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Air Force Museum program to spotlight International Space Station

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 9:34 AM

            A view of the International Space Station. Family Day at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Nov. 18 will commemorate the station’s 17th anniversary with a variety of free, interactive activities. (Courtesy photo/NASA)
A view of the International Space Station. Family Day at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Nov. 18 will commemorate the station’s 17th anniversary with a variety of free, interactive activities. (Courtesy photo/NASA)

Commemorate the 17th anniversary of a continuous human presence in space and learn about the greatest engineering feat in modern history – the International Space Station – during Family Day Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Designed for children and adults of all ages, Family Day offers several interactive opportunities for all to enjoy. Visitors will be able to learn about spaceflight, living in space and rocketry through a variety of demonstrations and hands-on activities. NASA Solar System Ambassador Tyler Hines will be hosting a demonstration station.

“Storytime” begins at 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. in the STEM Learning Node in the Presidential Gallery in the fourth building. Preschool and primary-grade children and their families are invited to listen to space-related stories, followed by a hands-on activity.

All activities are free, and no advanced reservations are necessary. For additional information visit or call the Education Division at 937-255-4646.

Some materials for the program are being provided by the Air Force Museum Foundation Inc. (Federal endorsement is not implied).

In support of Family Day, the foundation-operated attractions will offer a discounted rate for the Virtual Reality Simulators spacewalk mission and the 3D movie “Dream Big: Engineering Our World.”

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit

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Defense bill would block transfer of Wright-Patt jobs, senator says

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:51 PM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 1:01 PM

            The Air Force Research Laboratory headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The AFRL has a workforce of more than 10,000 worldwide, with 60 percent based here. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
The Air Force Research Laboratory headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The AFRL has a workforce of more than 10,000 worldwide, with 60 percent based here. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

A manufacturing technology office with 55 jobs could not be transferred from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson to the Pentagon under a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act expected to pass the Senate today.

The initiative with oversight for the entire military identifies manufacturing needs critical to national defense and gives grants to support manufacturing production so the capability remains viable in the United States, officials have said.

RELATED: Brown urges Pentagon not to move key Wright-Patt program

The Pentagon had planned to move the office, which had been at Wright-Patterson since 1987, on Oct. 1 last year, archives show.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, sponsored a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act to keep the jobs at Wright-Patt.

Brown and three of his congressional colleagues had sent a letter last August to Secretary of Defense James Mattis warning the move could lead to “disorganized and haphazard development” of future programs and put at risk dozens of active projects.

Charlie Ward, chief of the AFRL manufacturing and technologies division, said in a statement there were no plans to move the manufacturing and industrial technologies division to Washington.


Air Force researchers show off groundbreaking technologies

Wright-Patterson to get new base commander

Senate defense bill has $66 million less for Wright-Patt project than House version

Military base water safety questions remain as fight for study continues

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Puerto Rico still needs help: List of volunteer opportunities, charities

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 1:06 PM

Puerto Rico Death Toll Nearly 5,000 High Post-Maria, Study Says

Hurricane Maria, the Category 4 storm that devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, is estimated to have resulted in up to 5,000 fatalities in its aftermath.

Maria caused the longest blackout in U.S. history, leaving the entire island of 3.3 million people, including those in hospitals and nursing homes who relied on respirators, without power. 

>> Read more trending news 

"Indirect deaths resulting from worsening of chronic conditions or from delayed medical treatments may not be captured on death certificates," Harvard University researchers said in a May 2018 study, which contended that the official government death toll of 64 is a "substantial underestimate."

Related: Study: Puerto Rico death toll 4,600 higher post-Maria

According to the study, this makes Hurricane Maria more than twice as deadly as Hurricane Katrina. 

Following the Harvard report, more than 400 pairs of empty shoes were placed outside the capital building in San Juan, part of a growing memorial to the hundreds of people presumed dead during or in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello told CNN there would be “hell to pay” if officials do not release the updated death toll.

Related: Puerto Rico’s empty shoes: Public demands transparency in Hurricane Maria death toll

The Category 5 storm hit the U.S. Virgin Islands in mid-September and eventually downgraded to a Category 4, but not before it plowed through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, flooded the streets, collapsed homes and left the entire territory without power.

Though it’s been several months since the disaster, the U.S. territory could still use your help. Here are some ways to give assistance to Puerto Rico.

Related: Volunteer trip to Puerto Rico reveals an island still recovering from Hurricane Maria

Support Puerto Rico tourism

Tourism makes up 10 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product. While many resorts and attractions are still struggling to reopen their doors to tourists, about 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s hotels and restaurants officially began serving customers again in April. Many resorts, including the Dorado Beach Resort, which is a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort are set to open in October.

Tourists walk along San Sebastian street on April 18, 2018 in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico as a major failure knocked out the electricity in Puerto Rico that day, leaving the entire island without power nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the electrical grid. It could take up to 36 hours to restore electricity to nearly 1.5 million affected customers. Tourism is one way to support Puerto Rico as it continues to recover from Maria. (Photo by Jose Jimenez/Getty Images)(Jose Jimenez/Getty Images)

"Tourism dollars means that more than 50,000 people will keep their jobs and businesses will keep running," New York Magazine reported.

Airbnb announced in May that, for the next three months, it will be donating any fees from booked trips to recovery organizations, such as All Hands Volunteers.

And while you’re in Puerto Rico, be sure to visit the farmers markets, which have suffered from buyer loss due to post-hurricane island flight.

Related: Hurricane season is officially here. How much damage will 2018 bring?

Your Puerto Rican adventures can do some good, too.

"Rappelling down San Cristobal Canyon supports conservation efforts in the area, a snorkeling trip to a coral reef or mangrove forest might include collecting data on local flora and fauna, and nighttime kayaking to the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay helps fund initiatives to reduce light pollution," Travel and Leisure reported, adding that most tours are under $15 and can be booked online.

You can also plant trees while in the area by signing up with Para La Naturaleza in Cabo Rojo or Barranquitas, or help clean up the coast and help the ecosystems in Manatí.

Related: FEMA tells Southeast to prepare for 2018 hurricane season

The official Islands of Puerto Rico website says, "Thank you in advance for your interest in visiting Puerto Rico and supporting our recovery by simply vacationing on the island."

Donate money

You can donate funds to a variety of nonprofits and aid organizations working to help Puerto Rico recover. Here are some reputable sites to consider giving monetary donations to:

  • Google has committed to matching up to $2 million in donations made between June 8-20 in this campaign heralded by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Your full donation goes directly to one of the charities listed on the official website. Many on the list are also mentioned below.
  • Save the Children: Emergency relief and help for children directly affected by the hurricane.
  • Mercy Corps: Long-term local solutions.
  • Heart to Heart International: Medical care.
  • Hispanic Federation: Provides grants to support more than 70 aid/recovery nonprofits in Puerto Rico.
  • Project HOPE: Medical care.
  • Water Mission: Safe and clean water system restoration.
  • Direct Relief: Health care safety net.
  • First Book: Books and educational resources for children affected.
  • Global Giving: Emergency supplies plus long-term recovery assistance.
  • Habitat for Humanity: Rebuilding and repair.
  • Mission 500: Security company working to serve communities in crisis; holding service trip in the fall.
  • UNICEF: Emergency relief and help for children affected.
  • Amigos de Los Animales: Animal rescue.
  • All Hands: Structural recovery.

Charity Navigator can be used to learn more about the organizations before donating. Note that sending money via text message may seem convenient, but according to The Associated Press, that’s not the case. Charities often have to wait on phone companies to release the money.

Related: How dangerous is a hurricane? Understanding hurricane categories

  • Connect Relief: Food distribution and home reconstruction.
  • Join Mission 500: Security industry professionals interested in assisting families during a service trip from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.
  • All Hands: Gutting, mucking, debris removal, mold sanitations, cement roofing via computer-generated imagery. Two-week volunteer commitments in Barranquitas and Yabucoa available.
  • Para La Naturaleza: Cleaning and taking care of ecological gardens; helping endangered species.
  • Visit Rico: Farming, agriculture experts .
  • Amigos de los Animales: Help local animal shelters find homes for abandoned cats and dogs. Volunteers can also help clean shelters and photograph animals for the organization’s website.
  • Instituto Nueva Escuela: Help paint schools, repair playgrounds and mentor children affected by school closings and budget cuts post-Maria.
  • Americas for Conservation and the Arts: Social media experts, digital and web-proficient workers to help with volunteer coordination.
  • Chef José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen: Help cook and package fresh meals from one of the #ChefsForPuertoRico kitchens to deliver to the territory’s recovering communities.
  • Explora PR: Adventure travel company with internship and volunteer opportunities geared toward outreach, summer camps, camps for children with autism spectrum disorder and more.
  • Vamonos: Student-focused tour operator with volunteer opportunities related to service in orphanages, foster homes, soup kitchens, construction, environment, schools and more.

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JUST IN: Parole decision made for Middletown killer James Lawson

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:55 PM

It??€™s been 20 years since Cheryl Durkin was killed in a Middletown house and her mutilated torso was found on the bank of the Great Miami River in Hamilton. Her killer, James Lawson, will have his parole hearing in June.

Parole has been denied for a Middleton man convicted 20 years ago of killing Cheryl Durkin and cutting up her body in the basement of a Middletown house.

MORE: Family fights parole of killer. Here’s what led to his conviction 20 years ago

James Lawson was found guilty of murder on Dec. 13, 1999. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

On June 5, Lawson had his first parole hearing. The results were released today.

“After weighing the relevant factors the board does not consider the inmate suitable for release at this time,” the decision sheet from the hearing states.

Lawson’s next parole hearing has been set for 2028.

MORE: Trial date set for babysitter charged in toddler’s death

Durkin’s family, led by her sister Karla Edwards, met with the parole board before Lawson’s hearing this month and delivered a petition to keep him behind bars with 1,010 signatures.

Edwards sent a message to the Journal-News after the parole board’s decision was released.

“Thank God. Parole denied for 10 years,” she said.

Lawson is also serving 12 concurrent months in prison for gross abuse of a corpse and five consecutive years for tampering with evidence. He pleaded no contest to those charges before his trial.

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Firefighter calls 911 to report single-vehicle Dayton crash that ends in fatality

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 5:07 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:50 PM

Scene of fatal accident on Danner Avenue in Dayton

UPDATE @ 12:41 p.m. (June 18): A Miami Twp. firefighter called 911 for help when he drove up on the single-vehicle accident at Danner Avenue and Richley Drive that ended in the death of the driver. 

The caller, who told the 911 dispatcher his name was not important, described the accident as a vehicle that had hit a tree head-on.

>> Coroner IDs fatality in motorcycle crash

The firefighter also told the dispatcher the driver was alone in the gray Lexus. 

The victim's name and age will be released when next of kin is notified, a Montgomery County Coroner's official said.


The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office responded to a crash in Dayton early Monday morning.

The crash was reported at 2:50 a.m. at Danner Avenue and Richley Drive. 

>> Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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