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Program connects Miami Valley veterans with civilian jobs

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 7:36 AM

If you value your freedom, thank a veteran. American freedom comes with a price that millions of military personnel and veterans have paid serving our country. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there were about 22 million veterans living in the United States as of 2014. 

This Veterans Day Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley and some local businesses are doing more than just thanking veterans.  

Together with veteran support agencies in the Miami Valley and local employers, Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley has formed the Veterans and Employers Connection, a collaborative partnership founded in 2014 to assist with the successful employment of veterans in the civilian workforce. With a goal to place 5000 veterans in meaningful and gainful employment by 2020, The Connection is well on its way. 

“At the end of our inaugural year, we had 30 member employers on board and had helped place 103 veterans in jobs,” said Roger Baldridge, vice president of business services for Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley. 

Today, The Connection is 78 members strong and has successfully placed over 1600 veterans in jobs. 

“The military teaches veterans a lot of great skill sets that employers really want, such as a strong work ethic, the ability to work effectively as part of a team, and having a passion and dedication to achieving a mission,” said Lance Detrick, president of Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley. “However, we know that, for a variety of reasons, veterans sometimes struggle to successfully reenter the civilian workforce.” 

The Veterans and Employer Connection provides assistance with resumes and offers interview coaching and preparation for veterans seeking employment. An important part of this process is helping veterans translate military skills and language into the civilian work environment.  

Through the partnership, employers committed to hiring veterans have access to a pool of veterans with diverse skills.  

Larry Nash

Larry Nash knows the benefits of The Connection firsthand. A former Marine and field radio operator, Nash moved back to Dayton to take care of his ailing father and needed some support to get back into the workforce.  

With the help of The Connection, Nash landed a job as a janitor with Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, cleaning buildings through a contract for the county.

“I’m most impressed with the closeness of employees,” Nash said about his current position. “It’s more like a work family, than a work opportunity.” 

Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley is no stranger to the benefits of providing meaningful employment locally to people in need. In fact, as part of its mission of helping people with disabilities and other needs to become independent, GESMV employs 586 people with disabilities and 83 veterans throughout a workforce that’s more than a thousand strong. 

The Connection honored Crown Equipment Corporation as member of the year for employing twice as many veterans as any other connection member.

Crown Equipment Corporation also knows that veterans make great employees. Worldwide, Crown employs over 600 veterans, 26 of whom are employed right here in the Miami Valley. The Connection honored Crown as member of the year for employing twice as many veterans as any other connection member.   

“We’ve had a lot of growth,” said Randy Niekamp, vice president of human resources for Crown Equipment Corporation, with regards to how they have been so successful with placing so many veterans in positions. “We’ve really had success transitioning well from military bases.”  

“Veterans make great employees,” he added. “They are dedicated, and they have great leadership and technical skills.” 

If you are a local employer looking to support veterans, consider becoming a member of The Connection. If you’ve never hired a veteran, you can learn more and receive support as you help a veteran get back to work after their service.  

The Veterans and Employers Connection provides free assistance to veterans in need of employment. Join GESMV, The Connection and their commitment to helping anyone who has officially worn the uniform, regardless of length of service, category of discharge or any other employment barrier.  

With your help, even more veterans can have access to services to help them get a job right here in your community when you donate securely online at

Apartment fire displaces at least 5 people

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:23 PM


UPDATE @ 4:39 p.m.:
At least five people are without a home Wednesday after flames damaged an apartment building on North Findlay Street, according to investigators.

Firefighters are working to determine a cause of the fire and they are still looking for a cat that is unaccounted for, firefighters said.

RELATED: Sidney police search for missing teen

At least three units in the apartment building were damaged by fire or water, according to firefighters.

Some residents were home at the time the fire started and were alerted to the fire by a working smoke detector.


Firefighters have responded to a fire at an apartment on North Findlay Street this afternoon.

The fire was reported in the first block of North Findlay around 3:15 p.m.

We’re working to learn more.

Warming trend underway beginning Thanksgiving Day

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 4:39 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:24 PM

Quiet weather continues through Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

RELATED: Christmas tree farms get healthy on good weather


  • Quiet and chilly tonight
  • Dry, cool for Thanksgiving
  • Warmer pattern to emerge next week

Travel forecast for today including the Dayton region and those flying across the country.

This evening, partly cloudy skies are expected with temperatures in the 30s.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

RELATED: County-by-County Weather


TONIGHT: A few clouds. A cold night. Temperatures dropping into the middle 20s.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

RELATED: Dayton Interactive Radar - WHIO Doppler 7

THANKSGIVING: Partly cloudy and cool. Highs will be in the middle 40s.

FRIDAY: Sunshine returns with breezy conditions at times. It will be milder with temperatures in the lower 50s.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

SATURDAY: More clouds will arrive. It will be breezy with temperatures falling from an early high near 50 degrees into the 40s.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy and cooler. Highs will be in the lower 40s.

MONDAY: Sunshine is expected to start the new work week with breezy conditions. Highs will be near 50 degrees.

OVI checkpoint location for Wednesday night revealed

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 4:04 PM

An OVI checkpoint is planned in Harrison Twp. Wednesday evening, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

The checkpoint is scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the 5900 block of North Dixie Drive.

LOCAL NEWS: WATCH: Armed man records Facebook Live during police pursuit

Deputies and other law enforcement also will be conducting saturation patrol to help identify and remove impaired drivers from area roads.

During 2017, deputies have made 59 arrests for impaired driving in areas surrounding the checkpoint location, deputies said.

Of the 59 arrests, 21 were associated with crashes and one of those crashes was fatal, according to authorities.

Dayton superintendent put on leave; board leader says ‘nothing to do with students’

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 12:36 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 2:04 PM

DPS Superintendent Rhonda Corr placed on leave

UPDATE, 2 p.m.: Dayton school board member Joe Lacey said Wednesday that allegations of racial discrimination mentioned by the board Tuesday night are not the main reason Superintendent Rhonda Corr was put on leave. 

In fact, Lacey said attorney Beverly Meyer’s report clears Associate Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli of those charges, and clears Corr of nearly all of them, while acknowledging that some of Corr’s behavior may have been “unprofessional.” 

MORE: The tumultuous tenure of Rhonda Corr

But Lacey said there are separate allegations against Corr only, not related to the racial discrimination issue, that are the reason Corr has been put on leave. He declined to comment on the nature of those separate allegations.

Corr has not responded to requests for comment.

MORE: Who is acting Dayton superintendent Elizabeth Lolli?

EARLIER: Dayton school board members late Tuesday night placed Superintendent Rhonda Corr on administrative leave and promoted Elizabeth Lolli, associate superintendent, to acting superintendent.

School board President Robert Walker was very limited in his comments Wednesday morning. 

MORE: What Dayton school board said about superintendent in evaluation

Asked why Corr was put on leave and Lolli promoted if both were named in allegations of discrimination and harassment, Walker said he “cannot get into those questions.” 

He said the pre-disciplinary hearing notice against Corr, which is supposed to detail the reasons for her potential discipline, is still “in process.” 

But Walker did clarify one issue, in light of recent accusations against other educators. 

“I can say emphatically that it has nothing to do with students,” Walker said. “As a matter of fact, her relationship with young people as she went through the schools and engaged with them was really healthy and positive.”

RELATED: Harris fills Baguirov’s seat on Dayton school board

According to a DPS online video stream of the meeting, the school board approved four resolutions when they came out of closed executive session:

  • Approving a Nov. 21 report and recommendation of compliance officer Beverly Meyer concerning allegations of racial harassment and discrimination alleged against Corr and Lolli.
  • Relieving Corr of her duties as superintendent and placing her on paid administrative leave effective immediately.
  • Agreeing to issue a pre-disciplinary hearing notice to Corr, detailing the reasons for potential discipline.
  • Naming Lolli as acting superintendent, effective immediately, at the salary level set forth in Corr's current contract, but retaining the benefits set forth in Lolli's current contract.

On all four resolutions, the vote was 6-0. Board member Hazel Rountree was absent.

Corr could not immediately be reached by phone for comment.

Three newly elected Dayton school board members whose terms have not yet started participated in a portion of an executive session last night before the vote on Corr. 

Corr was placed on leave by the school board just before midnight Tuesday after a long executive session.

Jocelyn Rhynard, one of the new members who will not take office until January, said she does not yet have detailed information about the existing board’s decision to place Corr on leave. 

“I have not had any discussions with anybody (since last night’s votes),” Rhynard said. “I look forward to doing that, and when it is appropriate for me to become privy to information, I’m sure that I will be part of that conversation.” 

Rhynard, Mohamed Al-Hamdani and Karen Wick-Gagnet – who were elected to the school board Nov. 7 – were in the audience at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. 

Rhynard said those three were invited into a portion of the closed executive session near the end of Tuesday’s meeting “to discuss some matters that we needed to be brought up to speed on.” 

RELATED: Waynesville school issue passed by 7 votes, recount ahead

She said she could not comment on what matters were discussed in the closed session, and added that she, Wick-Gagnet and Al-Hamdani were gone from the meeting when the board emerged from executive session around 11:30 p.m. 

The fourth person who was elected Nov. 7, William Harris, was actually appointed to the board at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting to fill the last six weeks of Adil Baguirov’s term. So Harris did participate in both the executive session discussions about Corr’s status, as well as the votes to place her on leave and name Lolli acting superintendent. 

“This is certainly a surprise. There have been a lot of dramatic upheavals in the last year and a half, which is one of the reasons I decided to run,” Rhynard said. “I look forward to finding out more information. And I look forward to being part of a board that will bring stability to the district. There are lots of changes that I would like to make and I look forward to being a part of that process.”

Reached early Wednesday, school board member John McManus declined to say much.

"We have been advised by (legal) counsel that we are not permitted to comment on a pending matter," he said.

Corr was hired by DPS in June 2016 to her first full superintendent post after 25 years in Cleveland schools, then brief stints as a high administrator in the Chicago and Indianapolis school districts since 2013.

After Corr was hired, the district had some highlights — escaping the threat of state takeover, solving some long-running busing problems and improving textbooks, computer access and career tech options.

But during that same period, Dayton Public Schools were also put on OHSAA probation for trying to rig a football game, had a long, painful contract fight with teachers that nearly led to a strike and on the most recent state report card, ranked second to last in Ohio on state test scores.

After the teachers' contract fight was resolved, the teachers union issued a vote of no confidence in both Corr and the school board.

At Tuesday night's meeting, the "yes" votes to put Corr on leave came from four members who will remain on the school board next year -- Walker, Sheila Taylor, John McManus and Harris -- plus the outgoing Ron Lee and Joe Lacey.

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