Local church sees community’s Christmas spirit after fire

Published: Sunday, December 24, 2017 @ 10:00 AM


            Bethel AME Church in Lebanon caught fire Dec. 13, 2017. Pastor Karen Schaeffer stands inside on Dec. 21, 2017. BONNIE MEIBERS/STAFF
Bethel AME Church in Lebanon caught fire Dec. 13, 2017. Pastor Karen Schaeffer stands inside on Dec. 21, 2017. BONNIE MEIBERS/STAFF

Bethel AME Church in Lebanon is small – just a couple dozen people make up what the pastor calls a “vital and active congregation” – but members try to play a big role in helping those in need in Warren County.

So when flames engulfed the church Dec. 13, the congregation found itself on the unusual end of receiving help in the last two weeks before Christmas.

“It has been a heartwarming and soulful experience to see the outpouring from the community,” Pastor Karen Schaeffer said.

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The late-night fire, caused by an electrical issue, destroyed everything inside the building, including donations to be made to members of the community and to families from the Lebanon Food Pantry that the church had “adopted” for Christmas, plus costumes and props for the annual children’s program to be put on Christmas Eve. Bethel AME also had nowhere to host its weekly community meals for those in need.

But local businesses and neighboring churches saw that the church was hurting.

Last weekend, the church held a collection drive in the Lebanon Theatre Company building, and 59 individuals and businesses and “just about every church in town” donated to help Bethel AME, Schaeffer said.

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Lowe’s donated 14 Christmas trees for the families Bethel AME had “adopted.” Kroger and the Lebanon Elks Society donated food, and other people donated canned goods.

“We sent families home with enough food for several meals,” said Raye Kimberlin, trustee and lifelong member of the church.

Bethel AME received so many donations that they were able to give to two other churches and Prodigal Son Ministries.

“We have had more than enough help,” Kimberlin said. “The community has really wrapped its arms around us.”

RELATED: Lebanon church fire believed to be caused by electrical issue

Wayne Dunn offered Lebanon Theatre Company’s space to Bethel AME for their children’s program. The music director for Lebanon Theatre Company, Jay Mills, is also the pianist for Bethel AME. It just seemed like the natural thing to do, Dunn said.

“I told the mayor that I’m not surprised at all the help they’ve gotten. Lebanon will protect its own,” Dunn said. “The congregation (of Bethel AME) is well know and well respected in the community.”

Schaeffer still gets choked up when looking at the building where so many fond memories were made.

Everything is burned to a crisp, the ceiling is now on the floor and the windows are boarded up at 111 N. Cherry Street. Black marks where flames licked at the roof of the building serve as a reminder of what happened there.

“Our hearts are broken, but our God is greater than this,” said Schaeffer.

There are several ways to donate to the church listed on its website, Schaeffer said.

“We’re going to be OK,” said Schaeffer. “The church is still intact because the church is the people.”

Rain showers Monday; chance for snow Tuesday

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 4:29 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 10:00 PM

Rain chances continue in the Dayton area tonight through Monday, and snow will be possible Tuesday.

A few passing showers are possible overnight, but more dry time is expected heading toward daybreak, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. Temperatures overnight will be somewhat steady in the 40s.

>>WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • A few showers possible overnight
  • More rain likely Monday
  • Colder with chance for snow Tuesday

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

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

DETAILED FORECAST

Monday: A dry start is expected before more rain returns in the afternoon and early evening. Some of that rain could be heavy at times. Highs will be in the lower to middle 50s.

5-Day Temperature Trend(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

>> County-by-County Weather

Tuesday: Colder air returns with highs in the upper 30s early in the morning. Temperatures are expected to fall throughout the day. There is a chance for snow showers or flurries as well.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Wednesday: Another cool day is expected with partly cloudy skies and highs in the middle to upper 30s. 

5-Day Rain/Snow Chances(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

Thursday: Temperatures top out in the upper 30s under partly sunny skies.

WHIO Weather App

Friday: It will be mild under mostly sunny skies with high temperatures in the upper 40s.

Will a government shutdown delay my tax refund?

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:57 PM

One way this potential government shutdown would be different than in the past -- there’s never been a federal shutdown during tax filing season.  Nor has the government been shut down amid the implementation of a massive tax code overhaul.

The Internal Revenue Service would lose an estimated 56 percent of its workforce to furloughs if the government shuts down, according to the U.S. Treasury. And it would be happening right when the IRS is updating its guidelines and software, while also fielding questions from the public about new tax laws. 

Experts told the Washington Post that even a short shutdown will set back implementation on the new tax code.

Tax filing season begins on Jan. 29. The IRS generally issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. With the workforce cut in half, it is likely that a prolonged shutdown could lead to delayed returns and the inability to access IRS assistance phone lines. 

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Could your travel plans be impacted by the government shutdown?

Government shutdown, what would close?

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Will a shutdown happen? Wright-Patterson is in a holding pattern

Temporary funding prevents shutdown but hurts military, officials say

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.

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.

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.