5 demolition sites targeted in 1-mile West Carrollton strip near I-75

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 6:31 AM

            Dayton Hydroponics plans demolish the former Duke’s Restaurant at 630 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton, build a new facility and relocate from 3856 Miamisburg-Centerville Road to a site that will include room for retail businesses. West Carrollton officials say the plan would give the Dixie corridor its first new retail space in about 20 years. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF
Dayton Hydroponics plans demolish the former Duke’s Restaurant at 630 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton, build a new facility and relocate from 3856 Miamisburg-Centerville Road to a site that will include room for retail businesses. West Carrollton officials say the plan would give the Dixie corridor its first new retail space in about 20 years. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

In the past year, several parcels of land totaling nearly 20 acres in a one-mile strip of East Dixie Drive in West Carrollton have been targeted for demolition.

The city is looking to redevelopment the Dixie/Central Avenue corridor along with the Great Miami River near Interstate 75 with the vision of turning it into a multi-million dollar entertainment district.

RELATED: Demolition paves way for Kettering Health Network

The sites targeted for redevelopment include:

-Carrollton Plaza, 1100-1192 E. Dixie. The city last year bought 13.75 acres next to I-75, land seen by local officials as a cornerstone for the entertainment district plan along the river. The $3.2 million project includes the planned demolition of the plaza targeted for this summer.

RELATED: City plans to purchase Carrollton Plaza as part of $3.2 million deal

-The former Sonny’s Auto Spa, 744 E. Dixie. Kettering Health Network last year announced an intent to build a medical office building, a service lacking in West Carrollton’s City Center district. While details have not yet been proposed, the city last year demolished the structure on 3.84 acres as part of a three-way deal with KHN and the Montgomery County Landbank program.

-The former Duke’s Restaurant, 630 E. Dixie. Dayton Hydroponics, located on Ohio 725 in West Carrollton, last year bought the 1.4-acre site. It plans to tear down the building this year and construct a new home twice the size of the structure that’s there, according to the city.

RELATED: Ex-retail site eyed for future entertainment district use

Nearly 5,000 square feet will be available for lease, the first time in about 20 years new retail space will have been constructed in that district, according to the city.

-The former West Carrollton Car Wash, 518 E. Dixie. Last summer the city tore down the former business it has owned since 2013. No plans have been announced for the 0.324-acre site since the demolition, funded by a $20,000 Community Development Block Grant, according to the city.

RELATED: Downtown corridor target of new study

-Colyer’s Automotive, 429 E. Dixie. The city plans to buy the land at the western end of the Dixie/Central split and across from the West Carrollton Civic Center. It plans to demolish the building using Ohio Public Works Commission grant funds, which are expected to cover 75 percent of the estimated $183,000 cost.

City Manager Brad Townsend said West Carrollton has long-range plans to convert the 0.191-acre parcel into a small park, similar to The Point at eastern end of the Dixie/Central split.

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Should Medicaid come with work requirements? Ohio says yes

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:08 PM


Ohio for the first time is seeking federal approval to create job requirements as a condition to qualify for Medicaid.

Most Ohio residents enrolled through the expansion of Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, are already working or would be exempt because of things like their age, disability or care taking responsibilities.

But an estimated 36,000 residents — 5 percent of the 700,000 Ohioans on Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act — would risk losing their health insurance if they don’t either have a job for at least 20 hours per week, look for work, or attend school or job training.

The Ohio Department of Medicaid will hold public hearings beginning in Cincinnati starting Wednesday. Public comment can also be submitted online until March 18.

The requests to add work requirements have sparked debate over whether the conditions are necessary to push people toward jobs and out of poverty, or whether the new rules will put unnecessary burdens on the poor and make health outcomes worse.

RELATED: Kasich vs. lawmakers in Medicaid fight: ‘If you break it, you own it’

President Donald Trump’s administration recently opened the door to let states add job requirements as part of Medicaid eligibility, which was something states have previously not been allowed to do. Ohio joins a dozen states that want to add job requirements as a condition of eligibility and Kentucky and Indiana have already been approved.

The Republican-majority Ohio General Assembly put the language into the budget last summer that required the Ohio Department of Medicaid to seek permission to add the job requirements for those covered through Medicaid expansion.

“We’re talking about healthy Ohioans of working age,” said John Fortney, spokesman for the Ohio Senate Majority Caucus. “It’s reasonable to think that if you’re able to work, then you should be working. This gets people into the workforce, giving them the opportunity to build a career in the long term, ending the cycle of dependency on government.”

Two state representatives, Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, and Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, issued a statement condemning the proposed restrictions as further attempts to undercut Medicaid benefits expanded under the Affordable Care Act. The two argued the proposal won’t cut poverty and instead could leave residents with poorly paid and temporary jobs.

“Taking away healthcare from people in need of temporary assistance will actually keep people sicker and unable to find work. This will increase healthcare costs across the board,” Antonio stated. “Further, this will be detrimental to Ohioans who want to work and need healthcare.”

The Ohio Department of Medicaid in its proposal cited a study pointing to how Medicaid coverage helped beneficiaries hold jobs or find jobs, but at the same time the employment rate has only increased by 2 percent for those covered through Medicaid expansion.

RELATED: 500K Ohioans could lose health care with freeze in Medicaid signups, Kasich says

“These findings emphasize that more can be done to promote and encourage work and community engagement efforts that help improve health outcomes and further promote the goals of the Medicaid program,” the state wrote.

The Ohio Department of Medicaid in its application to add the requirements compared to the state’s work requirements for SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps. The department estimated it would save about $30 million the first year the requirements are in place.

Some of the exemptions include being 50 years or older, “physically or mentally unfit for employment,” pregnant, caring for children or a disabled household member, in school at least half-time, participating in drug or alcohol treatment.

Loren Anthes, who researches Medicaid policy at The Center for Community Solutions in Cleveland, said the state’s estimate of 1 in 20 residents losing their Medicaid eligibility because of the new conditions might be a conservative prediction.

RELATED: Kasich says it’s a ‘bad idea’ to phase out Medicaid expansion

Looking to when work requirements were introduced for SNAP, Anthes said nearly 400,000 people lost eligibility compared to the initial 134,900 that the state estimated would lose their benefits. Even accounting for an improving economy, Anthes said the work requirements appear to have disqualified more people than the state predicted.

He also said that the additional administration work that it would take to monitor these new requirements will cost money that could otherwise have been spent on health benefits.

“This waiver elects to pay for red tape over health care services,” Anthes said.

By the numbers: Medicaid

700,000: Ohioans covered by Medicaid under ACA expansion

36,000: Estimated Ohioans affected by proposed work rules

$30 million: Savings Ohio predicts for first year of work rules

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Montgomery Co. fire stations on alert after shooting threat

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 4:10 PM

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a threatening call made anonymously that a man would “shoot up” local fire stations. 

The call came in just before 3 p.m. Sunday to the non-emergency line at the county’s Regional Dispatch Center in Dayton, according to a sheriff’s report. 

“This day in age there’s no threat like that, that you can’t take seriously,” said Rob Streck, chief deputy with the sheriff’s office. 

Huber Heights business damaged by nearby ‘target practice,’ police say

The 20-second threatening phone call by a male said he was going to “shoot up the fire department … wait till I get my gun. Now I warned all y’all (sic),” reads the sheriff’s report. He then hung up. 

“It’s concerning,” Streck said. “Fire and EMS, they’re service providers that do everything they can to keep us safe, keep our families safe.” 

After the emergency dispatcher alerted the on-duty supervisor, that sergeant alerted the sheriff’s office, according to Streck. Then all police and fire departments in Montgomery County were notified of the threat. 

All departments were notified, Streck said, because the threat did not list a specific fire department. 

“Some fire departments had law enforcement on with them on calls, some of the fire departments locked down,” Streck said. 

REWARD: Offered for information in woman shot in head

Other fire stations ensured all access doors and garage bays were closed and locked. 

Miami Valley Fire District Battalion Chief Andy Harp told News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy that his fire stations have been advised to stay alert and keep their garage bay doors closed.

The investigation is ongoing to identify who made the threat. 

Streck said law enforcement do sometimes receive similar threats, but it’s easier for officers and deputies in the field to have an immediate ability to protect themselves. 

“The fire service is a little different; they don’t go around with firearms and less lethal options on their belt, than law enforcement does,” Streck said. “To hear that some of our local brethren in arms is being threatened with really no defense, it really concerned us and we want to make sure that those that are out protecting our families, that we protect them.”

For the latest on this threat and response of fire departments, watch WHIO-TV starting at 5 p.m. today, Feb. 20.

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911 dispatcher dies in crash; husband hears emergency call on scanner 

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 1:39 PM

Husband Hears Emergency Call on Scanner After Wife Dies in Accident

A Minnesota man listening to emergency dispatch audio learned that his wife, a 911 dispatcher, was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver as she headed for work, the Star Tribune reported.

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Jenna L. Bixby, 30, died Saturday night in the head-on crash in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park, authorities said. Her husband, Daniel Bixby, was listening to the audio that first reported the crash, according to Andrew Williams, who heads two Twin Cities scanner monitoring groups online, the Star Tribune reported.

The crash was reported at 8 p.m. Two hours later, State Patrol troopers contacted Daniel Bixby and confirmed that his wife had died.

“A few of us were listening at the same time last night and messaging back and forth,” Williams told the Star Tribune. “Maybe two hours later, Dan sent a message on the board that troopers came and told him it was his wife. Yeah, it’s tough.”

The wrong-way driver was identified as retired minister Richard J. Shaka, 72, of Blaine. He was in critical condition, authorities said. Troopers said alcohol consumption by Shaka appears to have been a factor in the collision.

Jenna Bixby worked the past 3½ years as a 911 dispatcher for the city of Minneapolis, according to city records.

“Minneapolis’ Emergency Communications staff work day and night to keep people safe,” Mayor Jacob Frey said Sunday. “As a 911 dispatcher, that’s what Jenna Bixby did for years -- and what she was on her way to do at City Hall when her life was tragically taken late last night.”

Shaka taught at North Central University in Minneapolis in the Bible and Theology Department from 1996 until he retired in 2011. Shaka also founded a Twin Cities nonprofit organization that builds orphanages and youth centers in his native Sierra Leone, the Star Tribune reported.

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Rain returning, flooding threat increasing

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:36 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 12:40 PM

Tree down on East Dorothy Lane

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


  • Rain, few storms late tonight
  • Chance for freezing rain early Thursday
  • More rain, heavy at times Friday into the weekend

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

>> 5-Day Forecast


This evening: Clouds will be on the increase with gusty winds. Temperatures will stay in the 70s. 

Tonight: Rain will develop, mainly after midnight. A few thunderstorms will be possible. Temperatures will drop into the upper 50s by morning. It will remain breezy.

Record breaking warmth will fuel strong storms tonight.

Wednesday: Rain likely. A rumble of thunder possible early, mainly south. Temperatures will fall through the 50s into the 40s by evening. As temperatures drop, rain may change to freezing rain late at night across the northern Miami Valley.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

Thursday: Rain will be around in the morning and may begin as freezing rain, mainly north of I-70. Temperatures will start the day in the lower 30s and climb into the middle 40s. The afternoon should dry out.

>> School, Business Closing and Delays

Friday: Rain returns. The rain may be heavy at times. It will be milder with highs in the upper 50s. Heavy rain may lead to flooding issues.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

>> The Ohio River is rising, prompting flood warnings for some areas

Saturday: Rain likely. The rain may be heavy at times. A rumble of thunder will also be possible, mainly south. Heavy rain may lead to flooding issues. It will also become windy at times with highs near 60 degrees.

Sunday: There will likely be rain in the morning with clouds lingering into the afternoon. It will be windy with highs cooling into the middle 50s.

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