Battle with cancer ends for Fairfield’s brave ‘Superbubz’

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 9:32 AM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 3:21 PM

Walter Herbert, a first grade student battling cancer, is getting a special graduation ceremony.

Cancer-stricken youngster Walter Herbert’s life was short, but his legacy isn’t.

The Fairfield Central Elementary student who went by the nickname of “Superbubz” — and for many embodied a superhero’s courage — died earlier this morning at his home.

STORY & VIDEO: Stricken Fairfield boy gets special high school graduation and other honors

The first-grader’s brave struggle and buoyant attitude captured the hearts of the region as he was honored by major area sports stars, police departments and enjoyed a special early graduation from high school courtesy of Fairfield Schools.

“He was a wonderful little boy who touched so many in such a short period of time. His walk on this Earth will never be forgotten,” said Gina Gentry-Fletcher, spokeswoman for the Butler County school system.

Grief counselors will be made available today at Central Elementary, said Gentry-Fletcher.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

In a letter posted on the Fairfield Schools website this morning, Central Elementary Principal Karrie Gallo, who was close to Walter and his family, wrote:

“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Walter, aka Superbubz, Herbert, a first grade student at Central Elementary in Mrs. Pam Gemperle’s class. Superbubz bravely fought Stage 4 Neuroblastoma Cancer for 2 years and his journey ended peacefully on October 6th at 2:40 in the morning.”

“For those of you who knew Superbubz, we ask that you remember his happy spirit and celebrate his life. No matter how sick he was, he always maintained a smile that would light up the room. His love for school and his passion for life will never be forgotten,” said Gallo.

Thanks to Gallo and many others, Walter’s last months were filled with thrills that including his own special high school graduation ceremony, meeting and getting a bat during a Cincinnati Reds game from Joey Votto, being showcased and honored by players of the Cincinnati Bengals and many other activities.

Fairfield Schools Superintendent Billy Smith said of the youngster “anyone that had the pleasure of meeting Superbubz will remember his bright smile that could light up any room. He showed the courage of a true superhero as he fought a hard and brave battle against cancer.”

“He was a delightful young man who loved going to school, and Fairfield is a better place because he was, and will always be, a part of us. As we navigate this grieving process, our focus as a district is on providing support and encouragement to the Herbert family, as well as the many friends, and entire Fairfield community who will greatly miss him,” said Smith.

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Woman, 61, fatally injured in crash on U.S. 36 in Champaign County

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 7:38 PM

At least one dead in Champaign Co. crash involving ambulance

UPDATE @ 7:20 p.m.: A 61-year-old Kenton woman was killed in the two-vehicle collision involving a private ambulance and a full-size pickup truck in Goshen Twp., the Champaign County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. 

Debra Lock was a front-seat passenger in the Med Care ambulance sheriff's investigators said failed to yield the right of way when it entered the intersection of U.S. 36 East and Parkview Road. The accident was reported at 3:22 p.m.

Matthew Wallen, 21, of St. Paris, was driving the truck that struck the medic unit. 

Jeremy Fetters, 23, of Plain City, was the ambulance driver. Also in the ambulance were Mark Stith, 23, of Marion, and Christopher Bopp, 51, also of Kenton. 

Wallen, Fetters, Stith and Bopp were all taken to Miami Valley Hospital in two CareFlight helicopters. Their conditions were not available Wednesday night.

Lock died at the scene. She was removed by Champaign County Coroner Josh Richards.

RAW VIDEO: 1 dead, 5 other injured in Champaign Co. crash involving ambulance

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: CJ alerts parents to KKK-style hood brought to school

Mechanicsburg Fire Lt. Matt Bebout said the sheriff's office is continuing to investigate where the medic unit may have been going or coming from at the time of the accident. The sheriff's office also is looking into whether the medic unit's lights and sirens were activated.

The accident investigation is continuing, according to the sheriff’s office.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Driver sentenced to maximum term in fatal crash

A Pioneer Electric crew was on scene Wednesday evening to repair a utility pole the medic unit also struck in the collision.

Both roadways were shut down for a time because of the investigation.

Contributed by Jacki Anderson via Facebook.
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GOP leaders unveil giant federal government spending plan

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

After weeks of negotiations, Congress unveiled a $1.3 trillion funding measure for the federal government on Wednesday night, adding billions in new spending for both the Pentagon and domestic spending programs, adding in a pair of bills dealing with school safety and gun violence, but including no deals on some politically difficult issues like the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers.”

The 2,232 pages of bill text were quietly posted by GOP leaders after yet another day of closed door negotiations, which included a trip down to the White House by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“No bill of this size is perfect,” Ryan said in a written statement, as he touted the extra money in the plan for the U.S. military.

“But this legislation addresses important priorities and makes us stronger at home and abroad,” Ryan added.

Among the items included in the Omnibus funding bill:

+ The bipartisan “Fix NICS” bill, which would press states and federal agencies to funnel more information into the instant background check system for gun buyers.

+ The “STOP School Violence Act,” which would send grant money to local governments to help schools better recognize possible violent threats in schools and their communities.

+ A series of corrections to the recent tax cut law.

Even before the text of the bill was unveiled, a number of Republicans were not pleased, arguing the GOP has done little to merit the support of voters back home, saying it will mean more spending and a bigger government.

“That is not in any way close to what the election was about,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who argued the President should veto the bill.

Also causing some irritation was the fact that the bill was negotiated with little input from most lawmakers, and sprung on them just hours before the House and Senate were due to head out of town on a two week Easter break.

“There is not a single member of Congress who can physically read it, unless they are a speed reader,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

One of the many provisions in the bill included a $174,000 payment to the estate of the late Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who died earlier this week.

Those type of payments are typical when a lawmaker dies while in office.

GOP leaders hope to vote on the Omnibus in the House on Thursday, as lawmakers are ready to go home for a two-week break for Easter.

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You don’t have to #DeleteFacebook: 7 tips to lock down your privacy without leaving 

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:25 PM

What You Need to Know: Christopher Wylie

Facebook is under fire following this week’s revelation that data company Cambridge Analytica acquired data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge. The news prompted a #DeleteFacebook social media campaign urging users to say goodbye to the platform once and for all.

>> Read more trending news 

But leaving Facebook isn’t that simple. Luckily, you don’t have to delete the platform altogether to ensure your data is safe.

>> Related: Breaking up with Facebook? It's harder than it looks

Here are seven tips to lock down your privacy without leaving social media entirely:

Download your Facebook data to see exactly what they know about you.

If you’re concerned about the information you have out there, Facebook allows users to download a copy of their own data, including archived posts, messages and advertisements you’ve clicked on, according to Digital Trends.

How: General Account Settings --> Download a copy of your Facebook data --> Start My Archive.

>> Related: Facebook crisis-management lesson: What not to do

Check the third-party apps connected to your account.

Under General Account Settings, click on the Apps page to see a list of apps you’ve connected to your Facebook account. If you see an app you’re wary of, hover over it and delete it immediately.

Opt out of Facebook API sharing altogether.

On the same page as the Apps, scroll down until you see Apps, Websites and Plugins. Hit Edit to Disable Platform. This will sign you out of all websites, apps and other services connected to your Facebook account.

>> Related: Academic says he's being scapegoated in Facebook data case

Log out of Facebook when you’re not using it.

It’s a simple rule, but how often do you actually log out? According to Tom’s Guide, if you leave your Facebook logged in on your computer, it can still track your movements and share your information with advertisers and other parties.

Adjust your ad settings or delete interests to prevent ad targeting.

Under General Account Settings, scroll down to the Ads page and click on Your Interests. On this page, Facebook uses the selection of interests across a variety of categories, including entertainment, news, hobbies and more to determine what ads you’ll see. You can hover over a selection to delete an interest, or, you can scroll down to Ad Settings.

Under Ad Settings, you have the option of adjusting:

- Ads based on your use of websites and apps (Can you see online interest-based ads from Facebook?)

>> Related: Did you fall for these fake ads? How Russian trolls got into your Facebook feeds

- Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies (Can your Facebook ad preferences be used to show you ads on devices such as computers, mobile devices and connected TVs?)

- Ads with your social actions (Who can see your social actions paired with ads?)

Limit who can see your posts, friends list and more under privacy settings.

Under General Account Settings, click Privacy. There, you can limit who sees your future posts, your friends list or who can look you up using the email used on Facebook. You can also click on Timeline and Tagging Settings to adjust preferences for who can post on your timeline, see what posts are on your timeline and more.

Turn off location services.

>> Related: Facebook can now find you in photos you’re not tagged in

Turn off location data to limit Facebook’s access and ensure your own physical safety. You can do so by going to General Account Settings --> Location. Check your location services preferences on your smartphone as well.

The Facebook and WhatsApp app icons are displayed on an iPhone. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Fired NBA worker sues, claims discrimination against white employees

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 8:12 PM

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

A fired Atlanta Hawks employee is suing the organization, alleging it discriminated against white employees and terminated her when she complained. 

>> Read more trending news

In a lawsuit filed Friday, Margo Kline says Hawks external affairs director David Lee, who is black, promoted a culture of discrimination against white people, especially white women. Kline, who is white, worked in the NBA team’s corporate social responsibility department as a community development coordinator for five years.

Kline alleges that Lee was dismissive and exclusionary toward white employees and would often make jokes about “white culture,” hiring and promoting black employees — who Kline said were less qualified — over white people, according to the lawsuit. 

Kline said the organization ignored her complaints and instead unfairly scrutinized her work and impeded her ability to do her job, often gossiping and ridiculing her. The lawsuit also alleges white coworkers were told not to speak with Kline or they could lose their job. 

The Hawks fired Kline in March 2017, three weeks after a final written warning regarding her conduct and performance, according to the lawsuit. Kline, who said she had never been written up before, claims she repeatedly asked for ways she could improve but was ignored.  

Kline filed an employment discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who gave her a notice of her right to sue in December. 

She is asking for punitive damages and a trial jury. 

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks said: “We take all claims of discrimination seriously and have performed a thorough review of these baseless claims. The case was quickly dismissed at the EEOC level. We deny these claims and will vigorously defend against them.”

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