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Traveling for Thanksgiving? Here are the worst times to hit the road this week

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 1:32 PM

WAZE, a traffic app and website, released the worst times to hit the road for Thanksgiving this week. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
WAZE, a traffic app and website, released the worst times to hit the road for Thanksgiving this week. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Before people sit down at the dinner table for a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday they may have to hit the road.

WAZE, a traffic app and website, has released its list of worst times to travel for the holiday and start of the shopping season. The earlier travelers get on the road, the better off they’ll be, according to WAZE.

» RELATED: More than 500 at Wright State celebrate Thanksgiving away from home

Ohioans will luck out though as cities in West Virginia, California, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and North Carolina will see the biggest surge in Thanksgiving traffic this week, according to WAZE.

Below are the worst times to travel each day, today through the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Thanksgiving Day: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

» RELATED: 17 retail horror stories that show working Black Friday is the worst

Black Friday: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Dancing Dayton police officer faces OVI charges

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:31 PM

Dancing Dayton police officer faces OVI charges

UPDATE @ 4:15 p.m. (Jan. 19):

Dayton police said Jermar Rayford “is currently on restricted duty pending the outcome of an OVI case in Greene County. The Dayton Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau is also conducting an independent administrative investigation into the matter,” following a traffic stop, where he was cited for OVI.

RELATED: Meet Dayton’s whipping, nae-naeing cop

The department’s statement comes after this news agency requested a status on his employment with the department following the Jan. 12 incident.

RELATED: Dayton officer’s plea - ‘I bleed just like you’

Rayford garnered national attention and also was given credit for helping improve police and community relations after dancing during a community festival in the Oregon District.  Videos of his dance moves were shared across social media.

INITIAL REPORT:

Dayton Police Officer Jermar Rayford appeared in court this week on an OVI charge stemming from a traffic stop in Greene County just after 2 a.m. on Jan. 12. 

According to documents from Fairborn Municipal Court, Rayford, 25, was driving a black 2017 Dodge bearing Florida license tags when he was stopped by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper on eastbound Col. Glenn Boulevard near Presidential Drive in Beavercreek. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police searching for suspect in shooting

He was driving 69 mph in a 45-mph zone, according to the court document, and refused a blood alcohol test. 

Rayford was summoned into court on Tuesday morning. 

He is the police officer who performed the Superman in 2015 while dancing to Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) at the Taste of All Things Oregon.

RELATED: Meet Dayton’s whipping, nae-naeing cop

The 2010 Chaminade Julienne graduate became a local celebrity when several people posted videos and photos of his dancing to social media. 

Rayford also gained local attention in July 2016 when he posted a video to social media, offering an emotional plea to the Dayton community focused toward police-community relations.

RELATED: Dayton officer’s plea - ‘I bleed just like you’

At the time, he said he posted the video in reaction to the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both of whom were killed by police. The video surfaced hours before five Dallas police officers were shot and killed.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

LOCAL IMPACT: Government shutdown threatens 100th birthday party for Springfield veteran

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:33 PM

Government shutdown threatens 100th birthday party for Springfield veteran

Kevin Black hadn’t thought about how the possibility of a government shutdown would affect his family.

World War II veteran Thomas Eubanks of Springfield turns 100 on Jan. 23. To celebrate, his grandson, Black, organized a birthday party for him at the Air Force Museum on Saturday.

With the possibility of the government shutting down tonight, the museum may not open, and the outlook of the party is up in the air.

“I don’t like the playing politics on this,” Black said. “They’re just playing games.”

RELATED: With no deal on shutdown, GOP accuses Sherrod Brown of flip-flop

The possible museum closure hadn’t occurred to Black or his family until this news organization contacted him about the party, which he had asked us to cover.

His family wasn’t the only ones uncertain of what will happen next.

Diana Bachert, spokeswoman for the Air Force Museum, said Friday night in a statement there is currently no order for the museum to shut down.

“However, we will follow procedures for an orderly shutdown when and how we are directed to do so,” Bachert said.

If Congress fails to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution (CR), a bill that appropriates money to different federal departments and programs, some federal agencies could come to a standstill.

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Black’s plan is for Congressman Warren Davidson to present Eubanks with a certificate, then Black will present his grandfather with letters from President Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich.

But if there is no CR passed, Congress plans to stay in Washington and try to come to an agreement, meaning Davidson may have to miss the party.

Black said his grandfather doesn’t know about the planned celebration at the museum.

“He just thinks that a bunch of the grandkids are taking him to the museum,” Black said.

And he probably will continue to keep plans a secret, in case the museum isn’t open.

“(Eubanks) was sick a couple weeks after Christmas, and we didn’t think he was going to be able to go (to the museum). But he wants to go if they don’t shut down,” Black said.

MORE: What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know

Eubanks is a widower; his wife Suzanne died in 2000. They were married for 59 years.

In WWII he served as tail gunner in the European theatre, an area of heavy fighting across the continent. He flew 13 combat missions from Knettishall Airfield in England.

“Tail gunner was the worst place to be,” said Black, who is retired from the Air Force.

He worked as a building inspector for Springfield for several years.

He lives in Oakwood Village Retirement Home in Springfield. He has four children, nine grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and four great, great-grandchildren.

“He’s got all his wits about him,” Black said.

Wright Patt: Workers to show up Monday even if shutdown occurs

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:46 PM


            Wright-Patterson Air Force Base employs more than 27,000 employees and is the largest single-site employer in Ohio. The base has a $4.1 billion economic impact in Ohio. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base employs more than 27,000 employees and is the largest single-site employer in Ohio. The base has a $4.1 billion economic impact in Ohio. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Thousands of Wright-Patterson employees were expected to report to work Monday morning for further instructions “to carry out orderly shutdown activities” if a partial federal government closure stuck at midnight Friday, base authorities said.

The scenario could be a replay of October 2013 when most civil service employees at Wright-Patterson were sent home on furlough at the state’s largest single-site employer with more than 27,000 personnel, but how many might be impacted in another temporary closure could not be answered Friday.

“It is difficult to determine how many employees would be impacted because a determination of the furlough parameters has not been released,” base spokeswoman Marie Vanover said in an email.

All military personnel, regardless of their job, would report for duty, according to the Defense Department.

RELATED: Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers

Those who stay on the job — both military and civilian — will not be paid until a Congressional appropriations bill is passed, according to the Pentagon. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force planned to remain open over the weekend unless it receives a shutdown order, according to spokeswoman Diana Bachert. She said the museum would issue an update to the news media, and post an alert on the museum’s social media sites and its website if it must close.

Retired Col. Cassie B. Barlow, installation commander of Wright-Patterson the last time a shutdown hit, said Friday carrying out shutdown activities were “very complex” and “all encompassing.”

“I feel sorry for the folks on the base right now and what they have to go through,” she said. “It’s very frustrating. It’s frustrating for the commanders, but it’s also frustrating for all of the employees because they are starved for information right now and they’re listening to the news …

“It’s a stressful time especially when there’s a potential to not get paid,” she said, adding it was “no way” to treat employees or run a business.

The Pentagon issued a contingency plan Friday that listed broad categories where employees may be allowed to stay on the job, such as police, fire and medical services and other duties deemed “essential” to national security.

RELATED: What if a government shutdown happened: Five things to know

The reverberations of a government shutdown would be similar to the last one struck in 2013, according to Air Force Capt. Hope Cronin.

“We are hopeful that there is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations,” she said Friday afternoon. “However, at this time, we must plan for a range of scenarios” that include a short-term stopgap funding measure, a budget deal or a shutdown.

Air Force reservists were expected to attend a previously funded drill weekend Saturday and Sunday at the base with the 445th Airlift Wing, said spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris.

Among other impacts, U.S. District Court in Dayton would remain open, federal Judge Walter Rice said Friday. “I don’t expect any immediate change,” he said.

RELATED: Will a shutdown happen? Wright-Patterson in holding pattern

The U.S. Postal Service mail delivery and post offices would stay open and Social Security payments would continue to recipients, according to authorities.

The Ohio National Guard issued a statement Friday saying the agency would continue national defense operations and respond to state emergencies.

At the University of Dayton Research Institute, which has millions of dollars in federal contracts employing some 200 people, some employees may be prevented from doing their jobs and the institute “would need to find other work for them as possible,” John Leland, UDRI executive director, said in a statement. “Other contract work might have to shift temporarily shift from a government installation to a UD facility.”

Those changes are “disruptive” and “causes waste at taxpayer expense,” he added.

Head Start education programs for pre-schoolers were expected to be open Monday if a shutdown occurred, but a long-term government closure may have an impact on operations, according to Barbara Haxton, executive director of the Ohio Head State Association in Dayton.

Man caught entering Manchester Inn by K-9s training fined $100

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:43 PM


            Nicholas Tsakeris, 18, pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and was fined $100 and court costs Friday morning in Middletown Municipal Court.
Nicholas Tsakeris, 18, pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and was fined $100 and court costs Friday morning in Middletown Municipal Court.

A Middletown man pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and was fined $100 and court costs for breaking and entering a closed downtown hotel.

Nicholas Tsakeris, 18, also was told Friday morning to stay away from the Manchester Inn, which closed seven years ago, by Middletown Municipal Court Judge James Sherron.

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Tsakeris and a 17-year-old boy allegedly entered the Manchester Inn on Wednesday afternoon. They were seen entering the hotel by Middletown’s police chief and two new city council members who were having lunch Wednesday on the fourth floor of the City Building.

Chief Rodney Muterspaw, who was meeting with council members Joe Mulligan and Ami Vitori, called police dispatch to report the suspicious activity at the hotel.

As the two suspects, Tsakeris and a juvenile, were illegally trying to enter the Manchester Inn, the police department’s K-9 team was training along with eight agencies of the Southwest Regional K-9 Training Team at the city’s K-9 training center near the Middletown Regional Airport.

“Bad timing,” Muterspaw said with a laugh. “Real bad.”

Middletown’s K-9 officers Bear, Chase and Koda, along with dogs from the other police agencies, entered the building, said officer Ryan Morgan, Chase’s handler. Morgan said there were 11 dogs stationed in and around the Manchester Inn.

“Dogs were barking everywhere,” Morgan said.

While Morgan and Chase were on the second floor, Chase, a 4-year-old German shepherd, indicated he smelled human scent, Morgan said. When they found the subjects hiding in a hotel room, Chase “showed force” and the subjects quickly surrendered, he said.

The incident showed there is “no better training than real-life scenarios,” Morgan said.