Bikes, craft beer to ride tandem at new downtown Middletown business

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 9:14 AM

Set to roll into Middletown this May is Spoken Bicycles, a business that promises “bikes, gears and craft beer.

Located at 1201 Central Ave. in Middletown, the business will offer basic and advanced bicycle maintenance, top-of-the-line bicycle brands and local craft beer on tap starting May 5, according to owner Otto Bohn, of Middletown.

“Definitely the opportunity was there with it being an entertainment district and the liquor licenses available,” Bohn said. “I’ve seen this in a couple of other bike shops that are mostly on the West Coast, that kind of combine bike shop and bar or bike shop and coffee shop.”

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Combining the two “adds another level” to the 1,400-square-foot business, he said.

“It helps keep it busy in the off season,” Bohn said. “It’s a very seasonal sport.”

Besides, he said: “Bikes and beer go together.”

“You go for ride, come back and have a beer,” Bohn said. “We just want to create that kind of environment.”

Bohn said he decided to locate the business in its downtown Middletown because of all the new businesses opening there.

“We’ve seen all the revitalization that’s happening and definitely wanted to be a part of that,” he said. “There’s a lot of great things happening, especially for the bike part of it. It’s a couple of minutes from the bike path.”

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Ohio ranks low in U.S. for military retirees, report shows

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 11:00 AM
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 11:12 AM

            Participants and company officials talk during RecruitMilitary’s All-Veteran Career Fair in 2016 in southwest Ohio. CONTRIBUTED

Ohio ranks 35th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for the best places for military retirees to live, the website WalletHub has determined.

In a report released Monday, WalletHub cited three main areas it ranked to reach the conclusion: economic environment, quality of life and health care.

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The ranking was a slight nudge upward for Ohio, which was ranked 36 in a 2014 WalletHub report.

In 2017, Florida was judged the best state for military retirees and the District of Columbia was ranked at the bottom of the list, just below New Jersey, WalletHub said.

Ohio, which exempts military retirement pay from the state’s income tax, scored first for a lack of state taxes on military pensions, and got another first place for the presence of veteran treatment courts, according to WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.

The Buckeye State’s lowest score was for the number of military bases and installations per 100,000 veterans, ranking 43rd nationally, according to Gonzalez.

Ohio has about 47,000 military retirees, and more than 20,700 of those served in the Air Force, the most of any service branch, according to the most recently released Department of Defense figures.

A military retiree generally has served 20 years or more in uniform to receive a full pension and retirement benefits. Ohio has nearly 800,000 veterans who served in the armed forces.

Among states bordering Ohio, Pennsylvania ranked the 16th best place for military retirees, followed by Michigan holding the 23rd spot, Indiana at 37th and West Virginia near the bottom in 45th place, the report said.

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The analysis examined 22 indicators among three equally judged categories to come up with a score to determine “retirement friendliness toward veterans.”

WalletHub researchers also looked at Defense Department contracts per capita; job opportunities and hiring preference for veterans; housing affordability and cost of living, among several factors to determine economic environment.

Among highlights of qualify of life issues, the report investigated the share of homeless veterans; VA benefit administration facilities; recreation and leisure activities; quality of universities; and “idealness of weather.”

In health care, issues evaluated included the number and quality of VA health facilities; federal, state, local, private hospitals and doctors per capita; and the presence of veterans treatment courts.

In one past Nerd Wallet survey, a Dayton region suburb has scored highly for veterans. The website named Beavercreek the best place for veterans in 2015, highlighting economic opportunity, support from veterans service organizations and the proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Dayton VA Medical Center.

The man who helped build Dayton says farewell to architecture firm

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 9:04 AM

Architects for LWC Incorporated pose in 1986. CONTRIBUTED

At the age of 83, the man who helped build the city that stands today is retiring from one of Dayton’s most prominent architecture firms.

After 54 years at Dayton-based LWC Inc., Richard Roediger is saying farewell to the career that gifted some of the finest architectural delights in the region. LWC Inc., formerly named Lorenz & Williams, has been at the helm of dozens of major projects — tenderly renovating historic buildings and erecting large-scale, one-of-a-kind projects.

“I’ve had a really nice career and I’ve had a wife who has really been wonderful, who allowed me to work and be involved enthusiastically with several organizations,” he said. “You would recognize many of those buildings we worked on. I certainly didn’t work on all of those buildings but had the good fortune to be associated with the firm that did.”

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Some of the firm’s recent projects include: the Sycamore Medical Center Physician office building, Kettering Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, Aullwood Audubon Center, Springboro Community Amphitheater and the Boonshoft Center for Medical Sciences at Wright State University.

Roediger has put his touch on buildings across Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1957, he returned to his hometown of Dayton to work for architecture firm W.W. Wurst after being stationed in North Carolina in the U.S. Air Force.

He joined Lorenz & Williams in 1963, where he spent the rest of his career and was named principal partner in 1970. He transitioned to the role of partner emeritus in 1998.

It was never just a job for Roediger. Growing up, his late mother Louetta Roediger was convinced he would one day work as an architect. Even in high school, the teenage boy kept building blocks under his bed and would pull them out to construct his dream buildings.

“I’d give the same advice to anybody, an architect or any other career. If possible, find a job or career that you enjoy,” he said. “Architecture isn’t a get-rich scheme. It’s something you really need to enjoy, do it well and you’ll look forward to going to work every day. I’ve been really lucky in that regard.”

During his career, he won several awards for his notable projects. From the renovation of the Victoria Theatre to the Columbus Convention Center, Roediger said he aimed to create “good work that’s dedicated to the right solution for the client.”

Of course, the building should sustain itself and prove to be “handsome” as it ages, he said. Roediger quite frequently referred back to Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio’s three elements for a well-designed building: firmness, commodity and delight.

Roediger also worked with renowned architect Peter Eisenman to create an addition to the acclaimed building home to the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning building — his alma mater.

The addition won an award from Progressive Architecture magazine, and the award jury said it “admired the way the UC program managed to be at once abstract and site-specific, conceptual yet contextual. Based upon a series of geometrical transformations, the building will curve up a hillside into a fragmented form and blurred image that architects see as symbolic of the human condition in this media-dominated information age,” according to archives from the Dayton Daily News.

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“With its many angles and unusual geometry, we struggled but it got done,” he said. “It took forever. I’m glad the students like the result.”

His other work includes The Colossus roller coaster at Magic Mountain Park in California, the Old Dayton Post Office renovation, Kettering Tower, the NCR Microelectronics Research Facility and several department stores. He spent a large portion of his career designing buildings for healthcare companies like Premier Healthcare and Kettering Health Network.

“(My work) has truly been one of those things that has been blessed in my life,” he said. “I have a wonderful life and family and I’ve enjoyed my career. I’ve received more than I’ve given.”

Along the way, he grew a family with his wife, Johanna, and their four sons — giving credit to his wife for raising fine men and supporting his ambitions. Beyond his architectural prowess, Roediger contributed to his community by serving on the boards of organizations like the United Theological Seminary, United Way of Greater Dayton, Trotwood-Madison Board of Education and the Victory/Victoria Theatre Association.

“He was personable, caring and gracious, with a wry sense of humor that helped him build lasting relationships. In 2006, when United relocated to the old Jewish Community Center on Denlinger Road, Dick played an integral role in the development, design and build-out of our new campus,” said Ed Zeiders, former president of United Theological Seminary and chair of United’s Advisory Council. “His countless contributions to the community, not just as an architect but also as a responsible citizen, will continue to impact lives for years to come.”

In retirement, he plans to read feverishly — mostly American history, because there’s too much history to learn, he says — and spend time with his wife in their home in Clayton.

Now, he passes the torch onto the next generation of visionaries and architects. His advice to those just starting their careers comes from one of his favorite poems, “Keep A-Pluggin’ Away,” by American novelist Paul Laurence Dunbar. On more than one occasion, it’s the advice that has guided him through — and that he’s passed along to his sons.

“Keep on plugging. When things get tough, keep on plugging,” Roediger said. “I think that’s true.”

5 tips for easy travel this summer

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 2:11 PM

            JIM WITMER/STAFF

The next three months are some of the busiest times for travel as people jet off for summer vacations.

The Dayton International Airport released tips to make traveling for vacation as simple as possible. Here’s what you need to know before you jet off on your next excursion:

1. Plan carefully and prepare ahead of time. Plan for the unavoidable. Check your flight status at, and leave yourself plenty of time as a buffer before flights and between connections. Be at the airport two hours prior to your scheduled departure time to start your vacation travels in a relaxed mood.

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2. Park at the airport. Dayton International Airport has convenient and affordable parking options—including long-term parking, which is adjacent to or steps away from the terminal.

3. Know the latest TSA rules. Follow the 3-1-1 rule for packing liquids in your carry-on bag, including sunscreen. Leaving in a rush? Visit to learn about TSA pre-check to make it even faster, and to learn what items are prohibited.

4. Don’t risk the essentials. Remember to keep your keys, medicine and travel essentials on yourself or in your carry-on luggage.

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5. No surprises. When packing, be sure to check all luggage pockets and compartments so you are not surprised with prior packed items when going through the TSA security check-point.

Dayton Freight expansion gets state tax credit to add 51 jobs

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

The city of Vandalia is eyeing at least two big business expansions in recent days, Dayton Freight Lines Inc. and the cod-named “Project Bullseye.” CONTRIBUTED

Dayton Freight Lines, Inc. is expanding in Vandalia, expecting to create 51 full-time jobs.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.383 percent, seven-year “job creation tax credit” for the project, Gov. John Kasich’s office announced Monday.

The Dayton Freight Lines project is expected to generate $3 million in new annual payroll while retaining $11.2 million in existing payroll.

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Dayton Freight Lines is a freight carrier with 50 service centers in the Midwest.

The authority also approved credits for two other projects in Columbus.

Together, the state expects the three projects to create a total of 105 new jobs and protect 221 existing jobs statewide. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $6.8 million in new payroll and spur $11.8 million in investments.

Last week, Montgomery County commissioners approved a $70,000 grant to fund the expansion of an existing “advanced manufacturing” company, also in Vandalia.

The company’s identity in that project, codenamed “Project Bullseye,” was shielded. The project won approval for a $70,000 Montgomery County Economic Development/Government Equity (ED/GE) grant.

That company was considering a total investment of about $40 million, Vandalia Assistant City Manager Greg Shackleford told this news outlet. The company would be committing to 35 new full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $80,000, he said.

But Project Bullseye is not the same project as the Dayton Freight expansion, a spokesman for the city of Vandalia said Monday.

“Bullseye is completely different, I can tell you that,” said Rich Hopkins.