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Macy’s to open Thanksgiving night

Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 @ 9:41 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 @ 9:41 AM

Macy’s Inc. will open most of its stores on Thanksgiving night, breaking with a more than 150-year-old tradition.

The Cincinnati-based retail company announced that it will open most stores nationwide at 8 p.m. on Nov. 28, giving shoppers a jump on its annual “Black Friday” deals.

Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

“For Macy’s, it’s important to make this day enjoyable and convenient for everyone, as our customers search for great deals on favorite wish-list items,” said Peter Sachse, the company’s chief stores officer, in a statement.

Company officials said the Thanksgiving opening is in response to customer demand, and is consistent with many other retailers. To minimize the impact on store associates, Macy’s has allowed associates to volunteer for preferred shifts throughout the holiday season, including on Thanksgiving weekend.

Ohio leaders ‘disturbed’ at reports that John Glenn’s body was mishandled

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 8:59 AM
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 5:14 PM

Annie Glenn, viewing her husband’s casket.

Air Force officials are investigating a disturbing allegation that a mortuary employee allowed others — or offered to allow others — to view John Glenn’s remains before his April 6 burial, according to a report in a military newspaper.

The Military Times said it obtained an “internal memo” written by Deborah Skillman, the Department of Defense’s director of casualty and mortuary affairs, stating that “the employee’s alleged actions were ‘clearly inappropriate and personally shocking.’” The publication said the document is dated May 11.

RELATED: Coverage of death of John Glenn

A former astronaut and U.S. senator, Glenn was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in early April, about four months after he died Dec. 8 in Columbus. He was buried on the 74th anniversary of his marriage to wife Annie.

According to the Times, while the Air Force had custody of Glenn’s remains, on Feb. 28 and again on March 2, William Zwicharowski, the mortuary’s branch chief, “offered to allow the inspectors to view the deceased.” Skillman was apparently among those who heard the offer, the paper reported.

The inspectors declined Zwicharowski’s offer to view the body, said the Times, citing unnamed officials.

RELATED: John Glenn, what you need to know

RELATED: John Glenn, an American hero

The paper quotes a Pentagon spokesman as saying, “The Air Force takes extremely seriously its responsibility to fulfill the nation’s sacred commitment of ensuring dignity, honor and respect to the fallen and care, service and support to their families. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Air Force will determine what further corrective actions, if any, may be necessary and appropriate.


Glenn’s children asked for privacy after the news broke Friday.

“Dave and I spoke with the Secretary of the Air Force yesterday. The Air Force is taking complete responsibility and is conducting an investigation. we are asking that our privacy be respected,” Glenn’s daughter, Carolyn Ann “Lyn” Glenn said on behalf of her and her brother David.

“This alleged behavior is extremely troubling. To say that I am shocked and appalled is an understatement. While this behavior should never be tolerated in any circumstance, it is especially disrespectful to a man who gave so much to our state and nation,” said Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, an Air Force veteran.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also said the news was “disturbing.”

“This report is disturbing, and I urge the Inspector General to thoroughly investigate what occurred. I will closely monitor the investigation as we work to ensure all our heroes are treated with the respect they deserve,” Portman said.

“Good grief!” said Dale Butland, Glenn’s long-time press secretary and aide. “If protocols were violated, it is in some ways an unfortunate sign of the times. Clearly, something like this violates all standards of decency – if it’s true.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he was “disturbed” by the news.

“The Secretary of the Air Force has spoken with the Glenn family and personally committed to completing a full investigation,” Brown said. I will be following up with the Air Force to ensure the investigation is swift and thorough and that appropriate steps are being taken to ensure all fallen servicemembers are treated with respect and dignity.”

Temperature swings, recent rains worry Ohio farmers

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 4:15 PM

            Small corn plants try to grow in standing water Thursday in a farm field in Clark County. Bill Lackey

More than eight inches of rain since April 24 has put many Ohio farmers behind in their planting and left some scrambling to get their crops in the ground before June.

Adding cold temperatures in early May to the high rainfall has been a recipe for disaster for many corn farmers and soybean farmers are playing catchup as rain continues to fall.

Brandon Bowser, regional manager for Harvest Land Cooperative, which has 26 agronomy locations in Indiana and Ohio, said planting was off to a fast start in the second half of April, before 8.19 inches of rainfall and lower temperatures erased early optimism. He estimates about a third of his region’s corn will be replanted, and surviving seedlings are at risk of blight.

“It’s the worst corn replant in our area I’ve ever seen in 28 years,” Bowser, 47, said. “Bad conditions got worse with rain on Thursday. There are lakes in some fields.”

Clark County farmer Brian Harbage did not have to replant a large amount of corn, but said he heard other farmers who had to replant 75 percent of their crop. He added a day or two can make a big difference.

“The main thing is that you either have crops that have been washed out or the crops have a hard time getting out of the ground. The rain seals the surface and the crops can’t get out of the ground. No-till versus tillage seemed to impact the crusting over of the soil and not letting the plants grow. Also, excess moisture causes the seed to rot,” Harbage said.

Aaron Overholser is a grower in Darke County, the highest producer of corn in the state by county and second in soybean production.

“This spring we had an early window to plant. In our area, from April 11 to April 28 it was fairly dry and planting conditions were very good. We got started April 18 which is normal for us, but some were hesitant to get started that early. By April 23 to April 28 everyone had a ton of crops planted.”

The problems started to arise in late April with the amount of rainfall the farms were seeing, and the cold weather that proceeded in the first weekend of May.

“We had five and a half inches of rain and the temperature reached a low of 30. In the second weekend in May it got down to 32 one night and 20 the next,” Overholser said.

Due to the weather, Overholser had to replant about 10 percent of his corn, while the soybeans he planted remained stable even after the rain.

Ohio State University’s Extension Educator Sam Custer said early weather in April helped many farmers successfully plant but cold temperatures influenced how the plants grew.

“This cold weather stunted or killed plants that had previously emerged and made for a very cold and wet environment for the seedlings that were trying to emerge…plus the stressed plants that are up are going to be subject to diseases because of the early life of the plant being so difficult,” Custer said

In Darke County, 130,000 acres of corn and about 142,000 acres of soybeans are planted each year.

Most farmers are now planting soybeans, but recent rainfall has kept them out of the fields. Farmers may get a chance this weekend, according to WHIO meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

“Scattered showers are predicted this weekend, with warmer weather ahead, hopefully providing some relief to farmers as they try to replant their crops,” Zontini said.

A recent survey of Southwest Ohio farmers shows 80 percent have planted all of their corn and only 50 percent have all of their soybean seeds in the grounds.

The weather remains the controlling factor on whether farmers should plant this weekend or wait it out to conserve pricey seeds.

“The biggest changes I see will be for farmers to try and equip themselves to plant their crop in 10 days or less because that seems to be the window available for suitable growing conditions most years,” Custer aid.

However, spring weather is not the ultimate driver of a good harvest. July and August, when corn and soybeans pollinate and mature, hold all the aces.

“It really isn’t so much the conditions now,” said Peter Thomison, corn expert for Ohio State University Extension. “It’s what we experience in July and August. If we have mild conditions … we could still have a decent crop.”

The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this story.

Executives look at Dayton for another soccer team

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

Exploring whether Dayton can support another soccer team, a United Soccer League Division III executive who recently visited the city said Friday that a new team could co-exist with and complement the Dayton Dutch Lions FC and the Dayton Dynamo. E.L. Hubbard photography

Exploring whether Dayton can support another soccer team, a United Soccer League Division III executive who recently visited the city said Friday that a new team could co-exist with and complement the Dayton Dutch Lions FC and the Dayton Dynamo.

“We see a professional team in Dayton as an opportunity for players, coaches, referees and even companies to get involved,” Steven Short, USL Division III vice president, said. “And part of that is, we really see Division III as the league of opportunity — an opportunity for those (amateur) players to move to the next level.”

The Dutch Lions were established in 2009 as an amateur team in the Premier Development League. From 2011 to 2014, the team played in the USL professional division. Today, the team is amateur.

RELATED: Soccer: Dynamo, Dutch Lions atop standings early in the season

Locally, the Dayton Dynamo FC also play as a minor-league outfit in the National Premier Soccer League.

“We believe a professional team in Dayton will complement the existing youth, amateur and collegiate infrastructure and not compete against it,” Short said.

The USL is an established Division II league and boasts on its web site its position as the “longest standing member of the U.S. Soccer Federation.” The league is launching a third-division men’s professional league in two years, looking at cities with populations of 150,000 to 1 million.

Asked how likely a Dayton USL team is, Short said any answer would be speculative but added: “Dayton is definitely a city of interest for us.”

USL DIII expansion officials have been visiting Dayton and other Midwest cities in recent days.

Short and Josh Keller, director of business development for the USL’s Division III, have visited or will visit Toledo, Fort Wayne, and Lansing and Grand Rapids, Mich., according to the league’s web site

Said Short, “We enjoyed our trip to Dayton; we had a great time.”

RELATED: Annual adidas Warrior Soccer Classic Tournament heads to area

Short said he was able to visit sites, meeting with local officials and others, but he said he did not connect with prospective team owners.

“I would say we’re at the preliminary stage, to be up front with you,” he said. “This is purely a fact-finding and information-gathering trip.”

It’s a Millennial population that truly drives teams, with a healthy micro-brewery culture and good sites, he said.

“You know the desire is there (in Dayton, for another pro team) to a degree,” he added. But facilities and ownership also play a role in any franchise’s success.

Local defense contractor included on $37.4B Army contract

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 2:40 PM

The Air Force Material Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spent more than $17,7 million with CDO Technologies in Dayton during fiscal year 2016. FILE

CDO Technologies, Inc. is one of 56 U.S. companies nationwide included in a $37.4 billion contract supporting the U.S. Army.

The Beavercreek IT company provides secure data collection; communications technology; and managed-services solutions for federal, municipal and commercial customers, the company said in a release Friday.

RELATED: CDO lands $75M contract

The work in question will include engineering; research, development, test and evaluation, logistics; acquisition and strategic planning; education; and training, a release from the company said.

“We are thrilled to be a part of our nation’s mission to protect democracy here and abroad,” Al Wofford, CDO’s founder and president, said in the company’s statement. “Over the past few years, CDO Technologies has been working to establish itself as a leader in cyber-security. This has become an important part of our wheelhouse and we are a proactive leader in the field.”

RELATEDNew downtown Air Force office part of emerging ‘innovation district’

CDO is looking for partner businesses on this work, Greg Greening, CDO vice president of business development, said in the same announcement.

CDO supports network operations, enterprise services, infrastructure services and telephony. The CDO team consists of 20 companies.

Wofford founded CDO in 1995 to work for the U.S. Air Force and other Department of Defense customers.