Dayton Daily News

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.

The company behind a southwest Ohio racino says the project should be finished by its target date next year, though demolition and cleanup work at the Dayton site is taking longer than expected.

An official from Penn National Gaming tells the Ohio State Racing Commission workers are taking extra time to clean up concrete slabs at the site, which is a former manufacturing plant. He says the project is lagging behind construction of another Penn National racino near Youngstown that doesn't involve industrial cleanup.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in southwest Ohio says budget tightening has postponed millions of dollars in infrastructure projects at the base this year.

The Dayton Daily News reports the delayed projects at Wright-Patterson include installing miles of water lines in different areas and replacing heating and ventilation equipment at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Spokesman William Hancock tells the newspaper the projects aren't being undertaken in the current fiscal year but haven't been canceled. The next fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Officials at Ohio's largest military base are bracing for more potential spending cuts.

The Dayton Daily News reports a Pentagon directive to reduce spending at management headquarters could affect the Air Force Materiel Command offices at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The directive from the secretary of defense calls for the 20 percent cut over five years. Details aren't yet known.