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Premier Health to close Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton 

A city that has had its share of economic body blows took another one Wednesday with the news that Good Samaritan Hospital will close its doors by the end of the year and move 1,600 jobs out of the northwest Dayton neighborhood where it has served as an anchor for nearly a century.

The shocking news, announced Wednesday morning by Dayton-based Premier Health — Good Samaritan’s parent network — caught employees and city officials off-guard as few outside of Premier’s office suites apparently saw it coming.

“Not only was Good Sam an economic anchor to northwest Dayton, but they also were a neighborhood stabilizer,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein. “We are gravely concerned about an exit of that anchoring presence.”

Premier said its goal is to offer all employees other positions in the company. But that isn’t much solace for the neighborhood around the massive complex, which was first constructed in 1928 and added onto many times since.

RELATED: Special Report: Million dollar paychecks for top hospital CEOs

The satellite locations – Good Samaritan North in Englewood and Good Samaritan Health Center Huber Heights – will stay open. The hospital’s federally qualified health center that is on site will also remain open, which officials said is a busy ambulatory center with primary care and as well as some specialists.

Premier CEO Mary Boosalis said the emotional decision to close the hospital wasn’t an easy choice.

“On a personal note, I can tell you that this is the most difficult but necessary decision that most of us ever have to make,” she said, adding: “The consequences of inaction are far too great because we know the status quo is unsustainable in this environment.”

Premier officials said the aging Good Sam campus is expensive to keep up and duplicates many services five miles from Miami Valley Hospital, another Premier-affiliate. The population in the surrounding neighborhoods are declining and the hospital is operating at half capacity, with Premier already shifting beds to other hospitals in the system.

RELATED: Good Samaritan Hospital closing: What we know now

Premier — the region’s largest private employer — operates three other hospitals and a large physician network goal.

But like other hospital networks across the country, Premier has been betting that their future isn’t more hospitals; it’s outpatient facilities and smaller health care centers.

The typical hospital stay has been getting shorter and the number of people needing to be hospitalized is down. Premier’s hospitals in Dayton are at about 50 percent capacity.

Declining reimbursements and a tumultuous health care climate in Washington, D.C. also have hospital systems like Premier feeling squeezed.

“Dayton, Ohio, is essentially a microcosm of the pressures you see in our industry nationally,” Boosalis said.

RELATED: Local leaders ‘saddened’ by announced hospital closing

The 2222 Philadelphia Drive hospital campus is aging and Boosalis said it would cost more than $90 million or more to keep the facility up to code over the next decade.

Premier will also save about $7 million to $8 million annually in operating costs by shifting services to other hospitals.

Boosalis said by closing the hospital now instead of later “we’re doing this now from a position of strength so we can be around for another 125 years.

“I think the worst thing our board and myself could do would be not to pay attention to the factors in this industry and ignore the facts and then be in a crisis mode.”

The goal is to move major services to Miami Valley Hospital and avoid duplication of services.

The board of trustees has approved a “significant” donation to the site for redevelopment so the goal is to make it shovel ready with the exception of the remaining buildings and work with the community on the future of the location.

All the buildings will be razed with the exception of the federally qualified health center and the parking garage.

RELATED: 5 things you need to know about Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton

Premier plans to have meetings with community leaders, focus groups and surveys as part of its outreach activities while it makes a plan for the future of the Good Samaritan site. City Wide Development and Planning NEXT, a design firm based in Columbus, are working with Premier on the site plan.

“The input of the community is not only wanted, It’s absolutely critical as we work together to transform Good Samaritan Hospital as we go forward,” Boosalis said.

Bryan Bucklew, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said there’s been huge changes in the health care delivery trends and health care policy that have shaped how hospitals make infrastructure decisions.

The average length of a hospital stay was 11 days in 1975, a little over 6 days in 2008, and then by 2015 was down to an average of 3 days.

“So in just six or seven years, you’ve decreased your length of stays by almost 49 percent,” he said.

RELATED: Premier Health, UnitedHealthcare have contract deal

On top of that, about 79 percent of patients in the Dayton area pay with Medicaid and Medicare, so dramatic policy changes and uncertain future of health care of those government insurance programs all shake up local hospitals.

Bucklew said said it’s important that the local hospital networks are all non-profits and locally headquartered, with trustees who live in the communities affected by their decisions. He said Premier is still being mission-minded when weighing decisions like closing Good Sam and if the hospital networks were instead for-profit, the community would feel the negative affects during tough financial times.

“If these organizations were run like for-profit entities, there would be whole service lines that would go away. No one would get into mental or behavioral health. No one would get into detox centers,” he said.

Scott McGohan, CEO of McGohan Brabender, the largest local employee benefits firm, said the employers he works with want to lower the cost of health care and part of making health care more affordable is making tough decisions like closing Good Sam.

“As we pepper these institutions to lower health care costs … it’s hard to condemn them for making these decisions,” said McGohan.

RELATED: Sale of Premier Health’s insurance line falls apart

Sam’s Club locations reportedly closing without notice

Sam’s Club store locations are reportedly closing across the nation, including some in Ohio.

Two Sam’s Club stores in Cincinnati have permanently closed without notice, WCPO reports.

The Loveland store on Fields-Ertel Road and the Oakley store on Marburg Avenue both permanently closed Thursday, WCPO reported. No locations in the Dayton region have been impacted. Sam’s Club has locations in Dayton, Beavercreek and Centerville.

The closures come as Walmart, which owns and operates Sam’s Club, announced it is increasing its starting salaries for U.S. workers. Employees will now make $11 an hour.

» RELATED: Walmart to roll out ‘Scan & Go’ technology in another 100 stores

Sam’s Club issued the following statement about the closures on Twitter:

“After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we’ve decided to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy. Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.”

A Sam’s Club location in the Dayton region will add new technology that will help customers get through the checkout lanes even quicker. Sam’s Club, located at 1111 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, recently filed a permit to add new self-checkout registers in the store. A spokeswoman for Sam’s Club told this news organization that the club is slated to have six updated traditional checkouts and eight, new self-checkout registers.

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Ohio’s first flu-related child death: Clayton boy, 4, dies at Dayton Children’s

A 4-year-old Clayton boy has died from the flu in Montgomery County.

The child, Jonah S. Rieben, of Clayton, was identifed by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Wednesday morning. His official cause and manner have not been determined by the coroner’s office.

Rieben died on Jan. 6 after being admitted to Dayton Children’s Hospital. It is the first pediatric flu-related death in Ohio this year. Last flu season there were seven pediatric deaths in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday afternoon a 1-year-old boy from Lucas County also died from the flu, becoming the second pediatric flu-related death in the state. 

Jonah Rieben, who was born in Bulgaria, was adopted by the Rieben family in February 2017. He had 16 brother and sisters. “A brave warrior who fought and overcame many difficult battles throughout his short life, Jonah inspired us all with his strength and resiliency,” an obituary stated. 

“It is a tragedy anytime a loved one is lost and we extend our condolences to the family and friends who are affected,” said Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.

» RELATED: Is the ‘man flu’ real? Scientists claim men experience worse flu symptoms

Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months or older get the flu shot as soon as possible. It’s still not too late to get vaccinated as the flu season extends until the end of spring.

“No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu. Our hearts go out the family,” said Jon Woltmann, infectious disease department at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “We encourage parents to get their children vaccinated to not only protect them, but children who are not able to get the vaccine due to underlying health conditions.”

FIVE FAST READS

• In another blow for Elder-Beerman, Bon-Ton posts holiday sales decline

• Allegiant to add new flights at local airport

• German grocery chain Lidl halts plans to open local store

• At Home store to open in Dayton area this month

• Currency of the future? Some argue it’s bitcoin

Watch the Georgia Senate 'Call the Dawgs' before championship game

The state of Georgia and city of Atlanta are ready for their moment in college football’s limelight.

>> Read more trending news

On Monday morning, members of the Georgia state Senate “called the Dawgs” during the session ahead of tonight’s College Football Playoff Championship in Atlanta.

Watch the video below:

Georgia and Alabama kick off at 8 p.m. ET at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

NEW FLIGHT: United to add nonstop flight to Houston from Dayton

United Airlines will add a new nonstop flight from the Dayton International Airport to Houston.

Dayton was one of eight cities chosen by United for the nonstop routes, according to the city. The new flights will begin June 7.

» MUST-READ TRAVEL NEWS: 7 major changes at the Dayton airport in 2017

The addition of Houston will be the 17th nonstop destination from Dayton airport. Dayton airport is currently served by Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Allegiant Air and United Airlines.

"For more than 30 years, United Airlines has helped connect Dayton to the world," said Michael Quiello, United's vice president of Corporate Safety. "We are excited to announce another new choice for our customers traveling to Houston and connecting to key destinations."

It’s been a year of changes for the Dayton International Airport — from fluctuating passenger traffic to new, discount flight destinations and a mix-up in air carriers.

In June 2016, Southwest Airlines halted service at the Dayton airport in favor of adding flights at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The move impacted the Dayton airport’s traffic numbers and average fare prices.

Allegiant, after its first full year of service in Dayton, continues its growth with new flights down south to Florida and Myrtle Beach.

Allegiant officials told this news organization that the low-cost carrier has seen continued success in the Dayton market since its first flight in April 2016.

FIVE FAST BUSINESS READS

• German grocery chain Lidl halts plans to open local store

• At Home store to open in Dayton area this month

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• Southwest Airlines adds new flight at local airport

1 winning ticket sold in $570 million Powerball jackpot

UPDATE @ 1:12 a.m.

One Powerball ticket was sold matching all six numbers for the $570 million grand prize in New Hampshire, according to Associated Press.

UPDATE @ 12:27 a.m. (Jan. 7): 

The winning numbers for Saturday’s $570 million Powerball jackpot are 12, 29, 30, 33, 61 and Powerball 26.

It’s not immediately known whether there is a winner for the drawing yet.

UPDATE @ 11:12 p.m. (Jan. 5): 

The Mega Millions numbers are 28, 30, 39, 59, 70 and 10.

UPDATE @ 9:52 a.m. (Jan. 5)

The Mega Millions drawing is tonight, Jan. 5 at 10:59 p.m. The jackpot has grown to $445 million. 

The Powerball drawing is Saturday and that jackpot is sitting at $550 million.

UPDATE @2:45 a.m. (Jan. 3)

The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $550 million, or $347 million cash, after no tickets matched all six numbers in Wednesday night’s drawing.

MORE >>> Dayton shatters 120-year-old cold weather record

UPDATE @ 11:10 p.m. (Jan. 3)

The winning numbers drawn for the Wednesday night Powerball game were: 2, 18, 37, 39, 42 and 12.

Results are pending on whether anyone won the jackpot, which earlier was up to $440 million. Results are pending on the current estimated jackpot, according to the Powerball website.

While there was no grand prize jackpot winner for the Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday, two tickets matched the five white balls, including one sold in Ohio for a $1 million second prize. The second was sold in Florida, and was worth $4 million because the ticket buyer paid an extra $1 for the optional Megaplier, which was 4x for Tuesday’s drawing. The Mega Millions jackpot is estimated at $418 million ahead of its Friday drawing.

EARLIER REPORT

Lottery fever is on the rise as the jackpots continue to grow for Powerball and Mega Millions.

No one had the winning ticket last night for Mega Millions and that jackpot has grown to $418 million with a cash option value of $261 million.

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The winning numbers were 1, 42, 47, 64, 70 and 22.

 The Powerball jackpot is up to $440 million, with a cash option value of $278.3 million, after no winning ticket was sold for the Dec. 30 drawing.

The last winning numbers for Powerball were 28, 36, 41, 51, 58 and 24.

No one has hit either grand prize since October 2017, according to the Powerball and Mega Millions websites.

The next drawing for Powerball is tonight. It costs $2 to play, and you can pay $1 more for the Power Play to increase prize amounts.

The odds of winning the Powerball grand prize is one in more than 292 million, according to the Powerball website.

MORE >>> Premier Health, UnitedHealthcare strike deal 

The next Mega Millions drawing is Friday. Mega Millions tickets cost $2. The odds of matching the five numbers plus the Mega Ball is one in more than 302 million, according to the Mega Millions website.

Veteran Dayton hairstylist bought longtime Oregon District Salon

A veteran Dayton hairstylist has bought a longtime Oregon District Salon. 

Mindy Finch, the founder of Derailed: A Hair Salon, confirmed Sunday that she sold the business to hairstylist Ali Matta. 

Derailed Hairstylist Drake Myers was initally planning to partner with Matta, but that part of the plan fell through, Finch said. 

Derailed is located at 506 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s Oregon District.

FIRST REPORT, Jan. 2:

The New Year means the end of a chapter for one Dayton woman, and a new beginning for two others. 

Mindy Finch is selling Derailed: A Hair Salon, 506 E. Fifth St., to Ali Matta and Drake Myers, who has been a stylist at Derailed for three years. 

The shop opened in 2003.

“This place has been my second home,” Myers said. “Mindy has taught me everything I know.”

A stylist since 1991, Matta said she is excited about the future. 

>> 10 things that truly helped me during my cancer journey

“It is like a dream come true,” she said. 

A Centerville High School graduate, Finch is moving with her family to Las Vegas. 

>> SALAR FIRE: Fund set up to help those impacted by New Year’s Eve weekend blaze

She intends to spend more time with her son. 

Myers said her passion for hair started in childhood when she began dyeing her friends’ hair. 

“My friends’ parents hated me,” she said. “(My friends) would go home with green hair.”

>> Mindy Finch on Shirley Temple

>> PHOTOS: Downtown businesses decked out for the hoildays

Tuesday’s low temperature shatters 120-year-old record

It’s been a very cold start with record-breaking temperatures into the new year.

In fact, New Year’s Eve tied for the record lowest high temperature at 11 degrees, the same as New Year’s Eve in 1976.

>> 1898: Last time it was this cold, Dayton threw an epic winter carnival

>> Closings and delays

It only got colder for New Year’s Day, which set a record for the lowest high temperature in Dayton, where the high only was 5 degrees. This broke the previous lowest high of 6 degrees in 1928.

Official records show that for January 1, the Dayton International Airport fell to 7 below zero. The record low minimum temperature for January 1 was 8 below zero, which was set back in 1968. This means we started 2018 with the second coldest morning on New Year's Day on record. 

>> Lowest temperatures since 2014 could hit this week

This morning, Jan. 2, the minimum temperature dropped to 13 below zero. This beat the old record for lowest minimum temperature, which was 5 below zero, set back in 1898. 

>> Download the WHIO Weather App to track conditions on your mobile device

Iconic 158-year-old Oregon District church to close this Sunday

It survived Dayton’s great flood of 1913 and more than one arsonist’s flame, but declining membership and resources were just too much for a 158-year-old church at the edge of Dayton’s Oregon District to handle.

>>FIRST REPORT: Iconic 158-year-old Oregon District church that serves the needy is closing

New Year’s Eve will bring the final Sunday worship at Saint Paul Lutheran Church. 

The church located at 239 Wayne Ave. has been sold to Weyland Ventures, the developers of The Wheelhouse project, located nearby at 210 Wayne Ave.

“The proceeds that will come from that divestment and sale of the building from Weyland Ventures will all be paid forward,” said Pastor Bob Miller.

>> PHOTOS: Take a look inside this iconic Dayton church before it closes

>>NEW DETAILS: Developer plans to transform 158-year-old Oregon District church

Thirteen different organizations, from Daybreak to Habitat for Humanity will benefit from the sale, and, the nonprofit Jeremiah’s Letter formerly based at the church has found a new home on Xenia Avenue.

Miller says it’s knowing that the church’s mission will live on that makes the final days easier to bear. 

>>Dayton bakery feeds local dogs, employs homeless young people

“Even in closing and going away as a worshipping site, our ministry will live on through others and I'm excited about that,” Miller said. 

Weyland Ventures, the developer that purchased the church says the building’s next chapter might involve a restaurant, apartments and shops. 

“It seemed like an opportunity to create a win-win situation where you could end up with something that would pay it forward, and at the same time keep this history and all the stories alive,” said Bill Weyland, Chief Strategy Officer of Weyland Ventures.

>>RELATED: Troll Pub hits snag, pushes back opening date

Weyland says there are preliminary plans for the church and the former school next door. 

“We'll do residential I'm sure, in the education building. This space can be for events, it can be for restaurants,” Weyland said.

More details will come after the new ownership takes over in 2018.

Weyland Ventures has also promised to honor the building’s historic integrity, which means the iconic steeple, built around 1869, isn’t going anywhere.

>>Speakeasy Yoga expands to second location in downtown Dayton

WHIO-TV reporter Lauren Clark contributed to this report. 

Santa Claus visits babies in Dayton NICU

Santa Claus paid a visit to the NICU of the Miami Valley Hospital tonight to spend time with its infants. 

The early holiday visit started at 6 p.m. at the Berry Women's Center Building. 

The NICU "elf" was there to take photos with Santa and the babies. MVH has approximately 30 to 40 infants in its NICU. 

>> Holiday Shopping Guide

According to the hospital, Santa's visit has been a positive experience for families over the years as they celebrate their babies first Christmas.

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