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.

Longest-serving Dayton commissioner dies

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 7:40 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 8:15 PM

Longtime Dayton commissioner Dean Lovelace

Dean Lovelace, the longest-serving Dayton City Commissioner, died this morning.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley confirmed that Lovelace has died.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” she said. “His legacy will always be here, not only locally but nationally, his efforts fighting for the economically disadvantaged in our community.

“It was an honor serving with him as mayor and city commissioner,” Whaley said.

He left the commission Jan. 3, 2016, for health reasons after finishing his sixth term. His political career spanned more than two decades, and in the 1980s he ran the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in Dayton.

RELATED: Lovelace announces final term

Lovelace, who was in his early 70s, was known as a firebrand committed to serving the most needy and vulnerable residents in the city, friends and peers said.

RELATED: Lovelace leaves office as citys longest-serving commissioner

Former Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin said Lovelace would take up issues no one else would, such as predatory lending, earned tax income, about holding banks accountable, and he also was instrumental in the dialogue about race in the city, she said.

“It is such a loss to the community. Dean Lovelace was such a fighter even through his illnesses,” she said. “He believed in what he believed and he acted on it, but he never forgot the little people.”

In addition to his 22 years on the commission, Lovelace retired in 2009 after a 25-year career at the University of Dayton, where he was director of the Dayton Civic Scholars program.

Funeral plans have not been announced.

Water rescue underway for man who loses kayak in Dayton

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 9:04 PM

Dayton crews are launching a boat to rescue a man tonight who apparently lost his kayak in the Great Miami River.

According to initial reports, the man is not in distress but requires assistance to get out. He is reportedly on an island in the middle of the river, not far from a kayak water feature.

The incident was reported in the 600 block of West Third Street.

We have a crew on the way and will update this report as we learn details.

Flood advisory in effect for several counties

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 6:11 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 8:55 PM

Flood Advisory

>>VIDEO: WHIO Interactive Radar

>>TIME LAPSE: Storms roll into Richmond

UPDATE @ 8:55 p.m.

A flood advisory for Auglaize and Mercer county is in effect through 11:45 p.m., issued by the National Weather Service.

UPDATE @ 8:40 p.m.

A flood advisory is in place through 11:30 p.m. for Auglaize, Logan, Mercer and Shelby counties, issued by the National Weather Service.

UPDATE @ 7:05 p.m.

A flood advisory is in effect until 10 p.m., issued by the National Weather Service.

FIRST REPORT

A flood advisory is in effect until 9 p.m., issued by the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

Radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rainfall. Minor flooding of low-lying and poorly drained streets, highways and underpasses will occur. In addition, farmland near creeks, streams and drainage ditches will experience minor flooding, the NWS reported.

Pitcher strikes out every batter in perfect game

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 9:18 PM

Softballs. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

A softball pitcher completed a perfect game, striking out every batter she faced Friday. 

Mia Fiaeta, a sophomore at Cedar Grove High School in New Jersey, struck out the 21 batters she faced in a 4-0 victory, according to the North Jersey Record.

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"I've never witnessed anything like that before," Cedar Grove head coach Nicole Velardi told The Record. "She really held it together. We didn't realize until the last inning that she was doing it."

In her last appearance, Fiaeta struck out all 15 batters she faced. She has thrown 321 strikeouts this season, according to the North Jersey Record.

The win puts the Panthers in the finals of their playoff tournament. They play again Tuesday.