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Dayton among the worst cities for food hardship

Published: Monday, May 04, 2015 @ 5:30 PM
Updated: Monday, May 04, 2015 @ 5:30 PM


            Dayton among the worst cities for food hardship
Dayton among the worst cities for food hardship

It's an almost unbelievable statistic: The Dayton Metropolitan area ranks worst in Ohio and 9th in the country in terms of food hardship. That means thousands of people in our area lack access to a full-service grocery store or can't afford the food when they get there. Nearly every urban area in the Miami Valley has food deserts--including Xenia, Springfield, Troy, and Dayton.

"A food desert is an area where there is limited access to both affordable and nutritious food," explained Laura Roesch, Executive Director of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley. 

Ruby Taylor lives in a food desert in Jefferson Township. She shops at small markets and gas station stores near her home for food for herself and her three grandchildren who visit her while their mother works. On a recent day, she bought a gallon of milk for $3.50 and a small jar of peanut butter for $2.99. She was hoping to make "ants on a log" for her grandchildren, but the store had no raisins or celery--in fact, no produce at all. 

"Processed food is not good for my grandchildren," said Taylor, "and it's not good for me."

Since Kroger closed its Gettysburg Avenue store in Dayton seven years ago, the west side has a discount grocer and a smattering of corner markets. Damon Ball is raising two small grandchildren by himself. He said, "A half a gallon of milk at the corner store is $2.69." Damon has to take his grandchildren on a bus across town to get nutritious food and lower prices. "I'm trying. It's hard." 

Judy Shields lives off of East Third Street, where she too finds food shopping a challenge. 

"I usually have to take a bus and go to Aldi's or some place like that, then I have to worry about crossing the main thoroughfares to get my groceries home," said Shields, who walks with a cane. 

A check of three convenience stores near her house found not a single item of produce. There is a Food For Less a few blocks away, but it sells mostly canned food and has only a limited selection of fruits and vegetables. 

One solution is an urban farming initiative in the Twin Towers neighborhood in Dayton. Stephen Mackell was planting broccoli on an early spring day. The University of Dayton graduate manages an urban farm for the Mission of Mary Cooperative. Workers and volunteers grow crops and sell the fresh produce to people who live in the neighborhood at prices they can afford.

"We really do need to find a way to get fresh produce and real food, not processed, gas station food, back into urban neighborhoods, " said Mackell.

In Jefferson Township, Ruby Taylor breaks into a little dance when the clerk gives her change back from her purchase. But her glee quickly fades. 

"It's not too good," she said, "I'd rather be in a big store."

Montgomery County leaders would like to see a full-service grocer move into the food desert area in the western part of the county, but Commissioner Judy Dodge says so far their efforts have fallen short. "I don't know what we're going to do," Dodge said. 

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Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams to resign 4 months after re-election

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 5:55 PM

Joey Williams resigns

Less than four months after winning re-election, long-time Dayton City Commissioner Joey Williams tonight annoucned he is stepping down, effective Friday.

The 52-year-old Williams, the top vote-getter in the Dayton commission race in November, has served on the body since 2002. But tonight’s city commission meeting will be his last as an elected Dayton leader.

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Williams said he ran for re-election last year expecting to complete his full four-year term, but his work responsibilities have grown so much since being named the new Dayton market president of KeyBank. KeyBank publicly announced his hiring about two days after the election.

Williams said he quickly realized that the amount of travel involved in his new role would be difficult to juggle with his commission duties.

RELATED: Re-elected Dayton commissioners after win: ‘We’ve got momentum’

He said he typically missed a few commission meetings each year. Since November, Williams said he has been missing at least one meeting each month.

“It’s really not fair to the community if I can’t put the proper time and effort into the job,” he said. “I had no idea this job was in my future.”

Williams also told this news organization that his new job creates more potential for conflicts of interest since he’s more heavily involved with bank activities and its customers.

The city will host a special municipal election during the primary election on May 8, which is 76 days away.

To fill vacancies, the commission determines by ordinance a special election that must take place 60 to 90 days after the vacancy occurs, according to city charter. 

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Dayton residents who want to replace Williams will need to collect at least 500 signatures of registered electors by March 9, which is 60 days before the election, according to the city charter .

If the city had to host a special election just to fill Williams’ vacant seat, it would cost more than $100,000, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

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But costs should be minimal — perhaps $6,000 to $8,000 — if the race is placed on the May 8 primary election ballot, Harsman said.

Williams said the timing of his departure is intended to avoid a special election.

“I didn’t want the community to have to have a special election as a result of me having to resign,” Williams said. “I wanted to do it at a time that corresponded with a primary or general election.”

Williams’ colleagues on the commission praised his contributions and leadership.

“When (people) go back and look at the history of the city the last decade and more, they are going to point to you as maybe the main reason we as a commission was able to lead and bring the city out of one of the worst crises we’ve ever seen,” said Commissioner Matt Joseph.

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Days of rain getting underway

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 3:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 3:22 PM

As the rain and temperatures continue to fall, rain may change to freezing rain across the northern Miami Valley. Temperatures are expected to fall to near or just below freezing in parts of Logan, Auglaize, Mercer, Darke, Champaign and Shelby Counties late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. This will lead to slick spots on elevated surfaces.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Mercer, and Shelby counties, in effect from 1 a.m. Thursday through 11 a.m. 

Total ice accumulations overnight could reach one-tenth of an inch with limited viability also expected. 

A Flood Watch has also been issued for Butler, Clinton and Warren counties, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday through 10 a.m. Feb. 25. 

>> Record-breaking warmth this week 

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • FLOOD WATCH for southern Miami Valley begins tonight
  • WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for northern Miami Valley late tonight
  • 2 to 4 inches of rain possible through the weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

THIS EVENING: On and off rain. Temperatures will drop through the 30s.

Storm Center 7 weather graphic

>> County-by-County Weather

TONIGHT: Rain likely. As temperatures drop, the rain may become freezing rain across the northern Miami Valley. Elsewhere, temperatures should remain just above freezing, in the lower to middle 30s.

Storm Center 7 weather graphic

THURSDAY: Rain or freezing rain in the morning then drying out. Clouds will remain. Temperatures will hold in the middle 40s.

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell

FRIDAY: Rain likely. The rain may be heavy at times. It will be mild with highs in the upper 50s.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

SATURDAY: Rain likely. The rain may be heavy at times with a chance for some thunder, mainly south. Highs will be near 60 degrees.

SUNDAY: Rain will taper off early in the morning with clouds breaking. It will be windy and cooler with highs in the middle 50s.

MONDAY: Sunshine returns. Breezy and cool with highs in the lower 50s.

Storm Center 7 weather graphic

WHIO Weather App

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What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 7:04 PM

Television personality Wendy Williams hosts the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 28th Annual Awards Gala at the Washington Hilton on November 21, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Teresa Kroeger
Television personality Wendy Williams hosts the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 28th Annual Awards Gala at the Washington Hilton on November 21, 2016 in Washington, DC.(Teresa Kroeger)

Fans of the “Wendy Williams Show” will have to watch re-runs for nearly a month, because the media maven is taking a three-week hiatus to treat her Graves’ disease

>> Read more trending news 

She made the announcement on air Wednesday, revealing that her doctor is requiring her to take a break from work to “get her levels and medication in sync,” a show representative told People

>> Related: Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves' disease

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism...A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

Learning about the illness for the first time? Here’s what you should know. 

What is Graves’ disease?

It’s an immune system disorder that is caused by the overproduction of the thyroid hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic. In healthy adults, the thyroid function is regulated by a hormone released by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. For those with Graves’ disease, a thyrotropin receptor antibody takes on this role, overriding the work of the pituitary gland and causing overproduction of the thyroid hormones. 

What are the symptoms?

Common signs include anxiety, irritability, tremor of the hands, weight loss, heat sensitivity, thyroid gland enlargement and rapid heartbeat. 

Patients also experience Graves’ ophthalmopathy, where inflammation affects the muscles and tissues around eyes. The condition can cause bulging eyes, light sensitivity, double vision or even vision loss. 

Some also have Graves’ dermopathy, which is the reddening and thickening of the skin, particularly on the shins and tops of the feet. 

>> Related: Wendy Williams cancels talk show for the week due to flu 

How is it diagnosed?

Doctors generally conduct a physical exam to check the size of the thyroid. They also order blood samples to determine the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is usually lower for those with Graves’.

Physicians also administer ultrasounds and imaging tests to view images of the thryroid, eyes, and iodine uptake patterns. Iodine is needed to produce thyroid hormones.

How is it treated?

Some have radioactive iodine therapy, where patients take radioactive iodine by mouth. The iodine seeps into the thyroid cells and the radioactivity gradually destoys the overactive ones. 

Patients often are prescribed anti-thyroid medications, which can limit the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones. Beta blockers are also available. While they don’t stop the production of thyroid hormones, they do block some of the Graves’ disease symptoms. 

Who is affected?

It affects 1 in 200 people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Women are more likely to be diagnosed, and people younger than age 40 generally develop it. 

>> Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

Rappers Missy Elliott and Rapsody as well as former president George H. W. Bush also have Graves’ disease. 

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Judge denies legal challenge to tax law brought by Ohio cities

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:49 PM


            Taxes
Taxes

A Franklin County judge today threw out a legal challenge brought by more than 160 municipalities — including Dayton, Centerville and Riverside — to a new state tax law.

The ruling means Ohio business tax filers can file municipal business taxes directly with the state instead of local municipalities. Cities challenged the law as an unconstitutional overreach by the state.

“Everything comes down to whether the General Assembly has the power or it doesn’t. In this case, the General Assembly has the power,” wrote Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David Cain in his decision.

RELATED: Ohio income tax collection change ‘a solution in search of a problem’

Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa praised the ruling in a statement today.

“We are pleased that the court found this law to be constitutional,” Testa said. “It’s an important ruling for business taxpayers in Ohio who for too long have had to deal with this costly, complex process for local tax on business income.”

Businesses that want to file with the state for 2018 taxes have a deadline of March 1 to register through the Ohio Business Gateway.

The state says the change will reduce compliance costs for businesses up to an estimated $800 million if every business filing in multiple jurisdictions takes part, and will improve compliance.

RELATED: Dayton opposes state takeover of tax collections

The law applies to the municipal net profit tax, which is worth an estimated $600 million annually. It will benefit businesses that operate in multiple municipalities, allowing them to file one return with the state rather than filing separately in each city where they pay taxes.

The state will collect the money from businesses who chose to file with them, then dispense it to municipalities, charging them a half-percent processing fee.

This amounts to forcing cities to pay for a service they don’t want, according to Kent Scarrett, executive director of the Ohio Municipal League. He said cities plan to appeal the judge’s ruling.

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“The real difference is any filer that goes to the state, the municipality that used to review that filing will not be able to review the filing and will have no auditing or review capabilities,” he said.

“Dayton has no way to make sure that filing is accurate.”

Scarrett said the real fear is that lawmakers will expand to start collecting the billions of dollars every year collected by cities across the state in employer witholdings, and may take further steps to control local taxes.

“Once you control the revenue you control a lot of aspects of what happens,” he said. “It’s the state taking over, the state getting bigger, growing in size and eclipsing the powers of our local communities and the decisions they can make.”

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Ohio Department of Taxation officials say cities will have access to the same information from the state that they received from filers and can request filings be reviewed.

Taxation Spokesman Gary Gudmundson called predictions of dramatically expanding the program “a concern that the municipalities have expressed without grounding.”

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