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Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 5:00 AM
HAMILTON — A well-regarded expert on food-based developments such as farmers- and open-air markets recently visited Hamilton to determine the feasibility of such a project in the city.
Ted Spitzer, of Market Ventures Inc., based in Portland, Maine, spent the evening of Tuesday evening, Feb. 6, plus all day Wednesday meeting with various people and examining the former railroad freight house at 1000 Maple Ave. His goal was to see how successful it might be to convert the long-vacant complex into a market similar to Cincinnati’s Findlay Market or Columbus’ North Market.
Jeff Gambrell, a member of the team seeking to create a market that also could include a theater space and other features, said Spitzer had some concerns about the project’s likelihood of success, but project advocates believe those possible hurdles can be overcome.
“The things he had reservations about were things our team had already considered,” Gambrell said.
While he was in town, Spitzer also visited other possible locations for such a market, Gambrell said. The freight house remains the primary proposed site for such a market, however.
Spitzer’s concerns included:
The site’s visibility is not great. Although the property is two blocks south of High Street, it is nearly invisible from one of the city’s major roadways.
“At one point, the whole gang was standing at the corner of East Avenue and High Street, because he wanted to get a good visual from the main road to see whether the market was visible or not, because that’s a big part of the study,” Gambrell said. “The market needs to be visible for people passing through.”
On the other hand, “our team has plans of having a wooden water tower there with the Freight House Market logo,” Gambrell said. “That would make it visible from High Street.”
Train traffic is so high in Hamilton, which could deter visitors.
“The freight house is almost surrounded, surrounded in three parts, by tracks,” Gambrell said.
Jungle Jim’s International Market could offer too much competition. Although Spitzer is an expert on such markets, Gambrell said he was awestruck by Jungle Jim’s.
“He was blown away,” Gambrell said. “I don’t think he’s ever seen, in all his time, a market quite as large as that one. So he obviously has concerns about competition, but our team already knows that, and we feel they could actually complement each other.
“He checked out the building to get an idea of how much it would cost to fix the place up.”
Spitzer conducted one-hour sessions with various groups, including foodies, property owners and developers, neighborhood advocates, plus economic-development and planning officials, to see if there is a demand for such a facility.
Advocates of the market plan two public kick-off meetings on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Miami University Hamilton’s Wilks Conference Center, the first from 6-7 p.m., and the other from 7-8 p.m.
One possibility for an alternative site is a vacant site in the German Village neighborhood, across the Great Miami River from the proposed Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill mega-sports complex, Gambrell said.
“In terms of visibility, that was a good location because they’re thinking of building a portion (of Spooky Nook) as a hotel,” Gambrell said. “The people who would be looking out their rooms would see the market across the river.”
Another location was in northern Lindenwald, he said.
Spitzer worked with billionaire and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her husband, Dick DeVos, to create the impressive “Downtown Market Grand Rapids,” which, in addition to innovative food-related companies, also has kitchen spaces used by area students and companies that rent space in the market.
Alfred Hall, a leader of the market, announced he hopes a facility could be built out for around $3 million, not including costs of purchasing the freight house.
Neil Cohen of Cohen Brothers told advocates of the project, “It is our company’s, and my particular, interest in trying to make something happen on this property. I completely appreciate the value it could have for the community.
“Whether it’s this project or any other project, we intend to contribute in any way we can, in some reasonable fashion to make sure the property is used somehow.”
Hall said he believes eventually something like the proposed market will happen, even if this current effort does not come to fruition, “and it will be a lot because of what the Cohen Brothers are doing, especially Neil.”
He added: “I believe this can be a citizen-based, greatly citizen-financed project that will have a dramatic effect on one of the most socially, economically depressed areas of our city, and I just think it’s the right thing to do.”
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 1:22 AM
GEORGETOWN, Ind. — A family in Georgetown, Indiana, said they walked on their front porch to find a bobcat sleeping on a chair.
WAVE reported that Donna and Ray Singleton, the owners of the home, walked out onto the porch around 7:30 a.m. Monday.
“I looked at it and I thought, ‘That is the biggest cat I have ever seen,’” Donna Singleton told WDRB. “It was very, very beautiful.”
They left the home for four hours and the big cat hadn’t moved.
“My husband, Ray, said, ‘I think that's a bobcat.’ With that, we got in the car, came back at 11:30 and it’s still there,” Donna Singleton said.
Like Donna Singleton, neighbors began taking videos and photos of the bobcat.
According to WDRB, residents in the area suspect that the bobcat is a pet because it’s been seen in the area before. It’s also known that someone in the area owns a bobcat. With the proper permit, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources says it’s legal to own the big cat, according to WDRB.
The bobcat eventually woke and walked away.
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:23 AM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 2:19 AM
NEW LEBANON — UPDATE @ 2:23 a.m.:
According to the DP&L outage map, the number of affected customers has dropped to 1,084. The estimated restoration time is 3 a.m.
UPDATE @ 12:35 a.m.:
The number of reported outages now stands at 2,101, according to the DP&L online outage map.
More than 4,000 Dayton Power & Light customers in New Lebanon, along U.S. 35, are without power and we're working to find out why.
OTHER LOCAL NEWS: All eyes on Tropics, Alberto
According to the DP&L outage map, the outage is affecting 4,013 in the area of the Voyager Village Trailer Park and the Snickers Bar & Restaurant, between North Lutheran Church and Diamond Mill roads.
An email to our newsroom describes a "complete power outage, lots of emergency vehicles" near the trailer park and the bar/restaurant.
We will update this developing report as information becomes available.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 7:53 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:51 PM
COLUMBUS — UPDATE @ 11:50 p.m.: The alert for the 79-year-old Columbus man has been canceled.
An Endangered Missing Adult Alert has been issued for a Columbus man.
Stanley Lapcynski, 79, suffers from dementia and was last seen around noon Friday when he left his residence but did not return.
He stands 5 feet 6 inches and weighs 190 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a Home Depot shirt and blue jeans.
He is believed to be driving a dark green 2001 Chevrolet Aveo with Ohio plate FFW4599.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:36 PM
— Alberto, the first named storm of the Atlantic Ocean season, is forecast to strengthen as it emerges into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center brings the system to strong tropical storm strength before making landfall somewhere along the Louisiana to Florida coastlines, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.
Long range model tracks show that the remnants of Alberto could influence the weather here in the middle or later half of next week. The main threat for this area would be significant rain.
There is still a lot to keep an eye on through the holiday weekend, Elwell said.
It also is important to note that your WHIO Weather App may alert you if the Miami Valley is placed within the uncertainty cone issued by the National Hurricane Center sometime this weekend. If you get that alert, it doesn’t mean to expect a tropical storm … but that there is an increased possibility of some influence of the storm.