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Ohio Archives for 2017-06

New Abbreviated Adult Driver Training Course

Columbus - As of July 1, 2017, a new law goes into effect requiring first-time applicants for a driver’s license, who have not taken a course, to take an abbreviated adult driver training course when they fail their first attempt at the driving test.
This new law applies to first-time applicants age eighteen (18) years and older, who have never held a driver’s license. If they fail their first attempt at maneuverability or the road portion of their driving test, they will be required to take the abbreviated adult driver training course before they are able to test for a second time.
There are four options for customers who are required to take the abbreviated adult driver training course with a licensed school. The options are:
1. A 4 hour in-person class followed by 4 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor with a licensed abbreviated adult driver training school; or
2. A 4 hour in-person class followed by 24 hours of driving with a licensed driver 21 years of age or older; or
3. A 4 hour state-approved online course followed by 4 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor with a licensed abbreviated adult driver training school; or
4. A 4 hour state-approved online course followed by 24 hours of driving with a licensed driver 21 years of age or older.
The customers who choose the option for 24 hours of driving with a licensed driver 21 years of age or older cannot complete more than four hours of driving in one day. The customer is required to complete the Twenty-four Hour Affidavit (BMV 5789) found on the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV’s) website, www.bmv.ohio.gov.
When the customer returns to the BMV for the second attempt at the driving test, they shall bring the certificate of completion of an abbreviated adult driver training course, along with the Twenty-four hour affidavit, if they chose that option. The affidavit shall be completely filled out, signed and notarized to be accepted.


Ohio Attorney General Warns of Home Rental Scams

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today warned consumers to beware of home rental scams. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received over 40 reports about the scams in 2017, and summer is a peak time for moving and traveling.
In a typical rental scam, a con artist posts an ad online offering a house or apartment for rent. When interested consumers respond to the ad, the con artist tells them to send a deposit. Later, the consumers discover that the rental ad was phony and the con artist had no affiliation with the property. Reported losses have ranged from $250 to $5,000. 
“Scam artists will say, ‘You send us the money, and we’ll send you the keys,’ but that’s a lie,” Attorney General DeWine said. “The truth is these con artists are offering properties they don’t own and hoping people will take the bait. We encourage people to be very careful. If someone’s asking you to wire a deposit for a property you’ve never seen in person, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.”
To make the scams seem believable, con artists often steal photos and property information from legitimate real estate listings then repost the information as rental property ads on Craigslist or other sites. The advertised rent is often low, and con artists generally tell people to wire a few hundred dollars (or more) to secure the rental or to prevent others from viewing the property.
Signs of the scam include:
.Requests for payment via wire transfer, money order, prepaid card, or gift card.
.Ads offering below-market rates on houses or apartments.
.Rental ads offering properties that are listed for sale on other websites.
.Landlords who offer to rent to you immediately, without checking your credit. 
.Requests for you to wire money before you’ve seen the property.
.Landlords who claim they’re out of the country for business or missionary work. 
To avoid scams:
.Be wary of requests for wire transfers, money orders, prepaid money cards, or gift cards. These are preferred payment methods for scammers, because once payment is provided, it is nearly impossible to recover.
.Be skeptical of ads offering below-market rates on houses or apartments. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 
.Check the county auditor’s website to determine who owns the property. Be aware that scam artists may pretend to be the true owner.
.Don’t send any money until you’ve seen a property in person and/or verified that the person communicating with you is truly who he or she claims to be. 
.Be wary of landlords, property owners, or real estate professionals who say they had to leave the country quickly for business or missionary work. These kinds of claims are made often by scam artists. 
.Be wary of landlords or property managers who offer to rent property to you without gathering any information from you, such as your credit score or a background check. 
.Copy and paste an image from an online listing into a search engine to determine if it has appeared elsewhere online.
.Read and follow the scam prevention tips provided by any house or apartment-searching websites you use.  
Real estate agents and sellers can help protect their listings by watermarking their photos and reporting fraudulent postings to the website where they appeared.
In addition to rental scams, consumers also should watch out for closing-cost scams that target home buyers or sellers. In these scams, a con artist typically poses as a title office or a real estate agent and emails the home buyer or seller with instructions to wire closing costs to a certain location. The instructions seem legitimate, but the message is bogus and any money sent will go to a scammer. 
Consumers can learn more about scams or report potential scams to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.


Group Warns About Dangers of Backyard Fireworks


Independence Day and fireworks go hand in hand, but fireworks shouldn’t go in consumers’ hands. That’s the message the National Fire Protection Association is reinforcing this Fourth of July.


Fireworks annually cause devastating burns, injuries, fires, and even death, making them too dangerous to be used safely by consumers.


On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire.


U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks-related injuries; 51 percent of those injuries were to the extremities and 41 percent were to the head.



Summer Noises Can Harm Hearing


A Ball State audiologist is warning people to take precautions this summer as they enter a world filled with lawn mowers, concerts, marching bands and fireworks.


Sounds louder than 80 decibels have the potential to cause permanent damage. Yet noise created by fireworks, traffic, concerts and landscaping equipment ranges between 90 and 140 decibels.


Loud noises put children’s hearing at risk as well. Recent studies found that about 12.5 percent of American children have hearing loss caused by noise exposure.



Extra Precautions Recommended to Avoid Internet Dangers


June is National Internet Safety Month, and with data breaches, ransomware attacks, fake tech support scams, and phishing emails becoming more and more prevalent, it is becoming increasingly important to be in the know regarding internet safety.


The Consumer Fraud Advisory Group joins with the National Cyber Security Alliance in suggesting several cyber hygiene defenses including: Don’t click on links from unfamiliar sources, prevent infections by updating critical software as soon as patches or new operating system versions are available, use strong authentication, requiring more than a username and password to access accounts and make better passwords to better harden accounts against intrusions.


To obtain additional information or to report a scam, contact the BBB serving Northwest and West Central Ohio at 419-531-3116.



Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Nomination Deadline Approaching

The last chance to honor veterans who have served their communities following military service is fast approaching.

The deadline for nominations for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2017 is June 30.


The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to recognize the achievements of veterans in community service after their military service ended.


The Hall of Fame Executive Committee, made up of veterans, selects not more than 20 inductees annually. Men and women chosen for induction into the Hall come from all eras, all branches of service and all walks of life.

Nomination guidelines and forms are available at dvs.ohio.gov.



OHSAA Announces Football Regions, Schedule, Format

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the football regions and schedule format for the 2017 playoffs.


New in 2017, all playoff games during the first four rounds will be played on Friday nights. Also announced was the format for the state championship games, which will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.


The new regions and playoffs format were approved last Thursday by the OHSAA Board of Directors at their June meeting as part of the 2017 football tournament regulations.



ACT Distributes Wrong Exams, Refuses to Score

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the college entrance exam ACT sent 21 school districts incorrect test versions during the April 19th state mandated exam to high school juniors. Each test date had a different version of the test.


The testing company refused to place marks on the tests, and offered a free test to affected students on a later date.


State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria calls the jesture "unsatisfactory" and is requesting the students exams be scored to be included in college applications.



Some districts reportedly had hundreds of students impacted.


One of these schools where some 500 juniors test scores were invalidated, was Reynoldburg. School Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning said that even though the students could retake the test in the fall, it would be too late for early applicatoin deadlines.


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