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Lessons learned from Capitol Hill: Dayton students get first-hand look

Published: Wednesday, June 07, 2017 @ 7:54 AM

Thanks to DP&L support, students from the Dayton area are able to experience first-hand the government at work and how it affects local communities.
Thanks to DP&L support, students from the Dayton area are able to experience first-hand the government at work and how it affects local communities.

Ian Dollenmayer began his first year at the University of Dayton (UD) in much the same way that many freshmen do: as an undecided major.  

After all, how can you be expected to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at 18 years of age? However, his undecided status didn’t last long. 

“I took an American Political Systems course my first semester at UD, and I never looked back. The only thing that changed was how I wanted to apply my political science degree,” explained Dollenmayer. “A genuine love for government work blossomed during my time at UD, due in large part to my coursework and experiences.”  

Those experiences included internships with UD’s Office of Government and Regional Relations and with the federal government in Washington, D.C.  

But one internship, in particular, would help set the course for his professional life after college: the University of Dayton Statehouse Civic Scholars program

Ian Dollenmayer (center, blue shirt) with the 2015 UD Civic Scholars

“I’d gotten to know (former) Governor Taft and Eileen Austria, and they told me about UD’s Statehouse Civic Scholars program. Both encouraged me to apply,” said Dollenmayer. “I had experienced government at the federal level, and I saw this as a great opportunity to learn about government at the state level. So, I applied and was lucky enough to be one of 12 students chosen for an internship at the Statehouse in Columbus.” 

Locally funded programs introduce students to state and federal government

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders -- especially students who have an interest in government and politics and who might someday influence legislation that affects the Dayton region.  

Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) understands that cultivating knowledge of government, the legislative process, and how it impacts the local community and the businesses that operate there can benefit the Miami Valley area in the future. That’s why, since 2011, the company has supported the UD Statehouse Civic Scholars program, arranged for networking opportunities, and sends two students from the Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) to the Dayton Region Community Fly-In. Both programs provide local students with the opportunity to interact and work side-by-side with state and federal government representatives.  

The 2017 University of Dayton Civic Scholars

University of Dayton Statehouse Civic Scholars program

Eileen Austria is the owner of EFA Solutions, a consulting firm of which the University of Dayton is a client. She manages the statehouse internships that are awarded through the University’s Civic Scholars program, now in its sixth year. 

Every year, Austria and Taft select 12 students for the eight-week internship in Columbus, beginning in May and wrapping up in July. To be considered, students must have at least at 3.0 GPA and be enrolled full-time at the University of Dayton.  

Statehouse scholars receive:

  • Three hours of internship credit
  • A fellowship stipend 
  • Housing at Capital University, which is in close proximity to the Statehouse
  • Opportunities to network with Ohio statewide officers, legislators, lobbyists and more, including a luncheon with elected officials hosted by DP&L 

Placement opportunities include highly desirable offices in state government, such as the Attorney General, Auditor of State, Secretary of State, and House Speaker Communications team, just to name a few. Dollenmayer’s placement was with the Office of Budget and Management.  

“The state passes a new budget every two years,” explained Dollenmayer. “I was lucky enough to be there at the end of the last budget cycle, so I had the chance to experience first-hand what it’s like to pass a new budget.”  

>>> RELATED GALLERY: Dayton students learn about community and government

DECA students attend Dayton Region Community Fly-In in Washington D.C.

Each year, in an effort to educate the community about the federal government and to promote the exchange of ideas between Washington officials and community leaders, the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) hosts the Dayton Community Fly-In event in Washington, D.C. Dayton has one of the largest and oldest ongoing community-wide programs in the U.S. that takes civic leaders to the nation’s capital. 

“Every year, DP&L pays for two students and a chaperone from our school to be a part of the Dayton Region Community Fly-In,” said Dave Taylor, deputy superintendent for DECA.  

A committee is responsible for choosing which two DECA students will receive the opportunity. Their decision is based primarily on student performance (GPA), as well as recommendations from teachers and the administration. The students must be in their junior or senior year of high school. 

DECA students Jocelyn Martin (left) and Muhammed Ndao (right) with Ohio senator Rob Portman

“For us, this is a major, mind-expanding opportunity for our students, who return from D.C. with their view of the world completely reformed and reshaped in some way. We are eternally grateful for this opportunity, which would not be possible without the funding from DP&L,” said Taylor.  

This unique experience helps to develop a stronger tie to the community at-large for these high school students, encouraging them to pursue a higher education, be involved in their community, and gain an understanding of the many issues that can affect their job, their company and the field they choose. 

As for Ian Dollenmayer, after graduating from the University of Dayton in the spring of 2016, he returned to the Statehouse, where he currently works as a legislative aide to Senator Matt Huffman. And while he doesn’t see himself returning to the Miami Valley area, he says that he will always be a champion for and seek to make a difference in the place he once called home. 

“I will always have a connection and affinity for the Miami Valley area,” said Dollenmayer. “I’ll always consider it my home-away-from-home.”  

Two coal train cars carrying 200,000 pounds of raw steel derails in Clark County

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 2:23 PM

Derailed train cars Video

Upper Valley Pike outside of Tremont City Road is blocked after two coal train cars carrying 200,000 pounds of raw steel derailed and landed on their side.

>>Is the Dayton Arcade project at risk under new tax plan?

The incident occurred before 2 p.m. Sunday at the 5100 block of Upper Valley Pike at the cross of Tremont City Road and St. Paris, according to German Twp. dispatch.

German Twp. police are on the scene working to open the road, according to dispatch reports.

(German Township Police Department)

According to German Twp. Police Chief Michael Stitzel, the thawing with the warmer temperatures caused the tracks to shift. The last two cars on the train then tipped when they shifted on the tracks. 

The railroad company doesn’t know when the mess will be cleaned up. 

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: What we know about Wright Patt

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 10:26 AM

Local businesses feeling pressure from government shutdown

U.S. lawmakers are in session today but no deal is in sight to prevent an extended government shutdown.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force closed Saturday and other local governmental institutions, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, will be closed Monday as Republicans and Democrats have failed to reach a deal to fund governmental operations.

Both sides are dug in at the moment, with Republicans pushing for a larger defense budget and the Democrats wanting more non-defense spending as well as an agreement on the immigration bill — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Cox Media Group D.C. Correspondent Jamie Dupree reports.

Students at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine practice hazardous materials scenarios in the apprentice program. In this Dayton Daily News file photo, Airman 1st Class Jane Vierzen wore full hazmat suits with a respirator to complete her site reconnaissance health risk assessment training. TY GREENLEES/STAFF(Staff Writer)

RELATED >>> Wright-Patt: Workers to show up Monday even if shutdown still in place

U.S. Senate members return at 1 p.m. today and the U.S. House of Representatives meet at 2 p.m. but no action is expected this afternoon. The U.S. Senate has a procedural vote set for early Monday morning on the GOP’s plan to fund the government through Feb. 8.

People who work at Wright-Patterson are being asked to report to work on Monday, but it's unclear how many may be sent home. 

WPAFB Public Affairs Director Marie Vanover said base officials won't know until Monday the extent the shutdown will have on base employees and services. 

"We will undergo an orderly shutdown. Those who are not exempt from the furlough will be sent home," Vanover said. 

Vanover said Sunday the base had not yet been advised of "the parameters" that will determine who stays and who goes home. 

When the last shutdown struck in 2013, both furloughed workers and those who stayed on the job were reimbursed. 

The Child Development Center was scheduled to be open Monday, spokeswoman Marie Vanover said Saturday. 

Col. Alden Hilton, commander of the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine which marked its 100th anniversary Friday, said essential classes to train aeromedical flight personnel would continue without interruption. 

Hundreds of Air Force reservists scheduled for a monthly drill weekend Jan. 20-21 with the 445th Airlift Wing were expected to proceed because it was previously funded, said Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris, a unit spokeswoman. 

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the largest single-site employer in Ohio with an estimated 27,000 military and civilian personnel. 

Wright-Patterson officials will report updates on the plan on its website wpafb.af.mil. The public may also get information by calling Wright-Patterson's public affairs line, (937) 522-3252.

5 WAYS SHUTDOWN IS AFFECTING GOVERNMENT

1.  U.S. troops will continue to report for duty and U.S. Mail will be delivered, but around one million civilian federal workers will not be at work if the shutdown extends into Monday, according to the Associated Press.

2. Nearly 45,500 IRS employees will be furloughed, which could delay the implementation of lower income tax withholdings set to go into effect nationwide next month, according to the AP.

3. Medicare and Medicaid will continue to operate, the former continuing to provide insurance coverage for nearly 59 million seniors and disabled citizens and the ladder continuing to provide coverage for low-income and disabled people, according to the AP.

4. Most of the federal employees under the U.S. Department of Justice will continue working during the shutdown, including members of the national security division, the FBI, DEA, ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service, according to the AP.

5. Some U.S. Lawmakers have announced they will donate their pay during the shutdown. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced Saturday he will donate to an Ohio diaper bank that supports struggling families and Sen. Todd Young (R-IND) announced he will donate his pay to charity.

The Statue of Liberty is pictured from Liberty State Park on January 21, 2018 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The iconic landmark was closed yesterday as part of the US government shutdown now entering its second full day after coming into effect at midnight on Friday after senators failed to pass a new federal spending bill. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

RELATED: Air Force Museum closes; Wright-Patt workers face furlough

RELATED: Wright Patt: Workers to show up Monday even if shutdown still in place

RELATED: Government shutdown now official; Political parties blame each other

RELATED: Government shutdown: How will you be impacted

RELATED: How it affects key government offices

 

 

In other words, nothing has changed – for weeks.

Rain showers start the week, possible snow flurries Tuesday 

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 4:29 AM

Rain showers are expected today and Monday in the Dayton area, the chance for snow returns Tuesday.

>>WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • A few showers expected today
  • More rain likely Monday
  • Colder with the chance for snow Tuesday

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

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

TODAY: A few showers are expected throughout the day today. While it won’t be a wash-out, you’ll want to make sure you have an umbrella handy if you have plans to be out. Temperatures will be on the mild side in the mid to upper 40s. 

TONIGHT: A few light showers can’t be ruled out overnight, but more dry time is expected. Lows will be in the lower 40s.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

>> County-by-County Weather

MONDAY: More rain expected for the day, especially in the afternoon and early evening. Rain could be heavy at times with highs peaking in the lower to mid 50s. 

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

TUESDAY: Colder air returns with highs in the upper 30s early in the morning. Temperatures will likely fall through the entire day with a chance for snow showers or flurries. 

>> 5-Day Forecast

WEDNESDAY: Another cool day expected with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid to upper 30s. 

THURSDAY: Partly sunny skies as temperatures peak in the upper 30s again.

Is the Dayton Arcade project at risk under new tax plan?

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 12:21 PM

Plans to revitalize the Dayton Arcade could change under the GOP’s new tax plan, according to a story published Friday by the Wall Street Journal.

Under the new law signed by President Donald Trump last month, the 20 percent reimbursement provided to developers who are awarded federal historic tax credits is spread out over five years instead of one, which reduces the incentive to rehabilitate historic structures, according to WSJ’s report.

A number of local developers, preservationists and elected leaders from the Dayton area in December called on U.S. lawmakers to preserve the federal tax incentive program that has helped redevelop dozens of historic and iconic buildings in Dayton, resulting in an estimated $270 million in investment.

Here is what the Dayton Daily News reported: LOSS OF INCENTIVES WOULD BE DEVASTATING

The program is widely used by developers to finance restoration projects on former factories, empty department stores and other disused buildings, which helps to “inject life into sagging main streets,” according to WSJ’s report.

RELATED >>> Dayton Arcade wins big: State awrds project $4M in tax incentives

In December, the Dayton Daily News reported that Dayton Arcade’s development partners Cross Street Partners and Miller-Valentine Group were awarded $4 million in historic state tax credits on a proposed $41 million project to overhaul the collection of eight buildings in downtown Dayton. Those buildings, which once housed shops, a farmer’s market, apartments and offices, were closed 26 years ago.

The redevelopment plans include putting in pop-up restaurants and apartments around one anchor tenant yet to be announced.

TRENDING >> Government shutdown: What we know now

WSJ reports that developer Cross Street Partners rushed to finish long-term leases on the Dayton Arcade’s eight buildings at the end of last year in the hopes of qualifying under the old tax-credit rules.

WSJ reports that David Williams, senior director at Cross Street Partners, said the weakened tax-credit program could have threatened a carefully constructed financing plan, which includes multiple tax incentives.

“A hiccup like that can be pretty devastating,” Williams is quoted in the report.

The Dayton Daily News will continue providing ongoing coverage of the efforts to redevelop the Dayton Arcade, a collection of eight buildings