RTA drivers’ strike: Here’s how some Daytonians are getting around

Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 @ 5:06 PM

RTA strike consumer costs

With the RTA strike in full swing, WHIO’s Malik Perkins went around the city of Dayton Wednesday to find out how people who normally rely on the bus system have been getting around and how much it’s costing them. 

He found that the strike is benefiting ride share companies such as Uber because more people are using that service, although the prices are higher. Taxi cabs, carpooling and walking are other ways people are getting around. 

With the exception of walking, those other transportation services cost three to four times more than what they’d normally cost on the RTA. For instance, a bus ride from downtown Dayton to the Dayton mall typically costs $2. But it costs between $5-$7 on Uber and about $10 by cab.

Those prices are too expensive for some people, like Cynthia Young. So she walks whenever she has appointments or other business to tend to. 

“I have to sit down and actually catch my breath,” she said. “I have to go sit in the hospital, Brown Street in different restaurants or at the bus stop.”

Overnight storm destroys new outbuilding near South Charleston

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

Interview with Steve Gladman. The wind picked up a small building on his property and DAMAGE lawn equipment

A storm passing through early this morning knocked down trees and ripped apart an outbuilding near South Charleston. Meanwhile, about three dozen residents in Huber Heights are waiting to have power restored after a storm brought down a large tree and snapped a utility pole Friday morning.

MORE: 2 of 6 tornadoes on ground at same time during May storm

Steve Gladman, who lives in the 5700 block of Platsburg Road near South Charleston, he heard the storm move in during the pre-dawn hours and heard something hit the house. When he walked outside at daybreak, a large tree was down across his driveway and a recently bought outbuilding being used to store lawnmowers and power equipment was in splinters.

MORE: Power restored to most after 24 hours of severe weather

"I looked in the back and there was a pile of rubble back there. I looked a little closer and realized that was my new building," Gladman said.

MORE: Strong storms still possible this afternoon, evening

The damage to the building has to stay put until his insurance company comes out to assess the damages, which isn’t expected to happen until Tuesday, according to the homeowner.

Strong storms in the past 24 hours knocked power out to more than 20,000 DP&L customers. All but about 600 have been restored as of Saturday morning, according to a DP&L spokesperson.

In Clark County, 451 First Energy customers remain without power.

About 37 DP&L customers in Huber Heights were among the last remaining outages Saturday. Those living near the 6900 block of Shellcross Drive are seeing A DP&L crew working to replace the utility pole.

Debris from a large tree that came down is strewn about the backyard of the home where it came down.

Barring any more severe weather today, DP&L expects to restore power to those customers, and hundreds of others in Montgomery County, by this evening. 

RAW: Tree down in Huber Heights

Actor from Miami Valley lands major role in new film

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM



Photo contributed by Alex Henry
(Photo contributed by Alex Henry)

Come late next year, Dayton will be able to watch one of their very own on the big screen.

>> PHOTOS: 2016 Sundance Film Festival

Chase Crawford, a 2014 graduate of Butler Tech and Monroe High School, has landed a major role in the new JM Productions film, Stronger Than Pretty

>> Take your pup to the patio at this weekend event

The film, set to premiere in late 2018, is one mother’s unfiltered, true account of how she escaped domestic abuse. 

“It’s not too often that you get a script in a story as raw as this one. It all happened … You get to be forever attached in telling that story,” Crawford said. “I can’t imagine living through what she went though.”

The story is sure to be true to its core. Crawford will be working side by side with the mother’s son, one of the producers working on Stronger Than Pretty.
Joining Crawford for the project is a well-known cast including “Shameless” actress Kate Amundsen, Raquel Castro from “Empire,” and “The Birth of a Nation” actor Jason Stuart.

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“Everyone just wants to make sure that this story is given justice,” Crawford said. 

>> Robert Redford, Casey Affleck movie to be filmed in downtown Dayton

While Crawford is more accustomed to comedic roles, this will not be his first time playing a serious character. Two successful independent films where he appeared in such roles were the 2016 Sundance Film Festival selection “Goat” and the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (tiff) selection “The Radiant City.”

Shooting for Stronger Than Pretty is expected to begin principal shooting in Los Angeles this September. 

Power restored to most after 24 hours of severe weather

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 6:45 AM

UPDATE @ 12:15 p.m.

Strong storms in the past 24 hours have wreaked havoc in the Miami Valley, causing damage to trees and property and knocking power out to tens of thousands of people.

Since Friday morning, there have been more than 22,000 Dayton Power and Light customers without power, according to a DP&L spokesperson.

By late Saturday morning, all but about 600 had been restored, and those remaining outages are tied to 76 “trouble calls,” mostly in the Dayton metro area, according to DP&L.

Efforts to restore power resulted in more than 400 DP&L line crews being deployed in the field, according to DP&L.

About 37 customers in Huber Heights have been without power since Friday morning when a large tree came down, snapping a utility pole and bringing down power lines.

DP&L reports crews are working to replace the pole and power should be restored by late this afternoon.

UPDATE @ 11:24 a.m.

Power remains out for more than a thousand residents in the Miami Valley, primarily in Montgomery, Mercer, Greene and Clark counties.

Dayton Power and Light (outages by county)

613: Montgomery 

344: Mercer 

173: Greene

Ohio Edison First Energy 

451: Clark

Duke Energy

84: Butler

UPDATE @ 8:27 a.m.

Power has been restored to all but 5 homes in Preble County while over 700 remain without electricity in Montgomery County, according to a DP&L outage map. 

A series of strong storms that moved through the West Alexandria area in Preble County are responsible for the outages, according to DP&L Director of Operations Kevin Hall. 

MORE: Area Power Outages

Downed trees and wind damage have caused similar outages in Miami, Greene and Clark Counties. 

“We have crews continuing to clean up from storms since yesterday,” Hall said. “We’ve been in storms operation mode attempting to restore power.”

Ohio Edison reports 751 homes are without power in Clark County as a result of storm damage.

RELATED: WHIO Interactive Radar

Hall did not advise when crews would have all power restored.

A downed tree can be seen in the 2900 block of Brewster Court in Springfield Saturday morning. (Angie Hess/Contributed)

UPDATE @ 7:24 a.m.

Another 120 homes in Clark County are without power, according to an Ohio Edison outage map. 

MORE: Stormy start to weekend

Downed tree limbs and wind damage have been reported in Springfield near Providence Road. 

Additional power outages have been reported in Montgomery County with DP&L reporting 561 outages. 

RELATED: Increased threat for showers, storms this weekend

1,600 homes remain in the dark in Preble County. 

We are working to learn what power crews are doing to restore service following Saturday morning's severe weather.

A mangled shed can be seen in the front yard of this Springfield home near Providence Road. (Robert Yontz/Contributed)

INITIAL REPORT

Nearly 1,600 Preble County homes are without power following severe weather Saturday morning, according to a DP&L outage map. 

A DP&L representative could not be reached for comment, but multiple downed trees have been reported in the county. 

Another 570 outages are reported in Clark County, according to Ohio Edison. 

141 DP&L customers living in Montgomery County are without power, while another 208 are without in Miami County. 

RELATED: Stormy start to weekend 

We are continuing to monitor power outages and damage reports as severe weather makes its way through the Miami Valley Saturday morning.

Butler County Fair draws thousands, sparks economy

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 12:30 PM

For the 167th year the Butler County Fair will be drawing thousands of visitors and participants.

It’s a 19th Century Butler County tradition still thriving in the 21st Century.

Sunday, the Butler County Fair will open its gates to a week-long festival celebrating Ohio’s rural and historical roots with plenty of modern-day attractions thrown in.

But the beloved annual event is also a reliable and growing economic mainstay for the county, say area tourism officials.

And the money and jobs created by the fair impact everyone in the county, regardless of where they live or whether they can tell a pony from a pig.

MORE: Fair’s history includes long-time vendors

“The Butler County Fair is a tradition and staple on the Butler County event calendar, attracting annually between 80,000 – 100,000 visitors a year,” said Mark Hecquet, executive director of the Butler County Visitors Bureau.

“Events such as the Butler County Fair draw thousands of visitors each year into our county that generate millions of dollars of spending into our local economy,” said Hecquet.

Tourism in Butler County creates more than $1.1 billion annually in sales for local businesses plus $26 million in local taxes, Hecquet said, and supports more than 13,000 local jobs.

“Since 2010, tourism sales have increased 24 percent in Butler County. This consistent growth directly translates into more jobs and a better quality of life for county residents,” he said.

Blending new with old

For the first time, visitors to the Hamilton fairgrounds will have a chance to be entertained by a circus troupe performing in front of the grandstand.

RELATED: Kids show off livestock for awards, money and life lessons

The number of vendors – hawking everything from amusement rides, food, games, crafts, artwork and other merchandise – is up this year to nearly a 100.

“The success of the fair has been its ability to continue to evolve annually by creating new experiences as well as offering wide array of daily activities that not only bring back previous fair visitors but also attract new visitors. From the themed days, evening events, demolition derby’s, tractor pulls, shows, competitions and crafts, and the new circus this year, there is truly something for everybody,” said Hecquet.

As it has featured since its first year in 1850, the fair will include hundreds of animals of all species, shapes and sizes – most of them raised by Butler County youngsters and teens as they compete in judging contests involving thousands of dollars in prize monies.

Sunday afternoon will feature cowgirls and cowboys racing their horses through timed and challenging obstacle courses.

Later modern-day cars and trucks will crash together in two demolition derbies. Also on the fair schedule are rodeos, tractor pulls and show dog drills and much more.

Family reunion and new friends

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Doug Turner, president of the Butler County Fair Board, took a rare break from overseeing fair preparations earlier this week and said part of the fair’s appeal is “this is a once-a-year event.”

For the hundreds fair participants who come to show animals, crafts, baked goods and all things agriculture, said Turner, the fair also serves as a sort of “family reunion.”

“This is where old friends and family meet back up again. The younger generation meets new friends, and they get to spend a week with their new friends,” he said.

Ohio’s biggest industry remains agriculture, said Turner, and “a lot of young kids are coming here that are learning the new (farming) ways.”

Giant classroom with life lessons 

Less visible but perhaps most importantly, the fair also serves a giant classroom for its younger participants and visitors.

“It’s life lessons for a lot of kids,” he said, referring to the raising, care and showing this week of prize animals raised for years by youngsters and teens – most of them involved in 4-H programs from all across Butler County.

Kevin Harris, 4-H youth development educator for the county’s Ohio State University extension office, said the fair’s many judging events are showcases for both animals and their young owners.

“I would encourage families to come out to the fair to see youth development in action in a positive environment. For many kids the county fair symbolizes the end to months of hard work … and it’s a great place to watch youth display their talents,” said Harris.

That’s how Tyler Gentry, adult advisor of the fair’s goat barn, sees it.

A resident of rural Butler County, Gentry was a teen participate for years, raising livestock and winning awards at the fair before taking a supervisory role with the event.

“Kids get to enjoy projects they worked hard with and see some accomplishment come from that. Also for the parents they get to see their children come through with accomplishments,” said Gentry.

Turner said the fair runs rain or shine – most of the exhibits are indoors or under barn roofs – and a large cooling building is air conditioned and open to the public along with a new water misting station for those wanting to get a cool soaking on a hot day.

“We’re looking forward to everyone coming, having fun and maybe learning something,” he said.

The fair runs from Sunday through Saturday evening.

General admission tickets per day, which include parking, are $8 for adults, children 6-12 accompanied by paying adult are $3. Senior citizens and U.S. military veterans can enter for free on Wednesday July 26.

For times, specific events, evening grandstand shows – separate admission tickets required - and other information go to the Butler County Fair websiteor call 513-892-1423.