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NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | August 4, 2012
When Donovan and Laura Bachtell put their luxury three-bedroom town home up for sale in 2008, they had no idea of the bargain-basement fever the recession was causing. “We just thought it would sell. I don't think we thought about how long it might take,” Donovan Bachtell said last week. The property, in the Arborgate development north of Hagerstown, didn't sell until this spring, but that isn't what angers Bachtell. “Honestly, the worst was the first offer from (one Realtor)
NEWS
By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | August 27, 2010
Few people have been unscathed by the gnarly fingers of the recession. The hardest hit have been mangled by lost jobs, homes and savings. Other have just been grazed by pay freezes amid inflation, reduced or eliminated employer retirement contributions, frozen credit lines or altered insurance coverage. Perhaps one of the most subtle symptoms of the recession is what I think of as the incredible shrinking product. In an effort of survive skyrocketing production costs, manufacturers have been faced with a choice: raise product prices or reduce package sizes.
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | May 18, 2013
One thing Ed Grimes hates about his current work schedule is trying to explain it to others. “It's confusing,” he said. Since being laid off in 2009 after nearly four decades at Hagerstown's Noland Company, the 61-year-old Funkstown man has been jockeying between jobs at two stores and one school or another around the county, while piecing things back together financially. Yet Grimes, like some other area victims of the recession, feels lucky to be working now, especially considering how tough the economy has been.
NEWS
January 19, 2009
A study by the National Park Service and Michigan State University has shown that the country's national parks are a valuable asset during the current recession, drawing thousands of visitors and propping up local economies. Visitors to National Park Service sites last year helped support more than 200,000 jobs and spent $11.8 billion in gift shops and nearby businesses such as hotels, restaurants and gas stations, according to the study. Visitors staying outside of the parks in motels, hotels, cabins and bed-and-breakfasts accounted for 55 percent of the total spending.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | November 16, 2011
The United States is no longer in a recession, but recovery has been slow. So slow, in fact, an increase of 2.5 percent in gross domestic product, a common measure of economic health, has been called a "growth spurt. " If the economy is going to build momentum, the housing market, which has stalled, will have to participate, economist Anirban Basu said Wednesday night during his annual Washington County Economic Summit presentation. Close to 200 people attended the summit at Fountain Head Country Club near Hagerstown.
NEWS
By Robert A. "Bob" Poor | December 11, 2009
Q. Most of what I read about SCORE has to do with small business startups. We are a small, five-employee company in business a little more than two years. Can SCORE help us weather this current recession? A. Absolutely. Call us at 301-739-2015 to register for a free counseling session with one of our small-business counselors. Help us understand the nature of the assistance you seek for the company. Our volunteer counselors are available to evaluate needs and provide guidance to assist with your specific business needs.
NEWS
May 12, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The financial health of Social Security and Medicare, the government's two biggest benefit programs, worsened in the past year because of the severe recession. Trustees of the two programs said Tuesday that Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2016, one year sooner than projected last year, and the giant trust fund will be depleted by 2037, four years sooner. The trustees said Medicare was in even worse shape.
NEWS
May 5, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Tuesday that the economy should pull out of a recession and start growing again later this year. But in prepared testimony to Congress' Joint Economic Committee, Bernanke warned that even after a recovery gets under way, economic activity is likely to be subpar. That means businesses will stay cautious about hiring, driving up the nation's unemployment rate and causing "further sizable job losses" in the coming months, he said.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | March 7, 2009
HAGERSTOWN -- Despite the recession, hundreds of people flocked to Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center Saturday to attend the 24th annual Home Show. Debi Turpin, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Washington County, said 186 vendors paid about $500 per booth to participate. "We have had an amazing turnout today," Turpin said. "It's grown to become an event. " Participating vendors sold everything from showers to swing sets.
NEWS
March 27, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says consumers increased spending for a second straight month in February even though their incomes slipped due to continuing massive layoffs. The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in February, in line with expectations. That follows a huge 1 percent jump in January that was even better than the 0.6 percent rise originally reported. But the report says incomes fell by 0.2 percent in February, the fourth drop in the past five months, declines that reflected the sizable number of job layoffs that have been occurring because of the recession.
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NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | August 11, 2013
In July, almost 25 years to the day he and his wife bought their first house to fix up and flip for a profit, Tim Fields was back at that same property. But this time, with his house-flipping days long over and the recession having dismantled his small empire as one of Washington County's top custom homebuilders, Fields was back for a different reason - to power wash the back porch. Quite an economic comedown for the man who was president of the Home Builders Association of Washington County from 2004 through 2007.
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NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | June 2, 2013
Nationwide, there's “somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 businesses that call themselves residential cleaning companies, whether they have one employee or 50 employees,” according to Ernie Hartong, executive director of the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International. The organization, possibly the only one of its kind in the United States, is based in Columbus, Ohio, and has about 600 member companies. Each has from one to 50 employees. Launched 10 years ago, the association provides businesses with the latest information on such topics as “how to clean all the exotic surfaces people have in their homes right now,” Hartong said.
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | May 18, 2013
One thing Ed Grimes hates about his current work schedule is trying to explain it to others. “It's confusing,” he said. Since being laid off in 2009 after nearly four decades at Hagerstown's Noland Company, the 61-year-old Funkstown man has been jockeying between jobs at two stores and one school or another around the county, while piecing things back together financially. Yet Grimes, like some other area victims of the recession, feels lucky to be working now, especially considering how tough the economy has been.
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | May 18, 2013
Unlike many Americans, Ruby Harley didn't lose work during the recession. In fact, the Inwood, W.Va., woman gained work - holding two jobs at the same time before the recession, three jobs simultaneously during the recession and two jobs now. Harley, 42, likes the life, working seven days a week or very long five-day weeks for years. “There's a saying I was told by my father,” Harley said. “The day you start slowing down is when everything - like, your health can go down - catches up to you. And so, I'm not slowing down.” Plus, having been divorced twice and raising two children, Ruby has needed the extra income.
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | May 4, 2013
As the longtime president of a Hagerstown furniture manufacturing company, David C. Beachley has seen a lot of curves and sharp edges in the numbers that define his business. The worst of the extremes in the number of people he employs has come fairly recently. “We went from 65 to 14 (workers) pretty quick during the recession,” Beachley said late last month. “It was pretty rough there for a while.” But now, because of big changes in the kinds of furniture his employees were willing to learn to make, Beachley Furniture Co. Inc. has not only survived the recession, but is hiring again.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | April 3, 2013
A circuit judge said Wednesday he needed more information before sentencing a woman who pleaded no contest in September 2012 to child neglect resulting in the death of her 2-month-old son, Jaxon. Twenty-third Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III said he heard some things in Wednesday's sentencing hearing for Jessica Skupnick, 24, that prompted him to recess the proceeding until April 9 so the court could obtain the unspecified information. Wednesday's hearing lasted more than two hours and included testimony by Skupnick, who faces a maximum of three to 15 years in prison, and her paternal grandmother.
NEWS
By ARNOLD PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | September 2, 2012
In the mid-1700s, British soldiers on the way to battle might have marched right past the property on the old road crossing South Mountain. A century later, just after a battle nearby, Civil War armies did rush past on the same road, barely 12 paces away from the front door of the property's new log farmhouse. Today, the new battle threatening the old log house, barn and outbuildings at 20725 Reno Monument Road is the nation's ongoing economic struggle. With its owner in bankruptcy, the property has deteriorated.
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | August 4, 2012
When Donovan and Laura Bachtell put their luxury three-bedroom town home up for sale in 2008, they had no idea of the bargain-basement fever the recession was causing. “We just thought it would sell. I don't think we thought about how long it might take,” Donovan Bachtell said last week. The property, in the Arborgate development north of Hagerstown, didn't sell until this spring, but that isn't what angers Bachtell. “Honestly, the worst was the first offer from (one Realtor)
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | July 7, 2012
It's dinnertime, but the big white-bricked restaurant building with green canopies outside and polished wood furnishings inside is silent, dark and empty. The Hagerstown restaurant, long open as Burhans Station under one ownership and more recently as Vito's under another, has been closed for months - seemingly another sign of dreams lost as the nation has struggled through economic recession. But at this former restaurant and at several other places in Washington County and beyond, there is rebirth and new hope among people who are seeing the has-been locations as fresh opportunities for business.
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | July 7, 2012
When John Walla opened Black Eyed Susan restaurant near Hagerstown in January 2008, he had “not a clue” that the nation's economy had just sunk into recession. “Hindsight's 20/20,” Walla said last week. “I might have went a different direction” had he realized what was happening, he said. But Walla's restaurant has survived and, this past April, with the economy still shaky, the Hagerstown native opened a second - in the storefront where a sports restaurant and pub closed in 2009.
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