Giant Jesus landmark returns to I-75

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 12:11 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 5:43 PM

Watch a time-lapse of the new statue, "Lux Mundi." The 52-foot statue is located at Solid Rock Church in Monroe.

Staff Writer Michael D. Pitman contributed to this story.

One of the largest — and most controversial — landmarks along Interstate 75 is back and bigger than ever.

After Solid Rock Church’s “King of Kings” sculpture, commonly referred to as “Touchdown Jesus” was struck by lightning in June 2010, the late Rev. Lawrence Bishop and his wife, Darlene, pledged the statue would rise again.

That prophecy came true under bright blue skies Wednesday

The statue — called “Lux Mundi” which is Latin for “Light of the World” — depicts Jesus with arms wide open, as though preparing to hug someone.

Crews started installing the torso of the statue at 11 a.m. As the final piece of the 52-foot statue was lowered into place, the sounds of honking cars on I-75 could be heard in the distance.

Lawrence Bishop, co-pastor and son of the late minister, called the sculptor “a beacon of hope” for I-75 travelers. He referred to the statue as the “heartbeat of the church.”

Solid Rock Church’s 3,000 members come from “all walks of life,” Bishop said, so it was important for the sculpture to illustrate the openness the church has for all people.

The statue’s sculptor, Tom Tsuchiya, of Cincinnati, said the extended arms represent a “simple message: Let’s all get along.”

The previous statue cost about $250,000 and was funded through a church member’s donation, Bishop said. The church used insurance money from the fire two years ago to purchase the new statue.

“It’s neat to see this day finally come,” said church administrator Ron Carter.

The statue represents “the hope of the world,” Carter said. “Right now, this world needs a positive message.”

Tom Rhoades, of Enon, and Linda Cornell, of Springfield, made the 45-minute trek to Monroe after they heard the statue was going to be erected Wednesday. They’ve driven multiple times up and down I-75 and said they have been anticipating this new statue.

Cornell called the statue “pretty neat” and said it looks more realistic than the previous one. Rhoades said the companies who worked to create the statue — Dayton-based Global Manufacturing Solutions and Englewood-based Display Dynamics — did a “fantastic job.”

To help prevent the same fate as its predecessor, the sculpture contains a lightning rod and is mostly made of a fire-resistant polymer composite.

The statue will be dedicated at 7 p.m. Sept. 30, followed by a church service and fireworks.

Kevin Durant tweet calls out former coach, teammates, prompting theories of fake account

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 2:59 AM

Kevin Durant Bio

Kevin Durant is probably the most active NBA superstar on Twitter, and he regularly interacts with fans (and haters) on social media. But it appears as if being an avid tweeter might have backfired on him.

>> On Kevin Durant responds to former ESPN reporter after White House criticism on Twitter

Someone tweeted at Durant and asked him to give a legitimate reason for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder outside of winning a championship. Durant's official account responded, but many social media users believe that he intended to respond from another account to defend himself and not his own. His tweet called out his former teammates, organization and coach Billy Donovan.

>> Read more trending news

Fans theorized that Durant has multiple accounts, and he forgot to switch them before responding, which led to this encounter via @harrisonmc15:

>> Check it out here

“He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan,” read Durant's tweets, which have since been deleted. “His roster wasn’t that good, it was just him and Russ.

“Imagine taking Russ off that team, see how bad they were. KD can’t win a championship with those cats.”

Other fans also weighed in

Read more here.

(h/t CBS Sports)

Grieving mom says baby’s ashes mishandled by funeral home, files suit

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 7:15 AM

            A local woman has sued Thomas Funeral Home, alleging that the home mishandled and/or lost the cremains of her baby.
A local woman has sued Thomas Funeral Home, alleging that the home mishandled and/or lost the cremains of her baby.

Thomas Funeral Home allegedly lost the cremains of a mother’s stillborn daughter and covered up their actions by giving her four containers allegedly filled with the baby’s ashes, according to a lawsuit filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Brandy Davis’ baby, Bradleigh Lee Black, was stillborn Sept. 16, 2016 and Davis paid the Trotwood funeral home to cremate her daughter two days later, according to the suit.

“Ms. Davis had hoped to love and honor her daughter by keeping her cremains safe,” according to the complaint written by Jennifer Branch, Davis’ attorney. “However, Thomas Funeral Home lost Bradleigh’s cremains and (are) covering up their actions by providing her, on four separate occasions, containers allegedly filled with Bradleigh’s cremains.”

RELATED: Inspection results of Carlisle crematory leave local family ‘disgusted’

Neither funeral home owner James K. Thomas nor his attorney were immediately available to comment on the lawsuit. The funeral home has not yet responded in court to the lawsuit.

Davis alleges, in the lawsuit, that the funeral home first told her that her baby’s ashes all fit into two half-teaspoon, heart-shaped urns attached to two necklaces.

The complaint alleged that on Oct. 7, 2016, Davis was given the two tiny necklace urns and assured all of her infant daughter’s cremains were inside.

MORE: Carlisle crematory’s license revoked after inspection finds bodies not refrigerated

Skeptical and grief stricken, the complaint said, Davis asked, “Where is the rest of my baby?” Davis was told she couldn’t look inside the urns because they’d been sealed, according to the suit. The next day, according to the complaint, Davis opened the urns and they were empty, leaving her “heartbroken and distraught.”

Funeral home director Carolyn Owens apologized to Davis and promised to investigate, according to the lawsuit.

Days later, according to the lawsuit, owner James Thomas “threw a common plastic Ziploc sandwich bag on the desk” and said the few ounces of light gray powder was Bradleigh’s cremains.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Owens apologized again and wrote Davis a personal check for $250, which Davis didn’t cash, the complaint alleged. The lawsuit alleged Owens asked Davis if DNA testing would give her reassurance, but Thomas said it was not possible.

Through an attorney, Davis arranged for DNA testing and for the funeral home to keep the container in a safe, but the material sent to the lab consisted of larger, darker particles than Davis saw. Photos of the different cremains are included with the lawsuit. Results came back inconclusive, the lawsuit said.

A fourth bag was provided to Davis in May 2017 and DNA testing results had not come back yet, according to the lawsuit.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

The complaint alleged that Premium Mortuary of Carlisle — not Thomas Funeral Home — placed Bradleigh’s cremains in a bag that was zip-tied with a metal ID and placed inside an urn with another ID tag and paperwork, which was placed inside a box with another ID.

The complaint, contradicting Thomas’ actions when he presented a Ziploc bag, said that “at no time did the mortuary place Bradleigh’s cremains in a plastic Ziploc bag.” A message left by this news organization at the now-closed mortuary was not returned.

The mortuary is not named in the complaint; it is identified only in photos attached as exhibits to the complaint and filed with the court.

The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and alleges negligence, infliction of serious emotional distress, interference with a dead body, intentional misrepresentation and breach of contract. Defendants named are the funeral home, James K. Thomas Corporation and Thomas himself.

The defendants “acted to cover up their actions, and actively concealed from Ms. Davis the whereabouts of Bradleigh’s cremains and the fact they lost Bradleigh’s cremains,” Branch wrote. “To this day, Ms. Davis does not know where her daughter, Bradleigh is. She worries her daughter is alone, unprotected, and unsafe.”

Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 1:23 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 7:06 AM

SCENE: Beavercreek water main break

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute. 

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents to report

RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

Surface Street Incidents

  • In the 300 block of West Fairview Avenue in Dayton, police and medics were dispatched to a report of a crash that left a car on its side around 7 a.m. 
  • In the 200 block of Scarlett Drive in Beavercreek, a significant water main break was reported around 5:20 a.m.

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Alex-Bell Road will be closed for work on the Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek until Nov. 30. More information, including detour information, is available here.
  • A half-mile of Stroop Road in Kettering between Woodman Drive and Glenheath/Braddox intersection will be closed until the end of the year so a bridge can be replaced. .
  • US 40 between Preble County Line Road and Diamond Mill Road, daily lane closures between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. through Oct. 14. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 725 between SR 4 and Union Road, daily lane closures between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. through Oct. 14. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 4 between Dayton-Liberty Road and SR 725, daily lane closures between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. through Oct. 14. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 202 between Troy Villa Boulevard and Chesam Drive, traffic pattern shift through Sept. 25. All northbound traffic will be shifted to the southbound side of SR 202. There will be one southbound lane and one northbound lane operating on the southbound side of SR 202.
  • I-675 between Paragon Road and Wilmington Pike, nightly lane closure between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. through Sept. 29. These will become double lane closures at 8 p.m. On elane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-75 south ramp to US 35 west will be closed through Sept. 30 to replace a bridge deck beam that was not included in the I-75 modernization project. The official detour is: I-75 south to the Edwin C. Moses turn around lane to I-75 north to U.S. 35 west.
  • I-75 north ramp the US 35 east will be closed March 28th to September 23rd. ODOT lists the suggested detour as NB I-75 to US 35 west, to James H McGee Blvd, to US 35 east. 
  • I-75 north/Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, ramp closure through Sept. 23. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 between I-70 and SR 571, nightly lane closures between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. through Oct. 31. The northbound side will become a double lane closure between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-70 between I-75 and I-675, nightly lane closures between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. through Sept. 30. These will become double lane closures at 9 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • Shroyer Road between Gainsborough Road and East Dorothy Lane will be repaved and reconfigured through at least October. Once the project is completed, Shroyer Road will be reduced to three lanes. 
  • The Webster Street bridge is closed as it is rebuilt. A detour will take drivers to Keowee Street to Monument Avenue. The project is scheduled to be completed in November. 
  • Benchwood-Wyse Ramp to I-75 north, ramp closure between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sept. 18 - 20 The official ODOT detour is: Benchwood to Webster Street to Needmore Road to I-75 north.
  • Main Street from Phillipsburg-Union Road to Interstate 70 in Englewood will experience delays beginning Sept. 18 for repaving. 


  • Piqua-Troy Road between Statler Road and Eldean Road, bridge closure through Oct. 12. The official ODOT detour is: Piqua-Troy Road to West Peterson Road to CR 25A to Eldean Road to Piqua-Troy Road.
  • I-75 between CR 25A (Troy) and US 36, shoulder closures through Oct. 31.
  • West Peterson Road at Piqua Troy Road, road closure through Oct. 21. The official ODOT detour is westbound: Piqua Troy Road to Statler Road to CR 25A north to Eldean Road to Piqua Troy Road. Eastbound: West Peterson Road to Troy Sidney Road to Statler Road to Piqua Troy Road.
  • SR 41 between SR 202 and Dye Mill Road, road closure Sept. 25 - Oct. 6. The official detour is: SR 202 to SR 55.
  • A section of Piqua-Troy Road will be closed from  7 a.m. on Sept. 18  to 5 p.m. on Sept. 29 , for water and sewer main extension projects.


  • Old Troy Pike in Mad River Twp.  to through traffic between Beff Road and State Route 560 will be closed daily, beginning Sept. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for one month drainage improvements and road reconstruction. 


  • I-70 east ramp to I-675 north, ramp closure through Oct.31. The official detour is: I-675 to SR 444 to I-675 north.
  • SR 41 between Donnels Creek Lane and SR 235, lane closures between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Oct. 16.  One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 56 between SR 29 and Houston Pike, Daily lane closures between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Sept. 30.  One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-70 west near I-675, lane width restrictions through Oct. 31. The roadway will be restricted to 22 feet in this area.
  • US 40 west ramp to US 68 north, ramp closure through Oct. 4. The officials detour is: US 40 to SR 4 to US 68.


  • SR 502 between the Ohio Indiana State Line and Palestine Union City Road, road closure through Sept. 29. The official ODOT detour is: Indiana 227 to US 36 to SR 121 to SR 49.
  • SR 127 near SR 121, rolling road block between 7 a.m. and noon Sept. 24. Closures will be brief, lasting about 15 minutes. 
  • I-75 between SR 119 and SR 274, Nightly lane closures between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. through Sept. 30. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, shoulder closures through Nov. 17. *There could be intermittent lane closures in this area between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • SR 66 between Enterprise Drive and Greenback Road, road closure through Oct.13. The official detour is: SR 185 to SR 48 to US 36 to SR 185.

Attorney in Carlisle buried baby case want experts’ names, emails

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6:27 AM

Brooke Skylar Richardson in court

The defense attorney for a Carlisle teen charged with aggravated murder in the death of her infant is requesting the names of experts the prosecution has consulted in the case.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, is charged with aggravated murder and other felonies for allegedly purposely killing the baby after its birth on May 6 or 7, then burning and burying the body in the backyard of her home.

MORE: Carlisle buried baby case: attorneys want access to interrogation room

Last week, defense attorney Charlie M. Rittgers filed a motion in Warren County Common Pleas Court requesting “the names of all experts consulted by the state, whether or not the state intends to use their opinions. Also, all emails and correspondence between the state and any and all experts consulted by the state regarding the case.”

MORE: What both sides in Carlisle buried baby case said before gag order

Brooke Skylar Richardson appeared in Warren County Common Pleas Court with her parents, Wednesday, Sept. 6, for a pretrial hearing, however, court proceedings did not go on the record. GREG LYNCH / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Earlier this month, Rittgers filed a motion requesting “… permission to go into the interview room at the Carlisle Police Department where Brooke Skylar Richardson was interviewed in order to take photographs and take measurements in the room.”

That motion was the first indication that Richardson herself talked with police about the incident.

EXCLUSIVE: Prosecutor outlines challenges in Carlisle buried baby case

Richardson is scheduled to appear Sept. 27 for a pre-trial hearing. Previous pre-trial meetings took place in Judge Donald Oda II’s chambers, and there was no hearing to put any information on the record.

A gag order has been issued by Oda prohibiting all parties involved in the case from making public statements about the case.

Richardson’s trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 6.