Huber Heights’ music center to add another entertainment option to region

Published: Monday, May 06, 2013 @ 12:05 AM
Updated: Monday, May 06, 2013 @ 12:05 AM

Continuing coverage

The Dayton Daily News has provided in-depth coverage on the Huber Heights music center story since we broke the news in early December of the city’s proposal. We will continue to follow this story closely and bring you the latest updates as they develop.

The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Huber Heights music center is scheduled for 1 p.m. May 18. The music center is projected to open in the late summer of 2014, and the 4,500-seat covered venue will be modeled after the PNC Pavilion at Riverbend in Cincinnati.

The $18 million Huber Heights music center will create an even more competitive market in a region saturated with entertainment venues, local and national experts say.

However, Huber Heights officials believe that the music venue will not compete with other facilities — such as the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering — but rather enhance the region and spotlight the northern part of the area, where a lack of entertainment options exist.

“We’re looking to work with all of our neighboring communities on how we can make this work together,” Huber Heights assistant city manager Scott Falkowski said. “The belief is that two venues like this can thrive.”

With a similar-sized venue in Kettering, the two facilities will be going head-to-head, according to Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar, a website and magazine that covers the international concert industry.

That could result in higher ticket prices for the consumer if both venues are competing for the same acts, he said.

“It’s going to be tough to make it work,” Bongiovanni said. “They’ll be splitting the shows, presumably. Artists are going to look at where they can make the most money.”

The Fraze — owned and operated by the city of Kettering — is a popular 4,300-seat venue that opened in 1991. (See photo galleries of recent Fraze Pavilion concerts.) Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said Huber Heights is in Fraze’s market, which includes north Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and Indianapolis.

It’s “fair to say” that the two venues will be competing for people’s entertainment dollars, he said, but performances at the Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati, Riverbend Music Center and Victoria Theatre Association also come into play.

“If I’m John Doe and I’ve got $400 to spend on entertainment at two facilities within 20 minutes, I’d look at both facilities and see where I want to go,” Schwieterman said. “But it’s not just about the Fraze and Huber Heights. There are a lot of venues in this region competing for entertainment dollars.”

A recent $2.31 million property acquisition from Meijer will accommodate the Huber Heights music center and GoodSports Enterprises’ $22 million fieldhouse. Both will be built along the south side of Executive Boulevard, west of Meijer near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 interchange.

“It takes considerable relationships and experience in the industry,” Bongiovanni said. “There’s a certain trust level before committing to playing at a place. Over time, facilities develop a reputation if they can sell tickets or not sell tickets. With the local population going to the Fraze, it will make it that much harder for a new facility to be successful.”

The next steps for Huber Heights are locking in an exact location for the music center and hiring a management company to run it, Falkowski said.

“Now it’s really coming into focus,” Falkowski said. “The expectation is we have created an entertainment destination that will be good for all residents and people from out of the area, in addition to spurring that development.”

Huber Heights resident Dianne Woodson lives on Loblolly Drive, a neighborhood north of Executive and directly across from the music center site. Woodson said she is in favor of the music center and other development because it would bring money and jobs to the city.

Woodson said she isn’t sure if two outdoor music venues in the Dayton area will work, but she would attend shows depending on who the city attracts and how much tickets cost.

“They need something over here to bring it to life,” she said. “I’m dying to see how it’s going to work.”

Duane Wicks, a Kettering resident who has lived on Brookfield Road the last 42 years, said he attends two or three events per year at the Fraze.

Wicks, who lives within walking distance of the Fraze, said it will be tough for Huber Heights to compete with the Fraze, but he would drive north if there was a show he was interested in attending.

Falkowski said the city doesn’t expect the music center to “have everything up to full expectations” until its third year of operation, including a full season of shows.

By then, the city projects to annually generate about $2.3 million in revenue and profit $400,000, according to a Conventions, Sports & Leisure study.

“We have every expectation that we’ll have a full slate of concerts and other events that will keep it full throughout the summer,” Falkowski said. “We don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be. It’s going to be a first-class facility that we feel bands will want to play here and people are going to want to come here and see them.”

Jim Brown, the executive director of the Nutter Center, said “competition is everywhere,” citing movie theaters, sporting events and amusement parks.

The Nutter Center hosts about 220 events per year, and the last two fiscal years have resulted in a minor profit for the Nutter Center, Brown said. In previous years, it has been in the red.

“It’s a fun and exciting industry to be involved in,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of risk involved and a lot of money involved. Most buildings don’t make money. The last two years we’ve made money, but the stars and moon have aligned for that to happen.”

Brown spent three years working to secure deals to bring in Elton John and Bob Seger. John’s sold-out concert on April 3 was the highest-grossing show in the 23-year history of the facility, generating $918,000. (See photo galleries of other recent Nutter Center concerts.)

“A lot of work goes into it — a lot of planning and expenses,” he said. “We’ve done a very good job servicing our patrons, promoters and event producers. You’ve got to know the market, and if something’s not going to work, you’ve got to tell the promoter that it doesn’t fit in our market.”

The Fraze lost money in 17 of its previous 22 years of operation and had to subsidize from the general fund 14 times, but not since 2006. From 2010-12, the city generated a profit, including a jump from $278,278 in ‘11 to $660,838 last year, which Schwieterman said was a result of a “great lineup.”

“We had some growing pains early on building our brand and market,” Schwieterman said. “It takes a long time to build relationships with acts and agents. … We intend to be very successful this year. I don’t anticipate this year being different than the last couple years.”

Centerville HS student ID’d as teen struck, killed by train in Miamisburg

Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 8:08 PM
Updated: Saturday, September 23, 2017 @ 4:15 PM

A teenage boy was confirmed deceased tonight when medics arrived at the scene of a pedestrian who was struck by a CSX train hauling lumber.

UPDATE @ 4:15 p.m. (Sept. 23)

A 16-year-old pedestrian who died Friday night after he was struck by a train in Miamisburg has been identified as a resident of that city.

Jose Fernandez was struck by a Norfolk Southern train on the tracks between Linden and East Central avenues, authorities said Saturday.

RELATED: Train came to ‘screeching’ halt in Miamisburg pedestrian fatality

Fernandez, a Miamisburg resident, was a student at Centerville High School, according to Miamisburg police.

There is no indication of suicide at this time, according to police, and it is believed that all crossing arms and signals were functioning at the time.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office is still working on Fernandez’s specific cause of death, investigators said Saturday afternoon.

UPDATE @ 10 p.m.

A Norfolk Southern train struck and killed a teenager tonight, but Miamisburg police Sgt. Josiah Keefer said police do not believe it was a suicide.

The 16-year-old boy was hit just after 7:40 p.m. on the railroad tracks near the 400 block of East Linden Avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not release his name or whether he was a Miamisburg student.

The train has been stopped since the crash, and will block crossings possibly until midnight as police investigate. Pearl Street was one of the few crossings that was open.

FROM SCENE: Teen killed when struck by train in Miamisburg

Police earlier had portions of the train taped off. As news spread of the accident, some mothers came down to ask officers if their child was hit. Others came to the scene to offer support for friends and family of the victim.

>>>Man whose body pulled from creek told 911: ‘I’d rather be humiliated than dead’

“Our hearts and our prayers are with them and I don’t think any of us can truly say we understand what they’re feeling but that doesn’t mean that our hearts and our prayers won’t be with them,” said Glenda Mesta of Miamisburg.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has taken the teen’s body. He has not been identified pending notification of family.

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UPDATE @ 8:20 p.m.

A teenage boy was confirmed deceased tonight when medics arrived at the scene of a pedestrian who was struck by a train hauling lumber.

A friend of the victim called 911 to report the incident, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

FIRST REPORT

A pedestrian was struck by a train tonight in Miamisburg.

The incident was reported at 7:40 p.m. in the 400 block of Linden Avenue. The train has stopped, which is blocking streets in the area.

Family of Springfield woman found in crashed car looks for answers

Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 8:00 PM

The family of a Springfield woman found dead in a crashed car last week says they have a lot of questions about what caused her death.

Chelsea Marie Dowler, 27, was found in a 1993 Dodge Dakota on Sept. 14. The car left the roadway and struck a tree before coming to rest in Delaware County’s Kingston Twp. north of Columbus, according to the Delaware Post of the State Highway Patrol, but it’s unclear when the crash happened.

She had been missing for nearly four weeks, according to her brother, Tyler Dowler.

“It’s definitely a little bit easier than not knowing,” Tyler Dowler said. “Not knowing was the worst.”

The family had filed a missing person report with the Springfield Police Department, he said, and had handed out flyers and made posts online asking for information about his sister.

“It gives us a little bit of relief knowing that she’s not in pain anymore,” he said. “She’s not suffering.”

But he said he wants more answers.

“Did she wreck? Did someone force her to wreck? Was it drugs? We’d like to know,” he said.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, said Lt. Bob Sellers with the Delaware Post of the State Highway Patrol.

Chelsea Dowler leaves behind two sons, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old. Tyler Dowler and his girlfriend are now the guardians of the boys.

RELATED: Springfield woman found in crashed car may have died weeks ago

“Things are finally starting to come together a little bit. I think they’re happy,” Tyler Dowler said. “They don’t want to go anywhere.”

She struggled with drug addiction, he said, but was a good mother.

“She was loving you know, she had her problems as most of us do,” he said.

He wants the boys to remember their mom for the good times they shared.

“The times where their mom did nothing but make them smile,” he said, “because she would, she would do anything in her power to make them smile.”

The Springfield Police Division has closed its missing person investigation, according to Capt. Mike Varner.

The family is still in the process of making funeral arrangements.

Megyn Kelly’s getting ready for new morning show, hopes for a Trump-free zone

Published: Saturday, September 23, 2017 @ 3:58 PM

Megyn Kelly is getting ready for her new morning  TV program on the ‘Today Show.’
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Megyn Kelly is getting ready for her new morning  TV program on the ‘Today Show.’(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Megyn Kelly says she left Fox News Channel to bring more joy to her life. NBC hopes that starting Monday, she can spread some to the network and its viewers.

The former Fox News Channel star and Donald Trump foil debuts her talk show at 9 a.m. EDT, nestled into the four-hour “Today” show block and competing in most of the country with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest’s “Live!”

>> Read more trending news

Kelly hosted a Sunday-night newsmagazine this summer to middling ratings, and it returns next spring. It’s the daily talk show, in the lucrative morning market, that will ultimately determine the wisdom of NBC News’ decision to hire her. She promises that “Megyn Kelly Today,” shown live with a studio audience, will be an information-packed hour with a sense of fun.

“It will be very similar to the ‘Today’ show, but we’re going to have a lot more elbow room,” she said in an interview.

Ellen DeGeneres initiated Kelly into daytime TV this week by having her awkwardly toss pizza dough, stuff herself into a fat suit and dance with the audience; Kelly smiled and played along. It was a long way from her Fox life of pressing the future president at debates, enduring his Twitter taunts and being the ringleader for an hour of politics each weeknight.

>> Related: Taron Hall developing new daytime show after leaving ‘Today’

The Trump trauma wasn’t why she left Fox, Kelly said. She compared it to her decision to abandon law to become a journalist and ending her first marriage: they weren’t bad experiences, but she knew there was something better.

The truth, Kelly said, is that she’s not a political junkie and cable television news is all about politics.

“I don’t want to talk about Trump all day,” she said. “In fact, the bar is very high for Trump coverage (on ‘Megyn Kelly Live’). If you want Trump, you can watch virtually every channel in the country and get Trump non-stop. I think people are looking for a break from that. Not just Trump, it’s inside the Beltway. I don’t want to talk about Mitch McConnell either, or Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi.”

Live! With Kelly and Ryan” is a celebrity- and entertainment-oriented talk show. Kelly said her program will be uplifting and more substantive: recent trial runs had segments on reacting to the Equifax breach and protecting yourself from attack. Mental health, bullying, coping with divorce and tips for job interviews are the type of topics she’ll cover.

Not news, but not fluff, either.

Trying to imitate the formula of “Live!” would be a huge mistake given its success over decades, said Bill Carroll, a consultant and expert on the daytime TV market.

>> Related: ‘Clerks’ actress’s cause of death revealed four months after her passing

Name recognition, a consistent time slot across the country that makes the show easier to promote, and affiliation with the well-established “Today’ brand give Kelly some advantages, he said.

Read more here.

Warren Co. motorcyclist suffers minor injuries after crashing into deer

Published: Saturday, September 23, 2017 @ 5:15 AM
Updated: Saturday, September 23, 2017 @ 3:42 PM

UPDATE @ 3:42 p.m.

A motorcyclist was taken to Bethesda Arrow Springs medical center with a minor leg injury after hitting a deer on Morrow-Blackhawk Road Saturday morning. 

Warren County deputies said the unidentified victim was wearing a helmet when he hit the deer and an initial call for CareFlight was cancelled at the scene.

EARLIER REPORT (Sept. 23)

Warren County crews have responded to an accident on State Route 123 at Blackhawk Road involving a motorcyclist. 

Reports indicate the motorcycle struck a deer and the motorcyclist was thrown from the vehicle, and suffered a leg injury. 

CareFlight was on standby, and then asked to stand down according to initial reports. 

Exact condition of the motorcyclist is unknown. 

We are working with Warren County crews to learn more.