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FC Cincinnati, Liberty Center announce partnership

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 3:33 PM

Jeff Berding, president and general manager of FC Cincinnati announces the partnership between the pro soccer franchise and Liberty Center.

FC Cincinnati and Liberty Center have announced a partnership that will create a year-round relationship to engage fans around Butler County with the team as the professional soccer franchise looks to enhance its Major League Soccer expansion efforts.

MORE: Hamilton’s future sports center hopes to partner with FC Cincinnati

Kevin Cedik, general manager of Liberty Center, and Jeff Berding, president and general manager of FC Cincinnati, gathered in front of a kiosk representing the soccer team inside of the shopping center to make the announcement.

Cedik said the arrangement will help promote the team to local soccer families and to all of the children in the area, as well as FC Cincinnati fans who live in the Butler County.

“Here at Liberty Center we will be providing a place where you can purchase merchandise and we will have ticket sales,” Cedik said. “”We will also be having some player appearances.”

To kick that off, several FC Cincinnati players will be participating in Liberty Center’s holiday tree lighting ceremony that is happening at 6 p.m. Saturday. The players will be grand marshals in the event’s parade.

Jeff Berding, president and general manager of FC Cincinnati (left), and Kevin Cedik, general manager of Liberty Center (right) are pictured in front of a kiosk representing the soccer team inside of the Liberty Twp. development. The team and mixed-use development announced Tuesday a strategic partnership designed to create a buzz with fans in the Butler County area. WAYNE BAKER/STAFF(Staff Writer)

MORE: Dayton could help FC Cincinnati’s bid to join Major League Soccer

Berding said he has been busy studying every single strategic move for the franchise.

“I’ve been starting work at 5 a.m.” in order to secure an expansion slot in the MLS,” he said, adding that a decision is expected to be made during the next MLS owners meeting on Dec. 14 in New York City. The team is one of 12 finalists competing for four slots in the league.

Reaching out to fans in the northern suburbs and creating an opportunity to connect with the busy Liberty Center just made sense he said.

“This partnership is a chance to create a northern destination for FC Cincinnati and an opportunity for fans here to engage with the team,” Berding said. “We know we have a lot fans in this community and even farther north when you get into the Dayton market and now they will have a chance to buy tickets and merchandise and engage with some of our players on this beautiful property.”

MORE: FC Cincinnati unveils design plans for proposed new stadium

Cedik and Berding said there will also be an opportunity for young soccer fans to participate in soccer clinics conducted by FC Cincinnati under the new partnership agreement.

Berding said the deal also shows the strength of the FC Cincinnati brand and the market for ticket sales it has been successful in creating.

“Our partnership with Liberty Center is prove of the strength of our market. When people think of Cincinnati often times they have a tendency to just think of Cincinnati proper,” Berding said. “And this proves the case that Greater Cincinnati is just that — it’s greater. It spreads in the northern suburbs and into the southern part of the Miami Valley.”

MORE: ‘Dream come true’ for Lakota West grad to return home with FC Cincinnati

He added that another example of the soccer franchise’s market strength was Monday’s announcement that Mercy Health of Cincinnati has agreed to be the franchise’s jersey sponsor if they receive the nod to join the MLS.

“We have great strength in this market and yesterday’s announcement was an indication of that,” Berding said. “Soccer is a global sport, it is the one sport that has global currency. The long term payoff for the community is enormous.”

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Retired Centerville police chief focus of investigation

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:01 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

            Bruce Robertson
Bruce Robertson

Centerville police chief Bruce Robertson’s recent retirement came amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of criminal conduct, according to city officials.

“There were allegations of criminal conduct, therefore we’re following up with conducting an internal investigation into those allegations,” City Manager Wayne Davis said in response to questions from the Dayton Daily News/WHIO I-Team.

“At this time there’s no evidence of criminal activity, however our investigation is not complete,” Davis said.

RELATED: Centerville police chief retires after nearly 40 years

Robertson retired on Feb. 9 after working for the city nearly 40 years. His two-page letter of resignation cited “a serious medical condition” for the reason he decided to retire.

When asked if the investigation was connected to Robertson’s decision to retire, Davis said: “Not from what was shared with me.”

Davis said the internal review is being conducted by the law director and started sometime after Jan. 24.

Robertson couldn’t be reached for comment.

The city of Centerville released a statement Friday saying, in part, “the city is not at liberty to discuss the details of the investigation at this time. The city will continue to cooperate with providing information as it becomes available.”

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The chief’s personnel records do not indicate the reason for the investigation.

Records from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London, Ohio, show Robertson has been paid $32,294 to teach classes there since 2010, including $5,600 for seven training sessions in 2017. Davis confirmed the city is looking into whether Robertson was reimbursed for the same days he worked as police chief, getting paid twice for the same hours. He would not say whether those allegations are part of the criminal probe, however.

I-TEAM: Back taxes sought on 1,614 properties in Montgomery County

His most recent performance review in 2016 included positive reviews.

“He cares deeply about the men and women of the Centerville Police Department and strives to maintain the high professional reputation of the organization,” the review says.

But he was also given a formal, verbal warning in December and told to attend a course on harassment in the workplace because of an incident last August, according to the records. While talking with officers about preparations for a rally supporting transgender issues, Robertson jokingly asked a police officer “How’d your surgery go?” The officer complained and the comment was determined to be inappropriate by the city, the records show.

Robertson retired and was rehired in 2014. His employment contract in June 2017 was extended to January 2019.

Robertson was paid $127,501 in 2016, according to the I-Team Payroll Project.

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Off-duty police officer cleared in teen robbery suspect shooting

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:25 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:10 PM

Suspect shot by off-duty officer in Miamisburg was 17 years old

An off-duty Miami Twp. police officer has been cleared by a grand jury in the shooting of armed robbery suspect attempting to flee a volatile Miamisburg crime scene near I-75.

Officer James Swearingen was not indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury for his Feb. 5 actions in wounding a 17-year-old Dayton suspect who may face adult charges, according to the Miamisburg Police Department.

The decision was announced Friday.

“Officer Swearingen took immediate action and attempted to stop the armed teen, which led to an exchange of gunfire,” according to a statement released Friday afternoon by Miamisburg Sgt. Jeff Muncy. “The armed robber was struck twice and was ultimately secured and taken to the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.”

The shooting case was presented to a grand jury on Thursday and Swearingen “was cleared of any wrongdoing,” according to Muncy’s statement. “The incident itself remains under investigation, and the case is currently pending court action/disposition.”

Miami Twp. Police Chief Ron Hess said via email “we’re pleased with the decision of the Montgomery County Grand Jury and want to thank the Miamisburg Police Department for their investigation into this incident.

“Now that the criminal investigation has concluded in regards to the actions of Officer Swearingen, the Miami Township Police Department will begin an internal investigations to ensure that all the policies and procedures were followed as is standard practice,” he added.

RELATED: Off-duty Miami Twp. police officer who shot suspect ID’d, praised

Swearingen twice shot the teen in the right arm as the suspect was seeking to carjack several vehicles after the suspect’s stolen vehicle broke down shortly after robbing a Shell station in heavy traffic near Ohio 725 and Interstate 75 interchange, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck, Jr. has said.

Heck said Swearingen arrived on the scene as the suspect was fleeing, identified himself as a police officer, ordered the teen to drop his .45-caliber gun and shot him when the suspect failed to comply.

The Dunbar High School student was charged in juvenile court Tuesday with seven counts of aggravated robbery, one count of felonious assault on a police officer, one count of impersonating an officer and a weapons charge.

RELATED: More charges filed against teen defendant in officer-involved shooting

Among other charges, the 17-year-old is accused of having “did knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to” a police officer “by means of a deadly weapon,” court records filed Tuesday show.

Heck said prosecutors will seek to try the teen as an adult on all charges, which include an accusation of armed robbery for carjacking a vehicle on the night of Feb. 4, Heck has said.

Heck said the teen’s Feb. 5 actions – which include claiming to be an undercover federal agent - near the busy interchange “could have resulted in a number of injuries and deaths.”


RELATED: Judge: Gun-toting defendant endangered hundreds of lives

RELATED: Suspect’s claim led DEA agent to suspect shooting was officer vs. officer

RELATED: Teens in trouble: 3 juvenile gun cases that may go to adult court

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

>> Read more trending news 

Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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Heavy showers expected this weekend; Flood Watch in effect

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:04 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:56 PM

Rain showers continue at times today in the Dayton area, and into parts of the weekend.

Flood Watch is in effect for Montgomery, Preble, Clark, Greene, Butler, Warren and Clinton counties until Sunday morning.


  • Areas of drizzle, fog tonight
  • Rain increasing in coverage, intensity Saturday
  • Additional 1-3-inches of rain possible through Sunday morning

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Tonight: Mostly cloudy skies will linger through the night with areas of fog, light rain and drizzle possible. Steadier showers will develop overnight around 3 a.m. Temperatures drop tonight through the 50s to a low in the lower 40s. 

>> County-by-County Weather

Saturday: Rain likely and could be heavy at times. Thunderstorms will also be possible during the day. Flooding will be possible with rainfall amounts of 1 to 3-inches through Saturday night. High temperatures will be in the middle 50s. 

>> Flooding: Know your risks

Sunday: Rain early in the day, then breaks in the clouds later. Flooding will still be possible as rivers and streams continue to rise. Highs will be in the lower 50s and it will be windy at times. 

Monday: It will be a nice start to the week. There will be sunshine for the afternoon with temperatures warmer than normal in the low 50s.

Tuesday: Expect mostly sunny skies will mild temperatures in the middle 50s.

Wednesday: Showers are expected to return with highs topping out near 60 degrees. 

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