Dayton among the worst cities for food hardship

Published: Monday, May 04, 2015 @ 5:30 PM
Updated: Monday, May 04, 2015 @ 5:30 PM

            Dayton among the worst cities for food hardship
Dayton among the worst cities for food hardship

It's an almost unbelievable statistic: The Dayton Metropolitan area ranks worst in Ohio and 9th in the country in terms of food hardship. That means thousands of people in our area lack access to a full-service grocery store or can't afford the food when they get there. Nearly every urban area in the Miami Valley has food deserts--including Xenia, Springfield, Troy, and Dayton.

"A food desert is an area where there is limited access to both affordable and nutritious food," explained Laura Roesch, Executive Director of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley. 

Ruby Taylor lives in a food desert in Jefferson Township. She shops at small markets and gas station stores near her home for food for herself and her three grandchildren who visit her while their mother works. On a recent day, she bought a gallon of milk for $3.50 and a small jar of peanut butter for $2.99. She was hoping to make "ants on a log" for her grandchildren, but the store had no raisins or celery--in fact, no produce at all. 

"Processed food is not good for my grandchildren," said Taylor, "and it's not good for me."

Since Kroger closed its Gettysburg Avenue store in Dayton seven years ago, the west side has a discount grocer and a smattering of corner markets. Damon Ball is raising two small grandchildren by himself. He said, "A half a gallon of milk at the corner store is $2.69." Damon has to take his grandchildren on a bus across town to get nutritious food and lower prices. "I'm trying. It's hard." 

Judy Shields lives off of East Third Street, where she too finds food shopping a challenge. 

"I usually have to take a bus and go to Aldi's or some place like that, then I have to worry about crossing the main thoroughfares to get my groceries home," said Shields, who walks with a cane. 

A check of three convenience stores near her house found not a single item of produce. There is a Food For Less a few blocks away, but it sells mostly canned food and has only a limited selection of fruits and vegetables. 

One solution is an urban farming initiative in the Twin Towers neighborhood in Dayton. Stephen Mackell was planting broccoli on an early spring day. The University of Dayton graduate manages an urban farm for the Mission of Mary Cooperative. Workers and volunteers grow crops and sell the fresh produce to people who live in the neighborhood at prices they can afford.

"We really do need to find a way to get fresh produce and real food, not processed, gas station food, back into urban neighborhoods, " said Mackell.

In Jefferson Township, Ruby Taylor breaks into a little dance when the clerk gives her change back from her purchase. But her glee quickly fades. 

"It's not too good," she said, "I'd rather be in a big store."

Montgomery County leaders would like to see a full-service grocer move into the food desert area in the western part of the county, but Commissioner Judy Dodge says so far their efforts have fallen short. "I don't know what we're going to do," Dodge said. 

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WHIO Reports: Human trafficking

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 9:34 AM

Sign of Human Trafficking

This edition of WHIO Reports will focus on human trafficking. It sounds like the kind of crime that happens somewhere else around the country. But, in fact, it’s happening in the Miami Valley. It’s a combination of a lot of crimes, often times it involves drugs, prostitution, organized crime, forced labor – some of them or all of the above. 

RELATED: Indiana gas stations teach staff to report human trafficking

Guests include: Tonya Folks, Trafficking Liaison with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department; Susan Gruenberg, Human Trafficking Awareness Advocate and Amy Wilhelm, Safe Harbor House (Springfield).

WHIO Reports airs Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

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Hot with the slight chance for rain for the rest of the holiday weekend

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 3:49 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:35 AM

It's going to be hot today and Monday, with the slight chance for rain each day.

Lots of sunshine is expected today with highs in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees. With the daytime heat, there may be an isolated shower or storm, but it looks like most will stay dry. Don’t cancel your outdoor plans, but have a backup plan indoors, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. 

>>Live Interactive Doppler 7 Radar


  • Hot and humid today through Tuesday
  • Slight chance for an isolated shower or storm today and Monday
  • Better chance for rain Wednesday and Thursday

>>WHIO Weather App

Tonight: A mild night is expected again with temperatures dropping into the middle to upper 60s.

>>How to spot Jupiter through the weekend

Monday (Memorial Day): Should be a dry day, but once again an isolated shower or storm can’t be ruled out. It will be a hot day with highs near 90 degrees.

>>UV Index: How to protect your skin 

Tuesday: Another hot day is expected with highs near 90 under mostly sunny skies.

Wednesday: Remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto could bring a chance for rain, maybe storms with highs in the middle 80s. 

Thursday: Remnants of Alberto will give us more rain, highs in the middle 80s.

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Family sues district after daughter, 5, sexually assaulted on bus by fifth grade student

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 9:02 PM

Family Sues District After 5-Year-Old Daughter Sexually Assaulted on Bus by Fifth Grade Student

A family is suing the Jackson Local School District in federal court for a 2016 incident in which their 5-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a fifth grade student on a bus, according to the lawsuit.

>> Read more trending news

The 11-year-old boy had been disciplined for throwing a lit match on the bus and was supposed to sit in the front right seat alone, the family’s attorney told WJW.

But that didn’t happen.

“The driver is unable to see the seat right behind him,” Mills told WJW. “So then over a period of a couple weeks, the kindergartner is subjected to sexual assaults. It is horrific. It is one of the most horrifying cases I have ever handled.”

The boy was charged with gross sexual imposition, according to WJW. A police report indicated video on the school bus showed the sexual assaults.

The Jackson Schools superintendent would not comment because it is an active lawsuit, according to WJW. The boy and his family have since moved out of the district.

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Arrest made at scene where multiple vehicles were hit by rocks on WB U.S. 35 in Dayton

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 10:44 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 9:49 AM

Multiple vehicles hit by rocks on WB U.S. 35 in Dayton

UPDATE @ 9:37 a.m.:

Police arrested one male juvenile at the scene where rocks were being thrown onto vehicles traveling westbound on U.S. 35.

The juvenile was taken to the Juvenile Justice Center where he was booked on several counts of vandalism, according to a Dayton police report.

According to a report, the suspect admitted to throwing rocks at vehicles on U.S. 35.

It was not confirmed if anyone else was involved but the suspect told police another male juvenile threw rocks as well.


Nearly 20 motorists pulled over Saturday night after their vehicles were struck by someone throwing rocks while they were traveling west on U.S. 35.

Thomas Acco of Jefferson Twp. and his girlfriend had just dropped off their children and were headed home when a rock came through the front of the windshield.

“I was in shock that someone would play with someone’s life like this,” he said.

“Glass just flew everywhere. We had a little swerve contest with the car in front of us — their windshield got hit also. We just pulled to the side and it was like 15, 20 cars lined up to the side all with damage.”

Motorists line up along westbound U.S. 35 May 26, 2018, just before the South Smithville Road exit after their vehicles were struck by rocks.(JAMES BUECHELE / STAFF)

Dayton police Lt. Chris Malson said there are no suspects, but plenty of victims.

“We got a report of multiple cars, approximately 18 of them, that were hit with rocks as they were driving westbound on U.S. 35 near Woodman (Drive),” he said. “All the calls came within about five minutes of each other.

The Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center said they received starting at 10 p.m. The last one received was at 10:29 p.m.

One of the victims was Susan Myers of Lima who was headed back home with her husband, riding in the front passenger seat.

“We heard a loud bang and looked up and saw the damage on the windshield,” she said. “We immediately pulled over and noticed that there were several cars ahead of us also pulled over with their hazard lights on.”

>> Troy bicyclist struck, killed identified

There are no reports of injuries, but Myers said they were shaken and now have to deal with broken glass inside the car and their insurance company.

Tony Gerardi of Xenia said he was driving home from visiting friends in Dayton when his car was struck.

“I hope police get them. I’m safe, thank God,” said Gerardi, “I don’t know why someone would do something like that.”

Earlier Saturday, around 4:45 p.m., another two motorists, one from Illinois and one from Dayton, reported their windshields were struck by rocks. At least one of the windshields shattered just when they went under a bridge. They told police the rocks appeared to come from the north side of the highway but were not able to see the culprits. Police officers found a pile of rocks laying on the side of the highway before the South Smithville Road exit, according to a Dayton police report.

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