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Wright-Patt office designs new uniform for Air Force Honor Guard

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 9:39 AM

            U.S. Air Force Honor Guard members march during the U.S. Air Force Tattoo at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2017. Service members from across the National Capital Region attended the tattoo in commemoration of the Air Force’s 70th anniversary. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Lopez)
U.S. Air Force Honor Guard members march during the U.S. Air Force Tattoo at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2017. Service members from across the National Capital Region attended the tattoo in commemoration of the Air Force’s 70th anniversary. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Lopez)

In a nod to the Air Force’s proud history, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Air Force Uniform Office in partnership with the Air Force Honor Guard have designed a historic era dress blue uniform for honor guards across the service.

The new design was fashioned after uniforms from the 1940s, and initial prototypes were debuted at the 2017 Air Force TATTOO and featured in last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Capt. Taylor Harrison, program manager for the Uniform Office, said that not only did the uniform mark the Air Force’s 70’s anniversary last year, but it recognizes the contributions of the Honor Guard.

“They [Honor Guard] have a very hard job,” Harrison said. “It’s such an important job for the Air Force. So being able to give them a special uniform that sets them apart and takes us back to the heart of where the Air Force started is cool.”

This summer, the Uniform Office will conduct fit tests at bases across the Air Force to improve the new uniform. Once the tests are complete, a decision will be made by senior Air Force leaders on whether to make the uniform available to all Honor Guard members.

Tracy Roan, a designer with the Uniform Office said that the feedback they’ve received about the uniforms has been positive.

Roan also talked about the challenge of designing a uniform that fit the needs of all Honor Guard members.

“The Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team also wears this uniform,” Roan said. “They have to have a lot of special movement for throwing the rifles and doing all of the things they do. We had to make sure that we build in their ability to do all of those maneuvers with a tailored look.”

“We’re just really excited about this program,” said Harrison. “Not only does it recognize honor guards across the Air Force, but the fact that we were able to turn it around as quickly as we did was really nice.”

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What is a school resource officer? Police are present in local schools

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:21 PM

            Students change classes in the junior high section of Monroe Junior/Senior High School Tuesday, Oct. 17 in Monroe. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF FILE
Students change classes in the junior high section of Monroe Junior/Senior High School Tuesday, Oct. 17 in Monroe. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF FILE

School resource officers are receiving new attention in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school last week.

Officials announced Thursday that school resource officer Deputy Scott Peterson never went inside to engage the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while the shooting was underway. Peterson has resigned.

NEW DETAILS: Police allege Fairborn student named classmates he wanted to kill

MORE: 5 students arrested as threats rock southwest Ohio schools

President Trump questioned the inaction of an armed officer who failed to stop the gunman who carried out last week’s Florida massacre. Departing the White House, Trump told reporters that “when it came time to get in there and do something,” Peterson “didn’t have the courage or something happened.”

School resource officers have a variety of functions, according to the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police.

“School resource officers … will arrest violators, confront suspicious behaviors, recognize danger and respond according to our training will keep schools safer,” the union said in a statement. “In addition to improving security, SROs build relationships between students and law enforcement, provide a positive role model and serve as guest instructors in classrooms on issues such as drug addiction.”

MORE: Teachers with guns? Some Ohio districts arm staff but don’t tell public

In the Dayton area, SROs are a fixture of many schools.

A 2015 Dayton Daily News survey of 22 local school districts found that most large districts have local police regularly serving as SROs in their buildings. Several other districts without SROs cite an open-door policy with their police departments.

Dayton-area schools take a variety of approaches, largely depending on the size of the district. The 10 largest districts in the area all have school resource officer or security officer programs, according to the 2015 survey of district officials.

On Thursday, Fairborn High School’s SRO played a central part in assisting with a lockdown caused by social media chatter at the middle school, according to police documents.

More local reporting from the Dayton Daily News:

» FAIRBORN: Free Wi-Fi coming to Fairborn: 5 things to know

» HUBER HEIGHTS: Retiring Huber Heights fire chaplain ‘honored’ to serve 18 years

» RIVERSIDE: Springfield Street near Air Force Museum faces $5.4M ‘road diet’ for safety

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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Middletown veteran receives his WWII medals 72 years later

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:19 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:28 PM

In November 1946, PFC William “Jimmy” Phillips was discharged from an 11-month stint in the U.S. Army after World War II.

Phillips, 20 at the time, had a choice — stay at Fort Dix, N.J. where he was being separated and receive his service medals or catch a train back to Middletown and re-start his life.

He opted to go home.

That decision meant Phillips, 91, never received his medals until this week, nearly 72 years later.

Judy Vincent from Hospice Care of Middletown coordinates “Wish For a Day” events for patients like Phillips, who has prostate cancer. She contacted Jerry Ferris, a commissioner on the Warren County Veterans Services Commission, for assistance obtaining Phillips’ medals.

Eleven of Phillips’ relatives travelled to Middletown Thursday afternoon for the ceremony at the Woodlands of Middletown on McGee Avenue.

“This was just great,” Vincent said.

Ferris, a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and fellow Purple Heart recipient Randy Howson, presented Phillips with the following service medals: the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater Medal; the Army Occupation Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; and Army Good Conduct Medal.

As a Vietnam veteran, Ferris stood in awe for what the Greatest Generation before him did during the World War II era and described Phillips as “a proud individual.”

While the medals and ribbons were being pinned on his jacket, Phillips said: “Oh boy. I hope my chest is big enough…. I loved serving my country. God bless America.”

Ferris responded: “It’s not so much your chest, but your heart.”

“I think this is wonderful,” Phillips said. “It means a lot to me that my country appreciates my service.”

While in the Army, Phillips was trained as a demolitions specialist and served in Germany and France with a combat engineer unit, according to his Army records. He also worked in the unit’s kitchen and prior to joining the Army, worked in the kitchen at Middletown Hospital.

But there was one thing that bothered him over the years: He never received his Good Conduct Medal.

At family events, relatives said Phillips recounted the story about his rush to return home and he hoped he would eventually receive his medal.

“I’ve heard the story since I was 5 or 6,” his niece Patrice Bender of West Chester said. “He has always talked about loving his country and why they (the Army) did not get his medals to him. He loves to talk about his time spent in Germany and France as well as the time he served.”

Phillips, born in Tennessee, came to Middletown at a young age and attended school up to the eighth grade, she said.

Bender said after her uncle returned to Middletown, he got married, started a family and worked for 30 years at the former GM Frigidaire plant in Moraine. He has three children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

After Phillips retired, he volunteered at The Dream Center and had a newspaper motor route.

Bender said her uncle also “loved his Cadillac cars” and enjoyed traveling. He remained active for nearly his entire life including cutting his grass on his riding mower until October 2017 when his health started to decline.

“It was an honor for me to do this while he was still living,” Bender said. “He’s my favorite guy.”

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Gov. John Kasich wants group to act on gun issues by next week

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 2:15 PM

Gov. Kasich forms group to tackle gun violence in Ohio. Getty Images
Gov. Kasich forms group to tackle gun violence in Ohio. Getty Images

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he is hoping that a group he’s convened to find solutions to gun violence in the state will be able to deliver something by the end of business next week to the Ohio General Assembly.

Kasich, in Washington, D.C. for a meeting of the National Governors Association, declined to lay out what the group is considering, but said they’ve reached agreements on four different issues. The governor’s office declined to disclose the members of the group, but Kasich said they are on both sides of the gun debate.

TAKE OUR POLL: Would you support a school levy to pay for security?

Kasich himself said he advocates complete background checks and “the need to have these large magazines” but acknowledged that the committee may go in a different direction. “One of the things I don’t want to do in this process is put my finger so much on the scale that the committee doesn’t have a chance to work,” he said.

He said he’s talked to House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Senate President Larry Obhof as well as some members to say “this is not going to go away.”

“It’s apparent,” he said. “People are saying something has to be done. And I think that peole are saying do something. When people demand something over and over and over again politicians usually respond.”

RELATED: 4 students arrested as threats rock southwest Ohio schools

Kasich talks debt, New Hampshire

Kasich also spent time in D.C. where he accepted the Concord Coalition’s “Economic Patriot” Award and led a panel discussion on the nation’s woes.

Kasich, who chaired the House Budget Committee the last time the federal government balanced the budget in 1997, didn’t sound particularly optimistic about the nation’s current spending path.

“The biggest problem with spending is it’s all theoretical and hypothetical,” he said. “Nobody cares.”

He said Republicans and Democrats alike have contributed to the ballooning debt, which he predicts will ultimately have a “dramatic impact” on our economic growth.

“They’re all in the game – all of them,” he said. “Spend money like there’s no tomorrow.”

He also visited the nation’s capital on the same day that Politico reported he was preparing to run for president in 2020. Kasich dismissed the report, saying he told his wife “pay no attention.”

Still, he was more coy at the Concord Coalition event, saying he’d urged Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to run as a Democrat and urging those running in the state to “be real…because the people in New Hampshire are really cool. They smell a fraud.”

“And by the way,” he said, to laughter. “I like New Hampshire a lot.”

» TRENDING: Hundreds of local students walk out after Florida shooting, more walkouts planned

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Dayton special election set; Fairchild, Ward declare candidacies

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:11 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:05 PM

            Daryl Ward and Darryl Fairchild.
Daryl Ward and Darryl Fairchild.

The Dayton City Commission today voted to hold a special election on May 8 to replace Commissioner Joey Williams, who has resigned after 16 years in office.

Two well-known faith leaders have already declared for the seat: Daryl Ward and Darryl Fairchild.

Though Williams was re-elected to a fifth term in November, he officially stepped down today, a decision he says was motivated by a more demanding travel schedule related to his new job.

The election is 74 days away, but Dayton residents who wish to replace Williams have just two weeks to collect 500 signatures of registered Dayton electors to appear on the ballot. The deadline is March 9.

RELATED: Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams to resign 4 months after re-election

That is a tall order considering that commission hopefuls usually have months to acquire the necessary signatures, said Darryl Fairchild, who plans to run for Williams’ seat.

This afternoon, Daryl Ward, the senior pastor of Omega Baptist Church, also announced he is dropping out of the Montgomery County Commission race to instead run to try to replace Williams.

Fairchild said the timing of Williams’ announcement seems deliberate to create a short window to discourage people from running. Dayton municipal special elections must take place 60 to 90 days after a vacancy on the commission.

Fairchild, the manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, fell just 208 votes short of winning a spot on the commission in 2015, when he was edged out by political newcomer Chris Shaw.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams’ resignation

He and another challenger were defeated by a much larger margin in November by Williams and other incumbent Commissioner Jeffrey Mims Jr.

Fairchild said since November’s election, Dayton has seen some of the negative consequences of failing to address the issues he says he prioritizes, including neighborhood development.

“We have Good Sam closing, we’ve got schools potentially closing, we’ve got Aldi’s closing and we have threats to our water well field,” he said.

Fairchild said he would push the city to develop a comprehensive plan for its neighborhoods, similar to the plans the city has for downtown and the Webster Station neighborhood.

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This afternoon, more than 40 people joined Ward at the Montgomery County Board of Elections as he took out a nomination petition to show their support for the long-time pastor.

Ward was flanked by family members and friends and the crowd included all four members of the Dayton commission and Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley.

Rev. Ward said he is running for commission because of his love for the city and its citizens.

Ward said he was very sick several years ago, but though his body was shutting down, his vital organs were in tact and strong.

“That’s like Dayton — we’ve got a lot of problems, but we have people, we have water, we have a strength of a wonderful history,” he said. “I would be so proud to be a part of helping that history become a bright future.”

Ward said his best traits are his wisdom and maturity and he’s an excellent listener.

Dayton’s last special election to fill a vacancy was in June 2001, when Edythe Lewis won a seat vacated by her husband Lloyd E. Lewis Jr., who died about three months earlier.

Office-seekers had a short window to file a petition after the city had passed an ordinance calling for a special election: Just 10 days.

Edythe Lewis finished the last remaining months on her husband’s first term in office.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said it will be challenging for Dayton residents who want to serve on the commission to get the signatures they need in two weeks. But, she said, it’s been done before in even shorter time frames.

“It can be done, it just takes incredible organization, which is something you need to be a city commissioner anyway,” she said.

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