Official tours Xenia High for possible ROTC program

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 3:26 PM

Xenia high school right Patterson band performance

Xenia school officials are working to be selected for an Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp program at the high school, and Air Force officials visited the school Thursday to inspect the facilities and give a presentation.

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Wayne Barron, regional director of Air Force Junior ROTC based at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., spoke to students and staff members prior to touring the school. He said his first impressions are that an AFJROTC program would be a good fit in Xenia.

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“There’s a lot of community support here,” Barron said.

RELATED: AFJROTC program coming to Beavercreek schools

With an enrollment of about 1,200 students, the minimum number of Xenia students who would need to be enrolled in JROTC is 100, according to the program’s requirements. Barron said they would like to see about 130 students enrolled.

The four-year program, which would be open to students in grades 9-12, would require the district to add two instructors to lead the curriculum. The salaries for those positions would be paid partly by the district and partly by the national AFJROTC program.

In addition to physical fitness activities, the coursework includes aerospace science and leadership education.

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A major driving force behind Thursday’s visit is Xenia High School senior Aaron Shirk, who petitioned students and has been working with school officials to add the program since he was a freshman.

Shirk said he likes the work ethic and team-building that happens in ROTC programs.

“I was a little sad that I wasn’t going to be able to participate in the program, but I’m excited to have it here for future generations to come,” he said.

Principal Henry Jackoby said it was a special day, with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base rock band Systems Go performing for the students. Guests included State Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), Ohio Sen. Bob Hackett (R-District 10) as well as local community leaders, including Mayor Marsha Bayless.

“Our students were the ones who pushed this,” Jackoby said. “The students absolutely need something that they know is going to instill leadership in them and give them a successful stepping stone into the future.”

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Barron said the program helps develop character and leadership qualities in high school students.

“We put cadets in charge of things, and if they break something, we can fix it. It’s a learning opportunity for all the kids,” he said. “We want to get them ready for the real world and whatever they’re going to do after high school.”

Barron added that AFJROTC is not about recruiting new soldiers in the military.

“We’re a citizen development program. We are not tied to recruiting in any way shape or form … less than 4 percent of our students who are in Junior ROTC actually join the military,” Barron said.

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Middletown police warn of impersonators pulling people over

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 11:03 PM

Nick Graham
(Nick Graham)

Middletown police are warning residents about a group of teens pulling people over impersonating police officers.

Police made the public warning on its Facebook page on Sunday evening.

MORE: West Chester man arrested after standoff with police

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Police said four white teens are driving around Middletown in a blue or gray convertible that has a light on the dashboard as well as a loud speaker and air horn.

Anyone with any information about these people or who may have seen this vehicle are asked to call police dispatch at 513-425-7700, option 0.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches at Cape Canaveral 

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 5:30 PM

SpaceX preps for overnight launch of “state-of-the-art” communication satellite at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Photo: SpaceX)
SpaceX preps for overnight launch of “state-of-the-art” communication satellite at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Photo: SpaceX)

SpaceX lit up the night sky over the Space Coast this weekend with the launch of the Telstar 19 Vantage satellite around 1:50 a.m. Sunday.

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The space launch company said Saturday that its Falcon 9 rocket was vertical on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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Telstar 19 Vantage is described as a “state-of-the-art, high throughput satellite optimized to serve growing markets in the Americas,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat's president and CEO.

Telstar 19 Vantage will help improve mobile communication signals from Latin America to Northern Canada.

Following the launch, SpaceX will also attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on its droneship, “Of Course I Still Love You,” in the Atlantic Ocean.

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1 dead, 1 injured in Nevada church shooting, officials say

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 8:03 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 9:35 PM

File photo. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)(Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

A man fatally shot one person and injured another at a Nevada church during service Sunday afternoon, officials said. 

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One person is dead. The other victim was taken to a hospital with a leg injury, Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford told KOLO. The identities have not been released. 

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The suspected gunman, John Kelley O’Connor, 48, walked into Fallon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around 1 p.m., started firing, then left and walked home. He is in custody, Tedford told KOLO

“Our hearts go out to the family members of those who have lost someone and those who were in the church today where the tragedy occurred,” Tedford told KOLO.

The shooting happened in front of about 50 other parishioners, KOLO reported.

“It’s really too early to understand the motive,” Fallon Police Chief Kevin Gehman told KOLO. 

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) shared his condolences on Twitter

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Man drowns trying to save 3 boys from rip current

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 9:20 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

A man jumped into the Outer Banks in an attempt to save three boys caught in a rip current and was himself pulled out to sea on Thursday. 

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Kenny Ray Gooch, 32, of Powells Point, tried to save his girlfriend’s 12-year-old son,  who was swimming near the Kitty Hawk pier with two teens, when they were pulled 75 yards out by a rip current, WTKR reported.

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Gooch rushed in to help but was pulled out to sea and disappeared. 

Bystanders rescued the 12-year-old. The 19- and 14-year-old made it back to shore on their own, according to WTKR

Gooch was later found by water rescuers who brought him to shore but were unable to revive him, according to WTKR. 

Gooch is the eighth victim of the Outer Banks surf this year. Two years ago nine people died. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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