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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.

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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.

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Lioness sees Simba toy, paws at glass to get stuffed animal

Published: Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 9:16 AM

FILE PHOTO
Warren Little/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO(Warren Little/Getty Images)

Can you feel the love tonight?

A lioness is caught on video smitten with a stuffed animal from the Disney animated classic “The Lion King.”

The viral video was shot at the Oklahoma City Zoo recently. Mary Jo Robertson was there with her 5-year-old niece, KFOR reported

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The video shows the lioness coming to the glass separating her from the crowd. The lioness can see following the stuffed animal as the little girl walks back and forth, KFOR reported. She even paws at the glass to get to Simba. 

>> Read more trending news 

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Jet stream: How the weather pattern is affecting our conditions

Published: Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 9:12 AM

While it's been cool and wet in the Miami Valley, there's a much different set up out west.

A stubborn jet stream pattern has made its mark on the entire country recently. While we find ourselves in a cool, rainy trough, the western half of the country is dealing with extremely hot and dry conditions.
So, what is a trough? It is "dip" in the jet stream allowing for cooler air to filter in from the north. This is why the winds have been predominately from the north over the last 24 hours. 

In addition to cooling us down, the trough is also responsible for being quite the rainmaker. 

For us, we've just seen scattered showers, but states closer to the Atlantic coast have been dealing with much more rain. 

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You'll find a center of low pressure rotating counterclockwise within the jet stream trough.
A ridge is every opposite of a trough. You'll find dry and hot condition, a center of high pressure and clockwise rotation around the high.
The pattern is expected to break soon, so expect temperatures to work their way back up to normal in the next couple of days.

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Toronto shooting: 2 killed, suspect dead after gunman shoots 14 in Greektown, police say

Published: Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 8:05 AM
Updated: Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 8:05 AM

Toronto Shooting: At Least 2 Dead, Multiple Shot

Two people were killed and the suspect is dead after a gunman shot 14 people in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood Sunday, police said.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 8:05 a.m. EDT July 23: The slain suspect was a 29-year-old man, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit said in news release Monday morning.

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The release, citing “preliminary information,” said the man “fired shots at groups of people several times” along Danforth Avenue around 10 p.m. Sunday, hitting “several people” and fatally injuring two people.

“Officers located the man on Bowden Street and an exchange of gunfire took place,” the release continued. “The man fled the area and was located, deceased, on Danforth Avenue.”

The unit, which has assigned three forensic investigators and six investigators to the case, looks into “reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault,” the release said.

Update 7:51 a.m. EDT July 23: A second victim has been pronounced dead after a gunman opened fire late Sunday in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood, Toronto police tweeted Monday morning.

>> See the tweet here

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister tweeted his condolences Monday morning to the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Toronto.

“My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery,” Trudeau tweeted. “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”

>> See the tweet here

Update 2:01 a.m. EDT July 23: Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said the child in critical condition is an 8- or 9-year-old girl, the Washington Post reported. He described the victim who was killed as a “young lady,” according to The Associated Press.

No further information about the condition of the victims was immediately available.

Saunders said the shooter used a handgun in the rampage and was killed after exchanging gunfire with officers. The shooting did not appear to be random, Saunders said.

One witness, John Tulloch, said he heard as many as 30 gunshots, the AP reported.

A video circulating on Twitter appeared to capture the sound of gunfire.

>> Click here to watch (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

 

Update 1:06 a.m. EDT July 23: The child who was shot, a young girl, is currently in critical condition, according to Toronto police.

Police say it is “too early to say whether the shooting is terrorism,” The Associated Press reported.

One city official, Councillor Paula Fletcher, said the shooting was not gang-related. Fletcher and Councillor Mary Fragedakis also said the gunman was emotionally disturbed.

 

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Medical marijuana in Monroe: What officials, developer say its impact will be

Published: Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 7:00 AM
Updated: Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 8:35 AM

Cresco Labs Ohio in Yellow Springs is in the final construction stages of a 50,000-square-foot medical marijuana cultivation and processing facility

Monroe was one of the few Butler County communities to not implement a ban on the medical marijuana businesses, which are set to begin operation across the state this year.

The city will soon be home to a medical marijuana cultivation facility and a dispensary, but officials say they expect no negative impact on the growing business community where the Cincinnati Premium Outlet Mall is located as well as several major logistics and distribution hubs for companies such as Hayneedle, Home Depot and soon, Amazon.

MORE: 2 medical marijuana stores approved in Butler County

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“The police department is working with the business owners to make sure plans are understood and what their needs are and how the city can facilitate on addressing those needs,” City Manager Bill Brock said. “We have a community resource officer engaged with the businesses.”

Brock said City Council does not believe medical marijuana businesses will hinder city efforts at the Interstate 75 and Ohio 63 interchange.

MORE: Monroe site receives medical marijuana growing license from state

“People were concerned when Hustler Hollywood opened here,” Brock said. “We’ve shown we can manage these types of businesses and that’s at the interchange and Bristol’s (Show Club and Revue) was also open then. I don’t think that business was a detriment to our efforts then.”

Bristol’s operated as an adult entertainment business from 1994 to 2005. It closed after the city’s sexual oriented business ordinance was upheld by the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, ending a five-year court battle between Monroe and WFO, Bristol’s former owner. The club’s new owner, Deja Vu, considered re-opening and expanding the near-nude club in 2006, but the size of the expansion would have exceed the legal non-conforming use of the building, according to city officials.

MORE: Medical marijuana in Ohio: 8 key questions answered as the program nears

He said the cultivation facility is in an existing building that is being rehabbed for that purpose.

Kevin Chesar, city development director, said the cultivation facility is located almost four miles west from the interchange in a nondescript industrial building off South Salzman Road, while the proposed dispensary will be located on Cincinnati-Dayton Road which is about two miles west from the interchange.

“I do not see any correlation to the interchange with the uses,” Chesar said. “I am confident that our aesthetic, architectural and use principles that have guided and continue to successfully grow the interchange as well as the rest of our City will continue to ensure buildings and site designs that are of high quality and architecturally resilient.”

MORE: Why Ohio may have to break the law to launch its medical pot program

Earlier this week, another multi-tenant commercial site that is proposed for development was reviewed by the city Planning Commission, he said.

As of July 17, the city has not received any permit applications for the dispensary, Chesar said. He added that the new building/site will have to receive Planning Commission approval prior to any approval for building permits. Chesar said he did not have any information on a construction timeline.

Longtime developer Lenny Robinson said development is taking place around the interchange as the city and private investors are working to attract more businesses and industry to Monroe.

Robinson’s group, who acquired the Corridor 75 Park in 1976, has seen an explosion of development in that area and that continues to grow as Amazon will open their new facility in the next month. He said there will be more than 5,000 people working at companies over that 800-acre development which has another 182 acres left for development.

His family has developed more than 11,000 acres in Monroe, creating thousands of jobs and $1.5 billion worth of investment in the city going back to 1946.

MORE: Medical marijuana in Butler County: ‘This won’t hurt the village,’ mayor says

“The impact (of the medical marijuana businesses) is not going to change the dynamics of any city,” he said. “I believe the impact will be minimal.”

Robinson likened the medical marijuana licenses as modern day liquor licenses but was not sure about how these businesses will address their banking due to conflicts with state and federal laws.

Vice Mayor Dan Clark said he did not believe there would be any negative impacts with the opening of the two new medical marijuana businesses.

“The cultivation facility is another warehouse,” Clark said. “No one will see it because it’s not open to the public.”

Clark said, “I think people view medical marijuana positively. There’s been a change in society over the past few decades.”

He said medical marijuana has helped people with post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer and seizure disorders.

“I think its positive that it can help people of all ages,” Clark said. “I think that’s great.”

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