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Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 2:48 PM
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — A coveted National Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony of aerospace legends will return to Dayton in 2020, the organization announced Monday.
The enshrinement will be in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. this year, and at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Denver, Colo., in 2019 , the organization said.
The site of the Dayton event was not announced, but in 2016 — the last year it occurred in the region — it was at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Tony Sculimbrene, executive director of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance in Dayton, was heartened by “the good news.”
“I think it affirms that this is probably the most famous aviation town in the country and while other places have aviation assets … it affirms that Dayton really is the birthplace of aviation and a place where this industry began,” he said.
Dayton officials recently submitted a package to the NAHF to bring the event back to the region.
RELATED: SHUTDOWN: Air Force museum closes, Wright-Patt workers face furlough
For the first time in its history in 2017, the celebrated “Oscars Night in Aviation” black-tie event left Dayton for one year for Fort Worth, Texas, upsetting many local aviation heritage advocates. The ceremony was in the Dayton region for more than half a century before it broke with the long-standing tradition.
“Dayton is our home, we never had any intention of moving (the Hall of Fame itself) contrary to what has been purported,” NAHF President Michael Quiello said in an email Monday.
Memorializing more than 200 aviation legends such as the Wright brothers, astronauts, test pilots and research pioneers, the NAHF is inside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson.
Quiello added the NAHF board of trustees is “fully focused” on expanding the brand recognition of the Aviation Hall of Fame throughout the country while updating the non-profit’s Learning Center inside the museum into a “21st century, state-of-the-art, world-class facility.”
The non-profit is currently in the midst of a $5 million endowment fund-raising drive.
The hope is to “increase substantially” the number of NAHF visitors above the 250,000 a year who typically visit, he added.
NAHF executive director Amy Spowart said the goal was the Learning Center will be renovated by the time the enshrinement returns to Dayton in 2020.
Phil Parker, president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, said he was disappointed the enshrinement ceremony will be in other cities the next two years, but glad progress was made to return it to Dayton.
Parker has been actively involved in keeping the event in the Dayton region in recent years.
“Certainly, we wanted to see it come back to Dayton full time every year,” he said “We think it’s important for it to be at home. We appreciate the image and prestige that it brings to our community of aviation. We’re disappointed that it’s going to go to Denver and Washington before it comes back to Dayton, but glad we’re starting to make sure progress for getting it back to Dayton.”
After the decision was made to move the enshrinement in late 2016, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, announced in early 2017 he would commission a “blue ribbon” panel of community leaders to review the NAHF’s finances and make recommendations on its future. Financial records show the non-profit has lost money for years. He also sponsored legislation that was passed in the National Defense Authorization Act to keep the hall in Ohio. Hall officials have said they had no intention of moving the center.
The blue ribbon panel has not yet released a report.
FIVE FAST BUSINESS READS
This newspaper has followed closely developments in a National Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony departing Dayton for the first time in more than half a century. Count on us to give you the latest news on this important event tied to the region’s aviation heritage.
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 7:10 PM
BEAVERCREEK — Today marks the third anniversary of a tornado that ripped through Beavercreek, damaging businesses and homes.
The most damage was to part of the Greene Crossing Shopping Plaza off Indian Ripple Road, where two people suffered minor injuries while inside their vehicles.
VIDEO: Beavercreek tornado of 2015
Don Moncrief is a mechanic at Performance Bicycle at the strip mall. He said he’ll never forget the twister that came through.
“It started to rain real hard and I was just standing right back here, right where I am now,” he said.
Store surveillance video shows the tornado as it traveled through the parking lot, hitting portions of the building as drivers try to veer out of its path.
“And I looked and I’ve never been close to a tornado before but I knew as it brushed the front of the building, I knew exactly what it was,” Moncrief said.
Another video shows large pieces of debris land on two vehicles.
“I could see the debris swirling. It blew our door open (to the shop). I could look up and see the windows and glass just flexing like crazy,” he said. “It came and went. I didn’t even have time to get scared.”
The National Weather Service classified the tornado as an EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 105 mph. The width of the tornado was 70 yards, and it was on the ground for one minute and traveled a half-mile. As many as 22 cars sustained damage in the shopping center parking lot in addition to building damage, the NWS said.
There was plenty of damage to the Fit Works gym next door to Performance Bicycle, which was closed for nine days, Moncrief said.
“It wasn’t a vicious tornado, but I don’t want to do another one,” he said. “One’s enough.”
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:14 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 5:20 PM
TROY — A bicyclist was killed late Saturday morning after he was struck by an SUV while headed west on West Main Street.
The bicyclist was traveling west in the curb lane in the 900 block of West Main Street just before noon when he was ended up in the path of an oncoming SUV and was struck, Troy police Capt. Joe Long said.
The victim, described as an older man from the Troy area, was not identified.
He was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His body was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.
The driver of the SUV was not believed to be injured but was taken to Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy as a precaution.
The crash remains under investigation.
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 5:50 PM
— Subtropical Storm Alberto continues to strengthen as a tropical storm watch has been issued for parts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi drenching Memorial Day weekend plans for much of the Gulf Coast.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for parts of the Florida Gulf Coast including from Bonita Beach to the Anclote River as well as north near the Aucilla River to the Mississippi/Alabama border, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
Heavy rainfall is expected as the storm, with sustained winds of 40 mph, continues to move at 13 mph through the Dry Tortugas.
A storm surge watch has also been issued for parts of Florida and the Mississippi/Alabama border, officials said.
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 6:55 AM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 4:40 PM
— Showers and a few storms will push through this evening, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. An isolated shower or storm can’t be ruled out through midnight.
Overnight: Dry conditions are expected as temperatures drop into the middle to upper 60s. Fog will be likely early Sunday.
Sunday: A dry start is expected to the day, which will be hot with highs in the upper 80s. With the daytime heat, there may be an isolated shower or storm, but it looks like most will stay dry. Don’t cancel your outdoor plans, but have a backup plan indoors.
Memorial Day: Lots of sunshine, hot and humid again for Monday. Highs will top out near 90 degrees with a heat index from 90 to 95 degrees. Once again, an isolated shower or storm can’t be ruled out.
Tuesday: Another hot day is expected with highs near 90 degrees under mostly sunny skies.
Wednesday: The chance for rain, maybe storms, returns with highs in the middle 80s. Rain comes from the remnants of Alberto, the first named tropical storm of the Atlantic season.