Middletown roads: 7 streets to be paved this fall

Published: Friday, October 13, 2017 @ 9:37 AM


            Middletown will be paving several streets this fall. NICK GRAHAM/2015
Middletown will be paving several streets this fall. NICK GRAHAM/2015

Middletown will be paving several streets this fall.

MORE: Middletown council wants more spending for public safety, jobs

The city has contracted with John R. Jurgensen Company to pave the following streets:

  • Central Avenue between Breiel Boulevard and Marshall Road.
  • South Main Street between 11th Avenue and 18th Avenue
  • Kensington Street between Central Avenue and Grand Avenue
  • Wicklow Drive between Limerick Lane and Cambridge Drive
  • Limerick Lane (all)
  • Poppy Drive (all)
  • South Heinkel Road between Poppy Drive and Central Avenue

Concrete repairs are now underway and paving should start in a few weeks, according to Scott Tadych, city public works director.

The paving projects are scheduled to be completed by mid-November, he said.

The total cost of the project is nearly $1.75 million and includes an $850,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

The bigger the pecs: Women definitely prefer buff men, study shows

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 2:14 PM

Bodybuilder May Lose His Chemical-Filled Arms to Amputation

Well men, if you need more encouragement to hit the gym, here it is.

A new scientific study suggests that women definitely prefer stronger men.

RELATED: Bodybuilder warned that he'll lose chemical-filled arms to amputation

The research, published this week in Royal Society journal Proceedings B, had 160 women rate faceless images of male bodies. Unanimously, the women chose those that appeared physically stronger, with bigger pecs and larger arms.


"We weren't surprised that women found physically strong men attractive ... what did surprise us was just how powerful the effect was," Aaron Sell, a senior lecturer at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, who led the study, told The Guardian.


"Our data couldn't find even a single woman that preferred weaker ... male bodies."

For the study, the researchers created a database of photos of shirtless or tank-top wearing men, with their faces obscured. All of the men were university students, but 60 were recruited from the gym while 130 were just normal psychology students. All the men were also given tests with weights, to quantify their physical strength.

Women and men were then asked to judge how strong they thought the men were, on a scale of 1 to 7, based on the images. Their guesses were strikingly accurate, correlating well with the strength tests. Furthermore, the women's ratings of the men's attractiveness correlated directly to their physical strength.

"No one will be surprised by the idea that strong men are more attractive," Aaron Lukaszewski, an evolutionary psychologist at California State University at Fullerton and an author of the study, told The Washington Post. "It's no secret that women like strong, muscular guys."

However, the researchers were less interested in ascertaining the obvious, and more interested in discovering.

"People are going to wonder why scientists needed to study it," Holly Dunsworth, an anthropologist at the University of Rhode Island who was not involved in the research, said. "The answer would be because they want to know how these preferences evolved."

The researchers point to "ancestral cues," an evolutionary relic of ancient human mating rituals. Ancient women would instinctually have chosen men who were better able to provide for and protect them and their families. It's only natural to assume bigger and stronger men would do this more adequately.

But when it comes to male attractiveness, a popular theory says that there's a "sweet spot" for brawn. Beyond a certain point, too much muscle and strength becomes unattractive. This new study seems to prove the opposite.

"The theory is that, yes, there would have been benefits ancestrally, in terms of the ability to acquire resources, protecting offspring, hunting and so on. But at a certain point, mating with highly dominant men, they can exert all this aggressive coercive control and there might be costs," Lukaszewski explained, pointing out that his study shows that women prefer brawnier guys, regardless of the potential downsides.

Even if strength is the key factor that attracts women to men, the research also suggest it's not all about perfect physique and chiseled muscles.

"Our results suggest that even if you're a bit overweight, looking strong can buffer that. Basically, being a strong, fat guy is OK, which I think would bring comfort to many," Lukaszewski said.

RELATED: Study finds bald men are perceived as more attractive, confident and dominant

Despite the findings, less muscular men shouldn't feel too disheartened.

As The Independent points out, several other scientific studies have noted a variety of factors that women apparently find more attractive. Among other things, previous research has shown that women find bald and short men more attractive than their counterparts.

Related

Kettering murder case: 3 to testify about Fairmont teen’s killing

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 6:44 AM

Friends gathered in Oak Park Monday night.

Three people believed to be in the car driven by a Fairmont High School student last year when he was fatally shot are being ordered to testify against the 17-year-old facing murder charges in adult court.

Subpoenas have been issued for one teenage male and two teen females who court witnesses have said were in Ronnie Bowers’ car when the 16-year-old was shot while fleeing a confrontation on Willowdale Avenue Sept. 4, 2016, shortly after AlterFest.

RELATED: Judge restricts media access in Kettering homicide case

Kylen Gregory of Kettering faces murder charges in the holiday weekend shooting of Bowers, whose death two days later from a gunshot wound to the head was ruled a homicide, Montgomery County Coroner’s Office staff have testified.

Kettering’s first gun-related homicide since 2007 resulted in Gregory being indicted in August on two counts of murder, four counts of felonious assault with a deadly weapon and two related charges, court records show.

RELATED: How Kettering 17-year-old came to be tried as adult

The next court date is set for Dec. 28, when the subpoenaed Kettering teens who were with Bowers are scheduled to testify, court records show.

Gregory is being held in Montgomery County juvenile detention on a $1 million bond.

RELATED: 3 Supreme Court rulings on local cases alter fates of juveniles statewide

-MORE COVERAGE OF THE CASE:

RELATED: Judge sets $1 million bond for teen charged in Kettering homicide

RELATED: Teen accused in Kettering homicide seeks high-profile attorney

RELATED: Key points in homicide of Fairmont student

RELATED: Kettering teen indicted on adult charges in homicide of Fairmont student

RELATED: Prosecutor seeks mandatory transfer to adult court

RELATED: 2 teens strike plea deal to testify in Kettering homicide

RELATED: Two teens sentenced for role in Kettering homicide of Fairmont student

What it’s like decorating a Tournament of Roses Parade float

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:08 AM

Florist K. Mike Whittle helped create this rolling botanical wonderland.
Photo: Courtesy of Rain Bird Corp.
Florist K. Mike Whittle helped create this rolling botanical wonderland.(Photo: Courtesy of Rain Bird Corp.)

Sports fans watching the 2018 Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 will be eager to see if No. 3 Georgia can get past No. 2 Oklahoma when the teams meet at the College Football Playoff semifinal in Pasadena, Calif.

One local florist will be watching the preceding Tournament of Roses Parade with a trained and appreciative eye.

>> Read more trending news

“It was one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever done,” said K. Mike Whittle, who helped decorate a parade float years ago. “You learn so much.”

As operator of K. Mike Whittle Unique Floral Designs just off the Marietta Square, he doesn’t have a lot of free time at any point in the year. Certainly not during the holiday season. But with the University of Georgia heading to the Rose Bowl for just the second time ever, he let us tag along the other day while he set up for a party at the the Hilton Atlanta Marietta Hotel & Conference Center so we could press him for intel.

The main takeway: you just cannot believe how many flowers go into all those floats.

(Photo: Jennifer Brett)

“We used 35,000 roses,” he said, his voice still full of awe at the memory. “I was a kid in a candy store with all those flowers. They didn’t know me from Adam’s house cat but they turned me loose.”

A Marietta native who got his start as an entrepreneurial kid who would dig cattails from a ditch and sell them to an area flower shop, Whittle was working in Carrollton when he got the call to go west.

“It really steamed up my career,” he said. He didn’t love getting up on scaffolding to attend to the top of the float, but otherwise enjoyed learning floral problem-solving skills on that big a stage. “We worked 29 hours straight. It just showed me yeah, it can be done.”

The annual parade, older than the football contest, dates back to Jan. 1, 1890. That first year, horse-drawn buggies festooned with blooms were meant to echo a festival of roses in Nice, France. Two years later, winter weather threatened the supply of roses and nearly turned the event into the “Orange Tournament,” but the fledgling tradition held.

Automobiles showed up in 1901 and were shoved to the back of the parade, so they wouldn’t spook the horses. The following year saw the first merger of flora and football, when the University of Michigan rolled over Stanford University, 49-0. One year, 1913, organizers thought a camel vs. elephant road race would be fun. The elephant won, and the species’ record remains unbroken as there have been no similar matchups since.

Famed zookeeper Jack Hanna rode on the float Whittle worked on in 2002, accompanied by giant botanical tigers, monkeys and exotic birds. If your Rose Bowl party plans call for slightly less elaborate floral decor, Whittle likes roses (of course) as well as red ginger and anthurium.

“Carnations are not bad, either. It’s a sturdy football kind of rose,” said Whittle, who has created displays incorporating football helmets.

Proper hydration is key – he’ll give newly arrived blooms a couple of days to drink up before placing them in arrangements – and he uses a sharp knife, not scissors, to ensure a clean, angled cut.

Then again, he mused, there’s one major flub people make when setting out to arrange flowers.

“That is the mistake,” he said with a twinkle, “doing it yourself.”

The float Mike Whittle helped create in 2002 was an award-winning beauty.(Photo: Courtesy of Rain Bird Corp.)

Russell Simmons at center of NYPD investigation after 11 women accuse him of assault

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:10 PM

WATCH: Russel Simmons Steps Down from Companies After Sexual Assault Allegation

UPDATE: Dec. 14, 2017 6:00 p.m.: The New York Police Department’s special victims unit has opened an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct against music mogul Russell Simmons after allegations from 11 women, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times is reporting that seven of the cases occurred in New York and that police are in the process of contacting women who have accused Simmons of assaulting them in the city.

(Previous story)

Music mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons is “vehemently” denying he raped at least three women dating back to the late 1980s.

>> Read more trending news

The three women have stepped forward, accusing Simmons, 60, of a “pattern of violent sexual behavior,” including rape, between the late 1980s and 2014, according to the New York Times.

The women all spoke on the record and allowed their names to be revealed.

The Times said it confirmed the allegations through friends and associates of the women at the time the incidents occurred.

The women said they decided to come forward and tell their stories after dozens of victims publicly detailed alleged sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.

Simmons said the accusations are false.

“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all my relations have been consensual,” the Def Jam Records co-founder told the newspaper.

He also said he has “enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.”

Simmons stepped down from his business empire last month after sexual misconduct allegations against him first surfaced. 

>> Related: Russell Simmons stepping down from companies after sexual assault allegation

At that time he also denied the allegations, but apologized.

“While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize,” he said.