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.”

Clouds increase tonight, cool temperatures return this weekend

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 4:41 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

A cooler day is expected Saturday, but warmer temperatures return next week in the Dayton area.

RELATED: Dayton Interactive Radar - WHIO Doppler 7

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Increasing clouds late tonight
  • Isolated sprinkle early Saturday
  • Cooler and dry to finish the weekend

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

OVERNIGHT: 

Clouds will be on the increase overnight tonight. It’ll be a mild and breezy night with temperatures dropping into the lower 40s.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

RELATED: County-by-County Weather

SATURDAY: Lots of clouds around for the morning and with a chance for a passing sprinkle or light shower, but most will likely remain dry. Temperatures will climb from the 40s to near 50 degrees by midday, then fall after the cold front moves through. It will become breezy at times, delivering a wind chill in the upper 30s to low 40s through most of the day. Some clearing is expected into Saturday night with temperatures turning colder. Overnight lows drop into the upper 20s by morning, but feel colder with a light breeze still around.

SUNDAY: High pressure returns to the Miami Valley, bringing sunshine and a few clouds. A seasonal afternoon expected with highs in the upper 40s. Still a very light breeze in place will result in wind chills around five to 10 degrees cooler at times.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny and milder for Monday with highs in the lower 50s.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy, breezy and milder for Tuesday. Temperatures will climb to nearly 10 degrees above normal into the middle 50s.

WHIO Weather App 

WEDNESDAY: Morning sun gives way to clouds throughout the day. Another mild day with highs in the lower 50s. There’s a slight chance for showers into the evening or night. 

Downtown Urbana to host weekend of holiday events

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 3:59 PM


            A Christmas tree in Legacy Park will be lighted during holiday events tonight. CONTRIBUTED
A Christmas tree in Legacy Park will be lighted during holiday events tonight. CONTRIBUTED

Downtown Urbana will host a variety of holiday events this weekend, including Santa’s arrival and a horse parade this evening.

Shops in the city’s downtown Monument Square District openrf at 10 a.m. today, and children’s activities began at 3 p.m. Street carolers and carriage rides will begin at 5 p.m., and a tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Legacy Park. A lighted horse parade will take place at 6:30 p.m., including Santa’s arrival.

Santa will also be downtown after the parade at the Gloria Theatre, 216 S. Main St., to visit with children and for photos.

After Friday, Santa Land will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday until December 23.

The Monument Square District also recently hosted a holiday-themed window decorating contest, said Marcia Bailey, economic development coordinator for the Champaign Economic Partnership. Kaleidoscope, an antique store, took first place while Martin Insurance took second. Brecount Law Office took third place in the contest, she said.

The village of West Liberty will also host a Christmas in the village event from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at 201 N. Detroit St. in the village.

Businesses, including Marie’s Candies, will host open houses throughout the day. An old-fashioned community soup dinner is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. in the village fire house. There will also be an annual luminary run at 5 p.m. and a Christmas parade at 6 p.m.

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1 4-H pig dead, barn destroyed after morning fire in Clark County

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 1:24 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 1:10 PM

SCENE: German Twp. barn fire kills several animals

A fire tore through a Clark County barn early Friday morning, killing at least one 4-H pig, according to firefighters. 

TRENDING: 18-year-old victim, driver identified in fatal pedestrian crash

No one was injured in the fire in the 4800 block of Troy Road in German Twp., but the barn was a total loss, said Tim Holman, German Twp. fire chief. The fire was not suspicious and no cause has been determined.

TRENDING: Local mayor wants police to be aggressive, cite panhandlers who break laws

The fire appeared to have started near the middle of the barn, and the structure was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, according to investigators. Dispatchers began receiving calls at 12:49 a.m., and crews were on the scene 12 minutes later, he said. 

>>Latest Local News

“When we got there, there just wasn’t a whole lot to save,” Holman said.  

Homeowner Theresa Ward said when they discovered the blaze after midnight, they tried with a garden hose to put it out after calling 911. Holman said firefighters were told one pig was killed in the fire. 

“There were several other pigs there but they were out, so they weren’t harmed,” Holman said. 

“It was the longest 11 minutes of our lives,” Ward said. “We were trying to save our animals and we just watched [the barn] go up in flames. There was nothing we could do.”

Ward said two of her grandchildren participate in 4-H, and the pigs belonged to them. She said an electrical problem may have started the fire. 

Ward said they did not have insurance on the barn and she wasn’t sure how they will rebuild. An estimated cost of damages was not available. 

There was little firefighters could do when they arrived, Holman said. 

“We went ahead and pulled a line and hit the hot spots so it didn’t spread,” Holman said. “We also cooled off the house because it was in close proximity. When a barn goes down you have all the aluminum that comes down on top that comes down and it hides some of the fire, so we had to pull that off to get to the rest of the fire. We kept an engine there till about 3:30 a.m.,” he said. 

The Heritage Center: How to learn about Clark County’s impact on state and national politics

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

Photo courtesy of the Clark County Historical Society.
HANDOUT
Photo courtesy of the Clark County Historical Society.(HANDOUT)

Americans have served their country in many capacities, including the political arena. 

Clark Countians have served on the local, state, and federal levels and the stories of those past public servants whose national service made a big difference locally are told in the second floor gallery of the Heritage Center.

The exhibit includes Governor Asa Bushnell, Congressmen Samuel Shellabarger and David Hobson, and Ohio’s first Speaker of the House, General J. Warren Keifer. 

The exhibit also looks at how the government affects our daily lives and how everyday citizens can be involved.

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» The Heritage Center: Remembering Clark county’s history of builders

» Clark County Historical Society seeks new tax to support museum