6 reasons we love all the construction in downtown Dayton 

Published: Tuesday, July 04, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Downtown Dayton: New and upcoming projects

Surely you’ve noticed all the banging and beeping in and around downtown Dayton. 

It is the sound of construction, which is music to our ears.

>> Construction boom: 10 downtown Dayton projects 

There are large development projects like CareSource’s new office tower and housing developments like Delco Lofts, but much of that banging and beeping relates to restaurants and attractions.

>> 3 brand spanking new places to live in downtown Dayton

>> CareSource to buy office tower

Here’s a rundown of some recent projects  and those we are most looking forward to.


Where: 135 E. Second St. (the former Club Aquarius space)

When will it open: Soon (TBA)


Where: 308 E. First St. (the former home of the much-beloved music venue Canal Street Tavern)

 When will it open: The restaurant, bar and game room opened Wednesday, June 28.

Canal Street Arcade and Deli held a preview party on Tuesday, June 28. The restaurant an bar are located in downtown Dayton near Fifth Third Field.(Photo by Amelia Robinson)


Where: 113 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton’s Fire Block District

When will it open: Construction in progress. The nonprofit seeks donations of display cases and other materials.

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Dayton artist Delora Buford-Buchanan put clothes on the funk. Video by Amelia Robinson


Where: 329 E. First St. in the Delco Building near Fifth Third Field

When will it open:  Soon; the brewery is hiring employees now 

>> Dayton’s newest brewery now hiring, gearing up to open

Sneak peek inside Lock 27 Brewing in downtown Dayton

>> PHOTOS:  A look inside of downtown Dayton’s newest brewery

🏗️ 416 DINER 

Where: 416 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s Oregon District 

When will it open: Friday, July 7; there will be a 9 a.m. ribbon cutting

>> 7 things you should know about the new diner opening in the Oregon District

>> New Oregon District restaurant ready to open 


Where: 10 S. Jefferson St. behind Century Bar in the Fire Blocks District

When will it be open: Late fall

Joseph Head of the Century Bar in downtown Dayton. File photo by Jim Witmer(Staff Writer)


Where:  215 E. Third St. 

When will it open: Aug. 5 

Two hundred people — elected officials, levy supporters and children from the The Dayton Metro Library Summer Challenge reading program — will hold the ribbon during a ceremony at noon on Aug. 5. That date is when the new library will be open to the public.

There will be a community festival outside of the library featuring local entertainers from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

>> Street festival, massive block-long ribbon cutting part of Dayton Metro Library opening

5 Hallmark holiday movies that feature a piece of the South

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Best Hallmark Holiday movies that feature the south "Angels Sing" - In this oldie-but-goodie filmed in Austin and Bastrop, Texas, a mysterious man helps a fellow rediscover joy after a long-ago tragedy. "Christmas in Conway" - This Hallmark Hall of Fame film doesn't need snow to tug at the heartstrings. Set in Conway, South Carolina, it was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina and debuted in 2013. "Coming Home for Christmas" - Though this holiday favorite is filmed in Canada, the movie, about a nanny and

Made for watching by the roaring fire, cocoa in hand, slippers on feet, the delightful, wintry scenes of Hallmark Channel holiday movies are not typically fit for Southern settings. It only makes sense: how are you going to have the Christmas Festival of Ice and similar “Winter Wonderland” themes set in Charlotte, or Atlanta or Rocky Top, Tennessee?

RELATED: A look at Hallmark’s 67-day holiday movie marathon

What's surprising is that there are some wonderful Hallmark holiday movies that were either filmed in Southern locations or set in some of the beautiful places of the South. 

Here are some Hallmark holiday favorites that are set elsewhere but filmed in the South:

"Christmas In Homestead"

The movie takes place in the fictional "Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa," but the 2016 romantic comedy was filmed on location in Dahlonega, Georgia. Setting a Christmas movie (about a famous actress who falls in love while shooting a holiday movie in a small town) in Dahlonega wouldn't have been all that far-fetched, either. The town is fairly Christmas-happy itself, hosting a month-long gala each year with an old-fashioned Christmas parade, visits with Santa and a Christmas market on Candy Cane Lane.

Yes, that's Willie Nelson and Harry Connick, Jr. both featured in the 2013 Hallmark classic filmed partly in Austin, "Angels Sing."(Contributed/For the AJC)

"Angels Sing"

In this oldie-but-goodie filmed in Austin and Bastrop, Texas, a mysterious man helps a fellow rediscover joy after a long-ago tragedy. If it doesn't air during the season, catch it on DVD. It features a star-studded cast of music heavyweights, including Harry Connick, Jr. and Willie Nelson.

"Christmas in Conway"

This Hallmark Hall of Fame film doesn't need snow to tug at the heartstrings. Set in Conway, South Carolina, it was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, and debuted in 2013. The premise: a sweet husband pulls out all the stops to give his ailing wife a ride on a Ferris wheel in their backyard for Christmas.

And two Hallmark holiday movies only set in the South but filmed elsewhere:

"Coming Home for Christmas"

It's common knowledge that so many Hallmark movies are filmed in Canada and British Columbia that perennial co-star Danica McKellar is considered to have honorary citizenship in both places.

This instant Hallmark holiday classic is a prime example. While the fictional Ashford Slate where McKellar's character takes up residence as a nanny and party planner is in Virginia (and certainly portrays the host family's First Family of Virginia/Junior League/debutante attitudes correctly), don't look for any Virginia landmarks on set. "Coming Home for Christmas" was filmed at a multimillion-dollar mansion in Canada.

“The Christmas Cottage”

Still in her 20s, the heroine of The Christmas Cottage has given up on love to concentrate on her interior design career in Raleigh, North Carolina. While most of the romantic action takes place in a family cottage nearby, renowned for its romantic and Christmas magic, the film was made in British Columbia.

Decadent gift ideas from one of the best places for chocolate in the world

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The Salted butter caramels are one of Madame Delluc's best sellers. Customize your box at the counter. (Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)
The Salted butter caramels are one of Madame Delluc's best sellers. Customize your box at the counter. (Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)

In 2016, Conde Nast hailed it as one of the “Best Chocolates in the World.”

Earlier this year, CNN named the company one of the “15 Happiest Places in the World.”

Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop listed it as one of the things “Women Really Want for Valentine’s Day” in 2016.

There’s a lot of buzz around the chocolate that Oakwood’s Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier shop carries, and for good reason. It’s fabulous.

The chocolates it carries that are handmade in Brussels, Belgium, are intoxicatingly delicious and beautiful to behold. They make great hostess gifts, stocking stuffers — or perhaps even a gift to yourself, for making it through December.

The best part: you can shop for most of this online with a $25 purchase or more at and get it shipped to you. Or you can shop and have it ready for pick-up.


What: Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier

Where: 2510 Far Hills Ave. in the Shops of Oakwood

Hours: Madame Delluc will be open an hour earlier and later through the holidays.

More information: Call 937-356-8890 or visit


Here are a few items we found on a recent visit that are ready to gift and sure to impress whoever is on the receiving end.

>> Oakwood chocolate shop scores national shout-out

>> The best places to get chocolate in Dayton

Madame Delluc in Oakwood is open and ready for holiday business. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

This six-piece chocolate set retails for $12.95. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

The Ecailler Royale has beautiful new packaging. This large set retails for $79.50. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

These are some of our favorites chocolate covered ginger and chocolate covered candied orange peel. The bag retails for $16.95 and is one of the best values in the store. The ginger is perfect addition to your next holiday party. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

The mild chocolate mousse with nougatine. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

Customize your chocolate box at the counter. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

Another great holiday gift idea the Madame Delluc Cacao en Poudre for $19.95. Your hot cocoa will never taste the same again. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

The Reglette is a six-piece chocolate set that retails for $12.95. It’s a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer. Note how they used the box in the background to create a little winterscape. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

Beautiful new packaging has arrived for the holiday season. The 8-piece chocolate in this specialty box retails for $22.95. When you are done, it will hold your colored pencils perfectly. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

The Salted butter caramels are one of Madame Delluc's best sellers. Customize your box at the counter. (Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)
Champagne truffles are also extremely popular. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Staff Writer)

Christmas 2017: Top ugly holiday sweater ideas

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:55 AM

A Celebration of Ugly Holiday Sweaters

In recent years, the combination of Christmas and tacky sweaters has taken on a life of its own. Festive people aspire to wear the ugliest holiday sweater possible. Whether it’s including as many adornments as possible, breaking out a ratty and worn polyester pullover or sporting animals in full holiday cheer, here’s a roundup of ugly Christmas sweater ideas to inspire you.
Shiny wreath
What’s says Christmas more than a wreath with a little shine? Take your Christmas tackiness to a new level with a shiny wreath pinned to your red or green sweater. For a little extra bling, string some lights to the wreath and load with a battery pack to keep it shining.
The fireplace
If the coziness of sitting by a blazing fire in the winter tickles your fancy, you’ll love this ugly Christmas sweater idea. This sweater can be pre-purchased with a trimmed fireplace and a pocket in the middle of sweater for your phone. Download an app on your phone to provide virtual flames.
Trim the tree
Get your craftiness ready to whirl with this shiny and embellished sweater. You’ll need shiny garland, small ornaments and lots of glue, but the end result is a tree to inspire even the grinchiest with a smidge of Christmas spirit. By the way: Don’t forget the ornament to top the tree.

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Stuffed stocking
Need some wine or sweet treats to keep you going through the holiday season? This stocking stuffer sweater is just what you need.
A beer lover’s Christmas
Yet another DIY ugly Christmas sweater idea, this one entails the usage of hundreds of bottle tops to make a Christmas tree. Take a red or green sweater and gather all your bottle tops. Arrange them on the sweater and glue them into the shape of a tree. Top off the tree with a metallic bow for a touch of glitz.
Snow globe
Bring the wishes of a White Christmas to life with this ugly Christmas sweater in the fashion of a snow globe. Take a plastic tablecloth and fold in half, being careful to stuff it with the insides with a pillow to look like artificial snow.
An ugly tie tree 
For this creation, all of the old ugly ties of Christmases pasts can be put to good use. Gather your ugly Christmas ties and arrange them in a tree pattern on an old sweater. Easy peasy Christmas sweater to don at all your holiday parties in the season.
Matching couple sweaters 
Want to look tacky as a pair? Wear the ugliest Christmas sweater connected to one other person to have double the fun and double the tackiness.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Pay homage to Santa’s favorite reindeer and favorite helper of them all with this Christmas sweater. Start with a black sweater vest and decorate with big eyes and a red nose. Layer a brown long-sleeved shirt underneath the sweater vest, attaching stems to look like antlers on your sleeves.

Fairborn man (and his maroon hat) in new Emilio Estevez movie

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

Former U.S. Marshal and Huber Height police officer “Hickory” William Taylor is taking the film industry by storm. Video by Amelia Robinson

When “Hickory” William Taylor was done with law enforcement, he was done with law enforcement. 

“I didn’t want to arrest people anymore,” the former U.S. Marshal and Huber Heights police officer said. “I had 38 years of that, and I was done.”

Instead of tracking down suspects, Taylor now owns Cape House Collectibles in Beavercreek with his wife Kathy. He also dabbles in the film industry as an extra. 

Taylor has appeared in about a dozen films since retiring in 2014. 

His knit, maroon hat has appeared in about five films, including  “Shoes” from Jamestown- based filmmaker Ramsey Stoneburner and Emilio Estevez’s “The Public,” which is set to open Jan. 31 at the  33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

>> Retired local police officer plays really ‘bad cop’ in Matthew McConaughey’s upcoming movie

“I was on the set for 14 days, which is a long time for an extra,” Taylor said of Estevez’s film. “We did things in that movie that I never thought I’d do at 60 years old.” 

He didn’t elaborate to prevent spoilers.  

The son of Dayton native Martin Sheen, Estevez filmed “The Public” in Cincinnati. 

Fairborn area resident "Hickory " William Taylor was an extra in the Emilio Estevez film "The Public" filmed and set in Cincinnati.

>> RELATED: Martin Sheen receives honorary degree from UD

The film is set in Cincinnati and stars Estevez, Alec BaldwinJena MaloneJeffrey WrightTaylor SchillingMichael Kenneth Williams and Che "Rhymefest" Smith.

The movie centers around a police standoff  with homeless library patrons who have staged a sit-in during a life-threatening cold snap. 

>>  LEARN MORE: Estevez dramedy about library standoff to film in Cincinnati

“I am one of the homeless guys. The movie is about us,” Taylor said about his role in “The Public. “There is no place to go and they are throwing us out of the library.”

The Fairborn area resident, one of a several local actors picked as extras in the movie, said he loved hearing stories from Williams, who joined the extras as they ate. He also said he enjoyed working with Estevez, who called him “Doc” during filming.

“He is just like a neighborhood guy. There was not a bit of pompousness in him,” Taylor said of Estevez.

Taylor said he enjoys the small, but important part he has played in “The Public” and other movies.

Most of the time extras are like furniture. We are the background crowd or a guy eating a hamburger,” he said. “The guys appreciate us because they wouldn’t have a movie without us. It would just be actors talking to each other.”  

Taylor has long been interested in acting.

Before joining the Huber Heights police department at age 20, he was an extra in the “Blue Brothers” when he was 19. 

His son and namesake is now studying theater.

An undercover detective for part of his career, Taylor said law enforcement was not always an easy job.  

He recalled the day he was shot at 23 times by a suspect. 

Fairborn area resident "Hickory " William Taylor was an extra in the Jametown filmmaker Ramsey Stoneburner's "The Shoes. He is in the maroon hat. The movie was filmed in Xenia.

Taylor said he helped following the Oklahoma City bombing and a list of hurricanes that include Katrina and Irma. 

On the set of the upcoming John Travolta film “Gotti,” a biopic about crime boss John Gotti, Taylor said he met John Gotti Jr. and actors playing people he helped transport during his time as a U.S. Marshal. 

After ending a law enforcement career started in 1990, Taylor said he decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing things he enjoyed. 

“I’ve seen so much ick in my life. I just decided I didn’t want to see that anymore,” he said. 

>> James Franco movies finish filming in Hamilton

Taylor played a moonshiner in James Franco’s yet-to-be released “The Long Home” and a chef in a scene shot in this region for the Robert Redford movie “The Old Man and the Gun” with Redford, Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacey. 

>> RELATED: Downtown Dayton has been taken over by Danny Glover, Robert Redford movie

Dayton filming has begun for "The Old Man and The Gun.The movie stars Robert Redford, Danny Glover, Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacek. Video by Amelia Robinson and Lisa Powell.

Taylor said tons of opportunities have opened up for Dayton actors since Ohio started offering the Motion Picture Tax Credit in recent years.

Everyday people are seizing the opportunity to appear in movies as supporting actors and work behind the camera, he said.

>> 7 movies with unusual connections to Dayton


“There are some super talented people,” he said. “They go work a movie and then they go back to their beauty salon and do hair.”

As for himself, Taylor said the maroon hat helps. 

“My buddies give me crap about it. They say the hat needs an agent,” Taylor said. “You have to stand out and you have to be fearless, too.”

Fairborn area resident "Hickory " William Taylor was an extra in the Emilio Estevez film "The Public" filmed and set in Cincinnati.

Fairborn area resident "Hickory" William Taylor was an extra in "Donnybrook," a Tim Sutton movie film in the Cincinnati area.