Popular Kettering bar closing; owners cite ‘greed’

Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 11:31 AM

Joe Tellmann (center) and his band will perform at Dayton Blues Society’s annual Christmas Party & Jam at the Phone Booth Lounge in Kettering on Saturday, Dec. 3. CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer
Joe Tellmann (center) and his band will perform at Dayton Blues Society’s annual Christmas Party & Jam at the Phone Booth Lounge in Kettering on Saturday, Dec. 3. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

The owners of a popular Kettering bar cite “greed” as the reason they will close their bar that dates back to 1964 in its current location. 

Jack and Betty Wilderman announced the January 20, 2018 closure of The Phone Booth Lounge, 1554 E. Stroop Road, on Facebook Saturday 

They say negotiations with property owners Agust and Lou Ella “Susie” Thorbjornsson have failed.

>> 2017 IN REVIEW: 6 Dayton-area restaurants that closed this year

Reached by phone Monday, Mrs. Thorbjornsson said the Wildermans offered to pay $278,000 for the building and land, far less than the amount she believes they agreed upon.

The contract the Wildermans signed nearly 5 years ago specifies that the property and building would be purchased for $620,000, she says. She disputes the Wildermans assertion that the sale was optional. 

“They notified us the first time in August and they gave us two choices, neither of which we wanted: take what (they) were offering or they would move,” Thorbjornsson said. “I just feel they have not followed the contract to the letter. Maybe I am being a little picky, but a contract is a contract.” 

The club has darts and pool tables and features live music Friday and Saturday nights. 

Messages were left on Facebook and on Jack Wilderman’s cell phone seeking comment. 

The Facebook post from the Wildermans reads:

******* IMPORTANT NOTICE******** 

As of February 1st it has been 5 years since Betty and I bought the business, The Phone Booth Lounge. When we bought the business, we did so with a 5 year lease with the option to buy the property upon completion of the Lease. We are saddened to report that negotiations with the owners of the property have fallen apart. They are asking 250% more than the appraised value of the property. To meet these demands would be a financial disaster for Betty and me. We are announcing today that the Phone Booth Lounge will close on January 20th, 2018. Betty and I are searching for a new venue to continue the name and second home to so many The Phone Booth Lounge. We have come so far in 5 years, we hate to end it at this location, but greed has over shadowed the success of what Betty and I have built. We have so many people to thank for this success. But just keep in mind, we will prevail and be better than ever. We will post any updates as they arise. 

Thank you for your support 

Jack and Betty

The tenative value of the land and building is listed as $243,690 on the Montgomery County Auditors website. 

The Phone Booth Lounge was founded in 1964 and had multiple owners before the Thorbjornssons purchased it in 1985. 

>> Kettering restaurant shuts down after 7 years

They operated it for 27 years before turning the business over to the Wildermans. 

“We really enjoyed the people and we enjoyed making sure everyone was taken care of and had a good time,” Mrs. Thorbjornsson said. 

She did not immediately know what will happen to the space if the Wildermans leave. 

“I think once you enter into a contract you should honor that contract,” Thorbjornsson said.  

>> Restaurant shuts down abruptly at The Greene

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Police: Kettering officer struck by drunk driver on SB I-75 expected to be okay

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 9:47 PM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:18 AM

Police: Officer struck on I-75 hit by suspected drunk driver

A Miami Twp. police officer responding to a series of crashes on Interstate 75 was struck by a drunk driver Saturday evening.

The man who police said struck a Miami Twp. police officer has been identified as Adam Blackmore, 33, of Miamisburg. Blackmore was booked into Montgomery County Jail and faces OVI charges as well as traffic related offenses for the crash, according to Sgt. Matt Robinson of the Dayton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Blackmore was no longer listed as an inmate Monday morning.

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Adam Blackmore, 33, of Miamisburg

The officer, who has not been identified, was thrown 10 to 12 feet when he was struck by a white pickup truck. The officer sustained “soft tissue injuries” and “no broken bones,” said Sgt. Frank Edward Simmons Jr. of the Dayton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The officer was responding to a series of crashes that occurred around 9 p.m.

Everyone involved in the crashes sustained non-life threatening injuries, according to Simmons.

The first crash occurred when a semi and red impala collided, causing the impala to lose control, drive off the roadway and strike a light pole which knocked it into the roadway, Simmons said.

An SUV then braked to avoid hitting the light pole, causing a Mercedes to strike the back of the SUV, according to Simmons.

Simmons said Miami Twp. police then arrived on scene of the crashes and that’s when the officer was struck at the 44 mile marker.

The driver was traveling southbound and drove off the right side of the roadway, striking the officer.

>>Two-vehicle accident sends one to hospital in Greene County

“It kind of hits close to home to let you know that this profession is inherently dangerous. When you throw an impaired driver into the mix, that makes things that much worse,” Simmons said. 

Following the crash, a police source at the hospital said the officer, who was not named, “is awake but very sore.”

The officer was likely to spend the night at Kettering Medical Center.

All lanes reopened on southbound I-75 at Ohio 725 just after 2 a.m.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 1:18 AM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 7:26 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

  • On eastbound I-70 near Bellefontaine Road in Huber Heights, a semi crasged into a guardrail around 6:35 a.m. As of 7:25 a.m., only the left lane is open. HAZMAT has been requested to the scene to help with diesel fuel cleanup.

Surface Street Incidents

  • On Needmore Road and Webster Street in Harrison Twp., vehicle crash reported around 2:45 a.m. 
  • On N. Center Street in Versailles, a semi was reportedly struck by a train around 12:30 a.m. No injuries were reported. 
  • On Superior Avenue and N. Broadway Street in Dayton, crash reported around 10 p.m. 

    >> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

    >> 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. 


    • 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.
    • SR 4 north/south between I-70 and Lower Valley Pike, Lane closure April 2 - 26. One northbound and two southbound lanes will remain open. 
    • 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. 
    • Airport Access Road South between US 40 and I-70, Lane closure April 2 - 27. One southbound lane will remain open. 
    • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closure April 2, 2018 - April 1, 2019. One lane will remain open in each direction.


    • Red Stewart Airfield (Waynesville Airport) and State Route 725, lane closures April 23 - 27 from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. 
    • 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. 



    • 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. 


    • SR 49 between Hollansburg-Sampson Road and Arcanum Bears Mill Road, Lane closure April 16 - May 16. One lane will remain open in each direction through the use of portable signal.
    • SR 716 between Washington Street and Water Street, ROAD CLOSURE April 16 - 22. The official detour is SR 705 to SR 364 to SR 119


    • SR 49 between Frank Road and Winkler Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE April 9 - 22. The official detour is SR 49 to SR 707 E to SR 118 N to US 33 W to SR 49
    • SR 117 between US 127 and SR 116, Daily lane closures April 23 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 
    • SR 49 between Menchhofer Road and SR 219, ROAD CLOSURE April 16 - 30. The official detour is: SR 29 to SR 118 to SR 219
    • SR 707 between Taylor Road and Lewis Street, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is US 127 north to SR 117 east 


    • 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. 
    • SR 274 between Shroyer Road and Island Avenue, Lane closure April 9 - June 9. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
    • SR 66 between Basinburg Road and Mason Road, ROAD CLOSURE April 9 - May 11. The official detour is: SR 66 to SR 47 to I-75 to SR 29 to SR 705 to SR 66


    • 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. 


    • Upper Valley Pike between State Route 296 and Lippincott Road, ROAD CLOSURE, starting April 16 for approximately four weeks.


    • US 68 between SR 508 and Township Road 310, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is: US 68 to SR 296 to SR 29 to SR 235 to SR 47 to US 68. 
    • SR 235 between Township Road 93 and Township Road 250, ROAD CLOSURE April 30 - May 4. The official detour is SR 366 to US 33 to SR 385 to SR 117/SR 235.
    • 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. 


    • SR 197 between Township Road 117A and Ridge Street, Lane closure April 2 - May 3. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of temporary signal.
    • SR 116 between Hesse Road and Baker-Wright Road, Lane closure April 2 - 30. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of temporary signal.
    • 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. 
    • US 33 between SR 65 and Center Street, Lane closure April 16 - May 9. One lane will remain open in each direction through the use of temporary signal.

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    On, off rain showers expected for the afternoon 

    Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:34 AM

    Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini times out the showers we will track this week.

    >> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


    • Showers return today
    • Staying mild this week
    • Drying out towards end of work week

    >> 5-Day Forecast


    TODAY: A dry morning with clouds increasing. Showers are expected this afternoon, which means your drive home will likely be a wet one and you’ll want to give yourself some extra time. Temperatures reach around 60 degrees, which is close to normal and it’ll be breezy with off and on showers/downpours through the day and night.

    TUESDAY: Rain showers return through the morning. Mostly cloudy and breezy for the day as highs peak in the upper 50s. A stray shower or two linger into the late afternoon and evening.

    >> County-by-County Weather 

    WEDNESDAY: Any early showers end quickly, so expect dry time for the rest of the day. Broken clouds will allow for some sunshine and highs reach around 60 degrees again.

    THURSDAY: A nice day with some sunshine and dry conditions. More sun returns in the afternoon with highs in the low 60s.

    FRIDAY: A dry start to the day with plenty of sunshine. It’ll become breezy in the afternoon with highs in the middle 60s. A passing rain shower is possible in the evening as well. 

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    1 in custody after pursuit suspect crashes, flees on foot

    Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:11 AM
    Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 4:41 AM

    SCENE: Crash ends Dayton pursuit, suspect arrested

    UPDATE @ 4 a.m: One person is in police custody after leading police on a pursuit and crashing on Webster Street in Vandalia. 

    >> Deputy injured, suspect in custody after Champaign Co. standoff

    The pursuit started when the suspect fled a traffic stop at Main Street and Maplelawn Drive in Dayton. 

    “Initial reports indicate he was going 100 plus”, said Sgt. Dallas Root of the Ohio Highway State Patrol.

    The OSP trooper initially chose not to pursue the vehicle for safety reasons, however, during a routine patrol the  suspect vehicle passed a trooper in the area of Needmore Road and Interstate 75.

    A second traffic stop was attempted, and the suspect fled north on Interstate 75. The suspect then got off at Benchwood Road, got on southbound I-75, exited the highway at Wagner Ford Road, got back on northbound I-75, exited the highway at Benchwood Road a second time, then turned east toward Webster Street.

    Troopers backed off due to speed and the curvy road. 

    The vehicle then crashed in the area of Webster Street and Wyse Road around 2:45 a.m.

    The suspect, who was described as “extremely intoxicated,” attempted to flee police, but was quickly captured after a perimeter was set up. 

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    He was being examined by medics on scene and was taken to Montgomery County Jail. The driver, who has not been identified, is being detained on charges of fleeing, eluding, OVI and other charges.

    No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

    Butler Twp and Vandalia police assisted.

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