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Former Dayton television journalist Asa George dead at 34

In Dayton Ohio News, Local News, Media, National News, News Media, State News, Uncategorized, World News on September 12, 2013 at 9:34 pm
Asa George

Asa George, on the set of Fox 45 / ABC 22 News, May 2008. Photo by Gery L. Deer

By Gery L. Deer

Editor, The Jamestown Comet

Former Dayton broadcast journalist Asa George was found dead in her suburban Milwaukee home on September 6 after family members expressed concerns to police regarding her safety. According to a report by the Milwaukee Journal, George’s father, who lives in California, had been unable to reach the 34-year-old for four days and called the local police to check on her.

CBS television affiliate WDJT-TV cited a Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office report stating that firefighters entered the home through a window where they found a badly decomposed female body in a tub full of water. A malnourished boxer dog, two empty vodka bottles and numerous prescription medications were reportedly discovered as well. The body was positively identified as that of Asa George on September 12 after dental records were received from Dayton.

The Journal reported that relatives informed investigators that George had battled alcoholism for several years. Family members reportedly told police that her career had suffered greatly because of her drinking problem, and she had received treatment for it several times.

A press release provided by the West Allis Police Department stated, “Officers, detectives and members of the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating to determine the circumstances surrounding this incident to include positive identification and cause/manner of death.”  Although identification has been confirmed, the medical examiner’s office has yet to release a cause of death pending toxicology results.

Asa George was the cover story for the May 29, 2008 edition of the Times Community Newspapers' "Your Home" magazine, written by Gery L. Deer

Asa George was the cover story for the May 29, 2008 edition of the Times Community Newspapers’ “Your Home” magazine, written by Gery L. Deer

Early risers became acquainted with George in 2004, when she became co-anchor on the WKEF-ABC22/WRGT-Fox45 morning news programs. In 2008, Xenia Daily Gazette columnist Gery L. Deer interviewed George for a special spotlight cover story in the Times Community’s Your Home magazine where she opened up about her life and career.

“I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but only lived there about a year before moving to Houston, Texas,” she said. “I graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism and then on to the University of Salamanca in Spain where I studied Art History and Spanish.” Prior to coming to the Miami Valley, George worked as a reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Austin, Texas.

At the time of the Your Home interview, George seemed content to call Dayton home. “Dayton has been a great place for me,” George said. “I have grown professionally, and people here have been so nice and welcoming. I love the fact that I get to meet so many people, whether through reporting or at charity events.”

George was an avid animal lover and regularly volunteered for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, doing everything from acting as master of ceremonies at local events to fostering a puppy.  For three consecutive years, she hosted the Furry Scurry and Hair Ball fundraiser events. “Anything the Humane Society needs me to do, I am there for them,” she told Your Home. George was also a great supporter of the local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Television journalism can be an overwhelmingly busy job, but while in Dayton, George always seemed to find time for friends and family. “I love to spend time with friends and eating out; sushi is my favorite, and I also enjoy cooking,” she once said.

Other relaxing time, she explained, was devoted to more active personal endeavors such as riding her motorcycle, painting and lifting weights.  “I also enjoy boxing and riding my motorcycle,” she said. “I also love to travel.” George left Dayton in 2009 and returned to Wisconsin where she held her anchor position at channel 58, WDJT-TV in Milwaukee, before she became a freelancer in 2011.

During her short broadcast career, George was recognized several times for outstanding work. In 2004, she received the Nebraska Associated Press Award for General News and in 2006 was honored by the Ohio Associated Press.

IMG_6310Editorial Note: I had the privilege of knowing Asa George, but only for a very short time. She was always pleasant, fun and thoughtful, a credit to our profession. In light of this terrible tragedy, I hope she finally has peace and wish for everyone to keep her memory bright and honor her life. She will be missed.

– Gery L. Deer

Shocking! Power companies mislead consumers.

In Business, Children and Family, Economy, Opinion, Senior Lifestyle, Technology, Uncategorized on September 4, 2013 at 9:39 am


Today, everyone is trying to save money. From groceries to utilities, we are all looking for a way to hold on to every dollar, particularly our seniors and others on fixed or limited incomes. Unfortunately, some companies are taking advantage of tough times by promising extensive savings on electric bills by switching to third party power suppliers.

Three years ago, my father’s electric bill was increasingly high. I had seen information on a company called “DPL Energy,” being advertised as a partner to Dayton Power and Light (DP&L), offering as much as a 25 percent savings. So, we signed up for the program and DPL Energy became our official service provider.

Confusingly, the electricity bill still comes from DP&L. As time went on, the savings was negligible and outweighed by a definite increase in additional fees for using the outside provider.

IMG_6295Essentially, these companies are “resellers” who broker DP&L’s electric power at a lower rate. Your electricity still originates with the main provider and you continue to call them for outages, emergencies and so on. Plus, once you’re signed up, they make it extremely hard to go back.

Much like cellular phone contracts, if you leave one of these third party plans, there is a termination fee or you must wait until the contract expires – and even then there may be a charge. Having saved nothing, we waited, and finally cancelled the plan. About a year after we left DPL Energy’s plan, my father was apparently signed up with another one of these companies called IGS Energy, although, we have no clear idea how.

According to IGS, someone came to his house and “signed him up by phone.” You read that right. We were told he was signed up in person, but the salesman called in the request for service. First, I don’t believe that anyone went all the way out to where he lives in the middle of nowhere on a cold call without getting any sort of signature verifying his enrollment. I am still investigating this part of the story.

In the end, dad made a couple of late payments and IGS dropped him anyway, but here’s where things get really expensive. According to the DP&L representative I spoke to, since we were signed up with a third party provider, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) requires DP&L to charge a deposit equal to 130 percent of your average monthly usage. Dad’s deposit fee was over $600. You are essentially being punished for having left the behemoth power company.

Most dangerous of all is the fact that the only requirements to sign up for these misleading programs is your power company account number and the word “yes” anywhere in your conversation with them. Imagine a telemarketer speaking to an elderly person or someone hard of hearing and saying, “I am calling about your DP&L bill.” That’s all they’re going to hear. Panic, concern and fear take over and they listen to whatever the caller has to say because they are afraid of losing power for some reason. It’s really despicable.

Additionally, my investigation turned up the fact that these third party companies are unregulated by the PUCO. There was no explanation as to why there is no oversight, but nothing about their operation is managed by a government agency.

Since DPL Energy is misleadingly branded alongside DP&L while simultaneously claiming not to be the same company, it seems more to me like a way for the mammoth power provider to collect unregulated revenue with plausible deniability. Perhaps Ohio Attorney General DeWine could tear himself away from snooping in the personal records of honest citizens and focus his resources on investigating unscrupulous power companies?

The moral here is to be careful. In my experience, there is no savings with these third-party power companies. Exorbitant fees, inconsistent billing practices and misleading advertising all outweigh any potential benefit.


Watch the news story on this topic with Gery L. Deer and WKEF-TV, ABC 22 Dayton …