Music city: Ampitheather coming to downtown Dayton

Published: Thursday, December 21, 2017 @ 4:14 PM


After hitting a snag, the Levitt Pavilion Dayton project is back on track with today’s announcement that a contractor has been selected to build the outdoor amphitheater.

Shook Construction, based in Dayton, will build the music venue, with construction expected to begin by early next year.

Supporters say the pavilion should open in mid-summer of next year, allowing for a partial season of music programming, likely featuring about 30 shows.

The city of Dayton twice solicited bids for the pavilion, but the submitted proposals came in well above the projected $5 million construction budget.

But the

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But the city leased the pavilion site at Dave Hall Plaza to the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority, which was able to negotiate lower prices with contractors, leading to an agreement that should prevent any further delays, officials said.

The Levitt Pavilion Dayton, which will offer at least 50 free concerts each year, is the centerpiece of efforts to transform the center of downtown into a thriving, urban neighborhood.

“We are excited to be moving into this next phase of the project, and closer to realizing the goal of creating and building a community asset to bring the Dayton region together one free concert at a time,” Jeff Ireland, Board chair for the Friends of Levitt Dayton.

The city issued a bid for the Levitt pavilion in July, as supporters of the project were getting close to completing a $5 million capital campaign to build the state-of-the-art music venue.

The campaign reached its goal by early August, but the city only received one bid that was nearly $2.7 million over the projected construction budget.

The city rebid the pavilion in September and received four responses, the base bids of which ranged from $5.8 million to $6.9 million.

Instead of rebidding the project a third time, the city leased the future Levitt property to the port authority, which as a quasi-governmental agency has more freedom to negotiate prices, said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

Another round of solicitations could have delayed the project further, hurting next year’s concert season, Dickstein 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.

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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.

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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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