Fire evacuates Taco Bell in Huber Heights, causes ‘extensive damage’

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 8:54 PM
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 10:00 PM

FROM SCENE: Taco Bell fire in Huber Heights

UPDATE @ 10 p.m.

Fire caused extensive damage to a Taco Bell at 8201 Center Point Blvd., said Keith Knisley, battalion chief of the Huber Heights Fire Division.

“When the crews arrived on the scene they found flames coming out the back side of the building,” he said. “Fire extended into the building up into the ceiling and across the kitchen.”

The cause remains under investigation but Knisley said they will look into work that was done outside.

“We found that there had been some welding work being done on the back side of the building today,” he said.

Crews from Bethel Twp., Dayton and Miami and Clark counties assisted.

UPDATE @ 9:25 p.m.

The fire tonight that evacuated a Taco Bell restaurant in Huber Heights is believed to have started outside, Huber Heights fire officials say.

Crews responded around 8:40 p.m. to the eatery at 8201 Center Point 70 Blvd., which is near Park Layne but still within the Huber Heights city limits, according to dispatchers.

A worker said no customers were inside the restaurant, and that everyone made it out safely. We are working to learn what caused the fire and how much damage it caused.

Contributed by Wade Moeller/FACEBOOK.

UPDATE @ 9:10 p.m.

There are no flames showing, but there is still dark smoke coming from a fire that broke out tonight at a Taco Bell in Huber Heights. 

The fire appears to have started in the rear of the restaurant, where witnesses reported seeing flames coming out of the building.


Flames and heavy smoke is coming from a fire at a Taco Bell restaurant in Huber Heights.

The fire was reported sometime around 8:40 p.m. at the fast-food restaurant at 8201 Center Point 70 Blvd. off Ohio 4 in the city.
There are no reports of injuries, but the Taco Bell was evacuated of its employees and diners.

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Apartments in old Dayton school house could become condos

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 3:12 PM
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 5:04 PM

            The front of the Hawthorne School Apartments in McPherson
The front of the Hawthorne School Apartments in McPherson

CityWide wants to renovate and convert about 20 apartments in an old school building into condos in the McPherson Town neighborhood, just north of downtown, according to city of Dayton documents.

The Hawthorne School Apartments, on the 200 block of McDaniel St., are being targeted for conversion by CityWide, which is a private nonprofit group that focuses on economic development in the Dayton area.

The building, formerly an elementary school, was converted into rental housing in the late 1990s.

CityWide needs the city to restructure a debt agreement on the property for the conversion project to move forward, said Brian Heitkamp, president of CityWide.

“We’re still finalizing the deal itself, but we needed to get the debt piece in line if we are to go forward this way,” he said. “We are preparing to turn these into condos, but this is the first step.”

The Hawthorne School Apartments feature 14-foot ceilings with pressed tin and Victorian woodwork. Some have school blackboards and the original classroom and gym wood floors.

The city, CityWide and McPherson Town Neighborhood Development Corp. worked together to convert the vacant, 110-year-old school into housing.

The apartment project cost about $1.57 million, which was paid for with federal block grants, HOME funds, a city loan and historic tax credits.

McPherson Town NDC and CityWide owned the building.

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The city of Dayton is looking at modifying a loan owed to it by CityWide that would support the conversion project.

Under the proposed loan agreement, CityWide plans to renovate and convert the apartments into condos, the sale of which are projected to bring in about $1.4 million.

Some of the money would go toward repaying city for the original $750,000 loan CityWide took out to help make the school into apartments. The remaining balance is nearly $681,600.

Local officials have said the greater downtown area needs more housing product that is for sale.

“The market is primed for this type of conversion and doing so promote sproperty ownership,” according to the city manager’s report for the contract modification agreement. City commissioners will vote on the request on Wednesday.

In 2014, CityWide converted the McCormick loft apartments near Fifth Third Field into 10 condos.

The McPherson neighborhood, named after one of the early family settlers, spans a handful of blocks, north of downtown and the river, south of Interstate 75.

Barcelona van attack: At least 15 killed in terror attack; arrests made 

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 7:44 PM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 7:56 AM

Terror Attacks in Spain

Authorities said a terror attack in Barcelona claimed at least 15 lives on Thursday and left 80 others injured after a van slammed into pedestrians on Barcelona's popular La Rambla street.

>> Read more trending news

Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalonia police force, confirmed the attack in a Twitter post around 5:10 p.m. local time.

Building permit fees in Dayton likely to double or triple in price

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 10:31 AM

            Crews work on the facade of the Dayton Arcade earlier this month. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Crews work on the facade of the Dayton Arcade earlier this month. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The city of Dayton is on track to raise building permit fees across the board as part of the first major, comprehensive overhaul in 22 years, city officials said.

Under the proposal, which likely will head to a city commission vote next week, the city would double or triple the price of a variety of licenses that builders are required to obtain before starting construction, as well as add a few new charges.

The city received slightly more than $1.4 million in revenue from its building permits in 2016.

RELATED: Get inside look at downtown housing boom

Dayton’s building department has struggled to keep up with the demand for its services because of the large amount of development activity going on around the city, officials said.

New revenue will be put toward hiring two additional inspectors, increasing the total from seven to nine. The city is looking at hiring a plans examiner at least part time during the busy construction system.

“We have had a lot of input saying, ‘Please provide better customer service. Raise fees if necessary to generate those resources,’” said Ford Weber, Dayton’s director of economic development.

RELATED: Construction boom: 10 downtown Dayton projects

The city has completed a comprehensive analysis of its fee structure that compared its charges to those of other cities, including similar-sized communities and urban centers, officials said.

The city made some minor modifications to its fees in the early 2000s, but this was the first wholesale review since the 1990s, said City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

“Clearly, we have some catching up to do,” Dickstein said.

MORE: 600 jobs coming to downtown Dayton; businesses get ready

The city’s fees are currently well below those of Ohio’s other largest cities, and the planned revisions still make Dayton’s fee structure competitive, officials said. Montgomery County recently increased some of its building permit fees.

The city’s plans include:

  • Tripling the minimum fee for commercial/industrial zoning certificates
  • Doubling the minimum fee for sign permits to $50 and tripling the fee for temporary use zoning permits to $75
  • Increasing the fee for a commercial certificate of occupancy to $200 from $60; nearly tripling fee for residential certificate of occupancy to $100
  • Increasing building permit fee schedule so that it is $35 for the first $2,000 in value of a project. For the next $98,000 in valuation, the fee is 0.01 multiplied by the project value (which changes from 0.007 multiplied by the value). For valuation in excess of $100,000, it is 0.005 multiplied by the project value, up from 0.0025.
  • Flat fees would change each year, based on inflation calculations from the Consumer Price Index

MORE: Thousands come to downtown Dayton library opening

The city provided the following chart to illustrate how the new building fee permit schedule would alter prices.
Construction cost Current for Dayton Proposed for Dayton Cincinnati Cleveland
$200,000 residential $971 $1,515 $1,935 $2,060
$1 million commercial $2,971 $6,050 $8,335 $12,200

5 missing after Army helicopter reported down off coast of Hawaii

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 8:58 AM
Updated: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 9:02 AM

5 Missing After Army Helicopter Reported Down Off Coast Of Hawaii

U.S. Coast Guard and Army officials were responding Wednesday morning to reports of a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter off the coast of Hawaii.

>> Read more trending news

The helicopter had five crew on board when it reportedly went down, Coast Guard officials said. Officials spotted a debris field just before 11:30 p.m. local time Tuesday near Oahu’s Kaena Point.