Oakwood settles year-long condo dispute

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 6:08 PM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 7:47 PM

Oakwood Mayor Bill Duncan presenting a resolution for a settlement agreement at Pointe Oakwood.

A settlement agreement that could bring a proposed condominium complex to Pointe Oakwood was approved by City Council on Monday night in a 3-0 vote.

Vice Mayor William Byington and Council Member Anne Hilton recused themselves from the vote. Byington previously said he lives across the street from Pointe Oakwood and Hilton said she has relatives in that neighborhood.

The agreement was reached after a year-long dispute between residents, the city and the developer.

“We wanted a consensus agreement; we weren’t trying to ram anything down anybody’s throat,” Oakwood Mayor Bill Duncan said.

The settlement abandons the proposed 32-unit complex at the corner of Far Hills and Schantz Avenues called “The Pointe,” and approves 84 units along Old River Trail called “The Trails.”

INITIAL REPORT: Oakwood condo plan moves ahead despite objections

Oakwood Investment Group, the owners of the property, must also amend their master plan to allow for the construction of a three-story office building on five acres of land in the southwest corner of Pointe Oakwood. The building will complement the existing Sugar Camp campus near the development, said City Attorney Robert Jacques.

Also, four single-family homes will be built on the lots where The Pointe had been planned.

Council initially approved The Pointe development, but denied construction of The Trails. After the settlement agreement, the two developments switched fates.

“Part of it was the developer looked at what made the most economic sense,” Duncan said, in reference to the decision to develop The Trails. “They felt like the 84 units at The Trails would be reasonable density.”

Last year, two lawsuits were filed against Oakwood over the two proposed condo developments — one by 15 Pointe Oakwood residents, and the other by the developer.

RELATED: Oakwood facing two lawsuits over proposed condo development

Oakwood residents said that construction of two, high-density developments would cause major traffic concerns. They filed a lawsuit against the city to stop construction of The Pointe. The developer, Hills Developers, filed a lawsuit to appeal the rejection of The Trails.

No one representing the developer attended Monday’s meeting.

After more than a year, the three sides have made compromises to suit all parties.

Stephen Susta, who has lived in Pointe Oakwood for two years and was part of the resident group that filed suit against the city, said for all parties to be on common ground is “an accomplishment all itself.”

“I don’t think anyone is thrilled with the complete outcome,” Susta said. “People are happy with the settlement that I think will be a solution to all the parties. We’re pleased to hopefully someday soon get this all behind us.”

Last February, a council meeting regarding the development lasted for more than six hours. Monday’s meeting was much shorter, lasting about 20 minutes before being adjourned.

The settlement agreement must now be reviewed and accepted by the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court before the developer can move forward.

State fire marshal called to scene of Shelby Co. church fire

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 7:35 PM

The state fire marshal is investigating a church fire in Shelby County Monday evening, according to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

Multiple fire crews are responding to the fire at Greenview United Church of Christ first reported around 5:20 p.m. in the 3000 block of Leatherwood Creek Road. 

Dispatchers said no one was injured in the fire, but could not confirm if the fire was considered suspicious. 

Fire units from Fletcher, Rosewood and Sidney assisted Port Jefferson firefighters at the church sitting about 8 miles southeast of Sidney. 

Our newsroom is working to learn more and confirm details in this developing story.

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Watch the International Space Station fly across the solar eclipse

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 7:13 PM

Most Stunning Moments From The Total Eclipse

A NASA photographer managed to capture the moment that the International Space Station moved across the solar eclipse Monday in a series of rare high-speed photos.

>> Read more trending news

Space agency photo editor Joel Kowsky used a high-speed camera from a vantage point in Banner, Wyoming to shoot the eclipse at the exact moment the ISS flew in front of it 250 miles above the Earth.

With a crescent-shaped sun as the backdrop, Kowsky managed to shoot the movements of the space station, which appear as a small “H” traveling at 17,500 mph across the face of the eclipsed sun.

2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Also Monday, astronauts aboard the space station were the only people who got to see what the eclipse looked like from space and they managed to snap a photo of it, too.

>> Related: Watch for cool shadow snakes just before and after eclipse

“While millions experienced #Eclipse2017, only six people saw the umbra, or moon's shadow, over the United States from space today,” the crew said in a post on Instagram that accompanied the photo.

There’s a crew of six aboard the ISS right now.

>> Related: Solar Eclipse 2017: NASA live stream, live updates

Xenia pays $72K after state ethics probe cleared councilmen

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 7:30 PM
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 7:28 PM


            (cc commons)
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An ugly chapter in Xenia local government came to an end when the city reached an agreement with one current and one former council member who were cleared of any wrongdoing in an ethics probe.

The Dayton Daily News obtained a copy of the agreement through a formal records request. The document shows that the city of Xenia struck the deal earlier this year with Councilman Dale Louderback and former Councilman John Caupp and their attorney Dwight Brannon.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

The city is paying Louderback and Caupp for the legal fees they incurred while defending against allegations leveled by their fellow council members in 2015.

The accusations were that Louderback and Caupp violated the city’s charter when they decided to invest in a potential development on the former Kmart property as well as accept employment opportunities with the developer.

RELATED: State probe finds no ethics violations for Xenia councilmen

The project never happened, and the Ohio Ethics Commission cleared the pair of any wrongdoing in August 2016.

According to OEC’s decision, Louderback and Caupp did not accept the positions offered by Creative Entertainment Concepts, and through the investigation, no evidence was found that Caupp and Louderback participated as council members on matters the developer may have had before the city during the time the parties discussed potential employment.

According to the settlement, Louderback and Caupp were paid $72,500 to cover legal costs. In return, the city and anyone currently or formerly representing or employed by the city are no longer liable for any claims.

The agreement stipulates that Louderback and Caupp acknowledge that the payment “shall not be construed as an admission of liability and is solely paid to preclude litigation expense.”

The agreement further requires that the parties involved do not talk about the settlement other than to say “the matter has been resolved” or “the matter is over.”

Xenia City Spokesman Lee Warren said there is a non-disclosure agreement on the case and that the city “turned it over to the insurance company to address.”

MORE: Xenia teams with Central State to annex campus in city

The agreement comes following a demand letter sent by Louderback’s and Caupp’s attorney in October 2016, after the Ohio Ethics Commission determined they did nothing wrong.

According to the letter, Brannon demanded the city make a public apology and nullify, withdraw and seal any action taken against his clients.

Brannon listed a series of claims of injuries to his clients, including Caupp losing a re-election bid, Louderback dropping to fourth after being the top vote-getter previously, as well as emotional distress, invasion of privacy in their business lives and legal costs that amounted to more than $80,000.

“They have suffered greatly in their business, political and personal lives as a result of the political witch hunt,” Brannon’s letter reads.

After being cleared in the ethics probe, Louderback said, “The only thing we’re guilty of is trying to invest in our community.”

“Had the city council not went on a witch hunt, city management also, I honestly believe there would be an entertainment center over there,” Louderback said at the time.

Fatal crash: Back-seat passengers not wearing seat belts, state patrol says

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 6:53 PM

Friends, teachers remember 2 Clark County students killed in crash

Two Clark County high school students killed in Sunday’s rollover crash in Greene County were not wearing seat belts, Ohio State Highway Patrol officials said in a statement.

LOCAL NEWS: U.S. 35 E crash kills one in Dayton

  • Killed were David Waag, 17, of Beavercreek, and Connor Williams, 15, of Fairborn
  • A vigil at Greenon High School was planned for Monday night
  • Alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors, according to the state patrol.

LOCAL NEWS: Man, 51, killed in Clark County crash

UPDATE @ 6 p.m. (Aug. 21) 

The tight-knit Greenon schools community is continuing to grieve the loss of the two high school athletes killed in Sunday’s crash.

"A lot of people are hurting still," Greenon Superintendent Brad Silvus said. "But they are rallying around each other and supporting both families and also the families of those that were able to survive."

UPDATE @ 12:05 p.m. (Aug. 21)

Counselors are being made available to help students and staff members at two Clark County schools where two teenagers killed in Sunday’s rollover crash on Wilkerson Road were students.

Both schools are closed today in light of the news that Connor Williams and David Waag were killed.

Williams was a sophomore at Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield. Director Joshua Jennings said area districts have offered to help provide grief counselors.

Global Impact Stem Academy closed after student dies in crash

"Our school counselors will be able to be here ... for [students] to talk to and work out the grieving process that they may be going through collectively as a school or individually,” Jennings said. “ In addition to that, we've been in contact with a number of surrounding districts who are willing to send out their counselors as well and trained professionals to be able to add additional support where needed.”

Counselors are also being made available at Greenon High School, where David Waag was a senior. Greenon High was closed Monday but counselors were made available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Troopers release crash details

Trey Blevins, 18, of Enon, was driving a black 2005 Toyota Corolla that went off the right side of Wilkerson Road between Fairborn and Yellow Springs, the state patrol said in a statement released early Monday.

“It appears in our investigation that they drifted off the right side of the road, over-corrected, went off the left side, hit a tree and then overturned,” said Sgt. Paul Lezotte of the Xenia Post.

Blevins, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken to Soin Medical Center suffering from minor injuries. 

READ: Local news from the Miami Valley

The right front passenger, Zach Knauer, 17, of Springfield, was also wearing a seat belt. He was taken to Soin for observation. 

Waag and Williams were in the back seat. They died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.

LOCAL NEWS: What you need to know about the 2017 solar eclipse

The vigil

Community members came together Sunday night at the Greenon High School football field to grieve the loss of the boys. Some brought candles, others illuminated cellphones to light the night in honor of Waag and Williams.

School closings

Greenon High School announced the school will be closed Monday, but counselors will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to a social media post.

“After careful consideration of our need to support our students during this difficult time and protect all students during tomorrow’s solar eclipse, we are cancelling school so that we can ensure the safety and emotional well-being of all students and staff.”

Officials at Global Impact STEM Academy also decided to close the school Monday. School officials sent out a “One Call” phone message and posted on social media to alert families.

The students

Waag, a senior soccer player, last year was second-team All-Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division as a junior. Williams played football and attended Global Impact STEM Academy.

Greenon Athletic Director Adam Billet said he was not ready to comment, but said “they were great kids.”

The district had activities in place for the eclipse, but district spokeswoman said that with the deaths of two students in the tight-knit community it would be too much of a strain on the staff.