Is your car ready for the cold? Dead battery calls keep AAA crews busy

Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 @ 9:33 PM

Dead battery calls keep AAA crews busy

The cold is keeping AAA emergency roadside crews busy.

From midnight to noon today, crews helped more than 250 drivers, most for dead batteries.

Crews are helping just as many or even more members tonight.

“It’s been pretty chaotic,” said Ron Reynolds, whose been working for AAA for about eight years.

>> Another blast of arctic air and snow is on the way

“When temperatures drop like they have the batteries don’t seem to make it so we’re out running a lot of battery calls tonight, last night,” he said.

So far, he’s responded to eight calls in four hours, and is going from one to another.

“Just be patient with us. We’ll get to you,” he said of members waiting for service.

Some people accidentally leave an interior light on, which drains the battery, or other batteries are simply too old to handle the cold.

Reynolds said when batteries reach three to five years, they need to be checked and possibly replaced.

>> Download our free WHIO Weather App for alerts and forecasts

AAA offers the following tips to make sure your vehicle is prepared for the cold:

  • Make sure your tires are inflated for cold weather.  A “cold weather pressure” is typically posted on a sticker inside the driver's door. Tires need more pressure when it is cold and under-inflated tires are more likely to sustain a blow out or flat. 
  • Make sure your battery is strong. It takes a battery twice as much power to start a vehicle when temperatures drop below freezing.  Most batteries last between three and five years so any battery older than three is at risk.
  • Stock a cold weather emergency kit. Most important is a fully charged cellphone so you can call for help. Also keep an extra charger; extra coat, gloves, hats and blanket; flare or flashlight with extra batteries so you can see and be seen, especially at night; and shovel, ice scraper and de-icer.
Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

Americans projected to break credit card debt record

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:32 PM

Americans projected to break credit card debt record

Americans are projected to break the record for credit card debt once 2017’s books are closed. 

RELATED: See more trending stories on WHIO.com

WalletHub projects an increase of $50 billion for last year for a total of $1 trillion dollars of credit card debt.

The finding was a shock to Marie Giffen of Liberty Township- who doesn’t use credit cards. 

“I can’t believe that. That is a lot of debt and it is very surprising people are spending that much on credit cards- that’s crazy,” said Giffen.

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Trotwood’s James Shells wasn’t surprised.

“I’m an accountant, I see it all the time.  People want things and don’t have the cash so they get credit and simply borrow,” said Shells. 

WalletHub released its “2018 Cities with the Highest and Lowest Credit Card Debt” analysis today which breaks down median debt for hundreds of U.S. cities. 

Darien, Connecticut had the highest median credit card debt at $7,100.

The lowest median credit-card debt was in Forest Park, Georgia, at $1,100.

For cities in the Miami Valley, WalletHub estimates it will take someone in Beavercreek eight months to pay of the median debt of about $2,646, in Miamisburg it would take nine months to pay of the median credit card debt of $2,323 and in Dayton it would take 13 months to pay of a $2,138 debt. 

“Credit card companies are there to make a profit and people forget that the profit is at their expense,” said Dolly Warren, a credit counselor with Graceworks in Dayton.

To start paying down those balances, Warren says you should: 

-set a goal

-create a budget

-examine your statements

-consider “snowballing”

“Snowballing” is the tactic of making the largest payment to your most expensive credit card and once it’s paid off put all the money you were using to pay off that balance toward the next highest card, etc.- until your credit cards are paid in full. 

Get started as soon as possible because WalletHub estimates the December interest rate hike will cost Americans over a billion dollars in additional finance charges this year.

Middletown school bus involved in three vehicle accident

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:10 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:12 PM

Bus crash in Middletown

UPDATE @ 6 p.m.

According to sergeant Matthew Keener of the Ohio State HIghway Patrol, a white Ford Fusion was attempting to turn left and was struck by a green Buick sending the Buick into a Middletown school bus.  Both the driver of the school bus and the driver of the green Buick were sent to the hospital for injuries. 

Three children were on the school bus and they were all uninjured. A citation was issued to the driver of the white Ford Fusion for failing to yield while turning left. 

UPDATE @ 5:45 p.m.

Three vehicles were involved in a crash Thursday afternoon in Middletown, one of the vehicles was a Middletown City Schools bus. Three injuries were reported and one person was transported to the hospital, but no students were injured according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

MIddletown School officials notified parents and at this time we are unsure of how many children were on the bus.  

Marlon Styles Jr., superintendent for Middletown, said “It was a bad situation but the good news is no kids are hurt and they are all now in the care of their parents.”

FIRST REPORT

A school bus was involved in a crash at the corner of Dixie Highway and Coles Road according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

Crews are just arriving on scene and we will update you with the latest details as we receive them. 

Mason Middle School hit by another racial incident

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:12 AM


            A racist, social media message sent to some African-American students at Mason Middle School prompted school officials to send a notice to school parents. The Snapchat message was received this week by a handful of black students in the Warren County school and it comes in the wake of a recent racial incident where a Mason teacher at the same school was suspended for telling a black student his classmates “lynch” him if he didn’t complete his class work.(Provided photo)
A racist, social media message sent to some African-American students at Mason Middle School prompted school officials to send a notice to school parents. The Snapchat message was received this week by a handful of black students in the Warren County school and it comes in the wake of a recent racial incident where a Mason teacher at the same school was suspended for telling a black student his classmates “lynch” him if he didn’t complete his class work.(Provided photo)

A racist, social media message sent to some African-American students at Mason Middle School prompted school officials to send a notice to school parents.

The Snapchat message was received this week by a handful of black students in the Warren County school and it comes in the wake of a recent racial incident where a Mason teacher at the same school was suspended for telling a black student his classmates “lynch” him if he didn’t complete his class work.

MORE: Mason teacher now suspended after racial incident

In a notice sent Tuesday to Mason Middle School (MMS) parents, Principal Tonya McCall wrote: “Today, we received a tip that several African-American students received an offensive Snapchat message. We reported the message to our School Resource Officer, and will continue to investigate who might have sent it.”

“As many of you may be aware, an MMS teacher recently made an offensive remark to an African-American student. We know that there is no explanation or defense that would make such a comment appropriate. We are working to do what is right — apologize, make amends, and take steps to be better.”

McCall continued and wrote: “We know that racial incidents don’t just hurt the students of color in our schools — they hurt all of our students and staff. We believe that our diversity strengthens our school and community.”

On Saturday Mason school officials announced Middle School teacher Renee Thole would be suspended for her December remark to the black student in addition to being reprimanded and ordered to take cultural sensitivity training.

MORE: Mason and neighboring Kings schools dealing with racial incidents, national attention

The incident drew national attention and Mason district officials have responded with promises to re-new its exiting efforts and programs to improve racial sensitivity in the predominately white school system of 11,000-students.

Mason Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline sent a message to “Mason City Schools Families” on Saturday with the subject line “Mason Schools Response to Teacher’s Comment” after the story about the teacher gained national attention.

“Racism is real in America, and we all have an obligation to fight it,” Kist-Kline wrote.

Warren County’s Massie Twp. meeting tonight over fire department future

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:43 AM


            The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.
The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.

The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.

Fire Chief Scott Hines, the department’s only paid employee, resigned on Jan. 2 after learning he was under scrutiny for purchasing food for firefighters, and part of the department’s entirely volunteer force resigned too.

“They left us with a skeleton crew,” Trustee David Crisenbery said this morning.

MORE: Safety questions raised about Caesar Creek marina

The township, home to about 1,500 residents, is on the south side of Caesar Creek Lake. The department handles emergency calls from the lake.

Since Hines’ resignation, fire and emergency calls are being handled by the remaining department along with mutual aid from fire departments in Wayne Twp., Warren County, and Chester Twp., Clinton County.

The trustees are also weighing creating a joint fire district with Chester Twp. with new levies supporting the operation.

“That is the goal,” Trustee Daryl McKinney said.

MORE: Coach boating with daughter drowns in Caesar Creek Lake

A larger district qualifies for more grants, McKinney said.

The Massie Twp department operates on a $92,000 budget from two levies.

MORE: Beavercreek Twp. to build $2.5 million fire station

Crisenbery said the township could seek an additional local levy to fund part-time paid firefighters. Also, Hines’ replacement could be picked, Crisenbery added.

“Anything’s possible tonight,” Crisenbery said. “All options, I feel, should be on the table.”

Hines said he was working with the Village of Harveysburg on creating a fire department, taking over fire and ambulance services within its municipal limits within Massie Twp.

He accused Trustee Mark Dawson of “micromanaging” him for more than two years.

“I just got tired of it,” he said.

Dawson said Hines was the subject of two internal investigations which provided 11 grounds for his removal.

“It is our responsibility to address the issues,” he said. “I call it doing the job we’re appointed to.”

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the township fire station, 10 N. Harveysburg Road.