New Ohio 444 presenting no major issues

Published: Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 10:00 PM
Updated: Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

The new Ohio 444 route in Fairborn has presented no major problems since the major thoroughfare was changed in early October, city and state officials said.

The new portion begins at the Dayton-Yellow Springs Road and Kauffman Avenue intersection, continues along Kauffman to Central and west onto Dayton. About 11,000 vehicles traveled Kauffman daily prior to the reroute, and City Engineer Jim Sawyer said there has not been a significant increase in traffic.

“This time next year, we’ll have a pretty stable traffic flow, and we’ll be able to see what problems we have,” he said.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base permanently closed a mile-and-a-half stretch of Ohio 444 that bisected the base for security reasons.

The Ohio Department of Transportation took traffic counts last month at three intersections — Dayton-Yellow Springs/Kauffman, Central/Dayton and Dayton/Broad — and will do so again in the spring.

“It’s a great opportunity for economic growth along that corridor with our connections — Wright State, the base, Calamityville, downtown,” City Manager Deborah McDonnell said. “We’ve noticed more traffic, but it’s been really smooth. There have been no real glitches we’ve been made aware of.”

Sharon Smigielski, an ODOT spokeswoman, said the Central/Dayton and Dayton/Broad intersections will be widened, a project that is scheduled for the summer of 2015. It will cost $55,000.

Long-term, ODOT is exploring ways to improve the Dayton-Yellow Springs/Kauffman intersection, especially with the railroad tracks there, Smigielski said. City and state officials may seek Defense Access Road Program funds to help finance the project.

Sawyer said signal timings will be analyzed, and restriping work and advance signage will also be done at the Dayton-Yellow Springs/Kauffman intersection.

Jeff Roberts, an agent for State Farm Insurance, moved his office from 45 N. Broad St. to 1074 Kauffman in May because of the impending Ohio 444 reroute. He said he has noticed an increase in traffic on the new Ohio 444, and is confident that more foot traffic in his office will soon follow.

“I still see everything as a positive,” Roberts said. “Obviously, we’ve got great exposure on the road. We’re just moving in the right direction, and hopefully it will stay that way.”

Jamie Hensley, owner of Jamie’s Tire and Service on 31 S. Broad St., said his main concern all along has been how the Ohio 444 reroute would impact traffic on Broad Street. Sales did not drop last month, but Hensley said generating new customers in the future may be difficult.

“There’s no reason to be on Broad Street unless you’re going to the base,” Hensley said. “Some people are deciding to stay on Central, meaning potential customers driving by the shop won’t be as frequent.”

Nearly 15,000 vehicles per day traveled on the stretch of Ohio 444 that closed, with 85 percent of it base-related, the Air Force said.

An interim 24-hour Gate 1A opened Nov. 16 and Spruce Way on the base has been extended all the way to the former Ohio 444. Total cost of those projects was $750,000.

Base spokesman Daryl Mayer said a second left-turn lane has been created going into the Gate 12A entrance from Ohio 444. Traffic congestion has occurred inside Gate 12A at the Spruce/Chidlaw Road intersection. A signal light or traffic circle may be installed there, Mayer said.

“We reduced the number of entry points to the base, and that had an obvious effect of forcing traffic through a fewer number of gates,” Mayer said. “We’ll continue to work to divert more traffic to Gate 1A.”

Embracing bodies found in national park believed to be missing hikers

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 3:09 AM

This combo made from undated photos provided by the National Park Service show Rachel Nguyen, left, and Joseph Orbeso, as they seek the public's help in locating them. The father of Orbeso, a missing California man, says he believes the bodies of his son and his son's girlfriend, Nguyen, have been found in Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., near the area where the couple vanished while hiking nearly three months ago. Officials have not yet confirmed the identities of the bodies discovered Sunday in the desert park. (National Park Service via AP)
This combo made from undated photos provided by the National Park Service show Rachel Nguyen, left, and Joseph Orbeso, as they seek the public's help in locating them. The father of Orbeso, a missing California man, says he believes the bodies of his son and his son's girlfriend, Nguyen, have been found in Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., near the area where the couple vanished while hiking nearly three months ago. Officials have not yet confirmed the identities of the bodies discovered Sunday in the desert park. (National Park Service via AP)(AP)

Search and rescue efforts in California's Joshua Tree National Park led to the discovery of two bodies embracing one another. They are believed to be Joseph Orbeso, 21, and Rachel Nguyen, 20.

>> Watch the news report here

According to KESQ and KABC, the couple was last heard from in late July, and search teams later located their car near the beginning of one of the park’s trails. Their last known contact was a cellphone ping in the area, and their belongings were found still inside the Airbnb they were renting, as they never checked out.

>> On Watch the amazing moment hikers lost in the wilderness are found by a drone hovering high above the trees

Orbeso’s father, Gilbert, and a group of search and rescue workers launched a months-long search for the hikers, making a huge breakthrough on Sunday as they scaled 30-foot cliffs and covered new ground. Clothing, food wrappers and water bottles led them to the bodies, which were picked up by a helicopter and sent to a coroner’s office to confirm the identities. Orbeso’s father, however, is certain that the remains belong to his son and his son’s girlfriend.

>> Read more trending news

“A sense of relief that we have found them after going a long time on these hikes. I feel like we have closure. We know we found them. That was our main goal, to find them. And I’m glad we did that,” he said, according to KESQ.

"Hope they can rest in peace now," he added, KABC reported.

Official identification of the remains is pending and will follow completed autopsies.


Police identify at-fault driver in I-675 wrong-way crash that kills 2

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 9:55 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 11:22 AM


Two people were killed and two people were injured in a three-vehicle, wrong-way driver accident on I-675 South in Centerville Monday evening.

  • 2 deceased identified as Melvin Bonie, 69, and Kalip Grimm, 18
  • Police say Bonie was the wrong-way driver
  • A third victim, taken to a hospital, was reported to be alert, fourth victim suffered minor injuries
  • Southbound I-675 reopened around 3 a.m.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Clark County teen killed in crash remembered at vigil

UPDATE @ 11:22 a.m. (Oct. 17)

Centerville police say Melvin Bonie, 69, was driving the wrong way on Interstate 675 South when the crashes occurred.


The wrong-way driver was north on southbound I-675 at Far Hills Avenue, glanced off one vehicle and hit a second vehicle head on, Centerville Police Officer John Davis said. 

Melvin Bonie, 69, and Kalip Grimm, 18, were killed in the crash, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

The  driver of the offending vehicle is one of the fatalities, police said.

RELATED: Wrong-way driver detection: Could new system save lives here? 

Around 9:20 p.m. Monday, the first calls about the wrong-way driver began coming into police dispatch, police said. 

>> I-75 fiery crash: What we know about wrong-way driver killed 

The second victim was in one of the southbound vehicles, he said. A third victim taken to a hospital was alert. A fourth victim suffered minor injuries, Davis said.

Police are speaking with that fourth victim for a witness statement. 

It's too early to speculate whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. 

A Montgomery County coroner's investigator was on scene and a Centerville Police Department traffic accident reconstruction team was on scene for most of the night.

Southbound lanes were shut down during the investigation and were reopened around 3 a.m.

I 675 crash Video
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Leah Remini’s arrival on 'Kevin Can Wait' leaves fans cold

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 @ 11:11 PM

Leah Remini Reunites With Kevin James On Screen

Fans tuned into the season 2 premiere of “Kevin Can Wait” on Monday night knowing that Kevin James’ former TV wife Leah Remini would be joining the show, but it looks like James’ and Remini’s reunion didn’t go over well with some.

>> Read more trending news 

In June, CBS President Kelly Kahl said killing off Erinn Hayes character Donna Gable would be “treated with dignity and respect, something that will have taken place in the past.” Instead, viewers received no explanation of her demise and learned she passed nearly a year earlier in the first episode.

Fans were quick to turn to Twitter to express their outrage.

Trump presses tax reform as Senate begins debate on GOP budget outline

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 2:08 AM

President Donald Trump urged conservative activists on Tuesday night to help lobby Senators in favor of a GOP tax reform package, as despite some infighting, Republicans seemed like they would be able to approve a budget outline this week in the Senate, a plan which would allow for future legislative action on a tax bill – without the threat of a Senate filibuster.

“Let’s give our country the best Christmas present of all – massive tax relief,” the President said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, where his vow of big tax cuts drew large cheers from the audience.

“This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to revive our economy,” Mr. Trump added, though he acknowledged that he doesn’t expect much support from Democrats in the Congress.

Before any tax bill can be brought up on the floor of the House and Senate, both chambers must approve a budget outline for 2018, which authorizes the use of the ‘budget reconciliation’ process for tax reform – helping the GOP to avoid a Senate filibuster. That was the same legislative tool used in a failed bid to overhaul the Obama health law.

In an important sign for the White House, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) – who had been absent for weeks with an illness, returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday – and then, GOP leaders won the support of another key Republican Senator, who has tangled repeatedly with the President.

“I support the Senate budget resolution because it provides a path forward on tax reform,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who still wants GOP leaders to add more money to the budget outline for military needs.

Still not ready to commit to the budget or tax plans was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who lobbed a series of pointed jabs at both McCain, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), accusing them of trying to use budget gimmicks to funnel more money to the Pentagon, instead of finding ways to restrain spending.

In a first test vote, the Senate voted 50-47 in favor of beginning debate on the budget framework for 2018, which would balance the budget by 2026. A House budget outline would achieve that a year later.

No Democrats joined with Republicans to begin the Senate debate, as right now, the White House faces a difficult task in getting any Democratic lawmakers to endorse the President’s budget or tax plans.

“It’s going to be hard to get the Democrats, because they’re obstructionists, and they vote in blocks,” the President said in his Tuesday night speech.

If no Democrats cross party lines on taxes, that makes it all the more important for the GOP to stick together in the Senate, or the GOP could face the same outcome as on health care reform.

No legislative language for a tax reform plan has been released as yet by the GOP. Lawmakers don’t expect to see all the details until next month.