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Wright-Patt, AF museum closed today due to snowfall

Published: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 8:27 AM

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A snowstorm that swept across the Miami Valley closed Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, giving a winter day off to thousands of employees at the state’s largest single-site employer.

Snowfall that caused deteriorating road conditions also shuttered the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force the largest tourist attraction in the region, and Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park sites, including the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center in Dayton and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center near Wright-Patterson, according to federal officials.

“We got more snow than we expected on base and due to snow accumulations and the condition of the roads, both on the base and in the surrounding area, a decision was made to close the base,” said Wright-Patterson spokeswoman Marie Vanover.

Wright State University closed in Fairborn and dozens of school districts canceled classes Wednesday with closures that extended into evening activities throughout the Miami Valley.

Drivers faced snow-covered roads and freeways, causing dozens of weather-related slide-offs into ditches and crashes, on a slower-than-usual trek into work during the morning commute. Miami Valley snow totals ranged from a peak of 4.5 inches in Centerville to just over an inch at Dayton International Airport, according to National Weather Service tracking.

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WHIO-TV Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs forecast temperatures slowly climbing into 40s by the weekend, with another dip in temperatures Sunday.

“This swing in temperatures comes with another storm system and the chance for snow,” she said. “Early indications reveal the chance for rain on Saturday then switching to snow at night. Another light accumulation of snow is possible by the end of the weekend. Still too soon to say how much, but something to watch in the coming days.”

Julius Wilson, a civilian employee, trekked to Wright-Patterson from Montgomery, Ala., for three-weeks of training only to discover canceled classes Wednesday.

“I actually dreaded coming up here, but I packed pretty warm, so I’m pretty OK,” he said.

The sprawling military installation faced a large hurdle clearing roads, flight lines and parking lots during the snowfall, according to Vanover. Wright-Patterson Medical Center was operating as scheduled.

Wright-Patterson weather forecasters recorded 3.9 inches of snow in Area A with unofficial reports of up to five inches in Area B, she said.

Civil service and military personnel will be put on a paid administrative leave day, she said.

Base essential personnel, such as police and firefighters, were expected to report to work, she said. The base counts about 27,000 military and civilian personnel who work at the installation.

Initially, Wright-Patterson officials imposed a two-hour delay to start the work day before the decision was made to cancel. On a typical work day, most employees arrive between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.

The closure order was sent around 8:45 a.m., she said.

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The initial decision to delay was based on weather conditions base authorities faced when they talked about the evolving situation between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., she said.

“The conditions at the time may or may not be what they could be or might be later in the day,” she said. “At that time in the morning, we’re making a decision based on the current situation that is presented to us.”

The installation commander determines if weather conditions should impact work arrival times, or if the base should be closed, she said.

“When those conditions change, we regroup and make (another) determination,” she said.

Wright-Patterson has shut down several times in recent years because of heavy snowfall, bitterly cold temperatures and freezing rain, Dayton Daily News archives shows.

The day off Wednesday followed a one-day workweek furlough of 8,600 civil service workers at Wright-Patterson on Jan. 22 in the midst of a three-day partial federal government shutdown.

WHIO-TV’s John Bedell contributed to this story.

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Remembering the fallen: Roll call event Wednesday at AF museum

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 1:00 PM


            Taps was played May 26, 2016, by bugler Tech. Sgt. Cheryl Przytula, Air Force Band of Flight, during the 2016 Roll Call Memorial Service in the outdoor Memorial Park at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This year’s ceremony is at 9 a.m. May 23 and is open to the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ted Pitts)
Taps was played May 26, 2016, by bugler Tech. Sgt. Cheryl Przytula, Air Force Band of Flight, during the 2016 Roll Call Memorial Service in the outdoor Memorial Park at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This year’s ceremony is at 9 a.m. May 23 and is open to the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ted Pitts)

An annual memorial roll call reciting the names of 2,800 fallen service members from the region is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, in Memorial Park on the grounds of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Gold Star family member Catherine Beers-Conrad, an Air Force veteran whose father, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jack Beers, was killed in action in Vietnam, will speak at the ceremony.

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Gold Star family member Alejandron Villalva, who had a relative who died as a prisoner of war in Germany, will be a keynote speaker, organizers said.

The ceremony honors fallen service members since World War II in a 10-county region.

The 711th Human Performance Wing and 88th Air Base Wing will co-sponsor the public ceremony.

If inclement weather occurs, the gathering will take place at the Prairies Chapel and Religious Education Facility, 682 Chapel Lane.

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Services set for local 100-year-old who survived Pearl Harbor

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:30 AM


            Frank M. Ruby, who died last month at age 100, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Ruby had awakened on a Navy fuel oil barge as the attack started. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Frank M. Ruby, who died last month at age 100, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Ruby had awakened on a Navy fuel oil barge as the attack started. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Frank Ruby, a 100-year-old survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor who died last month, will have a memorial service Friday, May 25, at the Memorial Hall in Dayton.

Ruby, a retired Navy chief petty officer, died April 29 at age 100.

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The Vandalia man spoke to this newspaper in 2016 about his surviving the massive Japanese aerial assault on the U.S. fleet that brought the United States into World War II.

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“The bombers were close to the water and I could see (pilots’) faces,” said Ruby, who was aboard an oil barge laden with tens of thousands of gallons of fuel. “I thought this is going to be my last day.”

Services are set for 6 p.m. Friday at Memorial Hall 125 E. First St., Dayton.

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New leader to take over Air Force agency at Wright-Patt

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:00 AM

Brig. Gen Alice Trevino. CONTRIBUTED
Brig. Gen Alice Trevino. CONTRIBUTED

A new leader will take command of the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency.

Brig. Gen. Alice Trevino will assume leadership Wednesday of the agency’s Wright-Patterson headquarters with more than 700 employees and oversight of about $9.1 billion in annual spending obligations, according to Wright-Patterson.

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Trevino will replace Brig. Gen. Cameron Holt, who will become the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition at the Pentagon.

Trevino, an Air Force Academy graduate, was the principal military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense.

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Best state for veterans? Ohio isn’t on the list

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 7:09 AM

HINES, IL - MAY 30:  A sign marks the entrance to the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on May 30, 2014 in Hines, Illinois. Hines,  which is located in suburban Chicago, has been linked to allegations that administrators kept secret waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals so hospital executives could collect bonuses linked to meeting standards for rapid treatment. Today, as the scandal continued to grow, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized in public and then resigned from his post. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
HINES, IL - MAY 30: A sign marks the entrance to the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on May 30, 2014 in Hines, Illinois. Hines, which is located in suburban Chicago, has been linked to allegations that administrators kept secret waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals so hospital executives could collect bonuses linked to meeting standards for rapid treatment. Today, as the scandal continued to grow, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized in public and then resigned from his post. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Ohio isn’t one of the best states for veterans, according to a new analysis.

The average officer is only 45 years old — 42 for non-disability enlisted personnel — upon retirement from service, according to WalletHub’s new analysis. Military retirees deal with re-assimilation into civilian life, sometimes facing challenges with the job markets, homelessness, disabilities and Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder.

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WalletHub ranked the best states for the military community, using a data set of 27 key metrics, ranging from veterans per capita to number of VA health facilities to job opportunities for veterans. Ohio didn’t rank in the top 20 states, landing at No. 23. The top states include:

1. Florida

2.Virginia

3. New Hampshire

4. Alabama

5. South Carolina

6. Maine

7. South Dakota

8. Alaska

9. Idaho

10. Texas

11. Montana

12. Minnesota

13. Massachusetts

14. Kentucky

15. Oklahoma

16. Luisiana

17. Wyoming

18. North Dakota

19. Missouri

20. Wisconsin

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