City manager: Not enough revenue to fix streets in Xenia

Published: Monday, March 05, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

City Manager Brent Merriman said City Council needs to decide whether to ask voters to approve a new tax for street repairs.

Many streets in the city of Xenia are in a state of disrepair, and while city officials estimate the cost to fix those streets are in the tens of millions of dollars, less than a million is dedicated annually for resurfacing and street maintenance projects.

Residents, like Joshua Knox, want to see more done to improve the thoroughfares and neighborhood byways.

The city of Xenia says Colorado Drive is among the streets rated high in priority for road repairs. The city says to repave it would cost more than $1 million, but there’s only enough revenue to budget about $500,000 annually for repairing all city streets. Richard Wilson/Staff(Staff Writer)

“It’s been like this since the last snowfall,” Knox said of the pockmarked conditions on Colorado Drive. “It just keeps getting worse and worse … Even when they do patch it, it’s just as bad.”

In Xenia, street maintenance and repair gets about 45 percent of the general capital fund, which translates to about $500,000 a year. Other sources of revenue through excise and gas taxes generate an additional $300,000 annually, according to City Manager Brent Merriman.

City records show since 2011, the city has spent nearly $6 million to resurface about 71 miles in different parts of the city. The streets are rated for condition and prioritized accordingly. Merriman said Colorado Drive is high on that list, but to repave it from Upper to Lower Bellbrook roads would cost an estimated $1.1 million.

“They are raising legitimate frustrations,” Merriman said of residents’ complaints about the conditions of the streets. “We do have some roadways that are in some pretty rough states of disrepair that we need to find a way to fix.”

Merriman estimates it’s a $30 million problem, and the city doesn’t have nearly enough revenue to adequately address it.

“The situation is complex because it’s not just about putting a new course of asphalt down,” he said. “In many cases we want to make sure the water and sewer are updated underneath so that we don’t want to dig up for a broken water main roadways that were just repaved.”

In addition, Merriman said you also need to make sure the curbing is in good shape and repair stormwater catch basins for any street resurfacing project.

“There are a number of layers of concerns that we need to deal with and juggle in conjunction with the issue of which roadways can be repaved,” Merriman said. “At the end of the day, this really boils down to a resource issue. With the nature and scope of the problem that we have related to road conditions, we have insufficient resources today to make a major investment that would see wide-scale repaving.”

City Council is expected to discuss options for funding streets. Merriman said those options include borrowing money or asking voters to pass a new tax dedicated to street maintenance.

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Dayton official: CareSource construction site fire ‘not dangerous’

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:15 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:07 PM

SKY7: Aerial footage of Caresource construction site fire

A downtown Dayton office tower being built to house to hundreds of CareSource workers caught fire Thursday, sending a large column of pitch-black smoke billowing, visible as far away as Troy and Beavercreek. 

Company officials said they do not expect the mid-day fire to delay next year's projected opening.

RELATED: Dayton Fire: CareSource fire involves roofing materials

Traffic in parts of downtown came to a standstill as officials blocked off streets for safety and as crowds formed to watch the spectacle. 

“Pieces of charred black material are floating off the building and landing on the street,” said Steve Brack, a GrubHub driver that was making lunchtime deliveries downtown.

Dayton fire officials said the fire appeared to involve foam roofing materials on the top of the six-story building, called CareSource Center City, located at East First and North St. Clair streets.

RELATED: Dayton Fire: CareSource fire involves roofing materials

The building will be first newly constructed office tower in downtown Dayton in about a decade.

According to Dayton fire officials, everyone was able to get out of the building safely, and the only people believed to have been inside at the time the fire started were construction workers.

The heavy black smoke rising over downtown may have looked dramatic, but the fire was not particularly large or hazardous, said Dayton fire Chief Jeffrey Payne.

“This wasn’t a dangerous fire because it was outside and well ventilated,” he said.

The fire started shortly after noon on Thursday and was basically extinguished within 90 minutes, officials said. The fire would have been knocked out much sooner if it had not been six stories up.

PHOTOS: CareSource construction site on fire in downtown Dayton

Caresource fire

Foam insulation stacked on top of the building apparently caught fire when work being done underneath it heated and ignited the materials, said Payne. 

The biggest danger was that the burning foam would melt or warp the metal decking and overheat the supports, potentially leading to a collapse, he said. 

But though some of the metal decking did warp, no parts of the structure collapsed, Payne said.  

Crews put out the fire using the 137-foot aerial ladder truck. Firefighters also cooled the decking and hit hot spots with hoses. 

Troy Erbes, vice president of the company constructing the new building, said all employees and construction workers are accounted for and there were no injuries.  

“We had an incident on the roof of the building,” said Erbes, VP of Danis. “Some roof insulation caught on fire.”

RELATED: Numerous roads in downtown Dayton closed due to building fire

A time-lapse of the fire in downtown Dayton

Erbes said they are working to determine what ignited the fire. Danis and fire staff plan to sit down to discuss best construction practices and go over how to avoid future issues, fire officials said. 

CareSource’s operations were not affected by the fire, and the organization does not believe the fire will delay the construction or opening of the new building, said spokeswoman Fran Robinson.  

CareSource said in a statement it still planned to open its new downtown Dayton campus in the spring of 2019.  

Construction started last year on the building, which is expected to house more than 600 employees.  

“Family and friends of those who work in our four CareSource buildings in downtown Dayton should know that the fire did not approach any of our other buildings,” Robinson said. 

MORE INFO: What is the building on fire in downtown Dayton? 

The new tower is being built at the site of the former Patterson Co-op High School on the 100 block of East First Street. 

CareSoure has become a major employer in Dayton, anchoring downtown with its employment base of nearly 2,000 workers.  

Along with its 230 N. Main St. headquarters, CareSource bought a building it had been leasing called Ballpark Village, across from Fifth Third Field.

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Tipp City: Middle school student made threats against 2 adults, building

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:08 PM

The Tipp City Exempted Village Schools said Thursday that a middle school student faces misdemeanor charges including aggravated menacing and disorderly conduct after allegedly making written comments threatening intent to harm two adults within the building and to cause building destruction. 

Tipp City police were notified and are investigating the incident. There were no injuries. 

“The Tipp City Police Department does not deem the student to be an immediate threat to students, staff, or the community,” Superintendent Gretta Kumpf said in a written statement.

Kumpf said the district emphasized the police were confident there is no additional threat of harm from the incident. She said the student will remain out of school during the investigation. 

Police said the threats were found in a classroom, turned over to administrators and a suspect identified. The juvenile admitted to writing the threats, police stated.

Police said charges were filed after contact with Miami County prosecutors. The student is charged with two counts of aggravated menacing and one count of disorderly conduct.

Got a tip? Call our 24-hour monitored line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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Girl, bored with sister’s soccer game, makes 65-million-year-old fossil find

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:01 AM

Girl Discovers 65-Million-Year-Old Fossil During Sister's Soccer Game

An Oregon girl decided digging in the dirt was more her speed than watching her big sister’s JV soccer game. And that decision turned into a major discovery.

Naomi Vaughan found something that she called her “Moana rock” after it reminded her of the Heart of Te Fiti from the hit Disney film, last year, CNN reported.

The “Moana rock” turned out to be something that dated back at least 65 million years.

>> Read more trending news 

It was actually an ancient fossil called an ammonite. Ammonites are extinct marine invertebrates, CNN reported.

Paleontologists told Oregon Live that they’re not normally found in Bend, but have been discovered more than 80 miles away.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

One paleontologist believes it came from an area further away, a town of Suplee, 112 miles east of Bend, Oregon Live reported. He believes that either there was a family connection between the two towns or that the fossil came from a school collection. 

And while well-preserved ammonite fossils can fetch big bucks -- up to thousands of dollars, Vaughan’s sample may be worth about $10 or $20.

Vaughan plans on keeping her find, Oregon Live reported.

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Family pleas for help finding teen missing since father’s shooting death

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 4:29 PM

Ex-wife, 5 others indicted in 2017 killing of Beavercreek man

The family of a man killed in front of his three sons is asking for help to find one of those boys - who is now missing.

Federal prosecutors said Robert Caldwell was fatally shot as he left a counseling session in Riverside last August.

Investigators said Robert Caldwell was gunned down in this parking lot and all three of his sons were very close to him.

Their grandmother, Caldwell’s mom, took emergency custody that night and has custody now.

But she’s asking for help to find Jacob, who has been missing since the night of his father’s funeral.

RELATED: UPDATE: Ex-wife, 5 others indicted in 2017 killing of Beavercreek man

“It’s extremely frustrating and frightening, it’s frightening,” said Sally DeThomas, mother of Robert Caldwell.  “I’m very concerned about his safety, physical safety, I’m concerned about his emotional and mental health.”

DeThomas is now raising her son’s three children, but only two of them are currently living with her, as Jacob Caldwell has been missing for months.

Riverside police investigators identified his ex-wife’s boyfriend, Sterling Roberts, as a person of interest due to surveillance video in the area.

Roberts was arrested in South Carolina a few days after the killing.

Earlier this month, federal prosecutors announced murder charges against him and Robert Caldwell’s ex-wife, Tawnney Caldwell.

Four other people also face charges connected to the death. 

Jacob’s aunt, Cindy Caldwell, also says she just wants the 14-year-old home.

“As far as Jacob, we don’t think he’s even going to school, getting the healthcare he needs,” Cindy Caldwell said.

Sugarcreek Twp. police, where DeThomas lives, are investigating the missing persons case for Jacob.

Sugarcreek Twp. police said they’ve had very few solid leads and that if someone were harboring Jacob they could face charges, felony charges if they’ve taken him out of state.

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