‘He was a great ambassador’: Mick Montgomery, staple of Dayton music scene, dies at 71

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 4:58 PM

Longtime staple of Dayton music scene Mick Montgomery dies

Mick Montgomery — a longtime staple of the Dayton music scene and former owner of the Canal Street Tavern — died Saturday morning of natural causes at Kettering Medical Center. He was 71.

SUMMER OF LOVE: Mick Montgomery: Never say he was a ‘hippie’ at heart

Montgomery’s 225-seat venue opened in late 1981 and hosted everything from folk, blues and country rock to bluegrass, indie rock and punk. Canal Street also drew well known acts, such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Los Lobos, The Del McCoury Band, Leo Kottke and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones.

Dayton commissioners in 2014 named a portion of East First Street from North Patterson Boulevard to Sears Street as “Mick Montgomery Way, near his business at 308 E. First St. 

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“He still, even last Saturday, said, ‘man, can you believe my name is on a street sign?’” said Shelly Hulce, a friend who organized a gathering for Montgomery a week before his death. “When he was going home, when the guys were getting him back in the car Saturday night, he said, ‘I’m going to be on a cloud for days.’”

“He was a great ambassador,” she said. “Way before the internet or MTV, he was giving us a glimpse of what was happening out in the world.”

The final show under the Canal Street Tavern name was in November 2013 after Montgomery sold the venue in 2012. Montgomery was contracted to stay on as the club’s bookkeeper, but after health issues and squabbles with the new owners, he decided to leave and take the tavern’s name with him.

More than 400 local music lovers turned out for the final show under the Canal Street Tavern name. 

“People usually only get together like this when somebody dies so I was glad I was out of the hospital in time to get out for both shows,” Montgomery said at the time. “I’ve seen so many people I haven’t seen in years. It’s been amazing and a little overwhelming.”

MORE: Canal Street Tavern fans say goodbye to venerable venue

Michael “Mick” Montgomery graduated from Fairview High School in 1964 — a diploma that came despite getting in trouble for having long hair. It was around this time he first heard the word “hippie.”

“It was the worst, dirtiest name you could think of,” Montgomery told the Dayton Daily News in 2007. “I was not a pacifist. I ended up getting in quite a few fights about being called a hippie.” 

Married with an infant, Montgomery was rejected by the draft board during the Vietnam War. He formed an electric band called Tonto’s Headband and gained a following among University of Dayton students. The band rehearsed at the East Dayton commune house where Montgomery lived. 

He crossed the country for San Francisco in an Opal station wagon with five others in 1967. Again, the long hair caused problems — this time, with police in Oklahoma. “They said we couldn’t go before the justice of the peace until we looked like Americans, so we got some drunk in the jail to cut our hair,” Montgomery later recalled. Once in California, he found “a big, three-story mansion that was just the cliche of the hippie commune house.” 

He moved to Los Angeles in 1968 after being robbed at gunpoint for the second time. 

“The Summer of Love was truly a remarkable experience,” he said. “Music and art and a lot of the cultural things were so intertwined. … There were so many things happening that made people feel like the world was becoming a better place.” 

“We had the thing of being invincible and immortal, and we got away with it for a few years. Then they shot a few kids at Kent State and a few demonstrators in L.A. The powers-that-be reasserted control,” he said. “The old rubber band stretches in one direction and then another. Maybe it’s time for it to stretch in the other direction and decide we’re not going to live in fear.” 

Montgomery’s family said a Hootenanny will be held for him at a later date.

Tom Beyerlein and Don Thrasher contributed to this story.

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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 in 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 @ 1:05 p.m. 

Vectren crews continue to work in a Fairborn neighborhood where a construction crew struck a natural gas line Tuesday. 

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A work crew was digging out a basement for a new home on Brehm Boulevard when the gas line was hit, David Reichert, Division Chief of Operations for the Fairborn Fire Department said. 

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At least 10 homes in the area of the gas leak were evacuated out of caution and the evacuation is expected to last for a few hours, Reichert estimated. 

The source of the leak was quickly located and Vectren crews are working to shut the gas off and make repairs. 

No injuries have been reported. 

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 in 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 in 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.