No Charges for Officers – Tractor Supply Settles – WVAG Rep in Wood Co

No Charges, Indictments for Officers in Shooting

Officers involved in the shooting death of a Beverly man in August will not face charges and a grand jury failed to return an indictment against them in light of the evidence presented. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined that there were numerous attempts to get 19-year-old Tyler Gerken to put down his gun when they responded to his Fair Avenue residence. The call for assistance turned deadly in an exchange of gunfire. Officers involved in the incident include: Capt. Troy Hawkins, Lt. Brad Thorpe, Lt. Timothy Lockhart, Lt. Randy Stackpole, Deputy William Johnson, and Deputy Bryan Reeder.

(Editor’s Note: Sources told RCNN – and it was later confirmed – that Gerken obtained a weapon from a cruiser during the ruckus. RCNN requested the department’s policy on firearm security – and I’m still making my way through the volumes of documents sent in response. CL)

WCSO Warns of Phone Scams

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents about two phone scams which are making the rounds. “In the first scam, the caller informs the victim that they have won a sweepstakes-type of contest and are the winners of a luxury vehicle, such as a Mercedes, BMW or Cadillac, and a large cash prize. The second type scam involves the threat of arrest by the police, the court or the IRS. In these cases the caller will inform the victim that there is a warrant for their arrest or that they owe back taxes and if they don’t send money they will be arrested,” stated a report from the office. Callers who are perpetrating the scams instruct the victim to purchase money cards or to send money transfers in order to avoid arrest or as a fee to release prize winnings. Further, residents should be aware that the phone number being utilized by the caller in the IRS scam is 202-241-4329.

Tractor Supply Company Settles with the Feds

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced a settlement with Tractor Supply Company Inc. and Tractor Supply Company of Texas L.P., that resolves allegations that the companies imported and sold more than 28,000 all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and engines that did not comply with federal Clean Air Act certification and emission information labeling requirements. Under the settlement, Tractor Supply Company will implement a compliance plan to prevent future violations and mitigation projects to reduce air pollution. Tractor Supply Company will also pay a $775,000 civil penalty.

Prudential Profited from VA-Approved Greed

The Veterans of Foreign Wars said documents obtained through a court order reveal that the Department of Veterans Affairs approved a death benefit plan that put an insurance company’s profits ahead of grieving families. The documents reveal that the Prudential Insurance Co. of America didn’t always pay the death benefits but instead kept them in accounts which yielded a 4.8% return to Prudential but less than 1% to survivors. (TRNS)

Students Still Mistreated by Lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said in a report that student loan borrowers are subject to widespread mistreatment by both federal and private lenders. CFPB said consumers are confronted by a wide range of sloppy, patchwork practices that can create obstacles to repayment, raise costs, cause distress, and contribute to driving struggling borrowers to default on their loans. Ethan Senack of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group said 41 million Americans owe $1.2 trillion in student loan indebtedness and called CFPB’s report “just the next iteration of a long line of complaints against student loan servicers.” (TRNS)

WVAG Rep Holds Office Hours in Wood County

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that a consumer representative from his office will conduct mobile office hours in five counties throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley. The Office representative will educate consumers on the latest scams in their area and provide them with tips on how to protect their personal information from scammers. Office hours will be held in Wood County tomorrow, October 1 from 10:30 a.m.to 12:30 p.m.at the Wood County Senior Citizens Association, 914 Market St., Parkersburg. On October 9, hours will be held from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Vienna Senior Citizen, 706 29th St., Vienna. The mobile office hours are open to the public; reservations are not required.

Fall Foliage Tour – Oct 10 – 11

The 26th annual Fall Foliage Tour & Antique Engine/Equipment Show will be held October 10 & 11. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the 10th and from noon to 5 p.m. on the 11th. Activities include apple butter making, tractor pulls, live music, food, a country store, raffles and much more. The self-guided driving portion of the tour takes participants from Marietta to Woodsfield via State Route 26 and then eventually loops back towards Marietta via State Route 7. During the tour drivers will snake along the Little Muskingum River, witness the foliage of the Wayne National Forest and visit four of the counties historic covered bridges. Participants are encouraged to bring any kind of “antique” item they would like to display at stops along the way and any crafters that would like a table for the event should call 740-473-1132. For anyone interested in seeing the other covered bridges in Marietta-Washington County, a self-guided tour is available on the website at www.mariettaohio.org.

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About Callie Lyons

RCNN Publisher and Editor Callie Lyons is an independent journalist and author living in the Mid Ohio Valley. Her first book, Stain-Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8, is available at Amazon.com and in hundreds of libraries all over the world. Known as a "warrior for public health", Lyons' environmental investigations have been featured in documentaries, including Good Neighbors - Bad Blood and Toxic Soup, on Swedish National Television and in numbers of television, radio and print media interviews. Her work has appeared on Nova's Whiz Kids and in Mother Jones magazine. More recently, a national audience has come to know her award-winning investigative work through the Environmental Working Group and interviews with leading publications like the Huffington Post. According to Dr. Arlene Blum of UC Berkeley, Lyons' first book provided the inspiration for the Madrid Statement, which documents the scientific consensus regarding the persistence and potential for harm of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances like PFOA and lays out a roadmap to gather needed information and prevent further harm. In 2006, Lyons received the Associated Press of Ohio Award for Best Business Writer. In 2007, Ohio Citizen Action presented Lyons with the Uncovering the Truth Award for her environmental journalism. In 2015, the Marietta 9-12 Project awarded Lyons the Freedom Pin for her commitment to democracy and free press.
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