

    On Your Side Investigation: Jones County records hundreds of fires, what's the cause?

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:26 PM EST2018-02-26 17:26:26 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    Jones County had roughly five times the number of structure fires than some of its neighboring counties in 2016.

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    Jones County had roughly five times the number of structure fires than some of its neighboring counties in 2016.

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  • breaking

    Feds claim Hattiesburg pharmacy investigation details more than $400 million defrauded

    Feds claim Hattiesburg pharmacy investigation details more than $400 million defrauded

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:26 PM EST2018-02-26 17:26:16 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM

    Three Mississippi pharmacies, including multiple individuals and entities, are said to have defrauded more than $400 million from public and private health insurance providers.

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    Three Mississippi pharmacies, including multiple individuals and entities, are said to have defrauded more than $400 million from public and private health insurance providers.

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  • HFD officials work to correct overtime problems

    HFD officials work to correct overtime problems

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:25 PM EST2018-02-26 17:25:54 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    In the 2016 fiscal budget, the Hattiesburg Fire Department spent over a million dollars of tax payers money on overtime, while operating with minimal staffing.

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    In the 2016 fiscal budget, the Hattiesburg Fire Department spent over a million dollars of tax payers money on overtime, while operating with minimal staffing.

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  • HFD: Over budget, under staffed

    HFD: Over budget, under staffed

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:25 PM EST2018-02-26 17:25:53 GMT
    Hattiesburg Fire Department/Photo credit: WDAMHattiesburg Fire Department/Photo credit: WDAM
    Hattiesburg Fire Department/Photo credit: WDAMHattiesburg Fire Department/Photo credit: WDAM

    Leadership in the Hattiesburg Fire Department is being questioned after more than a million dollars was spent on overtime in 2016, with the department operating with roughly 20 vacant positions.

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    Leadership in the Hattiesburg Fire Department is being questioned after more than a million dollars was spent on overtime in 2016, with the department operating with roughly 20 vacant positions.

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  • Forrest County Jail bills thousands in overtime

    Forrest County Jail bills thousands in overtime

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:25 PM EST2018-02-26 17:25:48 GMT
    Forrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAMForrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAM
    Forrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAMForrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAM

    Forrest County Supervisors started building their budget looking to save money after being involved in multiple legal settlements in 2016.

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    Forrest County Supervisors started building their budget looking to save money after being involved in multiple legal settlements in 2016.

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  • Pharmacy investigation: Planes seized from Wade Walters, sought by bank

    Pharmacy investigation: Planes seized from Wade Walters, sought by bank

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:25 PM EST2018-02-26 17:25:27 GMT
    Wade Walter's business/Photo credit: WDAMWade Walter's business/Photo credit: WDAM
    Wade Walter's business/Photo credit: WDAMWade Walter's business/Photo credit: WDAM

    In late January, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and Internal Revenue Service along with other state and federal agencies raided businesses related to pharmacies around Mississippi and three other states and seized millions in assets.

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    In late January, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and Internal Revenue Service along with other state and federal agencies raided businesses related to pharmacies around Mississippi and three other states and seized millions in assets.

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  • Federal documents reveal names, properties seized in multi-state pharmacy raid

    Federal documents reveal names, properties seized in multi-state pharmacy raid

    Monday, February 26 2018 12:25 PM EST2018-02-26 17:25:14 GMT
    Federal documents reveal properties seized after a federal and state agency led raid back in January. Source: WDAMFederal documents reveal properties seized after a federal and state agency led raid back in January. Source: WDAM
    Federal documents reveal properties seized after a federal and state agency led raid back in January. Source: WDAMFederal documents reveal properties seized after a federal and state agency led raid back in January. Source: WDAM

    In late January members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Internal Revenue Service and multiple other state agencies raided four businesses related to pharmacies in the Hub City, and seized millions in assets. 

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    In late January members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Internal Revenue Service and multiple other state agencies raided four businesses related to pharmacies in the Hub City, and seized millions in assets. 

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  • Answering the Audit: Forrest Co. Sheriff's Department

    Answering the Audit: Forrest Co. Sheriff's Department

    Thursday, February 4 2016 11:32 AM EST2016-02-04 16:32:56 GMT
    Monday, February 26 2018 12:24 PM EST2018-02-26 17:24:44 GMT
    Answering The AuditAnswering The Audit
    Answering The AuditAnswering The Audit

    Forrest County Supervisors requested an independent audit into the sheriff’s department regarding financial discrepancies.

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    Forrest County Supervisors requested an independent audit into the sheriff’s department regarding financial discrepancies.

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  • FBI and state agencies raid Hattiesburg pharmacies

    FBI and state agencies raid Hattiesburg pharmacies

    Thursday, January 21 2016 12:21 PM EST2016-01-21 17:21:51 GMT
    Monday, February 26 2018 12:24 PM EST2018-02-26 17:24:42 GMT

    Members of the FBI and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics along with multiple other state agencies raided at least four businesses in the Hub City.  

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    Members of the FBI and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics along with multiple other state agencies raided at least four businesses in the Hub City.  

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  • breaking

    Forrest County Jail invoices detail purchases

    Forrest County Jail invoices detail purchases

    Tuesday, October 27 2015 11:23 AM EDT2015-10-27 15:23:30 GMT
    Monday, February 26 2018 12:24 PM EST2018-02-26 17:24:21 GMT
    Forrest County JailForrest County Jail
    Forrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAMForrest County Jail/Photo credit: WDAM
    Forrest County Sheriff Billy McGee spoke publicly for the first time two weeks ago about allegations of food theft and a federal investigation involving the Forrest County Regional Jail.More >>
    Forrest County Sheriff Billy McGee spoke publicly for the first time two weeks ago about allegations of food theft and a federal investigation involving the Forrest County Regional Jail.More >>
  • McGee addresses indictments in Forrest County Jail investigation

    McGee addresses indictments in Forrest County Jail investigation

    Wednesday, October 14 2015 8:48 PM EDT2015-10-15 00:48:48 GMT
    Monday, February 26 2018 12:24 PM EST2018-02-26 17:24:18 GMT
    Billy McGeeBilly McGee
    Billy McGeeBilly McGee
    Forrest County Sheriff Billy McGee spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday night about allegations of food theft and a federal investigation involving the Forrest County Regional Jail.McGee spoke during a candidate forum at the Lake Terrace Convention Center, where he was campaigning against opponent and former Hattiesburg Police Chief Charlie Sims. Stolen jail food, indictments and a federal investigation are just a few things surrounding McGee’s run for a 7th term in off...More >>
    Forrest County Sheriff Billy McGee spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday night about allegations of food theft and a federal investigation involving the Forrest County Regional Jail.McGee spoke during a candidate forum at the Lake Terrace Convention Center, where he was campaigning against opponent and former Hattiesburg Police Chief Charlie Sims. Stolen jail food, indictments and a federal investigation are just a few things surrounding McGee’s run for a 7th term in off...More >>
  • Seven On Your Side investigates: Lost tax dollars and HPD body cameras

    Seven On Your Side investigates: Lost tax dollars and HPD body cameras

    Thursday, September 24 2015 9:26 PM EDT2015-09-25 01:26:40 GMT
    Monday, February 26 2018 12:24 PM EST2018-02-26 17:24:15 GMT
    Police body cameras are an ever popular growing trend that departments across the nation are buying in to.More >>
    Police body cameras are an ever popular growing trend that departments across the nation are buying in to.More >>
  • Investigation: Hattiesburg taxpayers fund liquor, jewelry, and gifts

    Investigation: Hattiesburg taxpayers fund liquor, jewelry, and gifts

    Thursday, March 12 2015 6:00 PM EDT2015-03-12 22:00:50 GMT
    Monday, February 26 2018 12:23 PM EST2018-02-26 17:23:17 GMT
    Multiple receipts show expensive dinners at high end restaurants paid for by Hattiesburg taxpayer money.Multiple receipts show expensive dinners at high end restaurants paid for by Hattiesburg taxpayer money.
    Multiple receipts show expensive dinners at high end restaurants paid for by Hattiesburg taxpayer money.Multiple receipts show expensive dinners at high end restaurants paid for by Hattiesburg taxpayer money.
    It's a tax you pay when you eat at a restaurant or stay at a hotel in Hattiesburg.More >>
    It's a tax you pay when you eat at a restaurant or stay at a hotel in Hattiesburg.More >>
  • Mississippi's history outlined in school textbooks

    Mississippi's history outlined in school textbooks

    Thursday, February 8 2018 7:32 PM EST2018-02-09 00:32:51 GMT
    Mississippi is rich in history. It's a subject the MDE requires students to learn. (Photo source: WDAM)Mississippi is rich in history. It's a subject the MDE requires students to learn. (Photo source: WDAM)

    Mississippi is rich in history. It's a subject the Mississippi Department of Education requires students in schools across our state to learn about through mandatory courses in grades K-12. 

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    Mississippi is rich in history. It's a subject the Mississippi Department of Education requires students in schools across our state to learn about through mandatory courses in grades K-12. 

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  • On Your Side Investigates: Expired medicine in the Pine Belt

    Tuesday, January 30 2018 3:43 PM EST2018-01-30 20:43:59 GMT
    Photo Credit: WDAMPhoto Credit: WDAM

    When your child has a runny nose, sometimes the first thing parents do is run to the store and pick up some cold medicine.  

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    When your child has a runny nose, sometimes the first thing parents do is run to the store and pick up some cold medicine.  

    More >>
  • On Your Side Report: Testing Your Water

    Monday, February 15 2016 4:55 PM EST2016-02-15 21:55:29 GMT
    Tuesday, January 30 2018 3:43 PM EST2018-01-30 20:43:49 GMT

    The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is being called a man-made water disaster.

    More >>

    The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is being called a man-made water disaster.

    More >>
  • Special Report: The other side of addiction

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 9:05 AM EST2017-12-12 14:05:00 GMT
    (Source: WDAM Staff)(Source: WDAM Staff)

    The state of Mississippi stands up against the opioid epidemic touching families of all socioeconomic statuses and races. 

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    The state of Mississippi stands up against the opioid epidemic touching families of all socioeconomic statuses and races. 

    More >>
  • Failed green energy in the Pine Belt: Investments that cost Mississippi taxpayers millions

    Failed green energy in the Pine Belt: Investments that cost Mississippi taxpayers millions

    Tuesday, November 14 2017 8:22 AM EST2017-11-14 13:22:30 GMT

    Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour led Mississippi into its ambitious endeavor into green energy in 2010. 

    More >>

    Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour led Mississippi into its ambitious endeavor into green energy in 2010. 

    More >>
  • Stranger danger

    Stranger danger: What you need to know to keep your family safe this Halloween

    Stranger danger: What you need to know to keep your family safe this Halloween

    Friday, October 27 2017 8:53 AM EDT2017-10-27 12:53:23 GMT

    As you prepare for a night of trick or treating, remember you may not know the home your approaching. An opening door could be the home of a sex offender. Jessica Bowman with a look at how you can protect your children during this high-risk time. One mother said, "As a mother, I always worry about the safety of our children in the neighborhood especially when they are trick-or-treating." Halloween is known for ghost and goblins out on the prowl. That's why it's important ...

    More >>

    As you prepare for a night of trick or treating, remember you may not know the home your approaching. An opening door could be the home of a sex offender. Jessica Bowman with a look at how you can protect your children during this high-risk time. One mother said, "As a mother, I always worry about the safety of our children in the neighborhood especially when they are trick-or-treating." Halloween is known for ghost and goblins out on the prowl. That's why it's important ...

    More >>
  • programming

    Special report: Confederate History in the Pine Belt

    Special report: Confederate History in the Pine Belt

    Friday, October 6 2017 8:30 AM EDT2017-10-06 12:30:57 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM

    We've seen fierce debate over Confederate monuments across the South, and beyond. Some people want to tear them down. Some people revere them.

    More >>

    We've seen fierce debate over Confederate monuments across the South, and beyond. Some people want to tear them down. Some people revere them.

    More >>
  • Suicide Prevention in Mississippi

    Suicide Prevention in Mississippi

    Thursday, August 31 2017 10:15 PM EDT2017-09-01 02:15:24 GMT
    Photo Credit: WDAMPhoto Credit: WDAM

    Two years ago, Angie Risk lost her only son Casey, a well-liked athlete with a big smile and even bigger love of family.  

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    Two years ago, Angie Risk lost her only son Casey, a well-liked athlete with a big smile and even bigger love of family.  

    More >>
  • On Your Side Investigation: Is your school's central office overspending?

    On Your Side Investigation: Is your school's central office overspending?

    Thursday, April 28 2016 12:06 PM EDT2016-04-28 16:06:06 GMT
    Thursday, April 28 2016 3:10 PM EDT2016-04-28 19:10:25 GMT
    Amanda Labrot investigates how much your child's school district central office spends. Source: WDAMAmanda Labrot investigates how much your child's school district central office spends. Source: WDAM

    Administrative personnel are needed to keep school districts functioning, but how much money is spent and how many people are employed in district central offices varies widely across the Pine Belt. 

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    Administrative personnel are needed to keep school districts functioning, but how much money is spent and how many people are employed in district central offices varies widely across the Pine Belt. 

    More >>
  • On Your Side Investigation: Pensions of prisoners

    On Your Side Investigation: Pensions of prisoners

    Thursday, February 18 2016 1:29 PM EST2016-02-18 18:29:04 GMT
    Thursday, February 18 2016 4:24 PM EST2016-02-18 21:24:21 GMT
    Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps/Photo source: WLBTMississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps/Photo source: WLBT

    Former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money launder, and in return lost his two houses and luxury cars. But there is one thing that he got to keep, and Mississippi taxpayers are paying for it.

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    Former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money launder, and in return lost his two houses and luxury cars. But there is one thing that he got to keep, and Mississippi taxpayers are paying for it.

    More >>
  • Seven On Your Side investigates questionable spending by Hattiesburg schools

    Seven On Your Side investigates questionable spending by Hattiesburg schools

    Wednesday, October 28 2015 11:52 AM EDT2015-10-28 15:52:06 GMT
    Monday, November 2 2015 10:24 AM EST2015-11-02 15:24:54 GMT
    In of 2015 the Hattiesburg Public School District awarded a $219,000 contract to educational consulting company P3 Strategies.More >>
    In of 2015 the Hattiesburg Public School District awarded a $219,000 contract to educational consulting company P3 Strategies.More >>
  • Legal Expert: Conflict of interest for some Convention Commission members

    Legal Expert: Conflict of interest for some Convention Commission members

    Tuesday, August 23 2016 6:49 PM EDT2016-08-23 22:49:56 GMT
    Credit card receipts show high-end, hotels, meals and alcohol funded by tax dollars.Credit card receipts show high-end, hotels, meals and alcohol funded by tax dollars.

    Millions of tax dollars filter through Hattiesburg’s Lake Terrace Convention Center every year, and public records obtained by On Your Side show that some of the people tasked with managing those funds have an added interest in where it's being spent.

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    Millions of tax dollars filter through Hattiesburg’s Lake Terrace Convention Center every year, and public records obtained by On Your Side show that some of the people tasked with managing those funds have an added interest in where it's being spent.

    More >>
  • Hattiesburg Convention Center Director lobbying for 267k salary

    Hattiesburg Convention Center Director lobbying for 267k salary

    Wednesday, August 10 2016 10:01 PM EDT2016-08-11 02:01:32 GMT
    Hattiesburg Convention Center Executive Director Rick Taylor is lobbying for a new salary of $267k a year. Source: WDAMHattiesburg Convention Center Executive Director Rick Taylor is lobbying for a new salary of $267k a year. Source: WDAM

    The Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention and Tourism Commission, Rick Taylor, is actively lobbying for an increased base salary of 267k dollars, which would be funded by taxpayers. 

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    The Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention and Tourism Commission, Rick Taylor, is actively lobbying for an increased base salary of 267k dollars, which would be funded by taxpayers. 

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  • Investigation: Hattiesburg Convention Commission changes story on Tiffany & Co. purchases

    Investigation: Hattiesburg Convention Commission changes story on Tiffany & Co. purchases

    Thursday, August 11 2016 7:07 PM EDT2016-08-11 23:07:35 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    With every meal bought at a Hattiesburg restaurant, and every hotel or motel room booked in the Hub City, taxpayers are hit with an additional two-percent tax that funnels around $4 million annually into the bank accounts of the Hattiesburg Tourism and Convention Commissions.

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    With every meal bought at a Hattiesburg restaurant, and every hotel or motel room booked in the Hub City, taxpayers are hit with an additional two-percent tax that funnels around $4 million annually into the bank accounts of the Hattiesburg Tourism and Convention Commissions.

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  • breaking

    Emails reveal Hattiesburg Convention Center members avoiding on-camera interviews

    Emails reveal Hattiesburg Convention Center members avoiding on-camera interviews

    Friday, August 5 2016 11:59 AM EDT2016-08-05 15:59:21 GMT
    Newly obtained emails reveal board members and the executive director discussing how they could avoid an on-camera interview. Source: WDAMNewly obtained emails reveal board members and the executive director discussing how they could avoid an on-camera interview. Source: WDAM

    Around the time WDAM was requesting on-camera interviews with members of the Hattiesburg Tourism and Convention Commission they were collaborating on strategies to avoid answering questions on camera.  

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    Around the time WDAM was requesting on-camera interviews with members of the Hattiesburg Tourism and Convention Commission they were collaborating on strategies to avoid answering questions on camera.  

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  • Investigation: Tax dollars fund bonus, trips, etc.

    Investigation: Tax dollars fund bonus, trips, etc.

    Thursday, August 4 2016 8:02 PM EDT2016-08-05 00:02:11 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    An On Your Side investigation revealed that when people dine at a restaurant or stay at a hotel in Hattiesburg, they’re helping fund a $30,000 bonus for the executive director of the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission. 

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    An On Your Side investigation revealed that when people dine at a restaurant or stay at a hotel in Hattiesburg, they’re helping fund a $30,000 bonus for the executive director of the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission. 

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  • On Your Side Investigation: Missing inventory from state-funded colleges and universities

    On Your Side Investigation: Missing inventory from state-funded colleges and universities

    Thursday, May 5 2016 4:00 AM EDT2016-05-05 08:00:24 GMT
    Monday, October 10 2016 8:58 AM EDT2016-10-10 12:58:12 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM

     Mississippi publicly funded colleges are required by law to track missing inventory, which is purchased using taxpayer dollars and tuition. 

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     Mississippi publicly funded colleges are required by law to track missing inventory, which is purchased using taxpayer dollars and tuition. 

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  • On Your Side Investigation: What's in Hattiesburg's Brown Water?

    On Your Side Investigation: What's in Hattiesburg's Brown Water?

    Friday, March 10 2017 8:29 AM EST2017-03-10 13:29:25 GMT
    On Your Side Investigation: What's in Hattiesburg's water? Source: WDAMOn Your Side Investigation: What's in Hattiesburg's water? Source: WDAM

    After months of complaints from Hattiesburg residents about discolored water, WDAM 7 News is finding out what's in the city's water, if it's safe to drink and how Hattiesburg city leaders plan to fix it.

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    After months of complaints from Hattiesburg residents about discolored water, WDAM 7 News is finding out what's in the city's water, if it's safe to drink and how Hattiesburg city leaders plan to fix it.

    More >>
  • Where are the jobs?: Wayne County leaders explain failed company deal

    Where are the jobs?: Wayne County leaders explain failed company deal

    Monday, February 13 2017 8:52 PM EST2017-02-14 01:52:21 GMT
    Photo Credit: WDAMPhoto Credit: WDAM

    "It is like Christmas morning!" Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, made that statement on August 2016 as he and Wayne County leaders unwrapped some big economic news.

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    "It is like Christmas morning!" Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, made that statement on August 2016 as he and Wayne County leaders unwrapped some big economic news.

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  • Right to Record: Do you know your rights?

    Right to Record: Do you know your rights?

    Thursday, February 9 2017 1:07 PM EST2017-02-09 18:07:18 GMT
    Legally you are allowed to record law enforcement. Source: Jac Bedrossian.Legally you are allowed to record law enforcement. Source: Jac Bedrossian.

    More and more officers are equipped with body cameras, but most of us have a camera that could show a different view.  

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    More and more officers are equipped with body cameras, but most of us have a camera that could show a different view.  

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  • Hub City staffing shortage causes flood insurance to increase

    Hub City staffing shortage causes flood insurance to increase

    Thursday, December 8 2016 8:59 PM EST2016-12-09 01:59:48 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM

    Staffing shortages in the City of Hattiesburg's planning department and a loss of federal subsidies have increased flood insurance cost for homeowners in the Hub City. 

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    Staffing shortages in the City of Hattiesburg's planning department and a loss of federal subsidies have increased flood insurance cost for homeowners in the Hub City. 

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  • programming

    On Your Side Report: Will a civilian dash cam benefit you?

    On Your Side Report: Will a civilian dash cam benefit you?

    Thursday, December 1 2016 3:38 PM EST2016-12-01 20:38:09 GMT
    Civilian Dash Cams, do they benefit you? Source: WDAMCivilian Dash Cams, do they benefit you? Source: WDAM

    A quick YouTube search for "dash cam" reveals the good, the bad and the ugly "caught on camera."

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    A quick YouTube search for "dash cam" reveals the good, the bad and the ugly "caught on camera."

    More >>
  • Degree of Debt: How student loan debt impacts Mississippians

    Degree of Debt: How student loan debt impacts Mississippians

    Tuesday, November 22 2016 11:00 PM EST2016-11-23 04:00:29 GMT
    Degree of Debt. Source: Raycom News NetworkDegree of Debt. Source: Raycom News Network

    Americans have more than $1.4 trillion dollars to repay in student debt, and Mississippians struggle more than anyone else in the country to repay their loans. 

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    Americans have more than $1.4 trillion dollars to repay in student debt, and Mississippians struggle more than anyone else in the country to repay their loans. 

    More >>
  • Millions of tax dollars spent on wastewater plans, but city has little to show

    Millions of tax dollars spent on wastewater plans, but city has little to show

    Tuesday, November 15 2016 9:45 PM EST2016-11-16 02:45:46 GMT
    Hattiesburg wastewater. Source: WDAMHattiesburg wastewater. Source: WDAM

    Hattiesburg city leaders have tried to find a way to treat and dispose of of the city's wastewater for almost a decade, but after years of disagreement between the city council and the mayor and millions of tax dollars spent, leaders have little to show for it.

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    Hattiesburg city leaders have tried to find a way to treat and dispose of of the city's wastewater for almost a decade, but after years of disagreement between the city council and the mayor and millions of tax dollars spent, leaders have little to show for it.

    More >>
  • Safe Zones: How to protect yourself with online transactions

    Safe Zones: How to protect yourself with online transactions

    Monday, November 7 2016 2:09 PM EST2016-11-07 19:09:17 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM

    How does someone know if the person they are meeting for an internet exchange won't hurt them? The short answer is, there is no way to know.  hat is why law enforcement agencies across the country are setting up safe zones.  

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    How does someone know if the person they are meeting for an internet exchange won't hurt them? The short answer is, there is no way to know.  hat is why law enforcement agencies across the country are setting up safe zones.  

    More >>
  • On Your Side: How to recognize if your child is a bully

    On Your Side: How to recognize if your child is a bully

    Thursday, September 22 2016 10:02 PM EDT2016-09-23 02:02:34 GMT
    WDAM graphicWDAM graphic

    Bullies are in schools across the country, and Pine Belt psychological experts are helping parents and schools understand the signs, handle the behavior and hopefully prevent that kind of aggression in children in the future. 

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    Bullies are in schools across the country, and Pine Belt psychological experts are helping parents and schools understand the signs, handle the behavior and hopefully prevent that kind of aggression in children in the future. 

    More >>
  • Investigators return for more documents in Forrest County jail investigation

    Investigators return for more documents in Forrest County jail investigation

    The state auditor's office and the FBI now have more documents to investigate from the Forrest County jail after a visit to the chancery court on Thursday. Officials from both agencies were back in theMore >>
    The state auditor's office and the FBI now have more documents to investigate from the Forrest County jail after a visit to the chancery court on Thursday.More >>
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