The brand new IHOP that didn’t open. What’s the holdup?

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Miller Lane IHOP breakfast restaurant on Benchwood Road near York Commons has not opened, and its potential customers want to know why.

The parking lot is striped, the brand-new chairs are neatly stacked atop the brand-new dining tables, the occupancy permit has been obtained. The only things missing are employees, customers, an unlocked front door — and a short stack of pancakes or two. 

>>GUIDE: 7 places to eat breakfast for dinner in Dayton

The IHOP restaurant that was built last fall and this winter at 3324 Benchwood Road near the Miller Lane/York Commons development in Vandalia is all revved up and ready to go, but it still has not opened. And no one is saying exactly why. 

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>> Here’s a first look at the new Asian restaurant that opens Friday at The Greene

Messages were left with a spokeswoman for IHOP corporate, the CEO of the company that is acting as area developer for IHOP in the region and with a franchise owner-operator of the Dayton-area IHOP restaurants in Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Springfield. Those messages have not been returned. 

>> RELATED: IHOP restaurants returning to Dayton area (October 2014)

A spokeswoman for Las Cruces, New Mexico-based PDG/Prestige Development Group, the development company that has overseen development of the other three Dayton-Springfield IHOPs, told this news outlet in January that the restaurant was scheduled to open in early February. In late January, the spokeswoman revised the opening date to mid-March. Last week, on April 13, the same spokeswoman said, “I don’t yet have a date” for the restaurant’s opening.

>> ‘Too much competition’ forces Miamisburg restaurant to close

Rich Hopkins, a spokesman for the city of Vandalia, said there are no hangups from the city’s perspective, and city officials have not been notified of the reasons for the delay. In fact, the restaurant received its occupancy permit from the city — usually the final or nearly final bureaucratic step necessary before a retail establishment’s opening — on Feb. 2.

>>RELATED: You can now get Ohio’s favorite sweet treat in pancake form

Potential customers are getting curious and a bit impatient.

>>GUIDE: 6 must-try Dayton diners

“I get inquiries on it all the time by community members and business people,” said Will Roberts, president and CEO of the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce. An employee of the Frisch’s restaurant across the street said she is asked about the dormant-but-brand-new restaurant by many of her customers. 

>>RELATED: IHOP moves ahead with Dayton-area expansion plans (January 2016)

If or when the restaurant does open, IHOP will have doubled its Miami Valley footprint since last summer as part of the chain’s re-entry into the Dayton-area market. An IHOP opened Sept. 5, 2017 at 7611 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights.  

>>RELATED: New Dayton-area IHOP now open, another location on the way

IHOP opened the first of what had been projected to be as many as seven IHOP locations in the region in October 2015 on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, and the second one in October 2016 on Bechtle Avenue in Springfield.

>>RELATED: IHOP opening two more Dayton-area locations (December 2016)

The region had multiple IHOP locations in the 1970s and 1980s, including one near Ohio 725 and Ohio 741 near the Dayton Mall and one on Shiloh Springs Road near the former Salem Mall, but those restaurants closed nearly three decades ago.

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Ribbon-cutting held for Perfections Beauty College opening

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 7:43 PM

Perfections Beauty College held a ribbon-cutting with the city Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

This Beauty College is located at 7806 Waynetown Blvd., where the old Carousel Beauty College was located.

When Carousel Beauty College abruptly closed about two years ago, over 300 students in the Dayton region were unable to finalize their education, said City Council Member of Huber Heights Richard Shaw.

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OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Carousel Beauty College shuts its five locations

Perfections Beauty College has revamped and renovated this location and is coming in to help students continue their education that they had with Carousel.

“We are hoping to bring back as many students from the Carousel institutions as we can in hopes that they can keep the hours they worked for with that institution,” said one of the owners Kailey Yolanda. “Our goal is to help the students in reaching their diploma as they should have with Carousel.”

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Car flips on its top, catches fire in Dayton

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 12:44 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 1:00 PM

N. Broadway accident

UPDATE @ 1:00 p.m.:

Police on scene told us one man was taken to a hospital but is in good condition after he struck an RTA pole and flipped his car on its top.

Man arrested in Riverside SWAT standoff ID’d, report says

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The driver was the only person involved in the accident, police said.

He lost control of his car before striking the pole.

A tow truck just left the scene and the road should open back up soon.


A road is closed after a vehicle flipped on its top and caught fire in Dayton Sunday.

Crews responded to the scene at North Broadway Street and Superior Avenue around 11:38 a.m., regional dispatchers confirmed.

North Broadway Street between Grand Avenue and Superior Avenue is closed, according to our crew on scene.

Dispatch advised people take an alternate route.

Everyone was able to get out of the vehicle, dispatch said.

We are working to learn the cause of this accident and if there were any injuries.

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Greene County voters may decide on new tax for career center

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 12:18 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 12:18 PM

            The Greene County Career Center, 2960 W. Enon Road, may be on the move to a new facility at U.S. 68 and U.S. 35 if voters approve a bond issue in November. CONTRIBUTED
The Greene County Career Center, 2960 W. Enon Road, may be on the move to a new facility at U.S. 68 and U.S. 35 if voters approve a bond issue in November. CONTRIBUTED

Voters in Greene County will decide whether to approve a new tax to pay for a new career center that would be built at U.S. 68 and U.S. 35.

The proposal is for a 20-year, 1.03-mill bond issue that would generate approximately $4.1 million a year while costing homeowners about $36 for every $100,000 worth of property.

Building the new facility is estimated to be a $62 million project, part of which would be paid for through savings achieved by the district, according to Greene County Career Center Superintendent Dave Deskins.

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RELATED: Greene County voters will be asked for 4 levy renewals in November

About $18 million has been saved from two sources: A settlement on a faulty workmanship claim from work in 2010 and the permanent improvement levy that voters approved in 1996, which was the last time voters approved new revenue for the career center, Deskins said.

“Between savings and contributions from business and industry, we will be able to equip the facility for generations to come,” Deskins said. “The career center has been working to save diligently to pay toward this. We’re currently in a position to contribute a substantial portion to support the project.”

Deskins said they tried to avoid this tax request by lobbying to change state law and allow the Ohio School Facilities Commission to help fund a new career center. The OSFC can fund renovations and remodeling projects but not new construction for career centers, Deskins said.

Language was included in the state’s last budget bill that would have changed the law, but when it reached Gov. John Kasich’s desk, it was one of 47 line-item vetoes.

“We were really close to finding a way to have the state help with this project,” Deskins said.

Most voters are supportive of building a new career center, if programming is expanded, according to a survey of voters that the Career Center conducted.

According to the survey, 59 percent of voters would support a new construction project, while 41 percent said “no.”

The potential new location at U.S. 68 and U.S. 35 is about eight miles away from the Career Center’s current campus on West Enon Road. Deskins said the proposed site is more centrally located for the county’s seven districts and would be closer for five of the seven districts served by the career center.

The Career Center has big plans for the new initiative “Take Flight,” which aims to train students to enter the aerospace and aviation industry. Deskins cites a job market study that indicates significant demand for skilled workers in engineering, manufacturing and information technology related to the aviation industry.

Deskins said the current facility at 2960 W. Enon Road was built in 1967, and the electric system is inadequate to accommodate new technology and equipment.

“This is an incredible opportunity not only for Greene County but for the region,” Deskins said. “We know it’s going to have an impact on Ohio’s economy.”

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Self-neglected seniors: Some ‘passed away without anybody realizing it’

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 11:55 AM
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 11:55 AM

Ann Foster, who retired from the Air Force, credits activities like exercise classes at the Fairborn Senior Center and volunteer work at 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, the Fairborn Historical Society and others with keeping her engaged in the community. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
Ann Foster, who retired from the Air Force, credits activities like exercise classes at the Fairborn Senior Center and volunteer work at 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, the Fairborn Historical Society and others with keeping her engaged in the community. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

The recent discovery that a Kettering man was living alone in failing health as another man’s body lie in the house for years is an extreme example but illustrates how older Americans sometimes become invisible within plain sight of neighbors and away from families.

“Good or bad, one of the realities is that as someone ages, your circle of friends tends to shrink. And we’re seeing that more and more with increased longevity of individuals …,” said Douglas McGarry, executive director of the Area Agency on Aging.

MORE: Kettering remains: She came to reconnect with family. What happened next was ‘like a Netflix documentary’

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People like Denny Berry, 83, the Kettering home’s owner, drift toward isolation, fall away from acquaintances and family and through society’s safety nets.

More elderly, more living alone

In 1950, only 10 percent of Americans over the age of 65 lived alone. Today, almost a third do. And for those 85 and older, the figure rises to about half.

Longer lifespans coupled with divorce and smaller family sizes have increased the likelihood of living single during later years, said McGarry. His nonprofit agency works to keep older adults in their homes in Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties.

A vast majority of senior citizens remain connected to society and lead active lives, McGarry said.

“We tend to focus on this one (Kettering) case and not enough on all of the successes out there,” said McGarry. “Literally, there are thousands of people out there who are successfully living by themselves, engaged in their community.”

Estrangement from children is cited as factor in some cases and may have played a role in the recent Kettering case. But a family split is typically not why older parents live alone, statistics show.

Despite a common misperception, it’s not that children’s loyalty to parents is waning, it’s that about 90 percent of older Americans choose to age on their own, according to a 2013 Council on Contemporary Families study.

‘I don’t have anyone’

But for some like Kathleen Carver, there’s little choice but to live alone. The retired schoolteacher has no children and a lone surviving sibling lives many states away.

“I’m the only one in my family. I don’t have anyone really close,” said Carver, 83, who moved to Fairborn in 2010 to be with a sister, who since died.

Carver is hardly wanting for community, though, finding friends at her older adult apartment building.

RELATED: Coroner IDs remains found in Kettering home, believes man died in 2007

“It makes it nice because you have your own apartment, and yet you have neighbors that are close you’ve made friends with that kind of check on you,” said Carver, who spent her career teaching music in Houston.

She also made a new “family” at the Fairborn Senior Center, which also provides a number of government services.

On any given day, Carver has multiple people checking up on her: those from her church, a housekeeper hired through the senior center, her friends in a dominoes group, not to mention the Happy Hookers, her knitting and crocheting circle.

“I would be kind of lost,” Carver said of living without all the supports – particularly those provided by the Fairborn Senior Center.

Last year, the center assisted 3,000 seniors in the Fairborn area either through transportation, outreach, homemaking or activities, said Executive Director Ellen Slone-Farthing.

“A lot of the seniors here, either their families are not engaged with them or their families don’t live around here, so we become their family,” she said.

About 28 percent of seniors age 65 and older live alone, according to Census Bureau data. In Montgomery County the number is nearly a third. But that’s not necessarily cause for alarm, McGarry said.

MORE: Man stole homes from the elderly — and the dead

“Just because someone lives alone, that’s not a bad thing. If you’re independent, a lot of people enjoy living by themselves and being very private,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s kind of almost incumbent upon that individual to think out farther then just next week, next month – but look into the future and say, ‘What are my options?’ ‘What happens if I get sick? What happens if I can’t drive anymore? Who can take me to the doctor?’ – to plan the next stage of your life.”

Because of a lack of standardized state reporting, its unclear exactly how many older Ohioans live alone but are on the knife-edge of peril, said Emily Muttillo, applied research fellow at the Center for Community Solutions. But research by the Cleveland-based nonpartisan think tank suggests the number is concerning.

Self-neglect was the most commonly reported type of elder abuse — above physical, sexual or financial — to the state’s Adult Protective Services, according to a study of seven Ohio counties published in June by the center.

MORE: New county scam alert keeps ‘an eye on your property when you can’t’

“People have self-neglected to the point where they have passed away without anybody realizing it or had become so sick that it had become a crisis,” said Emily Muttillo, Center for Community Solutions applied research fellow.

While the study did not include area counties, the state’s three largest counties were examined along with four others.

“We know that it is happening in those seven counties and can pretty much assume it’s probably the most reported type of elder abuse across our state,” Muttillo said.

Because self-abuse doesn’t implicate others, however, it may be reported more often, she said.

Planning for care

Ann Foster of Fairborn said she’s studying now for the next phase of her life.

“I have a book I got recently about what to do when you get older, long-term care and that kind of thing,” she said. “I’ve also been detail-oriented. Then you add 20 years in the Air Force, you kind of know how to plan things.”

The 78-year-old has few living relatives beyond cousins in Springfield.

MORE: No retirement in sight: 5 reasons people are working longer in Ohio

“One will be in charge when it’s time for me to join my parents in the cemetery,” Foster said.

But she’s not resting there yet, or anywhere.

Active in her church, Foster also helps train service dogs at 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, is a member of Fairborn Area Historical Society and the Fairborn Veterans Memorial committee as well as historian for her American Legion Post. And she still wants to take dulcimer lessons.

“Maybe because of my service time, I’m always involved,” said Foster during a break from a group yoga class last week.

‘Loneliness is a disease’

As Foster and other older adults work to keep their minds and bodies engaged and healthy, isolation can have the opposite effect, McGarry said.

“Bad things can happen if you lose contact,” he said. “Loneliness is a disease and it can be as deadly as a heart condition or cancer.”

A number of studies show isolation can have far-reaching negative effects, diminishing mental health and increasing the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Studies in 2010 suggest the risk factor is equal to smoking and alcohol consumption and could be greater threat to health than obesity.

MORE: Dayton Foundation seeks older adults to work with nonprofits

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, presented a compendium of the stark findings at last year’s American Psychological Association convention.

“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need — crucial to both well-being and survival. Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment,” Holt-Lunstad said. “Yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experiences isolation regularly.”

Communicate before a crisis

Slone-Farthing said resources are available locally to enhance the lives of those living alone with recreation activities, homemaking assistance and transportation. But it may come to the point people can no longer care for themselves and Adult Protective Services must be called.

“If they don’t seem to want to get out of their homes, something’s happened,” she said.

But adults remain free to make their own decisions until a probate judge says otherwise, McGarry said.

“It’s not like when you’re dealing with children,” he said “With an older person, you can’t do that. Even though it may not be in their best interest to live alone or isolate themselves, unless they have been adjudicated to be incapable of making decisions for themselves, services cannot be forced upon them.”

Despite the myriad avenues to connect via phone, text, email and social media, the lines of communication are often frayed on both sides, McGarry said.

“Reach out and talk to people. Talk to your neighbor, your family, your friends, your grandchildren, your nieces, your nephews. And do it before there is a crisis, rather than after.”


Two regional private, non-profit organization organizations are the state-designated contact agencies for federal and state aging programs aimed at keeping older Ohioans and those with disabilities in their homes and combatting elder abuse.

Area Agency on Aging

Serves Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties.

937-223-4357 or toll-free 1-800-258-7277

Council on Aging of Southwest Ohio

Serves Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties.

513-721-1025 or toll-free 1-800-252-0155

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