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Farmers worried about heavy rain forecast

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 9:56 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 9:59 PM

The prospect of heavy rains this weekend is not filling every farmer’s heart with joy.

Winegrape growers in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio are watching the remnants of Hurricane Isaac with a wary eye, because heavy rains at or near harvest can wreak havoc on the quality of the grapes and on the taste of the resulting wines.

WHIO-TV Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said even though the precise track of the former hurricane is not known, Isaac could dump two to five inches of rain on the area by the end of Labor Day. That would be a good first step toward easing the drought that has bedeviled farmers this summer.

But is also might complicate the harvest of certain varieties of wine grapes that are approaching peak maturity, Ohio winegrape specialists say. Prolonged rain at harvest time can cause thin-skinned grapes to expand and split their skins, which in turn can lead to rot or to unwanted attention from insects. And the water that gorges the grapes can knock the sugars and palate-friendly acids out of balance and dilute the flavors of the resulting wine.

Joe Schuchter, part of the third generation of the family that owns and operates Valley Vineyards near Morrow in Warren County, said vineyard workers there are accelerating the harvest of some grape varieties that have ripened sufficiently. “We’ll pick until the rain starts, and for a little while after, because it takes a while for the grapes to absorb the moisture,” Schuchter said.

The winery’s “vinifera” grapevines — varieties such as chardonnay and cabernet franc that are native to Europe and are most recognizable to consumers — ripen later in the fall and should weather this storm without damage, Schuchter said.

James Brandeberry, owner and winemaker of Brandeberry Winery in Clark County northwest of Yellow Springs, said he intends to leave his grapes on the vine. “They are not ready to pick yet,” Brandeberry said of his seyval blanc, vidal blanc and cayuga grape varieties growing in his estate vineyard. “I’ll take my chances.”

The ground is so dry that a heavy, brief rain may not soak into the ground enough to bloat the grapes, the winery owner said.

Todd Steiner, enology program manager and winemaking specialist at Ohio State University’s agricultural research center in Wooster, said the current rain forecast “is not a vintage-breaker” for Ohio winemakers and grape growers.

“But I wouldn’t want to see too many other Isaacs come through here and settle right over us” in the weeks ahead, Steiner said. “That would break the harvest.”

The Ohio wine and grape industry had an economic impact of $582.8 million, employed 4,000 people, provided a payroll of $124.2 million and contributed an estimated $62 million back in state, local and federal tax revenue, according to the industry’s 2008 Economic Impact report, its most recent impact report.

NASCAR’s Petty helps open Spectrum

Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017 @ 5:04 PM

The Spectrum Brands auto products distribution center covers some 570,000 square feet and employs nearly 350 people. Though it had a ribbon cutting Thursday, it has operated since January. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Thomas Gnau/Staff
The Spectrum Brands auto products distribution center covers some 570,000 square feet and employs nearly 350 people. Though it had a ribbon cutting Thursday, it has operated since January. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF(Thomas Gnau/Staff)

Although the Spectrum Brands Global Auto Care center in Dayton has been preparing, packaging and shipping products for months, it got an official opening Thursday, with a little help from some friends — including a NASCAR legend.

Richard Petty has been associated with STP gas and oil treatment products for some 46 years.

“I’ve followed them around all over country, with different owners and all this stuff,” said the 80-year-old racing veteran, known today as NASCAR’s “ambassador in chief. “I’m finally glad that they found a home, OK?”

Wearing his trademark cowboy hat and dark sunglasses, Petty added with a smile: “I think they’ve been run out of everywhere else they’ve been.”

He added that he was confident the center would be good for the community.

Plenty of others shared that confidence at the center’s grand opening event on Concorde Drive within sight of the Dayton International Airport.

Thirteen months ago, the 570,000-square-foot center’s location was just a bare field, noted Ken Burns, vice president, operations for Spectrum Brands.

When Burns started searching for sites to build a new global auto care products distribution center more than a year ago, he zeroed in on his company’s center of customer gravity: Cincinnati and Southwestern Ohio.

That was when friends and associates pointed him to Dayton as a possible site — which led to an eventual phone call with Montgomery County’s development director, Erik Collins, who had heard that Burns was on the hunt for a site.

“And here we are today at this beautiful facility with over 400 people,” said Jeff Hoagland, president and chief exeucutive of the Dayton Development Coalition. “That’s the connection.”

The $33 million complex is much more than a warehouse. Spectrum Brands encompasses a number of recognizable household, living, garden, pet and auto-oriented brands: Black & Decker, Remington, Rayovac, Baldwin, STP, ArmorAll and many more.

Spectrum Brands Holdings bought the Armored AutoGroup from Avista Capital Partners for $1.4 billion in 2015. So the center north of National Road is focused mostly on consolidation, production and shipping of auto care products — A/C Pro, Tuff Stuff, Armor All and STP — but other brands will also find a place at the center.

“We now have our R&D facility here, all of our manufacturing here, and all of our distribution here,” Burns said Thursday.

The single site has made possible the closing or shrinking of company operations in Garland, Texas, Painesville and Mentor, Ohio, as well as the San Francisco, Calif. area.

Air Force adds GE to $409M contract

Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017 @ 6:05 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 20, 2017 @ 10:23 AM

            Mike Blair, GE Electrical Engineer and Suzy Dorsey, University of Dayton Electrical Engineering Co-op student, in the Temperature Altitude Testing Lab at the GE EPIS Center in Dayton. JIM WITMER / STAFF FILE PHOTO
Mike Blair, GE Electrical Engineer and Suzy Dorsey, University of Dayton Electrical Engineering Co-op student, in the Temperature Altitude Testing Lab at the GE EPIS Center in Dayton. JIM WITMER / STAFF FILE PHOTO

The Air Force Research Laboratory has added General Electric Co. among at least three companies part of a seven-year, $409 million contract to develop “next generation” thermal, power and control technologies.

RELATED: GE Aviation acquires robotics maker

The initial GE order is worth $106,000 which will continue to support integrated power and thermal development work in Dayton and Cincinnati, according to a GE spokesman.

The contract, part of a multiple government agency and industry initiative dubbed Next Generation Thermal, Power and Controls,(NGT-PAC), would be in effect through 2024, according to the Defense Department.

GE is reportedly the third company named to the contract, which includes Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

GE’s work will be completed in Cincinnati, the Defense Department said. AFRL is headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Coffee recalled for Viagra-like ingredient

Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

Coffee Recalled For Viagra Like Ingredient

A coffee brand has issued a recall after the FDA found it contained an ingredient similar to the active one in Viagra.

Bestherbs Coffee LLC voluntarily recalled all the lots of New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee after an FDA lab found “the presence of desmethyl carbodenafil. Desmethyl carbodenafil is structurally similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, an FDA-approved prescription drug for erectile dysfunction.”

The analysis also said instant coffee brand contains undeclared milk.

>> Read the recall notice here

Additionally, the recall notice said: “These undeclared ingredient [sic] may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates. In addition, people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.”

The Biggest Product Recalls in US History

Now, it should not be a total shock, as “New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee is used as a male enhancement.”

Still, the recall notice has been issued for the 13-gram, red packs with UPC 557205060083 on the box and containing 25 packets.

>> Read more trending news

The packages were distributed from July 2014 through June 2016. New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee is consumed as an instant coffee. No illnesses have been reported so far.

The recall notice advises: “Bestherbs Coffee LLC is notifying its customers by phone. Consumers that have New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee which is being recalled should stop using/discard/ and contact their doctor. Please return the product to Bestherbs Coffee LLC, 4250 Claremont Dr, Grand Priarie, TX 75052. Customers returning the product will be reimbursed by check for the returned goods and postage. Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Bestherbs Natural Coffee at 817-903-2288 or, Monday thru Friday 9am to 5pm CST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.”

Discount retailer to reopen in Beavercreek

Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017 @ 12:31 PM


Gabe’s, a discount fashion retailer, will reopen its store in Beavercreek following store upgrades and renovations.

The store, located at 2500 N. Fairfield Road, will celebrate its reopening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday and will also hold drawings for Gabe’s gift cards. Formerly known as Gabriel Brothers, the retail chain went through a re-branding but still offers discount brand-name items.

» RELATED: Swedish clothing retailer to open at local outlet mall

The remodeled store has updated bathrooms, faster checkout and new designs throughout the store. Gabe’s offers apparel, footwear, beauty products, home decor, pet supplies, toys, electronics and kitchenware.

The chain operates more than 60 stores in 12 states, and offers up to 70 percent off department store prices. Reopening events start at 9 a.m., and goes until 3 p.m.


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