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Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 2:00 PM
OXFORD — Locals watching the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day will catch a glimpse of Talawanda Middle School student Mary Perkins, a cancer survivor who will ride on a float in the Pasadena, Calif., parade.
Perkins was nominated to be a part of the popular parade earlier this year by the oncology staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center due to her positive attitude while battling cancer.
Northwestern Mutual is highlighting the experiences of children at the company-sponsored summer camps with their float themed “Letting Kids be Kids.”
Perkins will ride on the float with her friend Nina Friedline, 12. The float will have a summer camp theme and the two will be seated in one of two canoes that will actually move simulating a race.
Perkins, 14, has been to NjoyItAll Camp four times, once with Friedline three years ago. She said those camp experiences have been bright spots in her cancer. Having cancer battle.
“There are some things I would have never been able to do without (having cancer) — the Rose Parade, being able to meet some amazing people,” she said.
Her father John Perkins, a Talawanda High School graduate, said the camp has been a positive for the entire family.
“There are a lot of hard memories for her,” he said. “Camp has been a bright spot.”
The eighth-grader’s cancer saga started when she was 2½ years old and a tumor the size of a baseball was discovered on the right side of her brain. That led to a series of surgeries and 18 months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“We spent a lot of time at Children’s for two years,” said her mother Kim Perkins. “We had 150 days there the first year.”
Perkins had to relearn how to walk because she lost most of the function on her left side.
She then had to deal with seizures and a growth was discovered in her ear, which could have affected her balance. The family left for Boston for treatment of that problem which proved to be benign but did require a long recovery.
“I remember my dad asking me, did you like Boston? I said, ‘Not through a hospital window,’ ” she said.
In October, she had yet another surgery. This one on her leg, leaving her in a cast, which she hopes will be gone by New Year’s Day.
Perkins has now had 15 surgeries in her young life, prompting both a regret and a joke for the always-smiling optimistic young lady.
“My surgeries are older than me,” she said. “I don’t think I should have more surgeries than years.”
Northwestern Mutual sent a video team to Oxford last month and filmed Perkins and Friedline in a variety of activities at Miami University’s Western Lodge. The company held similar sessions with the other two float participants and are producing short videos that will be released this week on their website. People are invited to view the videos and vote on them, with the winner’s summer camp receiving a $20,000 donation.
“Every kid deserves to experience laughter, adventure and fun,” said Eric Christophersen, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation in a statement on the company’s website. “This year’s float is our way of recognizing and thanking the individuals and families who have inspired us and others in this fight.”
The trip promises to be a memorable one for Perkins, amid a lifetime of less-than-pleasant memories.
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 2:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 8:24 AM
KETTERING — UPDATE @ 4:17 p.m. (April 24):
Two men arrested on suspicion of a home invasion in Kettering have been charged.
Kendal Trullinger and Gage Smith are each charged with aggravated robbery, robbery and aggravated burglary, according to records.
Trullinger remained in jail Tuesday afternoon, however Smith was no longer in custody.
Both men are scheduled to be back in court on April 27.
UPDATE @ 2:57 p.m. (April 18):
Surveillance video obtained by this news organization, and verified by police shows, the two men who are accused of a home invasion on Fairacres Drive before and after the alleged incident.
UPDATE @ 12:13 p.m. (April 18):
Kettering police have identified the two men arrested for their suspected role in a home invasion on Fairacres Drive Tuesday morning.
Kendel Ray Trullinger, 20, and Gage Smith, 18, were both arrested on suspicion of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, according to a Kettering police report.
Formal charges in the case have not yet been filed, according to court records.
UPDATE @ 8:25 a.m. (April 18):
Arrests have been made in connection to a home invasion robbery in Kettering Tuesday morning, according to a police spokesperson.
The identities of those arrested were not immediately available.
FIRST REPORT (April 17):
Two men held the occupant of a Kettering home at gunpoint during a home invasion robbery Tuesday morning, according to police.
Officers responded to the home in the 900 block of Fairacres Drive in Kettering around 10 a.m. after a caller reported the robbery occurred about an hour before.
The victim said two men climbed into the house through a window, pointed a gun at the victim who was in a bedroom at the time of the robbery, according to initial details from Kettering police.
Both men began to steal items from the victim before fleeing the area, according to police and initial reports.
Police said they have suspect descriptions, but they were not immediately available to be released.
It was not known if anyone inside the home was injured.
Published: Monday, March 05, 2018 @ 6:22 PM
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2018 @ 4:12 PM
— It’s the words some people have waited nearly three decades to hear: The Dayton Arcade is going to reopen.
The project is not in doubt, says Cross Street Partners, the project’s lead developer: It’s definitely happening.
Though previous proposals to revitalize the arcade fizzled out, Cross Street Partners has never had a project progress to this point and not finish, said Bill Struever, principal of Cross Street Partners.
“We’re way too pregnant,” said Struever.
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Last week, this newspaper broke the news that Miller-Valentine Group, one of the largest commercial real estate developers in the region, has pulled out of a project to create new housing in the Dayton Arcade, electing to take a back seat from efforts to revitalize the famed complex.
But two big players in urban redevelopment — Cincinnati-based Model Group and St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar — have signed on as partners on the arcade, and Struever says they are better suited for the work.
Model Group and McCormack Baron Salazar are “powerhouses” in tax credit investments and new market or historic reuse projects that have large extensive experience completing large and complicated projects, he said.
There are always things that could still go wrong with the arcade project, Struever said: Like any project, tenants can pull out, leasing can hit a snag and construction can face delays.
But the arcade is headed toward a closing on financing in July, with construction beginning soon after, he said.
“Things changed with Miller-Valentine — that’s unfortunate — but we roll with it and we have a terrific team,” Struever said.
Miller-Valentine Group has withdrawn from the housing component of the Dayton arcade. The company said it will be involved in the leasing of the commercial component and continues to work with Cross Street on multiple capital raising initiatives.
The departure has not signficantly impacted the project, except the partners’ plans now include expanding the arts component of the arcade and modifying the mix of units on the residential side, officials said.
Some amenity space in the basement of the Fourth Street building will be turned into artists’ studio space.
Model Group had a lead role in transforming the Over-the-Rhine (OTR) neighborhood in Cincinnati from a riot-damaged wasteland, featuring vacant and crumbling buildings, into one of the hottest destinations in the Queen City.
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In the 2000s, the company helped clean-up the neighborhood, which struggled with blight and crime, by restoring 73 historic buildings and creating 383 units of affordable, “high-quality” housing.
Since 2006, more than 175 new businesses have opened in the neighborhood.
Model Group’s investment in Over-the-Rhine alone is north of $200 million. The firm has completed more than $500 million in development in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
The Model Group has been one of the most active historic tax credit developers and general contractors in the state the last 15 years, said Bobby Maly, principal of the firm.
The project, which opened in the 1990s, turned the downtown YMCA tower into about 59 apartments as well as townhouses and apartments between West Monument and the Great Miami River. There are 233 apartments in total.
McCormack Baron Salazar has developed 195 projects in 46 cities in 26 states and U.S. Territories, including 21,290 housing units and 1.2 million square feet of commercial space, with development costs of $3.9 billion.
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 12:32 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four people were killed when a nearly nude gunman, armed with an AR-15, opened fire at a Nashville, Tennessee, Waffle House Sunday.
Travis Reinking, is the suspected shooter, was arrested Monday afternoon after police got a tip about a man crossing into a wooded area near the Waffle House.
Those killed have been identified as Akilah DaSilva, 23, DeEbony Groves, 21, Joe R. Perez, 20, and Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29. Two others, Shanita Waggoner, 21, and Sharita Henderson, 24, were injured.
Here is what we know about the victims.
DaSilva was at the restaurant with his older brother and Waggonner, his girlfriend of five years. He was critically wounded at the restaurant and later died at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
The 23-year-old was a musical engineering student at Middle Tennessee State University and a musician who went by the stage name Natrix, his mother, Shaundell Brooks, told WTVF.
The family released the following statement on DaSilva:
“Akilah DaSilva also known as Natrix (his stage name) was a humble kind and well respected young man. His character spoke volumes. One of 6 loving siblings, Akilah was passionate about his music, family, and life. He was pursuing a career in musical engineering at MTSU. He had a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that would warm your heart. He embodied compassion and had a zeal for life. A loving son and selfless friend, he was a beacon of hope, love, and strength in his family.
“His family hopes that in the midst of this senseless act of terrorism and hate, his life will not be in vain. We hope that this tremendous loss will spark tangible action in true gun law reform so no other family would ever have to experience this sort of tragedy.
“In the wake of this tragic event, The DaSilva Family welcomes prayers, words of comfort, and any contribution during their time of grief.”
A GoFundMe page has been created by the family. It has surpassed its $10,000 goal.
A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Groves was with some of her sorority sisters, including Henderson, at the Waffle House, WKRN reported. She was fatally shot in the restaurant. The New York Times reported she was a senior sociology major at Belmont University and worked two jobs
“The entire campus community is shocked and devastated by how such senseless violence has taken the life of this young woman, an individual full of immense potential,” the school said in a statement. “We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends as they come to terms with unimaginable grief.”
Groves’ grandmother, Carolyn Groves, told the NYT she would always find time to visit her.
“She was a sweetheart,” Groves said of her granddaughter.
Police told The Tennessean Henderson is in critical but stable condition.
Delta Sigma Theta president Beverly E. Smith said in a statement that the sorority will mourn the injuries and loss of life.
“Sorors, we will honor those who have lost their lives or who have been affected by gun violence by raising our voices, casting our votes and standing on the side of justice in our communities,” Smith said. “We mourn this loss today, but we will not let this act of violence silence our will to do what is right.”
Joe R. Perez
The Associated Press reported that, according to a police statement, Perez, 20, was killed in the parking lot of the Waffle House with Taurean Sanderlin, 29.
“Please say a prayer for my family for today is the hardest day of my life,” the post said. “Me, my husband and sons are broken right now with this loss. Our lives are shattered.”
The New York Times reported that Perez moved to Nashville to work with one of his two older brothers after graduating from Hays High School in 2016. He was supposed to pick up his mother from the airport Wednesday when she visited him in Nashville. She last spoke to him Saturday night.
“I will never see him again,” Patricia Perez aid. “He was my baby.”
Taurean C. Sanderlin
Sanderlin, a Waffle House employee, was killed in the restaurant parking lot with Joe Perez, The AP reported.
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:10 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:10 PM
— Ohio farmers are stuck on the sidelines because of cold temperatures and wet conditions and it comes during precarious economic times that has the farming industry already on edge.
Less than 1 percent of Ohio farmers have started planting crops this year and this week’s rains will delay planting for at least another week.
“It’s a stressful time for farmers. They’re sitting and waiting for the ground to warm up. The long winter has been tough for everyone and the snowfall we’ve had in April is adding to the trouble,” said Sam Custer, an Ohio State extension agent.
Adding to the worries is the talk of possible China tariffs on soybeans exported from the United States. China is the No. 1 importer of U.S. soybeans, one of the top-produced crops by Ohio farmers. Ohio is the ninth highest soybean-producing state.
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China has threatened tariffs on various exported U.S. products following the Trump administration’s decision to add tariffs to Chinese steel and aluminum imported into this country.
No action has been taken by China on the soybean tariffs, but the threat has caused soybean prices to drop.
“The talk of tariffs is aggravating. You’re talking about a country that imports around 60 to 70 percent of our soybeans. We don’t want to see the U.S. sitting on a pile of soybeans if China turns to South America for their imports,” said Brian Harbage, who operates a family farm in the South Charleston area.
The cold temperatures and snowfall in April has stopped soil temperatures from rising, Custer said. Until the ground warms up, he added, farmers will be stuck working on their equipment or polishing their tractors.
Soil temperatures in Darke County, one of Ohio’s top crop-producing counties, were around 43 degrees on Sunday. Farmers need those temperatures to be over 50 degrees for ideal planting conditions, according to Custer. The cool nights and lack of sun is not helping farmers.
April 15 is the date most farmers have on their calendars for the start of planting season. Custer said if farmers have to wait another week, it could spell trouble for crop yields for corn.
Across the country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said farmers had planted 5 percent of this year’s corn crop by Sunday, compared to 15 percent of the crop by April 22 last year. Farmers likewise sowed just 2 percent of this year’s soybeans and 3 percent of spring wheat by April 22, compared to 5 percent and 21 percent of those crops respectively by that time last year.
“We’re not at a drop dead time by any means, but being stuck in the starting blocks has farmers worried,” Custer said.
The average temperature for April is five degrees below normal, according to Storm Center 7 chief meteorologist Eric Elwell, On top of that, the Miami Valley is threatening to make it into the top 5 on record for the highest snow levels in April.
“Temperatures shouldn’t be a factor going forward. The long-range outlook released from the Climate Prediction Center suggests that, while temperatures will stay below normal the rest of the month, the pattern will ease,” Elwell said.
Temperature fluctuations are expected over the next week to 10 days, going back and forth from the 50s to near 70 degrees. However, the threat for additional snowfall appears to be dwindling the rest of the month, Elwell said.
Harbage has not begun his planting yet and said he and other Ohio farmers will need at least a four-day stretch of sun and warm temperatures to get into the fields. Harbage, like most Ohio farmers, plants a 50/50 ratio of soybeans and corn.
“I sit here a little worried, but then I know we always get it done,” he said. “Some years you might work 15 hours a day to get the work done. If we have to, we’ll turn to 24-hour operation to get the work done.”
Farming even in the best of years is not stress free. “Once you do get the seed in the ground, then you have to worry about having the right temperatures for it to take off,” Harbage said with a laugh.
The USDA forecast earlier this month that soybean planting in 2018 would exceed corn planting for the first time in 35 years. Soybeans will cover 89 million acres this year, compared to 88 million acres for corn, the USDA said.
Plantings for both crops will decline from a year ago, the forecast said. The government’s spring wheat estimate topped all forecasts, with an expected 12.6 million acres, up 15 percent from last year. Last year, U.S. farmers planted 90.2 million acres of corn and 90.1 million acres of soybeans.
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2017 by the numbers
4.6M: Ohio acres produced in soybeans.
3.6M: Ohio acres produced in corn.
13th: Ohio’s U.S. rank in all agricultural products sold.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture.