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Entries in Ohio (10)

Wednesday
May152013

Granddaughter Helps Man, 91, Raise Money to Prevent Eviction

Courtesy: Jaclyn Fraley(ZALESKI, Ohio) -- A 91-year-old man wants to stop his daughter from evicting him from the home he built 56 years ago in Zaleski, Ohio, a small community south of Columbus.

In 2004, John Potter and his wife, who has since died, gave the general power of attorney to his daughter for future matters if they declined in health, including to take care of her autistic adult brother, now 63.

But unbeknownst to Potter, his daughter Janice Cottrill eventually used that power to convey the deed to the one-story home to herself. In 2010, Potter said he learned of the deed transfer and switched power of attorney to his granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, now 35.

Potter, a World War II veteran and retired train dispatcher for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, sued to get the home back, arguing that his daughter had transferred the deed to herself illegally because those with the power of attorney are not permitted to transfer assets to themselves from the estate they oversee.

Potter won in Vinton County Court, but an appeals court ruled last year that the statute of limitations of four years had passed on the accusation of fraud and thus the deed could not be handed back to Potter.

Early this year, his daughter and her husband sent Potter an eviction notice, saying they had terminated his "existing lease." An eviction hearing will take place on June 12, during which the judge will have no choice but to evict Potter, Fraley told ABC News.

When asked how he feels about being evicted by his daughter and son-in-law, Potter was at a loss for words.

"I just cannot believe my daughter would ever do anything like that to me," he said.

Janice Cottrill declined to comment.

"The case is currently pending in the Vinton County Court and we will let the court decide the issues," said Lorene Johnston, an attorney for Cottrill.

Fraley, a nurse who moved to Columbus, Ohio, from San Diego to be closer to her grandfather, said she has not been on pleasant terms with her mother and stepfather for the last two years or so, when she learned that they had tried to place her grandfather in a nursing home, she said.

Hoping to keep her grandfather in the home he built, Fraley started a campaign on GoFundMe.com, a crowd-fundraising site.

About the fundraiser, Potter said he is "a little bit embarrassed that I have to ask my fellow man for help" but he is grateful for others' generosity and thinks it is "wonderful."

While the home is not for sale, Fraley said other family members have told her and her attorney that her mother would allow him to stay in the home if enough money could be raised to buy it.

Fraley said she is planning to get an appraisal on the home, but so far, she has raised $42,134 from 1,781 people in the last month.

Potter, who mostly relies on his pension for income, is not paying rent to his daughter, said Timothy Gleeson, his attorney. Gleeson said Potter hasn't been in a position to make an offer on the home yet because they do not yet have the money.

When asked if the funds could go toward rent on his home, Fraley said that is not a long-term solution that ensures her grandfather will stay in the home permanently.

"What would stop them from turning around and evicting him again?" she said of her mother and stepfather.

Another reason Potter and his attorney believe Cottrill would sell the home is she began selling parcels – about 14 acres in total -- from a hunting property Potter had owned a few miles away from his home last year.

In trying to keep her grandfather in her home, Fraley said she is not motivated by anger toward her mother, but tries to focus on her love for her grandfather.

"People have commented that my mother is 'evil', but I always say she's a human too," she said.

Fraley said she hopes people will donate to her grandfather's GoFundMe site so that he can stay in the home for the rest of his life.

Potter turns 92 on May 23, and Fraley said she hopes she can give his home to him for his birthday.

"That's his home. Do I think she deserves the money?" she said of her mother. "No, but my grandfather deserves to stay in his home as long as he possibly can. If he wants to leave, it should be his decision."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct222012

Arby's Fires Ohio Manager Who Fled from Robber

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DAYTON, Ohio) -- An Arby's restaurant in Dayton, Ohio, has fired its assistant general manager after she had to jump through the store's drive-through window to escape a knife-wielding robber. What's Arby's beef? The woman, the company says, violated a company rule.

According to the Dayton Daily News, assistant manager Mary Archer had been closing up the store when the incident occurred. In an exclusive interview with ABC affiliate WHIO-TV of Dayton, Archer said her last co-worker had just left for the night when she heard the doorbell ring.

Thinking it was her co-worker returning to pick up something she'd forgotten, Archer unlocked the door, only to find herself confronted by a robber with a knife who repeatedly shouted, "Give me the money."

"I really thought I was going to die," Archer, 56, told WHIO. She did her best to defend herself, she says, pushing the man away while she told herself, "I'm not going to die at Arby's tonight. I'm just not."

She was able to evade the attacker and jump through the drive-through window. Her cries for help then brought the police.

Archer, who says she has worked for Arby's for 23 years, says she was flabbergasted to find the next day, when she returned to work, that she'd been fired. "I just never thought that would happen to me, since my life was at stake," she told her television interviewer.

"I don't want my job back," she says. "I just want everybody to know what kind of company this is. They said I was not supposed to have been alone in the store."

That, indeed, is Arby's position. In answer to a request for comment from ABC News, a spokesperson for Arby's Restaurant Group says in an email:

"We consider the safety and security of our guests and employees to be of utmost importance. We're extremely thankful that no one was injured during this incident. While this did not occur in a company-owned restaurant, we understand from our franchisee that the employee was terminated for her second violation of an important safety and security policy; namely, being alone in a restaurant afterhours."

Arby's rule says at least two employees are to be on duty at any time. Efforts by ABC News to contact Archer were not successful.

Archer said in her television interview that this was the third time thieves had attempted to rob the store. After their first attempt, she says, precautions should have been taken, but they were not.

"We have no alarms, no cameras. That should have been nipped in the bud the very first attempt." The only bright spot, she says, is, "My life was spared."

The suspect in the robbery at Arby's is still at large.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug302012

Husband Surprises Wife with Billboard to Help Her Job Search

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SYLVAN, Ohio) -- There’s love and then there’s this kind of love.

It involves buying space on two giant billboards in two of the busiest intersections in town and putting your wife’s picture on them, listing all the reasons why an employer should hire her.

Such true love, deep-down devotion and, more than anything, shock-and-awe strategy led Holly Stuard of Sylvan, Ohio, to discover, to her surprise, a billboard with her picture reading “Please Hire My Wife,” in giant, bold, black letters.

“I was definitely shocked,” Stuard, 36, told ABC News of the moment Monday night when her husband, Brandon, 38, pointed out his handiwork to her.

“He made plans that we’d go out to dinner at one of our Mexican restaurants on the other side of town so that we’d pass the billboard on our way,” she said.  “Our older son saw it before I did and said, ‘Momma that picture looks like you.’”

Brandon Stuard, a deputy sheriff in a Toledo suburb where the couple lives with his 15-year-old daughter and their two sons, ages four and two, decided to purchase the billboard space after he saw his wife deal with the ups and downs of an unfruitful job search for the past year.

“I was just trying to help and put her face and a small portion of her resume around the city in hopes that something would come along,” Brandon told ABC News Thursday from his cellphone as he passed one of the billboards in the car on his way home from work.  "I’m almost probably as shocked about all this attention we’re getting about it as she was to see it.”

Holly’s position as a program manager for the MBA program at the University of Toledo, from which she graduated with both an MBA and a degree in psychology, was eliminated in July 2011 due to budget cuts. Since then she has gone on countless interviews, seeking a corporate job in training and development.

“It’s been such a long timeframe and there’s so many ups and downs with a job search, and I think he’s felt a little helpless,” she said of her husband of eight years. “He felt this was a way he could actually do something because it’s been a difficult process.”

Brandon, whom Holly said is known for surprises, also knows his wife well enough to not tell her in advance.  He worked with two different billboard companies to purchase space on the two electronic billboards, one near a mall and one in downtown Toledo.

The billboards feature a giant photo of Holly, which Brandon said was a “last-minute decision” to include, along with her credentials, which include business experience, academic experience and her MBA.

“My husband knew that I would say, ‘There’s no way you’re putting my picture up on a billboard,’” she said.  “It’s definitely outside of my comfort zone but I hope that it will lead to a good opportunity.”

Most importantly the billboards, which cost Brandon around $700, feature an easy to remember email address: HIREMYWIFE@YAHOO.COM.

So far the billboard has brought more attention for the couple than concrete job offers.  Emails from well wishers who have suffered through similarly frustrating job searches have poured in.  Friends have shared the story on Facebook and the couple was featured in a story on the local evening news.

Still, Holly is hopeful and appreciative of the boost from her husband.

“It’s definitely given my job search new energ … ,” she said.  “It’s been really exciting.  I’ve heard from a lot of people who are trying to connect me with companies that are hiring and there’s just a really good vibe out there.”

The two billboard ads will stay up a few days past the one week’s time that Brandon purchased, thanks to the generosity of vendors similarly impressed by his efforts.

“Obviously with me not working it was a big investment and a big consideration financially to do it,” Holly said.  “He [Brandon] said both of the companies were really great working with him and giving him a price break and keeping it up for a few extra days.”

One thing the vendors can’t help Brandon with is planning ahead for Christmas, Valentine’s Day or the couple’s anniversary, now that the bar has been set so high.

“This will be tough to top as far as surprises go,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul182012

4Chan Users Work to Expose Ohio Burger King Lettuce Incident

4chan.org(MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio) -- “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King,” read the caption of the photo an Ohio Burger King employee posted on the online image board 4chan on Monday.

The photo showed someone in black pants and black shoes standing atop two tubs of the fast food restaurant’s lettuce.

Within minutes of the posting, the site’s users had extracted GPS data from the photo and worked to pinpoint the exact franchise location where the photographer had acted in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

They then began to forward the posting around to local news outlets in the area.

The three employees who were involved have since been fired, according to a statement from Burger King’s corporate headquarters.

Burger King said the employee in the photo is shown violating, “the company’s stringent food handling procedures," the statement said. "Food safety is a top priority at all Burger King restaurants and the company maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question."

The Burger King manager at the franchise told ABC News he had no comment on the incident.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan102012

Honda Plans to Build New Plant in Ohio

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- Honda announced on Monday that it plans to build a new facility in Ohio to make the Acura NSX supercar, which it debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The iconic sports car has not been sold for more than five years and the original NSX was built in Japan from 1990 to 2005. Honda says the new NSX will be on the market within the next three years.

The car will not only be built in central Ohio, it will also be designed there as well.

While the new facility will create jobs, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Honda officials have told the paper the number of jobs created will be significantly fewer than GM’s Corvette plant in Kentucky, which has 400 workers.

The company says the new plant is another investment in its almost 30-year relationship with the Buckeye State. Honda says it builds more cars and light trucks in the state than all of the other automakers combined.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct182011

Boom Town: What Brings Thousands of Jobs to One Ohio Town?

The Severstal Wheeling North Works Steel Plant sits empty on the edge of Steubenville, Ohio. The Severstal mill has halted production and has laid off all but a few employees to keep safety and security watch. Operating utilization at US steel mills has dropped to 43 percent, a level not seen since the Depression. Rick Gershon/Getty Images(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio) -- Steubenville, Ohio, may not look like a city sitting on a multi-billion dollar industry. Unemployment there reached 15 percent in 2010, and a now-shuttered steel mill -- which was once the lifeline of the Steubenville economy -- is now just a painful reminder of what used to be.

While the old way is gone for good, a new way has already changed lives.

Two huge shale formations -- the Marcellus and Utica -- lay underneath a five-state region. Steubenville sits right on the epicenter of the Marcellus formation, ready to absorb all the new positions needed to open new and repurposed old wells.

While the formations have been around for centuries, only in the past 10 years have people realized how deep they run. In the past decade the area has been prepped for drilling, which is expected to begin in Steubenville this spring.

With the new influx of job opportunities, many are relocating to Steubenville, hoping to land a well-paying, stable job. Louis McGowan, a Navy veteran who served in the war in Afghanistan, was born in the area but left for Texas in search of work. The new jobs boom allowed him to do something he never believed he'd be able to do: come home. He hopes to be one of the first in line when drilling begins.

In a matter of months, rigs will begin to dot the landscape, and current and former residents -- like McGowan -- hope the money will line their pockets.

More than 300 new jobs have already come to the Steubenville area. And as many as 10,000 more are expected in the next three years. If jobs keep growing at this pace, every adult in Steubenville could be working by April.

"I rolled the dice with everything I had," McGowan said. "It's either make it or bust."

But the environmental impact of fracking -- the process of injecting sand, water and a chemical gel to crack open the shale -- is controversial. Environmentalists say the action of pulling natural gas from the ground can spoil groundwater. But it's a risk the people in Steubenville are willing to take.

Hope stretches throughout Steubenville, a city nestled deep in Appalachian Ohio, and even into the nearby hills of the Wetherell family's property, where family members hope natural gas below ground will mean new life for them.

Their land, once a dairy farm, will soon be leased to a drilling company for thousands of dollars.

"It's peace of mind ... knowing that when the money comes we'll be able to put money away for college for the kids, pay off some debts," said Monica Wetherell.

No one in Steubenville can remember the last time anyone heard of a job that paid as much as $77,000 a year coming to town, but those jobs are coming. There could be more than 200,000 of them in Ohio in the next few years.

The boom doesn't end with the drilling jobs. There were bright spots visible all over the town. A few weeks ago, Scaffidi's restaurant needed only 25 seats. Now, there are seven times more people coming in for lunch. The boom is also expected to mean more businesses, more teachers and more hotels.

Everyone seems to be cashing in.

Jim Berry's company ships sand to the drill sites that just moved to the area. He hopes to employ as many as 80 local residents in a year's time.

How badly does this area need the jobs? "It needs it really bad," said John Weber of the Ohio Workforce Department. "The whole Appalachian area needs it. The state of Ohio needs it really bad."

So do the McGowan's.

"I just want to work. That's about it....I want to work."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep062011

Ohio Man Sues Co-Workers After $99M Lottery Win

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- What are the chances that a back injury will cost you millions? For Edward Hairston, the odds are about one in 175 million.

The logistics agent at an Ohio cabinet business is suing his 22 co-workers to receive what he claims is his share of a $99 million lottery prize.

Hairston, who declined ABC News' request for an interview, claimed in a lawsuit that he participated in the office lottery pool for eight years with his colleagues before a back injury put him out of work in June, July and August. The group matched all six winning numbers on Aug. 5.

His attorney, Howard Mishkind, told ABC News there was an implied agreement that co-workers would cover for each other when they were out due to illness or vacation.

"All because of $15, it's now costing him $2 million," Mishkind said.

He added that Hairston even contributed for a co-worker who was out on a leave of absence.

But Kerin Lyn Kaminski, the lawyer representing the 22 winners, told ABC News that wasn't the case.

"The plaintiff didn't play for three months and despite being invited to do so through email he chose not to put money in, therefore he can't be a winner," she said.

Mishkind disputed the claim, saying the email was sent to a company address which Hairston could not access from home.

A judge in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court ordered the Ohio Lottery Commission to set aside a portion of the jackpot in the event Hairston won his case. Kaminski said all parties agreed to the move in exchange for a swift resolution of the lawsuit, which will go to trial in December.

This isn't the first time office lottery pools have been contested by absentee co-workers.

In 2005, the so-called "Lucky Seven" group of lab technicians, who had won California's second-largest jackpot ever, were smacked with lawsuits from four co-workers claiming they were entitled to a share of the $315 million Mega Millions jackpot.

A judge ultimately dismissed all four lawsuits.

In 2008, four Piqua, Ohio, city workers sued their colleagues, who won $207 million in the Mega Millions lottery, claiming -- like the others, that they weren't at work to contribute to the pool but felt comfortable their co-workers would cover for them. A judge dismissed the suit in September 2009.

With history on their side, the 22 newly-minted millionaires are preparing to go to trial in December. Kaminski, the winners' lawyer, said she thinks they have a solid case, saying the lottery commission sums it up best: "You can't win if you don't play."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Sep032011

Shell Nears Decision on Where to Build New Plant

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- Shell Oil Co. is close to reaching a decision on where to build an enormous petro-chemical facility in the Appalachians.

Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are all competing for the plant that could potentially bring thousands of jobs to the area.

Shell, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, is a multinational oil company that is among one of the largest oil companies in the world.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Friday
Feb182011

'Amish Madoff' Victims Want Bankruptcy Case Dismissed

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SUGARCREEK, Ohio) -- Daniel Miller, a victim of the Amish "Madoff" scheme in Sugarcreek, Ohio, and dozens of other Amish creditors say they prefer the bankruptcy proceedings related to their $33 million in investments be dismissed.

Miller was one of 2,600 creditors in 29 states, mostly from the Amish community, who invested money with Monroe Beachy, a 77-year old Amish man accused of running a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"I think the Amish can do a lot better job for the creditors than what the government can do," Miller said.  "Instead of the bankruptcy attorneys handling everything and dragging into the court system, they will take it and distribute it to the creditors involved.  It makes more sense to me."

Miller, 55, does not believe Beachy intentionally tried to defraud his Amish neighbors but actually hoped to recoup unanticipated losses, such as from crashes in the stock market, for his investors.

Beachy, doing business as A&M Investments, raised at least $33 million, according to the S.E.C. complaint filed this week.  He sold investment contracts from as early as 1986 through June 2010, telling investors their money would be used to purchase risk-free U.S. government securities, but instead he made speculative investments, according to the filing.

Media headlines are comparing Beachy to Bernie Madoff, the investment advisor who choreographed a $50 billion Ponzi scheme since the early '90s, because of the long period in which they both falsified positive returns to investors.

As part of the investigation, Beachy filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in June with a court in the Northern District of Ohio.  Court documents indicate he has less than $18 million of investors' money left.

In an unusual twist, according to a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy proceedings filed by members of the Amish community, about 2,550, or 94 percent, of creditors are in favor of dismissal.  The bankruptcy court received 67 filings each containing multiple form letters from Miller and other members of the Amish community in Sugarcreek. ´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb072011

Verizon Invests Millions in Ohio to Boost 3G, 4G Networks

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Pierce Promotions(DUBLIN, Ohio) - Verizon Wireless has announced millions in new investments in Ohio to help upgrade and enhance its network in the state.

The company said it invested $291 million in 2010 to install 27 new cell sites and upgrade that state's 966 existing sites.

"Our company is focused on building a reliable 4G network both here in Ohio and nationwide, but we also remain committed to improving our 3G network which millions of customers rely on daily," said Beth Drohan, Midwest Area vice president–network for Verizon Wireless. "Customers may use their wireless devices in different ways, but they all have one need in common -- a reliable network."

With the most recent investment, Verizon has put $1.9 billion into the state since 2000 to improve service.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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