breaking news


Butler County creating new Veterans Treatment Court

Published: Saturday, November 26, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

The Butler County Common Pleas Court is about to expand its specialty dockets to include a new Veterans Treatment Court.

The emphasis on the court will be treatment and diversion, according to officials, and will connect veterans with services and a military support network that they may have lost when they returned to civilian life.

Butler County Common Please Court Judge Michael Oster Jr. has visited other local Veterans Treatment Courts, or VTCs, and said they are designed to break down barriers such as unemployment or under employment, homelessness, drug problems and other issues that may have contributed to veterans ending up on the wrong side of the law.

“We really want to make that camaraderie of bringing them together and not only the court holding them accountable, but themselves,” he said. “These are men and women who are disciplined … we want to add that (camaraderie) as well to really make them successful.”

The municipal judges in Hamilton and Middletown have been operating VTCs for several years.

Middletown Municipal Court Judge Mark Wall has been keeping statistics on his VTC since its inception in 2011 and those numbers show a 78 percent success rate overall, he said.

By far the biggest misdemeanor crime veterans committed was drunk driving (38 percent), he said. Domestic incidents involving substance abuse came in second with 34 cases, and there were 17 drug cases.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said the VTCs have had a great deal of success. The recidivism rate is what is key in any court case, and she said the VTCs appear to have that issue in check.

“The long term effect is what is important, where are they a year later, where are they two years later, is there a rate of recidivism…,” O’Connor said. “My understanding is the veterans courts have the lowest rate of recidivism amongst their population. I think it is a very worthwhile endeavor.”

The chief justice also told the Journal-News that veterans courts have produced not only veterans who don’t offend again, but people whose problems have been solved through all the various services they have received under the court’s supervision.

“By the time they get out they’ve got a high level of employment amongst their ranks, a stable living situation which they didn’t have, chances are when they came in there. Chances are they weren’t employed or they were marginally employed,” O’Connor said. “They have other indicators of stability.”

Wall said his veterans are hooked up with the Dayton VA, its social workers and myriad of services and the Butler County vet board. He said they are in the program for a year and the strict oversight the court provides is another success factor.

“Some of them are reporting back to me as soon as two weeks,” he said. “Then we can drop it off to a month and then six months…,” he said. “We keep bringing them back and they’ve got to verify they are in the program and they are doing what we recommend.”

For the county common pleas court to add a VTC, no additional funds are needed because adequate staffing is already in place. Unlike the other specialty courts, veterans don’t have to live in the county to get on the VTC docket, but they do have to have a felony case from the county.

Veterans who are already in the court system won’t be switched over, especially if they are already doing well under their current probation terms. But parole violators would likely move to Oster’s court.

“I don’t anticipate it being an overwhelming number (of veterans), but we’re not going to restrict it either,” said Rob Menke, manager of court administration. “We’re not going to say ‘we’re at capacity now so this veteran is not appropriate.’ We’re going to continue to offer services and if we need expansion with additional supervision officers or additional veterans justice outreach, maybe from the VA, maybe that’s something to look at.”

Butler County Court Administrator Wayne Gilkison said there are no leniency provisions in the program, and the veterans will be treated according to the law.

“It’ll be no different than any other offender that comes through,” he said. “They would be eligible (to have their felony record expunged) according to the time frames prescribed by Ohio Revised Court.”

Oster said he and the other common pleas judges felt this was a worthy cause.

“The reality is if we can’t make time to help our veterans then I don’t think there is really time for anything,” he said. “These are men and women who have given us the abilities and the freedoms to even have our jobs and our freedom and the liberties that we have. If we can’t make time to help them, then there’s something wrong.”

Facebook follow me hoax making rounds again

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 11:16 AM

File photo
Carl Court/Getty Images
File photo(Carl Court/Getty Images)

Another day, another Facebook Hoax.

This time you may have seen people warning you on your Facebook feed that there’s a secret list of people following your posts. They’re supposedly not your friends, but complete strangers.

The posts then direct you to search “Following Me” in your Facebook account and there will be a list of names you won’t recognize, The Times Union reported.

>> Read more trending news

The problem is, it is all a hoax that your Facebook friends are unknowingly perpetuating.

This isn’t the first time a following hoax took root on social media. Snopes investigated a similar claim in January that people from “Facebook security” were paid to watch people on the platform.

Both are untrue, according to Snopes.

So how can you find out how who really is following you?

According to Facebook’s Help Center, you go to the right corner and select settings, then click public posts, then select friends or public next to who can follow me.

Captain: Oklahoma City man killed by police was deaf

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 10:32 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:57 AM

Deaf Man Fatally Shot By Oklahoma City Officers, Criminal Investigation Underway

Oklahoma City police officers who opened fire on a man in front of his home as he approached them holding a metal pipe didn't hear witnesses yelling that he was deaf, a department official said Wednesday.

Magdiel Sanchez, 35, wasn't obeying the officers' commands before one shot him with a gun and the other with a Taser on Tuesday night, police Capt. Bo Mathews said at a news conference. He said witnesses were yelling "he can't hear you" before the officers fired, but they didn't hear them.

NATION: Girl dies after shooting herself when she reached into grandmother’s purse for candy 

"In those situations, very volatile situations, you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision, or you can really lock in to just the person that has the weapon that'd be the threat against you," Mathews said. "I don't know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point."

Sanchez, who had no apparent criminal history, died at the scene. The officer who fired the gun, Sgt. Chris Barnes, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Deaf man fatally shot in Oklahoma

Mathews said the officers were investigating a reported hit-and-run at around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. He said a witness told Lt. Matthew Lindsey the address where the vehicle responsible for the hit-and-run had gone, and that Sanchez was on the porch when Lindsey arrived.

He said Sanchez was holding a metal pipe that was approximately 2 feet (0.6 meters) long and that had a leather loop on one end for wrapping around one's wrist. Lindsey called for backup and Barnes arrived, at which point Sanchez left the porch and began to approach the officers, Mathews said.

Witnesses could hear the officers giving Sanchez commands, but the officers didn't hear the witnesses yelling that Sanchez couldn't hear them, Mathews said. When he was about 15 feet (4.5 meters) away from the officers, they opened fire — Lindsey with his Taser and Barnes with his gun, apparently simultaneously, Mathews said.

He said he didn't know how many shots were fired, but that it was more than one.

When asked why Barnes used a gun instead of a Taser, Mathews said he didn't know. He said it's possible Barnes wasn't equipped with a Taser. Neither officer had a body camera.

Sanchez's father, who was driving the hit-and-run vehicle, confirmed after the shooting that his son was deaf, Mathews said. He said Sanchez wasn't in the vehicle when his father struck something and drove off. It wasn't a person that he struck

Oklahoma Association of Deaf responds to shooting

A man who saw Okl.ahoma City police officers open fire on Sanchez says his neighbor was developmentally disabled and didn't speak in addition to being deaf.

Neighbor Julio Rayos told The Oklahoman on Wednesday that Sanchez communicated mainly through hand movements.

"He don't speak, he don't hear, mainly it is hand movements. That's how he communicates," Rayos told the newspaper. "I believe he was frustrated trying to tell them what was going on."

Mathews said the city has officers who are trained in the use of sign language, but he didn't know if Lindsey and Barnes are among them.

Jolie Guebara, who lives two houses from the shooting scene, told The Associated Press that she heard five or six gunshots before she looked outside and saw the police.

MORE NEWS: $338M Powerball winner accused of child sex abuse

"He always had a stick that he would walk around with, because there's a lot of stray dogs," Guebara said.

Guebara said Sanchez, whose name she didn't know, wrote notes to communicate with her and her husband when he would occasionally stop and visit if they were outside.

Police initially said Sanchez was carrying a stick, but Mathews described it Wednesday as a metal pipe.

Sanchez's death is the latest in a string of controversial killings by Oklahoma police in recent years. In 2015, a white Tulsa County reserve deputy fatally shot an unarmed black man who was on the ground being subdued. He said he meant to shoot the suspect with a stun gun but mistakenly used his firearm instead. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

In May, a white former Tulsa police officer, Betty Shelby, was acquitted in the 2016 killing of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man who had his hands up when she fired. Much like in the Sanchez killing, another officer almost simultaneously fired a Taser at Crutcher when Shelby fired her gun. Unlike Sanchez's killing, both Tulsa killings were captured on video.

___

Follow Ken Miller on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kenmiller7. Sign up for the AP's weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from the Midwest and Texas: http://apne.ws/2u1RMfv.

In brief

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

DAYTON

Longest Table meal Oct. 14

On Oct. 14 from 3-6 p.m. the City of Dayton will be holding another Longest Table meal on the 3rd St. Bridge, 620 W. 3rd St. Longest Table meals challenge participants to re-think their assumptions about other parts of town and the people who live there.

Registration and opening remarks will be held at the west end of the bridge near the RTA Cultural Center. Food will be provided at no cost. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so at www.thelongesttabledayton.com/donate. Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite dessert to share.

RSVP for the event at www.thelongesttabledayton.com/register and be part of the Longest Table movement.

Technical assistance workshops held

The City of Dayton will be hosting several technical assistance workshops at area Dayton Metro Library branches. These workshops are designed to provide assistance in completing the Accelerate Dayton application. The city’s business development partners will also be on hand to give an overview of their free, comprehensive business management, education services, and one-on-one counseling.

Upcoming dates and locations include: Sept. 28, 6:30-8 p.m., Main Conference Room 1A, 215 E. Third St.; Oct. 7, 10-11:30 a.m., Madden Hills meeting room, 2542 Germantown St., Oct. 12 6:30-8 p.m. East meeting room, 1008 Wyoming St.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Infant mortality conference Sept. 22-23

On Sept. 22 from 8 a.m.-4:30.p.m. and Sept. 23 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. the Dayton and Montgomery County Infant Mortality Task Force will present “Everyone Should Turn One: Infant Mortality Conference” at the Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. 5th Street, Dayton.

The conference is free; breakfast and lunch will be provided.

For more information or to register, go to www.infantmortalityconference.eventbrite.com, or call Angie at 937-224-3696.

RIVERSIDE

Focus Forward meeting Sept. 26

On Sept. 26 from 6:30-8 p.m., Riverside citizens are invited to share concerns or ask questions during a Community Focus Forward meeting at the Shellabarger Park, 5875 Bayside Dr. These meetings will be held at relaxed and informal settings around the community. Riverside City Council members and staff members will be available to discuss issues, answer questions and provide city updates.

Completing a Focus Forward question card prior to or at the beginning of each meeting will help maintain equal opportunity for participation and help to effectively use meeting time. Find the Focus Forward question card in the newsletter, at each meeting, the Riverside Website, www.riverside.oh.us/, or the Administrative Office, 5200 Springfield St.

Coroner’s office requested to Dayton shooting scene

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 10:49 AM
Updated: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

Dayton police are investigating a shooting

UPDATE @ 11:10 a.m. 

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirms they’ve been requested to the scene on 5 Oaks Avenue in Dayton. 

Initial reports indicate a person was found in a yard suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. 

Our crew is on the scene and we’re working to learn more. 

FIRST REPORT

Police and medics have been dispatched on reports of a person shot on 5 Oaks Avenue in Dayton Thursday. 

Emergency units were first dispatched to the first block of 5 Oaks Avenue around 10:40 a.m. on initial reports of a person suffering an unknown problem behind a home. The report was later updated to a report of a person shot. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more.