Actor from Miami Valley lands major role in new film

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Photo contributed by Alex Henry
(Photo contributed by Alex Henry)

Come late next year, Dayton will be able to watch one of their very own on the big screen.

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Chase Crawford, a 2014 graduate of Butler Tech and Monroe High School, has landed a major role in the new JM Productions film, Stronger Than Pretty

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The film, set to premiere in late 2018, is one mother’s unfiltered, true account of how she escaped domestic abuse. 

“It’s not too often that you get a script in a story as raw as this one. It all happened … You get to be forever attached in telling that story,” Crawford said. “I can’t imagine living through what she went though.”

The story is sure to be true to its core. Crawford will be working side by side with the mother’s son, one of the producers working on Stronger Than Pretty.
Joining Crawford for the project is a well-known cast including “Shameless” actress Kate Amundsen, Raquel Castro from “Empire,” and “The Birth of a Nation” actor Jason Stuart.

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“Everyone just wants to make sure that this story is given justice,” Crawford said. 

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While Crawford is more accustomed to comedic roles, this will not be his first time playing a serious character. Two successful independent films where he appeared in such roles were the 2016 Sundance Film Festival selection “Goat” and the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (tiff) selection “The Radiant City.”

Shooting for Stronger Than Pretty is expected to begin principal shooting in Los Angeles this September. 

Whaley wants police to be ‘aggressive,’ cite panhandlers who break laws

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:53 AM


Panhandling is protected free speech, but Dayton leaders want police to be “very aggressive” to cite panhandlers who violate the city’s ordinances.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said panhandlers constantly break the law by illegally entering the right-of-way to collect cash from motorists.

“They get in the road every time — it’s dangerous, it’s not good for our quality of life and it needs to be enforced,” she said.

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The city passed ordinances last year prohibiting “distribution” in the right-of-way to try to replace its anti-panhandling laws, which it rescinded for likely being unconstitutional.

Whaley recently instructed police Chief Richard Biehl and police command staff to prioritize enforcement of the city’s distribution laws and crackdown on panhandlers who violate the city’s ordinances. She said panhandling harms citizens’ quality of life and said police must do everything they can within the law to discourage the activity.

3 recent losses to Dayton’s music scene include some of its giants

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 9:42 AM

Jerry Gillotti, the owner of Gilly's, has established a
Jerry Gillotti, the owner of Gilly's, has established a "No Smoking" policy at his bar. The establishment is located at the corner of Jefferson Street and Fifth Street in downtown Dayton.(Ron Alvey)

The Dayton community has recently suffered three losses of those who helped shape the local music scene.

1. Jerry Gillotti , co-founder and owner of Gilly’s Nightclub, has died, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed today. He was 80. Inducted into the Dayton Hall of Fame in 2013, Gillotti is credited for bringing big jazz acts to perform at his club, including Tony Bennett, BB King, Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock.

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2. Bob Sweeney, legendary Dayton DJ, died last month. He was 71. Sweeney was the co-host of the morning show at Mix 107.7. Known for his wit and gift for gab, Sweeney previously worked for WHIO Radio, where he hosted “Conversation Piece” and the afternoon drive, and also appeared on WHIO-TV.

3. Keith Edward Wilder, a vocalist in the Dayton/London, England funk band Heatwave, died last month. He was 65. The band achieved wide acclaim with hit songs "Boogie Nights," "Always and Forever" and "The Groove Line." 

This downtown Dayton holiday display could mesmerize you for hours

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 7:56 AM

Virginia Kettering’s model train display, her gift for the community, has been a holiday tradition for more than two decades.

Virginia Kettering’s model train display, her gift for the community, has been a holiday tradition for more than two decades. 

The train and village setup was commissioned by the Dayton philanthropist in 1996. Kettering founded “One World One Christmas,” the annual celebration now called the Dayton Holiday Festival, in 1972.

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Dayton philanthropist Virginia Kettering commissioned this holiday train display in 1996. The gift for the community is displayed in the lobby of the Kettering Tower through Jan. 2. LISA POWELL / STAFF(LISA POWELL)

Kettering and her husband, Eugene Kettering, the son of inventor Charles Kettering, were model train enthusiasts who kept their basement filled with the scaled down replicas. 

“We used to have one on our dining room table,” she told the Dayton Daily News in 1996, referring to a tiny model train that circled the couple’s holiday table delivering relishes to dinner guests. 

Three model trains chug through the scaled-down Christmas village: a trolley on the inner loop, a Christmas train carrying evergreen trees on the middle track and a larger diesel engine runs around the outer track. 

Miniature street lights illuminate buildings with glowing windows. The structures commemorate Dayton landmarks such as Requarth Lumber, the Dayton Daily News and Kettering Medical Center. 

There are countless engaging scenes within the arrangement. A diminutive bride and groom exit a church, a tiny man waits on a bench outside Elder-Beerman and a pocket-size Santa Claus leaves presents under a community Christmas tree. 

The model was refurbished in 2009, and the majority is still original. The only piece missing, a trolley climbing a hill, has been replaced by a train depot. 

Chris Schultz, the owner of Schultz’s Hobbies, and a team of volunteers from the Miami Valley Garden Railway Society, maintain the Virginia Kettering holiday train display and assemble it in the Kettering Tower lobby each year. LISA POWELL / STAFF(LISA POWELL)

Today, Chris Schultz, the owner of Schultz’s Hobbies in Kettering, and a team of volunteers from the Miami Valley Garden Railway Society maintain the display and assemble it in the Kettering Tower lobby each year. 

Schultz, who powered up the train display for the holiday season on Thanksgiving morning, said many people have made an annual pilgrimage to see the model train display a family tradition. 

“It’s really awesome to watch kids stand there for hours watching the trains go around,” he said. “It brings joy to me.” 


Virginia Kettering’s holiday train display, on view Thanksgiving through Jan. 2, 2018,  is located in the lobby of the Kettering Tower at Main and Second Streets in Dayton. 

Lobby hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The train can be viewed through the building windows at any time.

The 45th annual Dayton Holiday Festival kicks off today

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 4:22 AM

The holiday season kicks off in Dayton today with the annual Grande Illumination and Dayton Children's Parade Spectacular in Lights.

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This year marks 45 years celebrating the Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by Dayton Power & Light.

The event will be held at Courthouse Square and surrounding buildings from 4-9 p.m. with the tree-lighting ceremony at 7:45 p.m. and the parade immediately following. Hundreds of thousands of lights will illuminate the 45-minute parade, which will feature a variety of floats, entertainers, animals and several surprises.

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Activities planned include the live reindeer display, musical entertainment, carnival rides and games, holiday crafts and games, horse-drawn wagon rides, the Tike's Shoppe and a gingerbread house contest.

A complete list of festival events is available online, as well as a calendar of other downtown holiday events.


The parade will begin at 7:50 p.m. at Second and Wilkinson streets. It will proceed east on Second Street to south on Main Street, then to west on Fourth Street. When at Fourth and Perry streets, the parade floats will disband and stage for escort to their designated storage area.

Streets to Be Closed for Dayton Holiday Festival:

  • Closed from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.:  Third Street between Main and Ludlow
  •  Closed from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Second Street between Perry and Vista View 
  • Closed from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Wilkinson Street between Second and Third,  Ludlow Street between First and Second
  •  Closed from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Main Street between First and Fifth, Second Street between Jefferson and Perry, Third Street between Jefferson and Perry, Fourth Street between Jefferson and Ludlow, Wilkinson Street between Maple and Fourth, Southbound Red Cross Lane between First and Second, Southbound Stafford Street between First and Second

RELATED: This breathtaking holiday light display is celebrating 27 years

The Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by DP&L, is a program of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the Mrs. Virginia W. Kettering Dayton Holiday Festival Fund.