Supporters push Dayton, Warren County sites for World Heritage status

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

            The Funke family, Ryder, left, Sadie and dad Bronson, from Lebanon look over the Little Miami River Valley from Fort Ancient. Fort Ancient Earthworks outside Lebanon is one stop on the Ancient Ohio Trail, a system of Native American heritage sites a retired UC professor is turning into a global tourist attraction. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
The Funke family, Ryder, left, Sadie and dad Bronson, from Lebanon look over the Little Miami River Valley from Fort Ancient. Fort Ancient Earthworks outside Lebanon is one stop on the Ancient Ohio Trail, a system of Native American heritage sites a retired UC professor is turning into a global tourist attraction. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Supporters are trying to convince the Trump administration to nominate Dayton aviation history sites and Ohio American Indian sites, including the Fort Ancient Earthworks in Warren County, for World Heritage Site status, a move that many believe would boost the state’s tourism industry.

The Ohio History Connection and other partners are working with lawmakers, such as Sen. Rob Portman, to get the Trump administration’s support.

“Of particular interest to my home state of Ohio are three sites that were placed on the United States’ UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2008, almost a decade ago,” Portman said last month in a letter to Trump. “The Dayton Aviation Sites, Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks and Serpent Mound all contain universal cultural value, from the place that turned the airplane into a reality to the earthworks and mounds from ancient cultures that hold immense ceremonial, spiritual and cultural value.”

EARLIER: Trump transition puts World Heritage bids on hold

The Trump administration is withdrawing from UNESCO, the United Nation office that makes World Heritage Site designations, which is key to establishing the sites as global tourist attractions and to preserving them.

In the Jan. 18 letter, Portman, R-Ohio, supported the U.S. Department of State withdrawal from UNESCO, called for “fundamental reform in the organization” and questioned “continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”

But Portman urged Trump to use the country’s status as a “non-member observer”’ to “strongly support” the process for the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, along with a bid seeking status for the Hopewell and Serpent Mound sites — a bid that includes the Fort Ancient Earthworks in Warren County.

The UNESCO withdrawal is effective at the end of the year.

RELATED: Ancient Ohio Trail connects American Indian sites

In addition to Fort Ancient, the group bid includes the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Hopewell Mound Group, Seip Earthworks and Mound City Group in Ross County, plus High Bank Earthworks and Hopeton Earthworks and Newark Earthworks State Memorial in Licking County.

“Several sites in Ohio are poised to join the extremely prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List, with more than 1,000 other properties around the globe, including the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Stonehenge. World Heritage inscription is based on stringent criteria, and signifies outstanding universal value to humanity. Making the list helps ensure a site’s permanent preservation, enhanced understanding, deeper appreciation, and increased tourism,” according to World Heritage Ohio, a group promoting the bid.

RELATED: Ohio’s World Heritage Site hopes tied to Irish archaeologist’s review

World Heritage Ohio includes the Ohio History Connection, NPS Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, representatives from Dayton Society of Natural History, convention and visitors bureaus, the OSU Newark Earthwork Center, American Indian tribal citizens and “other interested stakeholders,” according to Emmy Beach, public relations manager for Ohio History Connection, the state government’s historical preservation arm.

Resolutions of support have been adopted by the Seneca Nation and the Intertribal Council of Oklahoma, which includes the Shawnee, Eastern Shawnee, Miami, Seneca-Cayuga, Quapaw, Peoria, Ottawa and Modoc Tribes and Wyandotte Nation.

Projections of a 10-fold increase in attendance at Fort Ancient, from 25,000 to 250,000 a year, are based on the effect at other World Heritage locations.

Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs has completed research for a market study of the economic value of World Heritage designation for the sites.

“The study will be used to help us and our project partners—especially communities in Licking, Ross and Warren counties—understand the potential economic impact of World Heritage. The study will guide us toward building sustained, positive economic impact that benefits the whole region,” Beach said.

The report is to be presented in March in Lebanon, but no details were available last week, Beach said.

It was unclear if Portman had received a response to his letter to the president, part of the latest push to get the Ohio aviation and Native American spots approved.

Beach said the state office was unaware of Portman or any other area lawmakers, including congressmen Steve Chabot, Brad Wenstrup and Steve Stivers so far receiving a response to letters of support to Trump or Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

RELATED: Interchange development plan tied to World Heritage designation

“We seek the Department of the Interior’s official invitation for the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks to be the next World Heritage nomination prepared by the U.S. That is the next official milestone,” Beach said in response to questions about the effort. “We are encouraging elected officials to share their strong support for the nomination with the Department of the Interior and other key individuals in the federal administration.”

The Trump administration is expected to stop paying UNESCO dues, required to qualify it for membership.

“The United States is a party to the World Heritage Convention (an international treaty), whether we are dues-paying members of UNESCO or not, so UNESCO and World Heritage are not inextricably linked. In the 1980s, the United States pulled out of UNESCO but remained an important party to World Heritage, and several U.S. sites were inscribed during that period. The decision (by the Trump administration) should not adversely affect designation,” Beach added.

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Victims ID’d in double fatal crash north of New Carlisle

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 2:49 PM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 7:15 PM

Injuries reported in accident north of New Carlisle

UPDATE @ 7:15 p.m.

Two people succumbed to their injuries in a two-vehicle crash this afternoon north of New Carlisle.

Vickie Owens, 46, of Springfield, and Roger Littlejohn, 75, of New Carlisle, were identified as the two drivers. They both were trapped and flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where they died of their injuries, the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported.

>> Truck strikes SUV, killing Celina man in Mercer County

According to preliminary investigation, at around 2:20 p.m. Owens was headed south on Ohio 235 in her 2012 Hyundai when she went left of center. She struck a 2010 Toyota Tacoma headed north, driven by Littlejohn. A passenger in the Tacoma, Harvey Zimmerman, 87, of Christiansburg, was taken by squad to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, the patrol stated. 

Neither alcohol nor drugs are considered to be factors in the crash that remains under investigation.

UPDATE @ 3:25 p.m.

CareFlight has been dispatched to the scene of the accident, we will update you with the latest details. 


Multiple people are reportedly trapped and possibly injured in a crash on North Dayton Lakeview Road this afternoon.

The crash was reported around 2:30 p.m. in the 5700 block of North Dayton Lakeview.

A medical helicopter was reportedly placed on standby for the crash.

We’re working to gather additional information on the crash.

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Winter Weather Advisory in effect; slick roads likely

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 4:24 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 12:01 AM

Icy conditions expected for early St. Patrick's Day.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through noon. Mixed precipitation with ice accumulation up to one-tenth of an inch is expected. Be prepared for slippery roads as surface temperatures hover around freezing.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


    • Increasing clouds, freezing rain and sleet develop after midnight
    • Icy early St. Patrick’s Day
    • Clearing, milder to end the weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast


Overnight: Expect freezing rain/sleet to become widespread after 3 or 4 a.m. with slick spots developing. Up to one-tenth inch of ice accumulation is possible by morning, creating for slippery travel conditions. Temperatures will fall into the upper 20s.

>> County-by-County Weather 

Saturday: A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will be likely in the morning. As temperatures climb, precipitation will change to just rain showers by late morning with improving conditions in the afternoon. It will remain mostly cloudy as we dry out late in the day. Highs will reach back into the lower 40s.

Sunday: Sunny skies will end the weekend with milder temperatures reaching into the lower 50s.

>>Look for Venus, Mercury in the March evening sky

Monday: Clouds will be on the increase. There will be the chance for a few showers toward late evening or into the night. It will become breezy with highs in the lower 50s.

Tuesday: Cloudy skies are expected with rain showers during the day mixing with or changing to snow showers late in the day or evening. Highs will be in the lower 40s but fall into the 30s with blustery conditions.

Wednesday: Snow showers will be around, possibly mixed with rain. Highs will be in the upper 30s.

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Soggy St. Patrick’s Day

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 5:14 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:00 PM

Few more showers may return for the afternoon.

Clouds will linger through the day with a few breaks possible late morning/early afternoon, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said.


  • Chance of showers this afternoon
  • More sun and milder for Sunday
  • Rain/snow possible mid-week

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs


Today: Scattered showers may redevelop for the afternoon. Some spots far north may see a light mix initially, then change to rain. Temperatures slowly will climb into the lower 40s. Skies then begin to clear overnight and temperatures fall back below freezing. Some isolated slick spots are possible with any roads still damp from earlier precipitation.

>>What is freezing rain and how is it different from snow and sleet?

Sunday: Sunny skies and warmer with highs into the lower 50s.

Monday: Some morning sun will give way to more clouds through the day. There will be a chance for a few showers towards the evening. It will become breezy with highs in the lower 50s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Tuesday: Cloudy skies are expected with a few rain or snow showers early. It will be mostly cloudy for most of the day. A few more rain/snow showers may return into the night. Highs will be in the lower 40s.

>>5-Day Forecast

Wednesday: There will be a chance for a few passing snow showers and chilly with highs in the upper 30s.

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Don’t drink and drive. Here are 6 ways to get home safe in Dayton.

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 @ 4:12 PM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 9:48 AM

Enjoy yourself, but be responsible about getting home -- don't drink and drive.
Enjoy yourself, but be responsible about getting home -- don't drink and drive.

We know that St. Patrick’s day is full of drinking shenanigans for most people. But it's no excuse to drive drunk. 

>> Everything you need to know about Dublin Pub’s massive St. Patrick’s Day party

>> Your guide to St. Patrick’s Day events in Dayton

If you happen to go too hard, here are some options to get you home safely. 

Please note: we recommend planning in advance. Arrangements with a designated driver should be decided upon ahead of time, and it's always good to know what cab service you plan to use and to call to confirm they can service your location and wait times. 

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1.) The Uber app can figure out where you are and will hook you up with the nearest Uber driver in Dayton. Just plug in where you want to go and the Uber app will then give you an estimate of the fare for the ride. Just be careful: Uber is known to experience price surges during high-demand periods. A two-mile ride that would normally cost $4-10 dollars in a normal cab can easily spike to several times that much. 

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2.) Cab Guys are a locally-owned transportation service, serving the southern Dayton suburbs. You can give them a call at 937-505-0222. Their general fee for the first three miles is $10; after that they charge an additional $2 a mile. More info: Website

>> PODCAST: 10,000 leprechauns and more tales from the man behind Dublin Pub’s St. Patrick’s Day party 

3.) Anton’s Transportation serves 13 counties in the Miami Valley, just in case you wander outside of Dayton. You can give them a call at 937-252-4756. Anton’s charges a general fee of $9 for the first three miles and an additional $2 per mile after. More info: 

>> 9 must-try sandwiches in Dayton

4.) Walt’s Taxi Cab Service is another local cab service in Dayton. Call them at 937-825-3861. Walt’s charges $2 per mile. Minimum charges depend on how far away from Dayton you are. 

>> Worth the drive: 3 reasons to visit The American Sign Museum in Cincinnati 

5.) Lyft app. Like Uber, Lyft is an app service that matches you with a friendly local driver at the tap of a button.  

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6.)  Get an old-school designated driver. If calling a taxi or using Uber just isn’t your thing, plan to assign yourself a sober, designated driver. These are the best kinds of drivers because they are reliable (we hope) and usually right there when you’re ready to go. Not to get preachy, but please drink responsibly. Don’t put yourself or other people on the road at risk. So drink and be merry — but above all, be safe.


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