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Premier to donate $400K to new west Dayton grocery

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 1:18 PM

            An architectural rendering of what the Gem City Market could look like, produced by Matt Sauer. CONTRIBUTED
An architectural rendering of what the Gem City Market could look like, produced by Matt Sauer. CONTRIBUTED

Premier Health today announced a donation of $400,000 toward a new grocery store proposed for an area of west Dayton that has limited access to fresh food.

DONATE: Valley Food Relief

The hospital system will contribute $80,000 each year for five years toward the Gem City Market, a grocery opening in 2019 on Salem Avenue just across the Great Miami River from downtown.

“This is a huge step forward for us not just in terms of the gift, but in partnership with an organization like Premier,” said Lela Klein, executive director Greater Dayton Union Co-op Initiative, the group raising money to get the market built.

Mary Boosalis, Premier’s president and CEO, was joined by former ambassador Tony Hall presenting a check to Gem City Market officials. Hall, also the region’s former Democratic congressman, served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agency for Food and Agriculture and returned to Dayton to start The Hall Hunger Initiative in 2015. The initiative is a partnership with the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area to collaborate with community stakeholders to reduce food insecurity.

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The ability to shop for affordable, nutritious food in a vast area of Dayton was already a struggle for many residents long before a fire destroyed an East Dayton store in November and an international grocery chain announced this month it was leaving Westown Shopping Center on the other side of the city, said organizers.

Organizers formed the Greater Dayton Union Co-op Initiative in 2015 to help alleviate an area food desert and bring sustainable jobs to the area.

The area that will be served by for the Gem City Market is considered a “food desert” based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition where more than 40 percent of the population lives more than a mile from a supermarket and has an income at 200 percent of the federal poverty line or lower.

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The group embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise $4.2 million which also included selling shares in the store for $100, which are also available on a subsidized basis to those with low incomes.

The goal is to have a 15,000-square-foot, full-service grocery up and running in the 100 block of Salem Avenue in 2019.

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Community garden in Xenia to take root this weekend

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 2:10 PM

Gabrielle Enright
(Gabrielle Enright)

The first seeds for a community garden will be planted this weekend at Lexington Park in Xenia.

The effort by a new coalition of entities called Community Roots is aimed at increasing access to fresh food for Xenia residents.

“Access to fresh produce is basically non-existent downtown and on the east end,” said Jillian Drew, health educator with Greene County Public Health. 

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The garden is being funded through a grant provided by the Ohio Department of Health and the county public health department.

“This is really about bringing community together, learning how to garden and do all these things as a unit,” Drew said.

Steve Short, a resident of the neighborhood for more than a decade, said the park is a perfect setting for the garden.

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“The soil is really good. Perfect place to grow things,” Short said of the field where plants will be installed.

Short said the garden will bring people in the neighborhood together.

“There's a lot of older people in this neighborhood and younger people and that's a good mix ... they'll build relationships and friendships,” he said.

Community Roots comprises Greene County Public Health, the city of Xenia, and the extension offices for Central State University and the Ohio State University. All will be represented for the garden planting and unveiling Saturday.

The event is scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. at Lexington Park, 1067 Lexington Ave., Xenia.

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Report: Rock comes crashing through RTA bus window

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 2:10 PM

A rock, believed to possibly have been thrown, came crashing through a passenger side rear door of an RTA bus Wednesday morning, according to a Dayton police report.

The incident was reported around 5:45 a.m. in the 3400 block of East Third Street.

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According to the report, one passenger was hit with flying glass and another was hit in the leg by the rock, however neither required transport to the hospital.

The RTA driver suspected some juveniles he had seen running in the area may have been responsible, however police have not made any arrests, according to the report.

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No victims found after reported shooting in Dayton

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:38 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:43 PM

Shots fired on Wyoming

UPDATE @ 12:43 p.m.: 

Police said no shooting victims were found after responding to reports of shots fired into a home in the 500 block of Wyoming Street in Dayton Thursday afternoon. 

Additional details were not immediately available. We’ll update this page as we learn more. 


Police have responded to reports of shots fired near the intersection of Wyoming Street and Wayne Avenue Thursday afternoon. 

Officers and medics were dispatched to the 500 block of Wyoming Street around 12:25 p.m. on initial reports of a person shot, according to emergency scanner traffic. 

Initial reports indicate there have been no victims found and medics were told to cancel their run to the scene. 

We have a crew on the scene and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

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Kettering man wants to open Dayton convenience store. Why the city said no.

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 1:43 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 1:50 PM

            The owner of this property on Wyoming Street in Dayton proposed turning it into a convenience store, but that was rejected by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals. CORNELIUS FROLIK/STAFF
The owner of this property on Wyoming Street in Dayton proposed turning it into a convenience store, but that was rejected by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals. CORNELIUS FROLIK/STAFF

A proposal for a new convenience store in southeast Dayton was derailed after neighbors and city staff lodged objections related to traffic and crime.

The high-traffic store, proposed for 1300 Wyoming St., is inappropriate for the residential area and property’s lack of direct off-street parking would be an issue, said Mike Schommer, chair of the Southeast land use committee.

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Residents of the Twin Towers and Walnut Hills neighborhoods have a quality of life they wish to maintain, and past commercial retail businesses contributed to crime problems and disturbances, Schommer said.

“This is not the right business for this neighborhood,” Schommer said.

The store failed to obtain the approvals it needed from a city board to move forward.

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Kettering resident Hussain Hussain asked Dayton’s Board of Zoning Appeals to approve a use variance so he could open a retail convenience store in an empty commercial space at the corner of Illinois and Wyoming streets.

The store would sell food, drinks, snacks, lottery tickets, money orders and other items. The store also submitted an application for a liquor license, neighbors said.

Illinois is a one-way street, which means there’s no direct access to the lot in the rear of the building, so customers would have to navigate residential roads and alleyways just to park, city staff said.

Some people don’t have cars, and the store would provide easier and more convenient access to food and other items for kids and residents who don’t want to have to walk all the way to Wayne Avenue, Hussain said.

Hussain said the new business would not lead to traffic congestion and headaches because most customers would arrive on foot. He said the business would have new lighting and cameras to make the property safe and secure.

But the city received several letters from neighbors who opposed the new store, staff said. Some citizens said the roads are narrow and residential and would be harmed by commercial traffic.

“They also noted that previous uses in that area that were commercial did have a lot of crime, robberies, vehicles getting backed up on Wyoming Street,” said Abigail Free, city of Dayton planner.

Since those businesses closed, the neighborhood has seen a decrease in crime, noise and disturbances and citizens feel safer, Free said.

Schommer said the building can be put to other productive uses, and there are other businesses that sell the same kinds of products the store would several blocks away on Wayne Avenue.

“We do not want a high-traffic business to affect the lives of residents of Twin Towers and Walnut Hills,” he said.

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