Damages still being assessed at AK Steel fire in Middletown

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 2:59 PM


            More than 60 firefighters from four communities put out a blaze Saturday, Jan. 20, 2017, at the Basic Oxygen Furnace at AK Steel’s Middletown Works. STAFF
            Mark Bealer/Middletown Journal
More than 60 firefighters from four communities put out a blaze Saturday, Jan. 20, 2017, at the Basic Oxygen Furnace at AK Steel’s Middletown Works. STAFF(Mark Bealer/Middletown Journal)

It will take fire officials several weeks to determine the cause and cost of a fire at AK Steel’s Middletown Works on Saturday morning that took 60 firefighters from four fire departments a few hours to put out.

Company and fire officials said a cracked vessel holding molten steel ignited the large fire. According to Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli, the molten steel ignited other equipment and the building when it poured out at the Basic Oxygen Furnace which is located in the 3400 block of Lefferson Road at the sprawling complex.

The incident was initially reported as heavy smoke coming from the structure about 8:30 a.m. During the fire, there were some reports that included molten metal reportedly flowing through the building and the second floor concrete collapsing at one point, causing crews to be removed from the first floor.

Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Spaulding said the ladle holding the molten steel apparently was released before being poured into molds.

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“There have been no employees injured — all employees have been accounted for, and cleanup efforts are underway,” a company statement said. “We are looking into the cause of the situation and have no further information at this time.”

When contacted Sunday, Lisa Jester, AK Steel’s corporate communication manager, had no additional comment beyond Saturday’s statement.

Spaulding said one firefighter/paramedic was taken to Atrium Medical Center for minor injuries and was treated and released.

Lolli said it will take several weeks to determine what exactly happened and damage estimates at this early stage are impossible to predict.

Fire departments from Middletown, Franklin, Monroe and Liberty Twp. responded to the scene.

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Water rescue underway after capsized boat found in Great Miami River

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 9:33 AM
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

Find down boat In great Miami river

UPDATE @ 10:15 a.m. 

Firefighters are still working to determine if anyone was in a boat that was found capsized in the Great Miami River in Moraine Monday morning. 

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Fire crews were dispatched to the area of Arbor Boulevard and East River Road around 9:30 a.m. after the boat was found capsized and hanging over a dam. 

A company has reported to fire crews on the scene they have a missing boat, but all their employees are accounted for. Scanner traffic indicates fire crews are working with the company to determine the boat is theirs and confirm there are no victims from the incident. 

Our crew remains on the scene and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Marshall Gorby/Staff

FIRST REPORT

Fire crews are conducting a water rescue after a capsized boat was found in the river near Arbor Boulevard and East River Road in Moraine. 

Initial reports indicate no victims were found in the boat when fire crews arrived. Firefighters are working to determine if a victim might be downstream. 

We have a crew on the scene and we’ll update this page as we learn more.

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Funk legend and member of Ohio Players dies

Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 4:00 PM

Dayton is considered the Land of Funk. Here is why. Video by Amelia Robinson

A legendary member of the Ohio Players has died, according to news reports and a post on his official Facebook page from his daughter.

Walter “Junie” Morrison, a noted producer, keyboardist and singer, is credited with writing The Ohio Players major hits “Pain,” “Pleasure”, “Ecstasy” and “Funky Worm.”

Morrison, a Dayton native, was 62. 

Photos of Walter "Junie" Morrison from the Dayton Daily News archive at Wright State University.

>>MORE: Funk Music Hall of Fame opening in downtown Dayton after long battle

>>MORE: 8 Dayton acts you should give a funk about

“Dear friends and colleagues, we lost another great one. I’m sure you can agree that Junie will be greatly missed. I wasn’t around my father much, but somehow I am like him in so many ways. In that regard, thank you for your support and respect of our privacy during this time,” Akasha Morrison wrote.

Morrison was a 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and was also co-creator, writer and producer of “One Nation (Under A Groove)” and “(Not Just) Knee Deep” by Parliament Funkadelic, according to juniemorrison.com.

In the 1970s and 1980s, southwestern Ohio — particularly Dayton’s west side — was known for its stable of funk bands whose influence can be heard in hip-hop, house and other musical forms popular today.

Morrison inspired singer Solange’s recent song “Junie” on her 2016 “A Seat at the Table” album.

Gregory Webster, the original leader of the Ohio Players, said Morrison, who was hired into The Ohio Players shortly after he graduated from Roosevelt High School.

“He was really friendly,” Webster said of Morrison. “He was young, but we got him together.”  

Longtime WDAO radio show host John “Turk” Logan said “Pain” — a song Morrison wrote, produced and played most of the instruments on — was the first “funky” song from a Dayton group that he played.

Logan managed Morrison for a short time after he left the Ohio Players.

Photos of Walter "Junie" Morrison from the Dayton Daily News archive at Wright State University.

“Junie was an extraordinary talent. The guy had a sixth sense about the music business,” said Logan, a 1968 Roosevelt graduate. “Junie was a handful because he was a genius.”

>> MORE: Ohio Players frontman Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner dies

>> MORE: Ohio Players' bassist Marshall "Rock" Jones dies

Dayton musician Ronald Frost of the band The Deele said Morrison was a critical member of The Ohio Players.

“When Junie came, that’s when they became extra funky,” Frost said. 

Frost’s father Ronald “Nooky” Nooks played with The Ohio Players sometimes after Morrison left the band in 1974 for a solo career.

He released three solo albums on Westbound Records.

Frost was a big fan of Morrison’s work. 

“Junie was just a different kind of musician. He was totally incredible,” Frost said. 

Morrison was induced into the Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center based in downtown Dayton last year. 

Hall of Fame president David Webb said Morrison was a great musician who supported preserving funk’s heritage. 

“We are praying for his family,” Webb said.

Response on Facebook to word of the funk legend’s passing was swift. 

“Junie Morrison WAS funk to me and many others,” one comment read.

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Melania Trump breaks with tradition again after new affair allegations

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

5 Fast Facts about Melania Trump

Once again, first lady Melania Trump gave off the impression that all is not well in her marriage to President Donald Trump when she broke presidential protocol on Friday following a report alleging the president had an affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

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As the Trumps headed to Florida to meet with the victims of this week’s mass shooting at a high school, they began the journey separately. While it’s tradition for the couple to cross the White House lawn to Marine One together, Mrs. Trump decided to forgo the usual walk and instead drove separately to Andrews Air Force Base. She arrived in a separate vehicle ahead of the president and ascended the stairs to Air Force One without him.

“With her schedule, it was easier to meet him on the plane,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, explained the situation, adding that she does intend to join her husband in visiting the victims.

The suspicious choice comes just hours after The New Yorker published a report based on an account from McDougal, who provided details about her alleged affair with President Trump between June 2006 to April 2007. At the time, the Trumps had been married for two years, and their son, Barron, had been born a few months earlier.

The White House responded to the allegations in a statement saying, “This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”

This isn’t the first time the first lady has broken with tradition in the wake of infidelity accusations. Last month, she arrived at the U.S. Capitol separately from the president to attend his first State of the Union address. It was her first public event following a bombshell report alleging the president paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence after the pair had an affair in 2006.

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3 presidents you'll see honored around Dayton

Published: Monday, September 19, 2016 @ 2:53 PM
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 10:02 AM

Sculptor Michael Major of Urbana created this bronze sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln as he looked in 1859 when he spoke on the steps of Montgomery County’s Old Court House. The sculpture was unveiled Saturday at Courthouse Square in front of the historic courthouse downtown Dayton. LYNN HULSEY / STAFF
Sculptor Michael Major of Urbana created this bronze sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln as he looked in 1859 when he spoke on the steps of Montgomery County’s Old Court House. The sculpture was unveiled Saturday at Courthouse Square in front of the historic courthouse downtown Dayton. LYNN HULSEY / STAFF
 

An 11-foot-tall Abraham Lincoln made of bronze now looks over Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton.

Here are some other presidents you'll find honored with a statue around Dayton:

 
  

Abraham Lincoln 

Courthouse Square, Dayton

  

 

The monument, created by Urbana artist Mike Major, was commissioned to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Dayton on Sept. 17, 1859. That day, Lincoln reportedly stood on a box on the curb facing the steps of the Old Courthouse and spoke to the crowd for close to two hours.

 
   

President William McKinley

 

Cooper Park

 

 

This statue, located in Cooper Park next to the Dayton Metro Library’s main branch, was dedicated to his memory Sept. 17, 1910.

 

McKinley was also the governor of Ohio, an Ohio representative in Congress and a soldier in the Union Army.

 

A plaque on the monument reads, “This monument is a tribute by the citizens of Dayton and the children of its schools.”

  
  

President John F. Kennedy

 

University of Dayton

 

 

“Kennedy’s Eternal Flame” is located outside of the Kennedy Union on the University of Dayton campus.

 

The full-length portrait, which is abstract at the bottom but becomes detailed at the head, is over 8 feet tall.

 
The original sculpture was made of cement and marble by William Joseph Thompson in 1964 and was recast in bronze by John Leon in 1998.
 

>> RELATED: 8 famous statues around Dayton

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