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Ohio lawmaker Cliff Hite pressed staffer for sex, investigation found

Published: Saturday, October 28, 2017 @ 6:48 PM

            Former Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay.
Former Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay.

Findlay Republican Cliff Hite resigned earlier this month from the state senate after being accused of sexually harassing a Legislative Service Commission employee, according to commission investigatory records obtained by this newspaper.

The female staffer claims she refused Hite’s repeated advances but he told her he could not stop thinking about her and needed a “f—k buddy,” the investigation report states.

The staffer told investigators that Hite said he had an affair before and had a condo so no one would ever know, the report states. Hite allegedly said he was “a grown man with needs” and needed oral sex, the investigation report states.

Hite, in a formal response to the commission about the complaint, said he disagreed with many of its representations, which he said were misunderstood or portrayed inaccurately.

“I did not understand or believe that my comments and actions were offensive to the complainant, and it is now deeply troubling to read that she felt otherwise, said Hite, who noted that he is a married man, father and grandfather.

RELATED: Ohio senators to undergo sexual harassment training

On Oct. 11, the female staffer reported a sexual harassment complaint to her supervisors against Hite.

Hite first started talking to her in August in the statehouse parking garage, the report states.

During a second meeting in the garage, Hite allegedly complimented her outfit. The staffer added Hite on Facebook after he sent her a friend request, but she later blocked him, saying that his messages were inappropriate, the report states.

The staffer said Hite made crude comments to her and she told him no eight or more times during the conversation.

The woman also said Hite had told her “you have no idea how much I can please you,” and “you have no idea how good I’ll be,” the report states.

Hite allegedly stopped by the staffer’s office multiple times throughout August and September to check in to see if she would change her mind about sexual relations, the report states. Hite allegedly invited her to his condo and physically hugged her.

The staffer met and shared her encounters with Hite with human resources staff but did not want them to take action.

Hite allegedly continued to come to her office and promsied to please her and that no one would find out and that he would stay married and she would stay engaged, the report states.

On Oct. 10, Hite allegedly hugged the staffer and was “nose to nose begging her to get together with him,” the report states. The following day, Hite sent her flowers and then propositioned her again.

Hite resigned Oct. 16. He acknowledged in a public statement that he had

Hite, who resigned Monday, acknowledged in a statement Wednesday that he had “inappropriate conversations” with a female state worker.

“After we met, I sometimes asked her for hugs and talked with her in a way that was not appropriate for a married man, father, and grandfather like myself,” Hite wrote. “Beyond those hugs, there was no inappropriate physical conduct. I recognized that this was inappropriate behavior. She deserves more respect than that and so does my wife.”

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New firefighters to join Dayton Fire Department

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 9:35 PM

The Dayton Fire Department welcomed 14 new firefighters at a ceremony held tonight, according to a release.

The members of the 2018-A fire recruit class took part in a formal graduation ceremony and swearing-in. The ceremony took place at the Engineers Club of Dayton located at 110 E. Monument Street.

The class members completed a rigorous six-month training program at the Dayton Fire Department Training Center. They have also completed training and attained certification from the State of Ohio as Emergency Medical Technicians, Firefighter Level II and Fire Safety Inspectors. 

Upon graduation, the new firefighters will be assigned to work in one of Dayton’s 12 firehouses while they complete additional training during a six-month probationary period. 

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Dayton Air Show impacts airport commercial traffic

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 8:24 PM

Airport commercial traffic is impacted by the Vectren Dayton Air Show, according to Terry Slaybaugh--City of Dayton Director of Aviation. 

There are stretches where the air space has to be exclusively used to the air show and commercial flights have to be grounded for 30 to 45 minutes at a time. It takes a lot of coordination to minimize the impact. 

All weekend long, there will be high-flying and high-speed acts in the skies at the Dayton Air Show. During this time, the Dayton International Airport remains open for business.  

RELATED: Vandalia Air Show Parade

Travelers flights still have to go on at the airport terminal during the air show. “It’s something we start working on way before the show,” said Terry Slaybaugh.

For jet teams like the Blue Angels or other supersonic fighters like the F-22 to be in the air, the airport closes its airspace for an hour at a time and no other planes are allowed to take off or land so the jets can practice safely and alone. “We’re shutting it down for a very large area. Five miles around the airport and five miles--or five thousand feet--over the airport there’s no activity,” said Slaybaugh. 

RELATED: Dayton Air Show forecast

There were three closure times scheduled tonight and there will be more this weekend. The airport tells airlines when those closures will be so carriers can schedule flights around those times to minimize any delays, but there’s a little more flexibility when propelled planes perform. “We have two parallel runways so we can actually put up the slower speed aircraft, the turbo-props. We can put them up, they can practice, and we can still operate commercial flights on our other runway,” said Slaybaugh.

All of this, plus constant communication between the air show and commercial pilots and air traffic control is what makes sure the air show weekend stays safe. “It takes a lot of cooperation from a lot of people,” said Slaybaugh.

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Dayton International Airport’s bond rating down graded

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:05 PM

            A traveler enters the Dayton International Terminal as recent renovations were under way. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF
A traveler enters the Dayton International Terminal as recent renovations were under way. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the rating of the Dayton International Airport’s revenue bonds.

The rating has been changed to BBB from BBB+, and the rating Outlook has been reduced to negative from stable.

The change was made because of what Fitch Ratings says is continued weakness in the airport’s operating performance. The firm pointed to “multi-year declines of the enplanement base.”

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The airport faces challenges including the recent loss of Southwest Airlines, the access to alternative airports such as Cincinnati and Columbus and service area demographics, the firm said.

“In Fitch’s view, the airport’s financial flexibility is potentially more at risk to be pressured with rising costs per enplanement as well as lower coverage as higher debt service costs are now factored into the annual budget,” the firm said.

This news organization is reaching out to the city for comment and will update this story.

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Big check means big things for Dayton Gem City Market

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:05 PM

            Supporters celebrate a $100,000 donation to the Gem City Market, which plans to be Dayton’s first food cooperative. STAFF/CORNELIUS FROLIK
Supporters celebrate a $100,000 donation to the Gem City Market, which plans to be Dayton’s first food cooperative. STAFF/CORNELIUS FROLIK

A giant cardboard check presented tonight was a giant leap forward for efforts to open Dayton’s first food cooperative, the Gem City Market.

KeyBank announced it has awarded $100,000 to help with the project to build a community-owned, full-service grocery store on the 300 and 400 block of Salem Ave., which is located in one of the largest food deserts in the state.

With KeyBank’s commitment, the market has now raised about 40 percent of its $4.2 million capital campaign goal.

“Our partners at KeyBank are joining the fight” against hunger, said Tony Hall, with the Hall Hunger Initiative.

RELATED: Could Gem City Market end Dayton’s food desert? 5 questions answered for you

But that’s not the only good news that was shared at the market’s community meeting tonight.

The food co-op has now sold about 1,385 shares, which is nearly 70 percent of the its membership goal.

The market seeks to have at least 2,000 members by the time the grocery store opens, which is planned for 2019, supporters say. The market had about 920 memberships in mid-May.

Gem City Market will be built on a vacant lot on the 400 block of Salem Avenue and will involve the former Ken McCallister Inc. art supply property at 300 Salem Ave.

Market supporters say do not yet know if the vacant art supply structure will be renovated and incorporated into the project or if it will be demolished.

This is the second major financial boost the market has received in the last 10 days. Last week, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley accepted a $150,000 CommunityWINS grant, from the American Conference of Mayors and Wells Fargo.

RELATED: Mayor Whaley accepts national grant for Gem City Market

KeyBank wants to lift up the communities it serves, and this will give the community a place where it can get healthy food, said Joey Williams, KeyBank president.

“I think Gem City Market will be an incredible addition,” he said.

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