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East Dayton food pantry allowed to remain in operation

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ 6:45 PM

With God's Grace food pantry in Dayton ordered to stop operations

A popular food pantry in east Dayton that was violating the city’s zoning laws has been given a variance that will allow it to remain in operation.

With God’s Grace, a nonprofit that operates a mobile food pantry at locations across the Dayton region, also serves more than 600 families most Wednesdays out of its warehouse at 622 Springfield St.

Earlier this year, the city’s zoning administrator told the nonprofit it was in violation of zoning code because it was operating a food pantry in an industrial district that does not permit such uses.

RELATED: ‘Unauthorized’ Dayton food pantry ordered to stop operations

But city staff and With God’s Grace worked together on a plan to address issues with parking and the long lines that formed outside the warehouse during pantry hours.

This evening, the Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance with some conditions.

The decision allows With God’s Grace to continue distributing food in a section of the city that suffered a major blow to food access when the Food for Less was destroyed by fire last year.”

“There is a lot of need in the area,” said Nicole Adkins, executive director of With God’s Grace.

Nicole Akdkins stands inside With God’s Grace’s warehouse in east Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF(Staff Writer)

RELATED: Big crowds turn out to support East Dayton food pantry

With God’s Grace has a warehouse on Springfield Street where it stores its food donations and keeps its administrative offices.

The nonprofit operates a mobile food pantry that visits local communities including West Dayton, Brookville, Miamisburg, Huber Heights and Xenia.

But the group also allows families to pick up food from its warehouse on Wednesday mornings and evenings.

The city notified With God’s Grace that it was violating zoning laws for allegedly running an “unauthorized” food pantry.

City officials said improvements were needed to upgrade the property from a warehouse to a place where people can assemble. Lines outside of the Springfield Street property generated complaints from neighbors about parking headaches and safety concerns.

With God’s Grace was at risk of having to find a new home if it could not distribute food to from its headquarters, officials said.

But the nonprofit, with the city’s input, blocked off the staging area to protect people waiting in line from cars, and new entry and exit points comply with zoning rules and have improved the flow of foot traffic, Adkins said.

Many community members strongly support With God’s Grace and asked the city to allow it to stay put.

A land use meeting earlier this month where the variance request was discussed attracted more than 100 people, and the citizens board ultimately vote unanimously to recommended the city’s zoning board approve the request.

Some community members tearfully shared stories about personal hardship and how their families have relied on the pantry to put food on the table.

Diane Roberts, of Huber Heights, said her husband is deceased and she lives with her three grandchildren and daughter, who had back surgery and suffered a heart attack.

“If it wasn’t for them giving extra food to us, my grandsons might eat but would never be full,” she said.

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Dayton officer disciplined for investigation involving child who later died

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 9:08 AM

2-year-old Brayden Ferguson, the subject of a felonious assault case in Dayton, died Feb. 14, 2017. (COURTESY/FAMILY)
2-year-old Brayden Ferguson, the subject of a felonious assault case in Dayton, died Feb. 14, 2017. (COURTESY/FAMILY)

The city of Dayton last month punished a police detective for failing to properly investigate an alleged incident of child abuse involving Brayden Ferguson, a 2-year-old boy who officials say died of multiple blunt-force injuries from a later incident.

City officials accused Dayton police Detective Lindsay Dulaney of not thoroughly investigating a felonious assault and child endangering incident involving Brayden from 2015, according to records in her personnel file, obtained by this news organization using Ohio’s public records laws.

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Brayden died of multiple blunt force injuries on Feb. 14, 2017.

The coroner ruled his death a homicide, and authorities arrested and charged 23-year-old Ryan Luke St. John with murder and other crimes.

RELATED: Boyfriend charged with murder in 2-year-old’s death

Previously, St. John was arrested in November 2015 after police received a report of suspected child abuse from a case worker, according to a police report.

Detective Dulaney worked on the case, which involved the then-1-year-old Brayden. St. John and Brayden’s mother have a child together.

Last month, city officials charged Dulaney with administrative violations for allegedly not properly investigating the child abuse allegations, according to a disciplinary records in her personnel file.

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She was charged for failing to properly supplement her police report and for failing to respond to a prosecutor’s requests for additional information about the St. John child abuse case from 2015, the records show.

She received requests about the case from a prosecutor in November 2015, May 2016 and August 2016, the records indicate.

Dulaney was found guilty of multiple administrative violations and was given the punishment of 40 hours of suspension.

In lieu of suspension, however, Dulaney chose to forfeit five days of vacation time.

Attempts to reach Dulaney have been unsuccessful.

The city says it does not comment on personnel matters.

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Bryan St. John, Ryan St. John’s father, told this news organization on Wednesday that Brayden’s injuries were nine to 14 days old and in the healing process when he was medically examined. 

He said prosecutors point to the 2015 incident as proof that his son had a history of abusing children even though he was not charged and the evidence did not suggest he was responsible.

Bryan St. John said his son has turned down plea deals because he insists he is innocent and did not kill Brayden.

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Maryland school shooting: Gunman killed, 2 injured at Great Mills High School

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 11:34 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 11:34 AM

VIDEO: Shooting Reported At Maryland High School

A student who opened fire on a classmate at Maryland’s Great Mills High School died Tuesday morning after injuring two people, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said at a news conference.

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Gone lickety-split: New downtown Dayton homes sell out

Published: Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 12:33 PM

Simms new housing is almost sold out

The 14 new City View townhouses have sold out just about 13 months after hitting the market, making it Charlie Simms’ fastest downtown housing project to run out of product.

City View was Charles Simms Development’s sixth downtown housing project. Simms’ first project — the Patterson Square town homes, built in 2011 — took a couple of years to sell out.

Simms Development released pricing of the City View homes in February 2017, meaning it sold out four months quicker than its Brownstones at 2nd project.

RELATED: New downtown Dayton housing fetching $200 per square foot

“We would consider this a record sellout in all aspects for a downtown development,” said Robi Simms, vice president of sales and marketing with Charles Simms Development.

The homes sold out quickly even though they commanded much higher prices than Simms’ earlier housing.

The Patterson Square townhomes, at East First Street and North Patterson Boulevard, started at about $139,900, or about $100 per square foot. The City View homes, located a few blocks away on South Patterson Boulevard, have been selling for almost $200 per square foot.

The pricing of the Brownstones at 2nd were $200,000 and up range, while the City View homes have sold in the mid to upper-$300,000 range.

RELATED: Buyers snap up urban townhouses in downtown Dayton

The exterior of the City View homes is urban and modern. This was a departure for Simms, whose five previous downtown projects were traditional-style brownstones and brick homes.

Simms last month told this newspaper he intended to continue building new homes downtown for the foreseeable future. He said the demand for new housing in the urban center far outstrips the supply.

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Prosecutors seeking death penalty against Nikolas Cruz, confessed Parkland gunman 

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 2:31 PM

Confessed Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer on February 19, 2018 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Cruz is facing 17 charges of premeditated murder in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  
Pool/Getty Images
Confessed Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer on February 19, 2018 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Cruz is facing 17 charges of premeditated murder in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Pool/Getty Images)

Florida prosecutors will ask for the death penalty for confessed Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz, State Attorney Michael Satz said Tuesday. 

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Satz said he filed a "notice of intent to seek death" in the 17 first-degree murder counts stemming from the Feb. 14 rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three adults dead.

Cruz is also charged with attempted murder in the shootings of 17 others who survived.

Cruz is scheduled for an arraignment Wednesday on the murder and attempted murder charges.

Cruz offered to plead guilty to the charges several weeks ago if prosecutors removed the death penalty from the table.

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If he does reach a plea deal with prosecutors, the only other option for Cruz is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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