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Preschool board plans marketing blitz in March

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 12:21 PM
Updated: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 12:18 PM

Dayton’s Preschool Promise effort will provide tuition assistance to families and “quality assistance” to help preschool providers advance in the state’s rating system. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF PHOTO
Dayton’s Preschool Promise effort will provide tuition assistance to families and “quality assistance” to help preschool providers advance in the state’s rating system. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF PHOTO

The local Preschool Promise Board, sprinting toward a fall launch of expanded high-quality preschool in Dayton, will soon begin a large marketing campaign to explain the program to the public.

The big challenge this first year is figuring out how to market a program that’s still in the process of being built, as the deadline for schools and other providers to sign up is still a week away.

“It is a significant lift, and we know it’s critically important,” said Robyn Lightcap, executive director of Learn to Earn Dayton. “We know not all parents understand what preschool options are out there right now. We know there’s a lot of confusion. … and we know we have to build systems to help them.”

RELATED: Thousands of dollars in tuition assistance available to preschool families

The Preschool Promise board approved a large marketing plan this week, including plans to hire a vendor to run a “field campaign” for grassroots outreach in Dayton. Board member and former Dayton mayor Clay Dixon said the marketing approach “is of the utmost importance.”

“That is actually how we’ll go out in the community, shoulder to shoulder, eyeball to eyeball, with the parents to make sure they are aware of the program, aware of what we do to get those kids into one of our quality programs,” Dixon said.

The board’s request for proposals for field campaign vendors is going out this week. Lightcap said the vendor will hire people who know Dayton’s neighborhoods and can build relationships with community partners, all in an effort to connect with the families who would participate in expanded preschool. The income tax increase that Dayton voters approved in November will fund access to high-quality preschool for 4-year-olds in the city.

Lightcap said the key is figuring out who the “key influencers” are in each area, even down to the granular level of which parents moms of young children are listening to.

“It’s not as much knocking on doors (in most cases),” she said. “It’s more about building relationships with the trusted entities in the neighborhood – the churches, the social service agencies, the grocery stores, laundromats, pediatricians.”

RELATED: Preschool board trying to sign up schools, child care centers

Preschool Promise is still signing up schools and other providers this month – both those that are already high-quality, and those willing to work through the state’s quality improvement process. The overall marketing effort will launch in March, including traditional advertising, whether via radio or online, on buses or billboards.

“We need to make sure the community understands the purpose of the program, and make sure that our kiddos in all parts of the city get the quality they deserve,” Preschool Promise board member Jane McGee-Rafal said.

In April, families will be able to sign up their 4-year-old children for the start of the 2017-18 school year next fall, with significant tuition assistance available at approved centers and providers.

Preschool Promise officials said since the expanded program is brand-new, they don’t expect 2017-18 to be a perfect, completed system, with full understanding from parents, and maximum participation from school providers. The income tax increase is estimated to provide $4.3 million per year over eight years, allowing the program to build on itself over time.

The preschool board’s next meeting is March 2, when the group will discuss the budget for the 2017-18 school year.

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Ford recalls 117K trucks, SUVs

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 7:59 AM

FILE PHOTO: A Ford Escape is seen on a dealerships lot on September 26, 2014.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: A Ford Escape is seen on a dealerships lot on September 26, 2014.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Ford has issued a recall involving almost 117,000 trucks and SUVs.

That’s because the company says the bolts in the seat, seat belt or seat belt buckle may break. If they fracture, the seat or the seat belt could fail in a sudden stop or a crash, the Associated Press reported.

>> Read more trending news

Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by the issue, but customers will be notified. Dealerships will replace the bolts for free.

The 2014 F-Series pickup, 2014 E-Series van, 2014 and 2015 Ford Escape and the 2015 Lincoln MKC SUV are all under this latest recall, the AP reported.

The Biggest Product Recalls in US History

Dixie Twin Drive-in armed robbery suspect empties register

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 12:40 AM

Robbery reported at Dixie Twin Drive-In

Police are seeking a gunman who robbed a drive-in movie theater early today in Harrison Twp.

The armed robbery suspect was wearing all black clothing and a black mask when around 12:30 a.m. he displayed a black handgun to workers at the box office of the Dixie Twin Drive-In, 6201 N. Dixie Drive. He fled with all the contents in the register, according to Montgomery County Regional Dispatch reports.

READ: Multi-county I-75 pursuit involving OSP ends in crash, 2 in hospital

The suspect, described as approximately 6 feet tall with a stocky build who weighs about 200 pounds, fled northeast through the woods toward Miller Lane, according to the dispatch center.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Missing Florida woman found because she saved her scent with kit

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 3:46 PM

Missing Florida Woman Found Because She Saved Her Scent With Kit

A Florida woman with dementia, who was missing for hours, was found within five minutes of a K-9 being dispatched all because she saved her scent. 

>> Read more trending news 

Deputy Justin Williams and a K-9 named Ally tracked down the missing, endangered elderly woman Tuesday using a scent preservation kit she made two years ago. 

The kits require people to swab under their arms with a sterile pad and seal it inside a container. If the person ever goes missing, the unique smell captured can easily be tracked by a K-9. 

“The woman was returned home safely and K9 Ally was rewarded with a special treat, a tasty vanilla ice cream cone,” the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook

Clock ticks as “Skinny” Senate GOP health bill remains a mystery

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 7:36 AM

With half of the debate completed in the U.S. Senate on a House-passed bill to overhaul the Obama health law, Republicans have yet to reveal the details of what may be the only GOP option that can get a majority of votes, a streamlined measure which would change only a few provisions of current health law.

“I don’t know what the “skinny” repeal looks like,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) to a group of reporters, as he acknowledged doing the bare minimum on health care might be about the only way to keep GOP options open on changes to Obamacare.

“What you’re really voting on is to try to keep the discussions alive between the House and Senate,” Corker told reporters.

The way the “skinny” Republican option has been described in recent days is this:

+ Zero out the tax penalty on the individual mandate (note – this does not “repeal” the mandate – it just reduces the penalty to $0).

+ Zero out the employer mandate penalty

+ Repeal the medical device tax.

But there were rumblings on Wednesday that the details of the plan would have to be fiddled with, leaving GOP Senators in the dark on what they might be voting on late on Thursday night, or Friday.

“I want to see what it says; I don’t know what it says – no one knows what it says yet,” Corker said.

“All of this right now is procedural setup to get to an end that none of us are certain what it’s going to look like,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

“I’d rather comment when we see it actually formulated,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) of the “skinny” Senate bill.

Down at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, President Trump was continuing to press GOP Senators for action, using his platform on Twitter to make one more direct appeal on Thursday morning.

But as the day began, it wasn’t clear whether there would be 50 Republican votes for any GOP health plan in the Senate – skinny or not.

For seven years, many Republicans and conservative groups have pushed a story line that wasn’t completely true about the Congressional debate on the Obama health law – that few hearings were held, that the bill text was kept a secret until the bitter end, that the House and Senate votes were done in the middle of the night, and more.

Having covered the legislative battle over the Obama health law, many of those criticisms weren’t entirely accurate – but the irony right now is that the GOP may be following a health care script in 2017 which mirrors many of their own complaints from 2009 and 2010.