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Northeastern News

1HomePageMap small ne 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine

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Guy Sisson, owner of Sisson’s Body Works in Delevan, NY, spent two years restoring a 1937 Packard Club Sedan for his daughter’s 2010 wedding. Recently, he entered the car in the LKQ Triplett annual calendar contest. With over 300 entries, Sisson’s car made the top 13 finalists and was assured a spot in the calendar. On Sept. 4, Sisson was notified that his car was picked as the Grand Prize winner to be featured on the calendar cover. The grand prize includes an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to be recognized at the SEMA show.

The story about Guy Sisson and his 1937 Packard began 25 years ago. A local farmer had bought it from an old farm auction where the vintage car had been stored in a barn. The farmer took it home, tore it apart and quickly realized it was much more than he could handle.

When a hybrid vehicle pulled into Audra Fordin’s repair shop for the first time three years ago, she froze.

The fourth-generation mechanic had spent her life honing her under-the-hood skills, but realized she was ill-equipped for the influx of high-tech, fuel efficient cars that were gaining traction.

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Keith and Ken Romig, who own Morgantown Auto Parts, celebrated 25 years in business by offering a free lunch to the public on Sept. 6.

Sandwiches, cold salads, drinks, and snacks were offered under several tents and tables set up in the shop parking lot. Parked cars overflowed onto South Mulberry Street as dozens of patrons came and went. Some were passing through and helped themselves to a soft drink and a scoop of macaroni salad, while others came to enjoy a meal and congratulate the Romigs and their employees on a quarter century of good commerce.

Ken Romig, co-owner and President of the Morgantown NAPA, first began working at the shop at 108 S. Mulberry St. as a summer job between his college classes. Once he finished with school in 1987, Ken, along with his father Lester, purchased the business (then a Big A Auto Parts) from its owner, John Zajac. In 1998 the shop changed to a NAPA franchise and Keith, who was employed at the shop, came in as a co-owner in 1999 following the passing away of Lester Romig. Regardless of the brand on the sign, the Romig’s have always tied a portion of their success to their employee’s experience.

Police have accused an alleged career burglar with a string of area burglaries and burglary attempts, including the attempted burglary of a body shop.

On Aug. 15 at 7:30 a.m., Dobb’s Autobody employees told police that a burglar unsuccessfully tried to pry open two of the body shop’s storage sheds. In addition, they reported the burglar stole a car from the lot and used it to smash open the body shop’s gate.

Detectives discovered a lone suspect scaled the fence and left behind a bicycle. A statewide alert was issued on the burglary and the description of the stolen car, a 2003 Ford Taurus.

New York authorities recently announced that a Long Island, NY, man was arrested and charged with multiple felonies after allegedly stealing more than $648,000 in premiums from a client and spending the money on country club memberships, luxury car payments, and gambling trips.

Joseph Koch, 54, was arrested by Nassau County district attorney’s investigators and charged with three counts of grand larceny in the second degree, grand larceny in the third degree, and scheme to defraud in the first degree.

In an exchange of several letters between body shop owner Don Harvey of International Collision Service in Englewood, NJ, and State Farm, the problem of material reimbursement is yet to be answered.

Harvey initiated the request in a letter to State Farm CEO Ed Rust in February 2012 to address what he felt was an inadequate paint and materials reimbursement rate. Despite State Farm responding to his queries, Harvey says he still hasn’t received a satisfactory answer to how the reimbursement rate was determined from a “yes or no” question on the insurer’s survey. The yes or no question on the survey he referred to is, “Do you use an automated paint and materials rate calculator?”