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Military brides in Dayton can get a free wedding dress this week

A local organization is giving away wedding dress for military brides this week.

The third annual Marry Me Military for all military brides will take place on Sunday, May 27 in the Grand Ballroom at Holiday Inn Dayton/Fairborn. The event, offered by the United Service Organizations -Central and Southern Ohio, is open to 75 brides from noon to 3 p.m. The event has provided military brides with more than 300 free bridal gowns.

» Best state for veterans? Ohio isn’t on the list

Each bride can bring two guests. To be eligible for a complimentary wedding dress, brides must be an active duty, guard or reserve military member getting married, or the fiancé of an active duty, guard or reserve military member. If their military member is deployed, they must bring a copy of his/her orders and a short letter of introduction, along with their confirmation e-mail to be granted access to the event.

“We are excited to be able to provide wedding dresses to our military brides on their special day,” said Mia Walthers, center manager of WPAFB USO. “Often funds are low for our military members, so providing a new gown is one way our USO can show support to our new brides and help offset the expenses of the wedding. In the past, several brides told us they would have never been able to afford a dress like the one they got at the Marry Me Military events.”

Deadline to register is May 25.

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UPDATE: Developer says he has purchased Hara Arena

Michael Heitz, a Lexington-Ky.-based developer, has bought Hara Arena, Heitz said Wednesday.

Heitz said he bought the income tax liens from Montgomery County and hopes to close on further liens from banks on Friday.

RELATEDMoney troubles surround Hara Arena: What we know

Asked about his plans for Hara and its 120 or so acres of property, he said: “No 1, clean it up and secure the property.”

He declined to say what he has invested in the site thus far. 

The Dayton Daily News reported in March that Hara property owners-trustees owed back taxes and around $350,000 to banks.

Heitz typically buys distressed properties and gets them “shovel ready” for users. He said he plans a Monday afternoon press conference to discuss his purchase and his plans.

RELATEDHara redeveloper will face challenges 

Hara closed in 2016, taking with it a $36 million annual economic impact and decades of memories.

Heitz has purchased other local properties, such as the Rita Construction building in North Dayton, a former inn at Wagner Ford Road off Interstate 75 and the old Executive Lodge at 2401 Needmore Road in a similar tax lien sale.

Heitz may be best known locally for demolishing the former Howard Paper plant smokestack off Edwin C. Moses Boulevard in 2011. He said he drove by that property for years on I-75 before deciding to do something about it. He finally bought it on July 1, 2010.

RELATEDHeitz conducts business with a handshake

“I thought it gave Dayton a bad rap,” Heitz told the Dayton Daily News in 2013.

Heitz also prepared North Dayton property where Dayton Children’s Hospital is building a two-story clinic, a project that ended up mired in a legal dispute. 

Dayton Children’s Hospital sued Heitz and his firm Garrett Day LLC,  alleging the developer defrauded the hospital when it didn’t properly clear the site at the corner of Stanley Avenue and Valley Street.

LUXURY HOMES IN DAYTON AREA

PHOTOS: Check out this luxury Washington Twp. home

PHOTOS: Check out this luxury Kettering house with home theater

PHOTOS: See inside the former manstion built by Charles F. Kettering

You won’t believe the inside of this INCREDIBLE Oakwood house

This $2 million Warren County estate is a rural paradise with a resort-style pool

Want a free burrito? Here’s how to get BOGO Chipotle at local stores this week

Show your team spirit at local Chipotle stores on Friday, and you’ll get buy one, get one free burritos.

For #HockeyJerseyDay, Chipotle is offering a special deal for hockey fans. Rock your favorite hockey jersey on March 2 from 10:45am to 10 p.m. and get a buy-one, get-one free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos in honor of USA Hockey’s Hockey Weekend Across America.

» TRENDING BUSINESS NEWS: Chipotle testing new ‘trendy’ menu option

The offer is valid from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday at participating Chipotle locations.

The deal cannot be combined with other coupons, promotions, or special offers. A Chipotle spokesman told this news organization that all local stores will be participating.

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Equifax hacked again

It’s the hacking of Equifax, the sequel.

The credit reporting and monitoring bureau said Thursday it has taken one of its customer help website pages down as its security managers looked into a potential malware attack at the company.

RELATEDEquifax steps back from ‘forced arbitration’

“For several hours on Wednesday, and again early Thursday morning, the site was maliciously manipulated again, this time to deliver fraudulent Adobe Flash updates, which when clicked, infected visitors’ computers with adware that was detected by only three of 65 antivirus providers,” the web site Ars Technica reported Thursday.

RELATEDEquifax example shows what companies shouldn’t do

Equifax has been in the spotlight for admitting last month that it suffered a “cyber-security incident” that affected tens of millions of American consumers.

Last week, Equifax said that a completed review of the summer cyber-breach determined that about 2.5 million additional U.S. consumers were potentially impacted, for a total of 145.5 million people.

The earlier unauthorized access to the company’s data happened from mid-May through July this year, but the company did not alert customers until about six weeks after it was uncovered.

RELATEDSenator calls for SEC, Justice investigation into Equifax

Information stolen primarily included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and even some driver’s license numbers, the company said.

Shares of Equifax (NYSE:EFX) were down $1.32 a share to about $109.17 at about 3:10 Thursday afternoon as the market reacted to the latest mishap.

Country Concert president pledges ‘layers of security’

The president of Ohio’s Country Concert at Hickory Hill Lakes says he and his colleagues have developed “layers of security” for their summer event.

“Safety is our highest priority,” Paul Barhorst, president of Country Concert, said in a text to this news outlet. “We want fans to make friends and awesome memories in a safe, fun environment.”

RELATEDWATCH: Videos show shots fired and panic at Las Vegas concert shooting

Barhorst sent his message in the wake of a mass shooting last night at an unaffiliated country concert in Las Vegas. More than 50 people were killed and more than 400 injured in that event.

“We have developed multiple layers of security at our event over the past 37 years,” Barhorst added. “Shelby County Sheriff, John Lenhart, has been involved as our sheriff, advisor or head of our security for each event. He brings with him experience as former superintendent of Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and second-in-command at the Ohio attorney general’s office.

RELATEDWho is Stephen Paddock, the shooter killed in Las Vegas?

“He’s (Lenhart) has presided over Ohio’s crime labs, chaired Ohio’s organized crime unit and peace officers training offices,” he also said. “We continue to monitor, learn and improve our safety techniques every year and use the best safety options possible.”

Added Barhorst: “Our thoughts, prayers, love and support are with the victims, everyone in attendance, first-responders, performers and everyone involved with the event in Las Vegas.”

“We’ll look forward to hosting another fun, peaceful and safe event in July of 2018.”

Barhorst declined to comment beyond his written statement. 

The Country Concert happens every summer in Fort Laramie, about 55 miles northwest of Dayton, near Sidney.

As local restaurant boycotts NFL games, DirectTV offers fans refunds

The owner of Beef O’Brady’s restaurant in Beavercreek says he will not air NFL games at his restaurant while NFL players kneel during the national anthem.

“They need to return to respect for the flag and the anthem,” restaurant owner Bill DeFries said in an interview Wednesday. “They can certainly exercise their right to free speech — but not during that one period of time, as far as I’m concerned.”

DeFries is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. “While I respect the right of every American to express their views and voices freely, the actions demonstrated by NFL players during our country’s national anthem are offensive and disrespectful to me as a proud veteran,” DeFries said in a prepared statement.

PUBLIC RESPONDS: Restaurant owner says response to NFL boycott has been ‘overwhelming’

And CBS Sports and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that DirectTV is letting “at least some” customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite players’ national anthem protests as the reason, customer service representatives told the news outlets.

RELATEDMost Browns players kneel, stand arm-to-arm during anthem

About 150 NFL players took a knee -- or protested in some other way -- before or during the playing of the national anthem this past Sunday. Many did it to protest or call attention to what they feel are instances of racial injustice or police brutality. Others did it to express solidarity with, or support for, fellow players.

“It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel,” San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid wrote in a recent New York Times column. “We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.”

“We’ll do it indefinitely until they (NFL players) can have a conversation among themselves and maybe even include President Trump,” DeFries said in an interview. “When the national anthem is played, if you’re anywhere within earshot of that, you stop what you’re doing, and face towards the flag.”

“They need to pick the right time and place to have that protest,” he added. “We’re going to exercise our right to let them know that what they did was misguided.”

Instead of airing NFL games, DeFries said he will offer a 50-percent discount to all active-duty military and veterans on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays during all NFL games.

Asked how he will respond if his stance hurts his business, DeFries said: “We’re ready.”

He said he assured his servers and bartenders that he will compensate them “out of my own pocket” for any tips or gratuities they miss if business falls as a result of his decision.

Said DeFries: “Even though we may lose business, it’s important for us to be heard as well.”

Beef O’Brady’s is a restaurant at 3347 Seajay Drive in the Beaver Valley Shopping Center.

DeFries has owned and overseen Beef O’Brady’s restaurants in Centerville and Beavercreek for a total of nearly 14 years. He sold the Centerville location five years ago.

Bob Evans Farms has been sold for $1.5B

Post Holdings, Inc. will acquire Bob Evans Farms, Inc. for $1.5 billion, the companies announced today.

Post Holdings and Bob Evans Farms have entered into a definitive agreement in which Post will acquire Bob Evans for $77.00 per share. The deal will “significantly strengthen Post’s portfolio of brands, expand choices for customers and increase Post’s presence in higher growth categories of the packaged food market,” the company said in a statement.

» Bob Evans CEO: Restaurants will remain open

Bob Evans, which was founded in 1948 in Ohio, produces and distributes refrigerated potato, pasta and vegetable-based side dishes, pork sausage, and a variety of refrigerated and frozen convenience food items under the Bob Evans, Owens, Country Creek and Pineland Farms brands.

“We have enormous respect for Bob Evans’ success and are excited about the growth opportunities this combination will create,” said Rob Vitale, president and chief executive officer of Post Holdings. “Combining with Bob Evans expands our portfolio of top brands and gives Post a leading position in the perimeter of the store. We look forward to welcoming the talented Bob Evans team to Post and working to create a successful future together.”

» RELATED: 5 things to know about Bob Evans selling restaurants

After the acquisition, Post expects to combine its existing refrigerated retail egg, potato and cheese business with Bob Evans, establishing a refrigerated retail business within Post. That business will be led by Mike Townsley, Bob Evans’ current President and CEO. Jim Dwyer will continue in his current role as President and CEO of the Michael Foods Group, managing the commercial foodservice egg, potato and pasta businesses. That will include the Bob Evans foodservice business.

» RELATED: Bobs Evans restaurants officially sold

Bob Evans Farms Inc. has a major presence in Springfield, with a transportation center at AirparkOhio. The company opened its first distribution center at AirparkOhio in 2002, according to the park website.

» RELATED: Bob Evans sells Springfield plant

» RELATED: Bob Evans 100 adds jobs, truck center

The acquistion comes after Bob Evans Farms Inc. sold its Bob Evans Restaurants to Golden Gate Capital in May. Bob Evans sold its restaurant to the private equity firm for $565 million. Golden Gate Capital has bought the restaurant chain, and will retain the Bob Evans leadership team to guide the transition as it takes part of the company private, the company said. Net proceeds are expected to be between $475 million and $485 million, according to a company statement.

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How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift?

wedding gift needs to serve multiple purposes: You want it to say “congratulations” and avoid giving the impression that your wallet has been to one too many other celebrations this season.

There’s no easy answer to the question of how much is the right amount to spend on a wedding gift, but if you’re looking for guidance, these tips can help.

If you say no

If you’re invited to a wedding and RSVP no, you’re technically not on the hook to buy a present, according to lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann. Having something from the registry sent to the couple is a nice gesture, but not mandatory.

If you say yes

If you say yes, you’ll be expected to provide a gift. The difficult part is deciding how much to spend on it.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to compare, consider what other guests spend. The national average cash gift amount is $160, according to the 2016 Wedding Season Report by cash-giving platform Tendr, although regional averages vary. In Arkansas, the average gift is $73, while it’s $245 in Vermont.

Gift expectations also depend on your relationship: The closer you are to the bride and groom, the higher your financial obligation. “I think if you’re very good friends or family members, you’re going to probably want to give a little more than if you’re not as close to the couple,” says Diane Forden, the editor-in-chief at Bridal Guide magazine.

Another consideration? If you’re flying solo at the wedding, a smaller gift can suffice. Couples usually give more than individuals, according to Forden.

If you have other obligations

As a general rule, the more that’s required of you as a guest, the less that’s required when it comes to the gift.

“With a destination wedding, in my opinion, your presence is a present,” Swann says. “So for those who go out of their way to pay for airfare and hotel and all of the festivities around a destination wedding, then that’s your gift to the couple.”

You can also cut back on the gift if you’re in the bridal party. Between the showers, the bachelorette party and the bridesmaid dress, the whole process can be “financially crushing,” Forden says. If you’re feeling the pinch, she suggests chipping in on a group gift with your fellow bridesmaids.

» MORE: 11 affordable wedding gift ideas

If you’re on a budget

Finances always trump etiquette. There’s nothing wrong with selecting an affordable present — even if it’s the least extravagant item on the registry, or it’s not on the registry at all.

“People should never be ashamed about being fiscally responsible,” Swann says. “So if you cannot afford to get an expensive gift, then don’t do it. Hold your head up high and say, ‘You know what, my budget allowed me to get this beautiful card, and that’s it.’”

Don’t overthink it. There’s no right or wrong amount to spend on a wedding gift, and weddings aren’t about the gifts, anyway.

“The focus shouldn’t really be on gifts,” Forden says. “It shouldn’t be a gift grab. It’s a celebration of a marriage, and I do think a lot of brides and grooms are aware of that.”

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.

Does Your Spending Personality Match Your Credit Cards?

It’s easy to get caught up in credit card incentives, such as cash back, travel perks and sign-up bonuses. But if your credit cards don’t match your spending personality, you might not get the rewards you expect, or you might end up paying too much in fees.

One in five consumers carries a card that “has fees or rewards not aligned with their actual purchase habits,” according to J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction study.

And circumstances change. Even a credit card that was once compatible with your spending habits might no longer be the best fit. Identify your spending personality to determine whether the cards in your wallet are offering you the most value right now.

The jetsetter

If you travel in style often and want big rewards for your spending, a premium credit card will go further than a regular travel card. Some premium cards offer credits for airlines, hotels or airport security screening programs, as well as airport lounge access. They come with a large annual fee, but you likely spend enough to earn it back in the form of perks and a generous sign-up bonus.

The explorer

Travel is your hobby, but you’re not loyal to airline brands; you’re loyal to the best deals. General travel credit cards offer flexibility in reward redemption. Some charge annual fees, but you can often make up the cost in rewards, and the best cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees. However, travel rewards might lose value if you redeem them for anything other than travel.

The cash-back connoisseur

You like knowing the exact value of your rewards in cash, and you use plastic at every opportunity to earn more. Tiered and bonus-category cash-back credit cards offer higher rates on certain purchases and 1% on everything else. You could get more value by pairing one of these with a flat-rate cash-back card that pays 2% for all purchases. Minimalists should consider a single flat-rate cash-back card.

The balance carrier

Your paychecks aren’t always steady, so sometimes you lean on a credit card, and it’s not always possible for you to pay the balance in full every month. Still, you make sure you never miss a payment. Cash-back credit cards are tempting, but their high interest charges will outweigh your rewards. A low-interest credit card is more likely to save you money over time.

The self-starter

If you have bad credit or no credit, you probably have limited credit card options. Secured credit cards offer an opportunity for credit building. They require a security deposit that you get back after closing the account or upgrading to a regular, unsecured card. The credit limit is often relatively low, equal to the security deposit.

The survivor

You’re struggling to pay off debt, but if you have good or excellent credit, a balance transfer credit card can provide a way out. It allows you to transfer a balance from an existing credit card to take advantage of a lower interest rate. A card with a low balance transfer fee and a 0% annual percentage rate period can give you time to catch up on payments.

The optimizer

You’ll go to great lengths to get a good deal, including managing multiple credit card bills. Mixing and matching cards can be worth it as long as you save money. Just watch out for annual fees or interest.

If your credit card is no longer a match, it might be time to move on. But unless it charges an annual fee, don’t rush to close the account, because that could impact the length of your credit history — and your credit score.

Keep current cards active with the occasional, small purchase and use a new credit card to swipe your way toward your goals.

Melissa Lambarena is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: mlambarena@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @LissaLambarena.

Teachers: Here’s How to Ace Retirement Without Social Security

When it comes to saving for retirement, many teachers can’t use the standard lesson plan.

What’s different for them? Social Security coverage, or the lack thereof. About 40% of public school teachers aren’t covered by the Social Security system, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.

That goes back to the initial draft of the Social Security Act in 1935, which left state employees out in the cold. Most states have since opted into Social Security for their public-sector employees, but 15 states haven’t. In those states, teachers and other state and local government workers are exempt from paying Social Security taxes and instead typically rely on a state-run pension plan.

+ Click to expand to see a list of the 15 states States where teachers are ineligible for Social Security AlaskaLouisiana CaliforniaMaine ColoradoMassachusetts ConnecticutMissouri Georgia (some areas)Nevada IllinoisOhio Kentucky (some areas)Rhode Island (some areas) Texas Why teachers aren’t covered by Social Security

The short answer: In part, it’s because they don’t pay into the Social Security system. But in some cases, even if they’ve paid in at some point in their career, Social Security benefits — including retirement, disability and survivors benefits — could be reduced if they also have a state pension.

The retirement and disability benefit reduction is due to a rule called the Windfall Elimination Provision, which is designed to block state and local public employees from collecting a pension alongside Social Security benefits. It does that by reducing Social Security retirement benefits. A separate rule, called the Government Pension Offset, can also cut into Social Security survivors benefits.

The Windfall Elimination Provision

You might wonder how Social Security can be reduced if you weren’t covered by the program in the first place. The answer is that it can’t. The Windfall Elimination Provision doesn’t directly affect you if you’ve never paid into the Social Security system; you simply won’t receive benefits.

But if you have contributed to the system — most likely because you paid Social Security taxes in a different job — and you now work for a state or local government in a role that doesn’t participate in Social Security, the Windfall Elimination Provision could reduce any Social Security retirement or disability benefit for which you’re eligible based on that past work.

Your Social Security statements likely won’t reflect that reduction, which is based on a special calculation. The maximum monthly reduction in 2017 is $442.50, limited to one-half of your monthly pension benefit. You will be subject to a smaller cut if you have 21 or more years of “substantial earnings” from a job in which you paid Social Security taxes. If you have 30 or more years of substantial earnings, your benefits won’t be reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision.

How teachers can save for retirement

Teacher retirement options vary by state, but you’re generally offered either a pension or a defined contribution plan like a 403(b) or 457(b), or both.

Pensions have plenty of perks, most notably a guaranteed benefit in retirement that lasts as long as you live. But they’re also not without downsides. Many are underfunded or in debt, and they typically don’t travel well, requiring you to participate in the plan for a certain number of years before you’re vested (“vested” means promised the full pension benefit you’ve accumulated).

If you leave teaching or move to a different state before you meet the vesting requirement, you may forfeit any employer contributions. Contributions you’ve made — and often at least a portion of interest earned — are yours to keep. Generally, the longer you work, the larger your pension benefit.

All of this means it’s wise to supplement your pension. You can do that in a couple of ways:

1. A defined contribution plan

You may be eligible for a 403(b) or 457(b) plan alongside your pension. Both are similar to the private-sector 401(k) plan, in that they allow you to put aside money for retirement pretax. The annual contribution limit for 2017 is $18,000, with additional catch-up contributions in some cases. If you have both a 403(b) and a 457(b), those limits are separate. You may also earn employer matching contributions.

The money you contribute generally grows tax-deferred and will be taxed as income when you take distributions in retirement. Both plans may also offer a Roth individual retirement account option, which allows you to put away after-tax dollars and take retirement distributions tax-free.

One word of warning: 403(b) plans can be rife with fee pitfalls for participants, sometimes even more so than other employer-sponsored retirement plans. An analysis by human resources consultant Aon Hewitt found that those costs could add up to a cumulative leak of $10 billion annually. No matter where you invest, be sure to understand your fee costs by asking to see investment prospectuses or annuity contracts.

2. A Roth or traditional IRA

These are accounts you would open and fund on your own at an online broker. You can contribute up to $5,500 in 2017, with an extra $1,000 if you’re 50 or older.

With a traditional IRA, you make tax-deductible contributions, then pay taxes on distributions in retirement. With a Roth IRA, your contributions don’t get you an upfront tax break, but distributions in retirement are tax-free. Depending on your income, you may be able to combine IRA contributions with a 403(b) or 457(b), increasing how much you put away for retirement each year. Review the IRA contribution limits to find out, then learn how and where to open an IRA.

» IRA vs. 403(b) vs. 457(b): Get all the details in our retirement plan comparison

Arielle O’Shea is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: aoshea@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @arioshea.

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