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: 

Stop sending LinkedIn invitations to people you don’t know

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

I am not a master of LinkedIn, nor am I a master of social media. But I have learned a lot through trial and error. Also, I have figured out the hard way what works best and what can anger others. My number one pet peeve is when someone will send me a LinkedIn invitation and I have never met that person.

I can already hear the trolls about to scream in all caps in the comments, but hear me out first. I have no problem with connecting with people, either in real life or via the interwebs. Hell, that’s how a lot of my good friendships started. One random night at a city meeting, I tweeted at someone a few years back. They are now one of my best friends and I am one of his groomsmen in his upcoming wedding. So, I am not against that.

What I am against is when people send me a LinkedIn request when I have never met them, and they send no note or message attached with it. I am always suspicious when this happens. When I receive a request like this, I go through my following hitlist.

1.) Review the person’s profile

This is critical.  You need to first make sure this person is not a fake account or someone trying to build a small LinkedIn army of connections. Do they have a presentable profile picture? What is their current work history and where do they work? Are they involved in any of the same activities and groups I am involved with? Are they from the same area I am from? These are important questions that you should ask before accepting a request.

2.) Check to see what mutual connections we have

This is usually a deal breaker for me.  If I can see that this person is connected to a large number of my connections, then this is good, and usually I can reach out to any one of those connections to ask further questions.  If there are little to no mutual connections I get a bit worried.

3.) Find out what they are posting, if anything

Usually the type of material that a person posts to LinkedIn allows me to make the decision on whether or not I want them as a connection. I am not wanting my feed on LinkedIn to be filled with motivational quotes or pictures of baby goats. I use LinkedIn as a professional networking social media platform. I try to post items that relate to professional matters or leadership. As for baby goats? That’s why I have Instagram and Facebook.

4.) Did they send a welcome message ?

This is the easiest thing a person can do when connecting with someone they do not know. Send a welcome message stating why you are wanting to connect with me. I am 87% more inclined to accept a request if it has the message, “Hello. We have not met before, but I am looking to connect with more young professionals or financial industry folks or UD grads or Dayton natives or people involved with Dayton Clubs or INSERT WHATEVER ELSE!” Guess what? This is a conversation starter. If you are truly looking to connect with me, then I will happily respond and say, “Thanks for reaching out! I am involved with XYZ. Are you free for coffee one day? Let’s connect in person and talk more.”

I learned a long time ago not to just connect with anyone on LinkedIn. The lesson was embarrassing, and I will never forget it. A client of mine reached out to me via LinkedIn and said that I was connected with someone she was trying to reach out to and get to know better to help with her business. She said the name, and I had no idea who it was. I had never met that person nor talked with them. I had to go back to the client and say, “I am sorry, but I am not sure who this person is or how I am connected to them.” For me it was very embarrassing. That is when I started screening my connections a bit further.

I think it is safe to say that I know about 90% of all the folks I am connected with on LinkedIn. When I reach out to connect with someone, it is usually to follow up from a recent networking event or because their cell number or email is in my contacts and that pulls up on LinkedIn.

So please, for the love of baby goats: stop sending invitations to people you don’t know — or if you do, add a personal message to it!

Jason Harrison of Present Tense Fitness shares his ideal ‘last meal' in Dayton

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Jason Harrison, of Present Tense Fitness. PHOTO / Knack Creative
Jason Harrison, of Present Tense Fitness. PHOTO / Knack Creative

As I am getting to know new people, I live by the old adage “You are what you eat.” What and where you choose to eat says a lot about you. What you enjoy in food typically reflects what you enjoy in life. Which is why I always ask new friends about their last meal. What would you choose to eat if you had one day left? It says a lot about a person. Do you value comfort, family, atmosphere, flavor? 

>> This Dayton restaurant landed on a local chef’s “last meal” list

Recently, I’ve asked a few restaurant pros about their choice of last meal, but this time around I thought I’d get a new perspective. I asked Jason Harrison, personal trainer and co-owner of Present Tense Fitness in the Oregon District. Jason spends his days coaching and encouraging his clients to think of wellness in broad terms, encompassing fitness, food, and lifestyle.

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But for Jason, it’s more than just eating right, getting 8 hours of sleep, and spending time in the gym. Wellness for Jason and the rest of the Present Tense family means examining all aspects of their life, what they read, what they watch, and what they eat. He dishes out a daily dose of this wellness perspective with his Present Tense Daily Brief, a daily newsletter. If you aren’t already getting this in your inbox, I suggest you do! 

So what would the Oregon District’s own fitness guru chose to eat for his last Dayton meal? Well, it’s very specific: 

“I'd order a coffee in a mug and a donut from Press, and I'd sit at the rectangular table near the front window. Ideally the barista would be Barry, and she'd be playing Courtney Barnett over the speakers. I associate Press, Barry, Courtney Barnett, and the former manager Anne with moving back to Dayton to be closer to my family.”

Jason and his wife Susan have lived in many metropolitan areas across the country, and coming back to Dayton, Press has been the spot in the Oregon District that makes them feel most at home. Brett and Janelle Barker, owners of Press, have earned Jason’s immense respect with their attention to detail and their focus on their craft. As Jason describes, they are “punching above their weight.”

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It’s this quality that Harrison would like to see more of in Dayton. Additionally, he’d like there to be more fast, fresh and healthy options. There are plenty of places where you can sit down to eat in Dayton and get a healthy bite, but not enough convenient, quick meals that offer Harrison’s recommended dose of vegetables. As a personal trainer for the last 10 years, people come to Harrison with lots of questions about food and weight loss.

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His best piece of advice? Eat vegetables with every meal, including breakfast

“If more Daytonians did that, I think restaurants might follow the demand. We might also begin putting a dent in Ohio’s troubling obesity rate.”

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But even Harrison isn’t a perfect angel all the time (hence the donut for the last meal!) Even he kicks back with a cocktail now and again, picking Salar as his cocktail destination of choice. He can look to the skilled bartenders there for the perfect chilled Manhattan. He also likes to take a seat at The Century Bar and savor his cocktail now and again. Century Bar is another place on the list of “punching above their weight.”

As for being able to physically punch above your weight? Well, Jason can help you with that. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tess is a restaurant professional, home-baker and downtown Dayton dweller. When she's not mixing drinks for restaurant patrons, she's drinking champagne, buying shoes, or writing her blog, Ciao Vella. You can read about her home recipes, party planning tips, and more at

4 carb-filled breakfast foods that won't ruin your diet

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 12:12 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 2:12 PM

Add these carb-filled foods to fuel your morning Switch white bread for whole-grain bread with protein like peanut butter, avocados, or an egg for more energy Load your old-fashioned oatmeal with nutrient-dense foods, like chopped nuts, berries, chia seeds or hulled hemp seeds Pick out a whole-grain cereal high in fiber, low in sugar and big on vitamins Start your morning with a whole grain English muffin topped with an egg, leafy greens, fresh tomato and cheese

With all the fad diets out there, it's hard to know what to eat in the morning.

Although some experts suggest that eating a low-carb diet could help you lose weight more quickly, some carbohydrates are actually good for you and can give you the sustained energy you need to get through the day.

RELATED: Considering the Paleo Diet? Here's what you need to know

According to Clemson University, a nutritious breakfast contains small amounts of protein and fat, with the bulk of the meal consisting of complex carbohydrates, like whole grains. If you've been shunning carbs in order to drop a few pounds, but feel lethargic and exhausted by lunchtime, adding a few back into your diet could give you the nutritional boost your body's craving.

 Add these carb-filled foods to fuel your morning:

Give whole grain toast a punch of power by adding an avocado or an egg.(Courtesy of megh28/Flickr/For the AJC)

Whole-grain bread with protein

Switch your morning white bread to a healthier, heartier, whole-grain counterpart, and add a little protein and fat, like peanut butter, almond butter, mashed avocado or an egg, which will give you more energy and leave you feeling satisfied for hours.

Eat old-fashioned oatmeal in the morning for a boost of long-lasting energy.(Courtesy of Jonathan Wilhoite/Flickr/For the AJC)

Loaded old-fashioned oatmeal

The soluble fiber in slow-cooked, old-fashioned oatmeal actually helps slow down how fast your body absorbs carbohydrates. This keeps your blood sugar levels more consistent and even throughout the day. Instead of having it plain, load your old-fashioned oatmeal with nutrient-dense foods, like chopped nuts, berries, chia seeds or hulled hemp seeds.

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Whole grain cereal with fruit

Starting your day with a bowl of cereal might seem like a no-no, but it's all about which cereal you pick. Avoid sugary, refined cereals, and pick out a whole-grain cereal high in fiber, low in sugar and big on vitamins. Top your bowl off with some fresh fruit that's high in antioxidants, such as raspberries or blueberries, and you'll have an early morning winner.

Homemade breakfast sandwich

Although a breakfast sandwich from a fast food restaurant might not provide you with the energy-filled morning you're hoping for, making your own homemade breakfast sandwich just might. Start with a whole grain English muffin, which contains complex carbs that digest slowly in your system, topped with an egg, leafy greens, fresh tomato and cheese.

Still confused about what to eat? Get the answers to the questions you were too afraid to ask about healthy eating here.


See our favorite Instagrams of the eclipse in Dayton

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 10:46 AM

The eclipse was visible through special solar filters and glasses Monday, Aug. 21 in West Chester Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The eclipse was visible through special solar filters and glasses Monday, Aug. 21 in West Chester Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Talk about a rare occurrence! The solar eclipse of 2017 is all anyone has been talking about for weeks, and for good reason.

Check out these amazing Instagram photos from around the Miami Valley to see all the creative ways people watched.


A post shared by Allegra C (@allegra_c) on

Many of our awesome VTA employees, like Crystal, took to the top of The Arts Garage for a better view of the #solareclipse! 🌚🌝

A post shared by Victoria Theatre Association (@vtadayton) on

>> PHOTOS: The solar eclipse in the Miami Valley

Boat eclipse.

A post shared by Brian Johnson (@boatmayor) on

>> Mark your calendars now -- more eclipses are on the way

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Eclipsing!!!! #daytonohio #whiotv #whio #solareclipse #daytoneclipse #eclipseshadow

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Have an eclipse photo you want to share with us? Send us an email at, or tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.