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Wright-Patt workers told to report to work Friday despite shutdown

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 6:44 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 5:42 AM

Wright-Patt workers told to report to work Friday even if government shuts down

UPDATE @5:40 a.m.

The House voted 240-186 to end a government shutdown.

The bill will now go to President Trump.

UPDATE @12:50 a.m.

The U.S. government was ordered to close at midnight.

Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration is “hopeful” the government shutdown will not last long.

>> The Latest: Budget office ordered U.S. government closed

FIRST REPORT

Wright-Patterson employees were told to show up for work Friday even if Congress fails to reach a budget agreement to avoid a shutdown at midnight Thursday, a base official said.

“We will follow the standard procedure that we did the last time” the base shuttered for a three-day partial federal government closure last month, said Marie Vanover, a base spokeswoman.

RELATED: Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers

Sen. Rand Paul is holding up a vote on the Senate budget deal, saying he can’t in “all good faith” move ahead with the deal without more debate.

The Kentucky Republican says he came to Congress to fight deficits. But now, he says, Republicans and Democrats are “spending us into oblivion.”

Lawmakers are facing a midnight deadline. The deal pending in the Senate must first pass the Senate, then the House and be signed into law to avoid a government shutdown. The deal appears to have the votes to pass, but rules of the Senate allow individual senators to hold up the process.

Could cause government to shutdown if deal not reached by midnight

Paul brushed off pleas from Senate leaders.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says, “It’s time to vote.” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says, “We’re in risky territory here.”

The shutdown that struck Jan. 20-22 sent about 8,600 base civil service employees home on a one-day work week furlough. Employees were required to report to work to receive notices.

All military personnel and some “essential” employee, such as police, firefighters and medical personnel ,also were required to work during the shutdown last month.

RELATED: Thousands head back to work at Wright-Patt as shutdown ends

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force opened for four hours on the first day of the shutdown before it received an order to close.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park sites, including the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center in Dayton and Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center near Wright-Patterson, also temporarily shuttered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

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Turner: HHS should release groundwater contamination study

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:29 PM


            Congressman Mike Turner
Congressman Mike Turner

A Dayton congressman has called on the head of the U.S. Health and Human Services to release a toxicology report that could recommend lower threshold levels for exposure to chemicals found in groundwater after the top leader at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it was not responsible for its release.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, urged HHS Secretary Alex Azar to release the report Tuesday after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt responded to the Dayton congressman, saying in a letter the “EPA does not have the authority to release this study.”

RELATED: Turner urges EPA administrator to release chemical pollution study

Politico reported this month the White House and the EPA had sought to prohibit the public release of the HHS chemical pollution study because “it would cause a public relations nightmare,” the news outlet said, citing newly discovered emails.

“Administrator Pruitt’s letter made it clear that the EPA is not currently blocking the release of the study on PFAS (perfluorooctanoic acid), although it did not indicate whether it had sought to block this release previously,” Turner said in a statement.

Chemical substances known as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been found in the groundwater at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and near a Dayton firefighting training site on McFadden Avenue. The material was found in an old formula of firefighting foam.

“The release of this study is a public health and safety issue for every community with a military installation, including mine,” Turner added.

RELATED: Dayton faces two potential groundwater threats

The substances have been linked to cancers at certain exposure levels, but authorities say the water in the Dayton distribution system is safe to drink, and the substances have not been found in the finished product.

The EPA has set a lifetime health advisory exposure level of 70 parts per trillion.

In a letter to Azar, Turner wrote: “If this study finds, as reported, that this is no longer an accurate level of safety for our water, Congress and our constituents need to know immediately so we can begin to address it,” noting 126 military installations have detected PFAS in water.

As a precaution, the city of Dayton, concerned about groundwater contamination migrating off base, closed several production wells along the Mad River.

Wright-Patterson also built a $2.7 million groundwater treatment plant to reopen two drinking water production wells that had been closed because they had exceeded health advisory levels.

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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.

RELATED: Services set for 100-year-old who survived Pearl Harbor

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.

RELATED: Pearl Harbor survivor:’I thought this was going to be my last day’

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.

RELATED: Dayton area Pearl Harbor survivor turns 100

“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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