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First Lady highlights big night in Charlotte

Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 @ 11:26 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 12:50 AM

Led by First Lady Michele Obama, Democrats Tuesday night sought to set the record straight about the last four years, proffering an opposite narrative of progress and prosperity from the tale of failure and futility cast by Republicans in Tampa last week.

From emotional personal stories about how “Obamacare” had saved lives to testimonials about how the auto bailout had saved jobs, the performance of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden was honored by Americans of various colors and creeds and different economic and social statuses.

At the same time, Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan were portrayed as indifferent to the struggles of common people, concerned foremost about the rich and privileged.

In an opening night that had an Ohio tint, including a fiery speech by former Gov. Ted Strickland, the convention set an ambitious goal: To reposition Obama as the leader of hope for the future, a four-years-ago image worn away by the perils of governing.

As Democratic surrogates swiped away at Romney, Mrs. Obama offered the human and softer touch to describe the ideological underpinnings to the way her husband governs, leading a cavalcade of female speakers in a program clearly designed to solidify the president’s lead among women voters.

“I’ve gotten to see up close and personal what being president really looks like,” Mrs. Obama said. “And I’ve seen how the issues that come across a president’s desk are always the hard ones — the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer, the judgment calls where the stakes are so high, and there is no margin for error.

“As president, you can get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people,” Mrs. Obama said, “but at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.

“For Barack, it’s not about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in peoples’ lives.”

Mrs. Obama’s speech, delivered at times with hushed earnestness, cast a different tone upon delegates in the Time Warner Cable Arena, which was punctuated by roars of approval as one speaker after another condemned the Republican agenda.

In his keynote address, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro portrayed Romney as out of touch by citing a speech the Republican had delivered in Ohio, telling students they could start a business by borrowing money from their parents.

“Gee, why didn’t I think of that?” said Castro, who came from a economically struggling family.

An array of Ohioans were featured on the dais, led by Strickland, co-chairman of Obama’s re-election campaign, who brought delegates to their feet with a speech rife with red meat to sate the appetites of ardent partisans.

Strickland, keeping with the evening’s script to set the record straight about Obama’s record, recited the stories of three Ohioans whose jobs were saved by the president’s $87 billion bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, saying Obama “refused to let the American auto industry die.”

And then Strickland trained his sights on Romney with brutal bluntness, saying that “if Mitt was Santa Claus he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.”

Continuing, Strickland said of Romney: “On what he’s saying about the president’s policy for welfare to work, he’s lying. Simple as that. On his tax returns, he’s hiding. You have to wonder, just what is so embarrassing that he’s gone to such great lengths to bury the truth? Whatever he’s doing to avoid taxes, can it possibly be worse than the Romney-Ryan tax plan that would have sliced Mitt’s total tax rate to less than 1 percent?”

Ryan Mahoney, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, castigated Strickland for launching “into nasty and false attacks in a pathetic attempt to gloss over President Obama’s failed economic record and defend the policies that have left Ohioans worse off than they were four years ago.

“Strickland can joke about Santa Claus and elves,” Mahoney said, “but with families strapped with declining incomes, fewer jobs and skyrocketing prices, middle class Ohioans want solutions to get our country back on track.”

Also on the program was Joyce Beatty, the Democratic congressional nominee from Columbus, who appeared with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other female Democratic House members and candidates.

As part of an effort to expand the gender gap Obama enjoys in polls, Beatty said Democrats were “moving Americans forward” by fighting for affordable health care and “equal pay for equal work,” seeking to “unleash the power of moms” with programs to make child care affordable.

“America’s success is dependent on the success of women,” Beatty said.

Doug Stern, a 15-year veteran of the Cincinnati Fire Department, addressed the convention, saying Republicans had driven him out of the party with an anti-public employee agenda, including Senate Bill 5, a voter-repealed law to roll back collective bargaining rights.

Nate Davis, a military veteran from Cincinnati who described himself as a devout Christian, lauded Obama’s support for veterans and their families, saying he couldn’t have gone to and graduated from Xavier University without the president’s the new GI bill.

Mrs. Obama was introduced by Elaine Brye of Winona, Ohio, a mother of five children, four of whom are serving in a different branch of the armed services. Last year, Brye so moved Mrs. Obama with a letter thanking her for her advocacy for military families that she was invited to a state dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“I’m a mom, and if someone is there for my family and families like mine, then I’ll be there for them,” Brye said.

Investigators digging to recover body of missing woman

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

Authorities are in Troy this morning in hopes of getting answers about a woman who went missing nearly seven years ago.

Nikki Lyn Forrest was 19 years old and pregnant when she disappeared in September 2010.

Investigators have new information in the cold case that has sent them to a backyard of a home off South Dorset Road near West Main Street in Troy.

A white tent is up and authorities tell us they are digging in hopes of recovering Nikki Lyn Forrest’s body.

We’re working to gather more details and will update this story as more information becomes available.

Kirkersville shooting cruiser camera video released

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 10:46 AM

Cruiser camera video showing the moments after an active shooter opened fire at a Kirkersville nursing home, killing the village’s police chief, has been released.

Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Disario, 38, was killed by a single shotgun blast as he exited his cruiser in the alley behind the nursing home.  

RELATED: Coroner releases new information on Kirkersville fatal shootings

Cindy Krantz, 48, a nurse’s aide at the home, died from a single, close-range shotgun wound in the hallway of the home.  

Marlina Medrano, 46, was killed in the nursing office. She died of multiple gunshot wounds from both a shotgun and a handgun.  

»MORE: Beyond Kirkersville: Country’s worst shootings in 2016 and so far this year happened in Ohio

All three of those deaths have been ruled homicides.  

Thomas Hartless, 43, was also found dead in the nursing office. He died of a single shotgun wound to the head. His death has been ruled a suicide.

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Terrorism expert calls Manchester attack the worst since 2005

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 10:04 AM

The explosion near Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom where an Ariana Grande concert on Monday is the second most significant attack in the country since 2005, according to Glen Duerr, a Cedarville University professor who has citizenship in the U.K., the United States and Canada.

“The targets really being teenage girls in particular, pre-teen girls and younger kids, so really (it’s) a heinous attack,” Duerr said. 

At least 22 people were killed and 59 injured which has been identified as a terrorist attack carried out by a male suicide bomber. 

RELATED: Manchester attack at Ariana Grande concert: What we know now

Duerr also noted the attack occurred in the middle of campaign season in the U.K.

“The general election is coming up on June 8,” he said. “The polls are beginning to narrow so there’s real chance to influence the election.”

Obamas vacation in Italy; Michelle’s fashion draws praise

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 10:36 AM

US former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle leave the Museum of Opera, one of the oldest private museums in Italy, during their visit to Siena, Tuscany region, Italy, Monday, May 22, 2017. The Obamas arrived in Tuscany last Friday for a six-day holiday. (Fabio Di Pietro/ANSA via AP)

Former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama were spotted this week in Italy as the two continued their post-White House vacations. 

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The couple visited the Museum of Opera, one of the oldest private museums in Italy, during a visit to Siena on Monday. According to The Associated Press, the couple arrived in Tuscany on Friday and plans to stay for six days. 

Earlier this month, the two visited Milan, Italy, where Barack Obama discussed climate change and food security at a global sustainable food summit.

Photographers captured images of Michelle Obama in what some have called an “off-duty look.”

The former FLOTUS sported a pink and white one-shoulder shirt and white denim capris with white sandals during a day on the town. She also donned hoop earrings, bangles and a small, white cross-body purse.

Michelle Obama’s top, from Finnish desinger Teija, costs $397

Barack Obama was photographed over the weekend golfing at the exclusive Castiglion del Bosco course. According to the Daily Mail, membership to the Castiglion del Bosco Golf Club is by invitation only and it is the country’s only private golf club in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

>> Related: People love pictures of Barack Obama's backwards hat in the Virgin Islands

The Obamas were photographed earlier in February vacationing in the British Virgin Islands with British media mogul Richard Branson after the inauguration of Donald Trump. 

>> Related: Barack Obama spends post-presidency hitting the waves

The former first couple was also spotted dining with U2’s Bono at a New York City restaurant in March and was seen yachting in French Polynesia in the company of Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey in April. 

Barack Obama will join German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday in Berlin for an event promoting the Obama Foundation’s global effort to “inspire and support young people active in narrowing inequality, combating climate change, working on public health, empowering women and girls and boosting young entrepreneurs,” CNN reported.