Vectren replacing more outmoded gas lines

Published: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 @ 5:23 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 @ 5:23 PM

Crews hired by the Vectren Corp. are back at work in the Dayton area replacing miles of below-ground natural gas pipeline, updating individual customer services and relocating indoor meters to the outside as part of a project that will total $48 million in Ohio and Indiana in 2013, jumping to $72 million during 2014.

Ritter Plumbing & Pipeline of Dayton, Miller Pipeline Corp. of Tipp City and the Fishel Co. of Dublin are all adding workers after being awarded portions of the contract in the Dayton area.

“It’s huge for us,” said Jim Wilson, area manager for Miller.

“We’ll add 30 workers and probably have 100 people working on this. It will mean a 40 percent to 60 percent upswing in our workload. Hopefully, if we do it right, it will mean a boost in profitability,” Wilson said.

Miller employees began several weeks of work in late January along South Main Street in Dayton and on intersecting streets to the east. Later, they will install four miles of new gas mains and 335 services in Oakwood.

Colleen Ryan, president of Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio, said projects in Eaton, Greenville and West Milton also will be among 16 in Ohio cities this year.

Since 2009 in Dayton, Ryan said 45.6 miles of main and 5,676 services have been replaced, with 18.34 more miles and 2,291 services planned this year.

Residents in affected areas will be contacted before work begins, which will be after the end of the school year in Oakwood, at the request of city officials.

Also due to regulations in the federal Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, Duke Energy plans to replace nearly 1,200 miles in Ohio by the end of 2015. Vectren began replacing gas mains across its service area in 2009.

The Evansville, Ind.-based company decided to accelerate renovation because new piping and systems have meant savings.

Ryan said Vectren has realized a 60 percent reduction in repair and service-call costs in Marion, Ind., and 40 percent in Anderson, Ind., two of the first cities completed.

“We are prioritizing replacement based on the condition of the infrastructure. We are doing this in older neighborhoods and we are being proactive with local communities about timing,” she said.

Many homes in the Dayton neighborhood west of Brown Street, where tractors, drillers and vacuum truck crews caused closure of a northbound lane of Ohio 48 on Tuesday, were built in the 1920s and ’30s. Bare-steel and cast-iron mains and individual service lines there will be replaced with polyethelene piping.

Meters located inside homes and businesses in those locations will be moved outdoors. “That improves safety and efficiency,” Ryan said. “If an incident occurred where we had to shut the gas off now, we would need to get into people’s houses to do that.”

The new lines also allow natural gas to be provided under higher pressure, “which enables future development.”

New pipes will be installed using directional horizontal boring, a “steerable” method that allows minimal impact to the surrounding area.

The old pipe will not be removed. “It is simply retired in place,” Ryan said. “We’re avoiding digging anything up. We prefer to go between the street and the sidewalk in a grassy area wherever we can.”

When work begins on services to individual homes and businesses, crews will briefly turn off the gas. “Once the meter is moved and installed outside, we will come back in and re-light the pilot,” Ryan said.

For more information, contact Vectren Customer Service at (800) 227-1376 or go to

Man charged in 2005 disappearance, death of Georgia beauty queen

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 1:11 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 3:48 PM

            Man charged in 2005 disappearance, death of Georgia beauty queen

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday afternoon that a man has been arrested in connection with the 2005 disappearance and murder of Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead.

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Agents said someone walked into the sheriff's office earlier this week with information linking a man named Ryan Alexander Duke to Grinstead's disappearance and murder.

Duke attended the high school where Grinstead worked and graduated three years prior to her disappearance, according to the GBI.

He was arrested Wednesday afternoon.

GBI officials said the investigation continues and that authorities plan to do more interviews.

WSBTV reported on Thursday morning that authorities had gotten a major break in the more than 10-year-old case.

Grinstead, a former beauty pageant queen, was reported missing from her Ocilla home in October 2005.

Witnesses last saw Grinstead at a beauty pageant and then at a co-worker's barbecue on Oct. 22, 2005. Two days later, she was reported missing when she didn't show up to teach history at the county high school.

In a February 2006 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Anita Gattis said her sister would not have left on her own.

Gattis believed her sister left with someone she knew on the night she disappeared. Her house was locked but her car, a pearl white Mitsubishi 3000 GT, was unlocked and in the carport, with $100 in the console and clay on the tires.

"Tara never left her car unlocked and never drove on dirt roads," Gattis said.

Police found Grinstead's cellphone at her home. They also found a single latex glove outside.

"There was no struggle in the house. Tara was a singer. That was her talent in pageants," Gattis said of her sister, thrice crowned Miss Tifton and a contestant in several Miss Georgia pageants. "If someone was removing her, she'd project her voice. And she took self-defense. She'd go out kicking and screaming and fighting."


John Boehner: Repealing Obamacare just ‘happy talk’

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 1:58 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 1:58 PM

John Boehner: Repealing Obamacare just ‘happy talk’

Despite repeated Republican pledges to scrap the 2010 health law, former House Speaker John Boehner said most of the law known as Obamacare “is going to stay there” because GOP lawmakers have never agreed on what to replace it with.

At a health care conference Thursday in Orlando, Fla., Boehner warned that Republicans will take the political blame for breaking the current health care system if they cannot immediately approve a substitute to take its place.


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Boehner, who represented West Chester until his retirement in 2015, said “all this happy talk” among Republicans after the November election that they should promptly cancel Obamacare and later pass a substitute made him laugh “because if you pass repeal without replace, first anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.”

He said he bluntly told congressional GOP leaders that if they “pass repeal without replace, you’ll never pass replace because they will never ever agree on what the bill should be,” Boehner said. “The perfect always becomes the enemy of the good. And so you’ve got to marry them together, that’s the only chance you’ll get it done.”

“In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never ever one time agreed on what a health care proposal should look like,” said Boehner. “Not once.”

Instead, Boehner flatly predicted “most of” what is called the Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 “is going to stay there,” including allowing those under age 26 to remain on their parents’ health plans and federal financial help for middle-income people to buy their own individual plans.

Boehner’s remarks, delivered during a healthcare information technology conference, were made available on a video tape by the sponsor, HIMSS-17.

Boehner’s comments reflect growing doubts among Republicans that they can muster the votes in the House and Senate to scrap and fully replace the law, which provides health-care coverage to more than 20 million Americans — including about a million people in Ohio — who were without health coverage before Obama signed it into law.

The law expanded coverage through federally subsidized private insurance plans and an expansion of Medicaid, the joint state and federal program that provides health coverage to low-income people.

Boehner’s remarks placed him at odds with House GOP conservatives such as Rep. Jim Jordan of Urbana, who took part in an effort to topple Boehner from the speaker’s chair in 2015.

In a statement released after learning of Boehner’s comments, Jordan said “now that Republicans control both Congress and the White House, it would be unacceptable to send anything less than a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare to the president’s desk.”

David Schnittger, a Boehner spokesman, said Boehner “has every confidence that congressional Republicans and President Trump will right the many wrongs of Obamacare, whether your preference is to call it a repair, a replacement, or something else.”

“His point was that the process of doing it from start to finish will not be an instantaneous one, and I think that’s already been borne out by recent developments."

Shop owner shames alleged thieves by posting security footage on Facebook

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 5:45 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 5:45 PM

            Shop owner shames alleged thieves by posting security footage on Facebook

One shop owner in Albuquerque has implemented a high tech meets old school approach to deter shoplifting.

JT Daniels, who owns an exotic pet shop, told KOB that he's installed HD security cameras around his store after incidents of shoplifting. After each theft, instead of calling police, he's posting the high-quality footage to his Facebook page to share and hopefully identify the alleged thieves.

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I really hope this doesn't become a "thing"..😞😞A couple that steals together stays together!! I had a baby chameleon go...

Posted by JT Daniels on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

After a man allegedly stole a baby chameleon on Valentine's Day, Daniels posted security footage and wrote on his Facebook page, "This hopeless romantic took his girlfriend to the pet store for valentines day to shoplift her present."

In another case, Daniels told KOB that a person returned a stolen turtle after receiving unwanted attention on Facebook, thanks to the security footage he posted.

Single mother's tax return Facebook post goes viral

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 1:19 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 1:31 PM

            Single mother's tax return Facebook post goes viral

A Facebook post a single mother wrote about her tax return has gained a lot of attention online.

The woman, Christina Knaack, posted a photo of receipt and wrote, “I got back $5,600 on my taxes. Instead of buying my kids the latest Jordans or fancy electronics, I paid my rent for the year.”

>> Read more trending stories  

Knaack posted the photo Wednesday. As of Thursday afternoon, the post had received more than 90,000 shares and more than 26,000 comments.

Many have commented in support of Knaack: “Great job!” “Wow!! Good for you!!” and “You are such an example of a responsible mother! I don't know you, but I'm so very proud of you!”

Knaack told WHNS she is a single mother raising a 4-month-old and 2-year-old on a minimum-wage job.

"It's pretty crazy," she told WHNS. "I was just sharing a milestone with my friends and family."

Posted by Christina Knaack on Wednesday, February 22, 2017