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Bill Lackey

Bill Lackey has always enjoyed photography and writing, so photojournalism seemed like a great way to combine both for him.

He was born and raised in Dayton where he graduated from Northridge High School. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University.

Latest from Bill Lackey

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Report: These are the gift cards people want this holiday season

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Gift cards remain the top requested gift for eight consecutive years, reports personal finance website GOBankingRates.com.

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In a new report, the finance website surveyed gift card options from 30 major retailers — using 10 factors — to rank the 10 best and five worst retail gift cards for 2015.

“Gift cards can make it much easier to get through your holiday shopping list, but our study shows that not all gift cards are winners,” said Elyssa Kirkham, lead reporter on the GOBankingRates study, in a release. “The best gift cards stood out by offering a convenient and cheap way to give with features like free shipping or the option to send a gift card digitally. Some retailers even reward customers who buy and use their gift cards.”

GOBankingRates.com considered criteria including purchase fees, expiration dates, reward options, balance requirements and shipping options in creating the ranking list, according to a press release.

Best Gift Cards of 2015:

  1. Nordstrom
  2. Amazon
  3. Walmart
  4. Starbucks
  5. Lowe’s
  6. Macy’s
  7. JCPenney
  8. Target
  9. Toys“R”Us
  10. Best Buy

Worst Gift Cards of 2015:

  1. MasterCard
  2. American Express
  3. Ikea
  4. eBay
  5. H&M

Read more here.

Gold coin valued at $1,200 dropped in Salvation Army bucket

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The Salvation Army in Springfield, Ohio hopes an unusual donation will inspire the community to give back this holiday season.

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On Nov. 25, someone dropped a gold coin wrapped in a $100 bill into the charity’s kettle outside a local Kroger supermarket, Springfield Salvation Army Resource Development Coordinator Ryan Ray said.

The 1-ounce pure gold coin is a 1978 South African Krugerrand and is valued at about $1,200, Ray said.

“It seems like every year we’re surprised with what’s put into our kettle,” he said. “We have no hint of who did this, which kind of makes it cool.”

The organization says that for every dollar donated to the Salvation Army in Clark County in Ohio, 83 cents goes back to the community.

According to Ray, it is the biggest fundraiser by the Salvation Army each year, and the goal is to bring in about $130,000.

So far, the Springfield chapter has raised more than $40,000.

“We’re relying on the community to maybe dig a little deeper and kind of make up for the loss,” Ray said, comparing the funds to the amount raised last year.

Larry Jones Sr., a Springfield man who donated at the same Kroger where the gold coin was dropped, said he’s benefited from the services the charity provides.

“Once my daughter went to their martial arts program,” Jones said. “You never know when you might need help or support from the Salvation Army.”

Here's how to get a $1 sub at Jimmy John's

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How does a $1 sub sound to you?

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You'll have the chance to get a $1 sub at participating Jimmy John's locations on Thursday as part of its Customer Appreciation Day.

The deal will be available in-store only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 21.

What sandwiches are eligible for the $1 deal?

  • Sandwiches #1-#6, BLT and Slims are eligible

For more info, visit Jimmy John's Customer Appreciation Day FAQs.

Legendary Ohio Players member dies

A Dayton, Ohio, funk music pioneer has died.

Ohio Players bassist Marshall "Rock" Jones died in Houston on Friday , his daughters Donna Williams and Charlotte Phillips confirmed. 

"We appreciate all of the support and prayers,” Williams said. “We lost not only a father, a grandfather and an uncle, we lost an icon to the community and an icon to his family.”

James "Diamond" Williams,  the Ohio Players' leader, said Jones will be missed. 

“He was inventive, and he was creative.  He was a great musician,” Williams said. “Marshall Jones contributed greatly, and we will miss him.”

He was 75. 

Jones was with the Ohio Players during the height of the legendary band’s success. 

He was a member when the group started in Dayton in 1959 as the Ohio Untouchables.

Williams said Jones had battled cancer and had suffered a recent stroke. 

From their beginnings in Dayton, The Ohio Players gained international acclaim with a long list of hits that include "Fire," "Love Rollercoaster," "I Wanna be Free," "Pain," "Funky Worm," "Skin Tight," "Honey" and "Sweet Sticky Thing."

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Wind-damaged Young’s Jersey Dairy cow moooooves back to iconic sign

This one is a mooooving tale.

On Friday, Jersey Girl — Young’s Jersey Dairy’s famous cow statue — was placed back on the sign she was blown from during heavy winds April 2.

Fans were relieved when the fiberglass cow was returned to her throne using a special crane during a celebration Friday evening at the dairy farm near Yellow Springs.

The cow-raising went off without a hitch — except for the moment a screw was lost.

About 25 people witnessed the event up close, while many others captured the action with their phones as they drove past the dairy along U.S. 68.

Young’s CEO Dan Young said he knew there would be a lot of interest in the cow, but he was truly blown away by the public response after the storm damage.

He encouraged his staff to use their imaginations to keep fans updated.

“They got creative and really silly, he said.”

Young’s Marketing Manager Angela Rayner said maintenance workers Bill Whittaker and Chuck Fagan doctored the cow.

Whittaker was able to fabricate replacements or repair all the missing or broken parts. He created a paint to match Jersey’s color.

Together, the three employees worked to share on social media funny photos and updates about the cow’s condition and recovery under the care of “Cow Specialists Bill and Chuck,” who donned face masks and pretended to give the Jersey Girl statue milk through an IV, for example.

The cow had been on its sign for 40 years, but not uninterrupted, Rayner explained.

 

”She’s taken down every three to five years for routine painting and maintenance,” Rayner said.

But the storm marked the first time nature caused the cow to fall.

Its tail, hoof, horn and ear were broken. The ear has not been found.

About 100 fans took photos with the cow statue Thursday before it was to be returned to its rightful place.

Many others made comments about the cow on social media.

A few even came out to the dairy to watch the cow return to its resting spot.

Makayla and Wyatt Anderkin, ages 8 and 7 of Springfield, could not pass up the opportunity to see the cow re-installed and attended Friday’s event along with their mother, Babette.

They had been watching the saga unfold on Facebook — from Jersey’s spa day to the time she met Young’s other cows on a walker.

“It got a massage,” Makayla said.

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