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Remembering Dayton radio icon Terry Dorsey

Published: Monday, March 09, 2015 @ 11:13 AM
Updated: Monday, March 09, 2015 @ 11:13 AM

Terry Dorsey died Saturday after a brief and sudden illness. The 66-year-old had just retired on December 17, 2014, capping a 46-year-broadcasting career. He hosted the KSCS #1 morning show for 26 years. A graduate of LaSalle High School in Cincinnati in 1966, he went to New York City and took a six-month broadcasting course. He was drafted into the Vietnam War, serving as a combat engineer clearing landmines. He moved to Dayton in 1977 and on to Dallas in 1980. He was named the Country Music Association’s Major Market Personality of the Year in 1986, and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. He and his wife retired to Illinois where he died.

Terry Dorsey was a Dayton D.J., that is true.

But, truth is, he was a radio icon here before he became an icon in Dallas, Texas.

Terry came to Dayton in the 1970s from WHON in Richmond, Ind. He was hired as the morning show host on WTUE, using the name Greg Mason. At the time, WTUE was a Top 40 station. A couple of years later, he became its program director. (Truth is: I interviewed for a job at WTUE with Terry back then. No, I didn’t get it, though, later I joined the staff of WONE/WTUE as a news reporter.)

When WTUE gave up Top 40 for Album Rock in the mid '70s, Terry went across the hall to sister station WONE. It was there that Terry created Hiney Wine, a fictional area winery that played off its slogan, “When life gets you down, grab a Hiney!” It became a running bit on his show. Eventually, it was syndicated nationally and Hiney Wineries sprung up in cities and towns all across the U.S. Terry used to keep a spiral-bound notebook with him at all times and would write the Hiney Wine bits in longhand in the notebook.

He always closed his show with, “In case you missed the dirty joke of the day, we only have time for the punch line, it’s (punch line)”. Funny thing is: the punch lines he used were to real dirty jokes that would have turned WONE into a parking lot had he told the whole joke. But, he just gave the punch line. He was a funny, outgoing, gregarious guy with an infectious personality. You couldn’t not like Terry Dorsey.

Terry got into a dispute with the management at WONE/WTUE, left and went to work at WING, where he and John King’s famed “King and Dorsey Report” was a must-listen daily feature. The Hiney Wine bit went with Terry to WING and he developed “Babs Kneven’s Bar and Grill,” another fictional business in New Carlisle. Of course, anyone who knows anything about our area knows there can be no bar and grill in New Carlisle. It’s a dry town! But there were people all over the area who would drive to New Carlisle to try and find the place. I know, I lived there then. The guys would talk about the fake nightly specials, and often apologize, on behalf of the fake owners, for recent false shenanigans that were hilarious.

King and Dorsey became the first morning show “team” in the initial days of Z-93 when it came on the air in 1984, though by that time, Terry had already moved to Dallas to work the morning show on KSCS-FM. They did the Z morning show by telephone, with John recording his parts on a microphone into a tape recorder in Dayton (while listening to John on the phone),  and Dorsey doing his parts in a similar manner in Dallas. Dorsey sent his tape to King who then put the two tapes together. Today, they’d do it all by computer, but of course radio didn’t have computers on air back then.

Terry Dorsey, like so many of us in the business, was what we call a “radio geek.” He was driven by the business to succeed and gave it his all. Like many of us, he never worked a strict 9-to-5 day. Radio was with him day and night.

I remember an evening when I came into WONE/WTUE to record some music on a cassette tape in the production studio (which was the “old” WTUE control room in the building on Wilkinson Street). Terry got off the air across the hall at WONE and saw me in the production room. When he came in the door, I thought I was going to get in trouble for using a production studio for my personal use. Instead, Terry came in and started looking through my records.

He said, “Hey, you’ve got some good stuff here!” And then he and I proceeded to play music trivia in that studio for the next hour and a half, picking short pieces of songs and trying to stump each other as to their titles.

It’s always been said when the radio business gets in your blood, it never lets you go. Terry surely didn’t have to hang out in production studio with me. At the time, I was just a kid, barely in my 20s, that had tried to get a job from him a couple of years earlier. But we shared something  -- our love of music for the songs we played, and a love of the business.

I was not surprised at all that Terry became as a big name in Dallas. He was that creative of a guy. When Terry went to Dallas, our loss was the Metroplex’s gain.

Now, I’d love to say we were close friends, but that wouldn’t be true. We were colleagues and co-workers. And like many in the Miami Valley of my generation, I first was introduced to Terry as you were, listening to the Greg Mason morning show on WTUE when I was in high school at Miamisburg. When I actually got to work for the station a few years later, I was in heaven to be working around Greg … er, I mean Terry, and the other talents like David G. McFarland, Lee Riley and Bobby Kraig at WONE. And Patty Spitler, Alan Sells and Dan Pugh (Dan Patrick) at WTUE. And my colleagues in the newsroom, Kent Scott (News Director), Jeanne Lockhart, my good buddy (and current coworker) Jim Barrett and the others.

I was just a kid … they were my icons, just as Steve Kirk and Gene “By Golly” Barry was. So, Terry’s death was personal in a sense for me. It reminds me of my mortality (not my favorite subject to think about for obvious reasons.) But what a great time we all had.

And what a great talent he was. He is and will be missed.

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How safe are air shows? Here’s how many crashes occurred in past decade

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:29 AM

Latest on Thunderbird crash, Air Show


John Cuday, president of the Virginia-based International Council of Air Shows, contends air shows are safe for spectators. No spectator at an airshow – which has different rules than air races -- has been killed since the 1950s because of safety measures in place, he said.

“There is no motorsport in the world that has the safety record of spectators that we do,” he said.

The danger is primarily to pilots, he said.

“The flying that these guys do is more dangerous than standard flying, but they take this risk knowingly” and mitigate risk, he said.

In what he described as a four-legged stool, the first safety measure is distance between pilots and people.

Small planes, for example, stay at least 500 feet away from spectators. Jets operate up to 1,500 feet away.

“I’ve actually charted where the wreckage has landed and that system has acted precisely as it was to work,” he said.

Additionally, pilots’ knowledge and flight routines are evaluated every year.

Acrobatic maneuvers toward spectators are banned and an acrobatic sky box sets aside restricted airspace for performances.

“That’s the four-legged stool we have come to rely on and it’s worked very, very effectively to protecting spectators,” he said.


In late June just a year ago, a Thunderbird jet flipped over after taxiing at the Dayton International Airport.

The crash occurred on June 23 prior to the Dayton Air Show, and injured Pilot Capt. Erik Gonsalves and Tactical Aircraft Maintainer Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova. The F-16 sustained significant damage, and the Thunderbirds cancelled all performances at the air show.

» UNMATCHED COVERAGE: 7 deadly air show accidents that stunned spectators

The Thunderbirds jet mishap was the first major aviation related incident at the air show since the fatal crash of a wing walker and a pilot in front of thousands of horrified spectators on June 22, 2013.

Air shows can be risky for performers. Approximately 52 percent of civil air show crashes that occurred from 1993 to 2013 involved at least one fatality, according to FAA’s General Aviation and Air Taxi Survey and the National Transportation Safety Board data. The data studied 174 civil air show crashes.

Here’s what we know about air show safety: 

1. How many deaths have occurred as a result of crashes and mishaps at air shows and races in the U.S.? 

This news organization reviewed data from the Federal Aviation Administration, which showed that 44 fatalities have occurred in the past decade as a result of injuries sustained in crashes and incidents at air shows and races in the United States. This news organization reviewed fatality reports from 2007 to 2017. That number increases looking at incidents globally. 

2. Have deaths occurred at the Dayton Air Show? 

In Dayton, three deaths have occurred since 2007 at the air show. In 2013, a stunt pilot and a wing-walking performer were killed in a fiery crash at the Vectren Dayton Air Show. The pair was identified as Jane Wicker and pilot Charlie Schwenker. 

Wicker was wing walking at the time of the crash, sitting on the underside of the inverted 450 HP Stearman named “Aurora.”
» PHOTOS: Get ready for these amazing aerial acts at the Vectren Dayton Air Show 

The plane did a cartwheel and burst into flames as it hit the ground. A fire truck was at the crash within two minutes and extinguished the flames.

Since 1990, there have been 160 crashes at air shows and air races across America. Not a single year during that time was there not a crash. Wingwalker Jane Wicker, 46, and pilot Charlie Schwenker, 64, crashed and were killed at the Vectren Dayton Air Show on Saturday, June 22. The biplane appears to have crashed just inside the 500-foot show line which is marked by orange construction barrels seen at right. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees/Ty Greenlees)

In 2007, aerobatic pilot Jim LeRoy failed to maintain clearance from the ground during an acrobatics routine and crashed his 400-horsepower, single-seat biplane, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. 

The safety board found that “smoke oil” present in the air where the performers were flying also contributed to the crash. 

LeRoy’s yellow Bulldog Pitts continued from a spiral spin into the ground, slid 300 feet and burst into flames. LeRoy was killed on impact.

3. How many crashes have occurred in the past decade?  

Approximately, 96 aviation accident reports related to air races and shows have been filed since 2007, according to NTSB data. However, most of the accidents investigated did not result in fatalities. 

People on the ground watch as Jim Leroy's plane burns following his crash at the Vectren Dayton Air Show, Saturday, July 28, 2007.(Peter Wine)

4. What has been the worst air show crash in recent U.S. history?

A plan crashed into spectators at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada in September 2011. The crash killed the pilot Jimmy Leeward and 10 spectators. It also injured more than 60 others, according to federal investigators. 

5. What regulations are in place to keep pilots and spectators safe at air shows?

The FAA provides aviation event organizers with assistance when planning a safe aviation event. Planes are no longer allowed to fly over crowds at air shows inn the U.S., and significant changes occurred after the Reno accident in 2011. Spectators have to be staged a specific distance away from where planes are performing now, and airshows have to follow a ground operations plan


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2 accused of backing into sheriff’s cruiser, triggering pursuit, remain in jail

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 2:01 AM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 5:43 PM

2 in custody following pursuit in Dayton

UPDATE @ 5:10 p.m. (June 19): Two people remain in jail on preliminary charges stemming from a pursuit that involved hitting a sheriff's cruiser. 

Christopher Harvey, 28, is detained pending the filing of three charges -- felonious assault, felony failure to comply with the signal or order of a police officer, and probation violation. A judge Tuesday afternoon set Harvey's bail at $50,000. 

Also in jail is Blaire Kennerly, 27, detained pending the filing of one charge -- misdemeanor failure to comply with the signal or order of a police officer. She is due in court Wednesday. 

Christopher Harvey (Courtesy/Montgomery County Jail)

WHIO-TV on Tuesday obtained surveillance video that shows the truck backing into the cruiser at a Germantown Shell station on early Monday. 

Montgomery County deputies spotted a pickup truck three different times early Monday before they were able to get it stopped. Deputies had been looking for the truck after a 911 call accusing the driver of disorderly conduct at a bar. Deputies said they saw a man driving the truck when they lost it at some point during the pursuit. 

Blaire Kennerly (Courtesy/Montgomery County Jail)

Deputies said when they spotted the truck again, they gave chase and managed to get it stopped near Germantown Pike and Frytown Road in Jefferson Twp. 

They broke the driver's side window and said the occupants refused to get out. That's when they discovered a woman behind the wheel. They arrested that woman, later identified as Kennerly. 

Deputies also arrested the man with her, Harvey, who they believe was driving when the pickup hit the cruiser.

>> Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

No injuries were reported.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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Woman, 87, ID’d as victim in fatal wrong-way downtown Dayton crash

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 9:20 AM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 5:20 PM

A driver is reportedly trapped inside their vehicle following a crash in downtown Dayton on West Fifth Street Tuesday morning.

UPDATE @ 5:20 p.m.:

The victim killed in a wrong-way crash this morning in downtown Dayton was identified as 87-year-old Opal Clouse of Dayton by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

UPDATE @ 11:45 a.m.:

A wrong-way driver caused a crash that killed one person in downtown Dayton Tuesday morning, according to police. 

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Officers were dispatched to a report of a crash with one person trapped near the intersection of West Fifth Street and South Perry Street around 9 a.m. 

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Investigators said a red car traveled the wrong direction on West Fifth Street and crashed into the silver car, sending the silver car into a pole. The crash killed one person, but investigators didn’t indicate which vehicle that person was in. 

The identity of the victim will not be released until family has been notified.

Police said excessive speed doesn’t appear to be a factor, and it is not uncommon to see drivers travel the wrong way on Dayton’s one-way streets. 

“With going the wrong way, there is no traffic device to tell you that you should be slowing down for a red light,” Lt. James Mullins said. 

I’m sure the person was driving normal speeds and had the collision.” 

The intersection was reopened by police around 11:30 a.m.

Marshall Gorby/Staff

UPDATE @ 10 a.m.:

One person has died following a crash near the intersection of West Fifth and South Perry streets in downtown Dayton, according to dispatchers. 

Police continue to block West Fifth street near the bridge and South Perry Street is blocked at West Fourth Street. 


A driver is reportedly trapped inside their vehicle following a crash in downtown Dayton on West Fifth Street Tuesday morning. 

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The crash was reported at the intersection of West Fifth South Perry streets and near Sinclair College, around 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

Police have requested a crash reconstruction to the scene to investigate the crash, according to our crew on the scene. 

The condition of the driver was not immediately available. 

Police have blocked eastbound West Fifth Street at the bridge and South Perry Street at West Fourth Street for the investigation. 

Additional details were not available. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more.

Marshall Gorby/Staff

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Chemicals found in Dayton water prompt new letters to customers

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 5:49 PM

            A water well field at Huffman Dam operated by the city of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
A water well field at Huffman Dam operated by the city of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

A potentially dangerous substance once used as a firefighting foam at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that infiltrated groundwater and prompted the shutdown of several Dayton water wells has now been detected in drinking water bound for customers.

The system operators, however, say the level of polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) are well below allowable limits.

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Both the city of Dayton and Montgomery County are sending customers notices with the results of recent testing of treated water leaving the city’s Ottawa Water Treatment Plant. The results from March testing shows PFAS have been detected at a level of 7-13 parts per trillion.

Officials stress that the significantly below the EPA health advisory limit of 70 ppt for lifetime exposure, but it marks the first time PFAS has been detected in water after the treatment process.

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“The city’s water remains safe, with readings well below the EPA health advisory limit,” wrote Michael Powell, Dayton’s Department of Water director, in an email sent to customers. “Additionally, the city will continue to use the latest available technology to proactively monitor and safeguard our drinking water in coordination with the Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA.”

Dayton’s well fields supply water for 400,000 residents in multiple jurisdictions. In addition to Dayton they include those in Centerville, Harrison Twp., Kettering, Miami Twp., Washington Twp., and others.

Joe Tuss, Montgomery County administrator, said the county, in coordination with the city, will begin testing water within the distribution system for PFAS.

“We want to understand what that means if the treated water coming out of the plant is 7-13 parts per trillion, which is extremely low,” Tuss said. “What does that mean as it moves through the distribution system?”

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Seven drinking water production wells were turned off last year at the well field as a precaution, officials said earlier. Monitoring wells detected polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) on site. In the last six months, Dayton has installed 77 of 150 additional monitoring wells to help isolate the sources of PFAS and to optimize pumping, according to the city.

At certain levels, the substances can cause major health concerns. Studies indicate high-level exposure to the contaminant may lead to testicular and liver cancer; changes in cholesterol; low birth weight in newborns; liver tissue damage; and effects on the immune system and thyroid, according to the U.S. EPA.

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