You won’t believe how this former Dayton drug dealing teen is doing 22 years after NPR interview 

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 12:25 PM

Dayton Daily News archived photo of Steven Mallory by Ed Roberts/Dayton Daily News
Ed Roberts/Dayton Daily News
Dayton Daily News archived photo of Steven Mallory by Ed Roberts/Dayton Daily News(Ed Roberts/Dayton Daily News)

The way you your start life isn’t necessarily the way you have to live it. 

That is one conclusion that can be drawn from Steven Mallory’s journey. 

When NPR’s “All Thing Considered” host Robert Siegel interviewed Mallory in 1994 and 1995, Mallory was 22 years old and recovering from a life as a “fast-living teenage drug dealer” in Dayton. 

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Mallory, a trash collector for Montgomery County with three children at the time of his first interviews with Siegel, changed his ways after friend Antoine Gibson died in 1992. He wanted to live a better life. 

As part of a story that aired Wednesday on NPR,  Siegel said that back then, Mallory struck him as a person with imagination who wanted more out of life than it was giving him. 

“Mr. Steven Mallory of Dayton, Ohio, whom I interviewed back in 1994 and 1995. I wondered ever since whether he's OK. Turns out, he's better than OK,” Siegel said. 

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Siegel came to the Dayton area and caught up with Mallory. He still works for Montgomery County, but has moved up in the ranks.

ARCHIVED PHOTO from 2008 : Receiving a complimentary massage from Steven Mallory is Kelly Welsh of Centerville. Friends, Food, Fun and Fashion was the theme at the 3rd Annual Ladies Night Out at the Taj Ma Garaj fundraiser to support Daybreak, Ronald McDonald House and The Wellness Connection. Photo by Jim Witmer(Amelia Robinson)

“Over 20 years later, Mallory, 44, now lives in the Northridge Estates subdivision just north of the Dayton city line. Here, there are single homes with garages and neatly mowed lawns. It's the very vision of a middle-class suburb.

He is Dad to three grown children from his days with Groves and one teenage daughter with Tracey, his wife of 18 years. Tracey is an elementary school principal. Their teenage daughter, Zharia, will be making college visits this summer.”

Besides his work as a Montgomery County scale operator, Mallory owns two businesses, a lawn care service and a massage clinic. 

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“Seeing Steven Mallory today as an enterprising middle-class suburbanite reminded me of the capacity for imagination that I had seen in him back in the 1990s. He imagined a life unlike anything he had ever experienced, and he made it happen,” Siegel said. 

Hear the entire story here: 

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5 tips for keeping a snake-free yard

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 8:28 AM

How To Treat a Snake Bite

Forget about "Snakes on a Plane”; we're more concerned with snakes in the yard. Even though snakes are nowhere near as prevalent as our irrational fears would have us think (assuming you don't live smack dab in the middle of rattlesnake territory), if you're a homeowner with a bit of landscape or yard under your direction, you may encounter snakes on occasion.

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That should be no biggie, according to experts at the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.

"As a general rule, snakes are just as frightened of you as possibly you are of them and often they move as quickly as possible in the other direction," the extension noted. Venomous snake bites are rare and you can readily take steps to treat them. If you're an avid gardener, you may even want snakes in your slice of the great outdoors, since they dine on rodents and insects and can actually help protect you from garden pests.

Not buying it? You can try to keep snakes out of your home life. Just understand that even the best measures are not 100 percent foolproof, according to America's Wetland Resources, which is based in the South.

"There are no magic or absolute solutions," AWR asserted. "There are no poisons or repellents that work, though some new 'breakthrough' is occasionally advertised. Horsehair ropes and trails of mothballs have consistently tested negative, and pest control operators have no answers."

But there are still plenty of valid ways to limit, or possibly eliminate, a slithery presence in your yard, garden or home. Here are five tips from the pros on how to keep snakes out of your yard:

1. Seal crevices. Closer to your home, seal the openings where snakes like to set up house. "Check the clearance of door bottoms, weep holes, openings where pipes enter, cracks and spaces under eaves," AWR recommended. "Don't neglect storerooms and sheds."

AWR added that sealing enough openings to make a difference is much more difficult if you own a raised wooden home.

2. Tidy up the yard. Snakes might choose to live on your property or simply travel through, according to AWR. You want to make your property as inhospitable as possible, so concentrate on ridding it of any places snakes would consider good spots to hide. Remove debris, from piles of boards, tin, sticks and leaves to flat boats on the ground and piles of bricks or stone, AWR advised, and keep vegetation cut back.

3. Stop serving the snake's preferred menu. It's a win-win. When you take away potential hiding places for snakes, the spots where rat and mice families like to congregate are also eliminated. But take this one step further, AWR advised, and take further steps to get rid of the rodents that snakes like to snack on. You may want to involve a pest control agent, but you definitely want to practice anti-rodent hygiene, including not leaving pet food out for more than an hour or so, closing trash cans tightly and securing compost in a sealed container.

4. Combat the climbers. If limbs from a neighbor's yard hang over your fence, snakes may use them as an entry to your place. Consider working with your neighbor to get them trimmed.

5. Consider the snake-proof fence. If you live in an area where one or more venomous snakes are common, you may want to invest in a snake-proof fence, according to NCSU. "Small areas where children play can be protected from all poisonous and most harmless snakes with a snake-proof fence," it noted. "However, the cost of the fence may make it impractical to protect an entire yard."

Make a fence by burying 1/4-inch mesh wire screening 6 inches underground and building it up 30 inches, instructed NCSU.

"It should slant outward at a 30-degree angle from bottom to top. The supporting stakes must be inside the fence and any gates must fit tightly. Tall vegetation must be removed along the fence, both inside and outside."

It's costly, but you can snake-proof the entire yard with a concrete chain wall that extends six inches or so below the surface, noted AWR.

"If you already have a wooden fence and the boards are very close together, a good solution is to snake-proof the bottom."

>> Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says

One fairly cheap way is to use 1/4-inch hardware cloth cut in strips wide enough to overlap the bottom of the fence so it can be tacked securely and extend down into a narrow trench six inches deep.

AWR added another word of caution for either snake-proof fence design. (Spoiler alert: It's nightmare inducing.) "Many snakes climb by looping over objects and the above described design may virtually eliminate their entry," it noted. "Others, however, can crawl up vertical surfaces if they are rough, such as the trunk of a tree or a brick wall (including the side of a house)."

To overcome this creepy climbing capability, you can place a foot-wide ledge made of wood or metal flashing along the outer side at the top. "This structure makes the snakes lean out away from the wall and it will lose its grip and fall."

>> Read more trending news 

After all this snake talk, AWR does have one bit of great news. "Snakes are rarely abundant in any one location."

And if all your efforts fail and snakes do make their way into your yard, AWR recommended the ultimate fail-safe.

"The best thing you can do for yourself and family is to teach everyone to respect snakes and to be on the lookout for them," according to the AWR website. "Remember, don't touch it with your hands. Use a shovel to place the snake in a deep bucket with a cover. The chances of your encountering a venomous species is remote, but possible enough to always by careful!"

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Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 7:02 AM

Certain Kinds of Tea Could Ruin Your Teeth, Study Says

Do you love sipping teaBeware of the fruity flavors, because they could be bad for your teeth, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from King's College London Dental Institute recently conducted a study, published in British Dental Journal, to determine how certain foods and drinks can affect tooth wear. 

To do so, researchers examined a previous study that compared the diet of 300 people with severe erosive tooth wear with the diet of 300 people with healthy teeth.

>> Read more trending news 

After analyzing the results, they found that eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks, especially between meals, increased teeth erosion risk.

In fact, those who consumed acidic drinks, such as sodas, lemon water and hot flavored teas, twice a day were more than 11 times more likely to develop moderate or severe tooth erosion.

>> On AJC.com: The truth about green tea

Furthermore, scientists discovered that drinking hot beverages and sipping or holding acidic liquids in your mouth before swallowing can increase your chances, too.

While they noted some groups of people, such as wine tasters, are accustomed to swishing liquor around, the habit can still be dangerous. 

“It is well known that an acidic diet is associated with erosive tooth wear, however our study has shown the impact of the way in which acidic food and drinks are consumed,” coauthor Saoirse O’Toole said in a statement

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Now analysts hope to continue their investigations to create preventative measures to combat the issue. In the meantime, they recommend a change in diet to delay teeth damage. 

“With the prevalence of erosive tooth wear increasing, it is vitally important that we address this preventable aspect of erosive tooth wear,” O’Toole said. “While behaviour change can be difficult to achieve, specific, targeted behavioural interventions may prove successful.”

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5 simple things you can do for the environment and your health

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:59 AM

6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Health

With climate change predictions coming from scientists on a regular basis, many people are increasingly concerned about their personal impact on the environment.

At the same time, who isn't concerned about their health and well-being? While it's a no-brainer that severe pollution and ominous natural disasters can be detrimental to humanity, there are small things we do daily that negatively impact our health as well as the environment.

»RELATED: 5 things you're doing 'for your health' that aren't so healthy

If you want to take small eco-friendly steps to jump start your health, keep reading. It's easier than you think.

1. Ditch the car and walk more often

Are you close enough to the office to start walking to work each day? If so, you'll get the benefits of extra exercise, while also reducing your carbon footprint and fighting pollution.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, "transportation contributed more than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons emitted into our air," in 2013. This isn't just bad for the environment, it's a public health problem as well.

If everyone made an effort to ditch their vehicles and walk more often, it would go a long way to address the issue.

Even if your commute is too far to go by foot, what about bike? Public transportation? Is car pooling an option?

And whether or not you start walking to work, you can definitely find ways to avoid driving and walk more. Perhaps those evening car trips to the grocery store down the street could be done on foot.

2. Get a reusable water bottle

Drinking an adequate amount of water is important for our health. It keeps us hydrated and may even fight aging.

Water makes skin smoother, helps reduce fatigue, makes the immune system function more efficiently and helps with weight management. But if you increase your water intake by regularly purchasing plastic bottles of it, you're not doing the environment or yourself any favors.

Some types of plastic water bottles contain chemicals that may leach into the drinking water, causing potential health hazards. On top of that, it's well-known that plastic is detrimental to the environment. Reducing your use of plastics is a great eco-friendly step.

So, drink more water but ditch the plastic. Find a good reusable option, such as a stainless-steel canteen-like bottle.

Aren't eating enough vegetables? Rethink the way you prepare them, a mom of two says.

3. Eat more locally grown, organic produce

Adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet is always a healthy choice. If you can ensure that extra produce is locally grown and organic, you're taking a step to help the environment as well.

When produce is shipped across the country, or even across oceans, the transportation involved leaves a significant carbon footprint behind. At the same time, the pesticides used on non-organically grown produce are bad for the environment, while also being a potential health hazard.

Do yourself a favor, eat more produce but ensure it's the healthiest option for the environment and for you.

4. Reduce your meat consumption

The factory farming of animals is one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. According to research led by scientists at Oxford Martin School, widespread adoption of a vegetarian diet would bring down emissions by 63 percent. If everyone would cut animal products all together, emissions would decrease by about 70 percent.

At the same time, the researchers behind the study pointed out that excessive meat consumption is behind many health problems.

"Imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruits and vegetables and high in red and processed meat, are responsible for the greatest health burden globally and in most regions," Dr. Marco Springmann, lead author of the study, told The Guardian. "At the same time, the food system is responsible [currently] for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore a major driver of climate change."

Even if you don't want to go completely vegetarian, consider reducing your consumption of meat to once or twice a week.

5. Make your home a little greener

Plants literally create the air we breathe. They transform CO2 in the atmosphere into oxygen that we need each moment of our lives. Plants also remove toxins from the air at a rapid rate.

Research by NASA has shown that indoor plants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin within just 24 hours

So, to improve the air quality of your home, buy some houseplants! If you have a yard, plant a tree or a full garden. 

Adding more plants to your life also does more than make the air around you fresher. They actually make humans happier, increase productivity and lower stress levels, according to a report by NBC News.

Those benefits, on top of the promise of cleaner air, are reason enough to invest in a few new plants.

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Here are tips on keeping a snake-free yard

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:57 PM

Woman's Dream Home Becomes Snake-Infested Nightmare

Forget about "Snakes on a Plane," we're more concerned with snakes in the yard. Even though snakes are nowhere near as prevalent as our irrational fears would have us think (assuming you don't live smack dab in the middle of rattlesnake territory), if you're a homeowner with a bit of landscape or yard under your direction, you may encounter snakes on occasion.

That should be no biggie, according to experts at the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.

"As a general rule, snakes are just as frightened of you as possibly you are of them and often they move as quickly as possible in the other direction," the extension noted. Venomous snake bites are rare and you can readily take steps to treat them. If you're an avid gardener, you may even want snakes in your slice of the great outdoors, since they diet on rodents and insects and can actually help protect you from garden pests.

Not buying it? You can try to keep snakes out of your home life. Just understand that even the best measures are not 100 percent foolproof, according to America's Wetland Resources, which is based in the South.

"There are no magic or absolute solutions," AWR asserted. "There are no poisons or repellents that work, though some new 'breakthrough' is occasionally advertised. Horsehair ropes and trails of mothballs have consistently tested negative, and pest control operators have no answers."

But there are still plenty of valid ways to limit, or possibly eliminate, a slithery presence in your yard, garden or home. Here are five tips from the pros on how to keep snakes out of your yard:

Seal crevices. Closer to your home, seal the openings where snakes like to set up house. "Check the clearance of door bottoms, weep holes, openings where pipes enter, cracks and spaces under eaves," AWR recommended. "Don't neglect storerooms and sheds."

AWR added that sealing enough openings to make a difference is much more difficult if you own a raised wooden home.

Lawrenceville approves $253,061 for upgrades to the Lawrenceville Lawn. Courtesy City of Lawrenceville(For the AJC)

Tidy up the yard. Snakes might choose to live on your property or simply travel through, according to AWR. You want to make your property as inhospitable as possible, so concentrate on ridding it of any places snakes would consider good spots to hide. Remove debris, from piles of boards, tin, sticks and leaves to flat boats on the ground and piles of bricks or stone, AWR advised, and keep vegetation cut back.

Stop serving the snake's preferred menu. It's a win-win. When you take away potential hiding places for snakes, the spots where rat and mice families like to congregate are also eliminated. But take this one step further, AWR advised, and take further steps to get rid of the rodents that snakes like to snack on. You may want to involve a pest control agent, but you definitely want to practice anti-rodent hygiene, including not leaving pet food out for more than an hour or so, closing trash cans tightly and securing compost in a sealed container.

Combat the climbers. If limbs from a neighbor's yard hang over your fence, snakes may use them as an entry to your place. Consider working with your neighbor to get them trimmed.

Consider the snake-proof fence. If you live in an area where one or more venomous snakes are common, you may want to invest in a snake-proof fence, according to NCSU. "Small areas where children play can be protected from all poisonous and most harmless snakes with a snake-proof fence," it noted. "However, the cost of the fence may make it impractical to protect an entire yard."

Make a fence by burying 1/4-inch mesh wire screening 6 inches underground and building it up 30 inches, instructed NCSU.

"It should slant outward at a 30-degree angle from bottom to top. The supporting stakes must be inside the fence and any gates must fit tightly. Tall vegetation must be removed along the fence, both inside and outside."

It's costly, but you can snake-proof the entire yard with a concrete chain wall that extends six inches or so below the surface, noted AWR.

"If you already have a wooden fence and the boards are very close together, a good solution is to snake-proof the bottom."

One fairly cheap way is to use 1/4-inch hardware cloth cut in strips wide enough to overlap the bottom of the fence so it can be tacked securely and extend down into a narrow trench six inches deep.

AWR added another word of caution for either snake-proof fence design (spoiler alert: it's nightmare inducing.) "Many snakes climb by looping over objects and the above described design may virtually eliminate their entry," it noted. "Others, however, can crawl up vertical surfaces if they are rough, such as the trunk of a tree or a brick wall (including the side of a house)."

To overcome this creepy climbing capability, you can place a foot-wide ledge made of wood or metal flashing along the outer side at the top. "This structure makes the snakes lean out away from the wall and it will lose its grip and fall."

After all this snake talk, AWR does have one bit of great news. "Snakes are rarely abundant in any one location."

And if all your efforts fail and snakes do make their way into your yard, AWR recommended the ultimate failsafe.

"The best thing you can do for yourself and family is to teach everyone to respect snakes and to be on the lookout for them," according to the  AWR website. "Remember, don't touch it with your hands. Use a shovel to place the snake in a deep bucket with a cover. The chances of your encountering a venomous species is remote, but possible enough to always by careful!"

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