Wright Patt: Workers to show up Monday even if shutdown still in place

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:46 PM

Wright-Patt workers to still go to work Mon. in event of shutdown

Thousands of Wright-Patterson employees were expected to report to work Monday morning for further instructions “to carry out orderly shutdown activities” if a partial federal government closure stuck at midnight Friday, base authorities said.

The scenario could be a replay of October 2013 when most civil service employees at Wright-Patterson were sent home on furlough at the state’s largest single-site employer with more than 27,000 personnel, but how many might be impacted in another temporary closure could not be answered Friday.

“It is difficult to determine how many employees would be impacted because a determination of the furlough parameters has not been released,” base spokeswoman Marie Vanover said in an email.

All military personnel, regardless of their job, would report for duty, according to the Defense Department.

RELATED: Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers

Those who stay on the job — both military and civilian — will not be paid until a Congressional appropriations bill is passed, according to the Pentagon. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force planned to remain open over the weekend unless it receives a shutdown order, according to spokeswoman Diana Bachert. She said the museum would issue an update to the news media, and post an alert on the museum’s social media sites and its website if it must close.

Retired Col. Cassie B. Barlow, installation commander of Wright-Patterson the last time a shutdown hit, said Friday carrying out shutdown activities were “very complex” and “all encompassing.”

“I feel sorry for the folks on the base right now and what they have to go through,” she said. “It’s very frustrating. It’s frustrating for the commanders, but it’s also frustrating for all of the employees because they are starved for information right now and they’re listening to the news …

“It’s a stressful time especially when there’s a potential to not get paid,” she said, adding it was “no way” to treat employees or run a business.

The Pentagon issued a contingency plan Friday that listed broad categories where employees may be allowed to stay on the job, such as police, fire and medical services and other duties deemed “essential” to national security.

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The reverberations of a government shutdown would be similar to the last one struck in 2013, according to Air Force Capt. Hope Cronin.

“We are hopeful that there is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations,” she said Friday afternoon. “However, at this time, we must plan for a range of scenarios” that include a short-term stopgap funding measure, a budget deal or a shutdown.

Air Force reservists were expected to attend a previously funded drill weekend Saturday and Sunday at the base with the 445th Airlift Wing, said spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris.

Among other impacts, U.S. District Court in Dayton would remain open, federal Judge Walter Rice said Friday. “I don’t expect any immediate change,” he said.

RELATED: Will a shutdown happen? Wright-Patterson in holding pattern

The U.S. Postal Service mail delivery and post offices would stay open and Social Security payments would continue to recipients, according to authorities.

The Ohio National Guard issued a statement Friday saying the agency would continue national defense operations and respond to state emergencies.

At the University of Dayton Research Institute, which has millions of dollars in federal contracts employing some 200 people, some employees may be prevented from doing their jobs and the institute “would need to find other work for them as possible,” John Leland, UDRI executive director, said in a statement. “Other contract work might have to shift temporarily shift from a government installation to a UD facility.”

Those changes are “disruptive” and “causes waste at taxpayer expense,” he added.

Head Start education programs for pre-schoolers were expected to be open Monday if a shutdown occurred, but a long-term government closure may have an impact on operations, according to Barbara Haxton, executive director of the Ohio Head State Association in Dayton.

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Demand in West Dayton for 1,000 housing units, grocery store

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 12:16 PM


            DeSoto Bass Courts public housing has about 354 housing units in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
DeSoto Bass Courts public housing has about 354 housing units in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Greater Dayton Premier Management, the local public housing authority, is working on a plan to improve conditions and the housing stock in a poor part of West Dayton where more than 6,000 residents live.

GDPM is targeting five neighborhoods west of Interstate 75 and south of U.S. 35 that have some rundown and aging public housing facilities and many vacant and abandoned structures.

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There’s demand for up to nearly 1,000 new housing units, including a mix of subsidized, senior, market rate and for-sale units, according to a market study done for the agency.

Residents who live in the area, which is home to the DeSoto Bass Courts and Hilltop Homes, also say they want community gardens, a grocery store, a laundromat and increased police presence and visibility, according to a survey of a public housing residents and some neighbors.

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GPDM’s “transformation plan” will be submitted to the federal government, which in the past has awarded tens of millions of dollars to communities to implement their plans and help pay for new housing, amenities and other investments.

The Trump Administration’s current budget does not have funding for implementation, but even without that money, GDPM hopes to remake this part of Datyon, though likely it would take longer and require some adjustments, agency officials said.

“We have alternate plans for our housing if we are not fortunate enough to receive this Choice Neighborhood funding,” said Jennifer Heapy, CEO of GDPM. “We are still committed to a transformation for that particular part of the city — it’ll just take us longer.”

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Montgomery County joins legal fight against opioid drug companies

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 3:22 PM

Montgomery County joins legal fight against opioid drug companies

Following in the footsteps of the city of Dayton and the state of Ohio, Montgomery County plans to sue drug companies or others that county officials allege helped cause the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that has ravaged the Dayton region and communities across the country.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Montgomery County commissioners announced they have approved an agreement with Motley Rice, one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ litigation firms, to take legal action against “individuals and entities related to the marketing, prescribing, distribution or sale of opioids.”

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Montgomery County has hired the firm to investigate and then litigate claims related to the marketing and overprescribing of powerful opioid medications, said Mary Montgomery, chief of civil division of the Montomery County prosecutor’s office.

She said the goal is to hold those people and companies responsible for the opioid crisis accountable for it and try to recover the costs to taxpayers. That includes drug treatment programs, medical care, hospitalizations, law enforcement, prosecution and incarceration, Montgomery said.

Other costs include caring for the children whose parents have died of a drug overdose or who have lost custody because of their drug use, she said.

“Any money recovered will be for treatment programs as well as to reimburse the county for all of the expenses just mentioned,” she said.

Montgomery County has been particularly hard-hit by the opiate crisis, county officials said, noting that between 60 to 70 percent of the bodies in the county morgue last summer were overdose victims.

In 2016, prescribers in the county wrote almost 93 opioid prescriptions for every 100 residents, and there were more opioid prescriptions written each year between 2006 and 2015 than there were people living in the county, said Montomery.

“Nationally, the economic toll of the opioid crisis is estimated to have topped $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017,” she said.

Motley Rice, based in Washington, D.C., is lead counsel in lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies by the city of Chicago and Santa Clara County. The firm also represents four states, seven counties and a handful of cities and townships in other opioid-related litigation.

Last year, Santa Clara County, home to Silicon Valley in California, reached a $1.6 million settlement with drug maker Teva over “deceptive” marketing of prescription opioid painkillers, according to Motley Rice.

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Closer to home, the city of Dayton last June announced it was suing more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies, distributors and pain specialists who city officials allege misrepresented the dangers of opioid medications and profited from opioid dependency and use.

This is about basic fairness for Montgomery County taxpayers, and the companies that ignited and fed this deadly epidemic should help clean it up, said Commissioner Dan Foley.

“We believe … that the drug companies have a moral obligation to pay our community back,” Foley said.

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1 officer killed, 2 deputies wounded while serving warrant in Georgia

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 12:36 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 2:09 PM

WATCH: Officers Shot, Suspect Dead in Georgia

A police officer was fatally wounded and two sheriff’s deputies injured Friday after they were shot while serving a warrant in Locust Grove. Authorities said the suspected shooter was shot and killed by an officer.

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1 dead in shooting at veterans nursing home in Georgia

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 12:03 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 1:42 PM

Shooting at Georgia Nursing Home

One person is dead after a shooting Friday at a nursing home for veterans in Georgia. 

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Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home around 11:20 a.m. Deputies said that, upon arrival, they found a person dead of a gunshot wound.

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