Nickel a pill: Mayor Whaley’s prescription painkiller surcharge plan

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 11:10 AM


            Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley proposed new state surcharges for prescription pain medicine to combat the opioid crisis. STAFF
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley proposed new state surcharges for prescription pain medicine to combat the opioid crisis. STAFF

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, today proposed charging a nickel per dose surcharge for every prescription painkiller pill sold in the state.

State data show that 631 million doses of opioids were distributed in Ohio, and a nickel surcharge would generate $31.5 million per year to increase funding for local police and fire responders, substance abuse stabilization centers and state psychiatric hospitals, Whaley said.

“With those dollars, we will return resources to our communities they so desperately need to fight this epidemic,” she said.

RELATED: City of Dayton sues drug makers for role in overdose epidemic

Ohio would be the first state in the nation to take this action, Whaley said, though Washington and California lawmakers have proposed similar types of legislation that would tax or charge opiate makers to pay for addiction prevention and treatment programs.

Dayton was the first city in Ohio and the fourth nationwide to sue drug companies, distributors and doctors that city officials say were responsible for the crisis.

During her announcement this morning, Whaley pointed to a joint investigation by the Washington Post and 60 Minutes that found that Congress, after a large lobbying effort, weakened federal law enforcement’s ability to go after drug distributors even as opioid-related deaths surged.

A law passed by Congress made it “virtually impossible” for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from drug companies, according to the investigation.

Whaley criticized Congress for stripping power from federal law enforcement, remarking that Congress took “the E out of the DEA.”

Dayton reaches $1.5M settlement over nuisance odors

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 2:48 PM

Dayton reaches $1.5M settlement over nuisance odors

The city of Dayton has agreed to accept a nearly $1.5 million settlement with an agricultural and industrial company over discharge issues that led to sewer blockages and foul odors.

Cargill’s corn milling plant in Dayton produces about 3 million to 4 million gallons of waste every day that is fed into the city’s sanitary sewer system, city officials said.

The city took enforcement action against the company because its discharge was causing blockages in the sanitary sewer as well as an unpleasant smell, said John Musto, Dayton’s chief trial counsel.

The blockage issues have been resolved, officials said, and the city and Cargill will work together to try to reduce smelly hydrogen sulfide levels in the waste water system associated with the company’s discharge.

“The settlement also provides a framework for the parties to work together to identify a cost-effective method for preventing odors in the city sewer serving the corn mill,” said Kelly Sheehan, spokeswoman for Cargill.

MORE: Dayton faces long-term budget issues, despite income tax hike

Since 2014, the city of Dayton issued Cargill a series of notices of violation and administrative orders for not following regulations related to pretreatment of wastewater discharge, officials said.

The company, which has a plant at 3201 Needmore Road, appealed about 41 of the notices.

But the city and Cargill have reached a settlement in which the city agrees to rescind the notices of violation and the company will drop its pending appeals.

Cargill was required to pay penalties to the city to appeal the notices, which were held until the appeals were decided, Sheehan said.

MORE: Why the NACCP wants Dayton voters to decide on traffic cameras

Under the settlement, the city will keep that money to help pay for odor control trials and sewer cleaning, Sheehan said.

“Cargill’s wet corn mill in Dayton, Ohio, takes great pride in operating in compliance with all environmental laws and Cargill’s own strict environmental standards,” she said.

Cargill also agreed to stop using lime in the pretreatment process last year, and there have been no blockages in the system since that time, said Musto.

Cargill and the city expect to discuss setting parameters on the company’s wastewater discharge to reduce sulfates in the system, which causes hydrogen sulfide, leading to stinky odors, Musto said.

The city wanted a resolution that addresses toxic odors in the wastewater system but that is also cost-effective for Cargill, who is an important employer and community partner, said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

“This takes care of issues from the past,” she said.

Suspect in Pennsylvania police officer's shooting death in custody; mother also arrested

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 5:46 AM
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 7:49 AM

Rahmael Sal Holt
New Kensington police
Rahmael Sal Holt(New Kensington police)

Rahmael Sal Holt, the suspect in the shooting death of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Officer Brian Shaw, is in custody after a days-long manhunt.

>> Watch the news report here

Police had been searching for Holt since Friday night’s shooting. He was arrested Monday morning at a home on Ladora Way in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood after law enforcement agencies received a tip that he was there.

In addition to Holt, eight other people were arrested – including his mother.

>> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage

Shaw, 25, was killed after he pulled over a Jeep on Friday in a traffic stop on Leishman Avenue. According to court documents, the Jeep never stopped and Holt, who allegedly killed Shaw, fled and Shaw pursued him on foot. 

>> Suspect named in Pennsylvania police officer's shooting death

Tavon Harper, who police say was driving the Jeep, took off, police said. Holt then fired multiple shots, killing Shaw, according to court documents.

Shaw was transported to Allegheny Valley Hospital, where he later died. 

>> Read more trending news 

WPXI confirmed with multiple sources that Shaw was ambushed that night and at least one of the bullets went through a soft spot in his body armor.

Trenton youth on bicycle struck by car

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 6:31 PM

Trenton police are investigating after a youth on a bicycle was struck by a car early Saturday evening.

A police dispatcher said the accident happened about 5:45 p.m. at East State Street and Sal Boulevard.

MORE: Weather watches, advisories in effect

The dispatcher said the youth was taken to an area hospital but that no further information was available.

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.