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Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 5:27 PM
— 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.
MORE ON VETERANS: Airmen often target of scams, rip-offs
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.
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.
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 2:10 PM
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Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 4:15 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 1:01 PM
— QUICK-LOOK 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.
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.
Sunday: More dry time is expected, but there’s still a chance for showers and storms. Highs will be in the lower 80s.
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 1:23 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 1:36 PM
SPRINGFIELD TWP., CLARK COUNTY — 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.
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.
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:17 PM
Dayton — 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.
“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.
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.”
“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.