Dayton Daily News

A veterans center in Dayton is planning a $5 million renovation of the dementia unit of its long-term care facility.

Officials at the Dayton VA Medical Center tell the Dayton Daily News that the project calls for modernizing the 40-bed unit with updated safety and technology features, and "quality-of-life" enhancements.

Hospital officials say the renovation is part of $84 million in upgrades already approved for federal funding.

The medical center provides medical care to more than 35,000 veterans a year at its campus, west of downtown Dayton.

Opening games of the NCAA men's basketball tournament return to southwest Ohio this year, but a Dayton street party marking the tournament's start will not.

The Dayton Daily News reports the party held in 2012 as the First Four Festival included food and music and drew about 15,000 people. Organizers canceled it last year, saying the NCAA no longer allowed local sponsorships of public events surrounding the tournament, but said they expected to have a festival again in 2014.

A grand jury has concluded a law enforcement officer appropriately used force in shooting and killing a man who fired at authorities in a standoff at his western Ohio home.

The Dayton Daily News reports a grand jury reviewed evidence Monday and declined to indict anyone in the death of 42-year-old Paul Schenck of Yellow Springs.

Authorities were called to Schenck's home, roughly 15 miles east of Dayton, over a domestic dispute July 30.

Investigators say Schenck fired at least 191 shots out of his home. Some hit neighboring houses and law enforcement vehicles.

Ohio's three largest cities all have hopes of landing a Democratic or Republican national convention in 2016.

Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati officials all figure that Ohio's importance as a presidential swing state will help their cause. All three say they have good facilities, hotel space and transportation links for hosting such large conventions.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the capital of Columbus has gotten an early jump, and Cincinnati is a latecomer in the competition.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is expected to privatize more energy and utility operations as it tries to offset steep cuts in the federal defense budget.

The base has already asked for bids to privately manage two water plants on the base that pump more than three millions of gallons a day out of an underground aquifer.

Base spokesman Daryl Mayer tells the Dayton Daily News that the Defense Logistics Agency also has asked for bids to maintain the base infrastructure for waste water collection and natural gas distribution at the state's largest single-site employer.

The next major construction work in the years-long Interstate 75 project in Dayton will focus on two concrete bridge decks over the Great Miami River.

The Dayton Daily News reports that workers have been preparing dirt embankments, piers and substructures for the southbound portion of the highway through the city. The Ohio Department of Transportation plans in late 2014 to being demolition and reconstruction of the northbound bridges.

Aviation-related classes have been canceled at Ohio's largest military base as a result of furloughs triggered by the federal government shutdown.

The Dayton Daily News reports the Air Force Institute of Technology suspended classes this week at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. About 8,700 civilian employees were sent home without pay when the partial federal government shutdown began Tuesday.

Services agencies across Ohio are spending an estimated $1.2 million a year trying to locate and get information to military veterans about benefits.

The Dayton Daily News reports that county agencies pay for billboards, newspaper ads and other outreach efforts as they struggle to find veterans. The president of Warren County's veterans service commission says it spends a lot of money on postage trying to reach veterans, but officials said a major outreach effort by mail in 2008 resulted in a response rate under 10 percent.

Work has begun on a new river recreation project in southwest Ohio.

What will be known as Mad River Run in Dayton is expected to draw kayaks and canoes. It will feature a 2,100-foot whitewater stretch that includes a drop, with more drops planned when funds become available.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Five Rivers MetroParks says the project includes conservation measures, with bank stabilization work.

The first phase of construction is funded in part by a $100,000 Dayton Rotary Club donation.

The University of Dayton is giving 100 students free bicycles in exchange for their promise not to bring cars to the southwest Ohio campus for two years.

The Dayton Daily News reports the giveaway is part of the university's efforts to shrink its carbon footprint and form a bike friendly campus. It also builds on a bike-sharing program created at the school two years ago.

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