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If it costs $25.3 billion to be Santa, who could afford it?

Published: Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 1:22 PM

A History of Santa

A few weeks ago, I got an email from an English public relations strategist pointing me to the website of the United Kingdom’s “leading independent online florist” 

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The idea is that they did a “study” about how much it would cost to be Santa Claus (short answer: $25.3 billion) and I’m supposed to write something fun about that and you’re supposed to click the link to the study itself and end up on www.serenataflowers.com and decide to buy flowers for all your friends in England.

But a question came up. No, not why are they making their pitch to a guy in Texas who writes about puking snakeseating bugs and Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic (though that is also a valid question).

The question is, if it DID cost $25.3 billion to be Santa Claus, who COULD be Santa Claus? It seems that kind of financial requirement would narrow the list down quite a bit.

Right down to 29 people, as it turns out.

Looking at the Forbes list of billionaires, only the top 28 in the world have more than $25.3 billion (the children of the man who created the German supermarket giant Aldi share the No. 24 spot, if you’re wondering how we came to the number 29). 

Let’s narrow down who could be Santa Claus.

RULE NO. 1: Being Santa Claus for one year can’t wipe you out. Let’s say you need to have $12.5 billion left over to get you halfway to next Christmas. So you need at least $37.8 billion to make the cut.

That eliminates: Phil Knight (seemed like a contender), John Mars, Jacqueline Mars, David Thomson, Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr., Jack Ma (Christmas is big in China), Jorge Paulo Lemann, Steve Ballmer, Sheldon Adelson (perhaps a GOP Santa Claus), Li Ka-shing, Wang Jianlin and Wal-Mart heirs Alice, Jim and S. Robson Walton.

That leaves: Liliane Bettencourt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Bernard Arnault, Michael Bloomberg, David Koch, Charles Koch, Larry Ellison, Carlos Slim Helu, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

RULE NO. 2: Santa Claus has a long history and obviously has been wealthy for a good while. You have to have made the Forbes billionaire list 25 years ago … in 1992.

That eliminates: Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Bernard Arnault, Michael Bloomberg (perhaps a Democrat Santa Claus), Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega and Jeff Bezos (a natural at shipping logistics).

That leaves: Liliane Bettencourt, David Koch, Charles Koch, Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

RULE No. 3: You have to still be alive.

That eliminates: Liliane Bettencourt (the makeup heiress died this year after making the list)

That leaves: David Koch, Charles Koch, Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

RULE No. 4: Santa Claus lives at the North Pole and he is not a climate change skeptic. I mean, c’mon, he can see the effects of global warming right out of his workshop.

That eliminates: David Koch, Charles Koch

That leaves: Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

We’re down to our final three: Carlos Slim Helu doesn’t use a computer and keeps track of his businesses in detailed notebooks (he’s making a list, checking it twice?).  And Warren Buffett has a lengthy and impressive commitment to philanthropy.

But Bill Gates? He’s already been working at being Santa. This CNN story reveals that Gates has been participating in Reddit's Secret Santa Gift exchange for at least half a decade. Not only that, but as No. 1 on Forbes’ list, he’s got the money to keep this Santa thing going for quite a while.

I’m calling it. If being Santa Claus requires $25.3 billion, then Santa Claus has to be Bill Gates.

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False shooting report prompts police investigation at Centerville home

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:29 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:14 AM

Officers and medics responded to a home in the 8200 block of Rhine Way Monday morning on initial reports of an unresponsive person.

UPDATE @ 9:15 a.m.:

A report of a shooting after a home invasion robbery at a Centerville home was a false call, according to investigators. 

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Officers and medics were dispatched to the home in the 8200 block of Rhine Way around 8 a.m. after a man called dispatchers and claimed he shot an intruder. 

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Centerville police surrounded the house but found no initial evidence of a crime. Officers later forced entry into the home and found nothing. 

Police said the investigation will continue into who made the false call. 

Additional details were not available. 

FIRST REPORT

We’re working to learn more about a police investigation occurring at a Centerville home Monday morning. 

Officers and medics responded to a home in the 8200 block of Rhine Way around 8 a.m. on initial reports of am unresponsive person, according to scanner traffic. 

According to initial reports, a person called into dispatchers and said they shot an intruder, before hanging up. Police have not found any evidence of a crime at the house, but are continuing to investigate, according to scanner traffic and our crew on the scene. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

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2 in custody after cruiser struck, pursuit in Dayton

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 2:01 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 7:18 AM

2 in custody following pursuit in Dayton

A pursuit that started when a pickup truck struck a cruiser ended in Dayton early Monday morning with two in custody.

Around 1:10 a.m., deputies were dispatched to the 4100 block of Germantown Pike on reports of an intoxicated male who was acting disorderly and was driving a black truck.

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Deputies located the vehicle in the 3700 block of Germantown Pike, at which time the truck struck a deputy’s cruiser and fled, which started the pursuit.

The pursuit ended around 1:50 a.m. in the area of Gettysburg Avenue and Frytown Road. Two people, a man and woman, are in custody.

No injuries were reported.

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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:53 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 7:52 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic.

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • No major incidents to report

Surface Street Incidents

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>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west
  • I-75 between Northwoods Boulevard and the Miami County Line, Nightlylane closures June 4 - July 9 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Two lanes will remain open in each direction. 
  • I-75 between SR 48 and Needmore Road, Nightly lane closures April 29 - July 31 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Will become double lane closures at 10 p.m. 
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closure April 2, 2018 - April 1, 2019. One lane will remain open in each direction.

GREENE COUNTY

  • State Route 235 between Dayton Yellow Springs and Enon Roads, ROAD CLOSURE for six months. The official detour is U.S. 68, West Hyde, and West Enon Roads.
  • Trebein Road from U.S. 35, Lane restrictions April 16 - August, 2018 for construction of a right turn lane. One lane will remain maintained at all times with flagging operations. 

WARREN COUNTY

MIAMI COUNTY

  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 
  • US 36 between Scott Drive and Aerovent Drive, Lane closure April 26 - August 31. 

DARKE COUNTY

  • Arcanum Bears-Mill Road between Folkerth Road and Erisman Road, ROAD CLOSURE June 4 - August 3. The official detour is: SR 49 to US 36/US 127 to US 36
  • SR 49 between Rossburg Lighsville Road and SR 47, Daily lane closures May 28 - July 2 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 722 between Gordon-Landis Road and SR 49, Dailylane closures May 28 - July 2 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Sweitzer Street/ West Fourth Street between Pine Street and Sycamore Street, ROAD CLOSURE May 21 - May 31, 2019. The official detour is: Pine Street to Washington Avenue to Broadway.
  • US 36/US 127 between Hogpath Road and Horatio- Harris Creek Road, Daily lane closures April 30 - August 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

MERCER COUNTY

  • SR 49 between Park Road and Zehringer Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 18 - 25. The official detour is: SR 119 to SR 118 to SR 219.
  • SR 117 between US 127 and SR 116, Daily lane closures April 23 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

SHELBY COUNTY

  • SR 29 between SR 274 and Pleiman Road, Daily lane closures May 18 - June 30 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 66 between SR 47 and Russia Houston Road, Daily lane closures May 18 - June 30 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • SR 66 between SR 48 and Schlater Road, Daily lane closures May 14 - June 22 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times.  

CLARK COUNTY

  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north
  • Spangler Road south between Restoration Drive and I-70, Traffic pattern switch March 26 - August 15. Southbound Spangler Road traffic going to I-675 south and I-70 east will be moved to northbound side of I-675. Traffic will then be redirected to the southbound side of I-675 after passing over I-70. 
  • US 42 between Bershet Street and Short Street, ROAD CLOSURE July 9 - 13. The official detour is: SR 72 to I-70 to SR 41.

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY

  • US 36 between Zimmerman Road and Kite Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 11 - August 10. The official detour is: SR 235 to SR 29 to SR 560.

LOGAN COUNTY

  • SR 347 between Rogers Road and C - 154, ROAD CLOSURE June 29 - July 7. The official detour is: SR 347 to US 33 to SR 739 to SR 347.
  • SR 47 between County Road 12 and SR 292, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 4 - 25. The official detour is: County Road 5 to SR 540 to SR 292 to SR 47.
  • SR 274 between Morris Rose Road and SR 235, Daily lane closures May 1 - June 29 between 7 a.m. 5 p.m. 
  • SR 235 between SR 720 and SR 117, Daily lane closures May 1 - June 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 68 between SR 508 and Gunn Town Road, Daily lane closures April 23 - June 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

AUGLAIZE COUNTY

  • US 33 between SR 29 and I-75, Daily lane closures March 26 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction. 

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Driver flown to hospital after Clark County crash

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:00 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:34 AM

Jarod Thrush/Staff
Jarod Thrush/Staff

UPDATE @ 9:35 a.m.: 

A driver was flown to an area hospital by a medical helicopter following a crash on U.S. 68 in Moorefield Twp., Clark County Monday morning. 

LOCAL WEATHER: Heat Advisory in effect today; heat index to reach 100 degrees

State troopers said a car traveling south on U.S. 68 attempted to avoid a crash after a car pulled out in front of him at the intersection with Ohio 334. The car traveling south went up an embankment, over a guardrail, crossed all three lanes of traffic on U.S. 68 and crashed into the median wall, according to investigators. 

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The driver, only identified as a man, was trapped in the car, but was alert and talking with troopers while fire crews worked to free him from the wreckage. 

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The man was transported by CareFlight with injuries believed to be non-life threatening. 

Additional details were not available. 

FIRST REPORT

CareFlight is responding to a single-vehicle crash in Clark County.

The crash was reported just before 7 a.m. on Ohio 334 near U.S. 68. 

>> Heat Advisory in effect today as heat index reaches 100 degrees

It’s unknown how many people are injured.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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