Dayton Daily News

A general says automatic defense budget cuts will slow research and technology development and cancel some special night and weekend events at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Ohio.

Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger leads the Air Force Materiel Command from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. She tells the Dayton Daily News the cuts likely will delay aircraft replacement and modernization, halt most flight testing and create a backlog in maintenance operations.

Fewer Ohioans are going into business for themselves these days, with the number of self-employed in the state at its lowest level since 2001.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Ohio's level of self-employment is one of the lowest in the nation.

The newspaper says it's declined partly because traditional self-employment industries such as construction and real estate were devastated by the recession and have been slow to come back.

Also, some economists say the state's economy and job growth is concentrated in fields that are not ideal for self-employment.

Business owners and officials of cities surrounding Wright Patterson Air Force Base say they are increasingly uneasy about possible furloughs brought on by sequestration.

Wright-Patterson Air could furlough up to 13,000 civilian employees for 22 days beginning in April if Congress and President Barack Obama fail to avert sequestration, or automatic defense and domestic spending reductions set to begin March 1st.

The Pentagon said Wednesday that those civilian employees could be notified by mid-March.

An annual Dayton festival planned around the start of the NCAA men's basketball tournament has been canceled this year.

Organizers said it was necessary because the NCAA is no longer permitting local sponsorships of public events surrounding the tournament.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the First Four Festival in the city's historic Oregon District was planned for March 17. The University of Dayton Arena is the annual site of the tournament's opening game, a "play-in" contest between the two lowest-seeded teams.

Dayton city officials have approved development plans for a $125 million racino on the former site of an automotive plant.

Construction is expected to begin this spring on the harness-racing track, which will include a 600-seat grandstand and 1,500 slots-like video terminals. It's being built on the site of a razed Delphi plant and is expected to open in mid-2014.

The Dayton Daily News reports that project is expected to create 1,000 jobs and another 1,000 during construction.

A recent military crackdown on inappropriate material in work spaces found dozens of instances at an Ohio Air Force Base.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spokesman Daryl Mayer said nothing documented was deemed obscene, but there were 224 instances of "inappropriate" materials, such as photos, calendars and magnets.

Inspectors also counted 46 instances of "unprofessional" material with posters, cartoons, documents or coins at the base near Dayton.

A gaming company says it plans to start laying the foundation for a new horse racing track in southwest Ohio in April, if weather permits demolition and environmental remediation work remains on schedule.

Penn National Gaming Inc. plans to open Hollywood Slots at Dayton Raceway on the site of a shuttered auto plant. But the track still faces some obstacles.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the gaming company's applications to state commissions to relocate Raceway Park from Toledo to Dayton and to become a video lottery sales agent are pending.

A Miami Valley is making a big push into solar energy.

Construction should start this month at Cedarville University for a solar array of more than 2,000 kilowatts. Power should flow in April.

The school says the energy will be enough for 250 homes, besides bringing the environmental benefits of using solar power.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Cedarville has made solar technology part of its curriculum for years. The Christian-based school has some 3,400 students.
 
   
 

The Ohio Department of Education notified the Fairborn City School District yesterday that it will be placed in "a state of fiscal caution" next week and the Huber Heights City School District is also facing a similar designation.  It would mean that the districts would borrow money from the state for operations which would need to be repaid.

The number of prisoners on Ohio's death row is decreasing as new death sentences are outnumbered by inmates who are executed or die from other causes or are freed through clemency or appeals.

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