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CBS 6 Problem Solvers expose problems and find solutions in 2017

RICHMOND, Va. – 2017 was a busy year for the CBS 6 investigators who exposed problems and helped bring about solutions throughout the year.

Here are some examples of just the tip of the iceberg of what CBS 6 investigators accomplished:

Assisted living facility investigation 

“I think our group has made a difference, it might be small at this point, but I think it can only grow," Carol Garbo, an advocate for the elderly, said.

For starters, we helped seniors in Central Virginia.

Our investigation into issues at assisted living facilities in Virginia caused legislators to increase civil penalties that the state can impose on assisted living communities.

Additionally, the state adopted new staffing rules, mandating more staff to help residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Essex Village

Investigation into unsafe living conditions 

"This is why my daughter can't play in her room... when you let it go, it's just (bam)," a resident of the former Essex Village apartment complex said.

We exposed unsafe and unhealthy living conditions at a number of taxpayer funded section 8 housing complexes in the region.

"It's not a place anybody should exist and live," Henrico Deputy County Manager Doug Middleton said.

During the course of our investigation, we learned three complexes in the area receive more than 7.5 million dollars annually from the feds to subsidize rent, but they weren't being properly maintained.

"I can't live here, not under these conditions,” a resident at Hope Village said.

We also uncovered the feds giving section 8 complexes passing grades when they were in disrepair.

Since our investigation, there is a new owner at one of the complexes, Essex Village.

And, some repairs have been made to each complex, but Middleton said the county remains concerned about the condition of Essex Village, and concerned that the lack of accountability Henrico saw with the previous owner continues with the new one.

Speeding school buses in Richmond

"I think what you've done brought it to our attention. I think that has helped us stay within inside those rules, and I think as a result of that, I think we are operating in a much safer environment," Tommy Kranz, interim superintendent for Richmond Public Schools, said.

On the road, our investigation into Richmond school buses speeding 10, 15, even 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, led RPS to take action and the number of speeding buses dropped by half.

Mysterious death of Chesterfield father 

'I don’t think we could have gotten to the point now without you guys. The publicity is what triggered the first responders to even know to come forward,” Melody Clavier, said.

In Chesterfield, police are taking a second look at a shooting case they originally classified as an accidental shooting thanks to CBS 6 problem solver Laura French.

Over two years ago, Nick Clavier was found shot in his head after crashing down an embankment on Hull Street.

Originally, police said he accidentally shot himself.

But, a CBS6 investigation revealed ballistics determined the bullet recovered from Clavier's brain did not match his gun.

Police recently went back to the scene where Clavier was found to search for new clues in the case.

AP Hill SOL cheating scandal

"My ethics were to say, hey, I'm not going to let these kids go on and fail later on in life because they weren't given an education to begin with in the 5th grade" James Orbin, a former teacher at AP Hill Elementary School said.

Finally, in the classroom, CBS 6 helped blow the whistle on a cheating scandal at a Petersburg Elementary school.

We talked to a former teacher at AP Hill Elementary who detailed how teachers helped students cheat on their SOL tests.

We also exposed investigative documents from the state that showed some teachers and anonymous tipsters felt the former Principal and Assistant Principal were involved.

The school system let go of several teachers, but just re-assigned the former principal and assistant principal.

Thank you for trusting us with your stories in 2017.

We look forward to exposing more problems and helping the community find solutions in 2018!

CBS 6 News is working for you. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.