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Long-discussed U.S. 35 widening could move forward

Published: Thursday, November 02, 2017 @ 4:18 PM

Third lane could be added to U.S. 35 between Smithville and I-675

Long-discussed plans to widen U.S. 35 from east Dayton to Beavercreek Twp. inched closer to becoming a reality after a vote today by a metropolitan planning organization.

Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission members overwhelming voted in favor of allowing the commission to take part in negotiations with a state organization about potential ways to fund the project.

Studies and local stakeholders for years have called for extending U.S. 35’s three lanes from east Dayton, where the road shrinks to two lanes, out to Interstate 675.

RELATED: Troopers say US 35 redesign would be safer

Local officials say the road has a dangerous bottleneck that hurts traffic flows and has contributed to auto crashes.

“As you know, it’s been priority No. 1 for years,” said Brian Martin, executive director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.

The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission later this month will meet with the state’s Transportation Review Advisory Council to discuss funding opportunities for the U.S. 35 widening project .

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The council helps the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) develop the selection process for choosing projects to fund.

The project would focus on the roughly three-mile stretch of the road from Livingston Avenue to I-675.

The regional planning commission proposes using some of its funds for the project if ODOT agrees to contribute as well.

The commission says it could contribute about $2.9 million toward the $14 million project and may ask the state?? for about $8.7 million, according to the commission.

The funds would be part of the next solicitation period in 2024.

RELATED: Damaged Smithville ramp to U.S. 35 to remain open

Municipalities and organizations across the region for years have wanted to widen U.S. 35, with some local officials calling it the region’s “top infrastructure priority.”

Up to this point, the main obstacles have been financial.

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The project was always expected to be expensive, and cities including Dayton and Riverside did not have funding available to contribute, according to the planning commission.

But projected costs have fallen.

ODOT two years ago estimated construction costs would be $25 million, Martin said. Last year, the state estimated it would it would cost $21 million, he said.

But now, ODOT says the project would cost about $14 million, which makes it more obtainable to the commission and worth pursing, Martin said.

The project needs a local funding match in order to be upgraded to a high priority for ODOT, and the region can step in to help provide some needed funding, Martin said.

Dayton and Riverside have been long-time advocates for the project, and so have Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, officials said.

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

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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.

5 Dayton residents told to vacate their property after heavy drug use

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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Wright-Patt to send employees home early as winter storm approaches

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 11:44 AM

            Gate 12A, near the Air Force Materiel Command headquarters and off Ohio 444 in Fairborn at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. CONTRIBUTED
Gate 12A, near the Air Force Materiel Command headquarters and off Ohio 444 in Fairborn at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. CONTRIBUTED

Wright-Patterson will allow thousands of employees to leave early today with an impending winter storm approaching the Miami Valley, a spokesman says.

The early departure was set to start at 1 p.m, said base spokesman Brian Brackens.

“We will use a staggered release to reduce congestion,” said spokeswoman Marine Vanover.

First responders, such as police and fire personnel, and Wright-Patterson Medical Center and airfield operations employees, however, were not included in the approval for an early departure, officials said.

The medical center was set to maintain normal operating hours, Vanover said.

Wright-Patterson is the largest single site-employer in Ohio with more than 27,000 military personnel and civilian workers.


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