State Names Top Five Investment Scams

This year’s top five investment scams highlight the importance of educating Ohio investors not only during April’s observance of National Financial Literacy Month, but year-round.  Con artists and scams are a major focus for the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Securities in 2010, which launched the statewide “Con Artist” public awareness campaign in February.

Group Urges Rejection Of FirstEnergy Rate Plan

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) should reject an agreement among FirstEnergy, the PUCO staff and others to establish an electric security plan from June 2011-May 2014. The PUCO should instead issue a decision on the utility’s pending market rate offer case, the Office of the Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) said in testimony filed last week.

The OCC has concerns about many issues proposed under FirstEnergy’s electric security plan agreement. They include:

Financial Peace Offered At Marion Church

Many people struggle with debt while others may feel financially stable but haven’t properly planned for the future. Either way, organizers say Financial Peace University can help.

Bill Hopes E-Books Will Save Students Money

Saying it could save more than 50 percent on the cost of textbooks, some House Democrats want to give Ohio college students the chance to trade in their piles of expensive books for laptops or other electronic readers.

Under the bill, which the Columbus Dispatch is reporting, the regents would have two years to require publishers to electronic versions of textbooks. Publishers also would be required to provide textbook formats for students with disabilities.

Textbook costs have increased an average of 6 percent per year from 1986 to 2006 and have risen 10 percent a year since.

Columbia Gas Is Offering Bill Assistance

Bill-paying assistance remains available from Columbia Gas of Ohio for households earning between 175 and 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines, according to the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC).

The funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis to help Columbia Gas customers who have traditionally not had access to other state assistance programs. The OCC, Columbia Gas and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio reached an agreement to distribute refunds from an interstate pipeline supplier to assist low-income customers.