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Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 2:03 PM
More than 200 workers in Ohio will lose their jobs as the state closes two centers for people with developmental disabilities, including the Montgomery County Development Center in Huber Heights.
The Ohio Department of Development Disabilities will eliminate — or already have — 214 positions at the Montgomery Developmental Center in Huber Heights and the Youngstown Developmental Center in Mineral Ridge, according to a warn notice sent to the Office of Workforce Development. Both facilities will be closed.
The job eliminations will take effect on June 30, the letter stated, and the respective unions that represent employees have been notified.
» INITIAL REPORT: State to close local center for developmentally disabled
The Montgomery Developmental Center, which is located at 7650 Timbercrest Drive in Huber Heights, provides services for individuals with severe developmental disabilities. The center first opened in 1981.
The closure has an economic impact for the local community in Huber Heights, said Sally Meckling, spokeswoman for the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, which represents staff members at the Huber Heights Center.
In 2015, the OCSEA represented 120 staff members at the center. They now represent 87 workers who will be impacted by the position eliminations. They are working to find positions at other facilities for the workers.
In total, 94 employees — including exempt staff, OCSEA and other bargaining units — are still employed by the center. There are 10 residents still living at the facility, and many have already been transferred to other facilities or group homes.
The state has been downsizing developmental centers for several years, including one in Springfield in 2005. Meckling said the biggest impact will be on the individuals with severe disabilities and their families.
Each resident has or will be moved to another facility, some that are in other cities like Columbus or Batavia.
“I think it has a big impact on families,” Meckling said. “The great thing about these developmental centers, it’s much more convenient to be a part of their loved ones. We know that services that we provide are in high demand.”
In Youngstown, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has worked with county boards and family members to find new homes for current center resident, who also have 10 still living there.
“The department continues to work with staff to find alternative employment opportunities,” a department spokeswoman told this news organization. “The department is grateful for Youngstown Developmental Center employees’ commitment to providing high quality care to residents during this transition.”
The closings are part of the state’s efforts to use more home-based and community-based options for development purposes, the spokeswoman said.
FIVE FAST BUSINESS READS
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 10:26 AM
— The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday evening it will require inspections of aircraft engines made by a Butler County company involved in the emergency that killed at least one passenger on Southwest Flight 1380.
“The FAA will issue an airworthiness directive within the next two weeks that will require inspections of certain CFM56-7B engines,” the FAA said Wednesday evening. “The directive will require an ultrasonic inspection of fan blades when they reach a certain number of takeoffs and landings.”
The Southwest Airlines Co. accident Tuesday killed a passenger after blasting debris into the jet’s left wing, the Boeing 737’s outside fuselage and even into the passenger cabin, breaking a cabin window.
Safety experts are asking whether U.S. regulators and engine makers have “underestimated the role of the engine cover” in the unlikely event engine parts break loose in flight, the Wall Street Journal is reporting Thursday.
CFM International is a joint venture of General Electric and French company Safran based in West Chester Twp. in southeastern Butler County. The company issued a statement yesterday saying it intended to participate in and assist the investigation into flight 1380.
“CFM will support the (National Transportation Safety Board) and Southwest Airlines in determining the cause of the accident,” the Butler County company said in its statement. “CFM and its parent companies, GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, will make every resource necessary available to ensure support.”
CFM also said that, by law, it cannot provide information “about the accident or details related to it.”
“I’m very concerned about this particular event,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said at a press briefing Wednesday.
Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 5:07 PM
— Whole Foods Market said Thursday that customer payment information at some of the grocer’s in-store bars and restaurants was hacked.
The company did not immediately say how many customers or stores might be affected, but said payment information was not hacked at its primary checkout counters because they use a different operating system.
“When Whole Foods Market learned of this, the company launched an investigation, obtained the help of a leading cyber security forensics firm, contacted law enforcement, and is taking appropriate measures to address the issue,” the company said in a written statement.
Whole Foods, which was recently purchased by online retailer Amazon, also said that Amazon’s system was not affected.
Most of Whole Foods’ more than 460 stores do not have in-store bars and restaurants. The ones that do are usually in or near larger cities.
It’s unclear when the hack happened and when exactly Whole Foods learned of it. Whole Foods did not respond to a message left, seeking additional comment.
The company said it would continue to investigate the matter and provide updates when it has more information.
Published: Thursday, August 24, 2017 @ 3:56 PM
— Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Austin-based Whole Foods Market will officially close on Monday, the companies said Thursday.
News of the closing date comes a day after Whole Foods shareholders voted to approve the deal, and the Federal Trade Commission said it would no longer be investigating the merger, which essentially cleared it to be closed.
Amazon’s impact will be immediately seen at Whole Foods, as the company said it will lower prices at the stores and integrate its Amazon Prime program.
"We're determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. “Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality - we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market's long-held commitment to the highest standards.”
Beginning Monday, prices for some of Whole Foods best-selling items, such as the Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados and organic eggs, will be lowered, the companies said.
Amazon Prime will also become Whole Foods’ customer rewards program sometime in the future, the companies said, showing that the e-commerce giant is looking to quickly integrate one of its most popular products into Whole Foods.
Beyond that, the companies said that “Amazon lockers” will be available in select Whole Foods stores, where customers will be able to have products shipped from Amazon.com to their local Whole Foods store.
“This is just the beginning,” the companies said in the announcement. “Amazon and Whole Foods Market plan to offer more in-store benefits and lower prices for customers over time as the two companies integrate logistics and point-of-sale and merchandising systems.”
Amazon and Whole Foods announced the agreement on June 16. The two companies began talks about two months before then after Whole Foods representatives first contacted Amazon.
Whole Foods shareholders are set to receive $42 per share in the sale. Amazon.com will gain ownership of Whole Foods’ more than 460 stores, as well as add the grocer’s roughly 87,000 employees to its workforce. Amazon has said it will keep the Whole Foods name on stores and retain CEO John Mackey.
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 9:15 AM
— After several last ditch attempts to save one of America’s oldest retailers, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. joined the ranks of companies that have succumbed to the retail apocalypse.
Bon-Ton Stores Inc. officials announced on Wednesday morning that a joint bidder, including a group of the bankrupt retail chain’s bondholders, won the auction for the company’s asset — signaling the start of the liquidation process for stores.
» CONTINUED COVERAGE: 15 memories at Elder-Beerman that influenced your lives
Company employees were told they will lose their jobs and that all 212 Bon-Ton stores, including local Elder-Beerman locations, will close — with going-out-business sales starting imminently. Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group —and the holders of Bon-Ton’s second-lien secured notes will acquire the retailer’s inventory and certain other assets, Bon-Ton said in a statement.
Here’s what we know today:
1. BANKRUPTCY HEARING A bankruptcy court hearing to approve the venture and wind down Bon-Ton operations occurred on Wednesday.
The bondholder group has wanted all Bon-Ton stores to close since the beginning of the bankruptcy process. Bon-Ton employs about 24,000 people, including hundreds in the Dayton region. The company operates roughly 250 stores in 23 states under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers brands.
“While we are disappointed by this outcome and tried very hard to identify bidders interested in operating the business as a going concern, we are committed to working constructively with the winning bidder to ensure an orderly wind-down of operations that minimizes the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve,” said Bill Tracy, Bon-Ton’s CEO.
» The rise and fall of Elder-Beerman: A timeline of Dayton’s dying store
2. SAD CUSTOMERS Some shoppers were disappointed by the closings. Now, consumers are looking for other options for their shopping. Alyssa Mitterholzer, a Centerville resident, said online shopping is killing off what’s left of traditional brick-and-mortar stores. More than 12,000 stores are expected to close in 2018 — up from roughly 9,000 in 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield, a marketing and data analysis firm.
“I mean it’s kind of depressing, actually. I’ve been a long-time shopper at Elder Beerman,” she said.
Bon-Ton had been working with U.S. mall owners Washington Prime Group Inc. and Namdar Realty Group to secure a bid that would have kept open a large portion of Bon-Ton locations. It would’ve benefited the mall groups as Bon-Ton Stores are major tenants for both companies. Washington Prime owns both the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons.
» Elder-Beerman history: A journey from simple downtown dry goods store
Chris Kershner, executive vice president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, said Bon-Ton’s liquidation is reflective of retail changes happening across the country. Despite economic planning and a diverse retail landscape, a national retailer’s demise is beyond anything local malls can salvage, he said.
3. LOCAL IMPACT Most Elder-Beerman stores are located within local malls, so closures could have a detrimental effect on multiple shopping centers. Elder-Beerman has stores in Piqua, Huber Heights, the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek, the Kettering Towne Center, among others in Ohio. The stores employ hundreds of workers in the region.
Miami Valley Centre Mall officials said the closure and liquidation of all Bon-Ton stores is disappointing for the local shopping center. “As owners of the mall since 1993 we have seen many changes in retail both locally and nationally. The Mid-America Management Corporation’s commitment to the mall and the city of Piqua remains as strong as ever,” the mall group said in a statement.
» CONTINUED COVERAGE: 5 retailers closing stores in Ohio this year
4. FAIRBORN PREPARES FOR CENTER CLOSING The liquidation will also impact the distribution center in Fairborn. About 96 employees work at the facility, and Bon-Ton leases the facility. Matt Owen, executive director of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, told this news organization that the liquidation wasn’t a surprise to the community.
“We’ll have some workers out of work, and it will definitely affect some families in our region,” he said. “We’re really resilient. We’ve been through this before with Delphi and GM and NCR, and we do a good job of getting our workers back to work.”
5. HISTORY OF ELDER-BEERMAN IN DAYTON Elder-Beerman has a deep-rooted presence in the Miami Valley — and it can be traced back to another store, Boston Dry Goods, in 1883. The Boston Dry Goods store was opened by Thomas Elder, William Hunter, Jr. and Russell Johnston on East Third Street in the early 1880s. It sold textiles, clothing and groceries, and it later became the Elder & Johnston Co.
In 1962, Dayton businessman Arthur Beerman, who had opened two Beermans for Bargains junior department stores in 1950, merged his store with the Elder & Johnston Co. During the 1960s the Elder-Beerman Co. opened numerous department stores in the region, including Hamilton and Richmond, Ind.
The company continued to expand, acquiring department stores in Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky. In 1993, the 50th store opened at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek. In 2003, Elder-Beerman was acquired by Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
FIVE FAST BUSINESS READS