Cox Washington Bureau investigates veterans charities

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 5:27 PM

Stock file photo
Photographer: Joshua Nathanson
Stock file photo(Photographer: Joshua Nathanson)

The stack of fundraising letters grows every week in Butch Kelly's home. Kelly said he is on a fixed income but he gives when and what he can. When he first got a letter from Disabled Veterans National Foundation, he sent a check.

"You see disabled veterans and think wow, these people are doing good works," said Kelly, a veteran from Florida. 

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Disabled Veterans National Foundation's website is slick and there are videos and testimonials of work to help vets. However, when you look at the organization's tax filings, out of every dollar donated, less than a quarter is actually going to programs that support veterans.

"They're basically taking money away from needy veterans," said Daniel Borochoff, of Charity Watch, a non-profit group that gives Disabled Veterans National Foundation an "F" rating. Another watchdog, Charity Navigator, gives it a "0" out of "4" stars. 

"They should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves," said Kelly. 

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The majority of the 27-million dollars DVNF raised in 2016, went to fundraising.  More than a month ago we reached out asking to talk with them about their finances, but they have repeatedly refused our requests for an interview. They did send up a letter. It talks about the military record of Purple Heart winning CEO Joseph Vanfonda who has been, "working to revamp the organization's operations, programs, staff and fundraising practices." The letter said, "DVNF is committed to transparency and accountability." 

Vanfonda has refused to talk to us and for Charity Watch, the proof is in the numbers. 

"You're really helping the telemarketer more than you're helping the veterans," said Borochoff.

Our investigation found that Disabled Veterans National Foundation is not alone. We also looked at the Veterans Support Foundation. Here too, less than a quarter of every dollar goes to veterans. The President of Veterans Support Foundation, Keith King, said his organization provides housing for veterans in need.

"We're proud of what we do once we have the money in the house, how we take care of that money, what we do with that money," said King. "I think that is as important if not more important than what it costs me to raise that money in the first place." 

King also told us that money problems forced his charity to turn to telemarketers that now get half of every dollar that he raises. 

"We had gotten to the to a point to where we were looking seriously to simply shut our doors," King said.

That is what Charity Watch said should happen. 

"They should go out of operation," said Borochoff. "They're just siphoning money out of the giving pool."

Experts said money can be raised efficiently. Look at the National Military Family Association for example. Out of every dollar donated, 80 cents goes to programs. 

"It's important to ask the question, how much of my dollar is going to support the people you say you serve?" said Joyce Raezer, of the National Military Family Association. 

That is why Butch Kelly now said he has a particular file to place the mail that keeps coming from Disabled Veterans National Foundation.

"I just put it in the shredder," Kelly said. 

Disabled Veterans National Foundation did in the past few days, send us a letter from their attorney and an advance copy of a press release they plan on issuing tonight after our story airs, announcing tremendous progress in effectiveness, governance and transparency. You can read the letter in the word document attached to this story. 

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WHIO Traffic Center: Crash on I-75 N in Montgomery County closes 2 lanes

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 2:10 PM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic.

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • I-75 North at Wagner Ford Road exit in Montgomery County, a reported accident is clogging northbound traffic. The accident was reported about 1:38 p.m. 
  • This accident, on I-75 North at Wagner Ford Road, on Wednesday afternoon. (Marshall Gorby/Staff)

Surface Street Incidents

  • In the 2700 block of South Smithville Road in Dayton, live wires are reportedly down on a trash truck as of 6:15 a.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO Weather App

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Valley Street between Stanley Avenue and Brandt Street will be closed for reconstruction through late October. This is the first phase of a project to reconstruct Valley Street from Stanley Avenue to Rita Street.
  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west
  • I-75 between Northwoods Boulevard and the Miami County Line, Nightlylane closures June 4 - July 9 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Two lanes will remain open in each direction. 
  • I-75 between SR 48 and Needmore Road, Nightly lane closures April 29 - July 31 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Will become double lane closures at 10 p.m. 
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closure April 2, 2018 - April 1, 2019. One lane will remain open in each direction.

GREENE COUNTY

  • State Route 235 between Dayton Yellow Springs and Enon Roads, ROAD CLOSURE for six months. The official detour is U.S. 68, West Hyde, and West Enon Roads.
  • Trebein Road from U.S. 35, Lane restrictions April 16 - August, 2018 for construction of a right turn lane. One lane will remain maintained at all times with flagging operations. 

WARREN COUNTY

MIAMI COUNTY

  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 
  • US 36 between Scott Drive and Aerovent Drive, Lane closure April 26 - August 31. 

DARKE COUNTY

  • Arcanum Bears-Mill Road between Folkerth Road and Erisman Road, ROAD CLOSURE June 4 - August 3. The official detour is: SR 49 to US 36/US 127 to US 36
  • SR 49 between Rossburg Lighsville Road and SR 47, Daily lane closures May 28 - July 2 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 722 between Gordon-Landis Road and SR 49, Dailylane closures May 28 - July 2 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Sweitzer Street/ West Fourth Street between Pine Street and Sycamore Street, ROAD CLOSURE May 21 - May 31, 2019. The official detour is: Pine Street to Washington Avenue to Broadway.
  • US 36/US 127 between Hogpath Road and Horatio- Harris Creek Road, Daily lane closures April 30 - August 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

MERCER COUNTY

  • SR 49 between Park Road and Zehringer Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 18 - 25. The official detour is: SR 119 to SR 118 to SR 219.
  • SR 117 between US 127 and SR 116, Daily lane closures April 23 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

SHELBY COUNTY

  • SR 29 between SR 274 and Pleiman Road, Daily lane closures May 18 - June 30 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 66 between SR 47 and Russia Houston Road, Daily lane closures May 18 - June 30 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • SR 66 between SR 48 and Schlater Road, Daily lane closures May 14 - June 22 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times.  

CLARK COUNTY

  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north
  • Spangler Road south between Restoration Drive and I-70, Traffic pattern switch March 26 - August 15. Southbound Spangler Road traffic going to I-675 south and I-70 east will be moved to northbound side of I-675. Traffic will then be redirected to the southbound side of I-675 after passing over I-70. 
  • US 42 between Bershet Street and Short Street, ROAD CLOSURE July 9 - 13. The official detour is: SR 72 to I-70 to SR 41.

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY

  • US 36 between Zimmerman Road and Kite Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 11 - August 10. The official detour is: SR 235 to SR 29 to SR 560.

LOGAN COUNTY

  • SR 347 between Rogers Road and C - 154, ROAD CLOSURE June 29 - July 7. The official detour is: SR 347 to US 33 to SR 739 to SR 347.
  • SR 47 between County Road 12 and SR 292, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 4 - 25. The official detour is: County Road 5 to SR 540 to SR 292 to SR 47.
  • SR 274 between Morris Rose Road and SR 235, Daily lane closures May 1 - June 29 between 7 a.m. 5 p.m. 
  • SR 235 between SR 720 and SR 117, Daily lane closures May 1 - June 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 68 between SR 508 and Gunn Town Road, Daily lane closures April 23 - June 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

AUGLAIZE COUNTY

  • US 33 between SR 29 and I-75, Daily lane closures March 26 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction. 

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Showers, storms to return this afternoon, evening

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 4:15 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 1:01 PM

Heavy downpours and gusty winds are possible Wednesday.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Few evening showers and storms today
  • Chances for rain, storms continue into weekend
  • Little relief from the heat, humidity

>> LIVE Doppler 7 Interactive HD Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Today: Very warm and humid with scattered clouds, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs says. Temperatures will reach the lower 80s, but the weather will feel warmer because of the humidity. Some scattered showers and storms will develop in the northern Miami Valley late this afternoon and spread south into the evening. A couple of storms may become intense, with locally heavy rain and gusty wind. Storms will taper later tonight, with the weather to remain mild and temperatures in the middle 60s. A few areas of patchy fog are possible late.

>> FLOODING: Know your risks

Tonight: Any showers and storms that remain this evening should fade past sunset. Some fog is possible again overnight with temperatures dropping into the mid-60s.

Thursday: The chance for a few showers and storms returns. Highs will be near 80 degrees.

Friday: The best chance for rain moves in. Showers and storms are expected with highs in the lower 80s.

Saturday: More showers and storms are likely at times, though it won’t be an all-day rain event. Highs to start the weekend will be in the upper 70s to lower 80s. 

>> Cloudy with a chance of podcast

Sunday: More dry time is expected, but there’s still a chance for showers and storms. Highs will be in the lower 80s.

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1 injured when Jeep rams into house on South Bird Road in Clark County

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 1:23 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 1:36 PM

UPDATE @ 1:27 p.m.: One person has been taken to a hospital after a car rammed into a house on South Bird Road, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. 

According to the preliminary investigation, a female was driving north when she apparently lost control of the vehicle and rammed the front of the house, where the resident was asleep. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: New details in fatal wrong-way crash

That resident has been taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center, suffering from minor injuries. The driver was not injured, according to troopers. 

South Bird Road will be shut down at Laybourne Road in both directions until further notice.

INITIAL REPORT

Police, sheriff’s deputies, OSP and the gas company are on the scene of a car into a house in the 200 block of South Bird and Laybourne roads in Springfield Twp.

The incident occurred moments ago. Unknown on injuries.

We will update this developing report as we get information.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Water quality expert: Dayton chemical concerns demand monitoring, attention

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:17 PM

Firefighting foam chemicals found in Dayton wellfield monitoring wells

A professor of toxicology and environmental health says Dayton and Montgomery County residents should expect regular monitoring and public updates about water quality in the wake of test results showing the low-level presence of potentially dangerous chemicals.

However, Rita Loch-Caruso, a professor of toxicology in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan, said it’s too soon to recommend buying new household water filtration systems as a cautionary measure.

Loch-Caruso said similar levels of PFAS have been found in Ann Arbor drinking water, where she lives, and she has not purchased a water filtration system.

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“It certainly is low,” she said. “I would say it’s something for the people and for the city to start to pay attention to, and to keep paying attention to.”

“We certainly don’t know everything there is know about PFAS (polyfluoralkyl substances), and PFAS are a difficult group of chemicals to study because there are so many variations of them,” Loch-Caruso said.

PFAS is a substance once used as a firefighting foam at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The chemical has infiltrated groundwater and prompted the shutdown of several Dayton water wells and has now been detected in drinking water bound for customers.

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Dayton and Montgomery County are sending customers notices with the results of recent testing of treated water leaving the city’s Ottawa Water Treatment Plant. The results of March testing show PFAS detected at a level of 7 to 13 parts per trillion.

Officials stress that level is significantly below the EPA health advisory limit of 70 ppt (parts per trillion) for lifetime exposure, but it marks the first time PFAS have been detected in water after the treatment process.

Loch-Caruso said that if she lived in Dayton, “I’d pay attention.”

MOREDeveloper sees momentum in Arcade development

“I would like to see my city doing regular monitoring and publishing the results of the concentrations,” she said. “I would like to see a plan for monitoring — how is the city going to watch this?”

Michael Powell, director of the city of Dayton Water Department, said Wednesday the city has monitored the situation and will continue to test concentration levels.

“I drink it every day,” Powell said of Dayton’s water.

One part per trillion is comparable to finding one grain of sand in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, he said.

The discovered concentration levels “are right on the edge of the detection levels that the latest tests are able to detect,” he said.

In fact, they are so low, the levels are labeled by testing labs as “estimated,” he said.

Joe Tuss, Montgomery County administrator, said county leaders will work to coordinate with Dayton to make sure testing protocols are consistent.

“As the entity that has the community asset that is the well fields and water treatment facilities, we want to make sure we are working in concert with the city and certainly making sure they are taking the lead in any activities around this whole PFAS issue,” Tuss said.

“This is something that is really a relatively new issue for water systems around the country,” he added, saying he believes it started to emerge in 2014. “So this is a relatively new phenomenon.”

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