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Taco Bell offering free tacos on Tuesday

Taco Bell announced today it would offer one free Doritos Locos taco to customers on Tuesday afternoon, June 21, as part of the restaurant chain’s “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” NBA promotion.

The special offer will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday only. Taco Bell had announced prior to the NBA Finals that it would give away Doritos Locos tacos if a team won on its opponent’s home court in the NBA Finals — and that ended up happening not once, but three times, with the Golden State Warriors winning Game 4 in Cleveland, then the Cavaliers winning Games 5 and 7 on Golden State’s home court.

No purchase is necessary, according to the promotion’s terms and conditions, and as always, the offer will be good at participating Taco Bell locations. There is, of course, a limit of one free taco per customer.

Cincinnati Reds to celebrate Pete Rose Weekend

Cincinnati Reds fans will get a welcome distraction from an abysmal season next weekend. The Reds will induct the Hit King, Pete Rose, into their Hall of Fame on Saturday at Great American Ball Park before a game against the Padres.

The induction ceremony is one part of a series of events dedicated to the most famous former Red.

Friday: A pregame ceremony will feature members of the Big Red Machine celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1976 World Series Champions. Players scheduled to attend include: Santo Alcala; Bob Bailey; Johnny Bench (Sunday events); Jack Billingham; Dave Concepcion; Pat Darcy; Dan Driessen; Rawly Eastwick; George Foster; Cesar Geronimo; Ken Griffey, Sr.; Don Gullett; Mike Luml; Will McEnaney; Fred Norman; Tony Perez; Manny Sarmiento; Don Werner; Joel Youngblood; and Pat Zachry.

Reds players and coaches will wear 1976 uniforms for the 7:10 p.m. game against the Padres. All fans in attendance will receive a 1976 team photo. Fans can purchase a 1976 World Series replica ring ticket package.

Saturday: The induction ceremony will take place on the field before a 4:10 p.m. game. All fans in attendance receive a Pete Rose poster.

Sunday: Rose’s No. 14 jersey will be retired in a pregame ceremony. All fans in attendance will receive a Pete Rose print.

Local Chick-fil-A to give away $1,000 a day in free food

The Chick-fil-A restaurant at 1482 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp. will shut down in late July for reconstruction, but franchise owner Marla Davis has decided to keep her nearly 100 employees on the payroll during the month-long hiatus while they focus on community service and outreach.

“Our goal is to give back to the community that has graciously supported us and made it necessary for our restaurant to expand,” Davis said this morning. “As a team, we will creatively give away $1,000 a day in free food, $30,000 total.”

When news of the $1 million renovation and expansion project and month-long shutdown broke last year, employees were apprehensive about being out of work, Davis said.

“I did not want them to have to go on unemployment,” she said. “I want them to know they’re my team, my family.”

Davis also is the franchise owner of the Chick-fil-A that opened in December at the Cornerstone of Centerville, and the Washington Twp. restaurant’s catering operations will transfer there during the renovations. The Washington Twp. store has the smallest kitchen of any of the Chick-fil-As in Dayton or Cincinnati, but ranks in the top 25 among the chain’s 1,600 restaurants in catering sales, Davis said.

Lauren Weaver, operations director of the Washington Twp. restaurant and Davis’ daughter, said employees are relieved at the decision and have already begun brainstorming outreach ideas.

“There’s a lot of excitement,” Weaver said. “They’re really getting behind the project.”

Those with ideas for outreach projects can email the store at 01535@chick-fil-a.com.

Trooper saves infant after woman rolls vehicle

An Ohio Highway Patrol trooper rushed to put out a fire after a woman rolled her vehicle during a pursuit, and after putting out the flames he discovered an infant hanging from a seat belt in a back seat.

“I opened up the door and there’s a 4-month infant hanging from the seat belt in the back seat in a car seat,” Trooper Sean Eitel told WBNS.

Eitel had been pursuing the vehicle after he said spotted the driver, Brandy Wilson, 35, driving erratically on Ohio 16 in Newark, a city about 30 miles east of Columbus.

Wilson pulled away from Eitel during the pursuit and sped up, eventually running a stop sign and striking a utility pole, Eitel said.

Wilson’s vehicle burst into flames and Eitel grabbed a fire extinguisher, not knowing that the baby was trapped inside.

“She started going towards the back of the car,” Eitel said, describing what Wilson was doing after the flames were extinguished. “An then I could hear her say ‘My baby!’”

The infant boy was rescued from the vehicle after Eitel cut the seat belt free. The child was left with family while the mother was taken into custody on a series of charges.

Wilson was charged with driving under suspension, reckless operation, failure to yield, failure to comply and two counts of child endangering.

Wheelchair-bound veteran shoots, kills intruder

A wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran fatally shot a man who forced his way into the veteran’s residence, authorities said.

Eddie Frank Smith, 69, was at home in Monticello about 9 p.m. Thursday when Andre Smith, 22, (no known relation), forced his way into Eddie Frank Smith’s home through a rear door, according to a media release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, or GBI.

When Eddie Frank Smith went to investigate, Andre Smith lunged toward the resident. Eddie Frank Smith shot the intruder once in the chest, according to the GBI.

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The intruder ran away and collapsed about 100 yards from the residence. Both Eddie Frank Smith and neighbors called 911. Andre Smith later died at Jasper Memorial Hospital.

An autopsy was performed on Andre Smith at the GBI crime lab in Decatur. The investigation continues, and results will be turned over to the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review, according to the GBI.

50 Cent issues apology after bullying autistic airport worker

 Rapper 50 Cent is apologizing for posting a video accusing a Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport worker with autism of being high.

“While the incident at the airport resulted from an unfortunate misunderstanding, I am truly sorry for offending the young man,” the rapper told Page Six in a statement. “It was certainly not my intent to insult him or the disability community, which is a source of great strength in America. I have apologized personally to him and his family.”

Jungle Jim's and Arrow Wine have pulled Effen, the vodka 50 Cent promotes, off of their store shelves.

According to TMZ, the family has hired an attorney. 

>> Local stores yank 50 Cent-sponsored vodka from shelves after 'bullying' incident First report:

50 Cent really looks more like two bits in a viral video.

The rapper who made appearances in Dayton and Cincinnati last weekend put his foot in his mouth when he posted a video on Twitter accusing a young worker at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport of being high.

According to WKRC in Cincinnati, Andrew Farrell, a teenage contract worker at the airport, has social anxiety and mild autism.

He was on his way to clean a gate when he was approached by 50 Cent.

The TV station interviewed the young man and his parents.

“It hurts to watch that. It’s painful,” Farrell’s stepfather Ken Kramer said. “You come up, and you start talking to a kid you know nothing about. That’s not fair. That’s a slap in the face.”

They want an apology and, according to TMZ, have hired an attorney and want $1 million for bullying. 

The Ruderman Family Foundation, a national leader in disability inclusion, has denounced the rapper.

“50 Cent’s recent taunting of Andrew Farrell, a young man with disabilities, at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is reprehensible and has no place in our society,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “I’m sure 50 Cent would not want anyone to publicly humiliate his friends and family in the manner he humiliated this young man with disabilities who was just minding his business while doing his job.”

IHOP coming to Bechtle Avenue in Springfield

By the numbers

80: Estimated jobs created by new IHOP location in Springfield.

60: Parking spaces IHOP is requesting for new restaurant.

$2.9 million: Money being spent on three new retail stores on North Bechtle Avenue, including a $2.1 million Hobby Lobby location.

An IHOP restaurant is coming to a new shopping center on Bechtle Avenue in Springfield as the busy retail corridor continues to rebound after a slow down during the Great Recession.

The national breakfast chain, also known as the International House of Pancakes, will build a new restaurant in an outlot at 2206 Bechtle Ave., near the new Hobby Lobby development.

Over the past six months, more than $2.9 million has been spent on new retail stores on Bechtle Avenue.

The shopping center north of Walmart was originally planned in 2006, but the recession slowed the development, said Stephen Thompson, Springfield’s planning, zoning and code enforcement administrator.

“It’s good to finally see these projects come to fruition,” Thompson said.

The new IHOP could break ground as early as May 16, said Jamila Gilbert, marketing director for the developer of the Miami Valley region’s IHOPs. A late summer opening has been targeted, she said.

The restaurant will be IHOP’s newest prototype, called the Rise and Shine Design, Gilbert said. The lot will be about 1 acre and could include a more than 8,400-square-foot restaurant, according to city planning records.

It was announced last year that seven IHOP restaurants were planned for the Miami Valley market but not all of the locations had been released.

The Miami Valley’s IHOPs are being developed by Las Cruces, New Mexico-based Prestige Development Group, which is still in the process of closing on the Bechtle Avenue property.

The first of those restaurants opened in Beavercreek late last year. Each site will create as many as 80 jobs, development officials told this news organization last year.

“We’re excited to be developing in the region again,” Gilbert said.

The restaurant filed a variance to increase the number of parking spaces at its location and will appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals on May 16. The restaurant wants 60 parking spaces, more than the typical 46. City staff will be recommended approval of the variance, Thompson said.

It’s the latest in a string of developments on Bechtle Avenue. Hobby Lobby spent about $2.1 million to construct a new 55,000-square-foot location on North Bechtle Avenue, while Kay Jewelers recently opened a new $163,000 location inside the Bechtle Crossing shopping center at 1654 N. Bechtle Ave.

Dollar Tree is also currently building a $658,000 location in one of outlots in front of the Hobby Lobby development. The former Dollar Tree and Ashley Furniture locations are both being demolished to build a Dick’s Sporting Goods later this year.

The corridor also includes several major retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot, Kohls, Meijer and Lowes.

IHOP operates multiple franchise restaurants in the Columbus and Cincinnati markets. But prior to the opening of the Beavercreek restaurant, the closest IHOPs to Springfield were in Columbus, Grove City and West Chester.

The IHOP will be a good addition to the corridor, Springfield resident Rick Boop said. The city needs more breakfast spots in town, he said, especially in light of the recent Perkins closings.

“A lot of people liked those (restaurants),” Boop said.

Springfield resident Lauren Davey has never eaten at IHOP but believes it will be good for the area. She also hopes to see another breakfast spot enter the market.

“We should get a Waffle House first though,” she said.

Prince’s memorable performances in Dayton

PRINCE’S CONCERTS AROUND THE REGION

Here’s a complete list of regional performances:

  • Feb. 11, 1980 — Cincinnati – Bogarts
  • April 20, 1980 — Dayton – University of Dayton Arena
  • Dec. 27, 1981 — Trotwood – Hara Arena
  • March 14, 1982 — Cincinnati – Riverfront Coliseum
  • Nov. 18, 1982 — Columbus – Veterans Memorial Auditorium
  • Dec. 12, 1982 — Cincinnati – Riverfront Coliseum
  • March 3, 1983 — Trotwood – Hara Arena
  • Sept. 22, 1988 — Cincinnati – Riverfront Coliseum
  • Sept. 19, 1997 — Dayton — WSU-Ervin J. Nutter Center
  • Nov. 9, 1997 — Cincinnati – The Crown
  • May 13, 1998 — Columbus – Battelle Hall At G.C.C.C.
  • Nov. 20, 2000 — Cincinnati – Cincinnati Music Hall
  • June 21, 2001 — Columbus – Nationwide Arena
  • March 5, 2002 — Columbus – Ohio Theatre
  • April 13, 2004 — Cincinnati – US Bank Arena
  • April 16, 2004 — Columbus – Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center (OSU)

 

THE MUSIC

Prince vinyls and CDs have always been hot-sellers at Omega Music in Dayton. The music store has received several calls already today with music fans wanting to scoop up his greatest works, said Greg Staiger, co-owner. 

The store is currently sold out of vinyls and does still have a few CDS. Bracing for a spike in sales, the music store is restocking.

“We expect to bring in classic albums, CDs, really the whole gamut,” he said.

YOUR PRINCE MEMORIES

Our Facebook fans shared some of their memories and tributes to Prince on our pages.

From WHIO Facebook:

Beverly Fogel Parris: “A friend in high school got a purple jeep for her 16th birthday because she loved him so much. We drive down the street blasting “‘Purple Rain’ much to all the neighbors dislike.”

Sonny’s Angels: “It’s a sad day in America. I think today everyone at work should be sent home and have tomorrow off. Today should be considered National Prince Day!!!”

Now it’s your turn: Share your memories on our Facebook page or email us at life@coxinc.com and include your first and last name, hometown and the subject line PRINCE IN DAYTON.

The death of music legend Prince — a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member who won seven Grammy Awards and sold more than 100 million records — sent shockwaves through the nation and this community.

We spoke with some local concert-goers and superfans about their memories of Prince and the mark he has left on the world through a unique brand of music that blended funk, soul, R&B and pop.

LOCAL CONCERT MEMORIES

Prince has appeared in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus several times throughout his career.

Dayton tour stops included an April 20, 1980 show at the University of Dayton Arena, a Dec. 27, 1981 show and a March 3, 1983 show at Hara Arena in Trotwood and a Sept. 19, 1997 show at the Wright State Ervin J. Nutter Center.

Prince headlined a sold-out concert at Hara on March 3, 1983 as part of the 1999 Tour with opening acts The Time and Vanity 6, said Karen Wampler, marketing director, Dayton Hara Complex.

“It was one of the best dressed concert crowds we’ve ever seen,” Wampler said.

Prince announced his Sept. 19, 1997 show at the Nutter Center, part of his Jam of the Year World Tour, just eight days before the show date. News reports said dozens were camped out the night before tickets went on sale. At that time, Reba McEntire held the record for fastest sellout at the facility. Most expected Prince to break it.

Misty Cox, marketing manager for the Nutter Center, recalls that concert day. She had just recently started working there as an intern, and this was the first big show she worked on.

“We booked the show, put the tickets on sale and planned the show all within just two weeks,” Cox recalled. “It was crazy!”

And all that hype paid off with a sold-out, high energy concert at the Nutter that she will never forget, she said.

“It was Prince. It was electric,” she said.

Even more exciting was meeting the superstar while on the job, she said.

“It was unbelievable,” she said. “He was very polite and soft-spoken, and he was wearing these big platform boots.”

“I can’t believe he’s gone,” Cox said.

Carlos Holmes, manager of safety and security for Cox Media Group Ohio, also attended the Nutter Center concert.

“That was the 10th time seeing him in concert,” he said. “I camped out for tickets. I’ve seen him in several places – from New York to Detroit. His concert tour for the 1999 tour was the first concert I’d ever been to, as a teenager.

“My favorite song is ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover.’ He played that in Dayton. It was a nice crowd. He was just a phenomenal musician – I just watched Purple Rain two weeks ago.”

Here is an excerpt from a review of the Nutter Center concert that appeared in the Sept. 21, 1997 issue of Dayton Daily News, written by Ray Marcano:

“… Nearly everyone in the house stood during his two-hour show. And the show lived up to its billing — it was the Jam of the Year.

Sure, he played all the hits everyone knows — some in their entirety, some in medleys — but he showed, in two solo efforts, why he’s one of the most talented musicians. His solo work on the guitar was flawless and his piano medley that included Diamonds and Pearls and The Beautiful Ones was equally terrific.

He also showed why he’s the best popular music showman since James Brown, prancing and dancing along the stage and on top of his purple piano named “Beautiful,” and directing his band so the music matched every hip wiggle, hand motion and head movement.”

MEMORIES FROM A SUPER FAN

Anthony Shoemaker, political editor for Cox Media Group Ohio and devoted lifelong Prince fan, shares what the legendary artist means to him:

“I remember being 8 years old in front of the TV with the old brown cable box with a cord dancing around to ‘Let’s Go Crazy.’ That was my first memory of Prince. Knowing I’d heard something amazing, it never stopped. As a teen, I bought every album, loved every movie — even ‘Under the Cherry Moon.’ I remember one time my parents took me and some friends to the Ohio State Fair when I was around 15. I put my headphones on with my Walkman and ignored everyone because I had just bought ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ on tape. To put it simply, his music made me happy. I grew up with it. When I hear it, it changes my mood,” he said.

Shoemaker went to concerts in Dayton, Cincinnati, Chicago and Columbus as well as annual fan club convention in Toledo.

“Those were die-hard fans,” he said. “When he played Wright State in 1997, I DJ’d three hours of his music on WWSU.”

“Last August on my 40th birthday, (my wife) managed to get me in for a dance party at Paisley Park in Minneapolis. I remember walking in and the first thing you see is the bike from Purple Rain. It was odd to see it in person after remembering it from your childhood. We played on his purple pool table, danced around and then he came out and talked to the crowd. He welcomed us to his home and then walked off stage. He walked right by us.”

“For me, he was a great artist and entertainer, but the reality of it is he provided the soundtrack of my life. The music I loved as a child through now. I’m sad I’ll never see another concert, hear him live again or that he’ll create any new music. But he has so much unreleased work that he will be putting out music long after today.”

Comedian Lewis Black in Dayton this week

Comedian/playwright Lewis Black will be in Dayton this week to attend a performance of his play, “One Slight Hitch,” announced the Human Race Theatre Company.

Black will attend Wednesday's performance of the romantic comedy at Human Race's base theater, The Loft Theater at 126 N. Main St., next to the Victoria Theatre. After the performance, Black will speak to the audience about his play. 

Black is also known for stand-up comedy and appearing on “Comedy Central” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” 

"One Slight Hitch" runs through Saturday, April 24. Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Center Stage: www.ticketcenterstage.com or 937-228-3630.  

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