Electrics and SUVs are main attraction at LA Auto Show

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 5:48 PM
Updated: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 5:42 PM

Automakers often debut their most fuel-efficient vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and this year is no exception.

Volkswagen is showing off its I.D. Crozz, a pre-production electric SUV, and says it will go on sale in the U.S. by 2020. Land Rover, Porsche and Kia took the wraps off plug-in hybrids. Even the iconic Jeep Wrangler will get a hybrid version sometime after it goes on sale in January.

California buyers purchase a higher percentage of hybrids and electrics than the U.S. as a whole thanks to state tax credits and other incentives. Nearly 50 percent of all U.S. electric vehicle purchases since 2011 have been in California, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation. California also has 31 percent of all U.S. public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

But automakers are also appealing to buyers' sense of adventure at the show, with the debut of several off-road vehicles as well as the new three-row Subaru Ascent.

Here are some vehicles visitors can see at the show, which opens to the public Friday:


Toyota is giving Subaru some competition with an SUV for the outdoorsy mountain-bike crowd. The FT-AC prototype, which likely will go into production in the next year or two, looks like a RAV4 compact SUV on weight training. Toyota says it's being unveiled in Los Angeles because so many people there head to hills, deserts or beaches on weekend getaways. The concept vehicle has chunky black fender flares and a rugged-looking black grille. The versatile roof rack has LED marking lights and the side mirrors have detachable cameras with infrared features for night exploring. It'll have all-wheel-drive and come with a gas-powered engine, although a gas-electric hybrid is possible, Toyota says. The company didn't give details on pricing or when it might be in showrooms.


Three-year-old electric vehicle startup Bollinger Motors is debuting its B1 prototype, a utilitarian, four-seat SUV with the blockish looks of a Land Rover Defender or Mercedes AMG G63. The B1 has two battery options: a 60 kilowatt hour battery that can go 120 miles on a charge and a 100 kWh version that can go 200 miles. The company has already taken 12,000 pre-orders for the B1. Spokesman Jeff Holland says Bollinger will officially open its order banks and start taking deposits in a few weeks, when it announces pricing on the B1. Bollinger is based in upstate New York but will contract with a third party to make the B1. It hopes to start producing the vehicles at the end of 2018 and delivering them in 2019 or 2020.


Kia is updating its seven-passenger SUV for the first time since its full redesign in 2016. Exterior changes are minimal. Kia has dropped a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder from the Sorento's engine lineup but retains a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6. Kia says a diesel engine is also in development. The V6 I paired with a new eight-speed transmission borrowed from Kia's Cadenza sedan, while the four-cylinder gets an updated six-speed transmission. Kia now offers a driver attention warning system, which senses if the driver is distracted or drowsy, as well as a system that helps the vehicle stay within its lane. A wireless charging pad for smartphones is also new. Kia didn't reveal pricing or the date the 2019 Sorento will go on sale.

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West Dayton pastors urge boycott of Good Sam forums

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:37 PM

            Rev. Rockney Carter, of Zion Baptist Church, speaks at the podium with a group of West Dayton pastors urging a boycott of two forums about the future redevelopment of the Good Samaritan Hospital site. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF
Rev. Rockney Carter, of Zion Baptist Church, speaks at the podium with a group of West Dayton pastors urging a boycott of two forums about the future redevelopment of the Good Samaritan Hospital site. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF

A group of West Dayton pastors urged residents not to attend forums Thursday about the closing of Good Samaritan Hospital, saying there’s not been indication that their feedback will be meaningfully considered.

The Rev. Rockney Carter, speaking Wednesday from Zion Baptist Church in Dayton, said it’s deceptive that Premier Health leaders have said they had to shut down Good Samaritan when at the same time the health system is investing in a suburban expansion.

“I think what they’ll continue to do tomorrow (Thursday) is continue to misrepresent the facts, continue to distort to our community and continue to mislead our people,” Carter said.

RELATED: Five Rivers Health Center on Good Sam campus says it’s here to stay

Dayton-based Premier, which operates four local hospitals, announced in January that it would close down Good Samaritan sometime this year and offer jobs at other locations to the 1,600 main campus employees.

The hospital will be razed into a shovel-ready site and Premier is holding two forums about the future of the site Thursday.

Premier said in a statement that it has had multiple meetings with community leaders to get input and the input from the forums today will be carefully considered. The health system stated it will continue to work with the city and CityWide Development to invest in the neighborhoods.

“Together the partners (Premier Health, City of Dayton, CityWide) have invested nearly $25 million, leveraged $45 million in additional private investment, and plan to continue to invest in these neighborhoods,” the Premier stated.

RELATED: Empty beds, high costs led to Good Sam closing

Carter said the group of pastors are not against having a discussion with Premier and have had conversations, like a public forum held in February, but the economic reasons Premier gave at those meetings were not convincing.

“We don’t believe it’s economic and or financial because at the same time they are closing operations here on the west side of Dayton — a predominately African American section of our community — they are building up medical services that are similar on other sides of town,” Carter said.

RELATED: ‘Bad news’ for the city: 7 reactions to Good Samaritan Hospital’s closure

The decision to close one of the last anchor institutions on the city’s west side has prompted shock and outrage from residents and city leaders. The push back has included criticism that the closing will disproportionately affect black residents’ access to jobs and health services, who already have higher unemployment rates and worse average health outcomes on key measures like infant mortality.

The health network leadership have said the high number of empty beds and the high cost of keeping up an inefficient and out-of-date facility were factors that played a role in the decision to close the hospital, which is in an area with a declining population that’s been shifting to the suburbs. Premier also has cited that patients and employees from the neighborhoods around Good Samaritan area are already coming to Miami Valley Hospital, which is less than six miles away in Dayton

Good Samaritan forums

• 1 p.m. March 22 at Fairview United Methodist Church.

• 6 p.m. March 22 at Fairview Pre-K-6th School.

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Dayton-area home sales heat up in February

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:27 PM


The housing market in the Dayton area continued to improve in February, with increases in the median sale price and number of homes sold.

The median price for last month was up over 2 percent year-over-year to $129,900, and the sales volume climbed 11 percent since last year to $135.7 million, according to data from the Dayton Area Board of Realtors, which represents Montgomery, Greene, Warren, Darke, and Preble counties.

RELATED: Dayton area homes sales strong once again

The number of existing homes that sold was also up 3 percent compared to February 2017, with 882 sales reported on the multiple listing service.

U.S. home sales also improved in February.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales rose 3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million. The median home sales price was $241,700 in February, a 5.9 percent increase over the past year.

But a shortage of properties for sale is creating a challenge for would-be homebuyers. As sales listings have steadily declined, prices have been climbing at the same time as a stronger job market has elevated demand — and, also, competition — for purchasing homes. Higher mortgage rates this year might also cause even fewer people to list their homes for sale, which would make the current supply squeeze worse.

RELATED: Realtors: Home sales end a strong year on a strong note

In the Dayton area, February’s average sales price totaled $153,923, up 8 percent since the same time last year.

Year-to-date sales the January-February the median price increased 6 percent to $126,450, and the cumulative sales volume was up by 7.7 percent to $259.3 million.

As demand for homes grew, supply in the Dayton tightened. The number of listings submitted in the month of February decreased over 2 percent to 1,448 entries. For the January-February period, 2,705 listings were entered, down nearly 5 percent from last year’s 2,839 listings.

While the overall home market continues to heat up, there are also disparities.

MORE: Tale of two Daytons; Home values surge in areas, slip in others

The Dayton Daily News previously reported the Dayton area is one of 61 metros in the U.S. where minorities are denied mortgage loans at higher rates than their white counterparts — a modern-day system of redlining that keeps minority neighborhoods from recovery.

In 2016, black applicants in the Dayton metro area were 2.1 times as likely to be denied a conventional home mortgage as white applicants, even when controlling for applicants’ income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to data analysis by Reveal, the online platform of The Center for Investigative Reporting.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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State OKs Vectren takeover of Wright-Patt natural gas pipelines

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:28 PM

            Wright Patterson Air Force Base gate STAFF PHOTO
            Barrie Barber
Wright Patterson Air Force Base gate STAFF PHOTO(Barrie Barber)

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has given the go-ahead to Vectren Energy Delivery for a $13.7 million, 50-year deal to take over natural gas delivery at Wright-Patterson from the Air Force.

The contract is the latest Wright-Patterson move to privatize utilities at the sprawling base that spans more than 8,000 acres.

The ownership transition of the natural gas infrastructure will take nine months, according to base spokesman Daryl Mayer. The utility will assess the condition of the infrastructure during the transition, said company spokeswoman Natalie Hedde. Vectren was one of two bidders.

RELATED: Wright-Patt privatizing water service in $490M, 50-year deal

Indianapolis-based Vectren provides energy delivery to about a million customers in southwest Ohio and two-thirds of Indiana, including one other federal installation, the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Crane Division.

In recent months, Wright-Patterson reached a $490 million, 50-year contract with New Jersey-based American Water Operations and Maintenance, Inc., to privatize water services.

RELATED: DP&L lands $27.8 million Wright-Patt power deal

Several years ago, Dayton Power & Light Co. entered into a 50-year deal to take over electrical infrastructure at the base. The utility provides electricity under a separate contract. Constellation Energy provides natural gas, according to Mayer.

RELATED: Wright-Patt looks to privatize utilities

The Air Force has pursued privatization of utilities to relieve installation commanders of “constantly increasing maintenance activities” on aging utility systems, Mayer said in an email.

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Report: Winn-Dixie owner preparing for bankruptcy, up to 200 stores could close

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 3:23 PM

Bi-Lo, Owner of Winn-Dixie, Reportedly Preparing For Bankruptcy

Winn-Dixie owner Bi-Lo is preparing for bankruptcy, according to a Bloomberg report.

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Up to 200 stores could close as part of a bankruptcy filing, Bloomberg reported. According to Winn-Dixie's website, the retailer has locations in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The bankruptcy filing could come as early as next month, Bloomberg reported. 

Bi-Lo has not publicly confirmed any bankruptcy plans.

Traditional grocery stores have faced increased competition from online retailers like Amazon.


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