John Glenn Astronomy Park to open in Hocking Hills

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 8:44 AM


            CONTRIBUTED
CONTRIBUTED

An astronomy park honoring astronaut John Glenn will open in the late fall at Hocking Hills.

Construction was recently started on the John Glenn Astronomy Park about 40 miles southeast of Columbus in secluded, tranquil woods. Hocking Hills is known for its lack of light pollution, making it a favorite viewing spot for astronomy fanatics.

“The Friends of Hocking Hills State Park is privileged to help honor John Glenn’s legacy by developing a facility that has such tremendous potential to offer visitors from around the globe an unforgettable experience.” said Julieann Burroughs, president of the Friends of Hocking Hills State Park board of directors. “The park will spark an interest in science, exploration and astronomy among visitors of all ages and is expected to become a meaningful scientific research facility.”

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The park, designed by Ohio-based M&A Architects, will include an 80-foot Solar Plaza that is encircled by a law wall with notches that offer framed views of the sun on certain days. An enclosed 540-square-foot observatory also features a retractable roof to permit night sky viewing. The park will also feature gathering areas, open green space and parking.

Before John Glenn died in December, he agreed to lend his name to the park. Raymore added that increased tourism benefits the area through much-needed economic development, as visitors generate more than $134 million annually in the region.

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“In addition to miles and miles of trails through dense forests, stunning rock formations and rushing waterfalls, our star-filled skies get high marks from visitors,” said Karen Raymore, Hocking Hills Tourism Association executive director. “The Tourism Association is thrilled at the opportunity to offer one more reason for travelers to visit the region and a new way for them to experience another natural attraction, which has been here since the dawn of time.”

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Columbus named finalist for second Amazon headquarters

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 9:28 AM

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Amazon has chosen finalists for its second headquarters in North America.

Amazon reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to be the home of its second headquarters in North America.

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Today, Amazon announced it has chosen the following 20 metropolitan areas to move to the next phase of the process:

- Atlanta, GA

- Austin, TX

- Boston, MA

- Chicago, IL

- Columbus, OH

- Dallas, TX

- Denver, CO

- Indianapolis, IN

- Los Angeles, CA

- Miami, FL

- Montgomery County, MD

- Nashville, TN

- Newark, NJ

- New York City, NY

- Northern Virginia, VA

- Philadelphia, PA

- Pittsburgh, PA

- Raleigh, NC

- Toronto, ON

- Washington D.C.

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Amazon expects to make a decision in 2018.

Amazon already has a major presence in Ohio. In Ohio, Amazon has launched operations at two different fulfillment centers in Etna and Obetz, and also has Prime Now sites in Columbus and Valley View. In Etna — about 20 minutes east of Columbus — Amazon’s fulfillment facility has more than 3,000 full-time employees who pick, pack and shop customer orders.

The massive facility is more than 1 million square feet — about the size of 28 football fields, and holds tens of millions of products with more than 14 miles of conveyor belts weaving throughout the building.

The building utilizes Amazon robotic technology, vision systems and almost 20 years worth of software and mechanical innovations to fulfill customer orders. Amazon has more than 80 fulfillment centers, and continues to grow nationwide and across the world.

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“We are excited to continue growing in Ohio, adding 1,000 new jobs to the more than 6,000 Amazonians already working in the state,” said Sanjay Shah, Amazon’s vice president of North America Customer Fulfillment. “The support of local leaders and incredible workforce has been instrumental in our decision to locate the new fulfillment center in the state, and we are grateful for the support we’ve received to bring new jobs and investment to Ohio.”

Amazon confirmed last year that it will build another fulfillment center in Monroe that will create more than 1,000 full-time jobs. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.39 percent, 10-year tax credit for the Amazon facility that is expected to create $26.7 million in new payroll and be a $30 million fixed-asset investment. The tax credit starts in January. As part of the tax credit agreement, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority says Amazon will have to maintain operations at the Monroe location for at least 13 years.

The online giant also announced plans to build another center in North Randall, Ohio. 

Amazon HQ2 will be a complete headquarters for Amazon, not a satellite office. The company plans to invest over $5 billion and grow this second headquarters to accommodate as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.

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Quitting smoking? Local Walmart stores to offer free health screenings

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:41 AM

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Local Walmart stores are making it easier to get healthy in 2018.

Dayton area Walmart stores will be hosting the first Walmart Wellness Day event of the year on Saturday. The free health screening event provides residents an opportunity to learn health information about themselves. Free screenings will measure:

  • Blood glucose
  • Blood pressure
  • Body mass index
  • Low-cost immunizations
  • And in select locations, customers can also take advantage of free vision screenings

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Walmart is also introducing a virtual reality experience in select stores to assist with smoking cessation. Approximately 22.5 percent of adults in Ohio smoke cigarettes regularly, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The free resource is intended to be a step toward quitting tobacco, Walmart officials said in a statement.

Since its first Walmart Wellness Day event, the company has provided more than 1.7 million free screenings and 225,000 immunizations to people across the country, helping countless customers uncover existing health problems.

The screenings are available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at local stores on Saturday.

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Vandalia manufacturer sells land for $1.5M

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 8:48 AM

Unibilt Industries workers building a house at 123 N. Patterson Blvd. in Dayton in this 2008 photo. FILE
Unibilt Industries workers building a house at 123 N. Patterson Blvd. in Dayton in this 2008 photo. FILE

A Vandalia manufacturer of modular homes has sold just over 13 acres of land for more than $1.5 million.

Unibilt Industries Inc. sold about 13.2 acres at 8005 S. Cassel Road to Poplar Creek North LLC for $1.56 million, Montgomery County property records show. The sale was recorded Tuesday.

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The property includes a building with more than 40,000 square feet of floor space, with room for storage, light manufacturing and assembly, offices and more. Records also show an out building with 32,000 square feet of room.

In a filing with the state, the Poplar Creek limited liability company shows the work address of a Dayton company that registers LLCs.

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Unibilt has a manufacturing plant at 8005 Johnston Station Road, which is the same location as 8005 S. Cassel Road.

Moraine pet clinic property sold for $5M

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:31 AM

MedVet Associates LLC in Moraine told this news outlet in 2016 that it would add 15 jobs in three years as part of a 10-year tax abatement deal with the city. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF
MedVet Associates LLC in Moraine told this news outlet in 2016 that it would add 15 jobs in three years as part of a 10-year tax abatement deal with the city. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

The property of the Med Vet veterinary health center in Moraine was recently sold for nearly $5.1 million, local property records show.

Broadstone MV Portfolio LLC bought the MedVet property — the clinic building and nearly 2 acres of property — at 2714 West Springboro Pike from MVA Real Estate Group Ltd for $5,094,557, according to Montgomery County property records. The sale was recorded Tuesday.

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The veterinary clinic was built in 1988.

In 2016, Moraine city leaders approved a 10-year tax abatement for the business, paving the way for an expected $3.6 million expansion.

MedVet principals had looked at other sites in the Dayton area, including near Interstate 75 near downtown Dayton and along I-675.

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But the business chose to stay in Moraine, where it was to add 15 jobs over three years at a location that at the time employed about 80 people, Jennifer Kerestan, senior vice president of operations for MedVet, told the Dayton Daily News in 2016.