Local bike trails attracting worldwide attention

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 12:16 PM


            Amy Dingle, left, director of outdoor connections for Five Rivers MetroParks, and Janet Bly, general manager of the Miami Conservancy District, said the area’s outdoor trails and waterways drew the 2017 International Trails Symposium. The symposium will be May 7 to 10. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Amy Dingle, left, director of outdoor connections for Five Rivers MetroParks, and Janet Bly, general manager of the Miami Conservancy District, said the area’s outdoor trails and waterways drew the 2017 International Trails Symposium. The symposium will be May 7 to 10. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

The 2017 International Trails Symposium is coming to Dayton May 7 to 10, investing what organizers expect will be $1 million into the region and showcasing what a Five Rivers MetroParks director calls “the outdoor adventure capital of the Midwest.”

The American Trails bi-annual symposium was attracted to Dayton by what Janet Bly, Miami Conservancy District general manager, called the nation’s largest network of paved outdoor trails.

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About 500 visitors from 42 states, Washington, D.C., and 11 countries are expected at the symposium, which will feature paid workshops and classes, as well as free recreation, indoors and out. (For a full schedule, or to register for events, visit americantrails.org.)

What unites those coming to Dayton is more than love of the outdoors, Bly said.

“Some of it is love of the environment,” she said. “They see the economic impact of trails and are really trying to promote that in their own communities. And they’re wanting to see what other communities have done.”

Mike Passo, executive director of American Trails, said he and fellow organization leaders liked what they found when they visited the area in November 2016.

He said they found the region and its assets “compelling,” citing in particular what Passo called “an amazing trail system” — with more than 300 miles of interconnected trails, rivers, connections to the trail systems of other cities and more.

“It’s really quite amazing,” Passo said in an interview Friday. “There are activities and energy being put into the (Miami Valley) trail system here that just aren’t happening in other parts of the country.”

But Dayton offered something beyond outdoor assets, trails and waterways that other cities don’t have, he said: Persistence by proponents of Dayton. Passo in particular mentioned Amy Dingle — Five Rivers MetroParks director of outdoor connections.

Said Passo: “They just wouldn’t take ‘No’ for an answer.”

Dingle and Bly said they began making their case for Dayton to the American Trail board in 2015, when the symposium was held in Portland.

Board members were surprised at what they heard, the women said. Then they were intrigued. The area’s aviation heritage sites also were a draw.

“The story really goes back to 2008 and maybe 2006,” Dingle said. “It became really a dream of MetroParks. When we were starting to go into the economic recession, losing all the manufacturing … We said, ‘Wow, we have all these amazing amenities that we need to let the public know we have.’”

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County OKs funds for projects creating 120+ new jobs

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 9:18 AM

Thanks to a new county development grant, a Canadian plastics extrusion company may set up shop in Vandalia. This 2007 photo shows Enon extruded plastics maker Fox Lite Inc. TY GREENLEES/STAFF
Thanks to a new county development grant, a Canadian plastics extrusion company may set up shop in Vandalia. This 2007 photo shows Enon extruded plastics maker Fox Lite Inc. TY GREENLEES/STAFF

Montgomery County Commission Thursday approved more than $1 million in development money for local businesses whose expansions will create more than 120 new jobs.

Those projects include the formation of a new $11 million North American headquarters for MSW Plastics USA Inc. in Vandalia, which will result in 35 new jobs. Commissioners approved $320,000 in ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) funds for that project.

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MSW Plastics makes plastic extruded building materials and is considering the purchase and renovation of a vacant 61,000-square-foot facility in Vandalia.

Also approved were $170,000 for manufacturer Aeroseal to buy and renovate the vacant 40,000-square-foot former Planet Ford auto dealership in Centerville.

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The renovated building will house the company’s corporate offices, research and development, training spaces, and warehouse, creating 19 new jobs and retaining 44 existing jobs in a $2.7 million project.

Another grant would move Northwestern Tools from Valleywood Drive in Kettering to 6.4 acres at 4800 Hempstead Station, a move that would create 12 new jobs.

Since the inception of the ED/GE program — created by the sharing of local sales taxes and county general funds — 461 projects across 27 communities in the county have led to 24,000 private jobs and drawn more than $2.8 billion in investment, or $31 for every $1 of ED/GE funds, according to the county.

Four new urgent cares to open in Dayton area

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 4:54 PM


            Premier Healh
Premier Healh

Premier Physician Network will open four new urgent care sites in the Dayton area in 2018, the company announced Thursday.

Premier Health Urgent Cares will open in Englewood, Miamisburg, Springboro and Vandalia by spring 2018.

“Premier Health Urgent Care introduces a new generation of urgent care with design and technology aimed at giving patients the care they need with the convenience their lifestyle demands,” Mike Maiberger, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Premier Health, said in statement sent to this media outlet. “Everything from the feel of the waiting room to the ability to register online redefines how urgent care has been delivered in the past.”

Patients will be able to register for an appointment time online and wait at their home up until the time of their appointment. Walk-in appointments will also be available, the company said.

The four urgent cares will be located at 1130 S. Main St. in Englewood, 8 Prestige Plaza in Miamisburg, 752 N. Main St. in Springboro and 6700 Commerce Center Drive in Butler Twp. in the Miller Lane area. The locations will operate Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Each Premier Health Urgent Care will be staffed by local, certified advanced practice providers.

Premier Physicians Network is a part of Premier Health, the largest private employer in the region that operates four hospitals, a network of primary and specialty care practices, and a home health service.

Canadian business buys fire-plagued former soap factory

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

Canadian company pays $60,000 for three parcels

A Canadian company has bought what remains of the former Hewitt soap factory on Linden Avenue, with an eye on starting a small manufacturing operation there. 

Dayton Flats LLC, with a Toronto, Ontario mailing address, paid Accu-Jet Corp. $60,000 for the 333 Linden Ave. property, Montgomery County property records show.

Three parcels were purchased at the site, a total of nearly two acres. 

John LaGamba, president of Temp-Cast, a Canadian maker of masonry heaters, purchased the building, according to John Flynn, vice president of sales for Seneca Transportation & Logistics, a Toronto trucking firm. 

Flynn said LaGamba is working with Dayton city officials on starting a small manufacturing operation in the building, while Flynn said he is interested in opening a small distribution operation there.

The businesses would involve only a “handful of employees” initially, Flynn said. 

When the former owner bought the property in 2015, 3.16 acres were purchased, so it appears that ground under the area consumed by fire was not part of the recent purchase. 

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The former factory at 333 Linden has been plagued by fire and other issues in the past year. Much of the front of the building collapsed in a Nov. 10 fire. Another fire in December 2016 struck the building’s southern side, and firefighters and others have long been concerned about the site’s overall structural integrity.

In March this year, residents close to the site expressed concern about debris left over from the December fire.

RELATEDFormer Dayton soap factory’s bad year: 2 fires, collapse and demolition

At the time, they said rubble from the fire was spilling into the street. One resident said a steel beam was hanging out into the road and there was no safety barrier or caution tape around a pile of debris.

An at least partial demolition of the site began after the latest fire last month.

The soap company was founded in 1897 in Dayton and was in operation until 2004 when it was bought by a competitor, which later closed the facility. At its peak, it was the nation’s second-largest maker of specialty soaps, including the small bars used in hotels.

Kroger launches new mobile payment option

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 7:34 AM

What you need to know.

Kroger is launching a new mobile payment option for customers who want an easier way to pay.

The Cincinnati-headquartered grocery chain is teaming up with Chase Pay — the digital engagement wallet from JPMorgan Chase & Co.— to offer mobile payments starting with select retail markets and e-commerce programs in 2018.

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“Technology is transforming our customers’ experiences and greatly influencing how we are reimagining the store of the future,” said Chris Hjelm, Kroger’s chief information officer. “Mobile wallets enable a more seamless shopping experience for our customers and at the same time, can help us drive cost out of our business.”

Through the partnership, Chase’s 65 million customers will have an opportunity to use Chase Pay at Kroger for online and in-store purchases. Kroger has locations across the Southwest Ohio region.

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