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FAA, Spirit Airlines ‘quickly became aware’ of Centerville pilot’s death

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 11:37 AM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:54 PM

Their deaths could be drug related.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Spirit Airlines “quickly became aware” of pilot Brian Halye’s likely drug overdose death, a spokeswoman for the federal agency said Monday.

Spirit Airlines also released new information to the Dayton Daily News and NewsCenter 7 about how it drug tests pilots, though the company has not said if it is internally investigating Halye’s death.

MORE: Funeral services set for centerville pilot, wife suspected of drug overdose

Halye, 36, of Centerville, and wife Courtney Halye, 34, were found dead Thursday by their four children. Their deaths appear to be drug-related, according to Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Director Ken Betz.

Investigators have not given any indication the Spirit Airlines pilot used drugs before the incident that led to his death. Halye’s last flight for the company before his death was March 10, a Spirit Airlines spokesman said.

MORE: Centerville wife found dead with pilot ‘hooked on drugs’ for years

Airline explains drug tests

The Dayton Daily News last week asked Spirit Airlines to provide more information about Halye’s employment, including the last route he flew and scheduled flights, the dates and results of any drug screens during and before his employment, and whether the carrier was aware of Halye’s apparent drug use.

The company initially declined to respond, though the Dayton Daily News continued to ask for comment over the weekend. On Monday, Spirit Airlines provided the newspaper with additional details about the airline’s drug policy, but the company did not say if it is internally investigating the matter, or the last time Halye was tested.

“Spirit Airlines is required by federal regulations to operate with the highest degree of safety,” said Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry in an emailed statement.

MORE: Overdoses likely cause of death of Centerville couple

U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration “regulations require that the airline conduct various drug and alcohol tests on all safety-sensitive employees including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers,” Berry said.

“These tests include, but are not limited to, pre-employment, random and reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing. Spirit Airlines is fully compliant with these DOT and FAA regulations,” Berry said.

“In addition, Spirit Airlines has implemented and maintains a number of programs, in cooperation with its pilot union, that exceed any federal mandates, designed to detect, report and assist employees with potential life challenges,” he said.

“In the event that someone in a safety sensitive position tests positive, they would be immediately removed from their position,” Berry said.

FAA database had ‘discrepancy’

The FAA and Spirit Airlines stay in “constant contact,” an FAA spokeswoman said, noting both organizations “quickly became aware” of the pilot’s death.

On Monday, the FAA confirmed the agency’s public database of pilots was updated to reflect the most up-to-date medical information about Halye, following the newspaper’s discovery of a discrepancy in agency records.

Last week, the federal agency’s database of pilots suggested Halye’s last medical certification was issued in September 2011, though the spokeswoman said Halye’s medical certification was up-to-date.

MORE: Spirit Airlines pilot’s suspected overdose draws national attention

The discrepancy was due to a duplication of files in the agency’s master database when Halye elected not to use his Social Security number when filing his certification, something that “happens occasionally,” according to FAA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory.

“The elimination of the Social Security number means the airman was assigned a random number, and ended up with two files in the master database,” Cory said. “They were merged in the master file, which enabled me to answer the question about whether he had an active medical so quickly on Thursday.”

The updated database lists Halye’s last medical certification as September 2016. While a urine sample is taken during the tests, the sample is tested for diseases but not drug use.

MORE: What is fentanyl and how does it kill?

Entire city of Greenville under boil advisory

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 6:09 PM

Residents must boil tap water before using for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food until further notice.

The boil water advisory applies to the entire City of Greenville Public Water System.

Tap water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute, according to a release issued Saturday evening.

The advisory was issued due to high turbidity, or (cloudiness) in the water supply.

The water plant routinely monitors water for turbidity to make sure it is properly filtered. Samples taken Saturday had higher levels for about seven minutes due to a mechanical failure. 

“Because of the elevated turbidity, there is an increased chance that your drinking water may contain harmful microbes,” the release stated.

Crews are in the area to collect water samples.

The boil advisory likely will remain in effect for the next three or more days until the quality of the water can be determined.

For more information, contact the City of Greenville Water Department at 937-548-2415 or the Greenville Utility Billing Department at 937-548-1815.

Boy, 10, dies after getting tangled in park swing

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 5:38 PM

A 10-year-old boy died Friday night after getting tangled in chains on a park swing. (Photo: ActionNewsJax.com)
A 10-year-old boy died Friday night after getting tangled in chains on a park swing. (Photo: ActionNewsJax.com)

A 10-year-old boy died Friday night after becoming tangled in chains on a swing at a park in Northwest Jacksonville, deputies said.

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Jacksonville sheriff's deputies responded at 6:15 p.m. to Charles "Boobie" Clark Park where they found the unresponsive boy, who investigators identified as NaShon Green.

Earlier, NaShon's mother walked with NaShon and her other three kids -- ages 9, 6 and 4 -- to play at the park. NaShon was standing on the swing, police said.

When the mother looked back at the boy, she saw the swing’s chains wrapped around his neck. She took him down from the swing and called 911.

NaShon was taken to UF Health Jacksonville, where he died of his injuries. 

The child's mother and other children are being questioned, but police said no foul play is suspected and the incident is being called a tragic accident by JSO.

The American Music Awards 2017: What time, what channel, who is performing at the AMAs?

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 11:29 AM

7 Things You Didn’t Know about the American Music Awards

The 45th American Music Awards ceremony is set for Sunday in Los Angeles, and if the past is any indication, you can expect a night with a few surprising moments. 

Remember Garth Brooks declining the award, or the time Pat Boone dressed in leather? Yeah, it’s likely to be that kind of night.

The show will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Here’s what you need to know about the show.

What time: The show begins at 8 p.m. ET

What channel: The AMAs will be broadcast live on ABC.

Who is hosting: Tracee Ellis Ross, star of “black-ish,” is hosting.

What about a pre-show: What would a music awards show be without a pre-show? AJ Gibson, Marc Malkin, Laura Marano and Oliver Trevena will host the official pre-show, “AMAs Red Carpet Live presented by Security Benefit.”

The two-hour pre-show will stream live from the Microsoft Theater beginning at 6 p.m. ET. You can watch the show on Twitter. Find it here. live.twitter.com/amas or via @AMAs. You can also watch “E! Live from the Red Carpet” from 6-8 p.m. ET. on the E! Network.

Who has the most nominations: Bruno Mars has the most nominations this year – eight.

Who is nominated for Artist of the Year: The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran are up for the award.

Who is up for Video of the Year: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee ("Despacito"), Bruno Mars ("That's What I Like") and Ed Sheeran ("Shape of You") are the nominees.

For a complete list of nominees, click here.

Who is performing: Here is a list of those scheduled to perform:

Alessia Cara
Alesso
BTS
Christina Aguilera 
Kelly Clarkson 
Florida Georgia Line
Niall Horan
Selena Gomez
Imagine Dragons
Lady Gaga
Nick Jonas
Khalid
Demi Lovato 
Shawn Mendes
P!nk
Portugal. The Man
Diana Ross
Hailee Steinfeld
watt
Zedd

Anything special: Diana Ross, mother of host Tracee Ellis Ross, is both performing and receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Florida man covered in facial tattoos arrested in car theft, police say

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 5:15 PM

Robert Hardister was arrested and charged with grand theft auto after stealing a car in Putnam County, Marion County, deputies said. (Photo: WFTV.com)
Robert Hardister was arrested and charged with grand theft auto after stealing a car in Putnam County, Marion County, deputies said. (Photo: WFTV.com)

Marion County deputies, with the help of their K-9, helped find a car theft suspect covered in facial tattoos who was sought by Putnam County authorities, investigators said.

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Deputies said they noticed a stolen 2005 Hyundai Saturday as it pulled into the parking lot of the Queens Garden Resort in Ocala.

Robert Wade Hardister, 26, got out of the car and ran, deputies said. 

Deputy Matthew Hooper said he and K-9 Ramo tracked Hardister down, at which point Hardister surrendered to deputies without incident.

Hardister was arrested and charged with grand theft auto.