Scam involving iTunes gift cards costs Oxford woman $1,400

Published: Sunday, December 03, 2017 @ 10:00 AM


Lisa Werner/flickr Editorial/Getty Images
(Lisa Werner/flickr Editorial/Getty Images)

An Oxford woman told police on Nov. 17 she was defrauded out of $1,400 from several callers who claimed she had won a grant.

The woman received a call saying that she qualified for a grant of $14,566, according to a police report.

MORE: Local residents warned of new health care phone scam 

She was told she needed to pay 2.5 percent of the grant amount by using Apple iTunes gift cards because the tech company was the donor of the grant.

The woman told police she bought a $100 iTunes card online and then $300 worth of iTunes cards locally.

She then provided each gift card’s codes to the caller, who then told her she was now registered with Apple but needed to pay $1,000 for taxes to the IRS.

She was then told she needed to spend another $1,275 to raise her credit score to 780 in order to receive the grant, according to a police report.

At that point, the woman told the caller she was unable to do that and said she wanted her money back, having spent all the money in her bank account and maxing out her credit card. 

By the time she alerted police, iTunes advised her all the gift cards had already been spent and couldn’t be redeemed or returned.

The woman’s credit card company is working with her bank to try and get her money back, according to the police report.

JUST IN: Local chef to open new restaurant in 2nd Street Market

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 6:59 AM

Local chef to open new restaurant at 2nd Street Market

The Five Rivers MetroParks 2nd Street Market is adding a new restaurant vendor who has helped develop dishes at some of Dayton’s best-known restaurants.

Invoke, founded by brothers Lester and Larry Gates, will open in early February in the market space that previously housed Arepas Colombian Comfort Food, which closed its market eatery in late 2017.

RELATED: Restaurant owners shut down their 1st location in the 2nd Street Market

Lester Gates has worked in several positions in the kitchens of several Dayton-area restaurants for the past eight or nine years, including a brief stint at the now-defunct l’Auberge and Sidebar restaurants, and at Salar Restaurant & Lounge, Taste Creative Cuisine, Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery and Hilton Garden Inn. He also offers private catering as Lester’s Kitchen.

Gates said he felt opening a restaurant at the downtown Dayton market will allow him to showcase his skills and boost his visibility.

“I wanted to find a way to establish myself,” Gates said. “I want to show Dayton what I’m ready to do.”

RELATED: 2nd Street Market to add Sunday hours in June 2018

Invoke will be a full three-day-a-week vendor, and when the market expands its hours this July to Thursday through Sunday, Invoke’s hours will expand as well.

The menu will rotate with the seasons, and ingredients will be sourced locally, Gates said.

Invoke’s menu will include classic brunch items such as chicken and waffles — in this case, the waffles will be made from sweet potatoes — along with Eggs Benedict and BLT sandwiches. There will be several vegan options offered, including a BLT with tofu bacon, a “carrot dog,” and vegan cookies and cheesecake, Gates said.

RELATED: Dayton’s 2nd Street Market tries expanded hours as attendance grows (March 2017)

Gates, a Middletown native, said he and his brother have worked in the food-service industry separately for several years.

“We’re coming together to serve high-quality, simple food that’s approachable,” he said.

4 jailed suspects did Facebook Live during standoff in Dayton

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:15 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 6:57 AM

WATCH: Facebook video shows men inside house during SWAT standoff

UPDATE @ 6:45 a.m. (Jan. 19):

Four people remain in Montgomery County  Jail in connection to a SWAT standoff in Dayton Thursday. 

Around noon Thursday, Justin D. Simmons, 23, was taken into custody for aggravated burglary; inducing panic;  and various warrants for traffic and parole violations, according to the jail website.

Also arrested with him were Nichole Floyd, 22, for inducing panic; Eric Simmons, 24, for inducing panic; and Jordan L. Simmons, 23, for inducing panic and parole violation, according to the jail website.

Police were called to the home for a suspicious vehicle believed to have been involved in a burglary on Valerie Arms Drive.

Police had a search warrant for the apartment on Elsmere Avenue.

Justin D. Simmons, Montgomery County Jail

UPDATE @ 4:22 p.m. (Jan. 18):

Dayton police said they believe a Facebook Live video posted during the standoff involved the people they were trying to get to come out of the Elsmere Avenue home.

In the video you see the suspects walking throughout the home and you can hear police banging on the door, asking the suspects to come out.

“You’re ordered to leave the apartment now; come out the front door with your hands up,” hostage negotiators said, at one point using a bull horn.

“Told you, we’re not leaving,” one suspect said during the Facebook Live. 

The names of the suspects have not been released.

Eric Simmons, Montgomery County Jail

UPDATE @ 12:55 p.m. (Jan. 18):

Four people have been detained following a SWAT standoff on Elsmere Avenue in Dayton, police said.

The standoff stems from a robbery at an apartment, where a gun was used, officers said.

The girlfriend of the suspect came to the scene and was able to verify the suspect was in the apartment, police said.

Jordan L. Simmons, Montgomery County Jail

UPDATE @ 11:35 a.m. (Jan. 18):

Four people have been placed in handcuffs following a SWAT situation at an apartment on Elsmere Avenue in Dayton, according to our crew on the scene. 

RELATED: Facebook live showing what a driver was doing, lands two men in jail

Additional details about the standoff are not available. 

During the standoff, at least one of the people inside the apartment was broadcasting on Facebook Live, according to Dayton police scanner traffic. 

Nichole Floyd, Montgomery County Jail
Four in custody after standoff on Elsmere Ave.

FIRST REPORT

We’re working to learn more about police activity at an apartment building on Elsmere Avenue in Dayton Thursday morning. 

Multiple Dayton police officers and SWAT members have responded to the 1900 block of Elsmere Avenue and have surrounded the building, according to our crew on the scene. 

Initial reports indicate a man is inside one of the apartments who has an outstanding warrant for his arrest. 

DA: Captive siblings limited to one meal a day, one shower a year

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:34 AM

Details Emerge About 13 Siblings Rescued From California Home

The 13 siblings taken from a California home after they were held captive by their parents were allowed to eat only one rationed meal a day and shower once a year, a prosecutor said Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said that David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were charged with 12 counts of torture, CNN reported. Hestrin said that David Turpin also was charged with a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress.

The children were allegedly beaten, choked and chained to their beds at their residence in Perris, California, NBC News reported.

“This is severe, emotional and physical abuse. There is no way around that,” Hestrin said. “This is depraved conduct.”

The siblings range in age from 2 to 29. Six are minors, CNN reported.

>> Police: 13 siblings held captive

Hestrin said the Turpins would buy toys but not let the children play with them or even take them out of the packaging. They also would make pumpkin pies and not let the hungry children eat them, the prosecutor said.

“In more than 20 years as a prosecutor in Riverside County, this is one of the most disturbing cases I've seen,” Hestrin said. “We are fully prepared to seek justice in this case and to do so in a way that protects all of these victims from further harm.”

Lawyers for the Turpins entered not guilty pleas to more than three dozen charges that could send the couple to prison for 94 years to life, NBC News reported. Bail was set at $12 million.

The Turpins were arrested Sunday after Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies said they found several children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.”

Hestrin said the abuse “started out as neglect” but became more severe. He added that the charges only covered the eight years the Turpins lived in Riverside County.

Hestrin added that the children were allowed to write in journals and that officials had recovered “hundreds of them,” adding they "are going to be strong evidence of what occurred in that home."

Authorities were alerted Sunday when the Turpins' 17-year-old daughter and her younger sister escaped through a window, NBC News reported.

"There was two of them that left the house," Hestrin said. "One of them turned back because she was afraid."

The older teen called 911 for help with a cellphone she had found inside the house, Hestrin said.

Tough decisions led to Good Samaritan Hospital closing

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:00 AM

Good Samaritan Hospital closing by end of 2018

For months, a group of Premier Health executives contemplated closing Good Samaritan Hospital and the night before the announcement the health system’s board of trustees made the final decision to close the 85-year-old hospital.

A day after the announcement that left many shocked in the community, Premier Health leaders on Thursday reiterated the reasons behind their tough decision and the importance of working with the community when the hospital closes later this year.

Mary Garman, chief operating officer at Good Samaritan, told this media outlet executives had been looking for months at options, including other options besides closing the hospital.

“As the changing dynamics of health care come around, we have to respond to those changes,” Garman said.

The changes at Good Samaritan won’t all come at once, but by the end of the year 1,600 employees will be shifted off site and the Dayton hospital’s main campus will have ceased operations.

Community input will be sought for what comes next for the Good Samaritan Hospital land after most of the hospital buildings are torn down.

Premier Health just launched a three-year strategic plan that includes closing the hospital by the end of 2018.

RELATED: Good Samaritan Hospital: Leaders saddened, concerned by closure

There’s not a set plan yet for what will happen at the location but the campus will be turned into a shovel ready site, with the main campus buildings razed with the exception of the Five Rivers Health Center and the parking garage.

Premier plans to make a $10 million donation in seed money for the property’s redevelopment.

There’s not a timetable yet for tearing down the main campus, but work won’t happen until hospital operations have ended.

While planning for the future of the site, the hospital network plans to hold meetings with community leaders, focus groups, community events, surveys and workshops to get community input over the next few months.

Premier is working on making a plan for the future of the site with CityWide Development and Planning NEXT, a design firm based in Columbus also working on the fairgrounds redevelopment.

“Unlike other Dayton-based employers, who closed and walked away from Dayton, Premier Health will be working with others to explore the possibilities for redevelopment of the site,” a spokesman said.

Premier’s plan to close Good Samaritan is not the first blow to the surrounding primarily black and low-to-moderate income neighborhoods. The Dayton Daily News previously reported that home values have not recovered in the surrounding neighborhoods. Kroger left, widening the food desert. And Dayton Public Schools is contemplating closing several schools on the west side.

The land will be marketed in an neighborhood where several large lots are already for lease or sale and nearby shopping areas such as the Northwest Shopping Plaza and the former Miracle Lane shopping center both lost many tenants over the past decades.

When asked about the pattern of disinvestment in west and north Dayton, Premier CEO Mary Boosalis noted that Miami Valley Hospital, which is five miles away, already draws about a third of its visitors from the area around Good Samaritan.

She also said the Five Rivers Health Center that will remain at the site is a busy center that will keep services like primary care in the neighborhood.

The population in Dayton has been dropping and half the beds at Good Samaritan are typically empty, so Premier officials say they are responding to changes in the landscape.

RELATED: 5 things you need to know about Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton

One of the programs that has helped the neighborhood is the Phoenix project, which Good Samaritan was a lead partner on and helped leverage more than $125 million in investments around the hospital since 2004.

Premier said the Phoenix Project is an example of neighborhood partnerships that “will not only continue, but are expected to expand.”

Good Samaritan Hospital closing: Former nurse recalls ‘small, friendly place’

What’s next for employees

Ben Sutherly, Premier Health spokesman, said the health network’s goal is to directly reach out to workers to offer other job opportunities within the larger health network, which is the region’s largest private employer with about 13,500 employees.

Premier intends to offer specific job offers and after receiving the job offer, employees will have the opportunity to speak with hiring managers, recruiters, benefits staff and other HR officials.

The last time that a hospital in Dayton closed it was St. Elizabeth’s, which closed in 2000. Bryan Bucklew, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said when St. Elizabeth’s closed that within six months that around 97 percent of the laid off staff were employed again and most were in the Dayton region.

“There’s demand in the sector for health care employees,” Bucklew said.

The health care industry now has about an $8.1 billion impact and Bucklew said even with the closing of Good Samaritan he expects that number to stay the same or grow as more people use medical services in the region.

RELATED: Premier Health, UnitedHealthcare have contract deal

What’s staying

There will still be health services at the site since the Five Rivers Health Center, which Premier financially supports, is staying.

The federally qualified health center was built two years ago with 34 exam rooms, two procedure rooms and a 60-seat conference center.

It is about a block away from the main hospital in the west end of the hospital’s Hepburn parking lot.

The health center has about 30 residents and teaching physicians and is home to services like primary care, management of chronic diseases, behavioral health, women’s health, low risk obstetrical care and is a CenteringPregnancy site, which is a prenatal care and support group program that improves birth outcomes.

Catholic roots

The hospitals’ roots stem back to the Sisters of Charity with the Catholic church, who partnered with the city to start to build the hospital in 1928 and open it in 1932.

Premier Health and Catholic Health Initiatives first formed a partnership 25 years ago that was an operating and revenue sharing agreement.

The hospital’s affiliation with the Denver-based Catholic health network however was restructured in recent years so that Catholic Health Initiatives still sponsors the Catholic mission of the hospital, but Premier had the sole authority to make the decision to close the hospital.

RELATED: Did you know the Dayton community helped build Good Samaritan Hospital?

“They were committed to putting a hospital here and making these services available,” she said.

Garman said the Sisters of Charity were key stakeholders they had discussions as they looked at what impact their decision would have.

She what services are available and how health care is practiced differently than in past years. The Good Samaritan campus is aging and expensive to maintain, and there’s new health care technology that can let patients skip coming to a hospital or even coming to any medical facility.

“And so that’s when it became even more and more apparent we had to make some pretty big changes,” Garman said.

Unmatched coverage

The Dayton Daily News broke the news on Wednesday that Premier Health will close Good Samaritan Hospital this year. Count on this newspaper to continue our in-depth reporting on the issue.