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Scams reported
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Thursday, 26 August 2010 16:03

Columbia Gas of Ohio encourages its customers to protect themselves from individuals impersonating company employees or contractors.

In the wake of a customer on Elm Street, Toledo recently paying $200 to an individual posing as a Columbia Gas employee, a second such scam has been reported. This time a Columbia Gas customer on Starr Avenue in Oregon reportedly paid $242 to an individual posing as a Columbia Gas representative.

To avoid becoming a victim, Columbia offers these suggestions:

• All Columbia employees and contractors carry identification cards bearing their name, photo and identification number and will be happy to show them.

• Columbia Gas collectors do not take cash or check payments at the door. Payments can only be made over the phone or at an approved payment center. Columbia Gas does not work collections on the weekends.

• Do not allow entry into your home to people who claim to offer a Columbia refund. Columbia employees never deliver cash refunds or “rebates” to customers homes. All account transactions are handled through the mail or at a Columbia Gas customer office.

Residents who are not sure about an employee’s identification, or to verify work to be done in or around one’s home, call Columbia’s emergency response telephone number at 800-344-4077.  Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If a person claiming to be a Columbia employee does not have proper identification, call the police and then call Columbia at 800-344-4077. Be prepared to give a detailed description of the individual and their vehicle.

 
This Week In Government
Written by Larry Limpf   
Thursday, 26 August 2010 16:08

VP route puzzling, chief says
The recent visit of Vice President Joe Biden to Toledo last week has left one local law enforcement official puzzled.

After the vice president’s stop at the Toledo Jeep Wrangler assembly plant, his motorcade took him to a fundraising event for Gov. Ted Strickland’s re-election campaign at the Belmont Country Club in Perrysburg.

Lake Township Police Chief said he and other Wood County officers, including Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, who were providing security for the vice president, agreed the preferred route they suggested for the motorcade was I-280 to State Route 795 to Perrysburg.

Instead the motorcade took I-280 to the Ohio Turnpike to I-75, then to Buck and Bates roads before eventually getting on Route 795 into Perrysburg.

“It was as if they didn’t want to drive by what’s left of Lake High School on State Route 795,” the chief said, alluding to the school damaged by a June 5 tornado, which also destroyed the Lake Township administration building. “They were within a stone’s throw of the damaged high school. It was a slap in the face of the residents of Lake Township. I’m glad he was here for the Jeep recognition but they were so close it would have been nice they could have taken five minutes to talk with school officials.”

 
Villages share in cost of closing power plant
Written by Cynthia L. Jacoby   
Thursday, 26 August 2010 14:03

The villages of Genoa and Elmore will help pay for the closing of a coal-fired power plant in southern Ohio but it should not affect their daily electric rates, village officials said.

The two municipalities must pay a share of the closing costs ($55,000 for Genoa over three years and $49,500 for Elmore) for the Richard H. Gorsuch Generating Station in Marietta because of their affiliation with American Municipal Power Inc. Both of the western Ottawa County villages have received their electricity from AMP-Ohio for years.

However, in recent months, AMP-Ohio has been in discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio EPA over repeated plant violations in conjunction with the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review. The problems date back to 1981.

The entities recently agreed to a Dec. 31, 2012 closing date. But operations will cease at the plant by Dec. 15, 2010. The plan is to operate all four boilers during summer peak season and then reduce to two boilers by mid-December, according to an AMP-Ohio press release.

“Harry Truman was President when this plant first began generating electricity,” AMP President/CEO Marc Gerken said in the release. “AMP acquired partial ownership in 1988, and since that time the plant has been a reliable source of power for our participating members. We are very appreciative of the Gorsuch staff and the dedication they have shown through the years. Unfortunately, the current situation makes retiring the plant the only reasonable business decision, and the decision that makes the most sense for our participants.”

 
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