‘The Price is Right’ criticized for offering woman in wheelchair a treadmill

Published: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 @ 2:25 PM


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Part of the fun and excitement of “The Price is Right” is unveiling what prizes a contestant has the chance to win.

Today, many viewers called out the game show on social media, saying producers were insensitive for offering a woman in a wheelchair the chance to win a treadmill.

The woman won both a sauna and the treadmill, and seemed thrilled. She took to Twitter after the show to let everyone know that she was happy to win the prizes.

A few reasons Ohio should be proud at the Tony Awards

Published: Sunday, June 11, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Bette Midler as Dolly Gallagher Levi in ?Hello, Dolly!? at the Shubert Theater, in New York, April 15, 2017. The genius of casting Midler as Dolly, a widow who decides to rejoin life by marrying the rich and curmudgeonly Horace Vandergelder, is that she built her career on making nostalgia hip. (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)
Contributing Writer

Without “Hamilton” basking in the spotlight, the 71st annual Tony Awards airing Sunday, June 11, from New York’s Radio City Music Hall will reflect a broader slate befitting what was a remarkably strong 2016-17 season on Broadway.

The dazzlingly sophisticated and superbly designed “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” a lively musical adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” impressively leads the pack with 12 nominations. Other major contenders include the blockbuster revival of “Hello, Dolly!” (10 nominations), relevant social media-infused musical “Dear Evan Hansen” (9 nominations), Henrik Ibsen-inspired drama “A Doll’s House: Part 2” (8 nominations), and crowd-pleasing musicals “Groundhog Day” and “Come From Away” (7 nominations each).

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Here are five things to keep in mind regarding this year’s telecast, hosted by Tony Award and two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”).


A handful of nominated shows this year feature artists with ties to Ohio. In addition to seven-time Emmy Award winner and Dayton native Allison Janney starring in Best Revival of a Play nominee “Six Degrees of Separation,” Academy Award and 10-time Grammy Award winner John Legend of Springfield is an associate producer of Best Revival of a Play nominee “Jitney,” Cedarville University graduate and former “Survivor” contestant Josh Canfield is in the ensemble of “Natasha…,” Tony winner and Cincinnati native Andy Blankenbuehler (“Hamilton”) is nominated for choreographing new musical “Bandstand,” and Findlay native Gavin Creel is a Best Featured Actor in a Musical frontrunner as Cornelius Hackl in “Hello, Dolly!”

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Last year, the four musical acting categories were won by African-Americans. History will not repeat itself this year, but there’s something to be said about the scope of diversity within the nominations nonetheless. The marvelously acted production of the aforementioned “Jitney,” August Wilson’s chronicling of the African-American experience in the 1970s, received six nominations and is a frontrunner for Best Revival of a Play.

Also, Denée Benton (“Natasha…”) and Eva Noblezada (“Miss Saigon”) were duly recognized in the Best Leading Actress in a Musical field, and Rachel Chavkin could become only the fourth woman to win Best Direction of a Musical for her thrillingly atmospheric staging of “Natasha…”

>> Daytonians who’ve made us proud at the big awards


Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House Part 2” is the most-nominated play, but it’s not a shoo-in to win Best Play in particular. In fact, J.T. Rogers’ “Oslo,” a highly praised work about the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Sweat,” a compelling examination of race and economics in America’s rust belt, are equally worthy.

Other showdowns include Best Leading Actress in a Play’s Laura Linney (“The Little Foxes”) vs. Laurie Metcalf (“A Doll’s House: Part 2”) and Best Leading Actor in a Musical’s Andy Karl (“Groundhog Day”) vs. Ben Platt (“Dear Evan Hansen”). Be sure to watch the final and most suspenseful category of the night: Best Musical. It’s anybody guess as to whether or not voters will reward opulent exuberance (“Natasha…”), character-driven drama (“Dear Evan Hansen”), screen-to-stage savvy (“Groundhog Day”) or feel-good optimism (“Come From Away”).


You can always count on the Tonys for star power and this year’s lineup of celebrity presenters will not disappoint. The roster includes nominees such as Sally Field (“The Glass Menagerie”) and Josh Groban (“Natasha…”) in addition to Orlando Bloom, Glenn Close, Cynthia Erivo, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Whoopi Goldberg, Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson, John Lithgow, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sarah Paulson, and the aforementioned Janney and Legend among others.


The legendary Bette Midler’s highly anticipated return to the Great White Way has become a must-see event. Although she received a special Tony in 1974 for “adding luster to the Broadway season,” Midler is sure to win her first competitive Tony for her critically acclaimed portrayal of meddlesome matchmaker Dolly Levi. At this point, it’s safe to say “Hello, Dolly!” wouldn’t have been one of the hottest tickets of the season without her. Her acceptance speech (preceded by a possible standing ovation) will likely be a huge highlight of the evening.

How to Watch

WHAT: 71st annual Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey

WHERE: New York’s Radio City Music Hall

TIME: 8 p.m. on CBS

Bank forecloses on ‘Extreme Makeover’ homeowner in Michigan

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 1:03 AM

Nearly nine years ago, Arlene Nickless had her home rebuilt on national television. By Monday, she must turn in her keys and leave.

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Designers with ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” helped by hundreds of volunteers — built her family's home in 2008 after the death of Tim Nickless, her husband of 18 years. But keeping up payments on the mortgage has been a struggle, and it was foreclosed in September, the Lansing State Journal reported. It has been up for auction online for weeks.

“When I stepped out of the house the day “Extreme Makeover came, you will see me say ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’” she said. “And, truthfully, that’s what I feel right now: I can’t believe this is happening.”

Arlene Nickless did not blame the ABC television show, whose pricey rebuild have led to foreclosures in some cases, However, she did criticize her mortgage company, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Her home’s foreclosure resulted from an ongoing struggle to manage the property’s pre-makeover mortgage — a balance of about $30,000 after the 2008 makeover, but had ballooned to at least $113,000 by the end of 2016, she told the newspaper.

Eight months after Tim Nickless died in January 2008, more than 1,600 volunteers from the Holt area joined the show’s crew to rebuild the family home, an 1860s farmhouse that had fallen into disrepair.

The old home was demolished, and after a five-day building period, Arlene Nickless and her three sons received a new 3,300-square-foot, four-bedroom home with stone columns, dark wood floors, an indoor water wall, and a retractable flat-screen television, the Lansing State Journal reported.

But the home's annual taxes more than tripled from 2008 to 2009, from about $2,000 in 2008 to about $7,500 in 2009, according to county records.

Those increased taxes and insurance costs were paid through an escrow account, bloating the Nickless family's monthly mortgage payments.

In 2010, Arlene Nickless was in a car crash that caused her to fall behind in making those monthly payments. By late 2010, the property went to a sheriff’s sale, the Lansing State Journal reported.

She filed paperwork to stop the foreclosure the morning of the sale, and the sheriff's deed, which would have given ownership rights to the buyer at the sale, was removed, according to Ingham County records.

At that time, Arlene Nickless said the mortgage lender offered to pay off the loan balance if she could come up with $15,000.

Before she had a chance to gather the money, Ocwen Financial acquired her mortgage in 2011, she said. For the next several years, Arlene Nickless struggled with the loan.

She withheld mortgage payments because she didn’t know where she was sending her money, she said.

“I was trying to find answers,” she told the Lansing State Journal.

Last month, the state of Michigan issued a cease and desist order prohibiting Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC from continued violations of state mortgage law. A press release from the state said Ocwen had a history of improper "servicing and handling of escrow accounts," trouble keeping accurate records and problems with properly crediting payments. 

Ocwen officials said the claims were unfounded.

In September 2016, Nickless' home went to a foreclosure sale again and sold for about $113,000. The six-month redemption period passed with Nickless unable to pull together the needed money.

The house now is listed on the auction website hubzu.com for $176,000.

The spokesman for “Extreme Makeover’s” producers, Endemol USA, declined comment Wednesday. However, the company acknowledged in a 2010 Wall Street Journal article that beneficiaries had issues with the larger-than-life homes and accompanying expenses, so the company scaled back.

Nickless doesn’t know where she’s going or where she’ll store a lifetime of memories, she said. She wanted to share her story in the hopes that it would effect change for others struggling with house payments.

“It breaks my heart to know there are families going through this every day,” she said.

Pennsylvania man sets Plinko record on ‘The Price Is Right’

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 7:53 AM

A Pennsylvania man was feeling pretty chipper on “The Price Is Right,” as he won a record $31,500 playing Plinko on the daytime show, TMZ reported.

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In the segment that aired Thursday, 23-year-old Ryan Belz of Millerton was animated from start to finish as he dropped five Plinko chips down a zigzag maze to win cash prizes of various amounts up to $10,000. The Penn State graduate broke the previous mark of $30,500, KCBS reported.

The game debuted on the show in January 1983. A player technically could win $50,000 if all five chips hit the $10,000 slot in the middle of the board. 

Belz hit the $10,000 spot on his first chip, then added $1,000 with his second. He connected for $10,000 on his third attempt and then added $500 on his next try. On his final try, Belz kissed the Plinko chip and let it go. It went straight to the $10,000 spot again, and Belz, who had been demonstrative throughout his appearance, kicked his excitement into overdrive.

Belz plans to use his winnings to pay off his college loans, TMZ reported.


Man breaks Plinko record on ‘The Price is Right’

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:47 PM

Ryan Belz of Millerton, Pennsylvania set a daytime PLINKO record today, Thursday, May 25 on THE PRICE IS RIGHT. Belz won $31,500 beating the old record of $30,500 played in regular PLINKO games.

 ‘The Price is Right’ airs on WHIO weekdays at 11 a.m.