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Winter storm packs a punch, dumping snow across the region

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 8:33 AM

How snow is impacting roads

A swirling winter storm packed a punch into early Saturday that dumped rain and then snow amid plunging temperatures that snarled Friday evening traffic commutes, temporarily shut highways because of accidents, and shuttered activities across the region into the weekend.

The region was forecast for another round of snow Monday during the morning drive, according to WHIO-TV meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs.

“This will be a fluffier snow and easier to shovel,” she said. “Once this quick moving clipper passes, colder air builds in through mid-week.”

The storm, which had sustained winds of 25 miles per hour and gusts over 35 mph, dumped 2.7 inches of snow at Dayton International Airport. In Montgomery County, Miamisburg reported the highest total with 4.5 inches and Vandalia the lowest at 1.3 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

In Oxford in Butler County, 2.5 inches were reported, in Xenia 4 inches fell, and in Beavercreek 3.6 inches, NWS reported. Springfield and Middletown reported about 3 inches.

RELATED: Winter weather prompts snow emergencies, highway shut downs

Weekend high temperatures were forecast between the upper teens to lower 20s with single-digit temperatures and subzero wind chills into early Sunday.

With a biting wind chill, Colen Baker, 65, bundled up in Carhartts and a blue jean jacket to shovel off the block of sidewalk in front of the Talbott Tower in downtown Dayton at First and Ludlow on Saturday.

“It’s winter,” he said. “What can you say.”

Some schools closed Friday in anticipation of ice and snow-covered roads, numerous activities were canceled Saturday and thousands of employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the state’s largest single-site employer, were allowed to leave early to avoid the storm.

Baker was one of thousands of commuters who braved the “nasty” conditions on roadways, too, he said. Authorities declared Level 1 snow emergencies into Saturday for Montgomery, Greene, Clark, Champaign, Darke and Logan counties.

RELATED: Wright-Patt to send employees home early to avoid winter storm

Road crews worked through Friday night and Saturday to clear snow covered and slushy or icy roads as motorists cautiously ventured out hours after the blustery storm blew through the region.

Dayton put 45 trucks on the road Saturday morning to clear residential streets, said Fred Stovall, the city’s public works director.

“We’ve been working around the clock since last night,” he said Saturday,

The Montgomery County Engineer’s office deployed 20 snow plows to handle the mess, said county engineer Paul Gruner.

“We’re probably going to have some trucks out through Sunday until the wind dies down,” he said.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. John Chesser of the Xenia post said troopers in Greene County handled triple the number of crashes they normally do.

“We handled our share of them last night and we had several slide-offs,” he said Saturday, urging motorists to be prepared for winter driving skills by driving slower in snowy conditions and carrying blankets and flares in a vehicle in case of an emergency.

Roads were passable Saturday, but drivers should drive below posted speeds where road conditions are impacted, he said.

“If you’ve got somewhere to go, you have to give yourself extra time,” he said.

RELATED: Power outages steadily decrease across region after winter storm

Numerous slide-offs and crashes were reported throughout the Friday evening commute. The storm started in the morning as rain and transitioned by the afternoon to snow before reaching its height with strong winds and fast accumulating snow. Hundreds of customers across the region reported temporary power outages.

Ice accumulations were the highest in the western Miami Valley, Vrydaghs said. A quarter of an inch was recorded in Darke and Preble counties before changing to snow, according to Vrydaghs.

Dayton has consumed about 4,200 tons of road salt through Friday, more than the past two mild winters when 3,000 tons were used each year, figures show.

The city plows about 1,700 lane miles of roadway.

At the Montgomery County Engineer’s office, drivers plow 800 lane miles of roadways and used about 2,500 tons of salt so far, Gruner said Friday.

The transition from rain to snow Friday made pre-treatment difficult, he said.

“The difficult part was we were not able to do any pre-treating … before it froze because (the rain) would have washed away” the material, he said.

Dayton Power & Light Co. had 400 employees in place to handle the demands of the storm, said spokeswoman Mary Ann Kabel.

“We are fully staffed and keeping our contractors through the weekend so we are prepared as we go into this winter storm,” she said.

Dayton International Airport’s website showed several canceled flights Friday with one cancellation Saturday morning. Otherwise, flights appeared to be operating according to schedule.

“We’ve made certain that our equipment is ready for operation and we will continue to monitor the temperature of the pavement and make sure the runways are safe,” said spokeswoman Linda Hughes.

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

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Dry and warming up to end week
  • More rain for weekend

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

DETAILED FORECAST

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 near 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 @ 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 east of 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

FIRST REPORT

Multiple fire crews have responded to reports of a large gas leak on Brehm Boulevard east of 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.