Xenia school administrator to be paid in settlement deal after being on leave

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ 12:45 PM

Christy Fielding
Christy Fielding

Xenia Community Schools has posted a job opening for the district’s second-highest administrative position previously held by Christy Fielding, who resigned without explanation from the district earlier this month.

Fielding, the district’s former assistant superintendent and director of business and technology, resigned as part of an agreement with the Xenia school board, whose members voted to accept her resignation at their meeting Feb. 12.

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As part of the separation agreement, the district will pay Fielding a lump sum in two equal installments, the first on Wednesday and the second on March 31, according to district records.

The payout is for the remainder of Fielding’s $140,183 salary and the remaining contributions to her state retirement fund owed to her under the contract, according to district records. In addition, the lump sum includes half of the unused vacation time that Fielding had accrued, and the district agreed not to contest Fielding’s potential claims for unemployment compensation, according to district records.

Fielding was put on administrative leave Jan. 30, according to a Feb. 2 notification letter from Superintendent Gabriel Lofton that is in Fielding’s personnel file.

Lofton has not commented as to why Fielding was put on administrative leave, and her personnel file does not contain any records of disciplinary actions. Messages left by phone and email to Lofton seeking comment have not been returned.

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Fielding received glowing performance evaluations since she was hired in 2011 as the director of business and technology. Former Xenia Community Schools Superintendent Denny Morrison promoted her to assistant superintendent in 2015, and she served briefly last year as the district’s top administrator after Morrison retired and prior to Lofton being hired.

In January, the school board awarded Lofton a four-year contract at an annual salary of $155,000, plus $600 monthly payments to cover expenses such as cell phone and automobile, as well as reimbursement up to $8,500 to cover expenses incurred by relocating to the district, according to district records.

Gabriel Lofton(HANDOUT)

As part of the separation agreement, Fielding agreed to not pursue any legal action against the school board. In addition, the agreement stipulates that Fielding is forbidden from talking about the details of what led to her decision to leave except in private conversations with her spouse, legal counsel and tax advisers.

This news organization has asked the district for the exact amount to be paid to Fielding as part of the separation agreement.

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Congress OKs $450,000 for Wright brothers factory buildings

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 6:28 PM

            Wright Airplane Factory buildings were occupied by Delphi until 2009. TY GREENLEES / STAFF FILE PHOTO
            Ty Greenlees
Wright Airplane Factory buildings were occupied by Delphi until 2009. TY GREENLEES / STAFF FILE PHOTO(Ty Greenlees)

The National Park Service will have $450,000 to buy two historic buildings at the former Wright Co. airplane factory site in West Dayton under a $1.3 trillion federal omnibus spending bill President Donald Trump signed Friday.

But the years-long quest to buy buildings 1 and 2, the first factory in the world to produce airplanes, is anything but over, officials say.

“It’s a small, positive step in a long, difficult march,” said Timothy Gaffney, a National Aviation Heritage Alliance spokesman.

The Park Service and the National Aviation Heritage Alliance have longed eyed the buildings in the hope the public would be able to see the site as part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

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Kendell Thompson, the parks’ acting superintendent, said Friday he was waiting to determine what the next step is in the process.

The historic buildings are part of a 54-acre parcel, site of the former Delphi Home Avenue plant, that has been put on the commercial market. The historic site at 2701 Home Ave. is between U.S. 35 and West Third Street near Abbey Avenue.

A previous plan to buy the entire site was scaled back, according to Tony Sculimbrene, executive director of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, who has spent years in negotiations on the future of the historic location.

The complexity of negotiations has been complicated by former owner Delphi’s past bankruptcy, land covenants and environmental liability concerns, Sculimbrene said. Former auto parts production buildings were demolished and the site has been environmentally investigated and remediated under a $3 million Clean Ohio grant, officials said.

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Hull & Associates/Home Avenue Redevelopment LLC purchased the site in 2012 with the intent to remediate environmental issues and sell it. The property is for sale on the commercial market.

Brad White, a managing partner of Home Avenue Redevelopment LLC, said the $450,000 appropriation was “good news” because the intent over the years was to sell the historic buildings to the National Park Service.

David Lotterer, vice president of commercial real estate broker JLL, which is marketing the property, declined comment Friday.

While the park service has eyed the two historic buildings, Dayton Metro Library plans to build a $10 million branch library on about seven and a half acres on the site have stalled because officials have not been able to reach a deal, the Dayton Daily News reported this month.

Dayton Metro Library executive director Tim Kambitsch said earlier this month the library did not want to move to the site on its own because of concerns incompatible uses might move in nearby, and it did not want to pay more than the property was valued.

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NAHA’s long-term vision of the property would bring commercial and “complimentary” industrial redevelopment, such as advanced manufacturing, to the former factory site, Gaffney said.

Orville and Wilbur Wright’s airplane factory built 100 airplanes between 1910-1911. General Motors and later Delphi acquired the property, and built new factories to manufacture auto parts for decades. The Delphi plant was demolished in 2013.

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False alarm sends police to Troy Christian Elementary

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 1:34 PM

Panic alarm pushed accidentally causing school to go into lockdown Friday afternoon.

A false emergency alarm prompted police to respond to Troy Christian Elementary school, police said.

Officers responded to the school around 1 p.m. and the school was placed on lockdown while police searched the building.

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Police said 16 officers responded.

The emergency alarm button was pressed unintentionally and there is an investigation underway to determine who pressed the button, police said.

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Nothing was found and the school has resumed to normal operation, police said.

The school already was scheduled to dismiss early at 1 p.m.

Got a tip? Call our 24-hour monitored line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Did you know that Dayton once had a UNICORN bar?

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.
Source: Shutterstock
This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.(Source: Shutterstock)

Yaaaas, my mystical queen and kings, what you’ve heard is true. 

Downtown Dayton DID have an unicorn bar

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But as co-owner of the Century bar Diane Spitzig remembers, the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge wasn’t exactly firing rainbows from where the sun don’t shine. 

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“It was just a bar,” she recalled. 

The small corner bar was at 100 E. Third St. next to the Century in what has been rebranded downtown Dayton’s Fire Blocks District

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From what we can tell from a search of state records, it was incorporated in 1984 as Unicorn Lounge. 

Its official closing date is listed as March 9, 2004. 

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The name at least was ahead of its time, as unicorns are all the rage these days. 

Local resident and musician Aarika Voegele hung out at the bar with her brother. 

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“They were always real nice,” she responded on Facebook. “I remember a wooden bar that stretched (through) the place, and it being somewhat packed with regulars. If I remember correctly, there was a jukebox towards the back. It was a very mellow bar, from my experience.”

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As some recalled, the bar owned by John Demetriades had a neon unicorn head in its window.

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Little evidence of the Unicorn could be found in the Dayton Daily News archives. 

Articles uncovered point to difficult times in the Unicorn’s final years.

A 1999 story involved two brothers attacking a bartender. 

In an a 2002 article about the city’s objections to the renewal of its liquor permit and those of about a dozen other businesses, it was reported that the Unicorn’s owner insisted that crimes around the bar were unrelated to the business. 

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The space that formerly held the Unicorn was the site of the Dayton Circus art event in 2009.

Since there is no Unicorn for us to visit today, we can only imagine the shenanigans that could be going down there at this very moment.

The Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge was closed long before this photo was taken, but we have our imaginations.(Photo source: Shutterstock)

The Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge was closed long before this photo was taken, but we have our imaginations.(Photo source: Shutterstock)

This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.(Source: Shutterstock)

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Car crashes into Bellefontaine food store

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 4:08 PM


A car crashed into the Au Natural Health Food store on South Main Street this afternoon.

Officers responded to the business around 3 p.m. after the car crashed through the front of the building, shattering glass.

Police were unable to provide any initial details on what caused the crash or if any injuries were reported.

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