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Teenager saves sibling, cousins in Dayton apartment fire; She’s being called a hero

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2018 @ 9:41 PM
Updated: Monday, March 05, 2018 @ 10:09 PM

Teenager saves sibling, cousins in Dayton apartment fire; She’s being called a hero

UPDATE 8 p.m. (March 5): De'Errica Hines, realizing that the lives of her relatives were at stake, relied on faith -- as well as a cell phone and a shirt -- when she ran back inside a burning apartment complex on Briarwood Avenue last Thursday night.

The 15-year-old Summit Academy Transitional High School student put the cell phone to work as a flashlight, and used the shirt as a smoke shield, to rescue her 1-year-old sister and little cousins. Dayton fire investigators concluded the fire was an accident. The cause was electrical in nature, they said.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Find out the latest in the Carlisle buried baby case

District Chief David Wright said the origin of the fire appears to have been in a first-floor apartment and that smoke detectors activated as they should have.

De'Errica had been charged with looking out for the little ones because Mom was at work.

De'Errica Hines, her mother and the little sister she rescued talk about what the teenager did to rescue the young one and two cousins from a fire in the apartment complex where they lived. (Michael Burianek/Staff)

De'Errica and her family lost their belongings in the fire, but she is gaining much more these days because of how she responded during -- and after -- an emergency.

"She's a real life hero. Usually, these stories... you see there on movies," Summit Academy teacher Dustin Williams told News Center 7's Lauren Clark on Monday.

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De'Errica was in school the morning after the fire, seemingly not at all flustered and concerned only that she was wearing the shirt she had on the night of the fire. The clothing on her back was all that was left.

The straight-A student wanted desperately to go on the field trip, Williams said.

He said when he found out what she had experienced the night before, her attitude stunned him. De'Errica didn't seem to be dwelling on her immediate past. She was looking toward the future and what she could learn from the field trip.

This week, Summit Academy students are wearing ribbons as a sign that each of them has donated a dollar or more to support De’Errica and her family. Already, at least $150 has been collected.

Students at the Summit Academy Transitional High School are wearing ribbons to symbolize their efforts to raise money for classmate De'Errica Hines and family, who lost everything in a fire March 1, 2018. (Michael Burianek/Staff)

HOW TO HELP: Here’s the link to the school Facebook page, where there is a list of what the family needs and information about a fundraiser:

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:52 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 7:50 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On the ramp from northbound I-75 to northbound I-675, there is a crash in the right shoulder.
  • On southbound Interstate 75 in the area of Wagner Ford Road and Needmore Road, a crash was reported around 8:06 a.m. A vehicle reportedly crashed into the center divider and antifreeze is down on the ground. Traffic is backed up in the area.

Surface Street Incidents

  • On Indian Ripple Road at the I675 overpass in Beavercreek, a crash was reported around 7:50 a.m.
  • At Main and Franklin streets in Centerville, a crash was reported around 7:45 a.m.
  • At County Line and Dorothy Lane roads in Kettering, a crash was reported around 7:45 a.m.
  • A crash at Bird and National Road in Clark County was reported shortly before 8 a.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closures March 19 - April 1. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 4 north/south between I-70 and Lower Valley Pike, Lane closure April 2 - 26. One northbound and two southbound lanes will remain open. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • US 35 east between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Jefferson Street, Overnight lane closures March 19 at 8 p.m. - March 20 at 6 a.m. Two eastbound lanes will remain open.


  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • I-75 south near CR 25A (Piqua), Lane closure March 19 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. One southbound lane will remain open. 
  • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 


  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 
  • SR 274 between Shroyer Road and Island Avenue, Lane closure April 9 - June 9. One lane will remain open in each direction. 


  • SR 121 between Washington Street and Fairview Street, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Harter Road, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 


  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north


  • US 68 between SR 508 and Township Road 310, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is: US 68 to SR 296 to SR 29 to SR 235 to SR 47 to US 68. 

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Did you know that Dayton once had a UNICORN bar?

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.
Source: Shutterstock
This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.(Source: Shutterstock)

Yaaaas, my mystical queen and kings, what you’ve heard is true. 

Downtown Dayton DID have an unicorn bar

>> What are the oldest bars in Dayton?

But as co-owner of the Century bar Diane Spitzig remembers, the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge wasn’t exactly firing rainbows from where the sun don’t shine. 

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“It was just a bar,” she recalled. 

The small corner bar was at 100 E. Third St. next to the Century in what has been rebranded downtown Dayton’s Fire Blocks District

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From what we can tell from a search of state records, it was incorporated in 1984 as Unicorn Lounge. 

Its official closing date is listed as March 9, 2004. 

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The name at least was ahead of its time, as unicorns are all the rage these days. 

Local resident and musician Aarika Voegele hung out at the bar with her brother. 

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“They were always real nice,” she responded on Facebook. “I remember a wooden bar that stretched (through) the place, and it being somewhat packed with regulars. If I remember correctly, there was a jukebox towards the back. It was a very mellow bar, from my experience.”

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As some recalled, the bar owned by John Demetriades had a neon unicorn head in its window.

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Little evidence of the Unicorn could be found in the Dayton Daily News archives. 

Articles uncovered point to difficult times in the Unicorn’s final years.

A 1999 story involved two brothers attacking a bartender. 

In an a 2002 article about the city’s objections to the renewal of its liquor permit and those of about a dozen other businesses, it was reported that the Unicorn’s owner insisted that crimes around the bar were unrelated to the business. 

>> Where to eat Easter brunch and dinner in Dayton 

The space that formerly held the Unicorn was the site of the Dayton Circus art event in 2009.

Since there is no Unicorn for us to visit today, we can only imagine the shenanigans that could be going down there at this very moment.

The Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge was closed long before this photo was taken, but we have our imaginations.(Photo source: Shutterstock)

The Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge was closed long before this photo was taken, but we have our imaginations.(Photo source: Shutterstock)

This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.(Source: Shutterstock)

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‘This is on my bucket list!’ says top winner of Dayton Dragons National Anthem tryouts

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:32 PM

The singer chosen to lead “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Dayton Dragons Opening Day game can check one big item off her bucket list.

“I always wanted to sing the national anthem at a sporting event at a big level,” Yolanda Drake of Jefferson Twp. said. “This is on my bucket list!”

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More than 200 people auditioned to perform at one of 70 home games. Drake took the top spot on Opening Day and will sing the national anthem in front of a sell-out crowd April 7 at Fifth Third Field. The Dragons will host the Bowling Green Hot Rods at 7 p.m. as they open their 19th season in Dayton. The Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.

Drake isn’t new to winning singing contests. She also won the Dayton Soul Singer search and performed in January with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra at the Schuster Performing Arts Center.

On most weekends, Drake performs alongside her husband, Lamar “Marty” Drake in their band LYD, which stands for Live Your Dream. They sing at festivals, top restaurants and private functions across the country, and have opened for musical legends including Chuck Berry, Sister Sledge, Alex Bugnon and a host of others, she said.

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She has experience singing the national anthem. She was often asked to perform before football and basketball games, and even graduation, for Jefferson Township High School, where her three sons graduated.

“Music is a universal language,” Drake said. “I’m going to do it as long as I can do it, as long as I’m able.”

Look for a more in-depth interview with Drake closer to the Dragons Opening Day. 

Got a tip? Call our 24-hour monitored line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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Winter Storm Watch issued for system that could bring snow to area this weekend

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:08 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:35 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at the current track and forecast for another spring storm.

Those ready for spring weather likely won’t like this forecast.

Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Darke, Preble, Montgomery, Wayne, Randolph, Butler, Warren and Clinton counties from 2 a.m. Saturday through 2 a.m.Sunday. A Winter Storm Watch means conditions are favorable for impactful snow, sleet or ice that can make travel difficult. 

>> Winter Weather Awareness: What are the different types of Winter Weather Alerts?

>> Whio Weather App

A quick-moving low pressure system will spread moisture back into the Miami Valley Saturday and Saturday night, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. A band of snow will be possible that, at times, might mix with rain. The system currently is favoring the southern and western half of the Miami Valley where the watch was issued. This means areas such as Logan, Shelby, Auglaize and Mercer counties could see a sharp cut-off from moisture and possibly very little, if any, snow. 

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The track and intensity of this system is still in question, and fine-tuning will come together during the end of the work week. Counties under the Winter Storm Watch have the best chance to see sticking snow that will could be more than two inches. 

>> Severe Weather Alert Sign-up

A few factors that could limit impact in the Miami Valley: Warm road temperatures allowing for snow melt, snow falling during the day allowing for a mix with rain, the track shifting and pulling the accumulating snow further south.

A few factors that could increase impact in the Miami Valley: Staying colder than expected, a shift further north could spread more snow across the entire area and the intensity of the system. 

Stay with Storm Center 7 for the latest updates to this spring snow storm.

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