2 Butler County natives film movie in Monroe, Middletown and Hamilton

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:51 PM


            Chase Crawford (left) and Markus Cook (right) at a recent promotional shoot for their movie, “Alan and the Fullness of Time.” Crawford is directing the movie, while Cook is producing the film, which he also wrote. It will be shot in the Butler County and Cincinnati areas in November. (Photo: Noah Davidovitch/Heaven Bound Films)
            Contributed
Chase Crawford (left) and Markus Cook (right) at a recent promotional shoot for their movie, “Alan and the Fullness of Time.” Crawford is directing the movie, while Cook is producing the film, which he also wrote. It will be shot in the Butler County and Cincinnati areas in November. (Photo: Noah Davidovitch/Heaven Bound Films)(Contributed)

Two movie makers with strong local ties will begin filming their latest movie in Butler County next month.

The movie, “Alan and the Fullness of Time,” is written and directed by Markus-Charles Cook (“The Deceived”) and produced by Chase Crawford, an actor with projects that have been in film festivals such as Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival.

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Cook graduated from Fairfield’s Cincinnati Christian School. Crawford is a graduate of Butler Tech and Monroe High School and has appeared in numerous independent films such as “In The Radiant City,” a 2016 Toronto International Film festival selection; “Goat,” a 2016 Sundance Film Festival selection; and shows such as Netflix’s “House of Cards,” and FOX’s “Empire.”

“I am excited to bring a film to my hometown — not just Cincinnati, but Butler County,” Crawford said. “We are shooting at many familiar locations to my upbringing, such as Monroe High School and the church that my family went to throughout my childhood, Crosspointe Church of Christ in Middletown. All of our main character’s houses are in Hamilton and we will be shooting on many Hamilton streets as well.”

In July 2016, Ohio Gov. John Kasich increased the tax incentive that Ohio offers for film projects to be produced in Ohio from $20 million a year to $40 million a year for the next two years.

The legislation helps Film Hamilton and Ohio attract movies to the area. The motion picture tax incentive returns $2.01 into the Ohio economy for every $1 invested by the incentive.

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Film Hamilton’s Steve Colwell said the movie won’t qualify for the state tax credit, but will bring money to the city as the production will spend a considerable amount of time in Hamilton.

“It is good to have both of these local talents back to shoot a movie in Hamilton and the area,” Colwell said. “They are a smaller budget operation they will spend money locally for goods and services and that is what it is all about.”

“Alan and the Fullness of Time” is slated to begin production in November, with an anticipated release in late 2018. The movie is a faith-based drama/thriller that centers around a young boy’s struggle and the evil powers at work to stop him and a close circle of believers.

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.

>> Read more trending news

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.

JUST IN: Dayton icon Jerry Gillotti, Gilly’s nightclub owner, dies

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 8:29 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 2:26 PM

Jerry Gillotti, the iconic co-founder and owner of Gilly?€™s, died on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24. He was 80.

Jerry Gillotti, the iconic co-founder and owner of Gilly’s, died on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23. He was 80.

A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said this morning, Nov. 24, that her office had been notified of Mr. Gillotti’s death at a local hospice facility.

Mr. Gillotti had been severely injured in a robbery and beating outside the nightclub at 132 S. Jefferson St. in March 2016. No arrests have been made

>> RELATED: Gilly’s Jazz owner injured in robbery (March 2016)

The club remains open and plans to continue scheduled shows, including those planned for this weekend.  

The Gillotti family said in a statement that Gilly’s will close permanently on Dec. 31. 

Mr. Gillotti’s son, Mike Gillotti, posted about his father’s passing on his Facebook page. 

“We are very sad to announce that my Dad, Jerry Gillotti, passed away yesterday after a long battle with heart and kidney disease. The Gillotti family would like to thank the Dayton Community for your thoughts and prayers as well as 45 years of supporting the best in live music. Thank you for your love and support.”

Jerry Gillotti in front of Gilly’s nightclub. FILE

Jerry Gillotti mentioned the serious brain injury he sustained in that attack as a major contributor to his declining health in an interview with us last month about the future of his beloved music venue. 

>> RELATED: Owner of Gilly’s willing to sell downtown Dayton club

He said he hadn’t fully recovered and was relying on his wife, Winnie Gillotti, for transportation. His brother, Tom, increased his involvement in the business. 

Jerry Gillotti said he wanted to continue operating the club indefinitely, but said he had to face reality. 

 “I am 80 years old,” he told us in the interview. “I don’t have the health or the stamina or the years left or days left.”

>> RELATED: Benefit being planned for attacked business owner Jerry Gillotti of Gilly’s (March 2016)

REMEMBERING GILLOTTI

Many Dayton-area residents reflected upon Jerry Gillotti’s contribution to the community. 

"Jerry and Gilly’s is a Dayton Original and will be greatly missed in the downtown music scene,” Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said. 

Blues and rock musician Doug Hart of the Doug Hart Band said those close to club had known that Gillotti’s health had taken a turn for the worse recently and he was at Hospice. 

“Knowing it’s going to happen doesn’t make it any easier when it does,” Hart said. 

He has played 20 to 25 shows at Gilly’s in the past 10 years. 

Jerry always gave me the freedom to put on a show the way I wanted and promote it the way I wanted,” Hart said. “Jerry is one of the sweetest men I’ve known. I can’t say enough about the wonderful human being he was, but he was not a pushover. He was good at his business, and you knew where you stood.” 

Hart said Jerry Gillioti also had a great sense of humor. 

“He was very perceptive. He wouldn’t say much, but when he did, everyone listened,” the musician recalled. “He would come up with these one liners and everybody laughed.” 

Jerry Gillotti, the owner of Gilly's, has established a "No Smoking" policy at his bar. The establishment is located at the corner of Jefferson Street and Fifth Street in downtown Dayton.(Ron Alvey)

Gilly’s helped put Dayton on the map in the jazz and blues worlds. Hart said he was humbled to play there. 

“It is one of the more legendary clubs I know of in the country ,” he said. “Everybody that I considered my hero I’ve seen play there.”

Before opening Gilly’s, Jerry Gillotti was an inside salesperson for the Farnbacher Toy Company and was Public Relations Director for Cassano Pizza King, where he co-hosted the “Fans in the Stands” radio show with Vic Cassano on WHIO Radio for over seven years. 

He had also been an advertising consultant for the Tatone Auto Group in Fairborn. 

Mr. Gillotti, a 1962 University of Dayton graduate,  bought Wedgewood Inn on Patterson Road in 1969 and featured jazz acts there two years before he and his brother purchased the former site of Green Derby at 801 N. Main St. and transformed it into Gilly’s.

The first show as Gilly’s was Roy Meriwether on July 7, 1972, according to Gary J. Leppla, Gillotti’s attorney and friend.

Reached this morning, Leppla said he had visited Mr. Gillotti in recent weeks at both his hospital and at his hospice bedside, and had a brief conversation with the nightclub owner on Tuesday. 

“He said, ‘You didn’t have to come down here.’ Again, typical Jerry, always supportive of others.”

Jerry Gillotti “was one of a kind, really focused on supporting musicians, treating his customers fairly, and providing a quality level of jazz and blues beyond anything we could ever expect,” Leppla said. “So many musicians owe so much to him.”

>> RELATED: Jerry Gillotti just keeps jazzin’ on (April 2010)

>> RELATED: Gilly’s Jazz shows over the years

In his nomination of Jerry Gillotti to the Dayton Walk of Fame, Leppla said Gillotti became one of the greatest jazz and blues promoters in the United States. After a successful run on North Main Street, Jerry moved Gilly’s to the Dayton Transportation Center. In addition, Jerry hosted a Sunday morning jazz show for several years on WING-AM radio.

Heartfelt tributes to Mr. Gillotti have been posted on Facebook as well. 

IMPACT ON DAYTON MUSIC

His influence was not just local. 

Local musician Hal Melia first met Gillotti 45 years ago

“Everybody around the country knows about Jerry Gillotti and Gilly’s,” Melia said. 

“Dayton’s a place where people make things happen and have to figure out how to do that, and Jerry always did that.”

Performers booked at Gilly’s through the years include a host of local groups and a laundry list of national acts that include Tony Bennett, Diane SchuurBB King, Wynton Marsalis, Art BlakeyDexter GordonBill EvansGeorge Benson,  Herbie Hancock, Count Basie, Bobby Blue Bland and Stevie Ray Vaughn. 

“I put groups in here when I know he wasn’t making a dime on it. And I put groups in here .... that pack the place out for him. He was the same kind of guy no matter what,” Melia said. 

Jerry Gillotti and George Benson(handout)

Floyd Weatherspoon, one of four vocalists in the Dayton based R&B group “Touch,” said the closure of Gilly’s will leave a hole in the city. 

“I think it going to be a big loss in Dayton,” he said. “There are not a lot of places where grown folks can go without worrying about riff riff coming in and causing confusion.” 

Weatherspoon’s band has played a Valentine’s weekend show at Gilly’s for 20 consecutive years.

In recent years, the group added a Sweetest Day show. 

Weatherspoon spent 32 years in the automobile sales business like Mr. Gillotti’s brother Tom.

“Every time I called, he said ‘how’s sales’ then we started talking about sports and then we start talking about booking the club,” Weatherspoon said with a laugh. “He was a good dude to talk to. It’s just really sad that this happened.”

Weatherspoon said Touch has opened for a list of national acts that includes The Temptations and Eddie Money, but always found its way back to Gilly’s.

“We knew it was great place to play, and we always had a sell-out,” he said. “(Gillotti) gave a lot of local groups a place to showcase their talents. If you were good, you’d come back.”

Gillotti told this news organization in October that he was proud to have brought “every jazz artist in the world” to Dayton. 

I’ve had (45) years, and they have been good years,” he said. “I haven’t made a lot of money to be honest with you, but it is a passion to present the music in the right way.”

>> PHOTOS:  Jerry Gillotti, co-founder of Gilly’s Jazz, through the years

Dayton native Tony Houston said Jerry Gillotti and the passion for blues he shared with Dayton greatly influenced him as a musician. 

Houston said he learned from watching and studying under the musicians Gillotti brought to town. In the early days, they were featured for a week at a time and offered classes in their hotel rooms to supplement their income. 

Houston recalled paying George Benson two chickens cooked by his grandmother for a lesson.

He said Mr. Gillotti was generous and offen allowed him to meet musicans backstage. 

“It was a tremendous setting and chance for musicians to learn,” Houston said of Gilly’s. “It a huge loss to the Dayton comunity and music scene.  I hope that something continues to make that happen at Gilly’s.”

Dave Shores, a 22-year sound technician at Gilly’s, said music was Gillotti’s life. 

“It was all about the music,” Shores said. “I watched him take losses on acts to get them in the club.”

Shores said he did repairs at Gilly’s whenever Gillotti asked him.

With a laugh, he recalled Gillotti, after being woken by a nurse, telling him a story from his hospital bed following that March 2016 attack.

“That was Jerry,” Shores said.

He said he once told one of his interns “you haven’t made it in the music business in Dayton” until Jerry Gillotti has chewed you out.

Shores said he later joked with that intern after Jerry did in fact chew him out in a hallway. 

Jerry Gillotti at his club in 1977. CONTRIBUTED(HANDOUT)

While he could be tough and expected the best as a business owner, Gillotti protected his employees and, on the rare occassions there were problems, defended them, Shores said. 

“He had their backs,” Shores said. “ He’d say, ‘you are not going to trick my people that way’.”

HONORS

In addition to his induction in the Dayton Walk of Fame in 2013, Gillotti was recognized by the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with the prestigious William Lawless Jones Award for his contributions to the region’s jazz culture.

In an article celebrating his 30th anniversary at Gilly’s, Gillotti told the Dayton Daily News his passion for jazz was ignited during his time in the Army while stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. He frequented jazz clubs and heard iconic acts such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

He left the service in 1958 with an idea.

“If you presented (jazz) correctly, in a nice atmosphere, you’ve got to be successful; people will come out to see it because it’s just so infectious and it’s such good music,” he told contributing writer Kris Alavattam.

>> 3 heartbreaking losses to Dayton’s music scene

WHIO television contributed to this report.

I-75 south reopens after earlier car fire near Piqua

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 3:56 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 2:30 PM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • On southbound Interstate 75 between Piqua and Troy in Miami County, all lanes have reopened following an earlier vehicle fire that shut down the highway, state troopers said. There were no reports of injuries. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • Streets to Be Closed for Dayton Holiday Festival:

Closed from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.:  Third Street between Main and Ludlow 

Closed from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Second Street between Perry and Vista View 

Closed from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Wilkinson Street between Second and Third, Ludlow Street between First and Second 

Closed from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Main Street between First and Fifth, Second Street between Jefferson and Perry, Third Street between Jefferson and Perry, Fourth Street between Jefferson and Ludlow,  Wilkinson Street between Maple and Fourth, Southbound Red Cross Lane between First and Second, Southbound Stafford Street between First and Second

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Alex-Bell Road will be closed for work on the Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek until Nov. 30. More information, including detour information, is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east
  • US 35 west ramps to I-75 north and south, RAMP CLOSURE Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. - Dec. 1 at 5 a.m. The official detour is: US 35 west to James H. McGee Boulevard to US 35 east to I-75 north and south 

DARKE COUNTY 

  • SR 705 near Groff Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Dec. 11 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
SHELBY COUNTY  
  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Jan. 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. One lane will be open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.