Home sales remain hot in Dayton area

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 2:06 PM


Home sales in the Dayton area remained hot in March and have now increased 15 out of the past 16 months when comparing year to year sales.

March sales of single-family and condominiums totaled 1,301, the highest monthly sales in 2017 and a 13 percent increase compared to March 2016, according to data released today by the Dayton Area Board of Realtors.

Home sales

Jan.577717739726820 834
Feb.686807754696801 855
March93297793310331148 1,301
Oct. 10461162123812251,325 
Dec. 81091598810731175 
Source: Dayton Area Board of Realtors     

Sales volume generated by March’s activity totaled $194.7 million, leading to an average sale price of $149,720 and a median sale price of $130,000.

Through March, homes sales reached 3,020, a seven percent improvement from 2016 when 2,823 transactions occurred over the same period. Sales volume showed $437 million in sales transactions so far, a jump of over seventeen percent from 2016.

The average sale price year-to date stood at $144,701 and represented a nine percent increase over 2016’s year-to-date numbers. The median sale price also grew, from $113,000 in 2016 to $126,825 through March 2017, a 12 percent increase.

There were 1,961 new listings added in March, down from last year’s 2,085, and year-to-date listings saw 4,800 listings, a decrease of 5.6 percent from the figures submitted through March of last year.

The rate of homes sold across Ohio in March rose 6.3 percent from the level posted during the month a year ago, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors.

“Activity in the housing marketplace in March displayed continued resiliency, as the rate of sales posted a best-ever for the month since Ohio’s Realtors began tracking data in 1998,” said Pete Kopf, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors “We also experienced a healthy rise in the average sales price, evidence that housing is a solid, long-term investment.


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Protecting your data

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 2:58 PM

            The son-and-father team of Alek (left) and David Mezera guide web and cloud-hosting services firm DataYard to locally focused success. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
            Thomas Gnau/Staff

When President Donald Trump this month signed legislation that repealed Federal Communication Commission privacy protections for Internet users, the principals behind Dayton-based ‘Net services firm DataYard had a simple message:

DataYard will not sell customer information. Period.

As much as they opposed the legislation, DataYard principals (and father and son) David and Alek Mezera, say they saw the government’s move as a chance to distinguish their company.

“They (other companies) can collect it, they can store it for indefinite periods of time and they can do what they see fit with it, when they decide to do so,” said Alek Mezera, the younger Mezera and the company’s director of client partnerships.

“We will not collect it,” said David Mezera, company president. “We will not keep it for any longer than is necessary to deliver the services we deliver.

“We’re absolutely not interested in monetizing that information.”

The federal privacy rules would have taken effect this year. Enshrined by the previous administration, they would have banned Internet providers from collecting, sharing and mostly importantly, selling user information without consent.

“I don’t think was a surprise, really,” the younger Mezera said of Congress’ push back against the rules.

Ajit Pai — nominated by the Trump administration this year to be FCC chairman — has said the Federal Trade Commission, not the FCC, should regulate how Internet providers use data.

Now in its 22nd year, DataYard was born as Donet, with all of eight phone lines in the beginning. It re-branded as DataYard in 2012.

“We were taking a more strategic business focus, instead of the residential consumer market that we initially started with in ‘95” DataYard’s president said.

The business since then has transformed. Today with 13 employees, the focus goes beyond Internet access. Offered also are server co-location, cloud computing, data backup and more.

The Internet back in the mid-90s was basically a hobby, the Mezeras recalled. Today, it is threaded into our lives in ways few imagined back then.

“Now, the Internet is an essential utility,” the older Mezera said. “It’s an essential element of every business.”

Based downtown at 130 W. Second St., the company is bigger today but remains local — and unmistakeably Daytonian. The focus is not necessarily on ever-growing sales, but on building relationships with customers.

“We’re not trying to get a national footprint or a global footprint,” Dave said.

Why not aim to get bigger?

“It’s harder to maintain those personal relationships,” the elder Mezera said. “You lose that flavor.”

“It’s a race to the bottom from the price side,” Alek said.

Hash browns recalled for possible contamination with golf balls

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Hash browns sold under the Harris Teeter and Roundy's brands have been recalled for an unusual reason: possible golf ball contamination.

The Food & Drug Administration's recall notice says that McCain Foods USA, Inc. has voluntarily recalled frozen hash browns sold under the Harris Teeter and Roundy's brands because they may be "contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials, that despite our stringent supply standards may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes."

>> Read more trending news

The FDA warns consumers that, "consumption of these products may pose a choking hazard or other physical injury to the mouth." No injuries have been reported, according to the FDA.

The recalled products include Roundy’s 2 lb. bag of frozen Southern Style Hash Browns (UPC 001115055019) and Harris Teeter’s 2 lb. bag of frozen Southern Style Hash Browns (UPC 007203649020). The recalled products were manufactured on January 19, 2017 and bear a production code date of B170119.

The Roundy’s products were sold at Marianos, Metro Market, and Pick ‘n Save supermarkets in Illinois and Wisconsin. The Harris Teeter products were distributed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia and Maryland. 

Frito-Lay recalls jalapeno chips over salmonella concerns

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 9:06 AM

Frito Lay is voluntarily recalling select brands of its jalepeno-flavored chips due to concerns of salmonella contamination.

The Food and Drug Administration's recall notice says the seasoning powder used on the chips is the target of the recall.

>> Read more trending news

No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recall. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, according to the FDA. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. 

The recall affects products sold throughout the U.S. and includes the following:

  • All sizes of the following two products with a “guaranteed fresh” date of JUL 4 or prior
    • Jalapeño Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips
    • Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato chips
  • All of the following multipack offerings that have a “use by” date of JUN 20 or prior printed on the multipack package. In addition, a “guaranteed fresh” date of JUL 4 or prior is printed on the front upper panel of the individual recalled product packages inside each multipack offering. Any other products or flavors contained in these multipacks are not being recalled.
    • 12 count Lay’s Kettle Cooked Multipack Sack
    • 20 count Frito-Lay Bold Mix Sack
    • 30 count Miss Vickie’s Multipack Tray
    • 30 count Lay’s Kettle Cooked Multipack Tray
    • 32 count Miss Vickie’s Multipack Box 

The FDA advises consumers not to consume any of the products included in the recall. Consumers can contact Frito-Lay Consumer Relations at 866-272-9393 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or visit www.jalapenochiprecall.com for more information.

Potholes costly for state, motorists

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

City of Dayton public workers fill a pothole near EastView Avenue in Dayton. JARED THRUSH/STAFF WRITER

Earlier this month, Anna Gros of Fairborn was driving home when she turned onto Interstate 675 and hit a large piece of concrete sticking out of a pothole. The large piece of debris blew out a back tire on the car, causing her to lose control and swerve into another lane on the highway.

“I was able to control my car. I was blessed,” she said. “If you’ve ever blown out your tire, you know it’s really hard to control it.”

The damage to her vehicle — including a destroyed rim, tire and strut — cost more than $590. Potholes cost drivers, local municipalities and the state billions of dollars each year in damage repairs, insurance claims and civil complaints.

The state has already used 8,818 tons of pavement patching material to repair potholes this year alone. That’s up from the 6,823 tons last year and 4,178 tons used in 2015. Matt Bruning, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation, said the cost of fixing each pothole varies — it could be hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.

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“You’ll notice that we’ve used a lot more material patching potholes over the past couple of years,” Bruning said. “While we’re seeing more potholes, we’re also doing a better job fixing them as quickly as we can.”

Gros said the pothole was fixed the next day after her accident, and that the crews had responded quickly and appropriately. The state has already spent $4.06 million to fill potholes. The department does not track data on how many potholes are repaired each year.

“If it is a more permanent fix, you will have a bigger crew, more equipment, more expensive asphalt,” he said. “In the permanent fix you will cut out the damaged material. You make the cuts just outside of the damaged area, so that you get a good bond when you put in the new asphalt.”

Civil complaints can be filed against the state in the Ohio Court of Claims for pothole damage. If the pothole damage is $10,000 or less, drivers can file a complaint with the state court that was established in 1975 by the General Assembly. More than 1,000 Ohioans filed complaints in the past five years and were reimbursed nearly a half million dollars by the state.

More than 125 civil complaints have been filed for vehicle damage because of potholes this year, according to a state database. That number is slightly down from a couple years ago when claims skyrocketed after a brutally cold winter with quickly swinging temperatures.

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Approximately 100 civil complaints related to potholes were filed in 2013, and that number spiked to 355 filed in 2015.

Locally, some say the unseasonably warm winter conditions resulted in fewer potholes and damage vehicles — costing local municipalities and the state less in road repair and civil claims. Fred Stovall, public works director for Dayton, said there’s been less this year — similar to trends seen with last year’s mild winter as well.

“We’re always going to have potholes,” he said. “It’s been a mild winter, and we do have some pot holes but it’s nothing out of the norm.”

Potholes are typically caused by weather patterns. Through the winter months, water gets under the pavement and frees, then thaws, repeatedly. That expansion and contraction of water causes roadway material to break up. That action mixed with heavy traffic results in potholes.

“But potholes aren’t just a winter problem,” Bruning said. “They can happen in warmer weather too. Water gets under the pavement, breaks down the asphalt and creates a void. Then the traffic on top creates depressions in the pavement.”

Potholes are most noticeable when the temperature starts to warm up again after cold weather, and crews usually have the busiest work time in January and February, according to the transportation department.

Mark Breining, manager at Grismer Tire in Dayton, said it’s been a slow year for vehicle damage due to potholes. The mild winter has kept more cars on the streets and out of auto repairs shops, he said.

“The snow was so minimal,” he said. “Everyone got a break from it this year.”

If a vehicle does hit a pothole, it can do extensive damage and cost upwards of hundreds of dollars for repair. A patch repair cost about $25, but a new wheel could cost up to $300 plus the price of a new tire. If the alignment or suspension of the car has been impacted, that will cost even more.

Tracking potholes

While municipalities say there’s not many ways to prevent potholes, one local company is working to analyze and disseminate pothole data. Founded by James Bridgers, Road-Aid uses geospatial and sensor, automatic target recognition on vehicles to identify where potholes are at — and then collect, analyze and inventory data about road issues.

Bridgers said the goal is to better help consumers to understand where potholes are at, he said. And, governments can more readily “deploy a fully proactive pothole identification program” if they have the data to use.

“The average driver spends about $800 bucks a year just in vehicle maintenance due to poor road conditions- whether it’s flat tires due to potholes or just normal bumpy roads,” he told this newspaper. “As they are driving along they will be notified and then actually have the image of where that pothole is so they can drive defensively and avoid it safety.”


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