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Butler County food manufacturer holding job fair this weekend

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 12:34 PM


            Koch Foods in Fairfield is holding a job fair this weekend to fill 100 positions. STAFF FILE PHOTO
Koch Foods in Fairfield is holding a job fair this weekend to fill 100 positions. STAFF FILE PHOTO

A poultry processor and food product manufacturer looking to fill 100 positions at its Butler County location is holding a job fair this weekend.

MORE: Butler County RV dealer hiring for new Trenton location

Koch Foods will hold the event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at 4100 Port Union Road in Fairfield.

Koch Foods plans to hire 100 new employees for all three shifts and positions in the company’s production departments as general laborers, grinding, machine and packaging operators, quality assurance technicians and the company’s warehouse departments as freezer warehouse, inventory control and data capture palletizing. The company also is growing its maintenance and sanitation departments.

MORE: Packaging company hiring as many as 50 at Butler County location

The company, a multi-culture, multi-language employer, will conduct on-the-spot interviews. Candidates must pass the pre-employment drug screening, background check, and provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

The Park Ridge, Ill.-based company opened its doors in Fairfield in 1999 with two production lines and 50 employees. It now has seven productions lines and 1,100 employees there.

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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.

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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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Pleasant tonight, air quality advisory Thursday for part of region

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 3:30 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 5:10 PM

Plenty of sunshine with low humidity this afternoon.

Mainly clear skies and pleasant conditions are expected with temperatures in the 70s this evening, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Quiet and comfortable tonight
  • Air Quality Advisory Thursday for Butler, Warren counties
  • Memorial Day weekend: Heat, humidity, threat for pop-up storms

>> WHIO Live Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

>> What is the UV index and how do you protect your skin?

DETAILED FORECAST

Tonight: Skies will be clear with comfortable temperatures dropping into the middle 50s.

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 

Thursday: Lots of sunshine is expected with temperatures rebounding back into the lower 80s. Humidity levels will remain low.

An Air Quality Advisory is in place for Thursday in Butler and Warren counties

An Air Quality Advisory is issued for Thursday for Butler and Warren counties. Help reduce air pollution by taking the following actions:

  • Take the bus, carpool, bike or walk instead of driving
  • Refuel vehicles after 8 p.m., do not top off
  • Do not idle your vehicle
  • Combine trips or eliminate unnecessary vehicle trips
  • Keep your vehicle maintained with properly inflated tires and timely oil changes
  • Avoid use of gasoline-powered lawn equipment on Air Quality Advisory days
  • Avoid use of oil-based paints and stains on Air Quality Advisory days
  • Never burn leaves or other yard trimmings
  • Always burn clean, seasoned wood in outdoor fire pits, fireplaces and wood stoves
  • Avoid using fire pits or fireplaces for non-essential home heating on Air Quality Advisory days
  • Conserve electricity

>> Tropical System may form over Memorial Day Weekend

Friday: Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast but temperatures will heat up into the middle 80s.

>> County-by-County Weather

Saturday: The heat and humidity will begin to build with partly cloudy skies. There is a chance for some afternoon and evening pop-up thunderstorms. Highs will be in the upper 80s.

>> 5-Day Forecast

>> #SkyWitness7 How to spot the planet Jupiter through the weekend

Sunday: It will be quite warm and humid with partly cloudy skies and a chance for pop-up thunderstorms.

Memorial Day:  Expect it to be partly cloudy and humid Monday with a continued chance of mainly afternoon/evening pop-up storms. Highs will be in the upper 80s.

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Man wanted for Indiana rape, strangulation arrested in Hamilton

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 5:19 PM


            Shawn D. Jones, a former Butler County resident, was arrested last weekend in Hamilton on sexual assault charges from Wayne County, Ind.
Shawn D. Jones, a former Butler County resident, was arrested last weekend in Hamilton on sexual assault charges from Wayne County, Ind.

A former Butler County resident was arrested last weekend in Hamilton on sexual assault charges from Wayne County, Ind.

Shawn D. Jones, 41, was booked into the Butler County Jail at 1:23 a.m. Sunday after he was located in the 600 block of East Avenue.

Jones was taken into custody after police learned he may be in the city. He was spotted on the porch of a house and arrested, according to Hamilton Sgt. Brian Robinson

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On May 17, an arrest warrant was issued by Indiana law enforcement for Jones’ arrest for rape, aggravated battery, criminal confinement and strangulation, all felonies, according to an article in the Palladium-Item newspaper.

Jones, formerly of St. Clair Avenue in Hamilton, allegedly punched a woman in the face and beat her with a belt May 5 in her Richmond, Ind., home, according to court records. He also allegedly tried to hit the woman with an electric heater, but she blocked the blow with her arm, which resulted in a broken bone, according to court records.

Jones is also accused of sexually assaulting the woman multiple times and of choking her to the point she could not breathe.

MORE: Young victims in court as man arraigned for alleged sex acts with children

He waived an extradition hearing this week in Butler County Common Pleas Court and is awaiting transport back to Indiana.

Jones was convicted in Butler County in November of misdemeanor assault and trafficking in cocaine, according to Butler County court records. He was sentenced to 180 days in the county jail and six months in prison, but had already served those days waiting disposition of his case, according to records.

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Military base water safety questions remain as fight for study continues

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:29 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 3:30 PM


            Congressman Mike Turner
Congressman Mike Turner

A bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers have called on the U.S. EPA leader to release a chemical pollution study that reportedly shows lower threshold levels for groundwater contamination that could impact more than a hundred military bases, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, but the head of the agency said he doesn’t have the authority to release the study.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, in his own letter this month, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers from California to Massachusetts in a separate letter, urged EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to release the study after Politico, citing newly released emails, reported the White House and the EPA had sought to block the public release of the U.S. Health and Human Services report because “it would cause a public relations nightmare.”

But in a response to Turner’s letter and the other congressional leaders, Pruitt wrote this week the Health and Human Services agency had the right to release the research findings, but “the EPA does not have the authority to release this study.”

Turner now has urged HHS Secretary Alex Azar to release the report.

RELATED: Turner urges EPA administrator to release chemical pollution study

Chemical substances known as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been found in the groundwater at Wright-Patterson and near a Dayton firefighting training site on McFadden Avenue. The material, commonly found in many household items, also was found in an old formula of firefighting foam sprayed at both sites.

Authorities say the water in the Dayton distribution system is safe to drink, and the substances have not been found in water delivered to consumers.

“Administrator Pruitt’s letter made it clear that the EPA is not currently blocking the release of the study on PFAS, although it did not indicate whether it had sought to block this release previously,” Turner said in a statement.

“The release of this study is a public health and safety issue for every community with a military installation, including mine,” Turner, whose district includes Wright-Patterson, wrote to Azar. The EPA has set a lifetime health advisory exposure level of 70 parts per trillion.

“If this study finds, as reported, that this is no longer an accurate level of safety for our water, Congress and our constituents need to know immediately so we can begin to address it,” Turner added.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in a statement Wednesaday to this news outlet: “Keeping information from people about the health and safety of their water is disgraceful. The EPA and HHS must release this report immediately and work with the Air Force and the city of Dayton to ensure the water is safe.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement Wednesday: “(It’s) important to ensure EPA’s health advisories are up to date and reflect the best available science and information. The EPA and HHS should release this report immediately to ensure that the men and women serving our country, as well as our communities supporting them, are drinking clean, safe water.”

The EPA was part of a national leadership summit Tuesday that sought to address PFAS concerns around the nation. The federal agency reportedly barred some members of the press while Pruitt was speaking.

RELATED: Dayton faces two potential groundwater threats

In a May 18 letter, 13 House representatives on both sides of the political aisle from California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington state, had asked Pruitt to release the report. The lawmakers noted studies have linked the substances to cancer, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol, and fertility issues, among health concerns.

The group also sent a letter to Azar, according to U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, who was among those who co-signed the document.

“It’s a little hard for me that (Pruitt) won’t act to have the report released when he seems to have the authority to block the report,” he said Wednesday, referring to published reports. State policy makers especially could use the data to set contamination threshold levels, Kildee said.

“It ought to be out there,” he said. “We’ve seen this happen too many times.”

His district includes Flint, which has faced an ongoing drinking water crisis related to lead contamination.

The Department of Defense has identified 126 military installations that showed the chemical substances in excess of the EPA’s lifetime exposure advisory threshold where the firefighting foam was sprayed, lawmakers said.

The Health and Human Services study, known as the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “concluded that PFOS and PFOA can cause human harm at a much lower level of exposure than previously acknowledged by EPA,” the lawmakers said.

City of Dayton officials have urged Wright-Patterson to take more aggressive action to prevent tainted groundwater migrating off base and potentially threatening groundwater pumping wells along the Mad River. Base authorities say they have installed monitoring wells to track where a contamination plume is headed and have pointed to the city’s firefighting training site as a possible source of contamination.

As a precaution, the city of Dayton closed several production wells along the Mad River.

Wright-Patterson built a $2.7 million groundwater treatment plant to reopen two drinking water production wells that had been closed because they had exceeded health advisory levels.

Brown’s office said the senator will offer an amendment to an upcoming defense bill for the Air Force to reimburse the city of Dayton for costs incurred with dealing with tracking and dealing with the potential contamination.

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