Beneath McQuinn’s edginess lived ‘a golden retriever’

Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012 @ 3:23 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 28, 2012 @ 3:23 PM


            
            Barbara J. Perenic

Behind Matt McQuinn’s sunglasses, behind the edgy, pierced look he showed to the world was a man with a mischievous sense of humor and a golden retriever’s warmth, his uncle told a memorial service Saturday morning at Springfield’s Maiden Lane Church of God.

Pastor Herb Shaffer said his 27-year-old nephew called the oversized shades he pushed up on his head his “man tiara,” an anecdote that spoke about the person whose striking eyes and mugging demeanor have been seen on broadcasts and in newspapers since July 20, when McQuinn died saving his girlfriend from a slaughter in an Aurora, Colo., multiplex.

Steps away from her boyfriend’s edgily dressed body, Samantha Yowler, of St. Paris, rested her wounded leg on a chair during the ceremony that gave way to an 80-car procession to Lawrenceville Cemetery, where McQuinn was buried.

The Vandalia Butler High School graduate was killed by three gunshot wounds he suffered as he shielded Yowler during the attack that killed 12 and wounded 52.

“In moments of crisis, the true character of a person comes out,” said Shaffer, a brother of McQuinn’s mother, Jerri Jackson, of Springfield. “You don’t have time to think of what you’re going to do.”

McQuinn’s “immediate response,” said Shaffer, “was to protect the one he loved.”

Shaffer and Maiden Lane Pastor Mark Martin cast McQuinn’s self-sacrifice in context with two Biblical passages, one from Galatians saying the only things of lasting value involve “faith expressing itself in love” and another from the Gospel of John stating that “no greater love has one man than this: that he laid down his life for his friends.”

“We didn’t just see that (from McQuinn) on July 20,” Shaffer said.

With a family photo on a screen, Shaffer pointed out McQuinn as a child comforting his cousin, Amber, who was having a bad day when the families were out on a hike.

“Even at 7 years old, Matt … could pick up on that kind of thing,” Shaffer said.

He added that, as a young man, his nephew sometimes dressed in a way that “made you want to cross to the other side of the street. But then he opened up his mouth, and he couldn’t betray who he was.”

McQuinn teased those he loved mercilessly and “you never knew what he was going to say,” Shaffer said. “He was the only one I’ve ever seen who could speak to my dad the way he did and get away with it.”

The reason, he said, was that there was “never any malice” in McQuinn, only “a contagious enjoyment of life” and “an exuberance … that added value to others’ lives.”

“Underneath there,” said Shaffer, “(was) a golden retriever.”

Telling grieving friends and relatives “there are no easy answers” and that “this is not the time for platitudes,” Shaffer advised that “the only way to the other side of grief is through it.”

“We cannot do it alone,” he added. “So let’s make a commitment to one another to embrace the pain of saying goodbye today, to feel it together, to cry together to laugh together, to be angry together.”

“Our lives will never be the same,” he said. “The words Aurora, Cinema 16 shooting, Batman, will never mean the same again,” he added, and likely will serve as reminders of the hurt.

But with time, he said, “it will be good again” and “the very things that cause us pain now will become brighter and stronger and better for the rest of our lives.”

All who knew McQuinn “live with a commitment to be better because of his sacrifice,” said Shaffer, who urged his audience “to pray for those who are left … pray for the families that are left and … be better people.”

Outside the church, the media kept a respectful distance, and in the balcony of the church a reporter from the Denver Post said the entire Denver community has grieved.

“This has torn us up,” said Ray Rinaldi.

Pastor Martin thanked those who “have given of our time, given of yourselves” in offering comfort to the family and those who contributed to the church’s fund to help in the expenses of McQuinn’s burial.

Jupiter revealed: NASA mission finds swirling storms at poles, weird magnetic fields

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 6:07 PM

This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles. The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam instrument on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection. 
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

NASA is learning some of the secrets of the largest planet in the solar system, revealing data Thursday from the space agency’s Juno mission to Jupiter.

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Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun, is a gas giant with an atmosphere mainly composed of helium and hydrogen, and characterized by towering clouds of ammonia and turbulent storms, including one that has raged for hundreds of years and is larger than Earth, known as the Great Red Spot.

With the initial scientific information from Juno, researchers are realizing the planet is even more complex than scientists imagined. 

The spacecraft’s camera, called the JunoCam, recorded images of Jupiter’s north and south poles that show colossus, swirling Earth-sized storms, knocking into each other as they rocket around the top and bottom of the planet. The storms covering the north pole are very different from those in the south, though.

>> Related: Space travel is measured in light years, but what’s a light year anyway?

“We’re puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn’t look like the south pole,” Juno’s principal investigator Scott Bolton said in a briefing about the new data.

Bolton said it’s also unclear whether these are permanent storms at the poles.

“We’re questioning whether this is a dynamic system, and are we seeing just one stage, and over the next year, we’re going to watch it disappear, or is this a stable configuration and these storms are circulating around one another,” Bolton said.

Juno has also revealed new information about the planet’s irregular and lumpy magnetic field and its gaseous atmosphere.

>> Related: Alien life possible on small Saturn moon, maybe on a Jupiter moon, too

Researchers are hoping to learn more about the Giant Red Spot, too, one of the “most iconic features in the entire solar system.

“If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments,” Bolton predicted.

The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, and entered Jupiter’s orbit last summer on July 4.

The results from Thursday’s briefing were collected in a Juno fly-by last August when the craft was within 2,600 miles of Jupiter’s cloud tops, NASA said.

9th inmate sues Montgomery County Jail, now-fired officer

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 1:12 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 6:05 PM

A ninth lawsuit has been filed by a former inmate alleging mistreatment by Montgomery County Jail personnel, this one involving a now-fired corrections officer that the sheriff’s office tried to prosecute.

Former inmate Daryl Wallace, 44, filed a lawsuit this week against former corrections officer Jerrid Campbell, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer and the county’s board of commissioners in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

Wallace’s attorneys alleged that Campbell “viciously beat” Wallace with impunity. The Sept. 28, 2015, altercation was captured on surveillance video.

EARLIER: Officer who sheriff tried to charge for jail assault claims unfairness

The civil rights, excessive force lawsuit claimed that Wallace complained to Campbell that his cell’s hot water wasn’t working and Campbell refused to call maintenance.

Wallace called Campbell a name, the lawsuit said, and walked away before Campbell ordered him to stop and shoved Wallace to the ground.

“Campbell then pummeled Mr. Wallace with punch after punch while holding handcuffs and using them like brass knuckles,” Wallace’s attorney’s wrote. “(Wallace) was bleeding from his scalp.”

RELATED: Officers spit on, attacked in jails bursting with mentally ill

Wallace claims he regularly experiences migraine headaches so bad “it feels like his forehead swells, the pain paralyzes him, and he vomits.” The suit also said Wallace’s vision has worsened since the incident.

Plummer said Thursday that Campbell was fired Tuesday for “violations of numerous policies.”

According to sheriff’s office documents, those violations included: using racist slurs against Plummer and other command staff members; failing to allow an inmate access to a dentist; two violations of use of force; an inappropriate Facebook post about a co-worker, making inaccurate and untruthful statements to the Dayton Daily News; making similar statements to the Dayton Weekly News. Campbell was suspended a total of 23 days for those alleged violations.

RELATED: Oversight committee picked to monitor Montgomery County Jail

Campbell wouldn’t comment Thursday about the lawsuit but said he was fired “for exposing the segregation in the jail and for writing a complaint against Phil Plummer plus the rest of his racist command staff for creating a racist atmosphere towards black officer (sic) and threatening (other officers) for speaking out against racism.”

Campbell’s complaints about comments by former Maj. Scott Landis led to Landis’ demotion in October. In November, Campbell was quoted in a story about allegations that female inmates are racially segregated at the jail and an analysis by this newspaper that found black female inmates were disproportionately placed in older, smaller cells.

Chief Deputy Rob Streck said Thursday that Campbell has alleged he was treated unfairly, but “those allegations have been covered numerous times in numerous investigations without any evidence or any type of proof bought forward other than just accusations.”

I-TEAM SPECIAL PROJECT: Justice at the Jailhouse

The sheriff’s office said this week the “expedited” internal review of the segregation allegations they announced in November is still ongoing.

The 156-page internal investigation of the altercation between Campbell and Wallace, obtained by this newspaper, shows the sheriff’s office referred the case to both city and county prosecutors and both declined charges.

“The situation was properly investigated, and the employee was disciplined and held accountable to the fullest extent,” Plummer said, noting that Campbell was suspended without pay for 10 days.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

Wallace’s attorney, Adam Gerhardstein, said the sheriff was right to discipline Campbell, but the department should have done more to prevent the incident in the first place.

“What’s important is looking at what caused excessive force to be used, and there’s enough evidence out there that we believe there’s a pattern and practice within the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office of using excessive force in that jail,” he said.

Eight other former inmates have filed suits alleging mistreatment in the jail. None has reached trial or been settled.

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Wallace’s suit mentions the pepper-spraying of Amber Swink while in a restraint chair by then Sgt. Judith Sealey, injuries to Joseph Guglielmo allegedly caused by jail personnel and the death of Robert Richardson, who died after suffering a medical emergency while in his cell.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages plus attorneys fees and court costs.

“Corrections officers are supposed to keep the people in their custody safe,”Adam Gerhardstein said in a statement. “There is no justification for Officer Campbell’s vicious assault on Mr. Wallace. Montgomery County has a responsibility to put an end to the use of excessive force by the corrections officers in its jail.”

The same day the Wallace lawsuit was filed, Plummer attended the first meeting of a new committee established to review jail practices and policy in light of the slew of lawsuits — which he blames in part on increased public attention.

“Another thing we need to address is the media and the frenzy they create, and they bring more ambulance chasers to sue us,” Plummer said at that meeting. “This is a vicious cycle.”

Three tornadoes, zero injuries: ‘It’s a miracle,’ fire chief says

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 5:46 PM


            A tornado damaged businesses in Park Layne in Clark County on Wednesday night. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

Clean-up efforts began Thursday after severe weather ripped through the Miami Valley overnight, bringing an outbreak of tornadoes in the north and severe flooding in the south.

Three tornadoes struck Wednesday night — two in Clark County and one in Miami County — the National Weather Service confirmed Thursday, but warnings were issued in Greene, Warren and Preble counties too.

WATCH: 6 videos that show the intense Wednesday storms

No injuries were reported.

“I was extremely surprised,” Bethel Twp. Fire Chief Jacob King said. “It’s a miracle.”

His township included the hardest-hit area, Park Layne, where a confirmed EF1 tornado (with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour) ripped through a Sunoco Gas Station and damaged the Mel-o-Dee Restaurant, Family Dollar and Motor Sports of Dayton.

FORECAST: More severe weather could come this weekend

King said rescue crews had to free a woman from the Family Dollar on South Dayton-Lakeview Road.

“We received a call of a person trapped inside the Family Dollar who said they couldn’t get out of the bathroom of the storage area because the doors were jammed shut,” King said. “Our crews arrived on the scene, did a rampant assessment of the facility, forced entry and was able to rescue that one occupant from the building.”

The person was unharmed, King said, and he was happy to find out no one was hurt during the storm.

RELATED: Beloved restaurant forced to close after damage from tornado

The Mel-O-Dee restaurant could be closed for up to three weeks because of broken air conditioning units and a structural truss damaged. The beloved Clark County restaurant has been open since 1965 and is known for its broaster chicken and other dishes made from scratch.

Larry Shaffer, Clark County Combined Health District, said eight of 10 restaurants were back in business after the storms caused closures.

Another EF1 tornado (about 90 miles per hour) was confirmed about five miles southeast of Piqua.

An EF0 tornado (with maximum winds of 75 miles per hour) tore branches off trees and threw them onto and through mobile homes at McMahan’s Mobile Home. Residents reported extensive damage, including holes in roofs that allowed water to pour right in.

PHOTOS: Aftermath of destructive storms, tornadoes

Residents said they were alerted to the danger by watching Storm Center 7 coverage on WHIO-TV.

“I was watching the news, watching Channel 7 news, and it showed it coming this way and I was looking and said, ‘it’s coming right for this mobile home park,’” said one resident. “That’s when I went outside, the rain stopped and got real calm, and that’s when it hit.”

In Butler County, storm damage included thousands of gallons of water in flooded basements.

Firefighters rescued 15 people, eight adults and seven children, after high water trapped them at Sebald Park in Madison Twp., Butler County Wednesday. Crews said high water cut off access to a bridge in the park, trapping multiple people in the high water.

Those trapped in the park included a pregnant woman and people with medical issues, according to Madison Twp. Fire Department Chief Kent Hall.

Hamilton resident Rebecca Lee called 911 when heavy rains swept up her green Honda Odyssey on Wednesday night between Tabor and Cleveland avenues.

“I got to get out of my car or I am going to drown soon,” Lee said to dispatchers. “I am going to have to get out or die. There is water up to my waist, and it is getting worse and worse.”

Ben Johnson, who lives on Taylor School Road, said he felt “shear panic” as the storms blew through, flooding his basement, destroying appliances and knocking out a door in the basement. He lost a washer, dryer, refrigerator, video games and couch.

“Everything in the basement is gone,” he said after putting on waders.

Staff Writers Parker Perry, Allyson Brown, Jim Ingram, Wayne Baker, Rick McCrabb and the Breaking News Team contributed reporting.

STORM CENTER 7 WEEKEND FORECAST

Friday: The day will begin dry with pleasant conditions. Highs will reach the middle 70s with some sunshine early. Scattered storms will develop toward late evening and continue into Friday night. A few storms could be strong as they arrive before weakening late Friday night.

Saturday: Most areas should be dry in the morning, but isolated storms could be triggered in the afternoon. Scattered showers and storms could develop into the evening. Some storms could be strong or severe. Highs will be in the 80s with muggy conditions.

Sunday: Scattered showers and storms move through the first half of the day. A few storms could be strong, possibly severe. The eastern Miami Valley may still have a few storms around late afternoon. The area dries out into the night. Daytime highs will be around 80 with still-muggy conditions.

Monday: At least some portion of Memorial Day should be dry, though another front will approach that could trigger a few showers or storms in the evening and into the night. Highs will reach the middle 70s with sunshine and scattered clouds.

Tuesday: Expect a mix of sun and clouds with a passing shower possible. Highs in the middle 70s.

Fox News issues statement addressing speculations about Sean Hannity’s vacation

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 5:48 PM

Sean Hannity attends The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017 on April 13, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Sylvain Gaboury

News that Fox News pundit Sean Hannity was taking a long weekend vacation fueled speculation that he might be in trouble with his network.

Fox News provided a statement to explain Hannity’s vacation.

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“Like the rest of the country, Sean Hannity is taking a vacation for Memorial Day weekend and will be back on Tuesday,” the statement said, according to Variety.

The network also criticized the speculation surrounding his break, saying that those who suggested something else was at play “are going to look foolish.”

Related: Weeks after advertisers helped end Bill O’Reilly’s career at Fox News, “Hannity” has lost its first big name

Hannity has come under fire as of late for peddling a conspiracy theory about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich and continuing to do so even after Rich’s family asked him to stop.

On Tuesday, Fox News retracted a story about Rich from their own site. Hannity later maintained that he “retracted nothing.”