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Air Force asking Congress how to reimburse communities for water contamination

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 2:18 PM

Air Force Under Secretary Donovan working on Wright Patterson water quality issues

The second highest-ranking civilian leader in the Air Force says the service branch has approached Congress about how to send money to communities impacted by tainted groundwater contamination from nearby bases.

UPDATE: Dayton not included in AF request to reimburse areas for tainted water

The city of Dayton has pressed the Air Force for nearly $1 million to cover the costs of an environmental study and testing to determine the extent a firefighting foam contaminant potentially threatens the Huffman Dam well field that was shut down as a precaution last April. The city says the contamination could migrate from Wright-Patterson — which temporary shuttered two tainted wells on base — but the Air Force has said under an environmental federal law it cannot reimburse the city for its costs.

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The Air Force is working with Senate and House defense committees to put language in a future defense authorization bill that would permit reimbursement for those kinds of expenses communities may pay to cover out of pocket, according to Undersecretary of the Air Force Matthew P. Donovan.

“The Air Force wants to be good neighbors in our community and we’re very concerned about issues like this because our Air Force members are actually a part of the community, too,” he said in an interview this week at Wright-Patterson. “It’s their health that potentially could be at risk.”

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The city of Dayton has detected per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) below a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency threshold of 70 parts per trillion near the Huffman Dam well field, but has not tested the shuttered wells directly.

Dayton faces a contamination hazard at its own firefighting site, and quietly shut down five nearby water drinking wells in 2016 at the Tait’s Hill well field as a precaution, officials said. Those wells had not been tested either, but officials say the water is safe and the contaminant has not be detected in treated water.

RELATED: Wright-Patt treated tainted water in wells

“We’ll take each base and each situation as a standalone,” Donovan said. “We don’t think that there’s a one size (fits) all that going to be able to do this because different communities have different concerns and of course different situations.”

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Water quality expert: Dayton chemical concerns demand monitoring, attention

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:17 PM

Firefighting foam chemicals found in Dayton wellfield monitoring wells

A professor of toxicology and environmental health says Dayton and Montgomery County residents should expect regular monitoring and public updates about water quality in the wake of test results showing the low-level presence of potentially dangerous chemicals.

However, Rita Loch-Caruso, a professor of toxicology in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan, said it’s too soon to recommend buying new household water filtration systems as a cautionary measure.

Loch-Caruso said similar levels of PFAS have been found in Ann Arbor drinking water, where she lives, and she has not purchased a water filtration system.

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“It certainly is low,” she said. “I would say it’s something for the people and for the city to start to pay attention to, and to keep paying attention to.”

“We certainly don’t know everything there is know about PFAS (polyfluoralkyl substances), and PFAS are a difficult group of chemicals to study because there are so many variations of them,” Loch-Caruso said.

PFAS is a substance once used as a firefighting foam at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The chemical has infiltrated groundwater and prompted the shutdown of several Dayton water wells and has now been detected in drinking water bound for customers.

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Dayton and Montgomery County are sending customers notices with the results of recent testing of treated water leaving the city’s Ottawa Water Treatment Plant. The results of March testing show PFAS detected at a level of 7 to 13 parts per trillion.

Officials stress that level is significantly below the EPA health advisory limit of 70 ppt (parts per trillion) for lifetime exposure, but it marks the first time PFAS have been detected in water after the treatment process.

Loch-Caruso said that if she lived in Dayton, “I’d pay attention.”

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“I would like to see my city doing regular monitoring and publishing the results of the concentrations,” she said. “I would like to see a plan for monitoring — how is the city going to watch this?”

Michael Powell, director of the city of Dayton Water Department, said Wednesday the city has monitored the situation and will continue to test concentration levels.

“I drink it every day,” Powell said of Dayton’s water.

One part per trillion is comparable to finding one grain of sand in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, he said.

The discovered concentration levels “are right on the edge of the detection levels that the latest tests are able to detect,” he said.

In fact, they are so low, the levels are labeled by testing labs as “estimated,” he said.

Joe Tuss, Montgomery County administrator, said county leaders will work to coordinate with Dayton to make sure testing protocols are consistent.

“As the entity that has the community asset that is the well fields and water treatment facilities, we want to make sure we are working in concert with the city and certainly making sure they are taking the lead in any activities around this whole PFAS issue,” Tuss said.

“This is something that is really a relatively new issue for water systems around the country,” he added, saying he believes it started to emerge in 2014. “So this is a relatively new phenomenon.”

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17-year-old shot, killed by police in Pennsylvania

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:07 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

A 17-year-old was shot and killed by police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night after he allegedly ran away from a traffic stop on foot.
WPXI.com
A 17-year-old was shot and killed by police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night after he allegedly ran away from a traffic stop on foot.(WPXI.com)

A 17-year-old was shot and killed by police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night after he allegedly ran away from a traffic stop on foot, authorities said.

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Police have not officially identified the teenager, but community sources told WPXI he is Antwon Rose. He attended Woodland Hills High School last year.

>> Visit WPXI.com for the latest on this developing story

According to the Allegheny County Police Department, Rose got out of a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle seen near a shooting that occurred shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Kirkpatrick Avenue in North Braddock.

The vehicle, which police said had damage from bullets to the back window, was stopped near Grandview Avenue and Howard Street.

An officer from the East Pittsburgh Police Department was handcuffing the driver when two males ran from the car, police said. One of those males was Rose, according to officials.

Rose was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Allegheny County Police Department is asking the other person who ran away from the vehicle to turn himself in "so that he can give a comprehensive description of what occurred."

The victim in the North Braddock shooting, a 22-year-old man, was treated for his injuries and released from an area trauma center.

The Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit is investigating both incidents. 

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Storm Center 7’s Kirstie Zontini to fly with U.S. Navy Blue Angels

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 8:26 AM

Kirstie Zontini prepares to fly with U.S. Navy Blue Angels

Storm Center 7 Daybreak meteorologist Kirstie Zontini is scheduled to fly with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Wednesday afternoon.

Zontini will be meeting with the team early this afternoon and will be going through a training program to learn how the team’s F/A-18C Hornet aircraft perform and what she should expect during her flight.

This Blue Angels jet has made its arrival at the Dayton Air Show.

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Zontini is scheduled to fly with the team this afternoon around 4:30 p.m.

The Blue Angels are making their first appearance at the Vectren Dayton Air Show since 2014.

The fastest speed the team reaches during its performances is about 700 mph.

News Center 7 will bring you the behind the scenes look at the team and Zontini’s flight throughout the day Wednesday.

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Man with gun tattoo on forehead charged with illegal gun possession

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:10 PM

Michael Vines
Greenville Police Department
Michael Vines(Greenville Police Department)

Michael Vines has a gun tattooed on his forehead, but that’s not the weapon that put him behind bars in South Carolina.

Police in Greenville reported Tuesday that Vines was involved in a recent car crash, after which city firefighters said they saw him toss a weapon into the grass nearby. The firefighters reported it to police officers, who recovered the gun, described as a fully loaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver. 

Vines, whose mugshot shows a tattoo of a handgun in the middle of his forehead, is federally prohibited from having a gun, police officials said. He was charged with unlawful carrying of a firearm, as well as driving under a suspended license and speeding. 

“The real weapon was placed in property and evidence,” police officials said on the department’s Facebook page

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The department’s social media followers couldn’t resist a few jokes at Vines’ expense. One man asked if someone “held a gun to his head” to make him get the tattoo. 

Another man offered this hypothetical exchange:

“COP: ‘Sir, do you have any guns on you?’ 
THIS GUY: ‘No.’ 
COP: ‘Are you sure?’
THIS GUY: ‘Absolutely. No way.’ 
COP: ‘Are you suuuuuuuurrrrreeeee?’ (Taps him on the forehead.)”

“Remorse written all over his forehead,” a commenter said. “No, wait. Nope, that’s a gun. My bad.”

Police officials did not say why Vines is prohibited from possessing a gun. 

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