Honoring Dr. King at an ‘important time in American history’

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

            Wil Haygood will be the keynote speaker at the University of Dayton s annual Martin Luther King Jr Prayer Breakfast. CONTRIBUTED
Wil Haygood will be the keynote speaker at the University of Dayton s annual Martin Luther King Jr Prayer Breakfast. CONTRIBUTED

Fifty years after the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1968 became law, spearheaded by the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, the Dayton region will join the nation in honoring King for his contributions to the fight for equality.

RELATED: Dayton region celebrates life, legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

This year also marks the 50 year anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination.

“I think it’s a very important time in American history to be talking about Martin Luther King,” said Wil Haygood, journalist and author known for his Washington Post article that became the 2013 movie “The Butler.”

RELATED: Looking back at MLK’s visits to Dayton

Haygood is the keynote speaker at the University of Dayton’s annual Martin Luther King Jr Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Organizers say the breakfast is sold out.

Haygood’s appearance at UD is one of several events around the region honoring King this week, including the annual MLK Memorial Day March and Rally, Youth Celebration and MLK Banquet Celebration downtown on Monday, the official holiday.

Haygood said the heroism and courage of King has always inspired him, in his own life and in his writing career.

“Part of why it is important to teach (about King) is you have moments like this in American history when very powerful leaders are attacking immigrants, trying to scale back the muscle of the Voting Rights Act, talking in openly racist and sexist language and we need that moral guide post, that moral lantern swinging in the dark,” Haygood said. “It takes that type of collective effort to battle up against the darkness, and time and time again (King) shows us the way.”

UD Martin Luther King Committee chairs, Versalle Washington and Christina Smith said they invited Haygood to speak because of his ability to connect history to the present day.

“Our founders were committed to addressing the needs of the times, and that is what Dr. King was doing,” Smith said. “This is what we should be doing.”

Roger Crum, professor at UD and member of the King committee said events in the past year have heightened the timeliness of such a conservation about King.

“The last six months have brought forward a whole host of issues that were just boiling under the surface, from Charlottesville to Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes,” Crum said.

Haygood agrees.

“The beautiful mantra of Dr. King was always that you must spread light to unravel the darkness,” Haygood said.

The Dayton-wide march to honor King, organized by MLK - Dayton, Inc. is one of the highlights of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances.

The march begins at 10 a.m. at Drew Health Center, 1323 W. Third Street. The march will happen even if there’s “rain, snow or sleet” said MLK Dayton president Anthony Whitmore.

“Our hope is that you walk with someone that doesn’t look like you or think like you,” Whitmore said.

Participants will march from the Drew Health Center across the Peace Bridge to the Dayton Convention Center for an 11 a.m. rally.

A youth program is scheduled for 11 a.m. and a banquet is planned for 6 p.m. at the convention center. Motivational speaker David Anthony Johnson will be the featured guest at both events.

“Dr. King, if he were around, he would still be marching,” Whitmore said.

Crum said UD is planning more events for April 2018. One on the day of King’s last speech and one the next day, the day of his assassination.

King died April 4, 1968, after being shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. He had delivered his last speech the evening before at a rally supporting striking sanitation workers.

King, a husband, pastor, scholar and father of four children, would have turned 89 this month.

Police need your help: Can you identify these Englewood theft suspects?

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:50 AM

The Englewood Police Department is looking for tips regarding a theft that occurred on Sunday, January 14.  Two suspects were involved in a reported pickpocketing at a local restaurant.  

Once the victim discovered her wallet was missing, the suspects had already charged nearly $6000 in purchases. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Alan Meade at 937-771-2890. 

Chance for rain, snow showers today with gusty winds

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 3:38 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:15 PM

A few light showers or some wet snow is possible today, and more rain likely this weekend in the Dayton area.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


  • Dry and warming up to end week
  • More rain for weekend

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes


TODAY: Mostly cloudy skies are expected today with a few passing showers at times. With temperatures hovering just above freezing most of the day, we could see a mix or rain and even snow at times. No accumulation is expected as the ground is too warm to support anything frozen.

>> 5-Day Forecast

TOMORROW: Colder temperatures start the day in the mid-20s. Some passing flurries are also possible for the first part of the day. Highs peak in the mid-30s as clouds decrease at nighttime. 

THURSDAY: There will be sunshine throughout the day with temperatures warmer than normal in the low 40s. The day will be dry.

>> County-by-County Weather

FRIDAY: We continue to see temperatures improve with sunshine and a few clouds as highs reach around 50 degrees. 

SATURDAY: The day will be breezy and mild with highs around 50 degrees. Rain showers will start to arrive and become more widespread into the night. 

CEO of Middletown Community Foundation resigns

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 1:45 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

            T. Duane Gordon.
T. Duane Gordon.

No reason was given Monday for the unexpected resignation of the CEO of the Middletown Community Foundation.

T. Duane Gordon, who led the foundation for more than 10 years and grew it into one of the state’s most powerful organizations, resigned earlier this month, Carole Schul, board president of the foundation, told this news organization on Monday.

She refused to say why Gordon resigned. His name has been removed from the foundation’s web site.

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Schul said that while the MCF searches for a permanent replacement, longtime Middletown businessman Dan Sack will serve as interim director. Sack, who worked at Armco for 24 years and as a private businessman for 20 years, said his top priorities are keeping the foundation “moving in the right direction” and finding a permanent replacement for Gordon.

When asked why he resigned, Gordon said in a text message to this media outlet that he didn’t wish to “discuss beyond” what was said in the news release.

He was hired in December 2007 as executive director of the Middletown Community Foundation. A graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in communications and journalism, Gordon’s first career was as a newspaper reporter and editor at the Madison County Journal.

“On behalf of the entire Board, and the Middletown Community Foundation, we want to thank Duane for his dedicated service during a time of growth and against a challenging economic backdrop,” Schul wrote in an email to this news organization.

“We wish him all the best in his future endeavors. The Foundation remains dedicated to its mission to secure permanent and growing assets for the Middletown area’s changing needs, and looks forward to a productive year.”

According to a national study, the Middletown Community Foundation was the No. 1 most active community foundation in Ohio, which has 80 community foundations and the No. 21 most active foundation in the United States, which has more than 750 community foundations; and was ranked for the first year ever in the top 100 for per capita giving, at No. 59, with approximately $44 in gifts received per resident it serves in its communities.

Earlier this year, the MCF board of directors approved nearly $100,000 in grants to 14 local organizations.

The largest grant, worth $20,000, was awarded to People Working Cooperatively, a group that repairs homes for Middletown-area families.

Three other groups — Atrium Medical Foundation, Berachah Church, and Middletown Lyric Theater — each received $15,000 for their programs.

Homes evacuated after large natural gas leak near Fairborn

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:32 PM

Gas leak forces evacuation of at least 10 homes near Fairborn

UPDATE @ 12:20 p.m. 

At least 10 homes were evacuated after a construction worker, digging the basement for a new home, hit a natural gas main line, causing a large gas leak on Brehm Boulevard east of Fairborn, according to fire officials. 

Some of the homes are unoccupied or under construction, according to investigators. 

No injuries have been reported. 

We’ll update this page as new details become available. 

Marshall Gorby/Staff


Multiple fire crews have responded to reports of a large gas leak on Brehm Boulevard east of Fairborn Tuesday. 

Initial reports indicate a contractor struck a main natural gas line, causing the leak. 

Reports indicate firefighters are conducting evacuations in the neighborhood. 

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