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Both directions of U.S. 35 in Dayton back open

Published: Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 5:14 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 6:00 PM

UPDATE @ 6:40 p.m.

Both directions of U.S. 35 are back open tonight after they were shut down for more than two hours for wires across the highway.


Both directions of U.S. 35 in Dayton are shut down this afternoon for wires down across the highway.

U.S. 35 is shut down between Smithville Road and Woodman Drive after the incident that was reported sometime after 4 p.m. Traffic is being rerouted at Steve Whalen Boulevard.

Police are waiting for Dayton Power & Light to remove the lines, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center. It is not clear what led the wires to come down.
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Jail captain charged with assault for pepper-spraying inmate

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 6:22 PM

Brookville woman pepper sprayed in seven-point harness at Montgomery County Jail

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office captain whose pepper-spraying of a restrained inmate — and disappearance of records of the incident — spurred a federal probe and civil lawsuit pleaded not guilty today to a misdemeanor assault charge.

Capt. Judith Sealey was charged in Dayton Municipal Court on Nov. 8 for pepper spraying Amber Swink while Swink was strapped into a restraint chair in the county jail in November 2015.

“We entered a not guilty plea on her behalf,” said her attorney, Anthony VanNoy. “I believe it’s the wrong charge. I believe they should not have charged her criminally.”

“I recognize what the video depicts, but it doesn’t tell the entire story of what went on.”

After Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. announced in May that a grand jury found there was insufficient evidence to bring felony assault charges, the case was referred to Dayton city prosecutors to consider misdemeanor charges.

RELATED: Dayton asks Cincinnati to review jail pepper spray case

Dayton Chief Prosecutor Stephanie Cook handed the decision on whether to press charges to Cincinnati city prosecutors. Dayton officials said they wanted to avoid any appearance of conflict because Cook sits on a jail advisory committee created in response to lawsuits from Swink and others.

SPECIAL REPORT: Justice in the Jailhouse — Lawsuits, accusations plague county jails in the region

Swink settled her lawsuit against Montgomery County in August, with the county paying $375,000.

Federal agents have not announced any findings in the case, which includes concerns over how and why video and other records of Sealey pepper-spraying Swink disappeared from county records and only surfaced through Swink’s lawsuit.

RELATED: Missing paperwork raises questions about pepper spray probe

This news outlet reached out to Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer for comment. This story will be updated if comment is received.

Democrats name new Montgomery County clerk of courts

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 10:10 AM

            Russ Joseph was selected Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, by county Democrats as the new Montgomery County Clerk of Courts to permanently replace Greg Brush. (Submitted)
Russ Joseph was selected Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, by county Democrats as the new Montgomery County Clerk of Courts to permanently replace Greg Brush. (Submitted)(SUBMITTED)

Russ Joseph, a longtime Dayton Municipal Court chief deputy clerk and brother of Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph, was selected by county Democrats on Thursday to permanently succeed Greg Brush as Montgomery County clerk of courts.

RELATED: Longtime county court clerk Greg Brush to retire

Russ Joseph, 40, replaces Brush, who retired Oct. 31 to take a job as chief administrator for the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts. Connie Villelli, director of compliance and special projects in the clerk’s office, served as acting clerk until the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Central Committee picked Joseph during a special session Thursday night.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve Montgomery County and follow Greg Brush’s leadership,” Joseph said. “We are in a constantly changing environment and the biggest piece is staying on top of it and making sure we are running as efficient an office as possible to serve the needs of the public.”

Joseph will be sworn in Monday at 11:30 a.m. in Courtroom 1B at Dayton Municipal Court.

RELATED: Commissioners set to name acting Montgomery County court clerk

Joseph started with the Dayton Municipal Clerk of Court in 2004 as the administrative assistant. Promoted to chief deputy clerk in 2007, he oversees the office’s $3.6 million annual budget and 45 employees. As county clerk of courts, he will oversee a budget of about $7.7 million and a staff of about 100 employees.

The county clerk’s office is responsible for receiving and maintaining a number legal documents for Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Court, two county municipal courts, the state’s Second District Court of Appeals and five auto title offices.

Mark Owens, Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman, said one other person, Craig Zimmers, a former county clerk of courts, expressed late interest in the position with a letter but did not follow through screening process that resulted in Joseph’s appointment.

“Russ is an experienced and qualified candidate who will continue Greg Brush’s legacy of streamlining services while cutting costs and efficiently serving customers,” said Owens, also Dayton Municipal Court clerk and Joseph’s boss in recent years.

Joseph and his wife Katie are University of Dayton graduates and Boonshoft Museum of Discovery associate board members. He served on Dayton’s Landmarks Commission from 2009-2017, was on the board and served as board president at the House of Bread, and was an Oregon Historic District Society trustee.

The Josephs live in Dayton’s Oregon Historic District, with son Eli, 8.

Joseph said he’s in the job “for the long haul” and will run for election in 2018 because of a state law required to fill the final two years of Brush’s term, which would have ended in 2020.

Englewood mom of disabled boy gets deportation date: Nov. 27

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 7:58 PM

            Fatiha Elgharib pleads for someone to intervene in her deportation case, fearing after 22 years in the U.S. she will be separated from her family, including 15-year-old Sami Hamdi, who has Down syndrome and for whom she is the primary caregiver.
Fatiha Elgharib pleads for someone to intervene in her deportation case, fearing after 22 years in the U.S. she will be separated from her family, including 15-year-old Sami Hamdi, who has Down syndrome and for whom she is the primary caregiver.

Sara Hamdi is still trying to figure out how to tell her brother, Sami, that their mother will be getting on an airplane after Thanksgiving and there’s no saying when they will see her again.

Their mother, Fatiha Elgharib, received orders recently that she is being deported back to Morocco on Nov. 27 for over-staying her visa after living in the country since 1995. Sami, a U.S. citizen because he was born in the U.S., has Down syndrome.

As Sami’s primary caregiver, Elgharib gets him up every day at their Englewood home, helps him dress, gets him to school, makes his snacks and gets him to doctor’s appointments for myriad health issues he has.

PRIOR REPORT: Mother, wearing ankle device so ICE can monitor her, awaits certain deportation

“When he comes home from school and walks in the door…if he doesn’t see her when he walks in that door he’s asking, ‘Where’s mom,’” Sara said.

“We’ve just been hinting that my mom is going to visit Morocco but he doesn’t really understand what’s going on,” she said. “I don’t know how to tell him for him to understand.”

Federal agents ordered Elgharib to board a plane in Columbus on Nov. 27. Once she leaves the country, their attorney says she won’t be allowed back for at least 10 years.

I-Team analysis: Deportations dropped in Ohio under Obama; here’s why

While Sami and their sister Wafaa, 18, are citizens because they were born here, Sara is 27 and is in the U.S. on the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program.

“How long do I have?” Sara posed, noting the uncertain future of DACA recipients.

The family has been under the threat of deportation for years, though the federal government on humanitarian grounds had held off on deporting Elgharib. At one point now-deceased U.S. Sen. George Voinovich intervened on their behalf.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Children fight to keep their mother in the U.S.

Sara concedes her mother broke the law by over-staying her visa, but says people who steal or commit violent crimes face less harsh penalties.

“We haven’t tried to hurt anybody,” she said.


Report reveals how public employees pocket public funds across Ohio

New trustees may target consultant’s $119-per-hour contract

Former village worker sues state, alleges malicious prosecution

Local jails overcrowded, failing safety standards, investigation shows

Sheriffs fear state plan will flood jails with felons

Here’s where the new traffic cameras are in Dayton 

Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 @ 10:40 AM

Dayton will restart its traffic camera program under new rules.
Dayton will restart its traffic camera program under new rules.

The city of Dayton restarted its traffic cameras program and officials have revealed where the 10 fixed cameras will be located.

During October, speed or red light violations will result in warnings. Beginning Nov. 1, violations detected by cameras will generate citations with an $85 fine, with additional penalties for late payments or unpaid fines. Citations are mailed to registered vehicle owners and include payment and appeal directions. The city has not released a start date. 

Dayton police will use hand-held speed detection devices as well as mobile trailer units. But they will install fixed cameras at locations that were selected after analyzing crash data and identifying the top crash locations in Dayton.

EARLIER: Dayton plans to bring back speed, red light cameras

There will be fixed red light cameras at:

West Third Street and James H. McGee Boulevard

Linden Avenue and Smithville Road

The city will install speed-detection cameras at:

North Gettysburg Avenue near Fairbanks Avenue

North Main Street near Siebenthaler Avenue

Keowee Street between East Third and Fifth streets