City expects to delay Internet cafe ban

Published: Sunday, September 02, 2012 @ 10:00 PM
Updated: Sunday, September 02, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

Nearly one month before Springfield’s ban on Internet cafes is scheduled to begin, city commissioners will likely delay its start until July of 2013.

Commissioners will likely vote on the updated ordinance on Sept. 11. Mayor Warren Copeland said he expects the revised ordinance to pass at the next meeting.

In December, city commissioners voted 3-2 to a delayed ban on Internet cafes, beginning this October, with hopes the state would regulate the industry in the state and to give local businesses time to comply.

The city has more than a dozen of the businesses.

Internet cafes and game rooms typically offer phone cards that can be purchased for time on computers and also includes sweepstakes entries for games where cash payouts are awarded. Many state and local lawmakers believe the computers are designed to take advantage of loopholes in Ohio’s gaming laws.

A statewide moratorium on new Internet cafes was enacted in May, but no other action has been taken by Ohio lawmakers. Attorney General Mike DeWine recently reiterated his stance that the Ohio General Assembly should adopt regulations on Internet cafes and sweepstakes parlors.

DeWine believes lawmakers must define the sweepstakes rules, establish a state-mandated payout, require certification of software and equipment, establish a computer system which monitors all machines in the state and the designation of a state agency to oversee the parlors. He also believes parlors should pay taxes and license fees.

City leaders wanted to give commissioners an opportunity to delay the ban in case the state does take action during the moratorium, according to Jerry Strozdas, the city’s law director. The statewide moratorium ends on June 30, 2013.

“We feel its appropriate to give (the commissioners) the option to wait and see what the state does,” Strozdas said.

Copeland said they’ve felt all along it was best to let the state take the lead on the issue of Internet cafes. If commissioners were to close down the Internet cafes in October, Copeland said, they’d likely try to move outside the city limits to stay open.

“We’re just trying to get out of the way to let the state what it needs to do and decide what the status of these facilities are,” said Copeland, who voted for the ban last December. “I hope they do that instead of sitting on the moratorium and not taking any action.”

Local Internet cafe owners or managers declined comment for this story.

Officials initially thought three Internet cafes were located within the city limits, but the number is higher. Affidavits filed through state Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office show 782 Internet cafes or sweepstakes parlors in Ohio, including 25 in Clark County.

Of those 25, 14 are located within the city limits, according to the affidavits. Three businesses call themselves Internet cafes, while other businesses like bars, drive-thrus and restaurants offer similar computer devices.

City Commissioner Kevin O’Neill said the attorney general’s report shed a little different light on Clark County because “there was more found than we ever thought were out there.” He was happy to see the ban extended and that the employees of the Internet cafes will keep their jobs.

“I’m still a firm believer that they aren’t causing any problems,” O’Neill said. “I believe everyone that goes in there are adults, and they’re treated as such.”

He also believes it’s a quality of life issue for some people, rather than a way to make money.

“They don’t want to sit around a bar, they don’t want to look at the TV all the time,” O’Neill said. “Maybe they’re not computer-literate enough to get on a computer at home. I think it’s a good thing. If we wait for the state to take the lead and it’s governed properly, it’s a good thing.”

The state Senate and House of Representatives each have bills in the early stages of development in committees, Senate Bill 317 and House Bill 195. According to his office, DeWine prefers HB 195, which mirrors his beliefs on Internet cafes, but said some form of regulation is needed.

State Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield, said he supports the regulation of Internet cafes, especially after the creation of the Ohio Gaming Commission. He expects it to happen before the moratorium ends next summer.

“We’re regulating everything else, Internet cafes should also be subject to consumer protection regulations,” McGregor said. “They should be regulated and held accountable to make sure they’re not ripping people off.”

3rd tornado confirmed in Miami Valley

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:53 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:22 AM

Two tornadoes have been confirmed in Clark County and one in Miami County.

Tornadoes were confirmed in the following locations:

  • EF-1 confirmed in Park Layne
  • EF-0 confirmed near Medway
  • EF-1 confirmed near Piqua

UPDATE @ 4:08 p.m.:

The National Weather Service has confirmed a third tornado touched down near Medway in Clark County.

Maximum sustained winds for the tornado were 75 mph and it was said to be on the ground for 500 yards, the weather service said.

The tornado touched down on Lower Valley Pike near Princeton Drive, just southwest of the I-70 and Ohio 235 interchange.

Several manufactured homes sustained roof and siding damage and two large trees fell on and destroyed homes on Cordova Drive at McMahan’s Fairview Terrace Mobile Home Park.

RELATED: Multiple mobile homes damaged by downed trees in Clark County

Several homes on Wellington Avenue had mud splattered on the north or east side of the homes, showing evidence of rotation, the weather service said.

According to the weather service, carports and awnings also were destroyed.

The damage quickly lessened in strength further to the northwest with minimal damage along Jason Drive and no evidence of damage by Amy Dee Lane, NWS said.

UPDATE @ 3:46 p.m.:

A second tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service approximately five miles southeast of Piqua.

The weather service said the maximum winds for the tornado near Piqua were estimated at 90 mph.

UPDATE @ 3:36 p.m.:

A tornado that caused damage in Park Layne and southeast Miami County had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and was on the ground for nearly four miles, the National Weather Service said.

Officials said the tornado first touched down in the western side of Park Layne as an EF-1 tornado, where damage occurred to some commercial buildings and trees.

RELATED: Businesses damaged in Park Layne

The maximum width of the tornado was 300 yards.

Additional tree damage and minor roof damage occurred along Bellefontaine Road to the northwest, the weather service said.

Sporadic damage, primarily to trees, was found farther to the northwest, ultimately ending along Ohio 201 north of Studebaker Road.

The damage near Studebaker Road was consistent with wind speeds of an EF-0 tornado, the weather service said.

Officials are expected to release additional details later this afternoon.

An EF-1 tornado is classified with wind speeds between 86 to 110 mph and an EF-0 tornado has wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph.

UPDATE @ 2:56 p.m. 

Bethel Twp. fire department official gave an update on the damage at Sunoco gas station. The hazard has been secured and no fuel was lost. The fuel tank valves have been secured.

Also, there are six families being assisted in this area of Park Layne.

There has been extensive damage to roofs on homes along Osborne Road, according to Bethel Twp. fire. The department was able to use a drone in the daylight to get a clearer picture of the damage. 

Clark County EMA is handling the damage assessment. 

Larry Shaffer, Clark County Combined Health District, said eight of 10 restaurants are back in business after the storms caused closures. 

The Mel-O-Dee restaurant could be closed for up to three weeks due to broken air conditioning units and a structural truss damaged. The Family Dollar that was damaged will also remain closed. 

Tom Hale, Clark County building official, said several businesses remain without power. 

UPDATE @ 10:06 a.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-1 tornado hit Park Layne Wednesday night.

The weather service estimated maximum winds for the tornado at 100 mph.

Additional details, including the path length and width on the Park Layne tornado will be released later today, NWS said.

UPDATE @ 9:49 a.m.:

The National Weather Service storm survey teams have arrived in Park Layne and are beginning their surveys of suspected tornado damage in Clark, Greene and Miami counties.

>>PHOTOS:  Storm damageStorms, funnel clouds

The National Weather Service will be out today to survey damage in Greene, Clark and Miami counties to determine the number, strength and exact locations of tornado touchdowns.

Two survey teams will begin today in Park Layne and then those teams will split up, with one going to Miami County and the other going to Greene County.

>>VIDEO: Funnel cloud over Fairborn

In a statement issued early this morning, weather service officials in Wilmington said some of these damage reports, reported by whio.com and News Center 7, include:  

  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base security forces are checking for damage. “At this time, we do not know if a tornado touched down or not” on the base, spokeswoman Marie Vanover said. WPAFB weather casters issued a tornado warning at 8:33 p.m., which was extended twice more. An “all clear” has since been issued, she said.
  • In Greene County, several trees and power lines were reported down near Dayton Xenia and Trebein roads in the Xenia area.
  • In Miami County, a tornado may be responsible for barn debris, trees and wires in the street the 8000 block of Bellefontaine Road, according to the National Weather Service. The road is closed, according to the Miami County Sheriff’s Dispatch.
  • In Miami County, trees and power lines down in Bethel Twp. at Bellefontaine Road, between U.S. 40 and Palmer Road.
  • In Beavercreek, a tornado may be possible for several trees and power lines reported down near Dayton Xenia and Trebein roads, according to the National Weather Service.
  • In Beavercreek, a tornado may be responsible for several trees down along Dayton Yellow Springs Road near Fairborn. 
  • In Miami County, two homes with structural damage near highway 201 at Studebaker Road.
  • In Miami County, Deweese Road at Peterson, closed because of power lines and trees down.
  • In Montgomery County, trees were reported down in the 8300 block of National Road

It is believed that a tornado or multiple tornadoes were responsible for the damage in certain locations in these 

counties, weather service officials said.  

There may be additional locations that require damage surveys that aren't listed above, weather service officials said. 

“We will be in contact with emergency managers from the affected counties to determine a specific plan for damage surveys, as well as assess the need for additional surveys in other locations,” weather service officials said in the statement.

INITIAL REPORT

Several tornadoes are being reported in Greene County tonight.

Here are some of the reports (all of these reports have to be verified by the National Weather Service):

>>RELATED: Xenia graduation at Nutter Center disrupted

>>VIDEOS: Sirens, wall clouds in Greene

  • One has been reported in Fairborn, reported by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
  • One has been reported, by weather spotters to the National Weather Service, in southwest Miami County
  • Another in the area of U.S. 35 at the split with the U.S. 35 Business Route near Xenia
  • Near Jeffersonville and the Jackson Twp. line in eastern Greene County

Jason Slyger, of Sabina, said he saw a tornado touch down near Jeffersonville and the Jackson Twp. line about 8:30 p.m. 

"You see the storm, you see a V and all of a sudden you see debris in the air," he said. 

We are hearing no reports of damage of injuries. 

We have been fielding reports of funnel and other threatening clouds. 

We will continue to update this report as warranted. 

Beloved restaurant forced to close after damage from tornado

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:35 AM

UPDATE:

Mel-O-Dee restaurant has posted a message to concern customers to its Facebook page. 

EARLIER: 

The Mel-O-Dee restaurant could be closed for up to three weeks due to broken air conditioning units and a structural truss damaged.

A nearby Family Dollar that was damaged will also remain closed.

>>WATCH: 3 areas showing the aftermath of last night's destructive storms

Larry Shaffer, Clark County Combined Health District, said eight of 10 restaurants are back in business after the storms caused closures. 

There are also six families being assisted in this area of Park Layne.

FIRST REPORT: 

One of the region’s most beloved restaurants has been forced to close in the aftermath of a confirmed tornado Wednesday evening.

>> MORE: Classic Dayton restaurants you have to try and love, including the Mel-O-Dee

>> MORE: Why customers can’t get enough of Mel-O-Dee Restaurant

>> PHOTOS: See the damage to the Mel-O-Dee Restaurant

The Mel-O-Dee Restaurant at 2350 S. Dayton-Lakeview Road in Park Layne near New Carlisle announced on its Facebook page this morning that it would be closed “until further notice” because of the damage.

>> WATCH: 6 videos that show the intense storm damage

>> PHOTOS: Aftermath of storm damage

The beloved Clark County restaurant has been open since 1965 and is known for its broaster chicken and other dishes made from scratch. 

No one at the restaurant was injured.

>> MORE: National Weather Service confirms tornado in Park Layne

 LISTEN: 911 caller, ‘A tornado went right over my car’

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 4:29 PM

A confirmed tornado that caused damage in Park Layne and southeast Miami County had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and was on the ground for nearly four miles, the National Weather Service said.

You can listen to 911 callers describe what they were seeing from an up close perspective. One caller says, “A tornado just touched down, it went right over my car.”

Officials said the tornado first touched down in the western side of Park Layne as an EF-1 tornado, where damage occurred to some commercial buildings and trees.

Clark County hit with tornadoes three times in 2 months

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 4:28 PM

Clark County experienced its third tornado in two months Wednesday night, leaving the Clark County-Bethel Twp. Fire Chief describing the latest storm as a “monumental event.”

An EF-1 tornado touched down on the western side of Park Layne, leaving behind damage to several businesses, trees and roofs in the area.

RELATED: NWS releases details on Park Layne tornado

A second tornado was confirmed Wednesday near Medway.

The National Weather Service also confirmed a tornado near Enon on April 5, when an EF-0 tornado caused damage to a home and farm on Dayton-Springfield Road.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Heavy storm damage reported near Enon, barn destroyed

Clark County is no stranger to tornadoes, on April 2, 2015 an EF0 tornado damaged trees and an outbuilding — blew the doors off a barn — along Addison-New Carlisle Road near Stafford Road, 3 miles north of New Carlisle.

RELATED: NWS confirms tornado hit near New Carlisle