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Backers want Ohio Aviation Hall of Fame at future monument site

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

Ohio may be the birthplace of aviation, but it doesn’t have what California, Kansas, North Carolina and New Jersey all have: a state-oriented aviation hall of fame.

A number of aviation enthusiasts in the area want to change that, but money remains a big hurdle.

Backers envision an Ohio Aviation Hall of Fame as part of a proposed $21 million Triumph of Flight monument on eight acres at the southwest corner of Interstate 75 and I-70.

State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, has introduced a bill establishing a nine-member board to oversee the Hall of Fame and a 2022 deadline for construction. 

It’s about “tagging our state as one of if not the number one state in aerospace in the country,” said Perales, an Air Force veteran.

RELATED: Apollo 13 mission director, three others to enter National Aviation Hall of Fame

In all, 34 states have their own state-specific aviation halls of fame honoring natives who have made significant contributions to the field, a University of Dayton volunteer student-led study found. Ohio is not one of them.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame, which is tucked inside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, honors legendary Ohio aviation and space pioneers, such as Dayton airplane inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright, and astronauts John Glenn and Neil Armstrong. But backers say there are plenty of noteworthy contributors who otherwise wouldn’t get their due without a state hall.

“There are a lot of people here in Ohio, a lot of Ohioans, who deserve recognition for their accomplishments who will just never rise to the level of the National Aviation Hall of Fame but are still worthy of some recognition,” said Timothy Gaffney, a local author who wrote the book, “The Dayton Flight Factory: The Wright Brothers & the Birth of Aviation.”

Paying for the monument

Backers have attempted to raise money for more than a decade for the Triumph of Flight. They envision a 270-foot monument with a massive stainless steel replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane, at the top of the arching tower.

The Hall of Fame would be inside a $2.6 million, 10,000-square-foot learning center at the base of the monument, said Curt Nelson, executive director of the Wright Image Group campaign and a retired Air Force pilot.

So far, the group has gathered about $2.1 million or 10 percent of the goal. Nelson said the group hopes to land a major donor in the months ahead, someone who would give half the money in return for having their name as part of the monument’s identity. The site itself would be a combination of donated and purchased land, he said.

“We’d like to be in a position later this summer with a significant amount of construction pledges in hand,” he said. “We’re active on that front. We’re talking to lots of folks. We’re very actively looking for that donor and maybe it happens this summer.”

RELATED: Group seeks to build Wright Flyer monument

Public money unlikely

Finding funding for the Triumph of Flight concept is the biggest challenge of the project, said National Aviation Heritage Alliance Executive Director Tony Sculimbrene.

He researched the history of two world-renowned places — the St. Louis Arch in Missouri and the Sydney Opera House in Australia — and discovered both relied on “substantial” government support to get off the ground, he said.

“I think the Triumph of Flight will require significant government support and that’s tough to do in today’s environment,” Sculimbrene said.

With state lawmakers working to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget in an effort to eliminate a projected shortfall, Perales does not anticipate having state money available.

Likewise, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, who once spoke on the House floor to support the monument, indicated that federal funding would not be available.

“Funding for projects like the Triumph of Flight monument would be considered an earmark, which are currently prohibited under House rules,” the congressman said in an emailed statement Friday.

RELATED: Air Force Museum sees boost in attendance since new hangar opened

‘Inherently difficult’

Raising money for the Triumph of Flight monument has evolved into a years-long quest.

“Fundraising is difficult inherently and fundraising for things like monuments is a factor of 10 more difficult,” Nelson said.

The project received a $250,000 earmark in last year’s state capital budget, he said.

Gaffney acknowledged the fundraising challenge, but said, “I definitely think it would be a good thing for the Dayton region and the state of Ohio and why not have something on the scale of the St. Louis Arch and the Statue of Liberty because this is the birthplace of aviation?

“The St. Louis Arch marks the gateway to the west, but the Triumph of Flight marks the gateway to the universe.”

The monument would attract more tourists to the National Aviation Heritage Area and give boost to local tourism, organizers say.

TourismOhio Director Mary Cusick said she had not heard of the hall of fame proposal but noted the popularity of similar tourist sites in Ohio.

“I can tell you the National Football Hall of Fame (in Canton) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in Cleveland), those seem to get a lot of traction and they’re good for tourism in Ohio,” she said.

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

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

UPDATE @ 11:17 a.m. (June 23)

The injured infant remains in critical condition at Dayton Children’s Hospital, according to officials.

Sgt. John Bowling did confirm the mother was cited for a child restraint violation at the scene.  

UPDATE @ 4:10 a.m. (June 22)

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.

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

Clark County 11-year-old charged with unruliness, inducing panic

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 3:43 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 9:36 PM

UPDATE @ 11:24 a.m. (June 23):

Perry Beller has been charged with being an unruly juvenile and inducing panic, said Major Chris Clark, Clark County Sheriff’s office. The child will appear in juvenile court Friday.

UPDATE @ 9:20 p.m. (June 22)The Clark County Sheriff's Office is considering pressing charges in the Perry Beller missing child incident and has discussed with the family ways to prevent the boy from running off. 

"We have discussed that with the family," Maj. Chris Clark, operations commander with the sheriff's office, said of the recommendations offered. 

Perry is the son of a Clark County sheriff’s deputy.

Perry was located in downtown Christiansburg, Champaign County, by a member of the Region 3 Rescue Strike Team and a bystander. The boy's family and medics will determine whether to send him to a hospital. 

"We don't know the path that he took," said Michael Guadagno, strike team coordinator. He estimates the boy was missing more than 14 hours and covered roughly 5 miles from his home in Pike Twp. 

>>VIDEO: Boy 'very outdoorsy’

"He could have taken many paths back and forth. We assume he was wearing what he left the house in." 

Well more than 100 personnel from fire/EMS, law enforcement, seven to 14 search teams with multiple members as well as multiple K-9 teams from four counties joined in the search, Guadagno said. 

Maj. Clark said drones from the Ohio Bureau of Investigation and the Champaign County Sheriff's Office, as well as aircraft from the Ohio Highway Patrol and a private citizen pilot were part of the search effort as well. 

"It was a long, painstaking search and we're just really happy it ended successfully," Maj. Clark said. "It's a huge relief."

UPDATE @ 8:38 p.m.: Searchers have located Perry Beller. 

UPDATE @ 8:10 p.m.: We’re told the Perry Beller case has been elevated to an alert because of the length of time he has been missing, the fact that he has presumably been without food and water and because he is believed to be wearing little to no clothing.

UPDATE @ 7:35 p.m.: The search for Perry Beller has been elevated to an endangered missing child alert, according to the Clark County Sheriff's Office. 

The alert describing the 11-year-old was released minutes ago. He is 4-foot-2 inches tall, about 70 pounds and was possibly last seen in the village of Christiansburg in Champaign County. 

We're working to determine what led the sheriff's office to elevate this incident.

UPDATE @ 5:45 p.m.: More than 40 firefighters, EMTs, police, deputies and at least two K-9 units have launched the search for 11-year-old Perry Beller. 

The group is leaving from the Pike Twp. Fire Department, where officials briefed reporters on the boy described as very intelligent and knowledgeable about the outdoors. 

Jacob King, Bethel Twp. fire chief, said Perry “is a very avid, strong young man. He is very outdoorsy. 

"He does not mind running through fields, climbing trees, running in springs. He's very intelligent on the foods of the land. 

"He knows what berries, what type of fruits are grown in the area that he can eat…he is very outdoorsy and can move and navigate through this area very well. "

The search group intends to cover an area that includes Pike and Harmony townships, along the Clark/Miami county line.

If you see him, you are asked to call the Clark County Sheriff’s Office at 937-328-2561.

UPDATE @ 4:36 p.m.:  The public is being asked to check their properties -- trees, sheds, barns and the like -- for Perry Beller, described as a very strong boy who is “very outdoorsy” and likes to travel shoeless.

The boy is the son of a Clark County sheriff’s deputy.

He has some disabilities and officials believe those disabilities are driving him to run. One official calls it a “defiance disability.”

(NEW) Perry is believed to have oppositional defiant disorder, a mental impairment that affects children, generally in adolescence. While it is normal for a child to go through some level of disobedience in their youth, ODD goes beyond normal disobedience and often rise to a level that requires professional help, according to an article posted to disabilitysecrets.com.

Children with ODD do not see their behavior as defiant. They feel as though others are putting unreasonable demands on them when asked to behave properly.

Some children are diagnosed with ODD because they are explosive and angry, but they are just easily frustrated and inflexible; these children may not be disobeying authority on purpose.

Officials said the boy has built a club house. He likes to be outside. He doesn’t mind being out in the fields or wooded areas.

This is not the first time he has left home, one official said. Perry ran away to North Hampton on Memorial Day, ending up at a relative’s home. That’s about five miles from his home in Pike Twp.

The last reported sighting was at 10 am. in Christiansburg in Champaign County.

People living in the areas of North Hampton, New Carlisle and Christiansburg are urged to be on the lookout for the boy.

Officials are ruling out any abduction or family member taking him.

If you see him, you are asked to call the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, 937-328-2561.

INITIAL REPORT

Clark County law enforcement officials will hold a news conference this afternoon to notify the community about 11-year-old Perry Beller, who is said to be missing. 

>> Read the latest local stories in the Miami Valley 

Officials told this news outlet Beller has been missing since this morning. Additional details were not available. 

We have a crew on the way to the news conference and will update this page as we learn more. 

For updates and more news click here to download our free apps.

Report: Pit bull sale arrangement leads to robbery

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 10:47 AM

Dayton Police Officers responded to an armed robbery on the corner of Warren Street and Lincoln Street Thursday afternoon.

A Dayton woman planned to meet with an acquaintance at the intersection regarding the purchase of a pit bull.

>>TRACK THE LATEST CONDITIONS ON LIVE DOPPLER 7 INTERACTIVE RADAR

Police say, while waiting, an unidentified suspect approached her around noon with a firearm in-hand demanding for her purse.  

The suspect would then flee on foot towards downtown Dayton. The purse and its contents were valued around $250.

$86M overhaul planned to Dayton public housing high-rises, apartments

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 8:26 AM


            The Westdale high-rise is expected to be rehabbed and improved. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Dayton’s public housing authority plans to offer 669 apartments it owns and operates to private investors to help fund tens of millions of dollars in renovations to modernize the housing.

Greater Dayton Premier Management, the largest provider of affordable housing in Montgomery County, has 73 housing sites, and the average age of its apartments is 40 years old.

The physical needs of all of GDPM’s properties exceed $134 million, while the agency receives about $5 million annually for capital improvement projects, said Jennifer Heapy, the agency’s CEO.

The federal government has authorized GDPM to convert a handful of high-rises and a variety of smaller apartment buildings it owns into the project-based Section 8 housing program.

RELATED: Public housing targeted for demolition, upgrades

Private investors and tax credits will help fund updating or replacing the housing, the estimated redevelopment costs of which exceeds $85 million, according to the GDPM.

“This (program) is really reflective of HUD wanting to get out of ownership of public housing,” said Heapy.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted GDPM approval to participate in its Rental Assistance Demonstration program.

Under the program, GDPM can move some of its properties over into the Section 8 program, which provides people with vouchers, or payments, to live in privately owned housing.

The conversions will allow private capital to fund renovating or replacing public housing, which will benefit from tax credits to help provide subsidized rent to tenants, officials said.

MORE: Public housing residents to get employment help

Conversion is important because GDPM does not have the money to pay to update and renovate its buildings, officials said.

An assessment completed in 2011 concluded modernizing all of GDPM’s properties would cost $134 million.

The agency is waiting for a new physical-needs assessment to be completed to determine if the buildings it wants to convert to the private marketplace should be renovated or demolished and replaced.

MORE: Locations of Dayton’s affordable housing criticized

The first phase targets three high rises: The Metropolitan in the Grafton Hill area (77 apartments), the Wentworth in northwest Dayton (147 units) and the Westdale apartments on the west side (57 units).

The first phase will have an estimated development cost of $35 million.

Phase 2 right now includes the Wilkinson plaza high-rise, located downtown on the 100 block of West Fifth Street.

The building, which likely needs to be demolished, has 199 units and may be put into the first phase, Heapy said.

Other housing in the second phase include the Westdale cottages near the high-rise of the same name and a variety of scattered sites across the city.

The third phase, expected for 2020 to 2022, would likely demolish and replace the Hallmark Meridian, which has 75 units and is across the street from the Metropolitan.

The second and third phases have estimated development costs of $39.4 million and $11.2 million, respectively.

GDPM owns and operates about 2,680 housing units, and the current waiting list for public housing is 1,855.

The agency also provides nearly 4,100 people with housing vouchers, which are payments they can use to rent from operators of private housing. GDPM spends about $22 million on its voucher program, which has a waiting list of 4,620

After these three phases wrap up, GDPM is interested in transferring more of its properties through the program, Heapy said.