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Couple pays off $200K in debt in five years

Published: Monday, June 06, 2016 @ 5:59 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

Drew Keller and his wife, Farrah, are a Franklin couple in their late 20's. They paid off all of their debt in five years

Drew and Farrah Keller of Franklin are debt free as of April of this year.

The couple said they were tired of living paycheck to paycheck so they took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course and paid off $200,000 in debt in five years.

“We stopped the sinking ship, stopped accruing more debt, saved a thousand dollars and started changing our behavior,” said Drew.

They made a budget and tackled their credit cards with the smallest balance first.

“Pay your minimums and take all the extra money that you have and slam it toward the smallest debt you have,” Drew said.

Once one debt is paid, use the money to pay off your next highest debt— for the Keller’s it was the $7,000 balance on Farrah’s car—and keep going.

Next, they paid off $44,000 in student loans, then their $133,000 home.

There were challenges— they cut the cable, ate a lot of leftovers, shopped at Goodwill and took up side jobs to supplement their primary incomes from jobs at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

However, they said it wasn’t non-stop sacrifice.

In the midst of paying down all that debt, they had two daughters, and took a month long trip to Europe.

“We would reward ourselves. It was fun. We had fun along the way,” Farrah said.

Anybody can become debt free, according to Tim Brandon, education and marketing coordinator for Graceworks Lutheran consumer credit counseling service.

“It is perfectly feasible. Unfortunately, it is difficult to do and you have to have a plan,” Brandon said.

He recommends paying yourself first.

“Treat yourself like you are one of your other creditors, make that payment to your savings account every month,” said Brandon.

Much like the Keller’s, he also recommends creating a budget, a realistic goal, a timeline, and start paying down your credit cards and loans.

“Pay extra. Don’t just pay the minimum payment. If you just pay the minimum on a credit card you are going to be paying it for 20 or 30 years,” Brandon said.

The Kellers’ said they will be debt free for life, and hope to inspire others.

“Income is a shovel and debt is a hole that you are down in. Some people have bigger incomes and bigger shovels and some people have bigger debts and a bigger hole. The point is don’t look at the size of your shovel or the hole that you are down in, just start digging,” Drew said.

Rachel Murray is a WHIO-TV consumer reporter. You can watch her reports on News Center 7, follow her on Twitter @RMurrayWHIO, and like her fan page on Facebook.

Shooter who killed man during sex act to be sentenced

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:15 PM

UPDATE @ 7:49 a.m. (Jan. 23):

Sentencing is scheduled Tuesday for the man convicted of killing a man while a teen performed a sex act on the victim.

Michael J. Wood Jr, 19, is set for sentencing at 9:30 a.m.

Wood killed Elroy Facey on Hoover Avenue in May 2017.

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INITIAL REPORT (Jan. 18):

The man accused of shooting a 41-year-old man, ultimately leading to his death, was convicted of murder and felonious assault.

Michael J. Wood Jr., 19, of Dayton, shot and killed Elroy Facey on Hoover Avenue on May 3, 2017, according to prosecutors.

“The victim attempted to run away, but the adult defendant chased the victim and shot him a second time,” the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office said in a prepared statement.

Elexus Dawkins, 17, was convicted of murder in October 2017 and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for her role in the shooting.

Wood and Dawkins planned to rob Facey, prosecutors said.

Dawkins was in a vehicle performing a sex act on Facey when Wood shot him, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Sentencing for Wood is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m.

Rough winter brings potholes ‘worse than normal’ to Miami Valley

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:11 AM

Local officials say potholes are worse this year than the past two winters. A Dayton crew patches a pothole on Gettysburg Ave. MARSHALL GORBY
Local officials say potholes are worse this year than the past two winters. A Dayton crew patches a pothole on Gettysburg Ave. MARSHALL GORBY

The worst winter weather in recent years also has spawned the worst potholes on area roads in some time.

“Some counties are saying the potholes are worse this year,” said Ohio Department of Transportation public information officer Mandi Dillon in a statement.

Fred Stovall, director of Dayton public works, said there are more potholes than the past two winters. Those previous winters were milder and resulted in much fewer potholes, he said.

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“We’ve seen colder temperatures, freezing temperatures, snow and salt in the street. That all gets in the cracks and makes (conditions for potholes) worse,” Stovall said.

Potholes cost American drivers about $3 billion a year in vehicle repairs, or $15 billion over the last five years, a AAA study revealed, according to AAA spokeswoman Kara Hitchens.

The cost to repair a vehicle can vary because of tire size and the extent of the damage. Jason Brown, store manager at AAA Auto and Tire store in Huber Heights, said replacing a tire can cost anywhere from $80 to $250. And replacing an entire wheel can cost more than $200.

“Today alone, I’ve seen five people come in with damage from potholes,” Brown said. “They’re everywhere.”

Riverside City Manager Mark Carpenter said his city has also seen an increase in potholes this winter.

“The potholes are worse than normal, over the top this year,” he said.

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Potholes form when water soaks into the pavement, then freezes and expands as temperatures change, according to ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning.

Bruning said ODOT has spent $726,000 on patching potholes statewide so far this year, most of it in recent days. The vast majority of that number is labor costs.

“This season ODOT crews have spent 21,669 hours— the equivalent of two and a half years— just patching potholes,” Bruning said.

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ODOT already this year has used the second highest amount of salt that it has used in the past 10 years, Bruning said. This is usually an indication of how bad the winter is, Bruning said.

“Kudos to our men and women on the roads. They are definitely earning that money they make,” Bruning said of the ODOT crews patching potholes and clearing snow and ice this season.

Local crews are also working every day to patch potholes. Stovall said that the city has 48 hours or two business days, not including weekends, to patch potholes after they are reported.

“This is certainly filling our time. And we haven’t even gotten to the residential streets yet,” Riverside’s Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the city appreciates citizens calling and alerting the service department to potholes in the area.

Stovall agreed, urging Daytonians to call (937) 333-4800 or use Dayton’s smartphone app to report potholes.

Drivers can report potholes to ODOT via an online form or if the pothole needs immediate attention, by alerting the highway patrol.

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Bruning also stressed that ODOT crews prioritize potholes in high traffic areas, like interstate 75 over residential roads.

“Just like when we’re clearing snow and ice, we try and make sure the main roadways get taken care of first, and I think most folks understand that,” Bruning said.

Board to rule on Dayton police sergeant accused of lying

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:27 AM

A city of Dayton board that is reviewing the firing of a female police sergeant accused of lying and falsifying official documents is expected to release its decision soon.

EARLIER: Dayton police sergeant who sued for discrimination is fired

Dayton police Sgt. Tonina Lamanna challenged her termination with the Civil Service Board, claiming it was in retaliation for her filing a federal lawsuit alleging the city and police department engaged in sexual discrimination. 

Lamanna did not knowingly make false statements, said her attorney Vince Pop, but the city was desperate to fire her. 

Dayton police officials claim Lamanna lied multiple times, which they say is unacceptable from a sworn police officer and requires discharge. 

“Dishonesty is incompatible with public trust,” said Mark Ecton, a Dayton assistant police chief, at Lamanna’s civil service hearing. 

MORE: Learn how the chief’s stolen gun is connected to this case

Last month, the Civil Service Board heard testimony from a variety of witnesses from the police and human resources departments about the circumstances that preceded and resulted in Lamanna’s firing on Oct. 3.

Employers to recruit at Springfield job fair

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 8:05 AM


            FILE
FILE

Local employers like CareSource and Assurant will be recruiting in Springfield this Friday.

CareSource Life Services is holding a job fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Faith United Methodist Church at 102 W. High St.

RELATED: Dayton Children’s plans career fair

Life coaching, job readiness training and resume support will be available.

Some of the employers who will be there include:

Assurant

CareSource

Interim Healthcare

Mama Rosa’s

Ohio State Highway Patrol

RTA

Vocalink

I-Supply

The Greentree Group

Klosterman Bakery

Securitas