Bugged? Here’s why mosquitoes in the Dayton area may be more plentiful -- and vicious

Published: Sunday, August 13, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Having a mosquito problem is one that you don't want to have. Here is a brief descrption of how they grow and what you can do to prevent the problem.

You’re minding your own business when the attackers come into your backyard like bloodthirsty thieves in the night.

They attack arms and legs, elbows and even toes with tube-like mouths.

Mosquitoes are creepy jerks alright. 

And Suzanne Mills-Wasniak of the Ohio State Extension's Montgomery County office said you might be onto something if you think there are more of these potentially life-threatening pests in the Dayton area than normal.

Conditions have been right for prolific mosquito breeding, Mills-Wasniak , the extension’s educator for agriculture and natural resources, told this news organization.  

>> MORE: 5 ways to stop mosquitoes from attacking you

“We’ve had a lot of rain and that’s going to be a major cause of increased breeding,” she noted. 

BREEDING POOLS

Getty(Mario Tama)

Thus far this year, WHIO Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said the area has seen about 34 inches of rain, eight more than average. 

“That is a lot,” he said. “We’ve had a wet June and July.” 

There is a spot of good news. Elwell said the summer has been cooler and not as humid. 

>> MORE: 5 Day Forecast with Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell

“They would be even worse than they are,” he said. “Warm, muggy evenings is what they love.” 

He also says rainfall numbers are trending down for August.

THIS IS NOT AN EPIDEMIC 

Things aren’t cut and dry. 

Whether you have more mosquitoes or not might be a matter of where you live and how well you control potential breeding grounds, according to Tom Hut,  Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County’s Bureau of Special Services’ supervisor.

>> MORE: The best and worst products to prevent mosquito bites

“The hot spots can kind of shift through the summer,” he said. “It’s not any worse than any usual summer. Mosquito rely on standing water to breed.”

More than itchy skin is the risk. 

Seventeen of the 123 mosquito traps that have been set during the 2017 mosquito season have tested positive for West Nile. 

Hut said that is about three times less than tested positive during the 2012 West Nile epidemic.

>> MORE:  Worst of West Nile likely past, CDC says 

YOU ARE NOT DEFENSELESS 

There are also no known human carriers of the Zika virus, which is transmitted from humans to mosquitoes to humans, Hut said. 

Tom Hut,  Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County’s Bureau of Special Services’ supervisor, with mosquito traps.(Photo: Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County’s)

That said, Hut said Asian tiger mosquitoes (aedes albopictus) are known carriers of Zika and other viruses. West Nile can cause inflammation of the brain.

>> MORE: Zika threat a boon for local mosquito-control companies

Hut encourages people to take mosquito bite prevention seriously.

That includes wearing mosquito repellent (carry it in your car), long sleeve and pants and removing standing water. 

Check gutters, downspouts and catch basins  for standing water and remove old water out of bird baths at least weekly. 

Hut said mosquitoes don’t typically venture far from where they hatch. 

The only live a few weeks and can go from egg to adult in seven days. 

Even very small containers like bottle caps can be mosquito nurseries. 

“It doesn’t take much water to attract a mosquito to lay her egg,” he said. 

TIPS TO AVOID BEING BITTEN BY MOSQUITOES, FROM THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

• Clothing will help protect you from mosquito bites. When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks in addition to repellent when outdoors. 

• Repel mosquitoes when going outdoors during mosquito season by using repellents that contain an EPA-registered active ingredient such as DEET or picaridin. Follow the directions on the label. 

• Treat items such as boots, pants, sock, and tents with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing and gear. Follow label directions. 

• Be aware of peak mosquito hours. Mosquitoes are most active and biting during the early morning and late evening hours. If outdoors at dawn or dusk, take extra care to use repellent and wear protective clothing. 

• Keep window and door screens closed and in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

• Mosquitoes rest in tall weeds. Keep weeds cut short to help deter mosquitoes. 

• Avoiding mosquitoes doesn’t mean kids have to stay inside in front of the TV. Get them outside and playing, but remember — a couple of seconds applying an effective repellent to exposed skin and clothing will help everyone stay healthy. Follow the directions on the label.

 

Greater Dayton RTA driver union days away from another strike

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 3:08 PM

Greater Dayton RTA drivers and mechanics have voted to send a strike notice to the regional transit authority in coming days. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Greater Dayton RTA drivers and mechanics have voted to send a strike notice to the regional transit authority in coming days. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Greater Dayton RTA drivers and mechanics have voted to send a strike notice to the regional transit authority in coming days, Dayton Daily News and WHIO have learned.

RTA and the Amalgamated Transit Union 1385 have until Dec. 31 to settle the dispute before a strike could begin, according to the contract signed by the two parties after a four-day strike earlier this year in January.

MORE: Charge dismissed, RTA union chief reopens bus contract

The union must send RTA a strike notice by Dec. 21 if they wish to strike, according to the contract. The union is expected to meet again in coming days to decide if drivers and mechanics will walk off.

“When we settled the strike the company was unable to commit for what the insurance would be for years two and three,” said Glenn Salyer, the union president. “They want us to either give back raises or pay more for insurance, and that’s not going to happen.”

Mark Donaghy, RTA's chief executive, said RTA has offered to meet with the union and the mediator. 

"I am disappointed that instead of negotiating with RTA or through the state appointed mediator that Local 1385 leadership has resorted to using the media and threatening the public with another strike to further his interests," said Mark Donaghy, RTA's chief executive, in a prepared statement. 

"RTA has offered the union a proposal that allows their members to reduce their premium share for health insurance by one-third. The union's current proposal would increase costs to RTA by $1.4 million per year," Donaghy said. "Given our financial situation, having to address a $3 million deficit for 2018 which will cause us to consider raising fares and to reduce service, the union proposal is just not acceptable as it would require further cuts in service to accommodate."

PREVIOUS: ATU ratifies new labor contract with Greater Dayton RTA

The benefits plan approved after the strike had employees pay 15 percent of the total cost of the health care plan defined by premium charges for years 2015 and 2016.

In 2017, the contract called for the employees to pay for a weekly rate based on the type of the medical coverage they choose. A single employee would pay $27.53 weekly for medical, prescription and dental coverage, or $88.21 per week for a family. RTA agreed to contribute to a Health Savings Account one-time lump sums ranging from $1,100 for a single employee up to $2,500 for family plan coverage.

The contract language allows either party to reopen only the health care portion of the agreement to re-negotiate the healthcare portion of the deal. The union reopened the contract in March.

PREVIOUS: RTA’s union deal could be reopened by June, allowing another strike

“What they did, essentially, is punt on the issue for a little while, get people back to work and deal with it later if they have to,” said Doug Anspach, a labor attorney with Taft Stettinius & Hollister, in a Dayton Daily News analysis of the contract published in January.

That month, RTA drivers and mechanics walked off the job after failing to reach a contract, kicking off a four-day strike that stranded thousands of riders and drew the ire of local business people and schools.

“Another RTA strike would be unacceptable for our community,” said state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg. “We cannot put hard working Daytonians in jeopardy of not being able to get to work again. I urge both management and labor to come together and reach agreement to avoid another strike.”

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

County’s highest property values? Washington Twp. now tops Kettering

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

Washington Twp. had the most 2017 gains in property values in the county. Realtor Jeff Spring stands inside a 17,000-square foot home in Washington Twp. that was for sale. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Washington Twp. had the most 2017 gains in property values in the county. Realtor Jeff Spring stands inside a 17,000-square foot home in Washington Twp. that was for sale. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

After factoring in new construction, Washington Twp. had the most 2017 gains in property values in the county, according to a final analysis by the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.

During a tentative report on values over the summer, Kettering held the mantle. But the final triennial review shows Washington Twp. up more than $270 million, and Kettering gained $218 million. Washington Twp. also got a boost from a $15.5 million Board of Revision increase to the value of Whole Foods Plaza.

RELATED: Montgomery County property values rebound from historic drop

“We are seeing values increase countywide. That’s not true of every neighborhood, and it’s not true of every community,” said Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith. “But most communities across the county are seeing increases.”

Because of a rebound in housing sales, property values rose or held even in all but four of Montgomery County’s 28 jurisdictions, Keith told about 70 local officials Thursday.

The final values approved by the state department of taxation will determine how much money local jurisdictions and school districts can expect to receive from the unvoted portion of local taxes.

Value changes will result in about $4.1 million in more revenue spread across the county’s jurisdictions, according to the auditor’s office. School districts will see more than half that, including Centerville’s, estimated to get an additional $657,517, and Kettering, $466,554. Three districts, Dayton, New Lebanon and Trotwood-Madison are expected to see a slight decrease.

By percentage, Oakwood’s values – buoyed almost entirely by past residential sales – rose the most, nearly 13 percent.

Final values dropped in Jefferson Twp., Perry Twp., Jackson Twp. and Harrison Twp. But the values dipped in those county’s more rural townships primarily due to a change in the way agricultural land is taxed. The formula was changed to ease the burden on farmers, some who had seen taxes climb as much as 300 percent in recent years. The change resulted in about a 30 percent reduction – or $82 million – decline in agricultural land values.

RELATED: Home values have risen in all Montgomery County communities but one

The gain in values countywide will mean an increase for some in the unvoted portion of property taxes. The owner of a $100,000 house that increased in value 6 percent from the last review will pay about $19 a year more. Currently, that homeowner pays about $306. The inside millage accounts typically for about 10 percent of an overall property tax bill, according the auditor’s office.

Dayton plans opening of new $6 million Helena Street bridge

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 12:05 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 2:08 PM

After a 14 month closure, new bridge in Dayton about to open

City officials will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday to commemorate the reopening of the Helena Street bridge.

The bridge, spanning over the Great Miami River in Dayton will not officially open to traffic until next week, officials said Thursday, but no specified date has been determined.

The bridge was scheduled to reopen Friday, but was delayed due to bad weather.

The ailing bridge was closed in the fall of 2016 for a $6 million rebuild that features wider sidewalks, improved lighting and a new middle turn lane.

RELATED: Dayton replacing Helena Street bridge for $6M

Since 1999, the city of Dayton has invested almost $65 million to replace 11 bridges.

RELATED Dayton bridge project part of investment

When the Helena Street bridge reopens, work will begin on replacing the nearby Keowee Street bridge over the Great Miami River. The Keowee Street bridge, scheduled to close Jan. 2, is providing a detour route for the Helena Street bridge.

RELATED: Keowee Street detours delayed, but bridge will close for almost 2 years

Here’s a look at the completed Dayton bridge projects and their cost (in reverse chronological order):

Webster Street Bridge over the Mad River

Opened: November 2, 2017

Cost: $10.1 million

Broadway Street Bridge over Wolf Creek

Opened: September 16, 2013

Cost: $2.4 million

Rosedale Drive Bridge over Wolf Creek

Opened: October 25, 2011

Cost: $1.9 million

Philadelphia Drive Bridge over Wolf Creek

Opened: January 11, 2011

Cost: $3.4 million

Edwin C. Moses Boulevard Bridge over Wolf Creek (aka the Veterans Memorial Bridge)

Opened: May 13, 2010

Cost: $4.3 million

Stewart Street Bridge over the Great Miami River

Opened: November 30, 2009

Cost: $15.4 million

Dayton Expressway Bridge over Keowee Street

Opened: November 3, 2008

Cost: $6.6 million

Paul Lawrence Dunbar Street Bridge over Wolf Creek

Opened: July 29, 2008

Cost: $2.4 million

Washington Street Bridge over the Great Miami River

Opened: December 6, 2007

Cost: $7.6 million

Findlay Street Bridge over the Mad River

Opened: May 5, 2006

Cost: $4.5 million

Dayton bridge projects

Here’s a look at the completed Dayton bridge projects and their cost (in reverse chronological order):

Webster Street Bridge over the Mad River

Opened: November 2, 2017

Cost: $10.1 million

Broadway Street Bridge over Wolf Creek

Opened: September 16, 2013

Cost: $2.4 million

Rosedale Drive Bridge over Wolf Creek

Opened: October 25, 2011

Cost: $1.9 million

Philadelphia Drive Bridge over Wolf Creek

Opened: January 11, 2011

Cost: $3.4 million

Edwin C. Moses Boulevard Bridge over Wolf Creek (aka the Veterans Memorial Bridge)

Opened: May 13, 2010

Cost: $4.3 million

Stewart Street Bridge over the Great Miami River

Opened: November 30, 2009

Cost: $15.4 million

Dayton Expressway Bridge over Keowee Street

Opened: November 3, 2008

Cost: $6.6 million

Paul Lawrence Dunbar Street Bridge over Wolf Creek

Opened: July 29, 2008

Cost: $2.4 million

Washington Street Bridge over the Great Miami River

Opened: December 6, 2007

Cost: $7.6 million

Findlay Street Bridge over the Mad River

Opened: May 5, 2006

Cost: $4.5 million

Groundbreaking set for first local medical marijuana plant

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 11:46 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 4:15 AM

Yellow Springs Cresco Labs groundbreaking for first medical marijuana plant

A ceremonial groundbreaking is set to happen today on one of two medical marijuana cultivation facilities to be built in the Miami Valley.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

Cresco Labs Ohio LLC and officials with the village of Yellow Springs will be on hand at the site off East Enon Road near Antioch University, where a 23,294-square-foot steel greenhouse and a 26,445-square-foot processing facility will be built.

The “environmentally sound greenhouse will be built for cultivating and harvesting condition-specific strains of medical marijuana and produce non-invasive medical products for qualified patients,” according to a release from Cresco Labs, which has similar facilities in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico.

RELATED >>> Springfield, Yellow Springs to get large marijuana growing operations

“With licenses announced just two weeks ago, Cresco Labs is the first to break ground and start construction on their Yellow Springs medical marijuana cultivation facility,” according to the release. “Cresco’s brand name products will be available at dispensaries across Ohio to patients that have been physician-certified with any of the 22 approved medical conditions. All growing will take place in secure, climate-controlled environments that utilize nearly 85% renewable energy.”

RELATED >>> Yellow Springs moves ahead with medical marijuana planning

Cresco’s cannabis oil products include pharmaceutical-grad oral sprays, sublingual digestible tablets and transdermal patches.

Cresco has also applied to the state for a dispensary license and is expected to apply for a processing license.

A medical marijuana cultivation facility is also approved in Clark County. Pure Ohio Wellness plans to renovate an existing building at 4020 Dayton-Springfield Road in Mad River Twp., outside of Springfield.