Flyers to see ‘dramatic improvements’ at Dayton International Airport

Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 5:17 PM

Here's what you need to know.

A new phase of the Dayton International Airport’s terminal modernization program “begins the dramatic improvements to our passengers’ overall experience,” Terry Slaybaugh, airport director, said.

>> Dayton airport will look very different after overhaul

“Updates here include reconstructing the drive curb to follow the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), installation of the front glass walls to showcase more natural light and construction of a new passenger assistance center that will include restrooms,” Slaybaugh said.

The construction is scheduled to begin in January and be completed by August, according to the airport.

>> Major changes are happening at local airports

The airline ticket counter entrance and meditation room will be closed and the curbside check-in will not be available during the construction, according to the Dayton Airport. A new meditation space will open after renovation.

>> Dayton airport director’s plan to lure passengers: Bigger planes, more flights

Traffic will be redirected to the main and baggage claim entrances and signage will help direct passengers. 

The United Service Organizations (USO) will continue to serve military families at a temporary location adjacent to the TSA entrance. 

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

Unattended cooking sparks Dayton house fire

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:35 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:55 AM

A house fire on Iola Ave has left a resident displaced

UPDATE @ 9:55 a.m. 

Unattended cooking has been blamed for causing a house fire on Iola Avenue in Dayton Friday. 

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Firefighters reported flames and smoke coming from the rear of a home in the 900 block of Iola Avenue around 9:25 a.m. Friday. 

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The home’s occupant left the home, leaving cooking food on the stove, investigators said. The damage to the home will displace the occupant. 

Firefighters have not been able to get in contact with the occupant. 

No injuries were reported. 

FIRST REPORT

Firefighters have responded to reports of a house fire on Iola Avenue in Dayton Friday morning. 

Crews were dispatched around 9:25 a.m. to the 900 block of Iola Avenue and reported fire coming from the back of the structure. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:00 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

The specter of a partial federal government shutdown looms at midnight Friday, but many federal employees feel “immune” to the threat of being sent home in a repeated cycle of last-minute stopgap spending measures to avert a shutdown, union leaders say.

“I think employees are actually getting immune to it,” said Troy Tingey, president of the American Federal of Government Employees Council 214, which represents several thousand employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

But many also have lost patience.

“A lot of them are starting to look for other career fields in the private sector,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday from Hill Air Force Base, Utah. “They’ve had about enough of this.” And some are rethinking who should represent them in Congress, he added.

Congressional leaders are faced with the prospect for the fourth time since September voting for a short-term spending measure – called a continuing resolution – to avoid a government shutdown through mid-February. The consequences of a shutdown would likely furlough thousands of civil service workers at Wright-Patterson, as it did in 2013.

The House passed a stopgap spending measure in a 230-to 197-vote late Thursday. The bill now heads to the Senate where its fate was uncertain Friday.

RELATED: What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know 

President Donald Trump injected confusion by tweeting Thursday that a children’s health care program should not be part of a short-term budget agreement. The White House quickly said Trump indeed supports the House GOP measure, which would extend the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for six years and keep the government’s doors open through Feb. 16.

Waiting for word

Although a base spokesperson said Wright-Patterson has not received instructions to prepare for a shutdown, the last time a closure happened some civil service employees, such as police, fire, and medical workers, or those who were involved with the protection of life and property, were exempt. Military personnel stayed on the job.

Even so, when they report to work, they would likely not be paid until a funding deal was reached, two Wright-Patterson firefighter union leaders said.

RELATED: Fears grow as shutdown deadline nears

“There is some stresses for some of our guys because they aren’t sure what’s going to happen,” said Brian Grubb, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local F88 at Wright-Patterson.

“I think for some of the newer employees that haven’t had to navigate this or just not knowing how long this potential shutdown could be …. there’s that uncertainty,” said Steven E. McKee, Local F88 secretary-treasurer and a firefighter.

“I can’t imagine a Google, Facebook or Ford Motor co. … running as inefficiently,” McKee said, adding “it’s a huge impediment, a hindrance and it’s not right. It’s not fair to either the federal worker and or the citizen.”

Tingey said many members have lost confidence in Congress and the White House.

“When we get out there and we talk to (employees), they just have lost all confidence and respect in not only in (the) House and Senate, but in the administration as a whole,” he said.

RELATED: Will a shutdown happen? Wright Patt in a holding pattern

Congressional vote

U.S. Reps. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, and Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, both members of the House Armed Services Committee, indicated Thursday they would vote for stopgap funding to keep the government open.

“We’re in the sad position of having to vote for another continuing resolution which shortchanges our military and our men and women in uniform,” said Turner, who has Wright-Patterson in his congressional district. “I believe that will pass the House … and then the Senate will be in a position to on a short-term basis continuing funding the government.

“The Senate has to stop holding the budget deal hostage,” Turner added. “They refuse to negotiate and discuss the budget deal until immigration is resolved and the government hasn’t been funded since the end of September. These are unrelated issues. They need to proceed in a decoupled fashion and it’s doing real damage to our military that Senate Democrat leadership continues to take that stand.”

RELATED: Lack of a defense budget raises concerns at Wright-Patterson

Democrats are demanding a deal on legislation to offer protection from deportation to younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally as a prerequisite for any longer-term government funding agreement. They say the four-week duration of the House continuing resolution is too long and would take the pressure off of immigration negotiations.

“We can’t keep careening from short-term CR to short-term CR. If this bill passes, there’ll be no incentive to negotiate and we’ll be right back here in a month with the same problems at our feet,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.“Eventually, we need to make progress on the biggest issues before us.”

Wenstrup said lawmakers were “diligently” trying to prevent a shutdown.

“I think we’ll get there, but I’ve been wrong before,” he said.

RELATED: Temporary funding prevents shutdown, but hurts military, officials say

Funding the military is the highest priority with the threats the United States faces around the world, he said.

“Although a CR likely will not have what we want in terms of funding our military fully, a CR is probably our least bad option and closing down the government is an even worse option,” said Wenstrup, who added a shutdown would mean training for National Guard and reserve troops would stop.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has not indicate how he will vote on a short-term funding measure. He is waiting to see what is in the legislation before making a decision, his office said Thursday.

“There is no reason for a government shutdown,” the senator said in a statement. “Congress needs to come together and do its job.”

A spokeswoman for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Portman would vote yes on a short-term spending resolution.

“Rob believes both parties have a responsibility to keep the government funded and ensure safety and stability for all Americans, especially those serving in our armed forces,” spokeswoman Emily Benavides said in an email. “He will certainly vote to keep the government open.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Follow the daytondailynews.com and mydaytondailynews.com for the latest news on a potential government shutdown Friday.

Soldier from Clark County is missing from Fort Drum, New York

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 9:27 PM

Soldier from Clark Co. missing out of Fort Drum, NY

Spc. Trevor Nichols, a soldier from Clark County, is missing from Fort Drum, N.Y., and a national organization is asking for the public's help in finding him. 

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"I see absolutely nothing that says foul play" or suicide, Brenda Paradise, a private investigator who volunteers for Guardian Search and Investigations. 

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That organization issued a press release Thursday about Spc. Nichols, 24, of Tremont City, was was last seen Nov. 17, according to Guardian Search and Investigations. 

>>Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers

The watertowndailytimes.com is reporting that the specialist left without his driver’s license, military ID card or his cell phone and has not had any contact with his family since being missing. 

Julie A. Halpin, Fort Drum spokeswoman, told the news organization that Spc. Nichols was a soldier with the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team as of November. He was listed as absent without leave on Nov. 15 and his status was updated to deserter on Dec. 18. 

Paradise, in an interview with whio.com tonight, said the specialist was in basic training in 2012, has served a tour in Afghanistan and just returned from a tour in Iraq last May. 

Spc. Nichols is estranged from his wife and they have a son who is just shy of 2 years old, Paradise said. She was living on base with the specialist until recently, Paradise said. 

Paradise said the military was transitioning him farther away from his son, and that may have affected the specialist. 

Spc. Trevor Nichols (Courtesy/Nichols family)

The soldier's mother, Erin Nichols, also has filed a missing person's report through the Clark County Sheriff's Office. 

"I can't even imagine where he would have gone," she said in a phone call Thursday night. 

Mrs. Nichols said her son, the youngest of three boys who grew up in Enon and joined the Army right out of Greenon High School, was to report to Fort Riley, Kansas, on Dec. 7. 

She said she also believes that transfer has something to do with her son being missing. 

Mrs. Nichols said she last spoke with him by phone on Nov. 14, the day he was trying to move his estranged wife's belongings to storage. 

If you have information about Spc. Nichols, you are asked to call investigator Paradise at 907-795-5292, referencing case number 17-1689237, the Tremont City, Ohio, police department at 937-969-8281, or 911.

Fired Miami County election official sues for defamation, wants job back

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:06 AM


            A former Board of Elections worker in Miami County has filed a lawsuit against the county, alleging he was improperly fired. STAFF/FILE
A former Board of Elections worker in Miami County has filed a lawsuit against the county, alleging he was improperly fired. STAFF/FILE

TROY – A former deputy director of the Miami County Board of Elections fired in January 2017 is suing the elections board and a former member, claiming violations of open meetings laws and defamation.

Eric Morgan of Tipp City filed the complaint in county Common Pleas Court. He seeks a court order invalidating the board’s vote to terminate him from the position, a return to the position and damages in excess of $25,000 from the board.

The lawsuit alleges the elections board violated Ohio’s public meetings law. The violations allegedly took place in January 2017 to discuss Morgan in a claimed undisclosed meeting and at least one other executive session at which the suit claims the topic of discussion was not disclosed publicly as required.

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The failure to follow the meetings law should invalidate the board action, returning him to his former position, Morgan and his lawyer argue in the complaint.

Morgan also requests from former board member Dean Tamplin of Tipp City compensatory and punitive damages of more than $25,000 each as a result of alleged defamation. Tamplin and Morgan are both Democrats.

Morgan alleges he was asked by Tamplin to support Tamplin’s continued work on the board in 2017, but Morgan refused to say if he would. A few days later, on Jan. 24, 2017, he claims the board met in a special meeting, where Tamplin allegedly asked him to resign. When he refused, he was subsequently terminated from the job, Morgan claims.

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He claims he was defamed when Tamplin “made statements to the press and other members of the (elections) board that the Democratic Party ‘lost confidence’ in Morgan and that was the reason for his termination,” the lawsuit contends. Morgan claims the statement was harmful to his reputation and his career as an election official.

Tamplin did not respond to a request for comment. The board of elections staff said both the elections director and deputy director were not available for comment.

Morgan was hired as the deputy director in March 2013.

At the time of his termination, the board had two Republican members and one Democrat with the December 2016 retirement of board member Kelly Gillis, a Democrat. The Republican board members were Ryan King of Piqua and Jose Lopez of West Milton.