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Women smashing their way into upcoming firefighter challenge 

Women are about to smash a glass ceiling, and it should come as no surprise. 

These ladies carry hammers and axes.

Jake Preston, the organizer of the annual Hunks and Ladders calendar, said this year’s Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Challenge will be co-ed for the very first time. 

>> RELATED: Here’s how to get your hands on a hot ‘Hunks and Ladders’ firefighter calendar for 2018

That means female firefighters will battle for glory at the event set to start at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at The Greene, 4450 Buckeye Lane in Beavercreek. 

Preston said he is excited to have ladies included in the fund-raiser.  

“Why not let our sisters in the fire and EMS services take a crack at it?” he said.  

Firefighters try to woo the crowd as one-by-one they compete in an obstacle course during the challenge. 

The event also will include a performance by the band Stranger, beer sales and other activities. 

Funds raised at the free event and from sales of the 2018 Hunks and Ladders calendar benefit A Special Wish Foundation Inc., Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial Association and Pink Ribbon Driven.

>> This 10-year-old Dayton cancer survivor's special wish? He wants to dance with Ellen 

Preston is searching for this year’s competitors. 

The fitness challenge is open to all Ohio firefighters. 

Audience members and judges — this writer included — will help select the top 12 firefighters for the 2019 Hunks and Ladders calendar.

A champion will be belted and receive a $1,000 travel gift certificate. The second-place winner will receive a $500 gift certificate and the third-place winner will receive a $250 gift certificate. 

>> PHOTOS: Art Ball 2018, Dayton’s red carpet night

Hunks and Ladders was started in 1987 as a fundraiser for the burn unit at Children’s Hospital. 

The 1988 calendar was Hunks and Ladders’ first. 

All 118 firefighters featured in the project’s 30 years are featured in this year’s calendar, which is on sale now at the Dayton Firefighters Credit Union, 338 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton. 

The calendars also will be sold at the combat challenge in July.  

Through the years, Hunks and Ladders firefighters were recognized by talk show host Oprah Winfrey and appeared on Phil Donahue’s national show. 

 >> MORE: How Phil Donahue accidentally made broadcast history in Dayton

The first combat challenge was held in 2015. 

Want to go?

WHAT: Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge

WHEN: Begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21

WHERE:The Greene, 4450 Buckeye Lane, Beavercreek

COST: Free 

INFO: hunksandladders.org or Facebook

PHOTOS: Summer concerts we can’t wait for at Fraze Pavilion

Summer concert season is officially under way. Here are some of the biggest and best acts coming to Fraze Pavilion in Kettering during the summer of 2018.

Folks behind one of Dayton’s most beloved festivals now serving lunch TODAY 

You don’t have to wait until the dog days of summer to enjoy the tastes of one of Dayton’s favorite festivals. 

Dayton Liederkranz-Turner, the German club behind Germanfest Picnic set for Aug. 10, 11 and 12 at RiverScape MetroPark, introduced a new Monday lunch a week ago. 

Patricia Kister, a loyal member of the club located at 1400 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill historic neighborhood, hipped us on to the lunch and even shared a few pics.

>> PHOTOS: Fall Bier Fest 

The lunch to be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays—today included — is open to the public.

Carryout meals are available.

The menu includes brats, metts, schnitzel with gravy and a host of Germantastic sides like red cabbage, potato salad, noodles and of course sauerkraut. 

>> Carillon Park cancels German festival in wake of backlash

The club will also have weekly specials, according to a post on its Facebook page. 

Today’s special is rouladen /rotkraut and spätzle. 

On June 18, the club expects to serve linse and spätzle with a salad as a special.  On June 25, it will be  weiß wurst with a pretzel.

Prost to that! 

>> RELATED: Bacon — and a lot of it — key to beloved Germanfest Picnic dish

WHAT TO GO?

What: German lunch 

Where: Dayton Liederkranz Turner, 1400 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill historic neighborhood

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays. 

Price: Most meals are $7.50 to $12.50

Contact: FacebookWebsite 

New brewpub in the works in Yellow Springs at former restaurant location

Visitors to today’s Yellow Springs Street Fair were greeted by a sign on the outside of the former Williams Eatery that a new brewpub, Trail Town Brewing, was “coming soon” at that location.

We’ve reached out to the owners of Trail Town Brewing to get more information about their plans.

>> RELATED: Yellow Springs restaurant Williams Eatery shuts down after nearly decade-long run

Yellow Springs village records show that the future brewpub founders are leasing the former restaurant space at 101 Corry St. with plans to open a brewpub, although the owners have encountered delays and are awaiting renovations to the building to meet Greene County health and building codes.

>> NEW TODAY: Applebee’s shuts down one of its Dayton-area restaurants

The founders are hoping to introduce visitors and local residents to some of the dishes they’ll be serving by utilizing a food truck that would be parked in front of the future brewpub while it’s under development, village records show.

>> One-time Ohio congressional district candidate arrested while streaming incident live on Facebook

Williams Eatery shut down just before Christmas 2017 after a nearly decade-long run. 

We will bring you any new details about this new brewery and brewpub as they develop.

NEW DETAILS: Owners offer tantalizing glimpse of new brewpub plans

A founder of what may become the Miami Valley’s newest craft brewery and brewpub offered a few new details this morning, June 11, about the proposed Trail Town Brewing in downtown Yellow Springs.

 >> PHOTOS: Did we spot you (or your friends) at the Yellow Springs Street Fair Saturday?

Visitors to Saturday’s Yellow Springs Street Fair were greeted by a sign on the outside of the former Williams Eatery at 101 Corry St. that Trail Town Brewing was “coming soon” at that location.

>> 5 things to know: Applebee’s abruptly shuts down Dayton-area restaurant

Jake Brummett, co-owner of the “Wander & Wonder Yellow Springs” specialty shop in Yellow Springs, is also co-owner of the Trail Town Brewing brewpub.

>> IHOb? 5 hilarious reactions to restaurant chain’s name change

Brummett told this news outlet today that the new brewpub is “early in the permit process,” but if all goes well, Trail Town Brewing could open as early as this fall.

“(We) hope to be brewing in September and open by October,” Brummett said.

>> RELATED: Yellow Springs restaurant Williams Eatery shuts down after nearly decade-long run

Brummett is leasing the former restaurant space with plans to open a brewpub, but has encountered delays and is awaiting renovations to the building to meet Greene County health and building codes, according to the minutes of an April 9 Yellow Springs Planning Commission meeting.

>> PHOTOS: Art Ball 2018, Dayton’s red carpet night

Brummett was seeking the planning commission’s approval to introduce some of the dishes he’ll be serving by utilizing a food truck that would be parked in front of the future brewpub while it’s under development, village records show.

>> One-time Ohio congressional district candidate arrested while streaming incident live on Facebook

Williams Eatery shut down just before Christmas 2017 after a run of nearly 10 years. 

5 things to know: Applebee’s abruptly shuts down Dayton-area restaurant

Here are five things to know about Saturday’s abrupt closure of the Applebee's Grill & Bar restaurant on Wilmington Pike in Sugarcreek Twp.

  • The restaurant at 6242 Wilmington Pike is not owned directly by Applebee’s parent company, but rather by Nebraska-based RMH Franchise, which operates all Applebee’s locations in the Dayton area.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Applebee’s shuts down its Sugarcreek Twp. restaurant

  • RMH purchased all of the Applebee’s in central and southwest Ohio from a Lexington, Ky. franchise company in late 2013, a transaction that more than doubled the number of Applebee’s restaurants run by RMH. But just before that transaction closed, three Applebee’s locations in southwest and central Ohio, including one at 1450 W. Dorothy Lane in Kettering and others in Milford and Dublin, shut down. The Kettering space now houses an El Rancho Grande Mexican restaurant.

>> Local winery’s iconic sign made from 150-year-old redwood cask obliterated by storm, power pole 

  • When the purchase was complete, a spokesman for Applebee’s corporate said his company was committed to working with the new franchise owner to expand the Applebee’s footprint. “RMH is a strong, growing franchise partner, and they are committed to sustainable growth” in its markets, including southwest Ohio, Applebee’s spokesman Dan Smith said in December 2013. 

>> Applebee’s franchise owner closes one of its Kettering restaurants (December 2013)

  • Customers who showed up to eat on Saturday found the Wilmington Pike restaurant closed, but were given coupons by Applebee’s representatives for $10 off at two other Dayton-area Applebee’s: one on Delco Park Drive in Kettering, and one on Ohio 741 just north of the Dayton Mall. “Thank you for sharing your community with us,” the coupon read. “We have closed this location and look forward to seeing you at our other area Applebee’s.”

>> Dayton mother, in prison for killing son in 1992, dies in Ohio prison

  • The manager of the Sugarcreek Twp. Applebee’s on Saturday referred all questions about the closing to a spokesperson for RMH Franchise, who has not responded to requests for comment left Saturday afternoon and this morning, Monday June 11. It is not clear how many employees were affected by the shutdown, or whether any or all of those employees were offered positions at other Dayton-area Applebee’s locations. When the West Kettering Applebee’s closed in December 2013, a spokesman for Applebee’s corporate said all of that restaurant’s employees were offered positions at other restaurants. 

>> Dayton Mall Applebee’s property sold (April 2018)

>> One-time Ohio congressional district candidate arrested while streaming incident live on Facebook

JUST IN: Applebee’s shuts down one of its Dayton-area restaurants

The franchise owner of Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurants throughout Ohio has permanently shut down one of its Dayton-area restaurants effective today, Saturday, June 9.

“Thank you for sharing your community with us,” reads a coupon offering $10 off at two other Dayton-area Applebee’s, offered to customers of the restaurant at 6242 Wilmington Pike in Sugarcreek Twp. “We have closed this location and look forward to seeing you at our other area Applebee’s.”

>> One-time Ohio congressional district candidate arrested while streaming incident live on Facebook

The coupon was being handed out to prospective diners who came to the Wilmington Pike location this afternoon. 

>> Dayton Mall Applebee’s property sold (April 2018)

The general manager of the restaurant referred all questions to a spokeswoman for RMH Franchise, the restaurant-franchise company based in Lincoln, Neb. that operates Dayton-area Applebee’s restaurants. Phone and email messages left with the RMH Franchise spokeswoman were not immediately returned. 

>> Applebee’s franchise owner closes one of its Kettering restaurants (December 2013)

RMH Franchise purchased what was then 88 Ohio Applebee’s in the fall of 2013 as part of a multi-state sale by a Kentucky-based franchisee. In December 2013, the Applebee’s at 1450 W. Dorothy Lane shut down permanently. After sitting vacant for a few years, that space now houses an El Rancho Grande Mexican restaurant. 

>> Dayton mother, in prison for killing son in 1992, dies in Ohio prison

Local man broke through Anthony Bourdain’s facade during hectic Dayton visit

Downtown Dayton resident Mike Colvin had misgivings about meeting Anthony Bourdain when the celebrity chef, author and TV star brought his “Guts and Glory” tour to the Schuster Center on Nov. 18, 2012.    

In that setting, a VIP meet and greet, Colvin said it seemed a little weird to meet the man who had his dream job and got to eat and drink himself around the world.  

>> World reacts to death of Anthony Bourdain

Colvin is among the many Dayton-area residents expressing grief over the death of Bourdain, the host of CNN’s award-winning series "Parts Unknown." 

Here is how Mike explained it in a Facebook post related to Bourdain’s suicide: 

>> RESOURCES: How, where to get help locally

>> You don’t have to turn a blind eye

I was shocked to see that there was a meet and greet ticket option when he came to town. Not shocked enough to keep me from immediately exercising that option, mind you, but still… It seemed like exactly the kind of thing he would hate and refuse to do. Spending an evening forced to sit in a room and take photos with a bunch of stuffed shirts who had the economic means to afford a “VIP” experience (and me, who didn’t, but spent the money anyway) really felt like the last thing Bourdain would enjoy, and probably something he was reluctantly enduring because it was part of the contract for his tour or something. 

 At the event, I circled the room, ate finger sandwiches, and generally avoided going near him because it still felt weird to me. My suspicions about his level of enjoyment seemed confirmed, as he appeared to be making minimal conversation with guests, half-smiling for photos, and, without being rude or cold, had a general “let’s get this over with” look to him. I even overheard someone try to tell him that we had a great bourbon bar in town that he should check out, and he replied, “Yes. I’ve heard” with an undertone that indicated this was the 30th person who’d tried to get him to try a Dayton business and the 3 millionth person who’d tried to take him to the best spot in their town, and he was over it. 

>>  Photos: Anthony Bourdain through the years

 The event was almost over, and I decided that, weird or not weird, this was why I was here. So I got in the line of the few remaining people waiting to meet him. Each person approached, said whatever they had planned to say to him, and received a polite but incredibly succinct response as he signed their books and allowed them to pose for photos with him. When it was my turn, I said “Thank you for being here,” paused, and said “and thank you for doing THIS.” Without looking at me, he calmly said, “You’re welcome. Thank you” and we took a picture. 

 As I turned to walk away, I suddenly got the urge to say something to break through the monotony and rote process of his evening and see if I could get a reaction, partially for my own selfish reasons of wanting a better experience with him, but also to try to give him something other than an hour of book signing and photos with people spouting “we watch you all the time” pseudo-praise at him. 

 On his various shows, I had always enjoyed the fact that he couldn’t help himself when it came to making Apocalypse Now/Heart of Darkness references. He’d work a quote in every time he was near a river or in a jungle or anywhere else he could. There was always a comment about Kurtz or staying on the boat or Martin Sheen to be thrown into his own situation in the moment. During his presentation that had preceded the VIP event, he had listed some of the places he’d be going soon to film the upcoming season. One of them was the Congo. 

 My photo snapped and my uneventful interaction with Tony finished, I turned to leave and stopped in my tracks. Over my shoulder, I said, “If you’re going to the Congo, I expect at least 12 references to Heart of Darkness or Apocalypse Now in that episode.” I looked back to see his eyes get wide and a smile come across his face as he looked at me and said, “Oh, hell yeah. We’ll steal the f@$king music, too.” 

 Thanks, Tony.”

>>  The six amazing women behind some of Dayton’s best food

DAYTON CHEF MARIAH MCNALLY SAYS IT IS HARD TO HEAR PERSONAL HERO DIED

DAYTON DAILY NEWS COPY EDITOR KATHI KIZIRNIS:  “I’D KILL FOR HALF HIS INTELLECT. “ 

“He had a snarky side and I enjoy that”

“Well, we only met him at the meet and greet thing but he was exactly the way he is on TV, just like you expect: smart, friendly enough, no B.S. So sad for his young daughter,” she wrote in Facebook message. 

>> The memorable first time Anthony Bourdain visited Waffle House

This article contains information from WHIO-TV reporter Caroline Reinwald

Elsa’s — already poised to open in Sugarcreek Twp. — eyes another new location in south suburbs

Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant, which is poised to open a large cantina-style restaurant in the Sugarcreek Plaza off Wilmington Pike, may have another new location in the works soon in Springboro. 

The Dayton-based Mexican restaurant chain applied earlier this week for liquor licenses for space at 774 N. Main St. in Springboro. 

>> Land of Illusion to transform from scream park to water park starting today

>> NEW TODAY: New Dayton bakery coming this fall is sweeter for more reasons than one

Reached this morning, here’s what Elsa’s co-owner Jason Hemmert said about the applications:

“We are being proactive in applying for the liquor license, since there are not many available in that area, and we are in early negotiations for the space, which is currently BW3's in Springboro.”

BEST OF DAYTON: Elsa’s wins for Best Margarita

“Though not finalized, we are working hard at it and hope this will be the next great Elsa's location. We have been looking for some time to go down that way with our concept.”

RELATED: Centerville strip mall demolished next to Elsa’s

Elsa’s, which operates four restaurants and sports bars in and around Dayton, is putting the finishing touches on its fifth location, Elsa’s Corner Cantina, at 6204 Wilmington Pike in the Sugarcreek Plaza in Sugarcreek Twp. The space previously housed Caramella’s Italian Kitchen, and, before that, Murphy’s Irish Pub and Barleycorn’s.

>> RELATED: Dayton area’s 5th Elsa’s gearing up to open in Sugarcreek Twp.

Hemmert said this morning final inspections are scheduled for next week, and after a training period for staff, the cantina-style restaurant will open its doors to the public. The restaurant will seat about 140 inside and about 60 outside and will hire 35 to 45 employees, Hemmert has said.

RELATED: Elsa’s Kettering reopens today after 3-week makeover

Elsa’s also operates locations on Linden Avenue in Dayton, on Wilmington Avenue in Dayton, on Far Hills Avenue in Centerville, and on East Stroop Road in Kettering.

Cincinnati Zoo to transform habitats with $50 million donation

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden will launch a $150 million capital campaign that will help expand space for elephants, rhinos and kangaroos so the animals have “more home to roam,” Cincinnati news partner WCPO reported this morning.

Another entrance will be added to the zoo to help accommodate its 1.8 million visitors. The zoo also received a $50 million gift from Harry and Linda Fath. The elephant yard will be expanded from one acre to five so the zoo can accommodate up to 10 elephants, Director Thane Maynard said, and the expansion could mean more breeding in the future.

» YOUR PERFECT WEEKEND: 20 things you have to do, see, eat in Cincinnati

“The improvements made possible by the Faths’ generous donation will help maximize the visitor experience and provide better care and well-being for the animals that live at the Zoo, especially the elephants. The jewel of the campaign will be a giant habitat, nearly five times the size of the current elephant yards, for the Zoo’s giants,” the Zoo said.

Wildlife Canyon will be transformed to include a two-level activity course called “Roo Valley.” Beneath the trees, guests will enjoy the 15,000-square-foot grassy kangaroo walkabout with kangaroos and wallabies mere feet away. The little penguins will also get a new home complete with underwater viewing for guests.

The zoo will also add a beer garden, expected to open in 2020. A new multi-tiered seating area will be added behind the Watering Hole food and beer station where guests can relax and enjoy the view of Roo Valley.

More than 1.5 million people visit the zoo annually, and it features more than 500 animals and 3,000 plant species.

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