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Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 2:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 2:52 PM
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ralph Earnhardt died in 1973, almost a full year before his grandson was born. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had seen photos of his grandfather and listened to stories about the first racer in the family, but he never felt as if he knew the man.
Then Dale Earnhardt Sr. discovered footage the Earnhardts believe is the only known video of Ralph Earnhardt speaking on film. He was being interviewed after a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Earnhardt Sr. popped the tape in for his son to watch.
"We were sitting in Dad's office in DEI and he said 'You are going to see Ralph Earnhardt talk, and you are going to hear him talk and this is the only footage that exists.' So me and Dad sat there and watched it. I had seen pictures of Ralph, I had no idea what he sounded like and I had no idea what his mannerisms were like and in that moment, I was meeting him."
Earnhardt recalled that moment with his father, watching the grandfather he never met, in an interview with The Associated Press about a new Goodyear commercial that will air during the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
The spot is called "Make a Name" and honors the Earnhardts' long relationship with the tire maker. A.J. Croce covered his late father's song, 'I Got A Name,' for the commercial, which depicts a young Earnhardt idolizing his father, growing into his own role as a racer, and now shifting in retirement to a job in television.
The Goodyear blimp will feature #MakeAName instead of its usual brand name at the Daytona 500, where Earnhardt is the grand marshal.
Earnhardt has always been careful about incorporating his father, a seven-time champion and Hall of Famer, into his own marketing. Earnhardt Sr. was killed in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
His son went on to win two Daytona 500s but retired at the end of last season because of a history of concussions. He's now married, expecting his first child this spring, and transitioning into jobs outside the race car.
This Goodyear script was a winner for him, though, because he's long felt a connection to the Croce song and because his family had such a strong relationship with the tire company. When Goodyear battled Hoosier in the brief tire war to hit NASCAR, Earnhardt Jr. said his father was one of only two drivers to remain loyal to Goodyear.
"I really try to stick with things that are told in a way that I am celebrating him, and Goodyear and his relationship with Goodyear was really strong when he was racing," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I've always been mindful of people saying that I rode on his coattails. I've been aware of that my whole career and I don't want people to think I've ever taken advantage of my last name, or done anything that my Daddy wouldn't appreciate.
"I just go off of my gut feeling. If it feels weird or uncomfortable, or is not something I'm proud of, then I just don't have to do it. I'm in a good financial position. I don't need to be out there selling my father. He's not mine to sell."
Earnhardt was proud of the finished Goodyear spot, and he understands the importance of imagery and video in capturing the essence of his family. His sister's children never had a relationship with Earnhardt Sr. Neither did his wife, and his unborn daughter will never know her grandfather.
"We have to try our best to paint this picture for them and one of the greatest examples of this is when Daddy showed me the Ralph Earnhardt footage," Earnhardt said.
Seeing the material doesn't bother Earnhardt. But he admitted that talking about his childhood, or recalling his father, can be difficult.
"I get emotional when I talk about it. I don't get emotional when I watch it. When I sit down with Kelley and talk about our childhood or Dad, it always gets emotional. It always does," he said. "It's sad sometimes. When I have my daughter, it will be super sad thinking about Dad, wishing he could see what I was able to accomplish, the man I have become, having a child. I just would love if he could meet her and see what's going on."
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 6:13 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 7:15 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 7:15 a.m.:
A 38-year-old man was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after police found him with a gunshot wound to the head in a home in Dayton, according to Sgt. Thomas Schloss of Dayton Police Department.
The man was found lying on the floor in the home on Brooklyn Avenue, Schloss said.
Homicide detectives were called out to investigate, said Schloss.
It’s not known how the man was shot and his identity was not released.
This is currently an ongoing investigation, according to Sgt. Spires of the Dayton Police Department.
Emergency crews are on scene of a shooting in Dayton.
The shooting occurred in the 200 block of Brooklyn Avenue around 5:50 a.m. Sunday, according to initial reports.
Police have the road between West Second Street and Edison Street blocked off with crime tape.
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 11:00 AM
— Ohio’s colleges are joining together to address sexual misconduct on campus as part of a statewide initiative to keep one of them from becoming the next Michigan State University, which agreed to settle with the survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse last week for $500 million.
Nassar, who was accused of sexually abusing more than 332 people, has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges and another 40 to 175 years for state charges that he abused women while working at Michigan State. The half-a-billion dollar settlement is thought to be the biggest in history involving a U.S. college.
Along with the #MeToo movement, Nassar’s widespread abuse of women at MSU has further widened the national spotlight on sexual misconduct and its glare is already expanding onto Ohio.
“I hope that our experiences at MSU have opened up the world’s eyes to the suffering that survivors of sexual assault deal with every day,” Amanda Thomashow, who complained to university officials in 2014 about Nassar’s conduct, testified during his sentencing. “And I hope that we can change our attitude toward victims. And I hope that our culture shifts from enabling predators to empowering survivors.”
The state department of higher education is in the midst of a review of campus policies on sexual abuse and harassment after Gov. John Kasich specifically ordered one. Local colleges said they want to learn from Michigan State’s troubles and administrators said they will be improving their policies so that they are fine-tuned by the time classes begin again in the fall.
“We want to learn from other people’s mistakes (and ask) ‘are there gaps that we need to revisit?’” said Amy Zavadil, University of Dayton Title IX coordinator and equity compliance officer. “I think the changing landscape makes it even more important to do that.”
‘I saw my life right there’
No cases have been made public at area colleges since the Nassar scandal broke. But, in light of the MSU case, Ohio State University in April announced an investigation into allegations against former wrestling team doctor Richard Strauss. Strauss, who worked at OSU from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, died in 2005.
Since the probe was first launched, the university has expanded it to include reports from male student athletes involved in football, cheerleading, gymnastics, fencing, hockey and swimming. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has appointed the law firm Porter,Wright, Morris & Arthur to investigate the allegations.
Michael DiSabato, a former Ohio State wrestler from 1986 to 1991, said he was sexually abused by Strauss. DiSabato said it did not fully hit him that he had been abused until he saw the Nassar case unfold.
“When I saw those very, very strong young ladies get up and talk about what I consider some of the most heinous acts…I saw my life right there,” DiSabato said. “It didn’t make me come forward it required me to come forward.”
DiSabato now works as an advocate for college athletes through his own organization called The Profectus Group.
DiSabato has a history of business disagreements with Ohio State over retail licensing dating back to 2003, he said. The disagreements, DiSabato said, have nothing to do with why he came forward with allegations though and he points to scholarships at OSU that he’s helped fund as proof of his love for the school.
Ohio State spokesman Chris Davey said school officials could not comment on allegations until the independent investigation was complete.
To date, Ohio State’s third-party investigation is the most sweeping action any Ohio college has taken in light of the Nassar scandal. But, the review Kasich requested has the potential to reshape methods used to prevent and handle misconduct allegations on Ohio’s campuses.
“When we focus on prevention and truly change the culture, we avoid becoming a Michigan State or whatever you want to put in that box,” said Kerry Soller, manager of the state’s project for campus safety and sexual violence prevention.
‘A real opportunity’
After the Nassar scandal unfolded, the Ohio Department of Higher Education set out to survey every Ohio college with athletics programs.
The survey was the department’s response to Kasich’s February request that some form of review be conducted. Since then, the state obtained information from every Ohio school, ODHE chancellor John Carey told college presidents in a letter obtained by this news organization.
“Each campus indicated it is continuing to make progress in its efforts to make sure that the student athletes and staff members are informed of campus prevention and response efforts to end sexual violence,” Carey said. “Several of the responses highlighted promising efforts campuses are making to connect to student athletes.”
The survey questions focused on how colleges handle sexual allegations in athletics programs, how often training is required for coaches, how students are informed of their rights and the relationship between athletics administrators and Title IX coordinators.
UD offered to share a written copy of the school’s survey response, which was signed by president Eric Spina, with this news organization.
In the response, administrators described their reporting system for allegations which go through UD’s Equity Compliance Office. The university also detailed its sexual assault and harassment awareness initiatives that all students are exposed to through orientation and other campus programs and events.
Each measure at UD is in place to “ensure that all parts of its campus are safe from sexual misconduct,” and to make sure it’s clear how misconduct should be reported, Spina said in the response.
Responses from the survey are being compiled by Carey’s office for future use, the chancellor wrote in his letter. Though there are no set plans yet for the initiative’s future, it represents “a real opportunity” for change, Soller said.
Despite the state’s effort, area colleges are not waiting for direction to better their policies and practices.
UD’s Zavadil has encouraged students, faculty and staff to approach someone about an issue even if they are unsure that it rises to the level of sexual misconduct or harassment.
“Don’t wait until you’re sure it’s a problem,” Zavadil said. “When you’re in doubt, call (us) and consult.”
Miami University began requiring employees to complete training this past year that informs faculty and staff of their “duty to report” misconduct, discrimination and harassment, said spokeswoman Claire Wagner. Title IX coordinators at Miami and Wright State University were unavailable to comment for this story.
Wittenberg University is always looking for ways to improve its policies, said Casey Gill, Wittenberg dean of students and Title IX Coordinator. Like Miami, Wittenberg employees are required to complete training about their “obligation to report misconduct.”
“Continuous training and comprehensive education of all Wittenberg employees and students (is) important to ensuring an inclusive, safe, and mission-focused community,” Gill said.
Ohio State’s independent investigation may be the most dramatic action taken at an Ohio college so far, but that kind of probe does not work for every school, said Alison Kiss, executive director of the Clery Center for campus safety in Washington, D.C.
When college administrators decide how to investigate misconduct, they typically consider the scope of the accusations and what resources their schools have available. That’s because there is no “one size fits all” approach to investigations, Kiss and other experts said.
And while investigations and other recent responses to the Nassar scandal may signal a positive change is afoot, prevention is still widely seen as the key. Colleges must not let their reactions to Nassar detract from improving prevention, Kiss said, because heading off misconduct in the first place is always best.
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Michigan State settlement
• Total settlement is $500 million
• $425 million to be paid to 332 survivors
• $75 million to be held in case more survivors come forward
• Details still needs to be finalized by all parties
• No non-disclosure agreements will be part of the settlement
Source: MSU press release.
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 11:00 AM
WEST CHESTER TWP. — The closing of the Milano’s restaurant in West Chester Twp. marked the third eatery to shut down in the building near the corner of Tylersville and Cox roads.
The Dayton-based restaurant chain announced Thursday that it had closed its location at at 7701 Voice of America Park Drive “effective immediately.”
“It is with heavy hearts that we share this news and we so appreciate the West Chester community for all of the support they’ve shown us,” Milano’s Pizza, Subs & Taps wrote via social media. “We are making every effort to relocate our current employees to other Milano’s locations.”
Milano’s opened its West Chester Twp. location in January 2014, replacing Marlin & Ray’s.
Marlin & Ray’s, a steak and seafood restaurant, served its last meal in January 2013 at the location, just one month shy of its one-year anniversary.
The restaurant was one of 13 locations closed by its owner, Ruby Tuesday Inc.
Prior to Marlin & Ray’s, the building housed a Ruby Tuesday restaurant.
“The opportunity arose to sell this property which includes both the building and the land,” Milano’s said in a statement. “We made this decision carefully and determined that the sale fit our future plan and the new owner would be a great addition to the area.”
Milano’s said the future restaurant tenant would be disclosed at a later date.
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 10:56 AM
Greene County is buying land to expand services and activities at the Fairgrounds Recreation Center.
Greene County commissioners recently approved the purchase of three parcels totalling nearly 13 acres between the fairgrounds and Alameda Drive.
County Administrator Brandon Huddleson is set to close the deal for $124,480, according to county records. The seller is listed as Allan and Company, an Ohio General Partnership, according to county records.
The acreage is empty except for weeds, trees and scrub brush. The area is immediately visible to people entering the Fairgrounds Recreation Center from Alameda Drive. There is a parking lot, and a soccer field is maintained at the county park. The Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail meanders nearby.
On the eastern side, the parcels border businesses along North Detroit Street (U.S. 68), including Xenia Car Wash and Xenia Stor-N-Lock.
Cosler Engineering, LLC surveyed the land in March as part of the process for the county to buy the land.
Greene County Parks & Trails has wanted to expand the park, at 210 Fairground Road, for several years “because of the demand for additional athletic fields in Xenia and throughout Greene County,” said Gretchen Rives, GCP&T spokeswoman.
“The additional acreage is adjacent to the park and will increase recreational opportunities,” Rives said.
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The park included a little more than 58 acres before the purchase.