Greene County officials prepared for ‘different’ weekend with Hamvention

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 7:43 PM

SKY 7: Hamvention at Greene County Fairgrounds

Greene County officials and residents are bracing for the impact today of the nearly 30,000 people expected in Xenia for Hamvention’s first gathering in the county.

RELATED: Hamvention expects increased attendance at new venue

The three-day amateur radio convention moved to the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia from Trotwood’s Hara Arena after the venue closed in 2016.

Hamvention is projected to provide a $14 million economic boost to the region, but the size of the crowd and the traffic that comes with it is expected to create some challenges.

RELATED: Hamvention finds new home

“For everybody that’s used to going through traffic lights, don’t anticipate them running normally because we’ll be hand controlling the lights,” Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said.

Traffic for the start of Hamvention

About 30,000 people from all over the world are expected to visit the Greene County Fairgrounds, starting today. They’ll all be descending upon a city whose last census update showed about 26,000 residents.

Traffic will be directed in different areas starting at 6 a.m. today at Dayton-Xenia and Trebein Roads, Fairground and Hawkins Roads, Fairground Road and Purcell Avenue and along U.S. 35.

Major Rick Bowman of the Greene County Sheriff’s Department said residents have been receiving “hyper reach phone calls” to alert them of traffic changes and what to expect.

He said peak traffic hours will be from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. as people make their way to the fairgrounds, and from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as they leave.

The event will from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today with the opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Hours continue 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

RELATED: Hara Arena closing forces Hamvention to find new home

“We’re extremely excited that Hamvention is coming to the Xenia area. We know that it will expose thousands of visitors to our beautiful city and to the county overall,” said Lee Warren, public relations coordinator for the city of Xenia.

Even with the preparation dedicated to the weekend, Warren said they don’t know what to expect “until they happen.”

The temporary increase in population has caused some schedule changes or cancellations.

Xenia City Schools is closed today to allow students “the opportunity to take advantage of all of the sessions associated with this program. We also anticipate a large number of people from outside the city coming to Xenia for the convention.”

The May meeting of School to Adult Life Transition (S.A.L.T.) scheduled for Thursday night was canceled in anticipation of Hamvention. The meeting location is directly across from the Fairgrounds.

Also, Greene County Parks and Trails advised trail users to avoid traveling through the Fairgrounds Recreation Center over the weekend.

Trail users are being advised to avoid the spur that connects Creekside Trail and Little Miami Scenic Trail because of the increased traffic and the recreation center being used for convention parking.

PHOTOS: Hamvention through the years

Warren said even with the bustle of getting the city ready for Hamvention, the city is ready to “welcome more visitors than the city has ever seen.”

Fischer said he expects things to be different, but “in a good way.”

REPORT: Springboro drug distributor benefited from weakened drug enforcement

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 4:47 PM

FILE
FILE

A Springboro pharmaceutical distributor benefited from an industry campaign to get Congress to weaken drug distribution enforcement, according to a new media investigation.

Miami-Luken was named in a Washington Post and 60 Minutes investigation into how the pharmaceutical drug industry lobbied Congress to weaken the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments.

RELATED: Kettering Health withdraws Middletown rezoning requests

Jim Geldhof, retired DEA program manager in Detroit, said in the report that he been investigating Miami-Luken, which had shipped a suspicious amount of prescriptions to West Virginia.

The company had shipped 20 million doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone to pharmacies in West Virginia between 2007 and 2012 and about 11 million wound up in Mingo County, with a population of 25,000.

Geldhof said the DEA’s legal office at headquarters ignored him for two years when he wanted to halt Miami-Luken’s operations, though before Geldhof left in 2015, the DEA accused the company of multiple violations of the law for allegedly failing to report orders for tens of millions of pain pills from pharmacies, most of them in West Virginia. That case is pending.

RELATED: Medicare open enrollment starts

Of the millions of pills sent to Mingo County, many went to one pharmacy in Williamson, with a population of 2,924. The report states in one month, Miami-Luken shipped 258,000 hydrocodone pills to the pharmacy, more than 10 times the typical amount for a West Virginia pharmacy.

The mayor of Williamson filed a lawsuit against Miami-Luken and other drug distributors, accusing them of flooding the city with pain pills and permitting them to saturate the black market.

RELATED: Hospice of Dayton and Premier Health partner on new $10M center

“Like sharks circling their prey, multi-billion dollar companies descended upon Appalachia for the sole purpose of profiting off of the prescription drug-fueled feeding frenzy,” the lawsuit states.

Miami-Luken is additionally facing a Congressional investigation. The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce requested Miami-Luken turn over documents related to its shippments and the company’s ousted former chief executive, Anthony Rattini.

Save money, stop fraud: 4 things to watch on your credit card statement

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 3:06 PM

Here are the most crucial things to watch for on your credit card statement Review your statement every month to catch these errors early and correct them Set up reminders or even automatic bill pay to avoid late payments Read your credit card statement carefully to get interest rate specifics and start addressing them To set a personal deadline for paying off a credit card, find a reliable credit card repayment calculator

With credit cards, what you don't know can cost you. 

Luckily, most of what you need to know is right at your fingertips − your credit card statement. Review it with a critical eye, and you'll save money, correct errors and even stop fraud. 

RELATED: 5 things to know about your FICO score

Here are the five most crucial things to watch for on your credit card statement:

Your transactions: Credit card companies do make errors. Review your statement every month to catch these errors early and correct them, advises Credit.org, a nonprofit financial education group. Each monthly printed statement should include a detailed list of activity from that billing cycle. If you get online statements, you can usually see transactions before and after the bill's closing date, too.

Credit.org also recommended keeping credit card paper or email receipts to compare to your monthly credit card bills. If you see something that's not correct, act immediately to protest. You are only protected when you report a discrepancy within 60 days of getting your credit card statement.

And don't just go after the big, noticeable fraudulent charges, the Credit.com blog warned: "It's actually the small ones that are the most likely to creep into your statements unnoticed. Thankfully, federal law says that cardholders are never responsible for more than the first $50 of any fraudulent charge, and nearly all card issuers waive this requirement by offering zero liability policies."

A company that studies the industry reports that store charge card generally have higher interest rates than other cards. Charges for some go up to 30 percent.

Late payment warning disclosure: Don't skip this. Credit card issuers are required to post a late payment warning disclosure explaining precisely what will happen if your payment is late, according to the Balance. First you should understand that late means after 5 p.m. on the payment due date. The disclosure should also include the amount of any late fee and possible penalty APR if you don't make the minimum payment by the due date. According to the Balance, late payments are limited to the lesser of your minimum payment or $25, or a maximum of $35 if you've already been late on a payment within the past six months. 

However, the late payment disclosure doesn't tell you about the effect of late pays on your credit report. It's up to you to know that once a payment is 30 days past due, the past due account status may be reported to a credit bureau. Once you bring your account current again, your bills and online account will show that you're caught up, but your credit report will retain the late payment record for seven years.

Credit card issuers are required, by law, to send your monthly credit card statement at least 21 days before your minimum payment is due. Of course, if you opt to save paper and postage and receive only online bills, you are responsible to make sure you log onto your bill and pay. According to Credit.com, one way to improve your odds of paying either type of credit card bill on time is to set up reminders or even automatic bill pay.

Any notices of changes to your interest rate: Read your credit card statement carefully to get interest rate specifics and start addressing them, according to MyCreditUnion.gov. When you trigger the penalty rate with a late payment or going over your credit rate, the company may notify you that your rates will increase. You must be informed at least 45 days ahead of the rate change activating, which is another reason to make sure you check your online statements reguarly -- monthly at the very least.

If you catch this increase notice quickly and it's due to a single late payment, Credit.com suggested trying to contact your card issuer to request a one-time waiver of the late fees and penalty interest rates. And since the credit card company isn't permitted to impose the penalty rate unless you've been 60 days delinquent on your payment, according to the Balance, make sure to verify that you've been that late and protest if your records show you haven't.

To see a sample notice of interest rate change, check out the interactive credit card statement at the non-profit's website. to familiarize yourself with the terms commonly included on a real statement.

The minimum payment warning: Minimum payment copy is now required by law. The disclosure is listed within your statement, detailing the sometimes horrifying amount of time it will take you to pay your balance, including interest charges, if you stick to making only the minimum payment. Make sure to read this every month, the Balance advised. This may encourage you to up your payment to avoid paying maximum interest. If you are trying to pay off more than one credit card, comparing minimum payment warnings will also let you know which card to focus on first.

To set a personal deadline for paying off a credit card, find a reliable credit card repayment calculator like the one offered at Credit.com.

Ruby Tuesday to be acquired by equity firm, fate of locations unknown

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 1:23 PM
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 4:11 PM


            Ruby Tuesday
Ruby Tuesday

A private equity firm has agreed to acquire Ruby Tuesday Inc. and is taking the company private as the restaurant chain struggles with declining sales as casual dining choices change in the restaurant industry.

NRD Capital Management is buying the casual-dining chain for about $146 million, or $2.40 a share, according to a release from the company.

“The Board of Directors and our advisors have thoroughly evaluated all options available to the Company and are confident that this agreement will provide the most promising opportunity to realize the highest value for our stockholders while providing the best path forward for the Ruby Tuesday brand, its employees, franchisees, and loyal customers,” said Stephen Sadove, non-executive chairman of Ruby Tuesday, in a statement.

» RELATED: German grocery retailer Lidl to expand in Beavercreek

Casual sit-down restaurants have been hit in recent years by the rise of delivery options and fast-casual chains.

Ruby Tuesday Inc. owns 599 restaurants in 41 states, 14 foreign countries, and Guam. The restaurant has locations in Centerville, Butler Twp., Deerfield Twp. and Troy.

The deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2018.

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BLACK FRIDAY REPORT: Macy’s will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 8:53 AM


            A web site tracking Black Friday retail plans is predicting that Macy’s will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. JIM WITMER / STAFF
A web site tracking Black Friday retail plans is predicting that Macy’s will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Macy’s will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, according to a web site that follows — and tries to predict — the Black Friday plans of national department stores.

BestBlackFriday.com said Macy’s opened at 5 p.m. last year on Thanksgiving, and the store opened at 6 p.m. that day in 2015 and 2014.

Macy’s has locations at the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. and the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.

RELATED: Will Macy’s become a discount store? Retailer shares grim sales report

“While Macy’s has not yet made an official announcement, we confirmed the 5 p.m. opening time from seven different Macy’s across the United States,” the web site said in an announcement early Monday.

“Like last year, some stores will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open the entire night until 10 p.m. on Black Friday,” the site said. “Other stores will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and close at 2 a.m. on Black Friday morning.

“They will open back up at 6 a.m. on Black Friday and close at 10 p.m.”

RELATED: STORE CLOSINGS: What’s really going on?

In addition to Macy’s, BestBlackFriday.com said the following stores are confirmed to be open on Thanksgiving Day 2017:

Big Lots and GameStop, with hours at both stores to be determined, the site said.