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Blue Angels take community Key Influencers for private flight

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 8:47 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 12:09 PM

Blue Angels show off jet at Air Show

University of Dayton professor Margaret Pinnell and Dayton police Officer Jason Olson flew with the U.S. Navy's precision aircraft team, the Blue Angels, on Wednesday as part of the Key Influencer program. 

>> Read more about Officer Olson in Sunday’s Dayton Daily News

Pinnell and Olson flew out of Dayton International Airport in the F/A-18 Hornet with Lt. Andre Webb, assigned to the "Golden Eagles" of Training Squadron 22. 

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>>Everything you need to know about the Dayton Air Show

Key Influencers are solicited by the Blue Angels and defined as "people who help to shape attitudes and opinions of youth in the community." 

"It means a lot to me," Officer Olson told News Center 7's Kirstie Zontini. "I've been really excited about it for a while." 

Serving as the city of Dayton's only addiction resource officer, Olson helped implement the GROW (Get Recovery Options Working) program where he and a team of specialists follow up with individuals arrested for an overdose. 

In 2017, Olson followed up on more than 600 overdoses and has helped 290 families deal with addiction. 

"This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Just the experience of being up there and knowing that not a lot of other people have this opportunity was incredible," Olson said. 

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini was invited to fly along with one of the Blue Angels on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

Pinnell, a UD graduate and associate dean for faculty and staff development in the school of engineering, worked with the ETHOS program at the university for approximately 10 years.

The program places undergraduate students in developing countries to work with international community partners to find engineering solutions to basic human needs such as water, sanitation and cooking.

Pinnell grew the program from approximately five students a year to nearly 45 a year and brought national recognition to the program. 

>>WATCH: Blue Angels practice ahead of Dayton Air Show

Pinnell is also involved in the K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community, leading the development of pick-up-and-go outreach kits that make it easier for engineering undergraduate students to go into area schools to deliver high impact STEM activities.

She is actively involved in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) with Chaminade-Julienne High School and has provided support to Bellbrook High School's PLTW program, and currently works with area Catholic Schools on a STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative. 

Pinnell said Lt. Webb showed her around Dayton and pointed out the campus. She described the experience of seeing, from the air, the building where she works as unique. 

>>Blue Angels cancel Dayton Air Show appearance

"It was phenomenal, the pilot was amazing, he made me feel comfortable through the whole entire flight," Pinnell told Zontini. "It was an amazing experience and I feel very, very fortunate to be nominated for this." 

This weekend, the public can see the Blue Angels make their first appearance at the Vectren Dayton Air Show since 2014. For ticket information, visit

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Part of road closes after car crash in Beavercreek

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 4:12 PM

UPDATE @4:08 p.m.The middle lane is now open in the 3300 block of Pentagon Boulevard after a two-vehicle accident in Beavercreek.

A Dayton man called in a bomb threat so he wouldn’t miss a flight. Now he’s going to prison.

The right lane and left turn lane remain closed at the intersection of Pentagon Boulevard and the entrance to The Mall at Fairfield Commons.

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Police on scene were unable to tell us what caused the crash.


A part of Pentagon Boulevard is closed after a vehicle crash in Beavercreek Saturday, according to Beavercreek dispatchers.

Emergency crews were called to the scene in the 3300 block of Pentagon Boulevard around 3: 40 p.m. 

Initial reports indicate that at least two vehicles were involved and two people were transported to a hospital.

We are working to learn more and will update this page as information becomes available.

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National Museum of the U.S. Air force open after reported evacuation

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 1:51 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 3:02 PM


UPDATE @ 3 p.m.:

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is open after an evacuation earlier that day.

POLICE: 1 brother in custody, 1 found dead after 2-day search in Indiana

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No one from the museum able to comment on the incident was available. 

It’s unknown why the evacuation happened at this time.


We are working to learn more about a reported evacuation at the National Museum of the United States Air Force Saturday.

Witnesses are telling us the guests were evacuated around 12:40 p.m.

People were seen waiting outside while several left the museum completely.

We are working to learn more about why the evacuation happened. 

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Ribbon-cutting celebrates new services at Good Samaritan North

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 8:32 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 1:36 PM

Officials held a ceremony Saturday for a ribbon-cutting celebrating new services at Good Samaritan Hospital North.

UPDATE @ 1:15 P.M.

Officials held a ceremony today for a ribbon-cutting celebrating new services at Good Samaritan Hospital North.

WATCH a replay of our Facebook Live from the event below:

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony for new services at Good Samaritan North Health Center, which will become Miami Valley Hospital North on July 23, will be held today at 1:00 p.m.

The ceremony will be at the Health Center located at 9000 N. Main Street, according to a release.

RELATED NEWS: Good Samaritan North to get a new name

For the first time, this site will offer inpatient beds--a total of 46 private rooms for short-stay inpatient and observation care, including four high-acuity beds. Patients will be able to access advanced, integrated services ranging from non-operative medical treatment to inpatient surgical intervention.

The site will have a dedicated facility for joint and spine care and is also slated to open a cardiac catheterization lab in early fall 2018. The site will also offer 82,000 additional square feet as well as expanded patient and visitor parking.
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Weather again delays major Middletown hot air balloon event

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 2:00 PM

            Rain and storms caused the early closure Friday of the Ohio Challenge hot air balloon festival in Middletown. GREG LYNCH/STAFF
Rain and storms caused the early closure Friday of the Ohio Challenge hot air balloon festival in Middletown. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

Weather is not cooperating this weekend for hot air balloon enthusiasts wanting to take to the skies in Middletown.

The Ohio Challenge competition and glow was cancelled Friday night when strong storms moved through the area. The weather kept pilots from launching again this morning.

The festival portion of the Ohio Challenge is still scheduled for today, and organizers are hopeful current rain will move out before it begins at 4 p.m.

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MORE: UPDATE: Balloon glow, flights cancelled Friday night at Ohio Challenge in Middletown

“The pilots are very eager to launch,” said Kathy Stites, event manager. “If the rains stops, then they can glow, that usually happens about dusk. And there will be fireworks rain or shine.

The challenge is scheduled from 4 to 10:30 p.m. today at Smith Park. In addition to the balloons, there is a car show, a band and vendors filling the park.

As many as 60,000 visitors are expected in Middletown over the weekend for the event, according to Stites.

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