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Is our drinking water safe? Chemical spills alarm protectors

Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 4:48 PM

Sherwin Williams Fire 1987

It’s been three decades since firefighters avoided spraying water on a burning Sherwin Williams warehouse filled with 1.5 million gallons of paint and other chemicals out of fear it would contaminate the giant aquifer that serves up to three million customers.

Nothing of that magnitude has happened since, but officials say it wouldn’t take a major industrial accident like the Sherwin-Williams fire to contaminate part of the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer that sits below most of this region.

A train car derailment, auto crash or leaky underground petroleum tank could do it. Even chemicals from firefighting foam has proven to be a threat here locally.

RELATED: Dayton urges communities to push Wright-Patt to take action on water

A Dayton Daily News investigation publishing Sunday found the vulnerability of the water supply is being tested on virtually a daily basis, requiring better coordination between institutions and more awareness in the public about the critical need to protect the region’s water.

Miami Valley residents often take clean water for granted, presuming the local supply is as endlessly abundant as the air they breathe.

Water well field at Huffman Dam is operated by the city of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

But while officials say the water in the region remains safe to drink, hundreds of chemical spills in recent years have caused alarm.

Sunday’s investigation will published in the Dayton Daily News and be found on


RELATED: Secrets of Dayton’s blue lagoon revealed

RELATED: Dayton urges communities to push Wright-Patt to take action on water

RELATED: Ohio EPA orders Dayton to take action on groundwater concerns

RELATED: Dayton: Contaminated sites could pose risk to Mad River well fields

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Centerville High School student charged with sexual imposition

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:14 AM

            A 16-year-old Washington Twp. resident has been charged with sexual imposition as a result of an ongoing investigation by Centerville police.
A 16-year-old Washington Twp. resident has been charged with sexual imposition as a result of an ongoing investigation by Centerville police.

A 16-year-old Washington Twp. boy has been charged with sexual imposition as a result of an ongoing investigation by Centerville police after an alleged incident at Centerville High School.

MORE: Water quality expert: Dayton chemical concerns demand monitoring, attention

John Davis, community relations officer with the Centerville Police Department, confirmed the investigation began on May 5 after an incident on the grounds of the high school.

“The suspect and victim are both juveniles, therefore, the details that I can provide are very limited,” Davis said.

MORE: Centerville mom claims autistic son held in a ‘detention room’ size of a closet

The suspect is a Centerville student, and the matter is now juvenile court.

School officials say that allegations involving sex crimes are taken seriously, and the police were notified immediately.

“We cannot go into much detail since the student involved is a juvenile,” said Sarah Swan, community relations specialist for the school district. “There were school consequences for the student, and the police were notified.”

MORE: Some residents upset with Washington Twp. road widening project

We are working to learn more about the case and will update this story.

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Summer solstice 2018: What is the summer solstice and why is today the 'longest' one of the year?

Published: Monday, June 20, 2016 @ 9:02 AM
Updated: Monday, June 20, 2016 @ 9:09 AM

What You Need to Know: Summer Solstice

If you are looking to soak up some sun, today would be the day to do it. 

Thursday marks the summer solstice, and for those in the Northern hemisphere, you will see more daylight than on any other day of the year. 

>>Read more trending news 

What is the summer solstice and what does that have to do with the longest day of the year? Here’s a quick look at what it means.

What is it?

The solstice happens when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky relative to the equator, meaning the Northern Hemisphere is tilted fully toward the sun. In fact, the North Pole is tilted far enough toward the sun to where the Arctic Circle will see 24 hours of daylight.

The sun reaches its northernmost point on Earth during the summer solstice. Do you know where that is? 

The sun will reach its northernmost point when it hits 23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude – in the Tropic of Cancer.

When does it do that?

In 2018, the solstice falls on Thursday at 6:07 a.m. EDT.

Wait, isn’t it on the same day every year?

The summer solstice happens each year between June 20-22. 

Why isn’t it on the same day every year? 

Blame it on math. The fact that the date floats is due, in part, to the difference between the Gregorian calendar system, which normally has 365 days, and the tropical year (how long it takes Earth to orbit the Sun one time), which is about 365.242199 days, according to The Farmer’s Almanac. 

The Georgian calendar adds a leap day every four years to make up for the extra .242199. The leap day, along with other factors, moves the summer solstice backward and forward on the calendar by a couple of days.

Why is it the longest day of the year?

It’s known as the longest day of the year not because it’s any longer than any other day, but because in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the day that receives the most hours of daylight. It receives the most sunlight because the Earth is tilted toward the sun for the longest time during a day.

If it is the longest day of the year and it’s summertime, why isn’t it the hottest day of the year?

It’s not the hottest day of the year because the Earth releases the energy it absorbs at various rates – but it never releases it instantly. On Thursday, the Earth will receive the most energy from the sun, but will release that energy in late July or August, usually. This effect, according to Weather Works, is called seasonal temperature lag. 

Some thousands of people watch the sun rise while standing among the ancient stones at Stonehenge, to celebrate the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge in Salisbury, England, early Wednesday June 21, 2017. The prehistoric monument, Stonehenge is about 5000-years old and is thought to have been constructed to mark the movement of the sun and other heavenly objects according to Pagan rites. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)(Steve Parsons/AP)

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Break-in suspect with huge face tattoo arrested after Facebook post goes viral

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 6:23 AM

Viral Facebook Post Leads to Arrest of Break-In Suspect

An Ohio break-in suspect who goes by "Popeye" and sports a large, unusual face tattoo may be as recognizable as the sailor man himself.

According to WKRC, Anthony Ward was arrested on theft and breaking-and-entering charges Wednesday after the Adams County Sheriff's Office shared his photo on Facebook.

>> Man arrested after trying to pay waitress with her own stolen credit card, police say

"Be on the look out for aka (Popeye) Anthony Ward," the post began. "Subject has Felony warrants through Brown County and wanted for questioning on several B&E's [breaking and entering]. AIso Dottie Worthington is with this subject and are driving a Black Chevy Cruz."

>> See the Facebook post here


Posted by Adams County Sheriffs Office on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The post quickly racked up 2,700 shares and more than 100 comments from bemused followers.

>> WATCH: Thieves steal kiddie pool from family's backyard on Father's Day

"Don't you have a better pic? This could be anybody," one commenter quipped.

"Now they need to put a 'be on the lookout' for a bad tattoo artist," wrote another.

>> Read more trending news 

Late Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office updated the post, saying Ward was in police custody. 

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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.” 

» WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Here’s how Dayton air show officials prepare for worst case scenarios

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.” 

» TRENDING: Air show legend will fly final solo aerobatics at Dayton Air Show

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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