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Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 5:41 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 6:52 AM
CLARK COUNTY — UPDATE @ 1:00p.m. (Nov. 22):
Kristine Baggs, a Kenton Ridge High School science teacher, has been put on paid administrative suspension according to Northeastern School District officials Wednesday after making her first court appearance.
Baggs is facing charges related to a deadly hit and run pedestrian accident that killed Lawrence Mason, 45, of Medway, in September 2016.
The Ohio Attorney General prosecutor on the case against Baggs spoke about the charges filed against the educator in court Wednesday.
“These are very serious charges,” prosecutor Leigh Bayer said.
She asked the court to handle Kristine Baggs’ case like the court has handled similar cases in Clark County.
"There was a victim who died as a result of being hit by a car driven by Ms. Baggs," Bayer said in court. "And the car was hidden from view several days afterward."
She also asked that Baggs not be allowed in any establishment that serves alcohol as a condition of her bond.
Baggs doesn’t admit to the allegations, her defense attorney Richard Mayhall said in court. He asked the court to release her on her own recognizance bond.
“She has been employed as a teacher in Clark County for the last 15 years,” Mayhall said. “She’s married, she has two children, she has no prior record. Since this incident occurred nearly 15 months ago, she has had no other allegations.”
A magistrate set Baggs’ bond at $100,000.
UPDATE @ 12:00 p.m. (Nov. 22):
Kristine Baggs, a Kenton Ridge High School science teacher, has been put on paid administrative suspension according to Northeastern School District officials Wednesday.
Baggs made her first court appearance Wednesday morning on charges related to a deadly hit and run pedestrian accident that killed Lawrence Mason, 45, of Medway, in September 2016.
UPDATE @ 10:57 a.m. (Nov. 22):
Kristine M. Baggs appeared in court Wednesday morning for her arraignment.
Baggs pleaded not guilty and bond was set at $100,000.
UPDATE @ 6:53 a.m. (Nov. 21)
Our newsroom is working to gather more information on the arrest of Kristine M. Baggs, 40, of Springfield. She was booked into Clark County Jail Monday afternoon around 5 p.m.
She is listed as a teacher in family and consumer science at Kenton Ridge High School. She made $52,788 in 2016, according to the Dayton Daily News and Springfield News-Sun Payroll Project.
EARLIER REPORT (Nov. 20)
A Northeastern School District teacher has been indicted in a deadly hit and run pedestrian accident that killed a man standing on North Tecumseh Road in Bethel Twp. last year.
Kristine Baggs is charged with failure to stop after an accident, tampering with evidence and two counts of vehicular manslaughter, according to the Clark County Common Pleas Court website.
Lawrence J. Mason, 45, of Medway was struck and killed by a silver 2015 Dodge Durango in September 2016, according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol crash report. The vehicle and driver left the scene, according to investigators.
The vehicle was later traced to the Baggs family, and Mason’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Baggs was arrested Monday afternoon, more than a year after the deadly accident.
"I'm hoping the family may have some justice for their loved one with Ms. Baggs going to jail for this indictment and charges," said Lt. Brian Aller, commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Springfield post.
Kristine Baggs is a teacher in the Northeastern School District, Superintendent John Kronour said.
Kronour said he couldn't comment until he knows more about the situation.
She hasn't been suspended or put on leave at this time.
"Not yet, but I anticipate that might be forthcoming," Kronour said.
Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 8:17 AM
MIDDLETOWN — Middletown police are continuing to look for Julie Kakaris, who told her father via phone messages that she was being held against her will.
Officers were called to the residence of Kakaris’ father on Tuesday afternoon on a report that she was possibly being held against her will at an apartment complex.
Paul Bilunka said he received messages from his daughter last Monday that two to three men were holding her in an apartment and forcing her to do drugs, according to the police report. She asked him to pick her up because she was scared, but in a later conversation she asked him not to do so.
Officers checked possible locations for Kakaris on Tuesday and have been checkout leads ever since, according to Major Scott Reeve.
“We have knocked on doors and talked to people, but we haven’t found her,” Reeve said. “We are concerned.”
Four other women with similar backgrounds remain missing from Middletown. The police department has enlisted the help the the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to locate the women or leads on their whereabouts.
The four women missing from Middletown are:
• Brandy English, 41, missing May 11, 2016 from Middletown
• Amber Flack, 30, missing Sept. 1, 2016 from Middletown
• Melinda (Oney) Miller, 47, missing Feb. 19, 2017 from Middletown
• Michelle Burgan, 47, missing May 16, 2017 from Middletown
Additionally, two others missing along the I-75/71 corridor could be connected.
• Amber Whitmer, 30, missing June 6, 2016 from Springfield
• Chelsey Coe, 25, reported missing in August from Miamisburg
Reeve said in recent weeks Middletown detectives have traveled to Jacksonville, Fla. and and Louisville, Ky. following leads on English, but had not luck finder her.
“It is difficult and frustrating trying to find these ladies because the don’t have a permanent address and have a lifestyles that makes them vulnerable,” Reeve said.
Reeve said all the women are adults with a history of drug abuse, and some were homeless and had a history of prostitution.
Detectives said it is possible English’s disappearance could be related to Lindsay Bogan, who went missing from Middletown two years ago and whose skeletal remains were found more than a year ago in a field on a Madison Twp. farm. Her death remains unsolved.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 9:50 AM
— Many who attended the recent forums on opioids held throughout the Miami Valley by Your Voice Ohio and this newspaper submitted questions about the epidemic. Here are some of the answers to those questions.
Q: How are the drugs coming into our country?
A variety of ways. Heroin may first enter the country through underground tunnels or in secret compartments hollowed out of car panels or welded into semi-trailer truck frames. At times, a dealer simply schedules a pickup with FedEx and plays the odds that a shipment will make it through.
Sometimes it comes in through a drug courier’s bowels, as mules are paid to carry balloons of heroin over the border on foot or through an airport.
Regardless of how it’s delivered, authorities say most of the heroin purchased in southwest Ohio — and in America today — is trafficked by violent criminal organizations based in one country: Mexico.
“To get a kilo of heroin in the Dayton area five years ago, that was a lot of heroin. Nowadays it’s not,” said Tim Plancon, assistant special agent in charge of DEA’s Ohio Columbus District Office.
Fentanyl — heroin’s more potent cousin, which is responsible for the large spike in deaths in the region seen in 2016 and 2017 — comes mainly through the mail from China.
Chinese authorities place little emphasis on controlling fentanyl production or export because the synthetic opioid is not widely used in China.
The fentanyl is sometimes difficult to trace because it arrives through a range of products that include fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription drugs like oxycodone.
Authorities say Chinese chemical exporters get around U.S. laws by exploiting unregulated online ordering systems, mislabeling shipments, and modifying banned substances to create yet-illegal substances.
Q: What are the true demographics of the addict population?
Final 2017 overdose numbers including demographic info on those who died aren’t available yet, but the 2016 numbers show the wide range of ages, races and cities affected by the epidemic.
In Montgomery County in 2016, the youngest to die was 2-year-old Lee Hays, who somehow got hold of fentanyl. The oldest was a 79-year-old man. Eighty percent were white; 64 percent were men. Dayton had the most deaths with 162, but people also overdosed and died in 20 other communities including Brookville, Clayton, Miamisburg, Oakwood and Washington Twp.
Q: Why is there not more focus on alternative medicines to opioids?
It has been shown that opioid addictions can start when undergoing treatment for short-term pain. Additionally, the use of opioids during short-term treatment has increased in the past few years.
To avoid the risk of addiction, researchers have explored using tylenol and ibuprofen for pain rather than opiates. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that on patients with broken bones and sprains, acetaminophen and ibuprofen worked as well as opioids at reducing severe pain.
The study notes that a pill combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen affects different pain receptors in the body, and can be highly effective. Pills that combine the two drugs are not yet available in the United States, and it’s also important to note that this study only looked at short-term pain relief in the emergency room.
Using ibuprofen and acetaminophen may not be ideal for long term use, according to Good Rx.
Q: What about medical marijuana?
While using marijuana to treat pain may have less mainstream approval than other treatments, a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine shows it can be effective in reducing neuropathic pain, a form of chronic pain that can cause damaged nerve endings.
Cannabinoids are seen by many doctors as actually “safer” than prescribing opioids, PBS reports. There are lower rates of addiction, and they don’t affect the brain stem. That means when using cannabis, your breathing and other basic life support functions are not affected, avoiding the risk of fatal overdoses.
Dr. Jordan Tishler, who handled emergency medicine at the Boston VA, states that most patients only need low doses of cannabis to treat chronic pain: “The amount they find relief with is nowhere near what laypeople recommend to each other or what recreational users take.”
Ohio’s medical marijuana program is set to launch later this year.
Q: How do people get hooked on opioids?
A 2013 study examining national-level general population heroin data — including those in and not in treatment — found that nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin. We also know that roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
When someone suffers from chronic pain, their body is constantly sending pain signals to their brain; which doesn’t allow their body to produce enough natural endorphins. At this point, a doctor would prescribe an opioid medication. Now the opioids and their natural endorphins can both land on their nerve receptors.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:28 PM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:41 PM
A 3-year-old girl died Sunday, just a few days after her babysitter was indicted on charges of felonious assault and felony child endangering.
Hannah Wesche was essentially “brain dead” at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, her father, Jason Wesche, previously said. She was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m., he said via a post made late Sunday morning on GoFundMe page #Hannahstrong#JusticeforHannah at www.gofundme.com/59at5mo.
As of 3:40 p.m. Sunday, the page had raised $8,332 of its $15,000 goal.
Lindsay Partin, who is accused of assaulting the 3-year-old child while in her care March 8, was free on bond Thursday after being arraigned on a felony indictment Thursday afternoon.
Partin, 35, of the 4000 block of Shank Road in Hanover Twp., was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on charges of felonious assault and felony child endangering. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens set bond at $75,000 at her arraignment.
Partin was free on bond at 7:15 p.m. Thursday. She is scheduled to be back in court for a pre-trial hearing on April 9.
At about 7 a.m. March 8, Hanover Twp. emergency crews and Butler County detectives responded to Partin’s residence for an unconscious child. They found Hannah unresponsive with labored breathing, according to the sheriff’s office. There were obvious bruises about her head and face.
The girl was taken by medical helicopter to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. After further investigation, detectives and hospital personnel noted additional bruising on the child’s body.
Partin admitted to striking the child and stated she had fallen and struck her head on the concrete garage floor the previous day.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:08 AM
DAYTON — The owner of MJ’s Fish and Chips arrived Saturday to find that someone fired multiple shots into the building.
Surveillance footage from the restaurant at 1600 W. Riverview Ave. showed that just after 1 a.m. a maroon small sport-utility vehicle, possibly a Kia Sportage, slowly drove south in the wrong direction of Paul Laurence Dunbar Avenue. The SUV briefly paused in front of the store before leaving the area.
At 1:45 a.m., Dayton police officers are seen checking the area after someone reported hearing several shots fired.
Police discovered 11 bullet holes: six in the window to the west of the doorway; three in the sign above the door; and two in the door.