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Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— Every year, tabletop nerds of all backgrounds travel from all over the world to Columbus for Origins Game Fair.
>> PHOTOS: 5 hot new board games you should try
Presented by The Game Manufacturing Association (GAMA), Origins is a symposium for people to try out games that were released over the previous year or will be debuting soon. Dayton.com joined the other 17,000 people at Origins 2017 to check out tons of new games. Here are some of our faves.
In this simple card game, you get to take on the role of a caravan leader trading spices. Players take turns drawing cards from the common “market” area. These cards allow them to draw “spices” (wooden cubes) from the supply or trade spices they have for others they need. The players can also draw victory point cards which let them trade spices for points that will be scored at the end of the game. And that’s it! The combination of simple, elegant design, quick playtime, and stunning art mean this game it sure to be a hit. In fact, Plan B Games, the company that makes Century: Spice Road brought 300 copies with them to Origins, and were completely sold out only a few days into the convention.
This game, which is scheduled for release next month, is certain to be an absolute smash. Based on the beloved film series, The Godfather: Corleone's Empire is a delightfully dark little worker placement number that comes with beautifully-sculpted plastic miniatures. Players will shake down businesses in New York City for money, drugs, and guns. Murder and intrigue is ensured as players battle for influence. This game is guaranteed to be a hit for many reasons, not the least of which that it was created by Eric Lang, one of game design’s current prodigal sons.
Lisboa is an absolutely beautiful European-style board game in which players must rebuild the capital city of Portugal after it was destroyed by a 1755 earthquake. Players will remove rubble from the city, interact with nobles, and build new buildings along a grid system to create the modern-day city of Lisbon. If you want to win this game, you will have to trade with the builder, the marquis, and the king, while exporting goods on ships and making deals with the clergy. Lisboa, like all of designer Vital Lacerda’s titles, has a lot of moving parts that can be used together as paths to victory. This one will definitely require a few play-throughs to perfect strategy.
Have you ever wanted to recreate all the challenge offered by an escape room adventure, without leaving the house or actually being imprisoned? If so, the EXIT: The Game series is for you. These three budget-priced titles will have you teaming up with your friends to solve puzzles using clues and logic. The series was on fire at Origins. The company who makes it, Thames & Kosmos, only had 50 copies of each title to sell each day during the convention. Every day, they sold out only minutes after the hall opened.
Flip Ships is all the fun of Space Invaders in analog form. In this dexterity game, players work cooperatively to take out an oncoming assault of alien ships. To do so, they must take turns flicking their own ships off of a wooden launchpad in hopes of landing on one of the advancing enemies. Any enemy ships remaining at the end of the round will move forward to attack. This addictive little game is great for families, because it combines light strategy with cardboard ships that really fly through the air!
Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:38 PM
— There is heart-pumping music and state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting, but it’s not the hottest new club – it’s CycleBar.
CycleBar, which recently opened its doors at Austin Landing, is a franchised indoor cycling studio with more than 100 locations worldwide. Classes are designed to provide a high-intensity, low-impact cardio workout for riders 13 and older of all experience and fitness levels.
“Our goal is to have 50 minutes go by so fast that you don’t realize you burned 600 calories because you’re having such a good time,” said Steve Zubrzycki, who owns the local CycleBar with his wife, Jane.
If the packed CycleTheatere is any indication, Zubrzycki is right on track. Since the facility opened in late October, classes have not only been full, wait lists are common.
“I love that every class has the same basis, but each individual instructor makes their rides completely different,” said Haylie Stites, of West Carrollton. “The atmosphere is one of a kind.”
TAKE A SPIN
The Austin Landing location has 48 bikes, arranged in a multi-tier stadium formation. Rides are choreographed to heart-pumping playlists, complete with expansive video screens, to provide a concert-like experience for your workout.
It couldn’t be much easier to get riding as CycleBar provides shoes that clip into the pedals, along with complimentary water bottles and snacks. The bikes are compatible with SPD and LOOK shoes for those who prefer to bring their own shoes. Lockers with coded keypads are available to store personal belongings and locker rooms are stocked with robes, hair ties, wet clothing bags, and other toiletries.
“We try to provide all the amenities anyone would need,” Zubrzycki said.
Plentiful amenities eliminate some of the exercise excuses and a full slate of classes, offered seven days a week, eliminate several others. CycleBar offers 30 classes a week with some beginning as early as 5:30 a.m. on weekdays and as late as 7 p.m. Most classes are 50 minutes long, with some lunchtime rides wrapping up in 30 minutes, for those who need to get back to the office.
And while spinning has a high-intensity reputation, Zubrzycki – who rides at least four times a week himself – explains that classes are available for all types of riders.
“We have seven instructors, all with different personalities, so people seem to gravitate toward certain instructors after a few classes,” he said. “And, while classes can be intense, I always suggest that riders go at their pace.”
BY THE NUMBERS
And data-driven cyclists will be right at home at CycleBar.
“I love that everything you do during your ride is recorded and automatically emailed to you, and posted to your private account online so I can compare my past sessions,” Stites said. “It tells you your average miles-per-hour, rpm, heart rate – if you have a monitor – speed, time you spent riding, class rank, distance and calories burned.”
CHECK OUT CYCLEBAR
Where: Austin Landing, 3655 Rigby Road
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 2:08 PM
— Whether you want to flip your house in a few months or you just want to use your remodel money wisely, the most beneficial home upgrades are not a matter of chance.
And they "aren't particularly sexy," according to Bank Rate's Holden Lewis.
Except for a minor kitchen remodel, according to Remodeling magazine's 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, you'll gain the highest returns from getting work done on the exterior of the house (hello, garage door!), not interior renovations of the sort that you can enjoy yourself (goodbye, dream rec room).
Developing the discipline to put your budget into the remodeling projects that deliver the highest return, instead of, say, your dream outdoor kitchen or super-size MIL quarters, will pay off when you sell, Remodeling said.
The magazine compared the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects completed by pros in 149 metropolitan areas. Then it surveyed real estate pros in 100 markets to find out how much each project would increase a home's resale value a year after each project was completed. (Note that none of the projects actually added value to the final sales price of a home. Instead, they were the projects that paid back the highest amount of the initial investment, either in actual dollars or percentages).
1. Garage door replacement
Job cost: $3,470
Value added: $3,411
Cost recouped: 98.3 percent
2. Manufactured stone veneer
Job cost: $8,221
Value added: $7,986
Cost recouped: 97.1 percent
3. Wood deck addition
Job cost: $10,950
Value added: $9,065
Cost recouped: 82.8 percent
Job cost: $21,198
Value added: $17,193
Cost recouped: 81.1 percent
5. Siding replacement
Job cost: $15,072
Value added: $11,554
Cost recouped: 76.7 percent
6. Window replacement, vinyl
Job cost: $15,955
Value added: $11,855
Cost recouped: 74.3 percent
The most sensible indoor remodel project after the minor kitchen remodel was a Universal Design bathroom, which Remodeling concluded would cost about $16,393 and add about $11,581 in value, for 70.6 percent.
For 2018 and on into future years, Remodeling expected a continued gain in costs for remodeling projects, like the 3- to 5-percent increase in costs experienced in 2017. "Fall hurricanes and fires began fueling what one building products distributor calls 'a freight train of extraordinary demand' — demand certain to keep elevating the prices for many building materials," noted the publication. "Expect, as well, an even greater shortage of skilled workers in disaster-struck markets as those workers struggle to fix up their own homes and employers feel pressure to respond with pay hikes."
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 10:19 AM
More than 10,000 Ohioans have now landed in the hospital because of the flu this season, according to Ohio Department of Health (ODH) data released Friday.
Also, the number of people reporting flu-like-illnesses to doctors continues to rise, trending up three weeks in a row and climbing more than 18 percent during the reporting week.
One bit of good news: the rate of hospitalizations declined for the fourth week in a row ending Feb. 10, according to ODH.
Statewide, 10,785 people have been hospitalized for the flu this season.
In Montgomery County, 715 people have been admitted to hospitals for flu-associated illnesses; 373 in Butler County; 232 in Clark County; 188 in Greene County; 78 in Miami County; and 183 in Warren County.
Three children have died from the flu in the state this season, according to ODH.
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— Felicia Allen remembers the humiliations that came with being a woman in the thin blue line more than 40 years ago.
Someone put dead rats in her mail cubby hole.
Just to make it clear she wasn’t welcomed, her co-workers — fellow police officers — chucked jock straps at her from a barely separate part of the shared locker room.
She heard all of the nasty names and felt the pain of being passed over for positions because of her gender or because “they weren’t going to hire another ‘spook’” for that position.
Officers would show up at her disturbance calls en masse -- not to help, but to see “if the girl could fight.”
“Initially, the men were pretty hostile. They didn’t want me there,” the Dayton native said of her first years as a police officer in Sacramento, California.
In 1974, Allen and Flossie Crump became the first two black women, the first women of any race, sworn in as police officers in that California city.
A week ago, the Sacramento Police Department dedicated part of its headquarters to Crump, a 25-year Sacramento police officer and detective, and Allen during a grand ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by Allen’s mother Felicia Sherer and brother Robert Allen. The mother and son flew in from Dayton.
Despite the challenges, Allen said her 16 years blazing a trail at the department were worth it. She doesn’t want to dwell on the negative stuff.
“(Eventually) they started to trust me and the atmosphere started to change,” she said. “The fact that I was there kept a lot of minority kids from going to jail or getting beat down.”
Raised partly in Dayton, Ohio; Pennsylvania and California, Allen had no plans to be a police officer.
Her mother said she definitely didn’t see it coming.
“For one thing, she was a mild-spoken one of the group,” said Sherer, a mother of four.
Allen’s admittedly undeveloped plan was to be a probation officer, get a PhD and write a book by age 25.
“At the time I was young, I was just ambitious,” she recalled.
At the time a 21-year-old criminal justice student looking for a part-time job, Allen learned about community service officer and police officer positions at the Sacramento Urban League.
Told that the department didn’t hire women as police officers, she was encouraged to check both boxes because community service officers went to the same training.
To her surprise, Allen was hired to be a police officer -- and she fell in love with it.
“I learned so much about myself. It made me stronger. It taught me teamwork,” she said.
She also had support from police trainers dead set on making her a good officer, and they succeeded.
“They could have easily sabotaged me, but they decided they were going to do the right thing,” Allen, who spent most of her time with the department in the patrol division, said. “The fact that I was present diffused situations and decreased the level of aggression.”
She worked for the department eight years between 1974 and 1981, and resigned after failing to break through what she described as a low glass ceiling.
After a few years as a city litigation investigator, she returned to the department from 1983 until 1991.
Decades later and now with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Allen said she recommends law enforcement as a career for women and minorities.
“(Women) never get the opportunity to experience their full power until they are in a situation where they are in charge,” she said. “It a profession that has an extreme need for women and minorities, but unfortunately, it is a profession that pushes them away.”