US Olympian shows off rowing to all ages in Dayton

Published: Saturday, June 17, 2017 @ 11:07 PM

US Olympian shows off rowing to all ages in Dayton

People of all ages had the chance Saturday to learn about the sport of rowing at Eastwood MetroPark in Dayton.

The introduction to rowing was part of Olympic Day, where organizers across the country expose people to Olympic sports.

A former member of the U.S. Olympic men’s rowing team was on hand as participants go the chance to learn about the sport and try it out themselves.

"I love doing events like this," said 1996 Olympican Stephen Peterson. "I think it's one of the great things about our sport. Whether you're a freshman in high school or 70 years old, you can row. And that's fantastic. It's a life sport. I think the more awareness we can create about the sport the better." 

Dayton is home to the only community Olympic development program for rowing in the country.

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Downtown Dayton to get new restaurant

Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 @ 9:52 AM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:10 AM

Olive Mediterranean Grill on Dixie Drive is building us its reputation with great grub. Video by Amelia Robinson

A two-time winner of one of Dayton.com’s Best of Dayton Food & Dining awards is moving to a vacant space at 44 W. Third Street in the ground floor of the parking garage next to Stop-N-Save Food.

>>RELATED: Best of Dayton 2017 Winners for Food & Dining

The owners of the Olive Mediterranean Grill at 6129 N. Dixie Drive in Dayton have signed a lease for about 5,000 square feet of space located on the ground floor of the building at the southeastern corner of West Third and Ludlow streets.

The space used to be home to a food court. Olive Mediterranean Grill expects to open by mid-June or early July.

>>Classic Dayton restaurants you have to try and love

.(Staff Writer)

Olive, which opened in 2015, won first place in Dayton.com’s category for Best Mediterranean/Greek Dining in both 2016 and 2017.

“We know we are going to make it and make it big in downtown,” said Fred Shokri, one of the restaurant’s owners.

RELATED: This AMAZING lunch platter is just one reason to try Olive Mediterranean Grill

Brothers Fred and Mahdi Shokri originally intended to open a hookah bar on North Dixie Drive, but after signing a lease, they were unable to obtain the proper approvals from the city of Dayton to allow patrons to smoke inside.

But instead, they decided to open a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean and Greek food that Mahdi learned to cook from a chef well versed in the cuisine.

>>MORE: 5 downtown Dayton dining spots you should visit this week

Mahdi, 23, is head chef and handles the bulk of the kitchen and cooking responsibilities. Fred, 33, keeps busy doing everything else associated with running a restaurant.

44 W. Third St. will get a new restaurant called Olive Mediterranean Grill. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Some of the main food items include gyros, lamb shanks, sandwiches, kabob platters, falafel, salads, feta rolls, Baba Ganouj and Greek potatoes.

Fred says they always wanted to be in a higher-traffic and busier location like downtown but they had to first learn how to run a successful business and get more experience.

>>FOOD NEWS: Beloved deli owners retiring, selling business

Olive Mediterranean Grill will retain its menu but might make some tweaks after moving downtown, Fred said.

“We’ll see what’s hot here and what’s not,” he said.

>>JUST IN: Brown Street restaurant closes temporarily

Fred said Olive was able to build a customer base by having an online presence and getting positive reviews on websites like Yelp.

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Dayton to close alleys — not streets — to disrupt crime

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 @ 4:07 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:04 AM

Dayton targeting east-side alleys for closure as part of crime fight

The city of Dayton has scratched a proposal to close streets in east Dayton to disrupt crime — now saying the city wants to avoid disrupting transit service.

The city, however, still plans to install concrete barriers in some alleys to try to combat drug activities and prostitution.

Residents of the Burkhart neighborhood had talked with the city and supported closing several streets in the neighborhood, mostly south of East Third Street.

The Dayton Daily News reported on this information, which was shared with Dayton city commissioners at their recent special meeting.

EARLIER: Dayton plans to block some streets, alleys to help fight crime

But the city decided it will not close the streets after hearing about the potential hardships that could create to the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority and the Dayton Public Schools, said Dayton police Major Joseph Wiesman.

Buses need to be able to pick up and drop off residents, especially individuals with disabilities, and putting up barriers could make it impossible for transit providers to deliver those services, he said.

But the city plans to install temporary concrete barriers in some alleys in the general area between South Garfield and South Jersey streets.

The new barriers won’t impact transportation and bus service and shouldn’t even disrupt trash pick up, Wiesman said.

Many people “cruise the alleys” near East Third Street looking for prostitutes or to buy and sell drugs, and the new barriers will disrupt that traffic and activities, Wiesman said.

The new barriers are part of a “place-based” crime-fighting strategy implemented by the Dayton Police Department.

RELATED: Dayton police to target ‘micro areas’ of violent crime

The new strategy uses a package of city services from a variety of departments to try to reduce crime. The collaboration is between police, housing, waste collection, street maintenance, planning and other departments.

Police focus on enforcing laws, but the city also may try to fight crime by demolishing blighted structures that are used for prostitution or drug use and evicting criminals from housing.

The city may add lighting to increase security in high-crime areas.

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City’s $10 million loan to Dayton Arcade largest investment in 15 years

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 9:11 AM

Aerial video view of the Dayton Arcade

The city of Dayton has agreed to loan $10 million to a partnership that is working to revive the Dayton Arcade.

It is one of the city’s largest economic development investments since the construction of the Schuster Center and the ballpark where the Dayton Dragons play. The loan was announced today at the Dayton City Commission meeting.

The Dayton Arcade rotunda. FILE(Staff Writer)

RELATED: Arcade is definitely happening, developer says: ‘We’re way too pregnant’

RELATED: Then & Now: Where Dayton gathered under the Arcade rotunda

The resurrection of the nine-building arcade complex would have the same kind of dramatic and far-reaching impact as the opening of Fifth Third Field in 2000 and the Schuster performing arts center three years later, which are among the main reasons why downtown welcomes about 7.2 million visitors annually, said Dayton officials and local economic development leaders.

 

“Much like Schuster, RiverScape and baseball, the arcade seeks to be catalytic because there is 1 million square feet of vacant space around it that already is in conversation with developers who are waiting to see what happens with the arcade,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

She later said, “The city hasn’t invested in a project like this, to this level, in 15 years.”

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Most of the funding for the project has been secured, and if this plan does not succeed, it’s extremely unlikely there would be another opportunity like this again to bring the long-vacant complex back to life, officials said.

City officials said the arcade project would be another major downtown destination and would increase the tax base and be a magnet for new investment in that part of downtown.

A two-story interior section of the Third Street Dayton Arcade. The city of Dayton Friday pulled a request for $1 million in Montgomery County ED/GE funding to redevelop the arcade — but another funding request is expected in the spring. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

But officials also said the arcade’s innovation hub will have a programming presence in all corners of the city to ensure the entire community benefits from the project.

TRENDING: $1 for 12 acres north of the Dayton Mall? Miami Twp. OKs purchase plan.

The Dayton City Commission today will authorize the loan of up to $10 million to the Dayton Arcade LLC to help provide one of the last major pieces of funding for the first phase of the project, officials said.

The loan is part of a development agreement approved by commissioners with development team partners Cross Street PartnersModel Group and McCormack Baron Salazar.

WATCH: You have NEVER seen the Dayton Arcade like this, and it will amaze you

The city’s loan only will be “activated” if the development partners close on the project’s financing, which is expected to take place in August.

The loan will be interest-only for seven years. The city will internally borrow its own funds and repay that over seven years with economic development funds. At the end of seven years, the borrower will need to repay, refinance or reach another agreement about the loan.

MORE: Through the years: Downtown Dayton Arcade

The funding means the city will have a “participatory” piece of the revenue generated by the arcade moving forward, said Diane Shannon, Dayton’s director of procurement, management and budget.

The interest on the loan will be the same return as the city would have earned had it left the funds invested, Shannon said.

Vinyl posters depicting a sleeping giant are covering the north entrance of the Dayton Arcade. CORNELIUS FROLIK/STAFF(Staff Writer)

“This keeps us active in the game for a seven-year period, and then we’ll have a day of reckoning,” she said.

RELATED: Have you noticed this sleeping giant in downtown Dayton?

The development agreement approved today provides an early release of up to $2 million in funds to pay for demolition work inside the arcade to help obtain accurate construction bids. Internal demolition is expected to begin in early June, with bids being solicited the f0llowing month.

The loan is a big commitment for the city, but it was already invested in the project.

In 2015, the city of Dayton contributed about $450,000 for repairs and other work on the arcade to keep it dry and stable and prevent further deterioration. The city also agreed to contribute about $1 million to the project help pay for architectural, engineering and other professional services.

MORE: New Dayton Arcade partners part of amazing Midwest transformations

The city also committed $2.5 million of its federal HOME dollars to help create new apartments inside the arcade.

The $1 million the city committed to professional services will be returned by the developer when the city brings the $10 million to the closing, officials said.

Aerial view of the Dayton Arcade rotunda. Six months after being denied state historic tax credits, the developers of the Dayton Arcade officially earned $5 million in incentives on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

The Dayton Arcade is a civic piece of real estate that has been expected to perform as a conventional piece of real estate, which is not financially feasible, said John Gower, urban design director at CityWide.

RELATED: Dayton Arcade: ‘We can definitely see the finish line’

“You have to bring all these other financing sources to the table, because you would never be able to debt finance this thing,” Gower said.

The arcade partners have been awarded tens of millions of dollars in low-income housing tax credits, new market tax credits, state and federal historic tax credits and other incentives.

Foremost, the arcade is going to create jobs and promote entrepreneurship, Gower said, but it also will provide affordable housing for young creative types and professionals and high-demand urban amenities, including restaurants and other retail.

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Report: Jared Kushner’s security clearance downgraded

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ 4:12 PM

Jared Kushner: "I did not collude with Russia."

Presidential adviser and son-in-law to the president Jared Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded, according to media reports citing unnamed government sources.

>> Read more trending news 

The downgrade means that Kushner, a senior presidential adviser and the husband of President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, will no longer have access to top secret, classified documents, according to CNN.

Kushner was not the only White House staffer affected by the move. In a memo sent last week, access for all staffers with an interim security clearance was also downgraded, according to media reports.

The move follows the resignation last month of former staff secretary Rob Porter amid allegations of domestic abuse by two former ex-wives. During the media storm that followed the Porter allegations, sources revealed that Porter, Kushner and dozens of other White House aides had regular access to top secret U.S. documents without permanent security clearances.

According to Politico, which first reported the story Tuesday, Kushner's clearance has been reduced to secret and his foreign policy responsibilities are expected to be reduced as well.

For months, Kushner has been unable to pass an extensive FBI background check, something that's required for top security clearances.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly moved this month to end the temporary clearances of staffers who have been operating under them since last summer, CNN reported.

White House Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner speaks during a conversation with Haim Saban at Saban Forum, December 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Kushner's attorney said in a statement that the change in security clearance would "not affect Mr. Kushner's ability to do the very important work he has been assigned by the president," Politico reported

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not answer a question about Kushner's security clearance at Tuesday's briefing, but Kelly said last week in a statement that he expected Kushner to continue with his work without any trouble. 

"I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” Kelly said

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