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How winter impacts our first responders

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 5:30 PM

Middletown Deputy Fire Chief David Adams explains the issues firefighters face when the temperatures drop

Imagine battling a fire in sub-zero temperatures or trying to get a life squad through a foot of snow. I went behind the scenes with local firefighters and paramedics for a look at how severe winter weather affects their mission to save lives. 

The snow, ice and cold add precious time to almost every task. 

ICE AND FIRE: Middletown firefighters battle 2 fires in dangerously cold conditions

"The conditions definitely makes it a lot tougher for all of us," said Deputy Chief David Adams of the Middletown Fire Department. 

So far this winter we have seen bitter cold snaps, with the temperature dropping to thirteen below zero one morning early in January. Every time we get below freezing, first responders have a new set of rules to follow. 

Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell explains the different criteria involved in issuing Winter Weather advisories, watches, or warnings

"We have to assign additional resources to that emergency scene to ensure that it stays safe," Scott Jacobs Dayton Fire Prevention Inspector.

Winter weather also means concern for the crews who are often wet and cold. Being out in the elements can take a toll on fire fighters who can be on a scene for six to eight hours! 

DOWNLOAD: Winter weather at your fingertips with the free WHIO Weather App

"We try to set up so we can rotate these guys and gals in and out so they get an opportunity to get warm," explained Chief David Reichert from Fairborn Department. 

"We have a lot of heavy clothes. The fire gear is designed to keep water out," said Scott Jacobs. "What a lot of people don't realize is ,that a heavy amount of exertion will cause sweat even when its zero degrees outside." 

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Fire fighters said 80 percent of people who call for help need an ambulance and each unit carries two crew members and a medic. In the winter, there is also a shovel and bag of salt in case the truck gets stuck or the roads are slick. 

"We are trained heavily in emergency response and when you throw snow on top of that, it adds to that level of confusion," said Jacobs. "We have to anticipate everybody doing anything. We never know what another driver is going to do."

To help firefighters and paramedics do their job, make sure you go right for sirens and lights. Also, keep a path clear from the sidewalk to your door in case you or your family members need an ambulance. They also ask you to clean off the fire hydrants near your home.

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Pursuit driver accused of causing crash identified

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:16 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:43 AM

Several cars involved in wreck

UPDATE @ 9:17 a.m. (March 22):

A Dayton police report and crash report identified the driver accused of fleeing from police and causing a crash at the intersection of James H. McGee Boulevard and West Third Street Wednesday.

Benjamin McDonald, 36, was arrested following the chase and police are pursuing charges of aggravated vehicular assault and failure to comply charges, according to a Dayton police report.

OTHER NEWS: Officers descend on Dayton neighborhood following multi-city chase

McDonald was driving without a valid driver’s license, a crash report showed.

Police said McDonald had fled from them multiple times previously and had several previous arrests in the city.

McDonald’s passenger, Trinity Earl, 27, of Dayton, was ejected during the crash and suffered critical injuries, police said.

Earl remained at Miami Valley Hospital Thursday morning, but an updated condition was unavailable.

UPDATE @ 2:54 p.m. (March 21):

A passenger in a suspect vehicle who was ejected from the vehicle in a crash during a pursuit is in critical condition, police said.

Officer began pursuing the vehicle in the area of Salem Avenue and Catalpa Drive in Dayton before 1 p.m. after a Dayton police Sgt. spotted it, authorities said.

Police said the suspect vehicle had fled from officers six times in the past, including once today prior to the afternoon pursuit.

OTHER NEWS: Officers descend on Dayton neighborhood following multi-city chase

Investigators said during the pursuit the suspect vehicle ran a red light at James H. McGee Boulevard and West Third Street, causing a crash involving four other vehicles.

The driver of the suspect vehicle was taken to the hospital with injuries not believed to be life threatening, police said.

Police said the driver had several previous arrests for alleged crimes in the city.


Multiple medics have been called to the scene of a reported crash in the area of James H. McGee and West Third Street in Dayton.

Initial reports indicated the crash occurred while police were chasing a vehicle in the area around 1 p.m.

We’re working to learn more.

Accident James H McGee third Street

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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:52 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 7:50 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On the ramp from northbound I-75 to northbound I-675, there is a crash in the right shoulder.
  • On southbound Interstate 75 in the area of Wagner Ford Road and Needmore Road, a crash was reported around 8:06 a.m. A vehicle reportedly crashed into the center divider and antifreeze is down on the ground. Traffic is backed up in the area.

Surface Street Incidents

  • On Indian Ripple Road at the I675 overpass in Beavercreek, a crash was reported around 7:50 a.m.
  • At Main and Franklin streets in Centerville, a crash was reported around 7:45 a.m.
  • At County Line and Dorothy Lane roads in Kettering, a crash was reported around 7:45 a.m.
  • A crash at Bird and National Road in Clark County was reported shortly before 8 a.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closures March 19 - April 1. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 4 north/south between I-70 and Lower Valley Pike, Lane closure April 2 - 26. One northbound and two southbound lanes will remain open. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • US 35 east between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Jefferson Street, Overnight lane closures March 19 at 8 p.m. - March 20 at 6 a.m. Two eastbound lanes will remain open.


  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • I-75 south near CR 25A (Piqua), Lane closure March 19 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. One southbound lane will remain open. 
  • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 


  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 
  • SR 274 between Shroyer Road and Island Avenue, Lane closure April 9 - June 9. One lane will remain open in each direction. 


  • SR 121 between Washington Street and Fairview Street, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Harter Road, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 


  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north


  • US 68 between SR 508 and Township Road 310, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is: US 68 to SR 296 to SR 29 to SR 235 to SR 47 to US 68. 

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Did you know that Dayton once had a UNICORN bar?

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.
Source: Shutterstock
This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.(Source: Shutterstock)

Yaaaas, my mystical queen and kings, what you’ve heard is true. 

Downtown Dayton DID have an unicorn bar

>> What are the oldest bars in Dayton?

But as co-owner of the Century bar Diane Spitzig remembers, the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge wasn’t exactly firing rainbows from where the sun don’t shine. 

>> Future downtown speakeasy’s name pulls from Dayton history


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“It was just a bar,” she recalled. 

The small corner bar was at 100 E. Third St. next to the Century in what has been rebranded downtown Dayton’s Fire Blocks District

>> 8 classic local restaurants that we miss

From what we can tell from a search of state records, it was incorporated in 1984 as Unicorn Lounge. 

Its official closing date is listed as March 9, 2004. 

>> PHOTO SNEAK PEEK: Take a look inside Devil Wind, the area’s newest brewery

The name at least was ahead of its time, as unicorns are all the rage these days. 

Local resident and musician Aarika Voegele hung out at the bar with her brother. 

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Food & Dining

“They were always real nice,” she responded on Facebook. “I remember a wooden bar that stretched (through) the place, and it being somewhat packed with regulars. If I remember correctly, there was a jukebox towards the back. It was a very mellow bar, from my experience.”

>> 6 international food markets in Dayton you HAVE to try

As some recalled, the bar owned by John Demetriades had a neon unicorn head in its window.

>> This Dayton restaurant’s GINORMOUS sandwich will blow your mind

Little evidence of the Unicorn could be found in the Dayton Daily News archives. 

Articles uncovered point to difficult times in the Unicorn’s final years.

A 1999 story involved two brothers attacking a bartender. 

In an a 2002 article about the city’s objections to the renewal of its liquor permit and those of about a dozen other businesses, it was reported that the Unicorn’s owner insisted that crimes around the bar were unrelated to the business. 

>> Where to eat Easter brunch and dinner in Dayton 

The space that formerly held the Unicorn was the site of the Dayton Circus art event in 2009.

Since there is no Unicorn for us to visit today, we can only imagine the shenanigans that could be going down there at this very moment.

The Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge was closed long before this photo was taken, but we have our imaginations.(Photo source: Shutterstock)

The Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge was closed long before this photo was taken, but we have our imaginations.(Photo source: Shutterstock)

This photo is not from the Unicorn Restaurant and Lounge, but we can image.(Source: Shutterstock)

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‘This is on my bucket list!’ says top winner of Dayton Dragons National Anthem tryouts

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:32 PM

The singer chosen to lead “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Dayton Dragons Opening Day game can check one big item off her bucket list.

“I always wanted to sing the national anthem at a sporting event at a big level,” Yolanda Drake of Jefferson Twp. said. “This is on my bucket list!”

>> Changes coming to minor league baseball
More than 200 people auditioned to perform at one of 70 home games. Drake took the top spot on Opening Day and will sing the national anthem in front of a sell-out crowd April 7 at Fifth Third Field. The Dragons will host the Bowling Green Hot Rods at 7 p.m. as they open their 19th season in Dayton. The Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.

Drake isn’t new to winning singing contests. She also won the Dayton Soul Singer search and performed in January with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra at the Schuster Performing Arts Center.

On most weekends, Drake performs alongside her husband, Lamar “Marty” Drake in their band LYD, which stands for Live Your Dream. They sing at festivals, top restaurants and private functions across the country, and have opened for musical legends including Chuck Berry, Sister Sledge, Alex Bugnon and a host of others, she said.

>> DPO brings soul music to the forefront

She has experience singing the national anthem. She was often asked to perform before football and basketball games, and even graduation, for Jefferson Township High School, where her three sons graduated.

“Music is a universal language,” Drake said. “I’m going to do it as long as I can do it, as long as I’m able.”

Look for a more in-depth interview with Drake closer to the Dragons Opening Day. 

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