Dayton, Kentucky to dedicate Riverfront Common’s Trail to World War II Hero, Private First Class Edward Henry Ahrens on Thursday, August 8
At six o'clock on Thursday, August 8th, the dedication of Private First Class Edward Henry Ahrens Trail at Dayton's Riverfront Commons Trail will be held at 6:00 at the trail's beginning at the foot of O'Fallon.
Following the Ahren's Way dedication, there will be a reception at Dayton Heritage Museum, 718 Sixth, to showcase their display about Private First Class Edward Henry Ahrens and their recently acquired model of the USS Ahrens that was built by Dayton, KY resident Robert Pendery.
"On Thursday August 8th, the anniversary of the passing of Private First Class Edward Henry Ahrens, we will remember him and his heroic contribution to our country. To do so on the very shores of the river Mr. Ahrens grew up on is an honor, " said Dayton Mayor Ben Baker.
The following story appeared in our May 16th edition, beautifully written by Dayton native Tina Neyer in honor of Private First Class Ahrens. Thanks Tina for your permission to re-share your writing talent with us today, on Purple Heart Day:
“I guess they didn’t know I was a Marine”
Did his mother call him Eddie, that sleepy-eyed boy who ran the river bank and grew up with three sisters on Second Street in Dayton, Kentucky? He might have been just another factory worker had he not decided to enlist in the Marines. December along the Ohio can make a man want to be anywhere but there when the bitter wind needles the soft skin on one’s face. Imagine that boy, 21 years old and listening to the news on WLW radio, December 7, 1941. The Japanese just bombed Pearl Harbor and Eddie might have given a side glance to see his father’s worried brow. Did Eddie decide that day or December 8th, or did he wait until just before he went to the recruiting office on December 12th? Maybe he talked in hushed tones to his father—Albert, not wanting to upset his mother—Marie, who wiped her hands on her apron not because they were wet but because that’s what she did when worry got the best of her.
Whenever it happened, Edward H. Ahrens from that river town in Kentucky entered basic training on February 3, 1942. What did they see in him to sign him on to the Raiders, an elite team of Special Forces that were the first responders? Did Eddie show strength that comes from tugging steamboat ropes along the bank, or did he have razor sharp aim from throwing rocks at snapping turtles? We will never know, but what we do know is that he landed with Company ‘A’ at Tulagi, Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands on August 7, 1942. He was ready. Reports had come in that the Japanese were on the offensive and that Company ‘C’ had realized a fair amount of deaths and injuries as the first wave to hit the beach. Here's how Eddie’s first and last night on that island went as reported by his commanding officer who found Ahrens on August 8.
“That evening, Company ‘A’ took positions for the night west of a cricket ground on the island, as part of the defensive line extending along the ridge. The Japanese later launched a fierce nocturnal counterattack which drove a wedge between the two Raider companies. Isolating the latter near the beachhead, the enemy concentrated its efforts on Company ‘A’ in an attempt to sweep up the ridge toward the residency, a former British government building serving as a Raider battalion command post. The Raiders, however, stood firm. During the savage battle that ensued, Ahrens, in a security detachment assigned the task of protecting the Raiders’ right flank, singlehandedly engaged a group of Japanese in hand-to-hand combat as they attempted to infiltrate the Raiders’ rear. Although painfully wounded in the groin, the gallant young marine killed as many as 13 Japanese (including the unit’s senior officer) and aided materially in stopping their infiltration.”
When he was found, mortally wounded he whispered into his buddy’s ear, “I guess they didn’t know I was a Marine.” Edward Henry Ahrens, far from the sound of a calliope, or the smell of catfish frying on a hot summer day, lost his life, gained hero status and ultimately had a ship named for him: the USS Ahrens, commissioned in December, 1943 while his mother looked on. She held in her hand the Navy Cross and a piece of paper—a certificate of the Presidential Unit Citation earned by the first Marine Division. The ship bearing the name of a dreamy boy from Dayton, Kentucky went on to troll the oceans, serving to protect U.S. shores.
Heroism can be defined in many ways, but I like to think that the best definition is a common man or woman performing uncommon acts in an effort to save others. Eddie Ahrens, who grew up in a blue collar family, with little more ambition than to serve his country, fought a battle unlike many other soldiers. My guess is that if he had survived that attack and come back to Dayton, that he would not have spoken about it. For PFC Ahrens and all of the fallen soldiers in all of the wars our country has fought, we must have the utmost respect.
Sweet Action Student Ministry in service to others
First Baptist Dayton is very proud of our students from the Sweet Action Student Ministry, who recently returned from a week serving in Sevierville, Tennessee, at the Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries (SMARM). They painted, cleaned, and moved heavy equipment, sorted donations and much more.
This was their third summer volunteering with the folks from SMARM, and once again they said that our students were one of the hardest working groups they’ve ever had. In addition to their time serving with SMARM, the students also participated in Bible study and worship every day during their trip. Thanks, kids, and congratulations on a terrific job!
First Baptist Dayton youth and leaders recently served for their third summer at Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries. Here they share the story of their work and their worship time.
Submitted by: Gail Myers
Calling All 3 and 4-Year-Olds
Did you know that 90% of a child’s brain develops before the age of 5? Did you know that Dayton Independent Schools has a Five Star Preschool and Head Start Program? Did you know that our programs are FREE to ALL 4-year-olds and for those 3-year-olds that qualify based on financial need or social/academic progress? So, why do we provide high-quality early learning experiences for our students?
Because it Matters…
Screening Days for our 5 Star Preschool will take place on August 15th-16th, 2019. Please call Lincoln Elementary School 859-292-7492 to schedule your screening.
Proudly serving as Superintendent of Dayton Independent Schools
As you all know, summer is approaching and there are some Code issues that the City will be stepping up enforcement on this year to keep Dayton a safe, clean and beautiful community.
For the past year I have been doing Addresses or Building Identification as a secondary charge when a more pressing issue comes to my attention through a complaint or by way of an observation. Addresses are “VITAL INFORMATION” for Police and Fire when responding to an emergency run; a few extra minutes could be the difference in saving someone’s life. We are requesting everyone in the city to please get your address numbers (4 inches) up on the front of your building to identify your address. If you receive a violation in the mail for not having your numbers posted, you will be given 10-14 days to obtain the numbers and have them posted before a citation will be issued. It will be much more economical to post your numbers than to pay a $250.00 fine for not having them posted.
We will also be stepping up enforcement on garbage; the ordinance for garbage is Chapter 50 which will provide the info on proper containers, what you can and cannot sit out for pick-up, as well as setting out large items.
A brief explanation; by City Ordinance you can sit out up to SIX containers for trash pick-up weighing no more than 35lbs each; the containers must be made of durable, water tight, rust-resistant material with handles and a lid to help with collection.
If you would like additional information or would like to read the entire Ordinance, a copy can be obtained at the City Building or you can read chapter 50 on the website. Anyone failing to follow the above requirements for trash pick-up will be subject to a $50.00 fine for each infraction.
We will also continue enforcement on grass for the upcoming season. If you are given a violation or a Door Hangar for high grass and/or weeds you will be given FIVE (5) days to cut your grass. After the five days, the city will issue you a citation in the amount of $250.00. Please keep your yard cleaned up and your grass cut to prevent receiving a violation and/or a citation from the City.
Let’s all work together to keep Dayton a safe, clean and beautiful community!!!
Phil Liles Jr.
Last year when Avenue Pharmacy in Dayton learned that their lease wouldn’t be renewed, owner Sam Colleta reached out to Robert Yoder, Dayton’s Economic Development Director for help. “Robert had a list of available properties in Dayton, many of which weren’t listed for sale, and told us about the Commercial Community Advantage Program,” said Sam Colleta.
Avenue Pharmacy found a new location at 201 Sixth Avenue, the former Smitty’s Bar, but they knew the building would require extensive renovations. This is where Dayton’s Commercial Community Advantage Program (CCAP) would provide gap financing to make this project possible. “We wanted to keep Avenue Pharmacy in Dayton,” said Robert Yoder, “It’s vital to a small town like Dayton to have a local pharmacy to meet the needs of our residents. We were able to provide $30,000 in matching funds for this project. That turned a vacant tavern into this wonderful new pharmacy.”
At the ribbon cutting on Thursday, March 14, Dayton Mayor Ben Baker said, “We thank Avenue Pharmacy for their commitment to serve the residents of Dayton and for their investment in our historic downtown. Having a pharmacy in our downtown is critical not only to the health of our residents, but to the walk-ability of our main street."
For more information on the City of Dayton’s Economic Incentives visit http://www.daytonky.com/visitors/economic-development/ or contact Robert Yoder, Economic Development Director at 859-491-1600 or email@example.com.
Finally, spring is not just here on the calendar but here in the air! Lawnmowers, power washers, paintbrushes, and brooms are breaking out all over. With temperatures warming up, folks will be outside reconnecting with their neighborhoods, cleaning up their properties, tending their gardens, and planning their seasonal plantings.
The Dayton Community Garden on Third Street is already being prepped for the growing season, thanks to a great group of volunteers who’ve continued this project. Contact Allen Smith if you want to join, and if there’s enough demand and volunteers, we can consider additional garden locations.
With spring rains can come rain water issues, as we recently experienced on east Sixth Street and Seventh Street. I have created a new Infrastructure Super Task Force to address runoff issues, as well as many other infrastructure needs around our city. They’re already working hand-in-hand with my Administration team and our great Public Works Department, to help identify and address issues like runoff, public safety, traffic, and other topics that affect our everyday lives. Thanks to the Task Force and Public Works and SD1, the issues on east Sixth and Seventh Streets have been addressed, and the list of other needed projects is growing. You can report any issues to me, my Administration, or to Task Force Members Volter, Beseler, or Neary.
Thanks to our Civic Activity Board and many volunteers and donors, Dayton’s traditional Egg Hunt will be held at Gil Lynn Park on April 13 at 1:00 pm. The event is open to all children (12 and under) who are Dayton residents, and with food and drinks available is always a fun time for all. Louisville might host the Derby as “the fastest two minutes in sports “, but Dayton has “the fastest two minutes in egg hunts!” Stop by and cheer them on!
Spring sports are in full swing at our Schools, and our students are leading the way in many athletic and academic contests. Check the Dayton Independent School District schedule, and attend at least a few of these events to cheer on our kids and show them your support.
The RiverWalk Trail construction should start as soon as the weather permits, and our Safe Sidewalks projects are also on target to begin this spring and summer. These projects will complement our great park system, and give us more options to walk around our city.
Speaking of walking, remember that April is Pedestrian Safety Month. A healthy community depends on being able to move around safely on foot, so we don’t have to drive every time we want to go somewhere in town. Pedestrian Safety is a two-way street; it depends on pedestrians being aware of traffic and their surroundings, and drivers being aware that the right-of-way in crosswalks belongs to the pedestrian. Please be more aware that with warmer weather more people will be out walking, and please follow safe practices to keep Dayton a walkable community.
The construction of the Gateway complex at Third and Walnut is moving along, with interior work progressing quickly. The progress on the Tapestry project on Manhattan Harbour Boulevard (near the marina) is exciting to watch, with more walls and floors going up every day. These two developments will bring around 350 new residential units to our city, with hundreds of new citizens. Marketing of the units has already begun, emphasizing how great it is to live in Dayton KY. Check the city site and Facebook pages as we post some of those materials, as they make me proud to be a Dayton resident.
Your Planning & Zoning Board recently approved 170 more units along the riverfront development, consisting of 2- 4- and multi-family units with beautiful designs that will fit into the existing plan. Completion target is 2025, so the next few years will be an even more exciting time for our city and staff.
We have so many other projects we’re working on, if I listed them all I’d fill a whole page or two!
I want to thank all my staff for making my first three months as Mayor so productive and smooth. We have great employees here in Dayton who work so hard for our city and our citizens. And SINCERE THANKS to all our citizens who are supporting our efforts to make Dayton KY an even BETTER place to live!
Adaptability. How important is it?
Traditionally, most folks attribute success to how smart you are which is measured by your IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Some have also added to this success formula the idea of your emotional intelligence/EQ. This would be measured by your ability to be aware of and in control of one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships. You could also think of this as your social skills. Recently, a third member has joined this success formula and it is your AQ, or adaptability quotient. Your adaptability quotient is measured by your ability to adapt to and thrive in an environment of change. I am not going to debate if one is more important than the other, but I believe that we can all agree that all three of these are important to the success of an individual or the success of an organization.
At Dayton Independent Schools, we are constantly looking for new and different ways to - challenge our students intellectually, aid them with their social/emotional needs, and help them adapt to their ever-changing and sometimes unpredictable environment. Some examples of how we are adapting to meet the needs of our students are as follows:
We are proud of our continued growth and excellence. We will continue to look for ways to adapt to better meet the needs of all our students.
Proudly serving as Superintendent of Dayton Independent Schools
The Power of Positivity
We continue to pride ourselves here at Lincoln on recognizing students for their hard work. We believe that focusing on the positives is very powerful. We would love to share with you some of the ways that we “highlight” our students here at LES.
We are extremely proud of our students’ hard work and dedication in becoming the best person they can be. We are also very grateful and proud for our dedicated staff members who help inspire, engage and grow EACH Lincoln student.
Proudly serving the students and families of Lincoln Elementary,
Heather Dragan, Principal Tim Chenot, Assistant Principal
Betty Lightfoot, a member of First Baptist Dayton since 1952, celebrated her 104th birthday in February, and a birthday party was held in her honor. Betty will also be receiving recognition from the City of Dayton at the next council meeting on March 5.
Among other good news from First Baptist Dayton, two new members have joined the church through baptism recently. Matt Sumpter and Rhonda Brown are shown on the right, posing with their baptismal certificates and Pastor Harold Pike.
Submitted by: Gail Myers
Avenue Pharmacy has proudly served Bellevue, Dayton, and the surrounding communities since 2002. We started in a small space inside Riverside SuperValu, moved into a larger space within the grocery building, and are now excited to announce that we are expanding again!
We recently purchased the building at 201 6th Ave in Dayton (formerly Smitty’s Bar). After several months of extensive renovations, we will officially open in our new location on Monday, March 18th. We will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and our phone number will remain the same; (859) 491-1700.
After we’ve had some time to settle in at our new location, we plan to host a Grand Re-opening celebration on Saturday, April 27th. At the Grand Re-opening, you’ll have the opportunity to get a closer look at our new home. We will provide food and drinks, and have several drawings for prizes.
We are grateful to the city of Dayton for all they’ve done to facilitate our search and relocation efforts. We are also very thankful for the tremendous support of our customers who have wished us well throughout this process. We are eager to share the transformation with you, and we are excited to continue our commitment to the communities we have grown with since 2002.
Congratulations to Grace Workman in becoming a member of the 1000 Point Club in her time playing with the Lady Devils Basketball Team. A gifted athlete, Grace will move on to the baseball field for Lady Devil Softball after basketball season. Best wishes, Grace!
We have had so much to celebrate at LES over the past month of school because of the many great accomplishments of our students and due to our continued community partnerships. At our recent quarterly Recognition Assemblies, primary and intermediate students were recognized for perfect attendance and for academic excellence (Honor Roll, Sight Word Stars, etc.) for the 2nd quarter of school.
Our students also have shown their hard work in areas outside of the classroom. So many of our students take advantage of the many after-school clubs that our amazing teachers provide for them. Our Academic Team and STLP club continue to be stand-outs in the region; our Drama Club is already working on their upcoming production of Lion King Jr. set for April 26th and April 27th; our Robotics Team continues to prepare for their upcoming March state competition; our student council members meet weekly to plan various leadership projects for around the school; the Kind Hearts Club continues to meet monthly doing kind deeds around the school which include their High Five Fridays.
There are so many great things to help our little devils grow outside of the classroom, too. The community partnerships that we are lucky to have secured continue to bring great opportunities for our students. The Scripps Howard Foundation donated an amazing Scholastic Book Fair to our students last month. All 591 preschool through sixth grade students got to participate in this opportunity, which allowed every student to select two books of choice to take home. Our Reading One to One Program through the Northern Kentucky Education Council continues to bring adult and Dayton High School volunteer readers into our school weekly by providing reading and math mentoring to our students in the primary grades.
We are also so very grateful to our Dayton partners. We would like to give a BIG shout out to Tim and Crystal Hall, owners of Hometown Heroes, for their continued support of our school. This week they walked in with a donation of 50+ hats and gloves for our Family Resource Center and later this month our fifth graders will be enjoying their annual trip to Camp Joy thanks to their $3000 donation from the fundraiser they held back in the fall. We love and welcome our community members to become a part of our school community!
We are extremely proud of our students’ hard work and dedication in becoming the best person they can be. We are also very grateful for and proud of our dedicated staff members and community partners who help inspire, engage and grow EACH Lincoln student.
Proudly serving the students and families of Lincoln Elementary,
Heather Dragan, Principal Tim Chenot, Assistant Principal
Dayton Community News