SPECIAL REPORT: NBC12 investigates local norovirus outbreak - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: NBC12 investigates local norovirus outbreak

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SPECIAL REPORT: NBC12 investigates local norovirus outbreak

Dozens of people came down with norovirus after attending events around Richmond. We investigated with the Health Department and tracked the source of the virus back to one place. 

Heather Sullivan brings you the results of our investigation and what has been done to stop the virus from spreading further on Thursday at 11 on NBC 12 News. 

SPECIAL REPORT: Newer furnishings greatly increase fire danger

New furnishings and home building materials greatly increase fire danger by causing your home to go up in flames a lot more quickly than it would have a few years ago. Synthetic materials burn hotter and faster than older materials like cotton, wood, and natural fibers.

One of the reasons why is that most synthetic materials used today are petroleum based. The smoke while these items burn is also much darker and much more thick which can make it harder to escape. 

An important thing you can do to protect yourself is to make sure you have working smoke detectors and to check the batteries on them. Another necessary action to keep your family safe is to develop and practice a fire escape plan. 

The Richmond Fire Department has this important information about fire escape plans:

The National Fire Protection Association also provides this kid-friendly fire escape plan printable that you can complete with your children:

Don't forget that practicing your plan twice a year during the day and at night is just as important as making the plan! 

On Tuesday at 11 PM, Rachel DePompa will show you just how quickly those new furnishings burn compared to older ones with a fire demonstration. 

SPECIAL REPORT: Are you getting what you paid for at the gas pump?

Some pumps haven't been inspected in years!

Check to see how the gas station you usually go to did on its last inspection:

SPECIAL REPORT: How safe are laser hair removal services? 

A local woman ended up with terrible blisters across her lip after going to a med spa for the treatment. 

"A laser is a very dangerous (piece) of equipment."

In the wrong hands, those laser hair removal treatments you hear about and see advertisements for all the time, can be incredibly harmful to your skin. 

There are many places out there to get laser hair removal but a med spa may not be your best option. We'll tell you how to make sure the people you're trusting your skin to are qualified to do the job plus tell you what's being done to keep lasers out of untrained hands. 

SPECIAL REPORT: Unbearable intimacy

It's estimated that 8% of the female population has vaginal pain so severe that sex is not possible. 

For one Richmond-area woman, intimacy is unbearable. While she still has the desire, the pain creates an obstacle. It takes a physical and emotional toll, even causing her to lose relationships.

She also has pain even when using tampons. She has tried everything including physical therapy, vaginally inserted pain killers, and more in an effort to relieve the pain. Nothing has ever worked enough for her to have a pain-free sexual encounter.  

Curt Autry follows her journey to take back her body and finds out about the new treatment giving her hope of a life without pain. 

SPECIAL REPORT: Car theft hot spots

Nobody wants this stomach dropping feeling: walking outside to find your car gone!

Car thefts are spiking across the region, and there are some clear hotspots for the criminals.

More than 1100 cars were stolen in Richmond alone in 2016 - the crime was up 35 percent. Rachel DePompa pulled the data from police and created this map of where it's happening. Every single one of these dots is a stolen car in Richmond and Chesterfield.

This is a heat map showing you where there's a heavy concentration of car thefts. The red area - that's the Fan and Museum District.

Why is this a car thief hot spot, and what is the city doing about it? We got answers from police and learned that they have a plan to help fix the problem. 

SPECIAL REPORT: RVA rape victim speaks out 

A Richmond rape victim is telling her story so that she can help spread awareness about the laws surrounding rape.

The victim, who does not want to be identified, says she was attacked for sex, beaten, raped and sodomized. She was 54 years old at the time and, despite being punched, beaten and left with black eyes, she did not know she could call the police because she knew her attacker. Her neighbor finally called police on her behalf.

From there, the police and someone from the Rape Crisis Center helped her understand that what had happened to her was against the law. 

"She was the one who explained to me that it didn't matter if you knew him," says the woman. "They explained to me that it was flat-out rape, forcible rape and sodomy."

The attack left her disfigured. "He told me he was going to make sure I was never attractive to anybody else." 

Now, a local doctor is donating his time and skills to help her take back control of her body. "When I look in the mirror, the first thing I think of is why this is like this. What happened. I don't want to be a victim anymore."

An excellent local resource that you may not know about is the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline: (804) 612-6126.

Six local agencies in the Richmond area have teamed up to staff the 24/7 regional hotline for those impacted by domestic, intimate partner, and/or sexual violence.

If you believe you or a loved one have experienced domestic, intimate partner, or sexual violence, you can call the confidential hotline. They will provide you with options, share resources, and support your decisions. All hotline specialists are trained advocacy volunteers who will help you on your journey to empowerment.

The hotline serves those who are in Chesterfield, Richmond, Hanover, Henrico, Goochland, Petersburg, Tri-Cities area, and New Kent, VA.

The YWCA of Richmond, The James House, Project Hope, Safe Harbor, Hanover Safe Place, and Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services collaborated to provide a single, centralized resource for callers in need of crisis intervention, services, and/or resources.  

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