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Cables tightened on FIU bridge before it collapsed, possible cracks reported

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 7:11 AM

Miami Bridge Collapse: At Least Six Dead

Officials with The National Transportation Safety Board said construction workers were tightening cables on the newly constructed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University on Thursday before the structure collapsed, killing at least six people. And days before the collapse, a lead engineer reportedly noticed cracks in the bridge, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. 

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Friday night, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said their investigation is still in the early stages, but they know what workers were doing before the collapse. At this point, they don’t know if the work that was being done was the cause of the collapse. 

“Our mission is to find out not only what happened -- we know what happened, the bridge collapsed,” he said. “We want to find out why it happened.”

At about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, law enforcement responded to the intersection of Southwest Eighth Street and Southwest 109th Avenue west of Miami to the bridge collapse. Several people were taken to the hospital and six were confirmed dead as of Friday evening. Authorities said they expected to find other victims during their recovery efforts.

>> Miami bridge collapse: 6 confirmed dead, police say

On the day of the collapse, the main NTSB investigator for the said that there are 10 “diagonal members” that connect the walkway portion of the bridge to the canopy portion. He said on Thursday, construction workers were tightening cables within those diagonal supports. 

“Construction crews were applying post-tensioning force that is designed to strengthen the diagonal member,” he said.

During the news conference, officials were asked about possible cracks in the structure. They said at this time, they have not confirmed that on their own.

Friday night, the Florida Department of Transportation released the transcript of a voicemail left Tuesday by the lead engineer with FIGG, the firm that designed the bridge. The engineer, Denney Pate, said there were cracks in the concrete.

“Um, so, uh, we’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, ya know, done to repair that,” Pate said.

FDOT said in their release that no one in the office heard the voicemail until Friday, a day after the collapse. 

Additionally, FDOT said that neither FIU nor the engineering firm ever warned them of any “life-safety issue.”

NTSB investigators were also asked about the cables shown in the photo renderings of what the bridge would look like when complete. In those depictions, the cables spread across the upper portion of the bridge much like the sail of a boat. Investigators said from their understanding, those cables “were only cosmetic; they were not structural members.” They had not been installed at this point because the second part of the bridge had not been built or installed. 

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alejandro Camacho said that Southwest Eighth Street between Southwest 107th Avenue to Southwest 117th Avenue will remain closed indefinitely as the recovery efforts and investigation continue. 

Sumwalt said they expect NTSB investigators to spend between five and seven days at the scene. 

“That’s really just the beginning of our investigation because there’s a lot of work that goes into this,” he said. 

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University of Dayton and Deca High students help clean up Five Oaks

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 3:23 PM

University of Dayton and Deca High School students joined together today for the annual Five Oaks neighborhood cleanup in recognition of Earth Day weekend. 

Located on the UD campus, Deca High is a preparatory school dedicated to helping students achieve their goal of graduating college. 

Bill Marvin, presdient of the Five Oaks Neighborhood Association and UD philosophy professor, said approximately 80 to 100 students came out to help clean up the neighborhood, around 20 of them Deca students. 

"Five Oaks is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city," Marvin said. "A lot of good people come together and it's really good for the community." 

RELATED: Volunteers help at Five Rivers MetroParks 31 annual Adopt-a-Park

Members of the community also participate, helping the students with trash pickup, weed pulling, and tree plantings. 

"The more we take care of our common space, the better it is for everybody because we are all in this together, " said Marvin. 

Dona, a junior at Deca, sees the cleanup as an opportunity for herself and her classmates to come together and do something that benefits their community. 

"We don't have to come here, said Dona. "But we are tired of seeing trash everywhere and the neighborhood looking bad. We came here for our younger kids so we could show them that we can do things together that don't just benefit us." 

Cleanup efforts will continue April 22.

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Melania Trump poses with Bushes, Clintons and Obamas at Barbara Bush funeral

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 5:44 PM

First Families Pose Together At Barbara Bush Funeral

The current first lady posed for a picture with former first ladies and past presidents Saturday at Barbara Bush’s funeral.

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First Lady Melania Trump is seen in the image, taken by photographer Paul Morse, with the Bushes, Clintons and Obamas.

Trump, who attended the funeral without her husband, is seen standing alongside Michelle Obama.

“It was my honor to travel to Houston to give my respects to Barbara Bush and the remarkable life she led as a mother, wife, and fearless First Lady,” she said in a statement. “My sincerest thoughts and prayers continue to be with George H.W., and the entire Bush family.”

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Missing child found in Harrison Twp.

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 8:40 AM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 9:07 AM

Dayton child missing

UPDATE @ 8:52 a.m.:

Deputies have located the missing child at the Dollar General in the 5200 block of North Dixie Drive, according to reports.

INITIAL REPORT:

Sheriff’s deputies are reportedly looking for an 8-year-old child who is said to have been missing for about an hour.

Officials were searching the area of Kildare Avenue in Harrison Twp. around 8:30 a.m.

We’re working to learn more.

Dayton child missing

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Volunteers help at Five Rivers MetroParks 31st annual Adopt-a-Park

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

Five Rivers MetroParks held its 31st annual Adopt-a-Park cleanup event Saturday in honor of Earth Day. 

Volunteers of all ages helped remove trash, plant trees, repair trails, and prepare flower beds at more than 2 dozen sites. 

Volunteers received a free lunch at Riverscape and a T-shirt for their efforts. 

"We see families, individuals, church groups, students and children participate in Adopt-a-Park,” said Kevin Kepler, volunteer services manager for Five Rivers. 

“The community really comes out in full force, which is great because all this important work couldn't be accomplished without our dedicated volunteers. It's the perfect occasion to celebrate Earth Day with your fellow Daytonians,” Kepler said. 

RELATED: University of Dayton and Deca Prep High School students clean up Five Oaks

Last year, more than 1,800 volunteers removed 65,000 pounds of trash, 32 miles of river ways were cleaned and more than 15 acres of invasive plants were removed, according to a press release. 

"I think the success of this event reflects the community's support of MetroParks' mission to protect the region's natural heritage," said Kepler. 

Adopt-a-Park is sponsored by Vectren and Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. 

To find out more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log on to www.metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK (7275).

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