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Xenia considers Mow-to-Own program

Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

The City of Xenia is considering starting a “mow to own” program as part of an effort to reduce the number of vacant or unused city-owned properties and get them into the hands of private owners, said Sandy Fackler, the city’s management analyst.

The city received most of the properties because of delinquent property taxes through the the Greene County Treasurer’s foreclosure process.

“If they would had gone to the state, the state would not have maintained them. The weeds would have grown sky high,” Fackler said. “If we got the property, we could do something with them and sell them and make them productive.”

A mow-to-own program similar to one used in Columbus would allow the adjacent property owners to take ownership of a vacant lot after that property owner maintains the property during an 18 or 24 month time period. The city is planning a work session to discuss the proposed program next month.

“We can get the property into the hands of someone who will maintain it — someone who will mow it and pay the taxes,” she said. “If they get rid of the blight, it helps the neighborhood.”

The city currently maintains about a dozen such properties, mowing the grass and performing other routine maintenance.

That number includes eight properties the city attempted to sell in August during a competitive process with minimum bids ranging from $175 to $400 per lot.

Only one of the properties, 476 East Market St., received a bid. Council will vote on the sale of that property when it meets Thursday.

Fackler expects to soon take ownership of eight more properties — including a vacant lot with an $38,000 opening bid on the sheriff’s foreclosure list because of delinquent property taxes going back to 1997.

City Engineer Christopher Berger said getting the properties into the hands of new owners will reduce city costs, but that is not the main purpose.

“I don’t think cost is the driving force,” he said. “Why hold on to something that we don’t need? Why put any resources into it?”

The city currently is accepting bids for two properties — a four-room house at 29 E. Church St. acquired as a result of a drug case and appraised at $27,060 and a vacant lot on South Galloway Street appraised at $38,800.

The starting bid for the house is $7,500. It is $933.50 for the lot — a former site of the city’s service center.

Fackler said opening bids were based on $5 per square foot of frontage.

She said the city is willing to negotiate with those willing to buy the properties previously placed for bid.

The properties are located next to 842 E. Main St., 900 E. Church St., 449 E. Second St., and 217 Park; adjacent to 455 E. Second St.; and at the corner of East Church and North Patton streets.

Fackler said the goal is to find new uses for the properties — as the site of new homes, community gardens or private playgrounds.

“It increases the value of the neighborhoods. The neighborhood’s property goes up in value,” she said.

Clear skies, warm temps expected for Day 2 at the Dayton Air Show

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 11:49 AM

UPDATE @ noon

While the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will not fly Sunday, the Vectren Dayton Air Show will feature 10 other performances, air show organizers said — drawing large crowds under cloudless skies. 

The top attractions this year include a U.S. Air Force F-35 Heritage Flight and U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet demonstration along with Sean Tucker, Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team, GEICO Skytypers, Redline Airshows, Rob Holland Ultimate Air Shows, Suzuki Aerosports and a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the famous Doolittle Raid. 

Plans for a jam-packed schedule, highlighted by several military acts, took a turn when a two-seat F-16 Thunderbird jet overturned at the airport after landing Friday. The mishap trapped the pilot and passenger until they were freed by first responders hours later. Both were hospitalized and reported in good condition. One team member has been released. 

Aviation Director Terrence Slaybaugh said while he was disappointed by the Thunderbird's absence, the top priority of the airport was ensuring the safety of the crowds and the performers. 

The Thunderbirds will remain grounded for the entirety of the air show, disappointing some spectators. 

Carol Shaw drove nearly three hours from her home in Coshocton, Ohio, to watch the Vectren Dayton Air Show on Sunday. She said she was shocked to hear about the cancellation of the Thunderbirds performance, but would’ve come to the show regardless. 

“I have to say I’m a little disappointed, but we’ve been coming here probably 20 years,” she said. “We like it better than the Cleveland air show.” 

Chris Bruening, a Beavercreek resident, sat in a lawn chair and awaited the start of the performances. He attended the air show throughout childhood, and said he was particularly interested in seeing the pilots of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter take to the sky.

"The crowd does seem smaller this year," he said.

EARLIER

Day two of the Vectren Dayton Air Show took off Sunday with clear skies and warm temperatures expected throughout the day.

> RELATED: Thunderbirds pilot remains in hospital following Friday’s ‘mishap’

The gates to the event opened at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. with the feature show scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. All acts and times are subject to change without notice. 

> FORECAST: Pleasant day for Sunday events

Today’s event features four acts, including Rob Holland, F-35 Lightning Heritage Flight, Lockhead Martin T-50A and Redline Air Shows.

> MORE: Thunderbirds will not perform Sunday

People are coming far and wide to take in the show.

Carol Shaw, of Coshocton, said she drove three hours from her home to see the show. 

PHOTOS: Vectren Dayton Air Show Saturday

Shaw said she was shocked to hear about the cancellation of the Thunderbirds performance, but would've come to the show regardless. 

"I have to say I'm a little disappointed, but we've been coming here probably 20 years," she said. "We like it better than the Cleveland air show." 

Watch live coverage of the air show HERE.

Attorney General Mike DeWine to make ‘special announcement’ at 3 p.m. & then tour state

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 6:36 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 2:18 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is expected to announce today that he will for Ohio governor, putting him in contention against two other statewide officials and a U.S. congressman seeking the Republican nomination.

“I have an announcement that I’m going to share with everyone at three o’clock Sunday at our house,” DeWine said in an interview.

He will speak at his Cedarville home during the DeWine Family Ice Cream Social, a nearly-annual event held since 1976 when he was first elected Greene County prosecutor.

WATCH LIVE: You can livestream Mike DeWine’s announcement on our website around 3 p.m. today here

He’ll then launch a three-day tour of the state starting on Monday, visiting six cities, including Cincinnati on Tuesday.

DeWine will “embark on a statewide tour visiting small businesses and families who are affected in real ways by the important issues facing our state,” his campaign announced in a Sunday morning news release.

DeWine’s plans to run for governor have been the worst-kept secret in the state, especially since he was overheard by a reporter in May 2016 telling a Dayton charter school executive of his plans.

Candidates on the Republican side include Secretary of State Jon Husted, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

On the Democratic side, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Akron are in the running.

DeWine has been an elected public official since 1977 when he became Greene County prosecutor. He served in the Ohio Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and was lieutenant governor, serving with Ohio Gov. George Voinovich, and a U.S. senator. He was defeated by Democrat Sherrod Brown in the 2006 senate race and then ran for attorney general in 2010, unseating Democrat Richard Cordray.

Current Greene County Prosecutor Steve Haller worked for DeWine as an assistant prosecutor and he remains a strong supporter.

RELATED: Mike DeWine confirms run for Ohio governor in 2018

RELATED: Who’s in? A look at who is running for governor

“He was a high-energy guy,” Haller said. “I still see that same level of energy today and that’s some 40 years later. He’s hard to keep up with.”

“He gave you the leeway to get the job done, but he wanted results,” Haller said.

Haller said DeWine is less about partisanship than about getting things done, pointing to DeWine’s decision once elected attorney general to expedite testing a huge backlog of rape kits that counties had not tested. Haller said DeWine also took the lead in battling the opiate crisis.

“He’s a hard-working, honest guy,” said U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose, who was an assistant prosecutor for DeWine and is his former law partner. “He was an avid prosecutor and he has always been dedicated to public service as long as I’ve know him.”

At 70, DeWine is older than the Republicans who have already announced they are running.

Age is less of an issue with voters than it once was, said Mark Caleb Smith, political director of Cedarville University’s Center for Political Studies. He said there are about six governors who are age 65 or older and President Donald Trump is 71.

“I’m not sure DeWine’s age is as much of a negative now that it might have been 20 or more years ago,” Smith said. “Besides, he seems quite energetic and engaged, so regardless of age, he appears more than capable of doing the job.”

When he was a U.S. senator DeWine was criticized by conservatives for his efforts to work with Democrats on legislation. Some dubbed him a RHINO, meaning “Republican in name only.” But DeWine remains proud to this day of his across-the-aisle efforts.

“To get a bill passed in the Senate you have to have some Democrat support,” DeWine said in an exclusive interview on Friday. “In politics you have to know how to count.”

He said the conventional wisdom is that he lost to Brown because of the RHINO effect, but he said it was a difficult year for Republicans in the 2006 mid-terms and his main problem was he “didn’t do well with independents that year.”

DeWine said he believes he can do well with people who supported Donald Trump for president.

RELATED: Jon Husted announces run for governor

RELATED: Congressman Renacci gets in governor’s race

RELATED: Kasich says he backs Taylor

“The interesting thing is Donald Trump’s appeal is to some of the same people that I’ve always been able to appeal to, blue collar Democrat workers,” he said. “I’m a conservative who likes to get things done.”

Smith said the Trump effect is one of the big unknowns about the 2018 mid-terms.

“Trump’s victory showed some Republican appetite for radical change in 2016. DeWine, for all of his strengths and experience could not be called ‘radical change.’ Of course, I am not sure it is safe to say Jon Husted would represent radical change either,” Smith said.

“It could be this race will hinge on whether or not Mike DeWine’s extensive experience and background will be a strength or weakness. In normal times, it seems obvious. These are not normal times.”

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Who is Mike DeWine?

Party: Republican

Age: 70

Hometown: Cedarville

Family: Married to Fran, eight children, 22 grandchildren

Education: bachelor’s degree, Miami University, 1969; law degree, Ohio Northern University, 1972

Political experience: Greene County prosecutor, 1977-1981; Ohio Senate, 1981-1982; U.S. House, 1983-1991; lieutenant governor, 1991-1994; U.S. Senate, 1995-2007; Ohio attorney general, 2011-current.

Fun fact: He and his family own the Asheville Tourists, a single-A minor league farm team of the Colorado Rockies

Website: www.mikedewine.com

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Overweight man says Spirit Airlines humiliated him on overbooked flight

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

An overweight passenger on a Spirit Airlines flights from Las Vegas to Denver said he was embarrassed and humiliated by the airline when it took away one of two seats he had booked in order to fly more comfortably.

>> Read more trending news

Jose Cordova told Denver 7 that he bought two seats on both his original flight to Vegas and for the return trip because of his size.

"I am a big person and I know one seat wouldn't fit for me, and to be comfortable, I wanted to have two seats," Cordova said. 

"You don't want to overhang on someone else's lap, so you want to make sure you have that extra seat without bothering anybody." 

Cordova said his flight to Vegas was fine, but Spirit overbooked his return flight and took one of his seats without asking.

>> Related: United Airlines changes policy after man dragged from flight

“They stole one of his seats. They sold it out from under him,” Denver 7 quoted one of Cordova’s friend Scott Tenorio as saying.

Spirit apologized to Cordova and said it was refunding the cost of his flights. It also said it was investigating what happened.

John Kasich against Senate health care plan; says don’t ‘rush’ it

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 1:22 PM
Updated: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 1:22 PM

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday he is “against” the Senate Republican leadership health-care bill as written, although he said he is “encouraging” lawmakers to “fix it” and not “rush” into passing the measure this week.

In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Kasich said the GOP bill does not include enough money to provide care for the “mentally ill, the drug-addicted, the chronically ill” who receive health coverage through federal dollars made available by the 2010 health law known as Obamacare.

RELATED: Kasich slams House GOP over health-care bill

Kasich said he does not believe “the bill’s adequate now,” adding “unless it gets fixed … I’m against it.”

“And I’m not against it just because I want to be against it,” Kasich said. “There’s some things in these bill … that are an improvement” over Obamacare.

“So, I’m not saying, just kill the bill,” Kasich said. “Let’s get something that is going to work,” such as “stabilizing all these issues around insurance and coverage, and then get to the heart of the matter, which is the rising costs of health care, frankly, which this bill doesn’t begin to even do.”

House Republicans last month approved a bill aimed at scrapping large sections of Obamacare such as ending in 2020 an expansion of Medicaid – a joint federal and state program dating from 1965 – which allowed Kasich to provide health coverage to more than 700,000 low-income people in Ohio.

RELATED: Kasich on Trump: This is why I didn’t support him, why I didn’t go to convention

The Senate bill modifies the House version by gradually scaling back the federal dollars used to expand Medicaid by 2024, which still eventually would force Ohio to find hundreds of millions of dollars to continue covering those low-income people, which includes a family of four earning as much as $34,000 a year.

Kasich, who cannot seek re-election in 2018, urged Republicans across the country to withstand pressure from organizations supporting President Donald Trump and work to improve the bill.

America First Policies, an independent organization linked to Trump’s campaign advisers, plans to launch a $1 million TV, radio and digital assault against Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, who last week sharply criticized the GOP bill. Heller is running for re-election next year.

“I have been attacked all of my career,” Kasich said. “And the fact is, is that you have got to stand up on your own two feet, explain how you feel about things and be a leader.”

“I don’t think we have enough leadership,” Kasich said. “I think there are too many people that cower in the wings because of partisanship, not just Republicans, Democrats as well.”

“If you try to get a great number of governors, Republican or Democrat, to speak out on this, where are they?,” Kasich said. “All you hear are crickets and chirping, because they’re worried about upsetting their base.”