Crew searching for family of firefighter killed in 1932

Published: Friday, December 09, 2011 @ 4:24 PM
Updated: Friday, December 09, 2011 @ 4:24 PM

A crew from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is trying to find the family of a fallen firefighter.

In 1932, Frank Smith was buried in an unmarked grave at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton. It has been unmarked for seven decades and firefighters from WPAFB have placed a red marker on the grave while they hunt for Smith's family.

 "We've been unable to find descendants and with a name like Frank Smith it's very difficult to track down," said Roy Colbrunn, one of the firefighters searching for Smith's family.

Colbrunn and fellow firefighter Steven McKee, along with historian Larry Suttman, are doing everything they can to find Smith's family and give him a proper burial. The three men told News Center 7's Gabrielle Enright that Smith was 42 years old when he died, lived near Fairborn and was a firefighter at Wright Field, which is now WPAFB.

He was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 15, 1932.

"He died fighting a fire at a mortar pool from our understanding and a non-flammable tank exploded," McKee said.

McKee found a plaque in Smith's honor at his old firehouse, but soon discovered that his plot at Woodland was unmarked. McKee and other firefighters have teamed up with the cemetery and Dodd's Monuments to give Smith a proper gravesite.

Now they want to find out if he has family.

"We don't know what he looks like and that's a shame," McKee said.

Firefighters hope to have Smith's grave marked by spring. If you have any information about his family, call 257-3033.

 

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Rezoning means what’s left of Skyborn Drive-In, Skateland will disappear

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 10:10 PM

Rezoning means what's left of Skyborn Drive-In, Skateland will disappear

The Bath Twp. board of trustees voted unanimously Thursday night in favor of a zoning change that means what’s left of the iconic Skyborn Drive-In and Skateland will be razed. 

The properties are on Haddix Road in the township, north of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and the land will become the home to a construction company. 

"It's going to be sad to see them go," Dan Kirkpatrick, Fairborn Area Historical Society vice president, told WHIO-TV's James Buechele. 

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"It's been a place for families to go to watch a movie," he said. "It's been a place for kids to go skating." 

This is what's left of the Skyborn Drive-In in Bath Twp., Greene County. (Courtesy/James Buechele)

Kirkpatrick said the historical society is working with the construction company, Barrett Paving, to use the property as a quarry. Both sides also will be exploring the area for any historical artifacts to save. 

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Officials with the paving company said they are willing to possibly save the drive-in sign. 

Kirkpatrick said he's not sure where the sign would go. 

"Who knows? We might be able to find some future use for it," he said.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Magnitude 3.6 earthquake that hits Canada is felt in metro Detroit

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 9:16 PM

(Courtesy/earthquake.USGS.gov)
(Courtesy/earthquake.USGS.gov)

A magnitude 3.6 earthquake that occurred in Amherstburg, Canada, across the Detroit River from Grosse Ile, Michigan, on Thursday night was felt in metro Detroit.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake hit about 8 p.m. 

The depth of the quake was about 5 km deep and felt in southern Detroit, which is about 20 north of the epicenter. 

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There have been no reports of damage or injury. 

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"They happen from time to time, right in that magnitude" in southeast Michigan, David Gurney, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in White Lake, told the Detroit Free Press. "They are rare, but not unheard of."

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Trotwood board votes to not renew teacher’s contract after unsanctioned field trip

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 5:26 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 7:25 PM

VIDEO: Khaliah Forte speaks out at meeting, contract not renewed

UPDATED @ 8:40 p.m. (April 19)

Trotwood-Madison school board members voted to not renew the contract of a high school teacher who took 50 students on an unsanctioned field trip last month to a college campus.

More than 100 people showed up in support of Khaliah Forte, who addressed the board to defend her actions and to dispute that administrators said she wasn’t a fit in the building.

“I live in Trotwood. I go to church in Trotwood. I’m a part of this community, my kids attend Trotwood City Schools. we are this community. We participate in all we can in this district. I go to football games, basketball games, all sporting competitions’ signing days, inductions, every school board meeting and city council meeting,” Forte said. “When I walk into the building at 7:30 in the morning and I lay eyes on those kids, they all become my kids.”

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Board President Denise Moore said she couldn’t say anything specific about the nonrenewal because it was a personnel matter.

“It’s not about people, it’s not about positions, it’s not about personalities and it’s not about politics —  it’s about policy,” she said.

Trotwood teacher finds job in jeopardy after unapproved field trip

Moore said she wasn’t surprised so many parents, students and community members turned out in support of Forte.

“I think people came out because they care, people came out because they are engaged in the Trotwood-Madison City School District.”

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Parent Kalisha Smith, who said she helped to organize the trip, said there were no complaints from hotels or bus company used by the students. She said Forte provided an educational opportunity that has changed her youngest daughter for the better.

“No teacher deserves this trying to make something better for the students on her own personal time,” she said.

UPDATED @2:25 p.m. (April 19)

Trotwood-Madison school board officials on Thursday afternoon canceled their 5:30 p.m. special meeting, which had been scheduled “to investigate complaints against a public official.” 

The district’s regular school board meeting, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., will still take place.

EARLIER

Trotwood High School teacher Khalilah Forte is facing a possible termination for taking 50 students on a college visit in March that was not approved by the school.

The Trotwood City Schools board has called a special meeting to begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the district administrative offices, 3594 N. Snyder Road. The board will immediately go into executive session. 

According to documents from last week’s meeting, the board plans a vote Thursday on whether to non-renew Forte’s teaching contract, effective May 24, the day after students’ last day of school. 

This news organization has requested Forte’s personnel file, to examine any disciplinary documents related to the case.

Community leaders and parents say Forte was trying to help students who might not have a chance to experience a college visit. They also said parent and local organizations raised the money for the trip. 

Board member Norman Scearce said the trip was not taken on school time and the board will be voting Thursday on whether to terminate Forte. 

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The Rev. James Washington, pastor of Phillips Temple Church, said he knows Forte personally and that “She loves children, she loves the instruction of children and she loves what she does.” 

Washington also said Forte was just trying to help the children. 

According to the letter, which also was posted to social media, a Trotwood principal warned Forte she could lose her job if she took students on the unsanctioned trip.

Neither school district officials nor Principal David White would comment on the situation. Forte also said she was unable to comment. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Shooting at vet clinic near Yellow Springs investigated as self-inflicted fatality

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:45 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 8:16 PM

Greene County sheriff removes body from vet clinic near Yellow Springs

UPDATE @ 8:01 p.m.: The shooting at the Hosket Veterinary Services on Thursday is being investigated as a self-inflicted fatality, Greene County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mike Brown said.

Deputies dispatched about 11:20 a.m. to the business, 4450 U.S. 68 North, found an individual who had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Chief Deputy Mike Brown said. He declined to release any more information, saying the case remains under investigation. 

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A Greene County coroner’s investigator has removed the body.

Community members and friends who went to the business said they are stunned that something like this happened here.

“I mean, this is so devastating. It’s hard to even talk about it,” said Pamela Davis. 

People who had come to the business for appointments found deputies engaged in their investigation of the incident.

“My sympathy is to the family. All we can do is lean on each other and be supportive of them,” Kathy McConehea, of Yellow Springs.

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