6 local school districts reach national academic competition

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 12:11 PM
Updated: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 12:11 PM


            Miamisburg High School seniors Blake Boyd (left) and Brady Timpe compete in the scientific challenge at the 2017 state Destination Imagination tournament. Their team, also including Owen Clayton and Eliza Gauthier, won first place. They had to create a story — including a self-made gadget and a disguised character — about a secret mission, applying methods from cryptography and steganography to reveal secret messages. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
            CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Miamisburg High School seniors Blake Boyd (left) and Brady Timpe compete in the scientific challenge at the 2017 state Destination Imagination tournament. Their team, also including Owen Clayton and Eliza Gauthier, won first place. They had to create a story — including a self-made gadget and a disguised character — about a secret mission, applying methods from cryptography and steganography to reveal secret messages. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO(CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Fifteen teams from local schools have advanced to the global finals of the Destination Imagination team challenge, a competition where students research, design and execute a solution to a problem.

All but one of the 15 local teams advancing are from Dayton’s south suburbs — four from Centerville schools, three each from Miamisburg and Oakwood, two from Springboro, and one each from Kettering, Incarnation Catholic School, and Tri-Village in Darke County.

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Those 15 teams first had to advance out of a regional tournament, then finished in the top three in the statewide Destination Imagination (DI) competition earlier this month. Cinda Weisgerber, Ohio affiliate director for DI, said Ohio had over 700 teams compete this year, split between elementary, middle and high school levels.

The local students will join about 8,000 others from at least 15 countries to compete at the global finals May 24-27 at the University of Tennessee.

“We are so proud of all of the teams and the hard work and creativity they displayed,” said Miamisburg schools gifted coordinator Haley Moore. “Miamisburg Destination Imagination has had an amazing season so far.”

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The national DI organization releases challenge topics in seven categories — engineering, technical, scientific, fine arts, improvisational, service learning, and the early learning challenge. Student teams generally spend a few months working on their projects under parent and teacher managers before presenting them at tournaments.

The technical challenge called for teams to design and build a stage that can move performers, then present a show featuring an opening act and a headliner, with special effects. The improvisational challenge had teams create three improvisational skits from a single story prompt, presenting each one in a different performance genre with a different stock character and props in each skit.

Five local teams came in first place in their categories and age levels at the state tournament — Springboro Junior High and Miamisburg High School in the scientific challenge, Incarnation Elementary in the fine arts challenge, Miamisburg Middle School in the improvisational challenge, and a Centerville middle school team in the service learning challenge.

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A team from Southdale Elementary is Kettering’s first-ever team to reach the global level. Their service learning challenge combined work done earlier — a schoolwide food drive that collected 2,883 items and $157 for a Kettering food pantry — with a fable-style skit about hunger’s impact on the community.

Destination Imagination officials call their tournaments “the ultimate celebration of creativity and innovation,” using project-based learning to teach students problem-solving and perseverance skills needed to succeed in school, careers and life.

School winners by grade level

Centerville, middle – 2

Centerville, secondary – 2

Miamisburg, middle – 2

Miamisburg, secondary – 1

Oakwood, elementary – 1

Oakwood, middle – 1

Oakwood, secondary – 1

Springboro, elementary – 1 (Five Points)

Springboro, middle – 1

Kettering, elementary – 1 (Southdale)

Tri-Village, secondary – 1

Incarnation, elementary — 1

Flag-waving protesters upset Confederate monument removed

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 10:15 AM
Updated: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 12:25 AM

Several people with Confederate flags have shown up at the former site of a marker dedicated to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. They are protesting that the marker was ever removed.

The removal of a 90-year-old, little-known Confederate monument in Franklin was “disgraceful,” and now some American history has been erased, said protesters who showed up in force Saturday afternoon. 

On Wednesday, Franklin workers removed the plaque dedicated to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the corner of Dixie Highway and Hamilton Middletown Road in Franklin.

MORE: The wild 24 hours of Franklin’s Robert E. Lee Confederate monument

On Saturday morning, near where the monument used to be located, someone stuck several American flags in the dirt.

By 2 p.m., protesters, many of them carrying Confederate and American flags, parked in a nearby shopping center and walked up the street. They waved the flags, and passing cars honked. There was a large police presence from the Franklin Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

RELATED: Demonstrators gather in Centerville, police keep protesters safe

As of 4 p.m., they were no protesters who supported the removal of the monument. Joe Ingles, 32, of Miamisburg, said he was waving a flag as his way of “preserving history and heritage.” He said the protest wasn’t race related. 

“This is all about what is right and what is wrong,” he said. “It’s not about hate. It’s about love. It’s about our history. I will not stand by and let somebody delete it just because they were raised up to hate.”

MORE: Middletown lawmaker criticizes efforts to remove Confederate monuments

Another protester, Donald Whisman of Franklin, was upset that city and township officials didn’t allow residents to vote whether they wanted the monument removed. He said officials “cowardly came in here and removed a monument in the middle of the night.”

As a way to prevent possible problems in the area, two local businesses, a carry-out and a beauty salon, were told to close at 2 p.m. Saturday. 

Franklin Twp. resident Larry Wood helped his wife close PJ Foodmart after police told them to close at 2 p.m. — nine hours earlier than normal — because “all the stuff going on,” Wood said. 

Wood said city and township officials should have allowed residents to vote on whether to remove the monument. 

“We don’t like when outsiders come into town and tell us what to do,” Wood said. “Lord help us.”

MORE: Confederate monuments in Ohio? Yes, surprisingly. Here are a few.

EARLIER REPORT

All was quiet this morning at the former site of a Confederate monument in Franklin.

Someone placed several American flags where the plaque dedicated to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee used to be located at the corner of Dixie Highway and Hamilton Middletown Road in Franklin, but there were no protesters.

Civil rights activist, comedian Dick Gregory dies weeks after local performance

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 11:06 PM

Dick Gregory
Dick Gregory

Civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory died Saturday, his family confirmed in a social media post.

He passed away at age 84 in Washington, DC., nearly three weeks after his one-night appearance earlier this month in the Miami Valley.

The best-selling author and 1968 write-in presidential candidate performed Aug. 2 at the Dayton Funny Bone at The Greene Towne Center.

RELATED: Comedy legend is in Dayton for one night only

Although he began as a comedian, he was active in social justice. He was allied with Martin Luther King Jr. and Andrew Young, and participated in sit-ins and marches.

Gregory was hospitalized with a serious, but stable condition, his son, Christian, said Thursday. 

He is survived by his wife, Lillian, and their 10 children.

Woman holding American flag dragged by protester in Boston

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 9:38 PM

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19:  Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned 'Free Speech Rally' on August 19, just a week after the violent 'Unite the Right' rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured. Although the rally organizers stress that they are not associated with any alt-right or white supremacist groups, the city of Boston and Police Commissioner William Evans are preparing for possible confrontations at the afternoon rally.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19: Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned 'Free Speech Rally' on August 19, just a week after the violent 'Unite the Right' rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured. Although the rally organizers stress that they are not associated with any alt-right or white supremacist groups, the city of Boston and Police Commissioner William Evans are preparing for possible confrontations at the afternoon rally. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Boston “Free Speech” rally ended with 33 arrested and while police were very diligent about keeping the right-wing groups away from protesters, there were still isolated incidents of violence.

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A clip showed a woman holding an American flag as a protester tries to rip it from her hands. The woman held on to the flag and is dragged toward a group of people, some of whom are wearing masks. She then charges into the group, apparently to confront the individual who just tried to take her flag.

Eventually, others come to help and console her. The video was shown on Fox News where a commentator said, “You can’t grab something out of someone’s hand and drag them on the ground, that’s their property and that’s assault.”

The Boston rally has been relatively peaceful. A huge mass of counter-protesters marched through the streets, while only about 60 of the Alt-right protesters were in the park where the rally is being held.

Powerball: Dayton area sales brisk for $535 million jackpot

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 12:25 PM

A jackpot-winning ticket will get an estimated $338.8 million after taxes.

Powerball ticket sales picked up Saturday as the drawing neared for a $535 million jackpot — the fifth largest ever. 

“We’re getting all sorts of new people in,” said Michael Sliger, manager of Bee Gee’s Mini Market in Kettering. “Everybody’s wanting to take a chance at the big money.” 

Saturday's Powerball jackpot is up to more than $535 million. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Chris Stewart/CHRIS STEWART / STAFF)

Teresa Williams, 66, of Kettering bought $10 worth of tickets at Bee Gee’s but said her odds of winning are probably “zero, if you look at the statistics.” 

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The multi-state lottery actually places the chance of winning the grand prize closer to one in 292.2 million. The drawing is tonight at 10:59 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla.

The actual after-tax estimated value of tonight’s drawing is estimated at $338.8 million.

» INTERACTIVE: Ohio Lottery: Who wins the most, and how much does it pay?   

David Sprowl, Jr., 52, won $12 in the most recent drawing worth $432 million and was trying his luck again Saturday at the Smithville Market in Dayton. 

“I like to play when it’s high like this,” said the roofer from Dayton. 

A patron at Bee Gee's Mini Market in Kettering displays their Powerball tickets for Saturday's drawing that could win someone more than $535 million. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Chris Stewart/CHRIS STEWART / STAFF)

Sprowl said he’s uncertain he’d quit his job if he wins the huge jackpot but said he would take care of family and friends. 

“I don’t know if I would continue working,” he said. “I probably would have to do something. I’d probably buy a working farm.”

» RELATED: 7 things to do if you win big in the lottery 

Three winners split the biggest Powerball jackpot ever, $1.59 billion, in January 2016. 

After giving money to family and charities, Williams said if she won she’d gamble some more. 

“I would like to go on a road trip and hit all the casinos,” she said. “Basically I’d just spend it. Because you can’t take it with you.”