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1HomePageMap small mw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

The owner of a mechanical repair shop in Milwaukee, WI will serve a maximum seven years in prison for shooting a customer in the leg.

Anthony Wayne Smith is the owner of four companies, including Precision Custom Car Care and Unique Custom Car Care.

Surveillance video confirms Smith fired a single shot into a customer’s leg following a verbal altercation.

“I was aiming at the floor to scare the guy.  I didn’t know he was shot until the next day when my lawyer called me because I locked the door.  He was walking away, so I figured he was okay.  He was leaving the building and the customers were safe. I didn’t know I shot him,” Smith said.

While Smith serves time, his wife, Allison, will run their four businesses.

A $50,000 grant would go a long way for the Collision Repair program at the Warren County Career Center in Lebanon, OH.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation offers a $50,000 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant to “honor a school that has been doing an outstanding job in educating students in collision repair, but needs some financial assistance to improve their program’s teaching materials and equipment,” according to the foundation.

Items covered by the grant could include a resistance welder, air compressor as well as wrenches, screwdrivers and other tools.

A Michigan car dealership owner will turn over his business to new owners later this month, but there was something he had to do first.

As he transitions into retirement, Howard Cooper wanted to thank his employees, so he surprised them with ‘thank you’ checks. He gave all 89 employees $1,000 for every year they worked at the Howard Cooper Import Center in Ann Arbor, located on South State Street north of Eisenhower Parkway.

Cooper said he hopes “it makes a difference in their lives like they have made in mine.”

Cooper, 83, sold his dealership in April to Ohio-based Germain Motor Company. Details on the transaction haven’t been available.

The Ohio-based Choice Autobody Repair Association (CARA) has partnered with Collision Billing Services, a company designed to assist collision repairers in getting full payment from insurers on behalf of their customers.

“This seemed like the perfect fit for CARA,” said CARA President Rick Finney. “Given the restraints that are put on us as an association by anti-trust legislation, our partnership with CBS will allow us to accomplish our long-term goals in a short amount of time. The key is that CBS is not bound by the same restraints shop owners are.”

Thursday, 20 September 2012 17:06

Widowed Mom Gets Car from Dieterich, IL Body Shop

A widowed, single mother from Wheeler, IL, won a red 1999 Chrysler Town and Country from Probst Auto Body of Dieterich, IL, as part of a national program called Wheels to Prosper.

“Getting that car lifted a huge financial burden,” Debra Whitehurst said. “It truly was the answer to my prayers.”

A Galesburg, IL, body shop owner recently installed an electric vehicle charging station that he says customers and local residents can use. The station is one way to go green, and also get more people into his shop.

Dave’s Auto Body owner Dave Dunn is offering service to anyone who needs to charge their vehicle, but especially to those who might need work done there, too.
“Primarily, I see it as a marketing tool for Galesburg and also for our company, Dave’s Auto Body,” Dunn said.

Another need for the charging station is due to the Nissan Leaf in their rental fleet.

“It’s stunning,” Dunn said. “I had a lot of people who were pretty hesitant or skeptical here at Dave’s. Now, people are kind of fighting for it. ‘Hey, can I drive the electric car to go do this errand?’ It’s really fun to drive, and it’s quite luxurious, surprisingly.”

There are no other electric vehicle charging stations in the immediate area, which had local tourism officials expressing interest in Dave Dunn’s efforts, too.