Dayton citizens ask ALDI to reconsider closing West Dayton store

Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 7:01 PM

Dayton officials announced that ALDI plans to shutter the Westown store.

Some community members are asking ALDI representatives to reconsider closing the West Dayton location, which they say would exacerbate an already troubling lack of access to fresh and healthy food items in the area.

Jamica Garrison, co-founder and board member of the community group Neighborhoods Over Politics, is encouraging community members write ALDI to ask company officials to rethink plans to shutter its store at 4303 W. Third St. in the Westown Shopping Center.

Garrison and others say many people who live in West Dayton and patronize ALDI do not have other options nearby to get buy reasonably priced and healthy food products.

Garrison said she believes it is not too late for ALDI to change course.

“I’m a person of great faith and I believe that God changes the heart of man,” she said. “So I believe it’s not over until it’s over — until we see the ‘closed’ sign on the door, there’s still hope.”

RELATED: ALDI closing to create even larger food desert in Dayton

On Friday, Dayton officials announced that ALDI plans to shutter the Westown store.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said she was very disappointed that officials with the supermarket chain did not reach out to the city before deciding not to renew the lease.

She said ALDI officials could have started a conversation with the city and the community to try to figure out how to make that location viable and remain open.

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ALDI representatives indicated that foot traffic was down, Whaley said, but the shopping center is 100 percent occupied and its owners say its customer base has been steady.

“To make the decision and just close with no communication to the community doesn’t show that they are good community partners,” Whaley said.

Residents who have vehicles will be able to drive to Kroger on West Siebenthaler Avenue, about 4 miles north of the shopping center, or other stores in the Dayton area, said Garrison, who regularly shops at the Westown location.

But residents who walk or ride the bus to ALDI will be hard pressed to find a replacement, she said.

Garrison said if ALDI representatives will not reconsider staying open, hopefully at very least company officials will give the community an explanation for why they are shutting down what to many people is an important business.

She urges community members to contact ALDI and express their support for keeping the business open.

If ALDI decides to leave, the city of Dayton and Westown hopefully will work with the community to find a suitable replacement for the business — not a retailer or grocer of lesser quality and products that does not offer fresh produce and other nutritional items, Garrison said.

“My hope is before a decision is made they have a townhall with residents to find out what they want,” she said.

Nathan Karn, who works at Westown center, said many ALDI customers come by bus to shop, and now they will have to travel much farther for groceries and will have to transport them much farther distances.

“It’s going to be devastating, especially because we have a lot of senior citizens come this way by bus,” he said.

Crystal Nash, 34, who lives on the west side, said she visits ALDI daily to buy food and meals .

She said ALDI is 15 minutes from her home by bus, which is really convenient, and she doesn’t know where she get groceries if it closes.

She may not be able to shop as frequently, which could make her trips more of a hassle.

“With me riding the bus, it may be more difficult because I would have to catch a cab if I were to get a whole lot of groceries,” she said.

Gloria Landis, 79, who lives outside Trotwood, says she has shopped at ALDI in the Westown center at least once a week for many years, dating back to its opening.

The store is a roughly 7-minute drive from her home.

Landis expects to patronize ALDI’s Englewood location because she likes the chain’s products and prices.

But, Landis said, the Westown ALDI serves a lower-income population and patrons who lack transportation may have a difficult time finding another place to get fresh produce and meats.

Residents won’t have to vacate downtown Dayton apartments

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 4:26 PM


            The boiler in the Newcom apartment building at 255 N. Main St. in downtown was shut down because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, city officials said. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
The boiler in the Newcom apartment building at 255 N. Main St. in downtown was shut down because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, city officials said. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A Montgomery County Common Pleas judge has granted a temporary restraining order that blocks the city of Dayton from forcing some tenants to move out of a downtown apartment building that has a malfunctioning heating system.

RELATED: Dayton issues vacate order for downtown apartment building

Last week, city of Dayton housing inspection officials issued an emergency vacate order to residents at the Newcom Building, located at 255 N. Main St., citing “unsafe” living conditions.

The residents were ordered to move out by 4 p.m. today if the building’s owners had not repaired its heating system, which was shut off because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

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But about an hour before today’s deadline, Judge Richard Skelton granted the building’s owner, Howard Heck, a temporary restraining order on the condition he purchase small heating units for each apartment and get the boiler repaired or replaced in about a month.

Skeleton said he or court officials would stop by the Newcom building routinely to check on the temperatures inside the apartment building to make sure it is not too cold and check on the progress to repair the heating system.

“I am going to be watching this very closely,” he said.

This afternoon, Judge Skeleton presided over a hearing about the Newcom Building Company’s request for a restraining order and permanent injunction against the city of Dayton division of housing inspection.

MORE: Will a shutdown happen? Wright Patt in holding pattern

The seven-story apartment building’s boiler was shut down this month after fire crews determined it was releasing high levels of carbon monoxide, which can cause deadly poisoning.

But that left residents without a safe way to heat their homes, and city inspectors told the building owner to fix the boiler or they would board up the structure by this afternoon.

Seven tenants have left the apartment building after the emergency order was issued, leaving about 18 other occupied units, officials said.

Skelton said the owner has 30 days to fix the boiler, but could maybe get a “reasonable” extension if things are going OK and the temperature inside is satisfactory.

4 law enforcement officers shot in South Carolina; suspect in custody

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:30 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 7:26 AM

Photo credit: WSOCTV.com
WSOCTV.com
Photo credit: WSOCTV.com(WSOCTV.com)

WSOC-TV is following breaking news in York County, South Carolina, where officials said four law enforcement officers were shot overnight.

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Simone Biles latest gymnast to claim team doctor sexually abused her

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 6:53 PM
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 8:06 PM

What You Need To Know About Larry Nassar

Simone Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics, went on social media Monday and became the latest gymnast to claim that former team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her.

>> Read more trending news

“I am one of the many survivors who was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Biles, 20, wrote on Twitter. “Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak these words out loud than it is now to put them on paper.”

Nassar, who spent more than 20 years working at Michigan State University and as a physician for USA Gymnastics, has admitted to sexually assaulting gymnasts, ESPN reported. 

In December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on charges of child pornography. He will be sentenced Tuesday for 10 state counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, ESPN reported. Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to those charges in November.

Nassar has been accused by more than 140 women and girls of sexual misconduct. That includes Olympic gymnasts Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, CNN reported.

“For too long I’ve asked myself, ‘Was I too naive?’ ‘Was it my fault?’ I now know the answers to those questions,” Biles tweeted. “No. No, it was not my fault.

“No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG (USA Gymnastics), and others .”

In her tweet, Biles also called Nassar’s behavior “completely unacceptable, disgusting and abusive.”

Raisman offered her support to Biles in a tweet. Raisman accused Nassar of sexual abuse in November.

“I stand with you,” Raisman tweeted.

Dayton issues vacate order for downtown apartment building

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 12:43 PM
Updated: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 12:51 PM


            The city of Dayton issued a vacate order to Newcom ManOr residents at 255 N. Main St. after problems with carbon monoxide. STAFF/CORNELIUS FROLIK
The city of Dayton issued a vacate order to Newcom ManOr residents at 255 N. Main St. after problems with carbon monoxide. STAFF/CORNELIUS FROLIK

The city of Dayton has issued an order to vacate a downtown apartment building containing almost 50 residents after its owners failed to fix a malfunctioning heating system, making the building unsafe to live in, city officials said.

Officials say they will board up the Newcom Building at 255 N. Main St. on Tuesday unless the heating system is repaired.

All residents would be required to relocate.

The boiler was shut off after fire crews earlier this month discovered high levels of carbon monoxide in the building, which can lead to deadly poisoning.

“Ensuring that our citizens are safe is of the utmost importance,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein in a statement. “If we find conditions that are hazardous and that put lives at risk, the only recourse we have is to vacate the building for the residents’ safety.”

But Newcom Building Co. President Howard Heck said three days is not nearly enough time to repair the boiler since it is old and its parts are not easy to get.

The boiler could take a couple of weeks to repair “unless there is a miracle and the center sections would be available, in stock that can be overnighted,” he said.

Some residents say it’s unreasonable that they will have to find some place to move to when it’s perfectly safe and warm in their apartments.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Bradley Brumit, who lives in the building. “No one wants to leave because they ain’t got no place to go. … We’d have to be Houdini to find somebody to give us a place to move.”

MORE: 2 dead in suspected carbon monoxide poisonings

On Thursday, the city issued the owners and residents of the Newcom building an emergency vacate order.

The city’s housing inspection department said conditions inside the building are dangerous because the heating system is not working properly.

The city told residents that they need to make arrangements to find housing by Tuesday. There are about 25 apartments in the building. Many residents are elderly and low-income.

The city discovered building code violations at the Newcom building after crews responded to an emergency medical run on Jan. 4.

Fire crews found high levels of carbon monoxide related to a malfunctioning boiler as well as other deficiencies.

City officials said they gave the building owner seven days to fix the problems.

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The building had multiple electrical hazards and an improperly functioning fire alarm that created dangerous conditions and required intervention, said Dayton Assistant Fire Chief Nicholas Hosford.

But now from a fire safety standpoint, the building no longer has any immediate fire hazards, Hosford said. However, it does not have heat, which means its not compliant with code.

Heck said the boiler would cost $40,000 to replace, which he cannot afford to do. He said he’s called multiple companies trying to get it repaired or rebuilt, but that likely will take time.

“I’m willing to work to get this done, but it’s just like if you have a car and need the parts but OK they have to come down from Chicago or Detroit or Kansas City, you just can’t do it” immediately, he said. “The timeline of three days, especially over a holiday weekend, is unreasonable.”

The building has a double layer of brick, and even when the temperature dropped below zero, it is not freezing cold in the apartments, Brumit said.

The gas in the building is on so residents can take showers, cook food and wash clothing, residents said.

“They act like being in here when it’s cold is worse than being homeless,” he said.

The city said residents can access their rooms and the property until Tuesday.

The order cannot be lifted unless a state inspector re-certifies the boiler, which requires it to be repaired or replaced, officials said.

The city has worked with Montgomery County Emergency Management and some social service agencies to assist residents in finding a place to go and move and accessing other services.

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