Nationwide rail traffic prompts layoffs at auto export facility in Aberdeen

A nationwide shortage of trains has prompted huge cuts in staffing at the Pasha Automotive Group in Aberdeen. General Manager Matt Rausch [rash] tells KBKW that layoffs in the auto export business are not unusual – and not the first for Grays Harbor, but this time it’s mostly due to a shortage of rail cars and locomotives used to transport Chryslers from their Ohio plant.

Rausch said over the past 2 weeks they’ve laid off 55 employees, while others have been relocated, and about 20 remain at their detailing and body shop in Aberdeen. If they get cars for their automobiles, they hope to have everyone back mid-June.

Rausch said “Chrysler is looking at getting a dedicated line for us, but the shortage has affected shipments,” adding that Pasha is shipping from their East coast sites, including a new facility in Portsmouth. “The Virginia and Baltimore shipments take a lot longer to get to the Asian markets, but we’re still expecting record exports from Grays Harbor for 2014.” Rausch noted that the Aberdeen site exported a record 104-thousand Jeeps and Chryslers in 2013, and they are on track to export a projected 112-thousand this year.

New scam sweeping US, hoping you return the call after “One Ring”

First recognized by Better Business Bureaus on the East Coast, the “One Ring” phone scam is now being reported across the United States. As an industry leader in identifying and tracking emerging scam trends, BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington is alerting the public to this simple—yet extremely effective—ploy that can result in unauthorized charges on wireless statements.

Automated dialers blast thousands of random calls to mobile numbers that are gleaned from public listings or obtained from black market dealers—who hustle “sucker lists”—but disconnect after one ring. The scammers count on call recipients to notice the missed calls in call logs and return them out of curiosity.

However, return calls are often directed to expensive international hotlines—sometimes peddling “adult entertainment”—that can charge upwards of $19.95 to connect plus additional costs per minute. Charges typically appear on month-end statements as “premium services.”

Consumers and businesses report calls from several different area codes:

  • Dominican Republic—809
  • Jamaica—876
  • British Virgin Islands—284
  • Grenada—473

 

The illegal process of sneaking unapproved charges onto phone bills is referred to as “cramming” by the Federal Trade Commission, and is one of the most common consumer complaints in America.

While it is unlikely that recipients will be billed for accepting incoming calls, wireless carriers assume that users accept charges by voluntarily returning calls. BBB reminds consumers to not be dumb with smartphones:

  • Never return calls to unfamiliar foreign numbers.
  • Regularly check wireless statements and immediately report discrepancies.
  • Add phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry and report violations.

For more information on the latest scams, visit BBB’s Scam Source.

McChord role in Haiti relief grows

Two additional aircrews were transported aboard the C-17 to Charleston. The Airman will fly additional C-17s from Charleston in support of ongoing relief operations. Each augmented aircrew includes an aircraft commander, two pilots and two loadmasters.

From Charleston Jan. 17, a McChord C-17 was rapidly loaded with 116,000 pounds of bottled water and food for the Haitian people and quickly dispatched to Port-au-Prince. On departure from Haiti, the McChord aircrew evacuated 180 people to Orlando, Fla. McChord Airmen and C-17s continue to support additional humanitarian airlift requirements from east coast locations.

"The United States Air Force is in dedicated, close coordination with other U.S. government agencies and international partners to ensure necessary relief supplies, equipment and personnel get where they are most needed in Haiti," said Col. Kevin J. Kilb, 62nd Airlift Wing commander.

"McChord Airmen are proud to be part of this humanitarian effort," said Colonel Kilb. "Our ability to conduct these operations is due to the partnership and expertise of both the Active duty and Reserve Airmen here at McChord."

Aircraft are flown by active duty Air Mobility Command Airmen and Air Force Reserve Command Airmen, respectively, of the 62nd AW and 446th Airlift Wing here.