The fun starts before First Four

Published: Saturday, March 10, 2018 @ 9:31 AM

The “First Four” games for at-large teams in the 68-team NCAA men’s basketball tournament are Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of Dayton (UD) Arena. Other events celebrating the tournament start Sunday. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
The “First Four” games for at-large teams in the 68-team NCAA men’s basketball tournament are Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of Dayton (UD) Arena. Other events celebrating the tournament start Sunday. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The annual “Big Dance” is coming to Dayton again. 

But the fun starts tomorrow. 

The First Four games for at-large teams in the 68-team NCAA men’s basketball tournament take place Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of Dayton Arena, but community events are scheduled this weekend.

“It’s just kind of our way to get the tournament kicked off,” said Eric Farrell, executive director of the “Big Hoopla” First Four local organizing committee.

Here’s what to know and where to go:

Hoopla four-miler: 

Registration starts at 9 a.m. Sunday in the Meyer Room of UD’s River Campus home, 1700 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton.

The four-mile run starts at 10 a.m.

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Runners can expect a course starting and finishing at the River Campus. “The course includes multiple pieces of overall The Big Hoopla experience including America’s No. 1 tournament host site, UD Arena. The course provides great views of historic Dayton landmarks,” the Dayton Hoopla web site ( says.

Runners are asked to park in the R3 north lot on the Northeast side of the building. The Meyer Room is just inside the North entrance.

Big Hoopla STEM challenge:

Head to Chaminade-Julienne High School, 505 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, for science and basketball fun. It’s a free event for boys and girls, grades K-8.

Registration starts at noon and the event itself starts at 1 p.m. Sunday. You can also register at

MORELocal school unveils expanded campus, new name and identity

More than 1,200 kids are expected at the STEM challenge, Farrell said.

Watch teams practice:

You can watch the first four teams warm-up from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday and noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday at UD Arena, just east of the Interstate 75 and South Edwin C. Moses Boulevard interchange. There will be a free T-shirt and concession voucher for the first 500 fans to show up.

That event is free and open to the public.

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The games:

The madness starts here. Tuesday and Wednesday, UD Arena. Tickets and info are at

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West Dayton pastors urge boycott of Good Sam forums

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:37 PM

            Rev. Rockney Carter, of Zion Baptist Church, speaks at the podium with a group of West Dayton pastors urging a boycott of two forums about the future redevelopment of the Good Samaritan Hospital site. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF
Rev. Rockney Carter, of Zion Baptist Church, speaks at the podium with a group of West Dayton pastors urging a boycott of two forums about the future redevelopment of the Good Samaritan Hospital site. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF

A group of West Dayton pastors urged residents not to attend forums Thursday about the closing of Good Samaritan Hospital, saying there’s not been indication that their feedback will be meaningfully considered.

The Rev. Rockney Carter, speaking Wednesday from Zion Baptist Church in Dayton, said it’s deceptive that Premier Health leaders have said they had to shut down Good Samaritan when at the same time the health system is investing in a suburban expansion.

“I think what they’ll continue to do tomorrow (Thursday) is continue to misrepresent the facts, continue to distort to our community and continue to mislead our people,” Carter said.

RELATED: Five Rivers Health Center on Good Sam campus says it’s here to stay

Dayton-based Premier, which operates four local hospitals, announced in January that it would close down Good Samaritan sometime this year and offer jobs at other locations to the 1,600 main campus employees.

The hospital will be razed into a shovel-ready site and Premier is holding two forums about the future of the site Thursday.

Premier said in a statement that it has had multiple meetings with community leaders to get input and the input from the forums today will be carefully considered. The health system stated it will continue to work with the city and CityWide Development to invest in the neighborhoods.

“Together the partners (Premier Health, City of Dayton, CityWide) have invested nearly $25 million, leveraged $45 million in additional private investment, and plan to continue to invest in these neighborhoods,” the Premier stated.

RELATED: Empty beds, high costs led to Good Sam closing

Carter said the group of pastors are not against having a discussion with Premier and have had conversations, like a public forum held in February, but the economic reasons Premier gave at those meetings were not convincing.

“We don’t believe it’s economic and or financial because at the same time they are closing operations here on the west side of Dayton — a predominately African American section of our community — they are building up medical services that are similar on other sides of town,” Carter said.

RELATED: ‘Bad news’ for the city: 7 reactions to Good Samaritan Hospital’s closure

The decision to close one of the last anchor institutions on the city’s west side has prompted shock and outrage from residents and city leaders. The push back has included criticism that the closing will disproportionately affect black residents’ access to jobs and health services, who already have higher unemployment rates and worse average health outcomes on key measures like infant mortality.

The health network leadership have said the high number of empty beds and the high cost of keeping up an inefficient and out-of-date facility were factors that played a role in the decision to close the hospital, which is in an area with a declining population that’s been shifting to the suburbs. Premier also has cited that patients and employees from the neighborhoods around Good Samaritan area are already coming to Miami Valley Hospital, which is less than six miles away in Dayton

Good Samaritan forums

• 1 p.m. March 22 at Fairview United Methodist Church.

• 6 p.m. March 22 at Fairview Pre-K-6th School.

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Dayton-area home sales heat up in February

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:27 PM


The housing market in the Dayton area continued to improve in February, with increases in the median sale price and number of homes sold.

The median price for last month was up over 2 percent year-over-year to $129,900, and the sales volume climbed 11 percent since last year to $135.7 million, according to data from the Dayton Area Board of Realtors, which represents Montgomery, Greene, Warren, Darke, and Preble counties.

RELATED: Dayton area homes sales strong once again

The number of existing homes that sold was also up 3 percent compared to February 2017, with 882 sales reported on the multiple listing service.

U.S. home sales also improved in February.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales rose 3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million. The median home sales price was $241,700 in February, a 5.9 percent increase over the past year.

But a shortage of properties for sale is creating a challenge for would-be homebuyers. As sales listings have steadily declined, prices have been climbing at the same time as a stronger job market has elevated demand — and, also, competition — for purchasing homes. Higher mortgage rates this year might also cause even fewer people to list their homes for sale, which would make the current supply squeeze worse.

RELATED: Realtors: Home sales end a strong year on a strong note

In the Dayton area, February’s average sales price totaled $153,923, up 8 percent since the same time last year.

Year-to-date sales the January-February the median price increased 6 percent to $126,450, and the cumulative sales volume was up by 7.7 percent to $259.3 million.

As demand for homes grew, supply in the Dayton tightened. The number of listings submitted in the month of February decreased over 2 percent to 1,448 entries. For the January-February period, 2,705 listings were entered, down nearly 5 percent from last year’s 2,839 listings.

While the overall home market continues to heat up, there are also disparities.

MORE: Tale of two Daytons; Home values surge in areas, slip in others

The Dayton Daily News previously reported the Dayton area is one of 61 metros in the U.S. where minorities are denied mortgage loans at higher rates than their white counterparts — a modern-day system of redlining that keeps minority neighborhoods from recovery.

In 2016, black applicants in the Dayton metro area were 2.1 times as likely to be denied a conventional home mortgage as white applicants, even when controlling for applicants’ income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to data analysis by Reveal, the online platform of The Center for Investigative Reporting.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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State OKs Vectren takeover of Wright-Patt natural gas pipelines

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:28 PM

            Wright Patterson Air Force Base gate STAFF PHOTO
            Barrie Barber
Wright Patterson Air Force Base gate STAFF PHOTO(Barrie Barber)

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has given the go-ahead to Vectren Energy Delivery for a $13.7 million, 50-year deal to take over natural gas delivery at Wright-Patterson from the Air Force.

The contract is the latest Wright-Patterson move to privatize utilities at the sprawling base that spans more than 8,000 acres.

The ownership transition of the natural gas infrastructure will take nine months, according to base spokesman Daryl Mayer. The utility will assess the condition of the infrastructure during the transition, said company spokeswoman Natalie Hedde. Vectren was one of two bidders.

RELATED: Wright-Patt privatizing water service in $490M, 50-year deal

Indianapolis-based Vectren provides energy delivery to about a million customers in southwest Ohio and two-thirds of Indiana, including one other federal installation, the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Crane Division.

In recent months, Wright-Patterson reached a $490 million, 50-year contract with New Jersey-based American Water Operations and Maintenance, Inc., to privatize water services.

RELATED: DP&L lands $27.8 million Wright-Patt power deal

Several years ago, Dayton Power & Light Co. entered into a 50-year deal to take over electrical infrastructure at the base. The utility provides electricity under a separate contract. Constellation Energy provides natural gas, according to Mayer.

RELATED: Wright-Patt looks to privatize utilities

The Air Force has pursued privatization of utilities to relieve installation commanders of “constantly increasing maintenance activities” on aging utility systems, Mayer said in an email.

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Report: Winn-Dixie owner preparing for bankruptcy, up to 200 stores could close

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 3:23 PM

Bi-Lo, Owner of Winn-Dixie, Reportedly Preparing For Bankruptcy

Winn-Dixie owner Bi-Lo is preparing for bankruptcy, according to a Bloomberg report.

>> Read more trending news 

Up to 200 stores could close as part of a bankruptcy filing, Bloomberg reported. According to Winn-Dixie's website, the retailer has locations in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The bankruptcy filing could come as early as next month, Bloomberg reported. 

Bi-Lo has not publicly confirmed any bankruptcy plans.

Traditional grocery stores have faced increased competition from online retailers like Amazon.


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