WEEC NEWS – TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2014


There was some news on the Wright State Campus yesterday!

I’m Ruth Book reporting for the WEEC News!

Wright State cancelled all classes and activities for Monday after an acid spill on the campus forced the evacuation of nine buildings. Acetic acid is used to clean glass and laboratories and was spilled in the basement of Oelman Hall at 9:50 yesterday morning, according to the university. A lab technician dropped a 2.5 liter bottle of the chemical said Steve Farrell, director of environmental health and safety. Classes were cancelled in the nine buildings and students and staff were told to avoid the tunnels that connect the buildings. The spill was cleaned and buildings and tunnels vented.

A grant has been awarded to renovate the former Springfield South High School to create a college and career readiness center that will benefit students from across the region. A consortium of Clark County Schools has been granted $11.3 million from the state of Ohio. The consortium is made up of the Springfield City School District, Clark-Shawnee Local, Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center and the Global Impact STEM Academy. Currently the STEM Academy is operating from the Clark State Community College.

State leaders say the majority of students, more than 110,000 passed Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee this year. The preliminary reading scores on the Ohio Achievement Test indicated 88 percent of third graders earned scores high enough to be promoted to fourth-grade. That is up from 63 percent who passed the test in the fall. John Charlton with the Ohio Department of Education says Ohioans can be pleased with the efforts of local districts. Schools can give students who didn’t pass two more opportunities to earn a high enough score, either by taking the reading test this summer or by using an approved alternative assessment administered by the school district. Lawmakers made the reading guarantee law in 2012 to prevent students from moving ahead without having the necessary skills for success in school. Charlton says the reading standard is an intervention policy. He says districts try to identify students who struggle with reading. John Charlton is associate director of communications for the Ohio Department of Education.

There were several fires reported around the area overnight and this morning. In Troy a family of five escaped a fire in their apartment overnight and firefighters treated two pet cats with oxygen. Flames broke out in the garage of the building on Wayne Avenue. Although there are four apartments in the building, damage was confined to one unit.

Trotwood was the city for a house fire just after 6am. That fire was caused by an electrical problem in the attic. Two adults and six children made it out of the home without injuries.
We travel to Piqua for our third fire which was reported just before 5am this morning in the 300 block of Young Street. A woman was trapped in the second story of the home and was rescued by firefighters, then taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. An older sibling in the home helped two younger siblings to escape.

The 150 year old former Champaign County Jail was demolished this week to make room for a new $800,000 sally port in Champaign County. You are probably asking the same question I did…”What is a sally port”? This is an enclosed area to help officers during their transport of prisoners. It has a garage-like design and the garage opens then shuts before officers begin to unload prisoners and transport them to Champaign County Court for legal proceedings. Champaign County shares the Tri-County Regional Jail with union and Delaware Counties.

Continuing our news on local jails, we move to Clark County, where the jail has recently re-opened its modular units under the building because of an increase in female inmates. The number of women incarcerated in the Clark County Jail has increased by 400 percent from when the jail opened in 1983, said Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly. The modular units consist of six metal trailers. Five house the women with bunks, desks and even cable TVs. The sixth trailer is a restroom with shower stalls, sinks and toilets. Sheriff Kelly said they are the same basic structures the military used to house soldiers fighting overseas.

We’re paying a little less at the gas pump as we start the work week. The cost for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was averaging $3.74 a gallon Monday according to AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX, INc. That’s 12 cents less than a week ago. The national average was $3.68 per gallon…a few cents more than a week ago. In Ohio prices range from $3.60 a gallon in Toledo to $3.80 in the Dayton area. Analysts say unrest in Iraq has kept the price of crude oil higher.

A key intelligence operation at Wright Patterson Air Force Base is about to get a new building. Ohio lawmakers have announced $29.5 million to build a facility for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center headquarters on the base. The “Foreign Material Exploitation” or “FME” facility will study the arms or equipment capabilities of foreign armed forces. Col. Leah Lauderback, NASIC commander said, “This facility will give us an ability to continue this mission in the future as weapon systems become more and more advanced.” NASIC has about 3,000 military and civilian employees and a budget of about $350 million.

Wittenberg University is set to welcome 572 new students this fall, up from 521 in 2012. The school still faces a long-term $3.5 million deficit though. The increase in enrollment shows the university has made significant progress in the past two years as officials work to close a five-year, $7-million budget shortfall, President Laurie Joyner said in a News Sun interview. The university estimates its impact in Springfield at $70.7 million annually and has 372 full-time employees and 98 part-time. Wittenberg plans to partner with Clark State in a nursing program.

Urbana University will start its first capital improvement project since Franklin University acquired the school in April. An anonymous donor gave $70,000 toward library improvements. Construction will begin this summer or fall. Pam Shay, the Franklin University representative helping with the transition and new upgrades is originally from Springfield and now works on the Urbana campus. Shay said maintenance crews will also repair roofs, windows, sidewalks, streets and remove dead trees around the campus and all faculty and staff should get new computers in July.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely tonight with lows going down to 68. There is a 30 percent possibility of some showers extending into Wednesday morning, but then the sun should come out and highs will hit 81. 81 is the forecast high for Thursday as well, with sunny skies. The National Weather Service is calling for a 30 percent chance for some rain during the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with highs at 83 for Friday and Saturday, going up to 85 on Sunday.