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VA challenged on handling of whistleblower charges

Posted: 06/23/2014 - He is agreeing with the federal official responsible for investigating complaints from government whistleblowers that the VA hasn't taken those complaints seriously.

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12 OYS: Charlie Norwood VA leaders call federal audit misleading

Updated: 06/19/2014 - Charlie Norwood VA Hospital leaders are calling data in a recent federal audit, misinformation. That audit released last week reported newly registered vets who have been waiting a decade for an appointment. VA leaders admit problems still exist, but major improvements have been made since 3 veteran deaths last year.

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12 OYS: Mom banned from daughter's school settles lawsuit with district

Updated: 06/18/2014 - Tanya Mount sued her daughter's elementary school after getting banned for posting a picture of her Georgia Weapons Carry License on Facebook. Now Mount has settled with the Richmond County School District. News 12 was the first to break the story that went viral internationally last October. After an 8 month-long battle against the school district, Mount said it was her decision to put this case behind her, and move on with her life.

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12 OYS: Renter fuming after kerosene used to kill bed bugs, she says

12 On Your Side

Updated: 06/17/2014 - A renter said what began as a bed bug problem, turned into something much more toxic. Sonji Brantley said a maintenance crew used what she said was "kerosene" to treat the pests, and that left her fuming over the fumes. When our investigative news crew showed up at the apartment, there was an overpowering chemical smell coming from inside that unit.

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Senate bill could cost $50 billion per year veterans' health

Updated: 06/17/2014 - But the Senate bill also would devote at least $1 billion to leasing 26 facilities in 17 states and Puerto Rico for use as new VA hospitals or clinics and $500 more million for hiring more VA doctors and nurses. Declaring the long appointment waits an emergency, the Senate averted having to raise taxes or find spending cuts elsewhere to cover the bill’s costs.

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12 OYS: Cellphone service accused of not delivering on promise; no refund says woman

12 On Your Side

Updated: 06/16/2014 - It was a deal too good to pass up. But after paying for a new phone plan, A Warrenville woman is having regrets. Queen Colter said the phones did not work, and she has not received a refund. We investigated the company that sent Colter the brochure in the mail, and what we uncovered had her wishing she had thrown it away.

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Sen. Tim Scott wants SC veteran facility audit

Updated: 06/12/2014 - Data released Monday showed patients seeking care through Columbia's VA hospital wait an average of 77 days for their first appointment with a primary care doctor — more than five times longer than the department's goal.

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12 OYS: Simple debit card transaction could leave your money in limbo

Updated: 06/11/2014 - An Augusta woman is accusing a local hotel of withdrawing every penny out of her bank account, and leaving her with no place to stay. Pearly Landers said it happened after she tried to reserve another week on the room she was living in. News 12 is showing you how a simple misstep could put your bank account on hold.

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FBI opens criminal probe of VA

Posted: 06/11/2014 - The move comes as Congress takes steps to help thousands of military veterans who've been dealing with long wait times for VA medical care.

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12 OYS: Vet waits 9 months for appointment; VA audit reveals scheduling issues

Updated: 06/10/2014 - A federal audit of Augusta's VA hospital is uncovering extensive issues with patient scheduling and procedures. News 12 first exposed serious problems at the facility after 3 patients died due to a lack of proper medical care. On Tuesday, a bill co-sponsored by Congressman John Barrow passed unanimously in the House. The bill would allow veterans waiting longer than what is acceptable, to seek medical care outside the VA system. The VA would foot the bill.

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How South Carolina, Georgia stack up in VA audit

Updated: 06/09/2014 - VA guidelines say veterans should be seen within 14 days of their desired date for a primary care appointment. The department now says that meeting that target was unattainable given existing resources and growing demand.

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Audit: Over 57,000 awaiting initial VA visits

Posted: 06/09/2014 - The Veterans Affairs Department says more than 57,000 patients are still waiting for initial medical appointments at VA hospitals and clinics 90 days or more after requesting them. An additional 64,000 who enrolled in the VA health care system over the past 10 years have never had appointments.

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12 OYS: 18-wheeler wreck raises safety concerns at Bergen Road intersection

12 On Your Side

Updated: 06/04/2014 - Clean up crews spent much of the day hauling off debris, following Tuesday night's 18-wheeler accident along Bernard Road in North Augusta. That accident occurred around 9:30 p.m. just past the entrance to Willow Wick Apartments. News 12 took a closer look at the accident and spoke to some nearby residents who say safety concerns have been an issue at the intersection for a while.

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Lawmakers working on veterans' relief bill

Updated: 06/04/2014 - A half dozen key lawmakers are trying to quickly craft a compromise bill to help veterans facing long appointment waits at VA hospitals and make it easier to fire administrators who covered up the delays.

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VA says it has contacted vets left off wait list

Posted: 06/04/2014 - The new Veterans Affairs chief says his department has reached out to all 1,700 veterans kept off an official waiting list at the troubled Phoenix hospital.

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12 OYS: Widow reported "deceased" by credit bureau says "I'm not dead"

Updated: 06/03/2014 - Debera Bennett will tell you she is very much alive, but said she is having a hard time trying to convince one credit bureau. Frustrated having to try and jump through hoops, she reached out to On Your Side to help her clear up the problem.

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