300 veterans celebrate birthday of Hamilton boy whose dad died in Iraq

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 3:13 PM
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 3:23 PM

Move over Batman and take Robin with you.

Fly away Superman.

You too Spiderman

There are new super heroes in town, at least in the eyes of a 7-year-old Hamilton boy.

“Veterans are much cooler,” said Aiden Luff, who just completed first grade at Brookwood Elementary School.

MORE: Organizers hope to grow Hamilton’s Memorial Day Parade

When Katie Luff asked what kind of birthday party her son wanted, he said a party with a military theme. All veterans. Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. If you served, Aiden wanted you invited.

See on Nov. 21, 2010, when Aiden was only 5 months old, his father, Sgt. David James Luff Jr., 29, died in Tikrit, Iraq after insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire, the Department of Defense said.

A Hamilton High School graduate, Luff joined the Army in July 2004 as a tanker and attended training at Fort Knox, Ky. Upon completion, he was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment where he served as a gunner.

In 2006, he was deployed with 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry to Operation Iraqi Freedom for 15 months. In April 2009, he was re-assigned to Able Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment “Wolfhounds” where he served as a driver. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in January of 2010. Seven months later, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn as a gunner.

“He’s very proud of veterans and his father,” said Katie Luff, 32, who noted Aiden was 6 weeks old when his father was deployed to Iraq. That was the last time they saw each other.

MORE: Memorial in honor of Middletown Judge Mark Wall to benefit elementary

When Luff’s family and friends started planning the party last week at the Middletown Airport, Katie Luff had no idea how many veterans would respond to a birthday party for a 7-year-old. She figured about 30 people might show up.

Instead it was 300.

Aiden was picked up at Smith Park and rode on the back of Perry Davis’ motorcycle. As they approached the airport, Davis, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates, was amazed by the turnout of well-wishers, many of them saluting the young boy.

“You can’t describe it,” he said.

Then he came up with the perfect word: “Awesome.”

WATCH: America’s veterans hailed in grand way at Lakota East High School

Those in attendance showered Aiden with birthday presents, including several Challenge Coins, a leather motorcycle vest stitched with his nickname “Boo Boo” and patches, a military shadow box, dog tags, and he was invited to meet several members of Team Fastrax, a Middletown-based skydiving team that performed.

“He was treated very special,” his mother said. “It was emotional. It was amazing. All these men, all these men who didn’t know my son, showed such kindness and respect like he was family. The number of people, well, it was overwhelming.”

Her son, she said, typically very shy, interacted with those at his party.

“He had the biggest smile all day,” she said. “He thinks he’s famous now.”

MORE: Butler County veterans spending to see double digit increases

She said veterans are special because they appreciate the sacrifices of those in the military and their families.

“They understand and care and let you know not to forget the people who didn’t come home,” she said.

The Luffs were married on Dec. 31, 2008, New Year’s Eve, and he often told fellow soldiers his anniversary was easy to remember.

Less than two years later, he was killed serving his country during his second tour of duty.

When Katie Luff heard the knock at the front door seven years ago, and saw a chaplain standing there, she knew the numbing news: The love of her life, her high school sweetheart, was gone.

“Every life plan was just taken away,” she said. “We had so many things planned. It was so soon. My world collapsed right there.”

MORE: Career fair for veterans set for May 25

Now, she said, her job as a mother is to protect her “best little buddy,” that energetic 7-year-old boy.

“He gave me a purpose to keep my head up and keep marching,” she said.

Every so often, Aiden flashes a facial expression that reminds his mother of his father. Those are good days in the Luff house.

“I still have that piece of Dave,” Katie Luff said.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 3:41 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 7:20 AM

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 .

Sgt. Mark Bowron is updating conditions 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 the eastbound U.S. 35 ramp to North Gettysburg Avenue in Dayton, police and medics responded to a two-vehicle crash with injuries reported around 7:05 a.m. The exit ramp from U.S. 35 is blocked in addition to both directions of North Gettysburg Avenue at the ramp. 
  • In the 5000 block of Ohio 705 in Shelby County, one person was killed in a crash involving a milk truck early Thursday morning.
  • On northbound Ohio 4 at Keowee Street, police and medics were dispatched to a crash reported at 6:36 a.m. There are no delays reported in the area. 
  • On northbound I-75 at Northwoods Boulevard in Vandalia, a vehicle fire reported at 6:44 a.m. The right lane is blocked. 

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

Surface Street Incidents

  • On Stroop Road at Kettering Boulevard in Moraine, police and medics were dispatched to a crash reported around 7:20 a.m.
  • Water main break reported in the 1500 block of Berwin Avenue in Kettering. 

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Get a live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 

  • In Trotwood, East Main Street will be closed between North Sunrise Avenue and Broadway Avenue for a water main repair on June 22 . 
  • I-75 south ramp to US 35 west will be closed from January 9th to September 30th to replace a bridge deck beam that was not included in the I-75 modernization project. The official detour is: I-75 south to the Edwin C. Moses turn around lane to I-75 north to US 35 west.
  • I-75 north ramp the US 35 east will be closed March 28th to September 23rd. ODOT lists the suggested detour as NB I-75 to US 35 west, to James H McGee Blvd, to US 35 east. 
  • I-70 between Airport Access Road and Taywood Road, Lane closures April 3rd - June 30th. Two lanes will remain open.
  • I-70 between SR 202 and I-75, overnight lane closures June 12th – 19th between 6 pm and 7 am. Two lanes will remain open in each direction.
  • I-70 between Preble County Line Road and South Kimmel Road, overnight lane closures June 12th – August 31st between 6 pm and 7 am. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 741 at Austin Boulevard, Intermittent lane closures and construction work May 22nd – August 25th.  
  • SR 49 between SR 721 and US 40, lane closures June 12th – July 31st between 7 am and 7 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 202 between Troy Villa Boulevard and Chesam Drive, Traffic pattern shift May 15th – July 21st. All southbound traffic will be shifted to the northbound side of SR 202. There will be one southbound lane and one northbound lane operating on the northbound side of SR 202.
  • Shroyer Road between Gainsborough Road and East Dorothy Lane will be repaved and reconfigured from June 9 through at least October. Once the project is completed, Shroyer Road will be reduced to three lanes. 
  • Ludlow Street Ramp to westbound US 35 in Dayton, ramp closure May 12th – August 9th. The suggested ODOT detour is: Washington Street to US 35 west.
  • Hoover Avenue between Gettysburg Avenue and Elmhurst Road in Dayton will be closed starting April 3 until early June for water line construction. The construction will also impact the intersection of Hoover and Gettysburg avenues and drivers should expect congestion and delays. Detours will be posted. 
  • Bridgewater Road between Taylorsville Road and US 40, bridge closure May 15th – September 12th. The official detour is: Bridgewater Road to Taylorsville Road to Rip Rap Road to Little York Road to Brown School Road to US 40
  • The Webster Street bridge is closed as it is rebuilt. A detour will take drivers to Keowee Street to Monument Avenue. The project is scheduled to be completed in November of 2017 

MIAMI COUNTY 

  • Piqua-Troy Road between Statler Road and Eldean Roadbridge closure April 12th – October 12th. The official ODOT detour is: Piqua-Troy Road to West Peterson Road to CR 25A to Eldean Road to Piqua-Troy Road.

GREENE COUNTY

  • SR 343 between U.S. 68 and SR 72 in Greene County, will be closed between Monday, June 19 and Friday, June 23 for replacement of a culvert. ODOT said a detour will be posted and is listed as U.S. 68 to SR 794, to SR 72.

CLARK COUNTY  

  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, ramp closure April 19th – October 31st. The official detour is: I-675 to SR 444 to I-675 north.
  • SR 4 Ramp to Enon Road, ramp closure June 13th – 25th The suggested detour from ODOT is: SR 4 to SR 369 to SR 4 to Enon Road.
  • SR 4 between I-70 and Enon Road, lane closures June 13th – 25th. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • Enon Road Ramp to SR 4, ramp closure June 13th – 25th. The suggested detour from ODOT is: SR 4 to SR 369 to SR 4 south
  • SR 565 between SR 29 and Houston Pike, Daily lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.

DARKE COUNTY 

  • US 36 between US 127 and SR 48, Lane closures April 24th – June 30th. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Fairview Avenue, Daily lane closures April 24th – September 1st between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • US 127 between US 36 and Kruckeberg Road, Daily lane closures June 12th – August 25th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 118 between SR 47 and the Mercer/Darke County line, lane closures June 16th – July 14th between 6 am and 6 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 726 between Preble County Butler Township Road and East Washington Street, lane closures June 15th – July 21st between 6 am and 6 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY 

  • US 36 between Berwick Drive and Dugan Road, road closure April 10th – July 10th. The suggested ODOT detour is: SR 814 to SR 296 to US 68.
  • US 36 between SR 814 and McMahill Road, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction..
  • US 36 between Bollinger Road and Edgewood Avenue, lane closures June 12th – August 31st between  7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 54 between SR 4 and Brigner Road, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 55 between Elm Tree Road and Edgewood Avenue, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 296 between SR 29 and SR 814, lane closures May 22nd – September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.

SHELBY COUNTY 

  • Amsterdam Road between CR 25A (Sidney) and Heiland Kies Road, road closure May 15th– August 15th. The official detour from ODOT is: Amsterdam Road to CR 25A to SR 274 to Heiland Kies Road to Amsterdam Road

 

 

 

Driver hauling milk killed in Shelby County crash

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 6:18 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 7:40 AM

Steve Baker/Staff

UPDATE @ 7:40 a.m. 

Deputies said a truck driver was killed in a semi rollover crash that occurred on Ohio 705 in Shelby County Thursday morning. 

>> Read the latest local stories in the Miami Valley 

The semi, which was hauling a tanker of milk, went off the roadway around 3:20 a.m. and rolled into a corn field on Ohio 705, about a mile east of the Fort Loramie village limits. 

Deputies said the crash is still under investigation, but investigators believe the driver might have fallen asleep prior to the crash.

RELATED: Truck driver pinned at Greenville business dies from injuries

The identity of the driver has not been released, pending notification of family. 

Ohio 705 is expected to be closed in both directions through most of the morning. 

FIRST REPORT

A crash involving a milk truck has killed one person in Shelby County.

The crash was reported at 3:21 a.m. in the 5000 block of Ohio 705. 

>> Truck driver pinned at Greenville business dies from injuries

We have a crew on the way. This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

What will happen to the former Xenia Carnegie Library?

Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 @ 9:08 AM

Officials are working to market the former Xenia Carnegie Library in hopes of finding a new tenant for the building, which has been vacant for 20 years.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

The building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015, is a “gem” near the city’s downtown and its time a business or organization puts it to good use, said Mary Crockett, Xenia community development and downtown coordinator.

MORE: Police blotter for Bellbrook, Sugarcreek, Fairborn and Xenia

The public is invited to a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the city council chambers, 107 E. Main St. Organizers are looking for new ideas from the community and to find out what residents would like to see happen with the building.

There will be a guest speaker. Mary Ellen Armentrout, author of "Carnegie Libraries of Ohio: Our Cultural Heritage.” Armentrout can talk about what has happened to other Carnegie libraries in Ohio.

MORE: Greene County Jail inmates

Carnegie libraries were built across the U.S. beginning around 1904. Some have been torn down or are vacant, some have been turned into locations for businesses or nonprofit organizations, and others continue to function as libraries.

Infant ejected in rollover crash on I-70 in critical condition

Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 @ 11:53 PM

UPDATE @4:10 a.m. 6/22/17

An infant is in critical condition at Dayton Children’s Hospital after he was ejected in a rollover crash on I-70, according to our partners at Kicks96.

The crash happened just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20. 

FIRST REPORT 6/20/17

A 9-month-old infant suffered serious injuries Tuesday night when he was ejected in a rollover crash on I-70 West in Centerville, Ind., and had to be plucked from the interstate by his mother before he was struck, the Indiana State Police said.

SEE: More trending news headlines

The preliminary investigation shows that a pickup driven by Sherissa Mattingly, 32, of Hagerstown, Ind., was headed west on I-70 just before 9 p.m. when for an unknown reason she lost control and the truck rolled into the deep median just east of the Centerville Road exit. 

The truck came to rest on its wheels and perched on barrier cables on the south side of the median, close to the eastbound lanes. 

SEE: Rescuers search Little Miami River for ‘missing swimmer’

Further investigation revealed that the infant was not properly restrained and was ejected into the eastbound lanes of I-70 as the truck rolled. 

Mattingly was able to get out of the truck and retrieve her son from the interstate. 

A medical helicopter took the child to Dayton Children’s Hospital. 

A medic squad took Mattingly, who is believed to have suffered non-life threatening injuries, to Reid Health in Richmond. 

Tooper Scott Keegan, a crash reconstruction investigator, was sent to the scene to assist with the investigation that has kept the eastbound lanes of I-70 blocked since 9 p.m..

Troopers were expecting to have the road reopened by 11:30 p.m. 

The crash investigation is ongoing, according to ISP.

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