Local defense industry urges Congressional leaders to reach deficit deal

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 5:30 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 5:30 PM

Defense industry representatives urged two congressional leaders in Dayton to reach a deal to avert half a trillion dollars in automatic, across-the-board cuts to the military to avoid potential layoffs, project cancellations and lost contracts.

The five defense leaders, speaking to U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, and U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-California, at a hearing Wednesday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, warned the effects of sequestration would devastate the nation’s defense industrial base and hurt employment.

“The ramifications to our industry and this region are staggering,” said Deborah Gross, executive director of the Dayton Area Defense Contractors Association.

The Department of Defense faces $500 billion in automatic reductions over a decade if congressional lawmakers and the White House don’t reach a bipartisan deal to avert the cuts, known as budget sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2. The cuts are in addition to $487 billion the Defense Department agreed to absorb over 10 years.

While no one knows for sure how many jobs might be lost, Turner has estimated roughly 4,000 to 5,000 jobs could be at risk in the Miami Valley, home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The nation can’t wait for Congress to act until a budget spending resolution that continues the current level of federal spending expires in March, hearing attendees said.

Turner, chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, said he’s pessimistic a deal can be reached prior to the cuts. Turner toured Sanchez’s southern California congressional district, filled with aerospace and defense firms, earlier this week.

Sanchez, the top Democrat on the panel, said she’s optimistic, but won’t accept GOP suggestions to hold the defense budget harmless from cuts forcing a double reduction on a wide range of domestic spending from education to housing.

“We need to find a solution where everything can be trimmed, but we can find new revenue,” she said. “…We cannot double up on cuts on the other side.”

Sanchez also had a question for defense contractors: What will they do to help Congress reach a deal, she said.

Joseph Zeis, executive vice president and chief strategic officer of the Dayton Development Coalition, said sequestration is a “non-deliberative, chaotic process” with few details on where cuts would fall.

“It’s no wonder why uncertainty is rampant,” he said. “Morale is much lower because of the uncertainty.”

Defense Department civilian workers could face partial hiring freezes and furloughs, he said. The expertise lost through job reductions couldn’t be recovered easily, he said.

While the Defense Department hasn’t detailed with depth where the cuts could happen, defense firm L-3 Communications has calculated the reductions could mean a 12 percent annual cut for its business, said Tim Sweeney, the company’s development manager.

“This would be devastating,” he said. The company counts 1,200 employees in Ohio.

The cuts could reach into university research and development budgets, and drive aerospace students away from the field, said Michael L. Heil, Ohio Aerospace Institute president and chief executive officer.

“Sequestration threatens to choke the pipeline of talent,” he said, and make the U.S. aerospace industry “second-rate.”

Employees and communities have a “growing sense of frustration” over sequestration concerns, said Donald Greiman, director of Midwest operations at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., which has 425 employees in the Dayton region and $135 million in business.

Michael McGovern, a campaign spokesman for Sharen Neuhardt, a Democrat near Yellow Springs who opposes Turner, said in an email the congressman “may not have voted for sequestration, but his unwillingness to compromise is jeopardizing our national security and thousands of local defense jobs.” McGovern said a bipartisan solution can be reached, “but only if people like Mike Turner stop putting tax cuts for millionaires ahead of our national security.”

“Sharen Neuhardt will support a balanced, common sense approach in Congress to avoid sequestration and its harmful effects on Wright-Patterson and the working families in the Miami Valley.”

A spokesman for the congressman has said Turner opposes raising taxes in a recession.

Dayton thief drops T-bone steaks down his shorts

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 4:37 AM

Police are searching for a man who dropped three T-bone steaks down his shorts.

Officers were dispatched at 8:40 p.m. Friday to Groceryland, 1451 Troy St. in Dayton to a report of a theft.

The store manager told police he was walking down the meat aisle when he became suspicious by the behavior of a man talking to another customer. The manager later saw the man run out the front entrance. He ran after him, but lost sight of him after he went behind the store, according to a Dayton police report.

The manager showed police surveillance video footage, which shows the thief grab three T-bone steaks, which each cost between $10 and $20. Then, in a different aisle, the suspect places the steaks down his shorts, the report stated.

No arrests have been made.

‘Game of Thrones’ actor Peter Dinklage, wife Erica Schmidt celebrate birth of 2nd child

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 7:37 AM

"Game of Thrones" actor Peter Dinklage and his wife, playwright/director Erica Schmidt, welcomed their second child recently.(Bruce Glikas)

“Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage and his wife, Erica Schmidt, welcomed their second child, Us Weekly reported Friday.

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It is the second child for the couple. Their daughter was born in 2011, Us Weekly reported.

The couple did not publicly confirm the second pregnancy, but Us Weekly confirmed they were spotted with their newborn at a concert in September.

Dinkage plays the part of Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” which ended its seventh season in August.

Police: Man steals ambulance with medic, patient inside

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 3:10 AM

Jeffrey Lamar Brown

A 44-year-old Dayton man is accused of stealing an ambulance with a medic and patient in back.

Within an hour of driving off Friday evening with the Dayton Fire Department life squad, the suspect — identified by police as Jeffrey Lamar Brown — was behind bars.

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The ambulance was taken around 6:30 p.m. after medics responded to a call in the 400 block of Salem Avenue. The keys were in the ignition when the suspect took off, according to a Dayton police report.

Dayton police finally were able to stop the ambulance in the 2100 block of West Riverview Avenue, about a mile and a half from where it was stolen.

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Brown was arrested at 7 p.m. and was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of robbery and two counts of kidnapping, all felonies. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, online jail records show.

Texas carnival worker charged with operating ride while intoxicated

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 6:51 AM

Ferris wheel.
YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images
Ferris wheel.(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

A carnival worker at an eastern Texas festival was arrested Thursday night and charged with assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated, KLTV reported.

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Gilmer police arrested Darrell Wayne Clayton, 63, after responding to a complaint at the East Texas Yamboree, KLTV reported.

Clayton was given a Breathalyzer test, and police confirmed that Clayton was above the legal limit for intoxication, police said.

Clayton was taken to the Upshur County Jail. Bond has not been set, KLTV reported.