Army soldier, Middletown native remembered for overcoming obstacles

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 4:25 PM

            Army Pvt. Timothy Ashcraft was laid to rest Monday, Oct. 16, at Woodside Cemetery in Middletown with military honors. Ashcraft, who attended Middletown City Schools for elementary and junior high, died earlier this month after a military vehicle struck him while he was in formation at an Army base in Fort Jackson, S.C. Ashcraft was a 2017 graduate of Amelia High School, according to the West Clermont Local School District. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Army Pvt. Timothy Ashcraft was laid to rest Monday, Oct. 16, at Woodside Cemetery in Middletown with military honors. Ashcraft, who attended Middletown City Schools for elementary and junior high, died earlier this month after a military vehicle struck him while he was in formation at an Army base in Fort Jackson, S.C. Ashcraft was a 2017 graduate of Amelia High School, according to the West Clermont Local School District. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Timothy Joseph Ashcraft seemed to have his life together.

After struggling through school in Middletown, the 18-year-old found a love of welding and attended Live Oaks Career Center. As a senior at Amelia High School, where he attended after moving from Middletown, Ashcraft enlisted in the U.S. Army and told his family he was looking forward to graduating from basic training.

But on Oct. 6, all those dreams ended when Pvt. Ashcraft was one of two soldiers killed after a military vehicle struck them while they were in formation at an Army base in South Carolina.

On Monday afternoon, Ashcraft’s family and friends and veterans gathered at Wilson-Schramm-Spaulding Funeral Home to pay their respects and share stories. The funeral home was lined with photo boards that showed Ashcraft holding up large fish, walking around Kings Island Amusement Park and riding his skateboard.

His closed casket, covered by an American flag, sat at the front of the room.

MORE: Leave condolences for the family of Pvt. Timothy Ashcraft

Pastor Kevin McGuire urged those at the funeral to pray for the family in the days, weeks and months to come.

“He cherished the good times that he had with y’all,” McGuire said.

Several relatives delivered eulogies that sometimes were drowned out by the crying in the room.

One of his grandmothers, Diane Idlett, said Ashcraft was the oldest grandchild and the “day he was born our lives were forever changed.”

She said Ashcraft possessed a lively imagination, and as a child he loved to write stories and draw illustrations. He also enjoyed visiting museums or watching the polar bears at the zoo. He always carried a stick, using it as a sword or gun.

“He loved pretending,” she said.

MORE: A local veteran’s work helps other veterans

She said last summer, while painting outside, her grandson complained about the heat, thought it was only 70 degrees. She told him South Carolina was a lot hotter and later Ashcraft called the state “the hottest place on earth,” she said.

In his first letter to her, her grandson was “positive and feeling good,” Idlett said.

Ashcraft’s grandfather, Ron Ashcraft, remembered a conversation the two had near Christmas. They talked about Ashcraft’s welding career and what role the military would play in his life.

“I felt good about him,” Ashcraft said. “I knew he would be OK.”

MORE: More money budgeted to help Butler County veterans

Before the conversation ended, the grandfather asked for a favor. He had a childhood photo of his grandson and wanted one of his grandson wearing his military uniform after he completed basic training.

“That talk made me so proud of my grandson,” he said.

Military officials called the incident at Fort Jackson a “tragic accident.”

The Army said earlier this month it had started a thorough investigation.

Fort Jackson is the Army’s largest training instillation, with more than 50,000 recruits assigned there each year.

Clouds increase tonight, cool temperatures return this weekend

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 4:41 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

Few showers possible early this weekend.

RELATED: Dayton Interactive Radar - WHIO Doppler 7


  • Increasing clouds late tonight
  • Isolated sprinkle early Saturday
  • Cooler and dry to finish the weekend

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast


TONIGHT: Mainly clear skies through the evening with temperatures falling back into the 40s. A cold front will move closer to the Miami Valley overnight, bringing clouds back into the area. The added cloud cover and southerly winds will keep our temperatures from falling too far. Overnight lows expected down around 40 degrees.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

RELATED: County-by-County Weather

SATURDAY: Lots of clouds around for the morning and with a chance for a passing sprinkle or light shower, but most will likely remain dry. Temperatures will climb from the 40s to near 50 degrees by midday, then fall after the cold front moves through. It will become breezy at times, delivering a wind chill in the upper 30s to low 40s through most of the day. Some clearing is expected into Saturday night with temperatures turning colder. Overnight lows drop into the upper 20s by morning, but feel colder with a light breeze still around.

SUNDAY: High pressure returns to the Miami Valley, bringing sunshine and a few clouds. A seasonal afternoon expected with highs in the upper 40s. Still a very light breeze in place will result in wind chills around five to 10 degrees cooler at times.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny and milder for Monday with highs in the lower 50s.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy, breezy and milder for Tuesday. Temperatures will climb to nearly 10 degrees above normal into the middle 50s.

WHIO Weather App 

WEDNESDAY: Morning sun gives way to clouds throughout the day. Another mild day with highs in the lower 50s. There’s a slight chance for showers into the evening or night. 

Need a job? Best time to find one in a decade in Dayton area, report shows

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 2:58 PM


Employment in the Dayton metro area increased by 2,100 jobs in October, rising to the highest level since January 2008, according to state labor market data released this week.

Hiring has been steady in the region, and the metro area’s unemployment rate remained at 4.3 percent for the second consecutive month, the data show.

The metro area consists of Greene, Miami and Montgomery counties.

RELATED: Hiring mostly robust across region

In the metro area, nonfarm payrolls grew to 390,600 last month, which is the highest job total in nearly a decade, according to seasonally adjusted data.

Almost one-third of U.S. metro areas still have not returned to their pre-recession peak employment levels, including Dayton, according to a report released earlier this year by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The Dayton metro area lost 34,600 jobs during the downturn, and it is not projected to reach the pre-recession levels of employment until after 2022, based on the current rate of job growth, the report states.

The metro area employed 394,500 people in March 2007.

Middletown brewery plans Black Friday dual bottle release

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 9:17 AM

FigLeaf Brewing Co.'s taproom at 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Middletown has the capacity for 20 taps. Its first brews include an American IPA, an Imperial Brown Porter, a Red Saison and a Basmati Cream Ale.

A Butler County brewery is offering a decidedly warmer option to Black Friday’s deal-of-the-day shopping.

FigLeaf Brewing Co. in Middletown will open its doors 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, for its first-ever bottled beer release.

Originally brewed for the winter solstice, Barrel Aged Black Solstice Imperial Stout has “warm inviting notes of chocolate, raisins, and molasses that creates a smooth voluptuous body,” according to the brewery.

MORE: Middletown brewery wants to make its own wine, too

The brew has been aging in bourbon-and-rye whiskey barrels since Dec. 21, 2016, according to brewery officials.

In order to commemorate the brewery’s first year in business, it also will be bottling its Anniversary One Belgian Quad on Plums.

The easy-drinking Belgian brew “packs a fruity punch” with notes of plum, toffee and caramel, brewery officials said.

MORE: Middletown brewery aims to bridge beer towns of Cincinnati, Dayton

FigLeaf Brewing Co., 3387 Cincinnati Dayton Road, will have these 375-ml bottles available for purchase and will also offer the Barrel Aged Black Solstice and Anniversary Quad on tap.

Also available will be barbecue fare from food truck Smokin’ Bee-Bee-Q.

Troopers: Naked couple crashes car while having sex; baby was in back seat

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 1:25 AM

Washington State Patrol.
David Ryder/Getty Images
Washington State Patrol.(David Ryder/Getty Images)

A naked couple, having sex in their car while their baby was in the back seat, crashed while driving, the Washington State Patrol said.

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The man was driving on Highway 7 near La Grande in Pierce County, naked and having sex with a woman who also was naked, when he missed a curve, went off the road and struck a tree, State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova said.

The crash occurred Wednesday at 6 p.m. troopers said.

Witnesses told troopers both the man and woman were naked when they got out of the car, The Everett Herald reported. Troopers said they were also both impaired.

The woman wasn't wearing a seat belt. She was taken to the hospital with several broken bones. The 3-month-old child in the back seat was not injured.

The man was arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, vehicular assault and child endangerment, the Herald reported.

Troopers said the man has three prior DUI convictions.