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Cause of Franklin industrial fire under investigation

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 4:26 PM

Nexgen franklin fire

The cause of an industrial fire early Monday morning in Franklin has not been determined, but the city’s fire chief told this news outlet he believes it may have been accidental.

FIRST REPORT: Multiple fire units battle Franklin business fire for over two hours

The fire started just after midnight at Next Gen Composites, 321 Conover Drive, and required fire and EMS units from Middletown, Franklin Twp., Carlisle, Clearcreek Twp., the Joint Emergency Medical Services, and the Miami Valley Fire District to assist Franklin firefighters in putting out the fully-involved fire.

A passerby saw the flames coming out of the roof and called 911.

Franklin Fire Chief Jonathan Westendorf said flames were visible from the roof as the first firefighters arrived at the business that manufactures fireproof panels.

He described the building as a large, steel-sheeted frame warehouse.

“It was pretty hot and supercharged,” Westendorf said. “There was a lot of dark black smoke and lots of heat, enough to melt the structural steel inside the building.”

MORE: Cell phone records, social media messages presented in Hamilton firefighter death trial

He said the building is about 150-feet long and a door he touched on the opposite end of the building was very hot.

On Monday night, a Franklin fire official told this news outlet that the business was not equipped with a fire alarm or sprinklers, which is why crews were not able to respond as quickly as they could have.

Westendorf said the fire was not suspicious and was probably accidental.

However, while it was not a criminal fire, he said the insurance company’s investigation remained ongoing as of Tuesday morning.

Westendorf believes the origin of the fire was caused by a large industrial oven that caused about $250,000 in losses.

He said city officials were working with the company to relocate them to a space on Graham Drive.

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Motorcycle crash reported on US 35 in Dayton

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 7:11 PM

Crash involving motorcycle reported in Dayton

A motorcycle was struck by a truck on U.S. 35 eastbound near Steve Whalen Blvd, Montgomery County Dispatch confirmed.

The driver of the truck was trapped, and a medic was called out.

Crews were dispatched at 6:37 p.m.

U.S. 35 eastbound is temporarily shut down, and vehicles can get off at the Keowee/Wayne Ave. exit ramp.

We have a crew on the way and will update this page when more information becomes available. 

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How 3 major retailers are reinventing to keep customers

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 6:00 PM

Salon by InStyle opened inside JCPenney at Bridgewater Falls on Friday, June 15, 2018.

As struggling retailers strive to keep pace with online competitors, they’ve turned to reinventing various facets of their brick-and-mortar existence, or even partnering with new services to lure back digital shoppers.

MORE: 10 retailers closing stores in 2018 

Take JCPenney, for example, which unveiled its new Salon by InStyle location Friday at its Bridgewater Falls store. The revamped salon features a variety of servicesat the Fairfield Twp. store, which is the second in Ohio and one of the first of 100 locations nationwide to get the updated salon concept this year.

The partnership between JCPenney and InStyle magazine, saw the store remodel and expand its selection of salon products, according to salon field manager Katie Kansy.

“One of the things that InStyle does is it just really just kind of hits home with that modern client that we’re looking to capture,” Kansy said. “JCPenney salons have traditionally been the JCP Salon and that drives a variety of clientele.”

The location not only added services, but also four new stylists, giving it a staff of 23. It is looking to hire at least 10 more.

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JCPenney plans to remodel its Eastgate and Florence, Ky., salons in the next six weeks, according to Jason Bittner, JCPenney’s district manager.

“We listened to our customers and they definitely wanted those elevated services,” Bittner said. “We listened to all of the customer demand and kind of prioritized based on what the customer wants. This is something you can’t get online, so when you look at a competitive advantage standpoint, the salon business for us, this is one of our biggest competitive advantages in the marketplace.”

But it’s not just JCPenney looking to broaden its appeal by renovating space or adding goods and services.


Macy’s locations at Tri-County Mall and Dayton Mall this year added the retail giant’s Macy’s Backstage, a store-within-a-store shopping experience that features savings on apparel for men, women and children, as well as deals on housewares, home textiles and decor, cosmetics, hair and nail care, gifts, jewelry, shoes, designer handbags, accessories and activewear.

MORE: You see the top level of a parking garage. Hamilton sees its newest party location.

Frequent deliveries aim to give customers a new reason to come into the brick-and-mortar store and shop. Different buying teams for Backstage and for larger Macy’s help ensure the two entities have different items for sale. Backstage doesn’t use coupons or have sales, but is marketed as having prices that don’t require waiting for a sale.

There are more than 96 Macy’s Backstage locations nationwide. By the end of June, the state of Ohio will have a total of 6 Backstage locations in the following markets: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.

Macy’s has ambitious growth plans for Backstage and said earlier this year that it will open 100 more Backstage stores in 2018 and will backing up that growth with a dedicated distribution center in Columbus.


Target last week expanded two of its time-saving new delivery and pickup services, Drive Up and Shipt, across the Midwest and Southeast, including in the Cincinnati area.

“We set out this year with an ambitious plan to bring Target guests nationwide more ways to shop on their terms,” said John Mulligan, Target’s chief operating officer. “Our guests are enjoying the convenience of these new delivery and pickup services as we’re working to redefine the Target Run and make Target America’s easiest place to shop.”

MORE: Tri-County Mall continues re-development efforts as another anchor retailer prepares to close

The expansion means tens of millions of Target guests can now get same-day delivery of groceries and more with Shipt, while also speeding up their Target Runs with Drive Up, a service where team members bring online orders out to guests’ vehicles, usually within a few minutes.

By the end of June, Target will offer Shipt in more than 135 markets allowing guests to shop our in-store assortment of groceries, essentials, electronics, home décor items and other products and have them all delivered the same day.

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Cardi B, Offset pose for risque Rolling Stone cover

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 6:33 PM

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Recording artists Cardi B and Offset attend the Prabal Gurung front row during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 11, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
Andrew Toth
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Recording artists Cardi B and Offset attend the Prabal Gurung front row during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)(Andrew Toth)

In the year since “Bodak Yellow” arrived, Cardi B has escalated from projected one-hit wonder to ubiquitous charmer.

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Her frank talk and unapologetic attitude toward her past as a stripper have only bolstered her internet appeal; she’s landed everywhere from “Saturday Night Live” to Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show to the Grammy Awards (albeit as a collaborator with Bruno Mars).

Now Cardi, who will perform at the One Musicfest in September, is on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine for the second time in eight months (it’s technically the July issue).

The risqué photo, which Cardi released on her Instagram account after it apparently leaked elsewhere, immediately sparked the usual love it/hate it fervor on social media.

To complement a feature about her “love story” with Offset, of the Atlanta rap trio Migos, Cardi is posing bottom-less, her baby bump being kissed by her baby daddy as he slouches next to her in a bell-bottomed red suit.

“This cover is so special to me and means so much! Thank you to everyone who helped put this amazing cover together! …My daughter made it to the Rollin Stone cover !!!!,” she wrote on Instagram, also confirming the baby’s sex.

During her visit to Stern’s radio show in May, Cardi B mentioned that she and Offset are building a home in Atlanta for their new family. 

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Small earthquake detected in Mexico City after national team beats Germany 

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 6:20 PM

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JUNE 17: Mexicans celebrate at the Angel of Independence after the Mexico National Team victory over Germany in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia on June 17, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images)
Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JUNE 17: Mexicans celebrate at the Angel of Independence after the Mexico National Team victory over Germany in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia on June 17, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images)(Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

Fans cheering the national team’s win over Germany created an “artificial quake” that tipped the Richter scale, according to reports

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Seismologists at two monitoring stations in Mexico City picked up readings when Hirving Lozano scored 35 minutes into Mexico’s 1-0 upset over defending champion Germany Sunday, according to USA Today

Officials at the California Earthquake Center told USA Today the induced quake likely generated a 2 on the Richter scale and would have gone unnoticed by the public if it were a typical earthquake. 

Germany became the third defending champion to lose in its opening match in the last 16 years. Mexico next plays Korea Republic June 23. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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