Power restoration could take days after storm

Published: Saturday, June 30, 2012 @ 2:40 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 30, 2012 @ 2:40 AM

The sudden, violent summer storms that hit Friday forced the cancellation of two major regional events, caused several injuries, knocked down trees and pulled down power lines to leave thousands without power.

But with conditions Saturday epected to be similar to Friday, an excessive heat warning has been issued for Montgomery County from noon to 8 p.m. and a heat advisory elsewhere during the same time period.

"We’ll have to watch for the potential of another line of storms afternoon into evening that could produce more damaging winds, but indications are now that it may slide by to our north," Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said.

Friday's highly anticipated Freedom’s Call Military Tattoo — expected to draw more than 80,000 to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — was canceled for the first time because of a storm that also canceled or delayed as many as 10 flights at Dayton International Airport.

As well, Dayton’s 2012 Cityfolk Festival was canceled before it started. 

“The plan is to open up at 1 p.m.” Saturday, Five Rivers Metro Parks  Lt. Mark Arendt said. “They had a number of the tents damaged, and a number of vendors lost equipment and materials. This has probably been the worst (storm to ever impact Cityfolk),” he said.

At Tattoo, six people who suffered minor injuries were taken to hospitals and 10 more who also suffered minor injuries were treated at the scene.

Tattoo, an annual summer festival, has attracted tens of thousands of people to see music performances, aircraft flyovers and displays and ceremonies honoring veterans.

A crane was brought in to stabilize the Tattoo stage and to assess when and how to take it apart safely, event spokeswoman Michelle Martz said.  The high winds caused a performance stage’s columns to tilt.

Authorities did not have an exact number of attendees when the storm struck, but few people were present because of the time of the day, they said. Those who were there were ordered to seek shelter or boarded public transit buses to leave, officials said.

“As we’ve said all along, our contingency plans are solid,” said Wright-Patterson Fire Chief Jacob King.

Base spokesman Daryl Mayer reported downed tree limbs, but no serious damage at the base.

Air Force Senior Master Sgt.  Jeff Sandru and Airman 1st Class William Mealer, both Band of Flight technicians, were in the middle of shutting down power for the Tattoo stage when the storm struck. Air Force security personnel had cleared out a set-up crew preparing for a performance with rocker Eddie Money minutes before.

Mealer, 25, saw the winds tilt the metal columns holding the stage. “I was eight feet off the edge of the platform and a giant wind almost knocked us over,” he said. “As soon as I looked up and saw that I just hopped the fence and ran.”

Sandru, 44, said the call to evacuate the stage 10 minutes earlier had averted danger in that spot. “Had we not been (evacuated), it would have been a lot worse,” he said.

After the cancellation, pyrotechnicians launched the festival’s fireworks because the material couldn’t safely be put back into containers.

The storm quickly dropped scorching temperatures, which were well into the high 90s, within minutes.

“That first burst of wind hit and it felt like we were driving into a freezer,” said Air Force Materiel Command spokesman Ron Fry, who was on the festival grounds. “I got a mouthful of dirt.”

Across a runway at the Air Force museum, 600 to 700 tourists were evacuated into an auditorium and a basement for about 20 minutes.

“We got to see a part of the museum we haven’t seen in 18 years of coming here,” said Katie Distelhorst, 33, of Marysville, who went into the basement and stood against a wall with dozens of others, including eight children she escorted to the museum. “It’s kind of scary, kind of (an) exciting new adventure.”

In Clark County, a 61-year-old man suffered extensive and critical head injuries during the storms when he was forced to ditch his motorcycle and ended up underneath an SUV in Moorefield Twp., the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Approximately 165,000 Dayton Power & Light customers were without power across their service area, which covers about 6,000 square miles. The largest concentration of outages was in Montgomery County at more than 62,000. The second-largest concentration was in Greene County with more than 30,000.

“This is an extremely severe storm that came through our entire service area,” said spokesman Tom Tatham. “We expect this will take multiple days.”

Ohio Edison reported more than 24,360 outages in Clark, Champaign and Greene counties. Duke Energy reported more than 156,152 outages including in Butler, Hamilton and Warren counties.

You can check the latest outages for Dayton Power and Light service areas by clicking here.

If you are an Ohio Edison customer, click here.

Customers in the Dayton Mall were forced to evacuate after an temporary interior wall to a former DSW Shoe Warehouse fell outward into the mall. No one was injured. The mall is expected to be open today.

City of Dayton residents who have debris from the storm can drop it off at the Wagner Ford landfill, at 2670 Wagner Ford Road, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. today.

Several people in the area reported funnel clouds and swirls resembling a possible tornado. However, the National Weather Service radar operator at no time saw any rotation in the storms, according to Storm Center 7's Simpson.

“For that reason, they say everything was straight-line wind damage,” he said.

Husted bucks GOP, is against voter photo ID push

Published: Friday, April 08, 2011 @ 6:11 AM
Updated: Friday, April 08, 2011 @ 6:11 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The official who oversees Ohio's elections says he doesn't agree with a measure proposed by some fellow Republicans to require voters to show photo IDs at the polls.   

Secretary of State John Husted tells The Columbus Dispatch on Thursday that he would not change current policy that allows voters to prove their identities with photo IDs or other documents, such as utility bills or paychecks.   

A bill approved by the Ohio House would require voters to show the photo ID before casting an in-person ballot. It is now being reviewed by the Senate.   

Husted instead proposes changes for voters casting early ballots or provisional ballots. He says those voters should be required to give their full Social Security numbers instead of the currently required last four digits.

New restaurants, retail shops coming to Oxford

Published: Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 2:25 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 4:37 PM

New restaurants and retail shops are coming to a development on the former Walmart site in Oxford.

Bishop Square — a 50,000-square-foot mixed use development at 419 Locust Street that currently includes 272 units of student housing — is adding Marco’s Pizza, Tim Hortons, a Sprint retail store and a bank.

“The final stage is important because we’ll be building the outlots that sit along Locust, which will serve as the front door to the whole project,” said Josh Rothstein, of Blue Ash-based OnSite Retail Group, which is handling marketing and leasing for the project. “The retailers and restaurants are excited to open their locations here because being across from Kroger, TJ Maxx and Dollar Tree provides tremendous exposure, great visibility and easy access to the shoppers already passing through this part of town.

“It’s also easily in walking distance to not only the concentration of Miami’s campus, but also the off-campus housing population,” Rothstein said.

Two other storefronts on the site are being are in the process of being leased, he said.

Existing Bishop Square tenants include Oxford Lane Library, Mercy Health - Orthopaedics and Sports Rehabilitation, Great Clips and Cloud 9 Vapor Lounge. A second-floor above some of those tenants includes office space.

Alan Kyger, Oxford’s economic development director, said the community is excited to see the Bishop Square project moving into its final phases.

“In 2005, when Walmart moved away from this site, the abandoned building that was left behind was a large eyesore for the Tollgate Business District, as well as for the whole community,” Kyger said. “Developer Robert Fiorita is to be commended in providing such a good-looking redevelopment project.

“The addition of these merchants will provide the citizens of Oxford additional shopping options. I expect each of these new businesses to be very successful in this new development.”

Marco’s Pizza has 700 stores in 35 states, doubling in size over the last five years and on track to 1,000 stores by the end of 2017, according to the company. Area locations include Middletown, Monroe, Hamilton and Liberty Twp. in Butler County.

Tim Hortons has more than 4,400 locations in the United States, Canada and the Middle East. Area locations include Monroe, Springboro and Maineville in Warren County.

Crash victim lived to fly, friend says

Published: Saturday, June 09, 2012 @ 8:16 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 09, 2012 @ 8:16 AM

A 73-year-old Bellbook man killed in a plane crash Saturday morning was an experienced pilot who had built four planes like the “experimental aircraft” he flew that day, according to his wife.

Roger Flower died in the 8 a.m. crash, said Sgt. Anthony Pearcy of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

“Some witnesses in the area did see the plane flying and the witnesses believe they did see something fall off the plane,” he said.

Flying out of the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport in Greene County, the plane flown by Flower crashed about 100 yards from a house at 1856 Ohio 380. Debris from the crash spread about 300 feet and the plane had extensive damage.

Flower was a naval aviator for 31 years who still loved to fly in his retirement, said Jan Flower, his wife of 50 years.

“It was his life, ” she said. “He was flying a plane that he had built and flew out of Greene County Airport and was there every day and loved it.”

After retiring from the Navy, he became a certified aviation engineer and began building his own aircraft, his wife said.

“He knew what he was doing about building it and just loved it and wasn’t ready to give up airplanes, so he built them,” she said.

Both natives of Ohio, Roger and Jan Flower have four sons and moved to Bellbrook eight years ago, when they were done traveling with the Navy.

She described her husband as “a leader, totally confident. (He) could tackle anything, could build or fix anything, loved his children and his grandchildren, (and) loved serving in his church.”

The OHSP is investigating the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane was a fixed wing, single engine, experimental/homemade aircraft, according to the patrol.

“According to the family members, it’s been flown before,” said Pearcy.

There was no flight plan filed for the plane and the destination of the flight was unknown, Pearcy said.

“As unfortunate as this incident is, it is fortunate that no other people were involved,” Pearcy said.

Arrest made in slaying of businessman

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 7:44 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 7:44 PM

Police have arrested a 20-year-old Dayton man in the slaying of a business owner found dead inside a burned out garage last week.

Anthony Lamar Stargell Jr. was arrested Wednesday morning and is in the Montgomery County Jail pending the filing of an unclassified felony murder charge.

Dayton Sgt. Dan Mauch said detectives believe Stargell shot and killed 54-year-old Tommy Nickles before setting a fire inside 838 S. Main St. on April 3.

“The fire did not do the damage that the perpetrator expected,” Mauch said Wednesday afternoon. He said evidence collected inside the business and from Nickles’ stolen work van helped lead detectives to Stargell. The van was recovered by police late April 3 in the 400 block of Leland Avenue.

A search warrant was executed at 2905 Oakridge Drive on Wednesday, where Stargell occasionally stays with family. He was taken into custody at about 11 a.m.

Nickles, of Kettering, died from multiple gunshot wounds and was found in a garage where he ran Quality One Electrical Service. A Golden retriever that had been shot to death also was found in the building, police said.

Nickles' family confirmed last week that he had been living in the building because of a recent divorce. They said they couldn’t fathom why someone would want to kill the father of two. 

“Tom was a good man, he was a good father,” said Gavin Whitt, Nickles’ godson.

Mauch said Stargell and Nickles knew each other. He said police are investigating robbery as a possible motive or that Nickles possibly owed Stargell money.

“It’s still an ongoing investigation,” he said. Police also are trying to locate several individuals who may have stolen property belonging to Nickles.

According to court records, Stargell was convicted of robbery in February 2011 and sentenced to five years’ probation.

His mother, Tonya Bailey, said her son recently got out of prison, but she doesn’t believe that he is responsible for Nickles’ death.

“I don’t think that he did do it, but if he did do it he didn’t do it by himself,” she said.

She said Stargell wasn’t on South Main Street on the night Nickles was killed. “He was here,” she said at her mother’s house on Wednesday.