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Springfield woman with developmental disabilities found safe

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ 12:57 PM

UPDATE @ 4:10 p.m.:
Police have located Cindy Allen and she is safe. Investigators said she was staying with a male friend.


Cindy A. Allen of Springfield has been reported missing since Sunday February 23, 2018, at 7 a.m. and police are asking for assistance locating her. 

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Allen is a 33-year-old female that stands at 5’ 2”, and weights 110 pounds. She has brown hair and eyes and was last seen at 237 Delcourt Drive in Springfield on Sunday morning. 

Police believe Allen may be in the company of a male friend, but she has not had any contact with her family or friends since Sunday.


If you have any information regarding Allen’s location you are asked to contact Sergeant Joe Tedeschi with the Springfield Police Department at 937-324-7694. 

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Man arrested on murder charge after fatal double shooting in Dayton

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 1:19 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:17 AM

Shooting on Norman Avenue in Dayton

UPDATE @ 8:10 a.m.:

A man arrested at the same address of a fatal double shooting in Dayton has been booked into jail on a preliminary charge of murder, jail records indicate. 

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Willie James Henry Jr., 43, was arrested at the same address on East Norman Avenue in Dayton around 5:30 a.m., according to jail records. He is facing preliminary charges of murder and felonious assault. 

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Police said a woman was pronounced dead at the scene while a man was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

We’ll update this page as new details become available. 

Willie James Henry Jr. (Contributed Photo/Montgomery County Jail)


One person has died and another is at an area hospital with life-threatening injuries after a shooting on Norman Avenue early Thursday morning.

Officials say the two victims, only described as a male and female in their 40s, were found with gunshot wounds in the 30 block of Norman Avenue around 1:15 a.m.

The female victim was pronounced dead on scene, while the male was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

There is a suspect in custody that detectives are questioning, according to police. 

A neighbor who called 911 reported the male victim was shot first. The female victim went inside, and the neighbor heard an additional shot.

The neighbor said the suspect was sitting on the porch with a gun. Police confirmed the suspect had been walking around the area with a gun. The suspect, who has not been identified, was taken into custody without incident.

The incident remains under investigation. 

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80-year-old Washington Twp. man still a kid at Carillon’s Rail Fest

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:00 AM

            Washington Twp. resident George Vergamini helps put on the Carillon Park Rail Festival, which is June 23-24 this year.
Washington Twp. resident George Vergamini helps put on the Carillon Park Rail Festival, which is June 23-24 this year.(CONTRIBUTED)

Each June, the sounds of trains and family fun emanate from Carillon Park’s Rail Festival.

The two-day event, which is being held this year Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24, has always had much appreciated help from its biggest fan — Washington Twp. resident George Vergamini.

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Vergamini, 80, said he feels like a kid when attending the event, which features miniature train rides, live steam engines, model train displays, historical displays, train merchandise and rail vendors.

He explained that his loves for trains can be traced back to his roots as a kid growing up in upstate New York.

“We had a railroad that ran right behind our house,” he said. “I just loved hearing them and watching them go by. I guess I am still a kid at heart when I get a chance to see all of this again at the Rail Fest.”

There were more than 7,000 attendees at last year’s Rail Fest, according to Vergamini, who says he feels it will be even bigger this year, the event’s 13th anniversary. He received his start at the very first one, and he has not forgotten the experience.

“”It is growing every year,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it this year, and I like that all of family members can come out and enjoy themselves.”

He added that people still want to see vintage trains like the 1898 H.K. Porter Locomotive and the B&O No. 1, John Quincy Adams (the oldest existing American-built locomotive), or a Barney & Smith wooden parlor car.

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“Rail Fest shows that there are so many people that enjoy looking at all of the great things about railroad history,” he said. “Railroads are going strong, and their history is fun to look at.”

Leo DeLuca, media coordinator for Dayton History, said Vergamini “has been a valuable asset to Rail Fest.”

Vergamini said the event itself is valuable to the area and is unique.

“Nobody in the area does a festival like this,” he said. “Rail Fest is something special that everybody should try to attend and they will come away impressed by what they see and experience.”

The event is an effort of the Carillon Park Rail & Steam Society, an independent, all-volunteer, group dedicated to the preservation and education of the rail and steam heritage of the Miami Valley

In cooperation with Dayton History’s Carillon Historical Park Museum and to support the museum’s education mission, the group has built and operates the 1/8th scale Carillon Park Railroad as a working, interactive exhibit..

The 13th Annual Carillon Park Rail Festival is pulling back into the station June 23-24


Free miniature train rides.

Live steam engines.

Model train displays from tiny N-track cars to elaborate G-gauge garden models.

Historical displays.

Rail vendors.

Unique railroad merchandise.

Acclaimed Dayton-born musician Adam Remnant on banjo and guitar.

The Carillon Concert Band: An ensemble of students from approximately over 20 area high schools, with roots dating back to the 1945 creation of the NCR band.


Adults (18-59): $8

Seniors: (60+): $7

Children (3-17): $5

Children Under 3: FREE

Dayton History Members: FREE

Hours of Event

Saturday, June 23, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Rail Festival is set against the backdrop of Carillon Historical Park’s transportation collection and picturesque 65-acre campus

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The fastest woman alive just landed in Dayton

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Vicky Benzing will perform at the Vectren Dayton Air Show for the first time this weekend. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF
Vicky Benzing will perform at the Vectren Dayton Air Show for the first time this weekend. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

The fastest woman in motor-sports just landed at the Dayton International Airport. 

Aerobatic pilot Vicky Benzing, who made Reno Air Race history in 2015 as the fastest woman ever on the course, will perform at the Vectren Dayton Air Show for the first time this weekend. 

“Welcome to my office,” Benzing said, pointing at her glittering purple Extra 300S aircraft. After a more than 12-hour flight from California to Dayton, she leaned against the plane and reflected on prepping for her debut performance in the Gem City. 

“It’s the birthplace of aviation,” she said. “It’s going to be a lively performance, and it really shows the airplane well. It certainly won’t be boring.” 

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Dayton air show officials told this news organization that they were thrilled to add Benzing to the line-up of performers this year, which includes the F-22 Raptor, Sean D. Tucker and the Blue Angels. 

Benzing’s background is anything but boring. She has nearly 8,000 hours of flight time and has completed more than 1,200 parachute jumps. The California native started flying with her uncle when she was in college, and it’s been her passion ever since. 

“I was bitten,” she said. “If it’s in your blood, it’s just something you can’t leave alone for the rest of your life.” 

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After earning a PhD in Chemistry, Benzing spent years working in the tech industry in Silicon Valley. In 2006, she cut her hours down to part time. Then in 2012, she decided to “retire” altogether to focus on air shows and racing. 

“I wanted to do it while I was still young,” she said. “It’s physically demanding,” noting she has a regular regimen of weight training and other exercise to stay in top shape. 

She’s gearing up for even bigger goals in the next year. She’d like to beat her own time at the Reno Air Show. She also placed second at the Sport Class Gold race, and now she’s hungry for first. 

» PHOTOS: The Dayton Air Show through the years

“None of these guys want to be beaten by a girl,” Benzing said. 

When she first started flying, there were hardly any female voices she heard over the radio or other women pilots. Now she’s thrilled to see more women enrolling at the California Aeronautical University, the flight school that sponsors her performances. 

 “Really, it’s a great time to be alive as a woman,” Benzing said. “I want little girls to see me and know that girls can do anything guys can do. Train hard. Work harder. You can do anything.”  


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Forest Park vision includes new town square for Harrison Twp.

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 7:44 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 6:48 AM

            Outlines of retail building foundations and a parking lot are all that remains of the Forest Park shopping center on North Main Street in Harrison Township. County Corp, in partnership with Harrison Township and Montgomery County will facilitate the first public meeting to initiate feedback on the Forest Park Area Plan on Monday, January 29th at Horizon Science Academy. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Outlines of retail building foundations and a parking lot are all that remains of the Forest Park shopping center on North Main Street in Harrison Township. County Corp, in partnership with Harrison Township and Montgomery County will facilitate the first public meeting to initiate feedback on the Forest Park Area Plan on Monday, January 29th at Horizon Science Academy. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

A new Harrison Twp. town square anchored by a relocated government center is the centerpiece of an ambitious — but yet unfunded — redevelopment plan for Forest Park unveiled by officials Monday night.

About 100 people attended a meeting at Sinclair Park, where Joe Nickol, the project’s lead planner, presented a consensus draft plan based on months of research and community meetings for 54 acres once home to an amusement park and later a shopping center that fell into decay.

“What really quickly bubbled up to the top was the idea of exploring further the idea of relocating the township hall to this site. It’s at the center of the township,” Nickol said.

The main township offices are at 5945 N. Dixie Drive, while safety administration functions are in two other buildings. According to 2017 U.S. Census estimates, about 22,300 people live in the township consisting of about 6.3 square miles just north of Dayton.

Roland Winburn, township trustee president and co-chair of the Forest Park plan, said a task force would be assembled to examine the cost of implementing the plan and how to fund it.

“There’s nothing in concrete… We haven’t promised anything,” Winburn said. “We have to be very aware how taxpayer dollars are being used, and we’re the stewards of that.”

Charlene Brumbaugh, a resident who lives on nearby Springcreek Drive, said it makes sense to have the township offices closer to where most people live.

“I think it’s a good idea,” she said. “Because over there on North Dixie Drive, a lot of people can’t get to it. Senior citizens have to drive over there on North Dixie Drive. It’s a busy drive.”

Several redevelopment concepts were envisioned by planners for an area encompassing 200 acres south of Shoup Mill Road between North Main Street and Riverside Drive.

Other alternatives included an advanced manufacturing and research center, an adventure recreation site like one in New Jersey where children and adults can operate heavy machinery such as backhoes and another proposal centered on agricultural research and small-batch processing.

But the concept most popular with residents who graded the alternatives at an April meeting focused on creating a new town square and relocating the Harrison Twp. Government Center to the site.

A township hall is “not the only narrative,” Nickol said. “In the grand scheme of things it’s a small piece of the site.”

The new plan also includes a community center providing another anchor and extends the footprint of the region’s park system, adding connectivity to the Stillwater River and bringing access to the recreation trails right to the back door of the government center.

Buildings sharing retail, office and residential space are also envisioned for the site, Nickol said.

“For the first time in Forest Park history, a lot of people would live on site,” he said. “We are proposing a mix of uses ranging from small apartments and cottages all the way up to senior housing on site.”

During the early 20th century, Frankie’s Forest Park was an amusement park that at times contained a zoo, dance hall, racetrack and roller coaster. The amusement park closed in 1958. Later, Forest Park Plaza, Dayton’s earliest open-air retail center, opened on the site anchored by a JCPenney. In 2013, the shopping mall was razed and a couple years later, a shuttered Ford dealership followed.

While there might be a town center and 400 residential units on paper, the build-out could take a decade, so officials also announced some activation activities at the site that aren’t expensive or complicated and can happen soon.

Planners are proposing to close parts of Riverside Drive occasionally to automobile traffic for people to walk, run or bike to downtown, allowing people to mentally remap the area and its proximity to downtown. The township is also preparing for an annual event where families can build and decorate miniature hot air balloons to release into the night sky at the site. An old post office on the edge of the site might also get a facelift and turned quickly into a community event space, Nickol said.

MKSK Studios, consultants out of Covington, Ky., developed the plan for County Corp, working in partnership with Harrison Twp. and Montgomery County.

Joseph Shafran, chairman and CEO of Paran Management Company, the Cleveland-based owner of the land, said the size of the site will require many different partners and a multitude of financial tools to reach the overall vision.

“It’s going to be a very complex mosaic,” he said. “I don’t think there’s an easy piece in this.”

Shafran’s company purchased the property in the early 1980s from the trust of a firm that declared bankruptcy, he said.

“It’s remained a viable old neighborhood as people like living in it, so we’ve just held onto it through all kinds of experiences,” he said.

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