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Why Tom Hanks’ visit to Dayton is one for the history books

Published: Monday, April 18, 2016 @ 10:24 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 @ 2:15 PM

Actor Tom Hanks was at Wright State University on Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures.

The large wall calendar that hangs in the Equipment Room at Wright State University’s new Tom Hanks Center of Motion Pictures makes it obvious that Tuesday, April 19, is going to be a red letter day for the school.

>> RELATED: Tom Hanks to visit Wright State <<

“TOM HANKS!” it reads in large red capital letters surrounded by hand-drawn stars.

>> RELATED: What you didn't know about Tom Hanks <<

W. Stuart McDowell, professor, chair and artistic director of the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures, said Hanks has put Wright State on the map in a big kind of way and helped to ensure that the school has state-of-the-art facilities.

“Our film department is thrilled finally to have a facility worthy of its faculty and talented students,” he said, adding that he and his colleagues are looking forward to honoring Hanks this week for all he has done for the University over the years. Patrons at the recent ArtsGala got a sneak peak of the new two-story art gallery, dance and stage combat studios that are part of the renovated Creative Arts Center. The $27 million renovation project is slated to be completed by the end of August.

Here's some of what the famous actor/director will be doing and experiencing during his visit:

1. BUILDING DEDICATION: The renowned actor/director comes to town this week to help dedicate the $1.4 million building that bears his name.

2. INTERACTING WITH STUDENTS: While in Dayton, Hanks also will engage in dialogue and answer questions for film, theater and dance students.

3. WORKING ON WRIGHT BROTHERS PROJECT: Hanks and author David McCullough will be working on their upcoming HBO miniseries based on McCullough’s book, “The Wright Brothers” and McCullough also will be conducting a master class at Wright State.

>> RELATED: Book raises profile of Wright Brothers again <<

>> RELATED: Read an excerpt from David McCullough's "The Wright Brothers" <<

4. PRIVATE FUND-RAISER: Hanks also will attend a private fund-raising gala that aims to raise $500,000 for the Tom Hanks Scholarship and Visiting Artist Program.

As the national co-chair of the university’s $150 million “Rise. Shine. Campaign” — designed to expand scholarships, attract more top-flight faculty and support construction of state-of-the-art facilities — the actor was featured in a 2011 promotional video for the school.

“Wright State not only has one of the most outstanding arts programs in Ohio, but one of the best in the entire nation. I know this first hand because I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of your finest alumni," Hanks proclaims in the video.

>> RELATED: Wright State's Arts Gala breaks records <<

Dayton apartment residents facing deadline today to move out

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:15 PM

Dayton police visited the Newcom apartment building in downtown Dayton last week after the building’s ownership was given an order to vacate if the heating system was not repaired. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF The boiler in the Newcom apartment building was shut down because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, city officials say. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Dayton police visited the Newcom apartment building in downtown Dayton last week after the building’s ownership was given an order to vacate if the heating system was not repaired. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF The boiler in the Newcom apartment building was shut down because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, city officials say. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

UPDATE @ 2:07 p.m.:

Judge Richard Skelton said he is willing to work with the building owner to avoid kicking residents out of their homes.

But he said he wants to know how quickly owner Howard Heck can acquire infrared heaters for the 18 residents who remain in the building. 

RELATED: Dayton issues vacate order for downtown apartment building

About seven residents have moved out owing to the vacate order. 

Heck’s attorney at first said his client would order the heaters on Amazon, but Skelton said he wanted a quick and definite plan for obtaining the heaters. 

Skelton took a short recess in court to allow Heck time to try to figure out how he could get the heaters quickly. 


The roughly 50 residents of a downtown Dayton apartment building who were ordered to vacate by Tuesday if the heating system was not repaired were awaiting the results of an emergency hearing this afternoon

Last week, city of Dayton housing inspection officials issued an emergency vacate order to residents at the Newcom Building, located at 255 N. Main St.

The building’s boiler was shut off because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which can cause deadly poisoning.

Dayton crews discovered high levels of carbon monoxide in the boiler room after responding to a medic call at the Newcom building.

RELATED: Dayton issues vacate order for downtown apartment building

The city told the building’s ownership it had to repair or replace the boiler by Tuesday or the building would be boarded up and all residents would be required to leave.

The building is not safe to live in because it does not have a functioning heating system, officials said, and the especially cold weather poses a threat to residents.

A small number of residents had moved out by Tuesday late morning, but most do not have any place to go and moving itself would be very difficult since some residents are elderly or disabled, said Bradley Brumit, who lives in the building.

HUD awards $9.5M within county to fight homelessness

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:42 PM

            Daybreak is one of several local organizations to share a $9.5 million grant from the , the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fight homelessness. Daybreak provides services to homeless people ages 10-24, and sees over 500 kids per year.
Daybreak is one of several local organizations to share a $9.5 million grant from the , the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fight homelessness. Daybreak provides services to homeless people ages 10-24, and sees over 500 kids per year.

Local agencies battling homelessness are set to receive almost $9.5 million in federal grant awards, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced.

The annual HUD grants to the Dayton-Kettering-Montgomery County Continuum of Care (CoC) are the largest single funding source for local projects designed to move people from homelessness to housing, said Kathleen Shanahan, Montgomery County’s Housing and Homeless Solutions Program Coordinator

“It really is targeted to getting people out of shelters and into stable housing,” she said. “So most of the funding is used for housing.”

RELATED US gives $2B to help homeless amid plans to cut housing aid

HUD increased the amount awarded to area CoC recipients this year by about $568,000. Across the country, about $2 billion is going into 7,300 programs.

“These Continuum of Care program grants are a great example of communities embracing the strongest practices and transforming how they respond to homelessness,” said Matthew Doherty, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.”

Of the 29 grants awarded to the local CoC, 16 will go toward housing programs that provide safe, affordable housing with supportive services to disabled homeless persons. Combined, the programs provide supportive housing to more than 1,000 formerly homeless households annually.

RELATED: Montgomery County gets $1.2M to help make homelessness ‘rare, brief’

Shanahan said projects eligible for renewal are reviewed each year to make sure they are meeting performance targets. Some may get phased out while others get new funds, she said.

One newly-funded project is the county’s coordinated entry process, sometimes called “front door,” which will receive $112,320, according to HUD.

In 2010, Montgomery County was among the first communities in the country to implement the entry program, which is now a HUD requirement, Shanahan said.

“There is a coordinated approach to solving homelessness,” she said. “Instead of people showing up in multiple places and put on multiple waiting lists, it is s a more efficient way of organizing the system.”

MORE: County has ‘effectively’ ended homelessness among veterans

Locally, the entry points to the system for those experiencing homelessness are the Daybreak youth shelter, PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) outreach, St. Vincent de Paul Gettysburg Gateway for Men, St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter for Women and Families, and the YWCA of Dayton’s domestic violence shelter.

In 2016, 3,509 households in Montgomery County spent at least one night in shelter or living unsheltered. An annual state count in January 2017 showed 382 households in Montgomery County had no home. Altogether, 500 people were counted, 53 of whom were unsheltered.

Volunteers will again make the mandated point-in-time count for Dayton and Montgomery County next week, Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning.

Organizations receiving HUD grant funding include: City of Dayton, Daybreak, Eastway, Homefull, Miami Valley Housing Opportunities, Montgomery County, PLACES, and St. Vincent de Paul.

“While stable housing is essential for success, it is not the stopping point for people,” Doherty said. “Stable housing is the platform from where people can address the challenges they face, from where they can pursue their goals for themselves and their families.”

Dogs, cats rescued from burning Middletown duplex

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 9:33 AM

Baltimore St fire in Middletown

UPDATE @ 12:44 p.m. (Jan. 16):

Steven Piersall, 33, of Middletown, said he was driving on Tuesday morning when he saw “a bunch of black smoke” coming from a Young Street residence.

He quickly pulled his car off the road and ran to the front door. He heard women screaming and called 911 to report someone may be trapped inside the burning home. 

LOCAL NEWS: Standoff suspect demanded ‘thousands’ in cash from hostage boy’s mother

Instead, he learned later, the screams were coming from neighbors who also saw the home at 1113 Young St. on fire. Piersall tried to knock the front door down, but was unable, he said. 

He said the front room was “fully engulfed in flames” when he arrived. When two police officers knocked the door down, several dogs, all smelling of smoke, ran out of the residence.

Piersall put some of the dogs in his car to protect them from the freezing temperatures.

UPDATE @ 11:06 a.m. (Jan. 16):

No people were home when a duplex on Young Street caught fire Tuesday morning.

Firefighters responded to the residence in the 1100 block shortly before 9:30 a.m.
Several cats and dogs were rescued from the house and the American Red Cross is assisting the residence.

Kevin Gordon, hugs his dog Leo, after Middletown Division of Fire rescued the dog from Gordon Home. Photo by Marshall Gorby

A cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Temperatures and icy conditions made a “tough job tougher,” said Middletown Deputy Fire Chief Dave Adams.

UPDATE @ 10:20 a.m. (Jan. 16):

Firefighters rescued at least two dogs from a duplex on Young Street after fire damaged the upper level of the building, according to officials.

It’s unknown if any injuries were reported.


A fire has been reported at a residence on Young Street in Middletown this morning.

Firefighters responded to the 1100 block of Young around 9:25 a.m.

We’re working to learn whether any injuries have been reported.

Wind Chill Advisory in effect until noon; drivers should watch for snow-lingering roads

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:38 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:27 AM

A cold day with a few flurries possible this evening.

RELATED: Winter in full swing: another cold blast sends temps to well below freezing


  • Sub-Zero Wind Chills most of Today
  • Few evening flurries possible
  • Warming up for weekend

RELATED: Closings and Delays


TODAY: A very cold afternoon with highs around 11 degrees; wind chills near or below zero all day. Partly cloudy skies with a few flurries possible into the evening. Scattered clouds linger into the night and cold again with lows near 5 degrees. Wind chills again fall below zero, but not as bitter as early Tuesday.

RELATED: WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

WEDNESDAY: Another cold morning with temperatures starting in the single digits. It won’t be as breezy, so wind chills will be below zero, but not low enough for another advisory. Expect sunshine and scattered clouds as high reach in the low 20s. 

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

THURSDAY: A cold and quiet start to the day with sunshine and a few clouds. Highs peak in the upper 20s.

FRIDAY: It’ll start to her a little warmer as temperatures climb to the mid to upper 30s as clouds increase through the day. 

SATURDAY: The weekend starts with quiet weather as temperatures peak in the mid-40s. Moisture starts to increase with the possibility of some drizzle or light rain showers arriving in the evening hours.