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Family attorney disputes reports in Beavercreek Walmart shooting

Published: Friday, September 26, 2014 @ 11:50 AM
Updated: Saturday, September 27, 2014 @ 10:11 PM


            WHIO receives stack of witness statements about Walmart shooting

Sept. 27, 2014

Attorney Michael Wright - who represents the family of John Crawford III - issued a statement Saturday evening about documents released Friday in the fatal shooting inside a Walmart store.

Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams stated he shot the 22-year-old Fairfield man twice after he failed to comply with repeated commands to drop his weapon and get on the ground. Instead, Crawford reportedly turned toward police in an "aggressive manner," according to official statements made by Williams after the fatal Aug. 5 shooting at the Beavercreek store.

Wright disputes Williams' statement, specifically that Crawford acted aggressively toard police. The attorney said surveillance video contradicts Williams' account, as well as the officer's statements that he felt his life, the life of another officer and the lives of others in the store were in immediate danger.

"It is difficult to understand how Officer Williams believed anyone was in immediate danger as Mr. Crawford was standing in the aisle alone and talking on his cellphone. ... (Crawford) is dead and no one is being held accountable, this is not just!" Wright stated.

"Again, the Crawford family is very disappointed that Officer Sean Williams was not indicted for the unlawful killing of John Crawford III."

Sept. 26, 2014

Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams shot John Crawford III twice after he failed to comply with repeated commands to drop his weapon and get on the ground, and instead turned toward police in an "aggressive manner," according to official statements made by Williams after the fatal Aug. 5 Walmart shooting, which our newsroom obtained Friday from a public records request.

Sgt. David M. Darkow, in his official account of the shooting, said he and Williams yelled for Crawford to drop the weapon and get on the ground, but Crawford just "looked in our direction" while holding the rifle and then made a quick movement, at which time Williams shot him.

Williams was not one of the officers dispatched to the store, Crawford's friend said he smelled like marijuana that day, a witness heard police tell Crawford to drop the gun and police detectives contend they could not tell from a visual inspection of the air rifle Crawford was carrying that it was not a real firearm.

However, a Walmart employee said he saw Crawford carrying the air rifle, and though it looked like a fake assault weapon, and he tried to report this to another department, fearing panic could ensure, a witness statement shows. The employee said about 10 minutes later he heard the gunshots.

Williams wrote that Darkow "repeatedly yelled, 'Drop the weapon!'" but Crawford "turned towards us in an aggressive manner with the rifle in hand."

Another shopper, Angela Williams, suffered a fatal heart attack while running from the commotion once officers opened fire.

Walmart surveillance video of the shooting was released Wednesday at a news conference by special prosecutor Mark Piepmeier. A special grand jury decided not to hand up indictments in the case.

Videos released

Walmart surveillance video of the actual shooting was released Wednesday at a news conference by special prosecuter Mark Piepmeier. A special grand jury's decided not to hand down indictments in the case.

WATCH THE VIDEO (Warning: this video contains content that some may find graphic and not appropriate for all ages.)

Local firefighters applaud signing of cancer bill into law

Published: Thursday, January 05, 2017 @ 2:59 PM


            Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 27, now known as the “Michael Louis Palumbo Jr. Act,” into law Jan. 4. It allows firefighters who have cancer to file claims with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. Pictured are firefighters from various Butler County jurisdictions during a training exercise last spring. STAFF FILE/2016

A bill that would help firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer as a result of their job has been signed into law.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 27, now known as the “Michael Louis Palumbo Jr. Act,” into law Wednesday. It allows firefighters who have cancer to file claims with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

More than 30 states already have similar laws.

“An untold amount of time and hard work has gone into making this law a reality,” Tony Harris, president of the Hamilton Local IAFF 20, told the Journal-News. “It is appropriate that Gov. Kasich is giving this law the attention it deserves by signing it surrounded by firefighters that it will help protect.”

Research has shown fire personnel are much more likely than the general population to get some forms of cancer. A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that about 68 percent of firefighters get cancer, compared to 22 percent of the general public, regardless of race or gender.

In the course of their work, firefighters are exposed to many cancer-causing materials, such as asbestos, according to Doug Stern of the Ohio Professional Fire Fighters.

“…We’re exposed to a toxic soup of chemicals and combustion byproducts linked to cancer,” Stern previously told the Journal-News. “The reality is many of our friends and colleagues are dying with their boots off, and contracting occupationally related cancers far too young of an age with more aggressive types of cancers.”

The law is named after Palumbo, a Cleveland-area fire captain who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was at the bill signing along with his family.

Harris said the law is the “most important piece of legislation to pass through the Statehouse in 30 years for firefighters.”

While some lawmakers expressed concerns about the strain the measure could put on municipalities’ budgets, it gained approval in both the House and Senate.

Stern said the law will only apply to firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer, such as lung, prostate or brain cancers and leukemia.

Firefighters who smoke, are over the age of 75, or who served less than three years would also be exempt from additional benefits under the law, according to Stern.

SW Ohio college to offer 1st beer-brewing science degree in the state

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 4:38 PM

SANTA ROSA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Freshly poured glasses of Russian River Brewing Company Pliny the Younger triple IPA beer sit on a counter at Russian River Brewing Company on February 7, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California. Hundreds of people lined up hours before the opening of Russian River Brewing Co. to taste the 10th annual release of the wildly popular Pliny the Younger triple IPA beer that will only be available on tap from February 7th through February 20th. Craft beer aficionados rank Pliny the Younger as one of the top beers in the world. The craft beer sector of the beverage industry has grown from being a niche market into a fast growing 12 billion dollar business, as global breweries continue to purchase smaller regional craft breweries such this week's purchase of New York's Blue Point Brewing by AB Inbev. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America

Ohio’s first two-year brewing science degree program is scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday, May 23 in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is scheduled to announce the brewing degree — the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Brewing, part of the Midwest Culinary Institute, to be exact — at a ceremony Tuesday morning. The new degree program was only recently approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Cincinnati State officials call it “the first 2-year Brewing Science degree program in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana,” and they said the program was designed with extensive input from brewing industry leaders.

RELATED: Dayton’s craft beer: A guide to breweries

Employers in the fast growing craft beer industry say the new degree will help fill a key skills gap and will accelerate the region’s growing reputation as a national center of excellence in brewing.

“This is huge,” said Brady Duncan, co-founder of Madtree Brewing Co. “The new brewing degree program at Cincinnati State will not only save us a ton of on-the-job training time, but it will also help put Cincinnati on the national brewing map. You want to be a city known for quality, and this will help all of us in the local brewing industry to raise the bar.”

RELATED: 10 best breweries in the Dayton region

We reached out to Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, for her response to the news. MacDonald called it “a fantastic opportunity.”

The craft brewers association “was hoping that one or more colleges would launch a brewing science degree program,” MacDonald said. She’s hoping other, similar programs are developed elsewhere in the state.

RELATED: New brewery to open this spring east of the Dayton Mall (January 2017)

Cole Hackbarth, director of brewing operations for Rhinegeist brewery in Cincinnati, said in a release that the new degree “will not only provide students with a good background in brewing, professionally it’s also definitely something that employers will look for, especially for people who want to become a brew master or head brewer.”

In the last six years, more than a dozen craft breweries have opened across the greater Dayton area, helping to revitalize downtown Dayton and providing jobs and tax revenues. Nearly every brewery that has opened has expanded its operations in some way, either buying or leasing more property or starting canning and bottling operations in order to sell packaged beers. And more breweries are in the works, including locations in Washington Twp., Xenia and the Mason-West Chester area.

Florida ‘teen doctor’ sentenced to one year in Virginia prison

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 8:45 PM

A 20-year-old West Palm, man accused by local authorities of posing as a doctor was sentenced to one year in prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to fraud charges in Virginia.

Malachi Love-Robinson was sentenced to the prison term after he pleaded guilty in March to charges of making false statements to obtain credit and of passing a forged document. He still faces criminal proceedings in Palm Beach County, where authorities allege he practiced medicine without a license and defrauded patients.

>> Read more trending news

Love-Robinson, who turned 20 on May 12, was out on bail when he reportedly traveled to Stafford, Virginia, in September and tried to purchase a used car. Virginia authorities say he provided fraudulent information while trying to purchase the vehicle and claimed that an elderly relative accompanying had agreed to be a co-signer.

He reportedly tried to buy a $26,000 Lexus from a used-car dealership. He initially asked about buying a Jaguar, but was told the dealership did not have any left in stock, a dealership employee told The Palm Beach Post in September.

Authorities say he also used the relative’s credit cards to purchase two iPads and a cellphone.

Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Edmondson said Monday that Love-Robinson will be extradited to Palm Beach County but would not comment on when that would occur.

Love-Robinson received national attention after being arrested in February 2016 by Palm Beach County authorities. He allegedly gave medical advice and a physical exam to an undercover officer.

Authorities say Love-Robinson was practicing without a license in an office at the West Palm Medical Plaza, near JFK Medical Center North. He is also accused of defrauding an elderly woman of nearly $35,000 after examining her after she complained of stomach pains.

Authorities say he also stole nearly $43,000 from the business account of New Directions, a Boynton Beach, Florida, addiction-treatment center.

Love-Robinson was briefly employed as a program director at New Directions. He left to open his own practice called New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center.

Following his Palm Beach County arrest, Love-Robinson made an appearance on “Good Morning America.” He defended his actions, saying he had only practiced alternative medicine and had the proper certifications to do so.

When she first ‘liked’ his Instagram photo, he had no idea she would soon become his wife

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:48 AM

File photo
Carl Court/Getty Images

Scott and Laura Ulrich’s love story is beautiful, but a little unusual. Their journey started with a simple “like” on Instagram, and now the happy couple is married and enjoying life together in Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news 

This coffee-brewing, city-living, cat-loving couple proves that anything can happen if you meet the right person, and you’re willing to be a little bold. According to Laura:

Scott and I went to the same college, Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. I knew who he was, but he didn’t even know I existed. I remember when I saw him for the first time, he had the most beautiful eyes that I had ever seen. We spoke for maybe two minutes, then he walked away.

RELATED: Not all superheroes wear capes

In that moment, Scott had no idea that he was speaking to his future wife for the first time, but Laura knew he was special from that very first moment:

I joked with my friends that I was going to marry Scotty Ulrich… well, I was sort of joking.

A year went by, and their brief conversation turned into nothing more than that. They both transferred to Georgia State University around the same time, and that’s when things started to get interesting. Laura explained that timing and location was all they needed to get the ball rolling.

It has been a little over a year since I had thought about Scott, but then randomly one day while I was in the car with a friend, Scott’s name popped into my head and I just had to see what he was up to. I quickly realized that he was also living in Atlanta. I followed him on Instagram, and shortly after we started liking each others pictures. Then I did something bold and a little out of character for me; I sent him a message telling him that we should be friends.

Scott may not have known who Laura was before, but she definitely caught his attention with that message.

I knew I wanted to take this pretty girl on a date, but I had just gotten into a car wreck and my car was totaled. I ended up buying her a train ticket, and asked her if she wanted to grab coffee with me. We were pretty much inseparable after she entered the station. It was a date that we never wanted to end.

Laura looks back on the day that she decided to check up on Scott via Instagram, and stresses to others that sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone to get some of the most special things in life.

Piece of advice: don’t ask your friends to set you up with someone. There’s is no one better to set you up with someone then [sic] yourself. If you never try, you never know. And you are probably much more incredible then you think you are. So I think people should go for it. You have nothing to lose. Be bold.