Wright State swimming, diving supporters hire consultant to try to save teams

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 10:49 AM

Wright State is planning to end its swim and dive teams after this season.
Wright State is planning to end its swim and dive teams after this season.

Supporters of Wright State University’s swimming and diving program have hired a consultant to try to save the teams.

Last June, WSU announced that it would cut the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams as part of more than $30.8 million budget cuts. But, the teams narrowly avoided budget cuts for one year after they raised $85,000 to keep them afloat for one final season.

Then the university announced in October that it would “not allocate further funding or accept additional external funding to operate the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams after this season.”

RELATED: Wright State again planning to cut swimming and diving teams after this season

Philip Walotsky, a consultant working with a group of WSU swimming alumni and families of student athletes, said that a letter signed by several student athletes and their peers will be presented to president Cheryl Schrader at the board of trustees on Friday. A draft of the letter obtained by this news organization states that the teams have been unable to secure a meeting with Schrader to discuss the program and why its being cut.

By eliminating the teams, the school estimated it would save around $500,000 in scholarships, salaries, team budgets, travel and facility maintenance. Despite those claims, the letter states that supporters believe that cutting the programs would actually eliminate around $250,000 in revenue.

RELATED: WSU research arm tries to rebuild reputation amid investigations

“It is concerning to all student-athletes that a successful, profitable athletic program can be canceled so easily and without thorough vetting and review,” the letter states. “We respectfully ask you to take the time to allow our fellow student-athletes to present to you their analysis. We thank you in advance for your attention to this issue.”

The group of supporters reached out to Schrader for a meeting but did not hear back until a story about their request was published online by this news organization on Wednesday. The timing of Schrader’s response was a coincidence, as it had been in the works since Feb. 1, spokesman Seth Bauguess said.

In the letter, Schrader told supporters of the teams that the program’s revenue did not outweigh its costs. Upon arriving at Wright State in July, Schrader tried to find a way for the teams to continue but because of the need to shave more money from the budget, she said she was unable to.

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Wright State is trying to boost reserves by $6 million this year and in the letter Schrader said “further reductions of at least $7 million” will be needed next fiscal year, which starts on July 1.

“I know this is not what you wanted to hear, and this is certainly not what I would wish for this outstanding program and our dedicated student athletes,” Schrader wrote. “But this is the harsh reality where we find ourselves today.”

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Rain returns this week, flooding a concern

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 4:27 AM
Updated: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 10:34 PM

Multiple chances for rain this week are leading to some flooding concerns in the Dayton area.

Clouds will be on the increase overnight tonight as rain approaches toward daybreak Monday. Temperatures overnight will be steady in the upper 30s and lower 40s.

  • Rain returns tomorrow
  • More rain mid-week
  • Flooding possible the next few days

MONDAY: Rain returns, and it could be heavy at times. While the chance for storms is not all that high, it can’t be ruled out. Highs will be in the lower to middle 60s.

TUESDAY: More dry time is expected, but storms will be possible later in the evening. Highs will be near 70 degrees.

WEDNESDAY: Rain showers are expected with highs near 60 degrees.

THURSDAY: The chance for rain continues mainly south. Highs will be in the middle 40s. 

FRIDAY: The chance for rain returns again Friday. Highs will be in the middle 50s.

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Self-proclaimed white nationalist banned from Seattle gym

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 12:07 AM

A Seattle gym banned Greg Johnson, a self-proclaimed white nationalist. (Photo: KIRO7.com)
A Seattle gym banned Greg Johnson, a self-proclaimed white nationalist. (Photo: KIRO7.com)

A self-proclaimed white nationalist was banned from a Fremont gym after the owners learned he is a leader in the alt-right community.

>> Read more trending news

The owners of Northwest Fitness Project say Greg Johnson is longer welcome there.

“The trainer terminated his contract and we banned him from the gym,” said Kyle Davis, a co-owner of the gym.

It's a move that has some people wondering if it violates a city ordinance that says "places of public accommodation" can't discriminate based on a person's beliefs.

But the owners of the gym say that ordinance doesn't apply -- because it’s not a public space. To use the space, you must be the client of a trainer.

“There’s no open gym membership, it's not like people can come and go as they please,” Davis said. “Trainers come and run their own businesses out of this location."

“There's a right of first refusal of the independent trainer. And (the trainer) chose to not work with him anymore due to the harm it would cause his reputation, and not wanting to be associated with those views,” Davis said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Greg Johnson an "international figure for white nationalism” and “one of the leading voices of the far-right.”

In September 2017, the New York Times interviewed him undercover and posted it on its website.

In the interview, Johnson says, “I would identify myself as a white nationalist. That states the goals I have politically.”

When asked about people who are Jewish, Johnson says, “The solution would ultimately (be) to expel them.”

Davis said he’s disturbed to hear Johnson’s views.

“I would feel threatened, yes,” he said. “I'm converting to Judaism, my fiancée is Jewish and we want to raise our kids Jewish.”

The owners say after Johnson was banned, a white nationalist publication told followers to post negative reviews on the gym's Yelp and Facebook pages.

“We were at a five (star average review); it went down to a three,” said Matthew Holland, the other co-owner of Northwest Fitness Project.

But hundreds of people supported the gym on social media, helping it bounce back.

“Now we're to like a 4.8,” Holland said. “We have a great community and we didn't realize how awesome they all were. Going through a rough time like this, it was just so encouraging.”

The Puget Sound Anarchists first published last week that Johnson lives in Seattle. It’s also how the gym owners found out about Johnson’s beliefs.

Johnson did not comment.

The gym said it heard Johnson left the area.

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WPAFB Monday Forecast: Soggy day with heavy rain

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 11:40 PM

A false alarm in a building led to a temporary gate closure Wednesday night in Area B, a base spokeswoman said.
Staff Writer
A false alarm in a building led to a temporary gate closure Wednesday night in Area B, a base spokeswoman said.(Staff Writer)

A soggy start to your Monday is expected.

Widespread showers will be around during the morning, some of which could be heavy at times. There is even the chance for a few rumbles of thunder.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ponding on the roads will be a concern through the morning. Even though we’re expecting a lot of rain and clouds Monday, temperatures will warm into the 60s in the afternoon.

> County-By-County Weather

There will be some breaks in the rain during the afternoon and evening.

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Several sinkholes open in Florida neighborhood, threaten homes

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 11:24 PM

Several sinkholes opened in a Florida neighborhood. (Photo: WFTV.com)
Several sinkholes opened in a Florida neighborhood. (Photo: WFTV.com)

Several sinkholes opened in The Villages Thursday, threatening several homes, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said. 

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Four homes have been evacuated. Officials said the largest of the three holes is 35 feet deep and 18 feet wide. 

One of the sinkholes that opened up is outside Frank Newman’s home.

He said he heard strange sounds and wasn’t sure what was going on.

“At about 12:30 I was watching the Olympics when I heard something that I thought was thunder,” Newman said.

Hours later, he found out what was actually going on.

“My front door bell rings about 3:10. It was a policeman saying, ‘You got to get out of your house,’” Newman said.

Marion County Emergency Management was also at the scene and said that utilities to the four closest homes have been disconnected as a precaution.

The sinkholes go beneath two of the homes.

Photos: Sinkholes open in Villages neighborhood

Cracks formed outside Newman’s neighbor’s home and a hole opened up near her front door.

“In her house, she is seeing cracks inside the house on the floor and stuff,” Newman said. “She can’t get her car out of the garage because the garage door won’t open.”

Signs have been placed outside some of the homes warning the houses have been condemned.

Golf course officials are draining a lake to help the situation. Utilities officials said that if a water main break occurs, they will be able to handle it, but 20 homes could potentially lose water service if that happens.

Residents were allowed to briefly return to their homes to pick up some belongings.

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