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Honoring Dr. King at an ‘important time in American history’

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

            Wil Haygood will be the keynote speaker at the University of Dayton s annual Martin Luther King Jr Prayer Breakfast. CONTRIBUTED
Wil Haygood will be the keynote speaker at the University of Dayton s annual Martin Luther King Jr Prayer Breakfast. CONTRIBUTED

Fifty years after the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1968 became law, spearheaded by the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, the Dayton region will join the nation in honoring King for his contributions to the fight for equality.

RELATED: Dayton region celebrates life, legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

This year also marks the 50 year anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination.

“I think it’s a very important time in American history to be talking about Martin Luther King,” said Wil Haygood, journalist and author known for his Washington Post article that became the 2013 movie “The Butler.”

RELATED: Looking back at MLK’s visits to Dayton

Haygood is the keynote speaker at the University of Dayton’s annual Martin Luther King Jr Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Organizers say the breakfast is sold out.

Haygood’s appearance at UD is one of several events around the region honoring King this week, including the annual MLK Memorial Day March and Rally, Youth Celebration and MLK Banquet Celebration downtown on Monday, the official holiday.

Haygood said the heroism and courage of King has always inspired him, in his own life and in his writing career.

“Part of why it is important to teach (about King) is you have moments like this in American history when very powerful leaders are attacking immigrants, trying to scale back the muscle of the Voting Rights Act, talking in openly racist and sexist language and we need that moral guide post, that moral lantern swinging in the dark,” Haygood said. “It takes that type of collective effort to battle up against the darkness, and time and time again (King) shows us the way.”

UD Martin Luther King Committee chairs, Versalle Washington and Christina Smith said they invited Haygood to speak because of his ability to connect history to the present day.

“Our founders were committed to addressing the needs of the times, and that is what Dr. King was doing,” Smith said. “This is what we should be doing.”

Roger Crum, professor at UD and member of the King committee said events in the past year have heightened the timeliness of such a conservation about King.

“The last six months have brought forward a whole host of issues that were just boiling under the surface, from Charlottesville to Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes,” Crum said.

Haygood agrees.

“The beautiful mantra of Dr. King was always that you must spread light to unravel the darkness,” Haygood said.

The Dayton-wide march to honor King, organized by MLK - Dayton, Inc. is one of the highlights of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances.

The march begins at 10 a.m. at Drew Health Center, 1323 W. Third Street. The march will happen even if there’s “rain, snow or sleet” said MLK Dayton president Anthony Whitmore.

“Our hope is that you walk with someone that doesn’t look like you or think like you,” Whitmore said.

Participants will march from the Drew Health Center across the Peace Bridge to the Dayton Convention Center for an 11 a.m. rally.

A youth program is scheduled for 11 a.m. and a banquet is planned for 6 p.m. at the convention center. Motivational speaker David Anthony Johnson will be the featured guest at both events.

“Dr. King, if he were around, he would still be marching,” Whitmore said.

Crum said UD is planning more events for April 2018. One on the day of King’s last speech and one the next day, the day of his assassination.

King died April 4, 1968, after being shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. He had delivered his last speech the evening before at a rally supporting striking sanitation workers.

King, a husband, pastor, scholar and father of four children, would have turned 89 this month.

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Spring is back for the weekend; Lyrid Meteor Shower peaks overnight

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 6:38 AM
Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 2:00 PM

The chance for rain returns early next week.

Filtered sunshine, but milder for the afternoon, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said. Temperatures approach 60 degrees, which is closer to normal.


  • Clouds may keep us from seeing Lyrid Meteor shower tonight
  • A quiet day Sunday 
  • Chance for rain Monday - Wednesday 

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected this evening and overnight tonight. Temperatures will drop to near 40 degrees. Because of the few clouds sticking around, it may be difficult to see the Lyrid Meteor shower overnight and early Sunday, but with a few breaks you may be able to see some.

Sunday: We’ll see a little bit more sunshine on Sunday, but once again passing clouds and filtered sun is expected, highs in the middle 60s.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Monday: A dry start is expected, but rain is expected to move in later in the afternoon and the evening. Highs will be in the middle 60s.

Tuesday: We will see mostly cloudy skies with a chance for showers, highs will drop back into the upper 50s.

>> County-by-County Weather

Wednesday: A few lingering showers are expected for the first part of Wednesday, highs will be near 60 degrees.

Thursday: Should be a dry day with partly sunny skies and highs near 60 degrees.

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Casa del Sazón open for business despite fire 

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:32 PM

Tex-Mex restaurant Casa del Sazón notified its patrons via their Facebook page they have resumed normal operations after a fire was put on the premises Friday evening.

The fire department was dispatched at approximately 8:30 p.m., after a cigarette was thrown on mulch outside the building. 

LOCAL: Woman killed, 2 infants and man critically injured in buggy crash 

Restaurant manager Armando Soto said no one was hurt, and the only damage caused was to the sidewalk next to the mulch. 

"Thankfully we caught it in time and it only damaged the sidewalk," said Soto. 

"The fire department came quickly and everything is OK,” Soto said. 

The restaurant resumed normal business hours this afternoon.

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University of Dayton and Deca High students help clean up Five Oaks

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 3:23 PM

University of Dayton and Deca High School students joined together today for the annual Five Oaks neighborhood cleanup in recognition of Earth Day weekend. 

Located on the UD campus, Deca High is a preparatory school dedicated to helping students achieve their goal of graduating college. 

Bill Marvin, presdient of the Five Oaks Neighborhood Association and UD philosophy professor, said approximately 80 to 100 students came out to help clean up the neighborhood, around 20 of them Deca students. 

"Five Oaks is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city," Marvin said. "A lot of good people come together and it's really good for the community." 

RELATED: Volunteers help at Five Rivers MetroParks 31 annual Adopt-a-Park

Members of the community also participate, helping the students with trash pickup, weed pulling, and tree plantings. 

"The more we take care of our common space, the better it is for everybody because we are all in this together, " said Marvin. 

Dona, a junior at Deca, sees the cleanup as an opportunity for herself and her classmates to come together and do something that benefits their community. 

"We don't have to come here, said Dona. "But we are tired of seeing trash everywhere and the neighborhood looking bad. We came here for our younger kids so we could show them that we can do things together that don't just benefit us." 

Cleanup efforts will continue April 22.

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Volunteers help at Five Rivers MetroParks 31 annual Adopt-a-Park

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

Five Rivers MetroParks held its 31 annual Adopt-a-Park cleanup event Saturday in honor of Earth Day.

Volunteers of all ages helped remove trash, plant trees, repair trails, and prepare flower beds at more than 2 dozen sites. 

Volunteers received a free lunch at Riverscape and a T-shirt for their efforts. 

"We see families, individuals, church groups, students and children participate in Adopt-a-Park,” said Kevin Kepler, volunteer services manager for Five Rivers. 

“The community really comes out in full force, which is great because all this important work couldn't be accomplished without our dedicated volunteers. It's the perfect occasion to celebrate Earth Day with your fellow Daytonians,” Kepler said. 

RELATED: University of Dayton and Deca Prep High School students clean up Five Oaks

Last year, more than 1,800 volunteers removed 65,000 pounds of trash, 32 miles of river ways were cleaned and more than 15 acres of invasive plants were removed, according to a press release. 

"I think the success of this event reflects the community's support of MetroParks' mission to protect the region's natural heritage," said Kepler. 

Adopt-a-Park is sponsored by Vectren and Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. 

To find out more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log on to or call 937-275-PARK (7275).

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