100-year-old remembers Great Dayton Flood

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 9:46 AM
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 9:46 AM

Robert Ferneding was just eight months old when his mother saved his life as rising flood waters surrounded their Norwood Avenue home in Dayton. On March 25, 1913, many days of rain produced the worst natural disaster to hit the region in recorded history. The death toll reached 367 people in Dayton and many thousands were left homeless.

"Here I am from the 1913 flood. I made it," said Ferneding.

As the flood poured through the streets of downtown Dayton and inner-city neighborhoods, residents took to the upper floors of their homes to escape the frigid water. Many were trapped in their attics for days. Ferneding tells the story of how a rescue boat came to their home, taking only himself and his mother. Shortly after entering the boat, it spun into a tree. "She grabbed that tree as it went 'round and seven other women drowned," Ferneding said.

When the water level returned to normal, the city was left in ruins. Most of the homes that were not washed away were either burned by fire or damaged beyond repair. With no FEMA or other federal agency to respond to the disaster, Dayton's recovery was mostly home grown.

"They said 'How are we going to handle this?' and they did," said Brady Kress, President and CEO of Dayton History. Kress said the community raised $2 million to study the city's flood problem. The solution was a series of dams and levies that remain today. "The dams are built to hold back as much water as needed and let the rest pass through so the water channels downstream can pass that water," said Kurt Rinehart, Chief Engineer of the Miami Conservancy District.

The story of the flood and the city's rise from the aftermath are being featured in a new exhibit at Carillon Park. Life-sized photos show people in rescue boats escaping the rising flood waters. There is even a mock-up of an attic at a storm-ravaged home. It was in those attics that flood victims promised themselves and their family members to rebuild the city and make it flood proof. "As they said in their signs, for the love of Dayton let's make sure this doesn't happen again," said Kress.

The dam system built in the 1920's is designed to protect Dayton from a weather event the size of the 1913 flood plus 40 percent more water. It has been put to the test many times and has done its job well, according to engineers.

As the anniversary of the flood approaches, Ferneding said he has thought most about his mother, who risked her life to save his. "One step more and she would have drowned and so would I," said Ferneding.

Snake in bathroom saves woman from bedroom attacker

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 7:06 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 7:06 PM

A Florida woman is crediting a snake in her home with saving her from a sexual assault last week.

Police said the Lee County woman called deputies when she found the reptile in her bathroom, minutes before a man broke into her house, grabbed her and demanded sex, according to media reports

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Malcolm Porter, 28, allegedly sneaked up on the victim, choked her, then demanded she get condoms from another room. Once free, the woman fled from her home where deputies, who responded to the snake call, were waiting outside. 

Porter was arrested and is jailed without bond on charges of battery by strangulation.

The victim told police she knew the man and that he “may have been high" on drugs, local media reported. 

One of the victim's neighbors called the snake encounter "a blessing in disguise."

"The snake played a role in saving her," the neighbor said.


Toddler may have frozen to death after wandering out in middle of night

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 2:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 2:03 PM

North Carolina authorities are trying to determine what happened after a toddler was found dead outside a home early Wednesday morning in Burke County.

Police said they were called to the home around 7:45 a.m. and found a 3-year-old boy dead on the porch.

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Authorities said that someone driving by the house spotted the child and called 911.

Investigators think the boy, who had turned three the day before, wandered outside sometime during the night and died after being exposed to the freezing conditions for too long.

Wind-chill values in the High Country were below zero overnight.

Deputies said when they got to the home the front door was open and the mother was still asleep inside, unaware her son had gotten outside.

The name of the child has not been released and deputies closed the road near the home for hours while they and the Department of Social Services investigated.

Nike’s new hijab sparks backlash, #BoycottNike amid some Muslim support

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 3:46 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 3:46 PM

            Nike’s new hijab sparks backlash, #BoycottNike amid some Muslim support

Nike announced last week it will release its first product directed at Muslim female athletes, the Pro Hijab. And since the unveiling, the company has received its share of backlash from the public.

Social media users have criticized the company for supporting the “oppression of women,” prompting tweets of dissent with the hashtag #BoycottNike.

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Related: Nike introduces sports hijabs for athletes

But many Muslim women, including weight lifter Amna Al Haddad, the brand’s target audience for its Pro Hijab, applauded the company for its new product, which was developed with the help of hijab-wearing athletes.

“In the past, the big brands didn’t see the need or market for it as it was not ‘popular’ and it was unheard of to see women train, exercise and compete in hijab,” Haddad shared on Instagram.

Others responded to the polarizing criticism of the Pro Hijab, writing that for them, wearing the hijab is not oppression, but a choice.

Users are also sharing a video by Hanna Yusuf of The Guardian, in which the Muslim feminist addressed critics of the hijab and said that wearing hers is a feminist statement. 

“In a world where a woman’s value is often reduced to her sexual allure, what could be more empowering than rejecting that notion?” she said.

But, Yusuf said, her concern with the hijab being unfairly portrayed as oppression is not a denial of the fact that some women are forced to wear it in some parts of the world.

According to a press release obtained by Fortune.com, the Nike Pro Hijab is expected to cost $35, and is similar to its other Nike Pro products: “inconspicuous, almost like a second skin.”

The move followed Nike’s viral campaign called "What Will They Say About You?" — a digital ad targeted at women in the Arab world, featuring female athletes such as figure skater Zahra Lari of the United Arab Emirates and boxer Arifa Bseiso from Jordan.

Nike’s Pro Hijab will be on sale in Spring 2018.

Sheriff uses game show-style ‘Wheel of Fugitives’ to catch criminals

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 1:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 1:41 PM

            Sheriff uses game show-style ‘Wheel of Fugitives’ to catch criminals

The Brevard County Sheriff’s office in central Florida is putting an unusual spin on the agency’s search for wanted criminals.

Using a game modeled on the big wheel in the long-running game show “Wheel of Fortune,” the office posts Facebook videos of its own version of the game called “Wheel of Fugitives.”

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“It’s time for ‘Wheel of Fugitives,’ the game that fugitives hate and citizens love,” the department posted on its Facebook page to alert users that the game is about to begin.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey, the game’s version of Pat Sajak, said during interviews on the unusual law enforcement tool that officers have been using the game for the past 18 months to find and arrest many fugitives.

Florida sheriff spins the "Wheel of Fugitive" to fight crime!

Posted by Fox & Friends on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

“When we put someone up on the ‘Wheel of Fugitive,’ our citizens start sending us messages and contacting us right away,” Ivey said in an interview with CBS News.

Here’s how it works. Ivey spins a wheel with the pictures of 10 wanted criminals attached to it. Whichever photo the wheel lands on is declared the unlucky “winner” and is the person the department will search for with help from all the Facebook users who watch the video.

Ivey said the game has helped catch dozens of wanted felons.