PHOTOS


Do-not-call list swells to 8.6M numbers in Ohio

Published: Saturday, October 20, 2012 @ 11:00 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 20, 2012 @ 11:00 PM

DO NOT CALL MY PHONE

The number of Ohio phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry swelled to about 8.6 million this year, up 400,000 number in 2011. Telemarketers are not allowed to make sales calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They are not allowed to use an automated system to call or send text messages to cell phones. Here’s a list for region’s main area code numbers.

2010 2011 2012

937 area code 945,374 985,175 1 million

Complaints 7,677 9,848 19,450

513 area code 1.06 million 1.11 million 1.15 million

Complaints 9,400 13,307 28,122

Ohio phones 7.9 million 8.2 million 8.6 million

Complaints 59,759 90,592 178,544

Note: Fiscal years

SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission

More Ohioans and local residents are seeking relief from telemarketing sales calls by signing up with the National Do Not Call Registry.

But despite a rise in registrations, complaints related to unwanted telemarketing and robocalls have soared across the region and the state, according to new data.

Consumer advocates said it is illegal for most telemarketers and sales companies to phone people on the do-not-call list. They said many companies that continue to call numbers on the registry are scammers. Officials urge Ohioans to file complaints against companies that are not complying with federal law, because authorities can seek legal action and penalties against violators.

“We realize it is an issue,” said Marty Berkowitz, spokesman with the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. “Consumers need to follow the complaint process.”

The number of Ohio phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry swelled to about 8.6 million this year, up 400,000 numbers from a year ago, according to the Federal Trade Commission. For phone numbers with a 937 area code, registrations increased to 1 million this year, compared to 985,175 in 2011 and 945,375 in 2010. In the 513 area code, registrations increased to 1.15 million this year, up 40,000 from a year ago.

The registry provides consumers with the opportunity to limit the number of telemarketing calls they receive. Consumers simply register a phone number, and within 31 days, most telemarketers are supposed to update their calls lists and remove registered number.

“Once you are on the list, telemarketers should be checking it,” Berkowitz said.

But some companies are not following the law.

In the 937 area code, complaints related to unwanted and pre-recorded sales calls from people who joined the registry increased to 19,450 this fiscal year, more than double the amount from a year ago. In the 513 area code, complaints rose to 69,600 this year, compared to 48,010 a year ago. In Ohio, complaints rose to 178,545, compared to 90,600 last year.

A large part of the increase in complaints is related to scams and fraudulent businesses that are using communication technology through the Internet to call consumers, said Will Maxson, the FTC’s program manager for Do Not Call Enforcement.

Voice over Internet Protocol allows scammers to have virtually no start-up costs, operate anywhere in the world and display fake phone numbers on caller-IDs, he said.

“If you are on the Do Not Call Registry and receive a sales call, you should be extremely suspicious of that call because in all likelihood it violates our rules and is an illegal call,” Maxson said. “Don’t listen to these people, don’t buy what they are selling, hang up on them, do not press 1 or 2, and report them to us.”

Consumers can file complaints with the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission and the Ohio Attorney General’s office, which has the authority to enforce federal telemarketing laws. Businesses that violate the law can be forced to pay thousands of dollars for each improper call they placed. Consumers can also file complaints against telemarketers in small claims courts for up to $2,000 in damages, Berkowitz said.

Earlier this year, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued California-based CTI Group for calling Ohio consumers on the registry and violating consumer laws, the office said.

“Even if telemarketers are located in another state, they still have to comply with Ohio consumer laws in order to do business here,” DeWine said in a prepared statement.

Officials said consumers have rights, and telemarketers should respect them.

Telemarketers are required to say the name of the company they represent and also provide a description and cost of the product they are selling. They are also required to disclose their telephone number and name through a caller ID service.

Telemarketers are not allowed to make sales calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They are not allowed to use an automated system to call or send text messages to cell phones. They cannot use recorded messages if they do not have an established business relationship with the person they are calling.

People can file a Do Not Call or fraud complaint at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Thousands of dollars raised for heroic homeless men rushed to aid children during Manchester bombing

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 8:05 PM

Two homeless men are being called a heroes after running to help victims when a bomb went off at the Manchester Arena in England as concert goers left an Ariana Grande concert.

According the Press Association, Chris Parker, 33, regularly begs for money in the area as concert goers leave the venue. The New York Times reported that Stephen Jones, 35, was in the area since he found a space to sleep. 

>> Read more trending news

Parker said he was pushed off his feet when the bomb went off, but got up and ran to victims to help them.

"My gut instinct was to run back and try and help,” Parker said, according to the Press Association.

Parker recalled tending to a young girl who lost her legs, as well as a 60-year-old woman who was badly burned and had serious head and leg injuries.

“She passed away in my arms. She was in her 60s and said she had been with her family,” Parker said. “I haven’t stopped crying. The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids’ concert.”

RELATED: Ariana Grande’s mom rushed to help fans after deadly explosion at concert 

In an interview with ITV, Jones said he did what anyone else would have done.

“Just because I’m homeless doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart and am human still,” Jones said. “They needed the help. I’d like to think someone would come and help me if I needed the help. It’s just instinct to go and help.”

“If I didn’t help, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself for walking away and leaving kids like that. ”

GoFundMe page was set up for Parker to raise money for him. Since it was posted one day ago, the page has raised more than £40,000, which is more than $50,000.

CBS News reported that West Ham United Football Club co-chairman David Sullivan has offered to pay for six months of housing for Jones, plus pay for food and new clothes. Another person offered to get him a job with his company.

One man, Graeme Seddon, created a JustGiving fundraising page for Jones and has raised more than  £40,000, after setting a £300 goal.

Kelcie Willis with the Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.

Firefighter behind Ohio’s new firefighter workers’ comp law has died

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 11:38 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

Jackie Borchardt at Cleveland.com is reporting that Michael Palumbo, a northeastern Ohio fire captain who fought for compensation and benefits for firefighters who have cancer has died.

“Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the Michael Louis Palumbo Jr. Act in January. The law provides presumptive worker’s compensation for firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer, if the firefighter was assigned to hazardous duty for six or more years and if they can prove they were exposed to high-level carcinogens while on the job,” Borchardt reports.

Read her full story here

What to know about the ‘Doomsday Vault,’ why we need it and what it’s for

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 11:51 AM

A view of the Svelbard Global Seed Vault, also known as the ‘Doomsday’ vault or bank, in the mountains of Norway in a remote area of the Arctic Circle,  is designed to save the world’s crops and plants if disaster strikes.

Deep beneath an icy Norwegian mountain, above the Arctic Circle, lies the largest concentration of agricultural diversity on Earth.

>> Read more trending news

The Svelbard Global Seed Vault, also known as the “Doomsday” vault or bank, is designed to save the world’s crops and plants if disaster strikes.

Recently, after water flooded the facility and questions about the threat of climate change arose, the Norwegian government decided to plan a redesign of the vault’s structure.

>> Related: ‘Doomsday’ tunnel entrance in Arctic flooded by melting permafrost

Here are seven things to know about the vault:

What is the purpose of the vault?

If disease pandemics, asteroid crashes, climate change or any other global catastrophes were to ensue, the seeds stored in the Global Seed Vault could be the source for humans to regrow the crops needed for survival.

But the vault was actually intended as a secure storage space for samples of other crop and plant collections at risk.

Where is it?

>> Related: Get the best view of the total eclipse

The vault is located on the Arctic tundra island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard, Norway. The icy mountain housing the Seed Vault is called “Platåberget,” or “plateau mountain” in English, according the Crop Trust.

The vault is about 400 feet deep inside the mountain.

What does it store?

More than 930,000 varieties of food crops are stored in the Global Seed Vault. It has the capacity to store 4.5 million seed samples with each sample containing about 500 seeds, so, according to the CropTrust, a maximum of 2.25 billion seeds can be stored in the vault.

One room in the vault houses seeds for more than 150,000 different varieties of wheat.

>> Related: Arctic ice shrinking to lowest levels ever for third straight year

How much did the vault cost to build?

The Global Seed Vault, which opened in 2008 was administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food on behalf of the Kingdom of Norway and reportedly cost approximately $9 million to build.

Who is in charge?

The Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust), Nordic Gene Bank (NordGen) and an international advisory council help manage the facility, its funding and operations.

Read more here.

 

Beloved restaurant forced to close after damage from tornado

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:35 AM

One of the region’s most beloved restaurants has been forced to close in the aftermath of a confirmed tornado Wednesday evening.

>> MORE: Classic Dayton restaurants you have to try and love, including the Mel-O-Dee

>> MORE: Why customers can’t get enough of Mel-O-Dee Restaurant

>> PHOTOS: See the damage to the Mel-O-Dee Restaurant

The Mel-O-Dee Restaurant at 2350 S. Dayton-Lakeview Road in Park Layne near New Carlisle announced on its Facebook page this morning that it would be closed “until further notice” because of the damage.

>> WATCH: 6 videos that show the intense storm damage

>> PHOTOS: Aftermath of storm damage

The beloved Clark County restaurant has been open since 1965 and is known for its broaster chicken and other dishes made from scratch. 

No one at the restaurant was injured.

>> MORE: National Weather Service confirms tornado in Park Layne