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Dayton reaches $1.5M settlement over nuisance odors

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 2:48 PM

Dayton reaches $1.5M settlement over nuisance odors

The city of Dayton has agreed to accept a nearly $1.5 million settlement with an agricultural and industrial company over discharge issues that led to sewer blockages and foul odors.

Cargill’s corn milling plant in Dayton produces about 3 million to 4 million gallons of waste every day that is fed into the city’s sanitary sewer system, city officials said.

The city took enforcement action against the company because its discharge was causing blockages in the sanitary sewer as well as an unpleasant smell, said John Musto, Dayton’s chief trial counsel.

The blockage issues have been resolved, officials said, and the city and Cargill will work together to try to reduce smelly hydrogen sulfide levels in the waste water system associated with the company’s discharge.

“The settlement also provides a framework for the parties to work together to identify a cost-effective method for preventing odors in the city sewer serving the corn mill,” said Kelly Sheehan, spokeswoman for Cargill.

MORE: Dayton faces long-term budget issues, despite income tax hike

Since 2014, the city of Dayton issued Cargill a series of notices of violation and administrative orders for not following regulations related to pretreatment of wastewater discharge, officials said.

The company, which has a plant at 3201 Needmore Road, appealed about 41 of the notices.

But the city and Cargill have reached a settlement in which the city agrees to rescind the notices of violation and the company will drop its pending appeals.

Cargill was required to pay penalties to the city to appeal the notices, which were held until the appeals were decided, Sheehan said.

MORE: Why the NACCP wants Dayton voters to decide on traffic cameras

Under the settlement, the city will keep that money to help pay for odor control trials and sewer cleaning, Sheehan said.

“Cargill’s wet corn mill in Dayton, Ohio, takes great pride in operating in compliance with all environmental laws and Cargill’s own strict environmental standards,” she said.

Cargill also agreed to stop using lime in the pretreatment process last year, and there have been no blockages in the system since that time, said Musto.

Cargill and the city expect to discuss setting parameters on the company’s wastewater discharge to reduce sulfates in the system, which causes hydrogen sulfide, leading to stinky odors, Musto said.

The city wanted a resolution that addresses toxic odors in the wastewater system but that is also cost-effective for Cargill, who is an important employer and community partner, said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

“This takes care of issues from the past,” she said.

Keowee Street bridge closing delayed

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 2:19 PM


            An artist’s rendering depicts the new Keowee Street bridge over the Great Miami River. SUBMITTED
An artist’s rendering depicts the new Keowee Street bridge over the Great Miami River. SUBMITTED

Closing of the Keowee Street bridge in Dayton so that work can begin on replacing it has been delayed until January, according to a release from Montgomery County officials.

RELATED: City plans opening of new $6 million Helena Street bridge

The bridge had initially been expected to close Monday.

The Keowee Street bridge closing is dependent upon the reopening of the Helena Street bridge.

A ceremony to commemorate the reopening of the Helena Street Bridge is scheduled for today, but opening to traffic will be delayed until next week. No specific date has been provided.

MORE: County’s highest property values? Washington Twp. now tops Kettering

The Keowee Street bridge is providing a detour route for the Helena Street bridge and will now close on Jan. 2, according to the county.

Company moves to begin construction on marijuana lab in Yellow Springs

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 12:07 PM

Yellow Springs Cresco Labs groundbreaking for first medical marijuana plant

The village of Yellow Springs is among the first Ohio communities to see the beginning of construction on a medical marijuana facility, and while officials are excited about the new business, it’s unclear how the industry could be impacted if Ohio voters approve of recreational use of the drug in November.

RELATED: Springfield, Yellow Springs to get large marijuana growing operations

Cresco Labs Ohio LLC and several village leaders and residents gathered for the groundbreaking on a cold Thursday morning in the cornfield next to Antioch University.

“This is a long time in the making, actually getting this property developed, but more importantly the group that’s going to be developing here is Cresco Labs out of Illinois,” Village Council President Karen Wintrow told the crowd. “

RELATED: Medical marijuana grow site in Clark County on state application list

Cresco Labs Ohio LLC and several village leaders and residents gathered for the groundbreaking on a cold Thursday morning in the cornfield next to Antioch University.

“This is a long time in the making, actually getting this property developed, but more importantly the group that’s going to be developing here is Cresco Labs out of Illinois,” Village Council President Karen Wintrow told the crowd. “

We are covering the ground breaking and will update this story as more information becomes available.

Cresco Labs Ohio LLC and several village leaders and residents gathered for the groundbreaking on a cold Thursday morning in the cornfield next to Antioch University.

“This is a long time in the making, actually getting this property developed, but more importantly the group that’s going to be developing here is Cresco Labs out of Illinois,” Village Council President Karen Wintrow told the crowd. “

They’ve been great partners so far in working with us … It’s going to be a great economic development opportunity. Jobs for the community, a lot of recognition. We just couldn’t be happier.”

Wintrow said the facility is expected to initially provide about 25 jobs for local residents, and that number could double as Cresco plans to seek approval for a medical marijuana processing facility at the same site.

“Yellow Springs was founded on wellness,” Wintrow said. “People came to the yellow spring in Glen Helen for the healing waters so the idea of a wellness company, a health company, being here is a perfect fit. This facility is going to be sitting adjacent to farm fields in an area that we have really identified that we want to remain agriculture.”

There are more than 20 acres still to be developed at the site. Cresco has agreed to pay for the infrastructure to the site, which includes building roads, installing water, sewer and electric service, said Village Manager Patti Bates.

In June, village officials visited Cresco’s facilities in Illinois. Bates said seeing how Cresco operates allayed any concerns they had regarding the security of the facility to be built off East Enon Road.

“It’s an amazing building they have and the way that they run the different agents of the plant in different sections of the building, it’s pretty impressive,” Bates said.

Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs, told the crowd it’s “a big day” for the patients of Ohio, for Yellow Springs and for Cresco Labs.

“The Ohio medical marijuana program is arguably one of the most balanced and best-structured programs that this industry has seen,” Bachtell said. “They did a phenomenal job in taking a look at existing markets around the country that do true medical marijuana programs really well. They took some of the best parts from each of them and they tweaked some of the parts that may have neededa little redoing.”

Not being from Ohio, Bechtell said Cresco officials were not aware of the history of Yellow Springs and its reputation as being a progressive community.

“At the end of the day this program exists for one purpose — To bring a new type of medicine to patients in the state of Ohio,” he said.

Those who were the driving force behind the failed 2015 marijuana legalization issue in Ohio are now backing a plan to put an issue on the November ballot that, if approved by the voters, would make marijuana legal for recreational use.

Bachtell said it’s not clear how his business could be impacted if Ohio voters approve a ballot issue in November that would make marijuana legal for recreational use in the state.

“Honestly we haven’t given it much thought,” he said. “We are a medical cannabis operator and currently we operate only in medical programs. We’ve evaluated Ohio for about a year as a medical program so that’s what we’re focused on right now.”

Michael Ferguson, a military veteran and lifelong Yellow Springs resident, said he is trying to educate fellow veterans about the process of getting access to medical marijuana.

Ferguson said veterans can get a prescription for it through a doctor outside of the VA healthcare system. Ferguson said he’s in favor of making marijuana legal for recreational use, in-part because it would eliminate the problem of drug testing while in a chronic pain program.

“If a veteran takes cannabis for pain and gets drug-tested, then they can take away all his medications,” Ferguson said.

Another veteran, John Helpling, attended the event. Helpling said he’s spent 21 years in the military and served during Desert Shield, Desert Storm as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said now suffers from peripheral myopathy, a painful condition of nerve damage as a result of the surgery he had done on his back.

Helpling said he suffers from chronic pain and the nerve pills he’s been prescribed don’t do enough to ease the pain.

“It’s like a Catch 22 situation right now,” he said. “Medical marijuana is legalized but they say you’re supposed to have an authorized recommendation from a doctor.”

Helpling said he’s not willing to risk getting marijuana from the “black market.”

“You can find it easily, but it’s all black market,” he said. “It’s not regulated. It’s not controlled for purity or quality, and you don’t know what they might mix into it or spray on it. Anything off the street is bad news. I stay away from all that.”

Net neutrality vote: FCC OKs repeal of Obama-era rules

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 1:16 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 1:21 PM

Understanding Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules meant to stop broadband companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

>> Read more trending news

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who put forth the planned repeal and voted in favor of it Thursday, said it “certainly wasn’t heavy-handed government regulation” that made the internet the “greatest free-market innovation in history.” 

>> Related: State attorneys general ask FCC to delay net neutrality vote

“Quite simply, we are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence,” he said.

Fire claims male’s life in New Miami

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 8:40 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 10:48 AM

New Miami Fatal House Fire

UPDATE @ 10:20 a.m.

A frantic call was placed today by the niece of a man killed in a house fire this morning stating her was disabled in inside the ranch home.

“The house across the street is on fire,” the woman told 911 0perators. When the dispatcher asked if anyone was inside, she replied, ” Yeah, my uncle … he is disabled, he only has one leg.”

The woman said her uncle was in the bedroom.

“Just please hurry,” she said while crying.

Fatal house fire in St. Clair Township

UPDATE @ 9:20 a.m.

A male who died in a fire this morning in the New Miami was found by first responders in the front room of the residence on Tecumseh Drive, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Preliminary investigation appears that the fire originated in the front room but the exact cause is unknown at this time. The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called to the scene .

INITIAL REPORT

A fatal fire in New Miami has claimed the life of one person this morning, according to Butler County dispatchers.

The fire broke out on Tecumseh Drive just after 7 a.m. Thursday. Dispatchers said emergency crews are still on the scene but no other information is available.