Couple gets $2 million cellphone bill from Verizon

Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 6:31 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 6:31 PM

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Imagine going to check the statement for a phone bill and seeing a balance of $2 million.

That’s what happened to one Oregon couple that had a phone plan with Verizon Wireless for just one month.

“It’s been very stressful to say the least,” Ken Slusher told KUTV.

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Slusher and his girlfriend opened an account with Verizon late last year and cancelled the account shortly after when they started noticing serious discrepancies on their bills.

According to KUTV, Slusher said their first bill was $698, $578 more than it should have been. The next bill stated a balance of only $9.

“The number of errors [was] astounding to me,” he said.

By January, Slusher and his girlfriend had their account with the cellular company cancelled and had also returned both phones they had purchased with the business.

Even still, soon collection agencies starting calling the two demanding thousands of dollars. Slusher and his girlfriend say they’ve gone back and forth with customer service representatives, who agree the charges are a mistake. And yet, there’s been no resolution.

When Slusher checked his Verizon account on Monday, he found out about the now $2,156,593.64 balance.

On Tuesday, Slusher and his girlfriend wired a down payment on a new house for them and their children. They are scheduled to close on the house early next week but might not be able to. Slusher’s mortgage company won’t sign off on a loan.

“If I don’t get this straightened out in the next 24 hours, I can almost guarantee I’ll lose this house,” he said.  

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WATCH: Woman pulls gun on would-be robber, saves husband, family says

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 8:04 AM

File photo of a woman holding a gun. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
File photo of a woman holding a gun. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Police in Memphis, Tennessee, are searching for a man who allegedly attempted a robbery outside a Whitehaven home in broad daylight.

>> Watch the news report here

A surveillance camera captured the weekend incident.

>> Watch the surveillance footage here

One of the victims, who asked not to be identified, told WHBQ that his niece, who was visiting from Florida, took his gun and scared off the bold criminal after she saw that her husband was in trouble.

“She’s bold," he said. "She ain’t scared of nothing.”

In the video, the suspect has his right hand in his waist band as he stands behind the woman's husband. The victims said the man’s hand was on a gun.

Memphis police said Sunday afternoon the man in the blue jacket came to the Whitehaven home and asked to use one of the victims’ phones and then asked for a ride.

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While the incident was unfolding outside the house, the woman and her uncle reportedly were inside the house.

Police said that after the woman saw her husband in trouble, she came out the front door with a gun and fired a warning shot.

The uncle told WHBQ: “She said she didn’t want to kill him, but when he fired back at us after she fired the warning shot, she said she was trying to hit him then but didn’t.”

Memphis police told WHBQ that the suspect ran toward the back of the house before getting away.

Police said they are reviewing this surveillance video to get a positive ID on the suspect. If you have any information on who that suspect may be, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.


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Former Hamilton school board candidate blasts board over superintendent investigation report

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Former Hamilton school board candidate Chris Mate blasts Board for not releasing investigation report on allegations against recently resigned Superintendent Tony Orr.

The Hamilton school board still wasn’t talking during their Tuesday meeting about the circumstances around the recent resignation of Superintendent Tony Orr, but a former board candidate — who claims his campaign last fall was sabotaged by Orr — was.

MORE: Ex-Hamilton Schools leader accused of sexual harassment, more

Hamilton Board of Education President Steve Isgro re-iterated before the public comment portion of the meeting that district officials don’t have the independent investigation into allegations about Orr’s behavior before he was ordered on paid leave on Feb. 5.

The Journal-News was the first to obtain and report on an attorney, who represented two female Hamilton school employees, sending a letter on Jan. 19 to district officials detailing a list of allegations against Orr, including sexual harassment, fostering a hostile work place and attempting to influence last fall’s board election.

Orr was also accused in the letter of “ordering subordinates to delete district email records.”

That attorney’s letter prompted school officials to hire a private investigator to compile a report on the allegations against Orr.

MORE: Hamilton Schools leader resigns

The Hamilton school board still wasn’t talking during their Tuesday meeting about the circumstances around the recent resignation of Superintendent Tony Orr.(MICHAEL D. CLARK/STAFF)

But despite numerous Ohio Public Records requests from the Journal-News, Hamilton school district officials maintain the report is covered under attorney-client privilege laws and that their district lawyer has the only copies of the document.

“At this time we can’t provide any information from the report,” Isgro told the three dozen audience members at the Hamilton Schools Central Office meeting room.

But former Hamilton school board candidate Chris Mate, who ran and lost his election last fall for the board, quickly filled the vacuum by taking to the podium and blasting the board’s continued silence.

Mate singled out fellow board candidates — now board members — Isgro, Rob Weigel and Laurin Sprague, saying all three had “talked about how they believed in transparency and that the business of the school board should be conducted in the full light of public view.”

MORE: Hamilton school board candidate claims email smear campaign 

“The decision by this board to withhold the (report) findings of the independent investigation of Tony Orr are in direct conflict with those statements,” said Mate, who claimed last fall anonymous emails smearing him cost him a seat on the board.

Chris Mate was one of eight candidates seeking three open seats on the Hamilton Board of Education last fall. An email campaign during that election targeted Mate and his wife’s work histories. Mate made a public response to what he called a “smear campaign” on social media.(GREG LYNCH/STAFF)

“Now you are using the ruse of attorney-client privilege to keep the report secret. I believe this report contains information indicating Tony Orr was behind those emails and may have had help from school district staff,” Mate — a former district official with Hamilton Schools — told the board.

“We elected you and you used public tax money for the investigation. The allegations presented (in the attorney’s letter) are troubling. If even some of them proved to be true, Mr. Orr should have been fired with no severance,” Mate said of Orr’s resignation April 12 with a separation agreement that pays him through July and then a lump sum payment of $130,000.

“As a victim of Mr. Orr’s unethical and unprofessional behavior — and a taxpayer — I believe I, along with our entire community, are entitled to the findings in the report,” said Mate, who now works as the assistant principal of curriculum and academics for Badin High School, a private Catholic school in the city.

Mate, however, offered no evidence of Orr’s involvement in the emails circulated last fall critical of his candidacy.

MORE: Hamilton school leader’s letter draws private schools’ ire

No other speakers before the board addressed any circumstances regarding the investigative report or Orr’s work in the district or his departure.

When asked to comment on the reported allegations, Orr told the Journal-News Monday: “On the advice of my attorney, I decline to make any comment.”

Hamilton Schools’ attorney William Deters II has not responded to multiple requests from the Journal-News to comment regarding the investigative report or the letter sent to him on Jan. 19 listing the allegations against Orr.

Stay with the Journal-News for continued coverage on these issues and Hamilton Schools.

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Group of motorcyclists stop traffic, help stranded woman

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 8:11 AM

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A group of motorcyclists are being praised for doing a good deed.

Eduardo Plascenia, Patrick Patterson and Damon Pruit were on a ride Sunday afternoon when they noticed that a woman was stranded in a crosswalk. Traffic wouldn’t stop, or slow down, for her to cross, KNXV reported

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The trio turned around and used their bikes to block traffic, making sure the woman could cross the street safely, before she gave a wave as the riders rode off.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“She thanked us adamantly. She waved at us and thanked us. She had stopped shaking and had extended her hand to Eduardo and Damon and I behind her,” Patterson told KNXV.

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JUST IN: Pizza Hut to expand in Dayton area 

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 8:06 AM

New Pizza Hut restaurants coming to Beavercreek, Kettering

The Ohio-based franchisee for Pizza Hut has signed leases for two new Dayton-area restaurants after determining that the region is  under-served by the national pizza chain.

“We are expanding in Dayton, and we are very excited,” Carol Magazzeni, director of marketing and public relations for Hallrich Inc., based in Stow in northeast Ohio. Hallrich purchased the rights to operate Pizza Hut restaurants in the greater Dayton market from the Pizza Hut corporate company in June 2017.

>> The best Mother’s Day brunches in Dayton

Hallrich has inked deals to open restaurants in the former Papa Murphy’s pizza restaurant at 1195 N. Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, and in a former United Dairy Farmers convenience store at 900 E. Dorothy Lane at Ackerman Boulevard in Kettering, Magazzeni said.

The Beavercreek Papa Murphy’s restaurant, located across from Beaver-Vu bowling alley north of U.S. 35, shut its doors in December 2017 as the result of a dispute between a franchise owner and corporate, according to a sign posted on the door of the restaurant. 

>> RELATED: Local pizza shop shuts down abruptly, lashes out at ‘corporate’

The Kettering space is adjacent to a newly opened OinkADoodleMoo barbecue restaurant, formerly Dayton Beer Company’s initial tasting room and brewery. Pizza Hut operated a carryout store for many years in the Fountain Square shopping center on Far Hills Avenue, but it shut down several years ago.

A new Pizza Hut is coming to this former UDF convenience store on East Dorothy Lane and Ackerman Boulevard. MARK FISHER/STAFF

“We found two un-serviced areas, and we are happy to bring delivery and convenient pick-up service to Beavercreek and Kettering,” Magazzeni said.

>> LaRosa’s speaks out on restaurant closing, Dayton market

With the addition of Montgomery, Clark, Greene, Warren, Darke, Logan and Champaign counties, Hallrich now operates about two-thirds of the Pizza Hut restaurants in Ohio, the franchisee’s spokeswoman said. 

Beavercreek officials approved a zoning permit for the North Fairfield Road location on Tuesday, April 24. That location will likely open before the Kettering location, although specific timelines have not been set, Magazzeni said.

A new Pizza Hut is coming to the former Papa Murphy's restaurant on North Fairfield Road between U.S. 35 and Dayton-Xenia Road. MARK FISHER/STAFF

>> Here’s how a Xenia brewery is saluting life-saving weatherman in the 1974 tornado

The new Pizza Hut locations will join an already competitive Dayton-area pizza market, which has long been dominated by venerable hometown chains such as Cassano’s Pizza King and Marion’s Piazza; by national chains such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesar’s and Papa John’s; and by the dozens of smaller chains and single-store independents that call the Miami Valley home. 

 In recent years,  other smaller, mostly regional chains have invaded those established market players’ turf, including LaRosa’s, Godfather’s, Dewey’s and Jet’s, among others.

>> RELATED: LaRosa’s in Huber Heights shuts its doors (November 2016)

More recently, “fast-casual” pizza chains that focus on customized, fast-baked pizzas have added a new layer of competition. Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza has led that surge locally, and Seattle-based MOD Pizza operates two Dayton-area restaurants. A third competitor, Cleveland-based PizzaFire shut down its only Dayton-area location late last year. LaRosa’s also has closed two of its Dayton-area locations since late 2016.

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