DP&L to shut down 2 Ohio plants

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 12:21 PM


            FILE

Dayton Power and Light Co. will shut down two power plants in a rural Southern Ohio county, according to a company statement.

The company announced two power-generation plants in Adams County will shut down by June 2018. The plants — known as J.M. Stuart and Killen stations — are not “economically viable beyond mid-2018,” according to DP&L.

The Dayton Daily News first reported earlier this year that the company announced its intention to close the plants in a January filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The rumors have caused communities near the plants to voice their concerns.

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“There’s a huge financial impact headed our way, and frankly, it doesn’t feel like our concerns are being heard, in either Dayton or Columbus,” Michael Pell, president of First State Bank in Winchester, Ohio, told this news organization.

The plants generate about $3.8 million annually in property taxes to the county and local entities, and DP&L owns 5,500 acres in Adams County. The plants have about 490 employees, with an additional 200 contracting employees. The annual payroll is more than $30 million.

RELATED : Citing financial ‘threats,’ DP&L seeks new charges

“DP&L recognizes the extent of the impact and uncertainty this decision creates for our people. The Company is fully committed to proactively managing workforce transitions related to the closure of these generation units,” a company statement said.

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Region tries again for state money for startups

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 12:14 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 6:43 PM

Dayton region officials are once again trying to convince the state to restore funding for entrepreneurs that was lost in 2015 after the Dayton Development Coalition was unable to resolve concerns over how effectively the money was being spent.

“Unfortunately we lost this funding two years ago. I’m hopeful we can get this funding back so that we can get our startup community these necessary dollars,” State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, said Tuesday.

RELATED: Fewer funds for high-tech startups in Dayton area

Antani said the region needs the money to compete with Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, all of which get the state funding for entrepreneurs.

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission on Wednesday will consider a proposal for funding submitted by The Entrepreneurs Center (TEC), a technology accelerator and business incubator in Dayton. The coalition did not apply for the money but is supportive of TEC’s application and confident it will be approved, said Jeff Hoagland, president and chief executive of the coalition.

“Our Accelerant team will continue to work with TEC and the regional start-up community to support local business growth and job creation,” Hoagland said.

If approved the money would be used to support entrepreneurs in an eight-county region that includes Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Preble, Clark, Champaign, Shelby and Darke counties.

It will provide mentors, help entrepreneurs build business plans and find employees, connect them with customers, assist them with intellectual property issues, offer educational programming and other help.

RELATED: Funding denied for Dayton’s Entrepreneurs Center

TEC President Scott Koorndyk said he’s applied for $3.6 million in state funds — an amount that would have to be matched with an equal amount of cash and in-kind services already pledged by local partners. The money would be available through 2018, a shorter time-frame than proposed in his unsuccessful 2016 application for $6 million.

In 2016 an independent evaluator recommended that the state not fund The Entrepreneurs Center’s proposal, which also was to be matched by another $6 million locally and would have lasted through 2019. The evaluator said the proposal “lacks emphasis on resources and relationships to be able to support high-potential firms” and had a “notable lack of health-related stakeholders.”

RELATED: Startup says Accelerant funds vital to success

After the Third Frontier Commission took no action on the proposal at its December meeting, representatives of the Dayton and Toledo regions were allowed to re-submit the proposals that are being considered Wednesday, said Lisa Colbert, spokeswoman for the Ohio Development Services Agency.

The state agency administers the voter-approved Third Frontier bond funding. The program targeting business start-ups has been rebranded as the Entrepreneurial Services Provider Program. It was formerly known as the Entrepreneurial Signature Program (ESP).

Koorndyk said the state revised its request in a way that he believes will make funding more likely because previous proposals were measured against standards for an existing program, even though the TEC had not previously run the local effort.

“(They will) treat us as a new ESP that is bringing new partners and new programs to the table,” Koorndyk said.

He said it’s possible that only a portion of the money will be approved.

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The Third Frontier funding had been provided to the Dayton region since 2007 through the coalition, a public-private partnership that is the western regional arm of the state’s privatized economic development engine, JobsOhio. The coalition operates Accelerant, which provides tech startups with funds and assistance.

In 2015 the Third Frontier Commission rejected the coalition’s request for $1.8 million in funding for entrepreneurs. At the time the money was rejected, the coalition had let more than $2 million in previously approved money go unspent. The rejection made the eight-county region the only one in the state not receiving new state funds to assist technology startups.

“We are the home of innovation, the birthplace of aviation,” Antani said. “I don’t think we should have lost that money in the first place.”

RELATED: State cuts funds from Dayton Development Coalition

In the 2015 funding round, the evaluators identified multiple weaknesses with the coalition’s entrepreneurship program, including failure to raise enough funding from the private sector, limited client services and a lack of formal commitments from “deal flow” sources such as universities and research labs.

Miamisburg hotel sold for $3.3M

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 4:58 PM


            Contributed

An Ohio company has acquired the Quality Inn and Suites on Byers Road in Miamisburg, according to Montgomery County property records.

Aryan Rhea, an Ohio company, purchased the hotel at 250 Byers Road for $3.39 million from an Indiana limited liability company, Hariichha.

The hotel is located near the Red Roof Inn off Interstate 75 in Miamisburg, across the street from the Evenflo Corp. headquarters.

Hariichha acquired the property in 2009 for $2 million.

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Coupon scam: ALDI warns customers of fake offers on Facebook

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 3:55 PM

Another coupon scam is targeting Aldi customers. Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)
Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Fake coupons for low-cost grocery store ALDI have been making the rounds again on Facebook and could give computers viruses.

>> Read more trending news

WSYR reported that Facebook user Melissa Sheriff noticed a post that claimed to offer a $100 off coupon at ALDI stores, and it seemed too good to be true.

"Next thing I know everyone is sharing it," Sheriff said. "People are sharing it on each other's pages and messaging the coupon to each other and tagging each other in posts saying, ‘Great deal, great deal, you have to print out this coupon.'"

Related: If you see this Publix coupon, it's a fake

Related: Kroger warns shoppers of fake '$60 off' coupon

Aaron Sumida, vice president of ALDI’s Tully division, issued the following statement in response to the scam:

We understand the confusion that some customers have experienced with digital coupon scams affecting ALDI and other retailers. On Friday, we shared a post on our Facebook page to let our customers know that ALDI doesn't issue electronic coupons or gift cards. These offers weren't authorized or distributed by ALDI and will not be honored at ALDI locations. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this situation may cause our customers.

ALDI also addressed the scam in a Facebook post Friday.

“There’s a fake ALDI coupon making its way around the internet…again. We don’t offer electronic coupons and they won’t be accepted at our stores. We’re working on fixing the situation, so if you’d like to help us out and spread the news, feel free to share this post. We’re sorry for the confusion,” the company said.

ALDI is not the only retailer being used in fake coupon scams. Kroger and Publix grocery stores have also been victims of coupons claiming to offer $60 and $75 off of purchases.

Cozy local cafe enchants with literary magic, Harry Potter drinks

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 12:41 PM

CONTRIBUTED
Staff Writer

When customers walk through the doors of the Storybrooke Cafe in Englewood, they’ll sense a little hint of “storybook magic.”

The bookstore cafe, which opened at 556 S. Main St. in Englewood earlier this year, sells books for all ages, specialty beverages and treats. The business is more than just a place to buy something to read, said owner Natalie Lowry.

It’s a place for adults to step away from the hectic day-to-day tasks of parenting and life. They can enjoy a cup of coffee, read the newspaper or play a game of chess with a friend. The cafe will also host an upcoming painting class for adults only.

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“It’s a chance to take a step back from the day outside,” Lowry said.

And for children, they are transported to a realm of literary magic. The cafe hosts special events like the Glass Slipper Tea and Belle’s Enchanted Evening. The Storybrooke Cafe offers weekly events every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Events are tailored to connect with specific books. Lowry said one little girl walked up to her and told her she absolutely loved dinosaurs. The conversation inspired the owner to plan a dinosaur dig, connected to the book “Are We There Yet?” by Dan Santat.

The literary theme even applies to the cafe menu, which offers specialty coffee and teas. Customers can sip on “Wizard’s Brew,” which is a bubbly, butterscotch concoction reminiscent of Harry Potter’s butter beer. Other drinks include the “Pinkalicious Bubble Tea,” the “Happily Ever After,” and a milkyway-flavored drink called “The Voyager.”

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Lowry’s inspiration for the enchanted bookstore cafe comes from her three children. They help her choose drink names and often help plan children’s events. Customers will sometimes see her daughter floating around the cafe, dressed in her favorite princess costume.

“Kids are so involved with their phones and tablets, and there’s so much more out there for people to do,” she said. “I wanted to bring some of those fun, hands-on experiences back for the kids.”

Store hours and more information about special events can be found on the Storybrooke Cafe website and Facebook.

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