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Grand jury indicts Butler County corrections officer accused of sex with inmate

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 2:26 PM
Updated: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 2:28 PM

Nakisha Newell, a former Butler County corrections officer, is accused of having sex with an inmate at the Butler County Jail. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Nakisha Newell, a former Butler County corrections officer, is accused of having sex with an inmate at the Butler County Jail. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A fired Butler County corrections officer accused of engaging in sexual activity with an inmate was greeted with an indictment Tuesday when she showed up for a preliminary hearing in Hamilton Municipal Court

Nakisha Newell, 28, of Monroe, was arrested Nov. 27 after a day-long investigation by the sheriff’s office.

Newell was charged with two counts of sexual battery and illegal conveyance into a detention facility for allegedly having sex with a male inmate at the Hanover Street corrections facility.

FIRST REPORT: Butler County corrections officer fired for sexual misconduct

Newell was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday on the initial charges, but prosecutors told her attorney an indictment had been returned by the Butler County grand jury.

Newell, her attorney Mike Allen, and Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Kelly Heile then moved to Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Greg Stephens’ courtroom, where Newell was arraigned on the indicted charges of two counts of sexual battery, a third-degree felony, and one count of illegal conveyance into a detention facility, a first-degree misdemeanor.

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Allen entered a not guilty plea on Newell’s behalf and requested the $5,000 bond posted in municipal court be transferred to common pleas court.

Newell is the mother of four children and is not a flight risk, Allen said.

“She’s not going anywhere,” he said. The attorney declined to comment after the hearing.

Stephens granted the transfer of bond, but ordered Newell taken into custody until the transfer took place.

Newell, who was employed as a corrections officer for 18 months, is also accused of bringing a cell phone and electronic cigarettes into the jail. She was fired from her position after being charged.

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Butler County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Mike Craft said an observant corrections sergeant brought information to administrators and an investigation into possible criminal activity began.

During questioning about the contraband, Newell confessed to having sex with a male inmate, Craft said.

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Power restored after tree falls on power lines

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 8:53 PM
Updated: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 10:42 PM

UPDATE @ 10:39 p.m.:

Power has been restored to the nearly 200 DP&L customers who were without power Monday night, according to the DP&L Outage Map.

A tree had fallen on power lines around 6:30 p.m. on Jaysville-St Johns Road in Greenville.

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Almost 200 DP&L customers are without power because of a fallen tree in Greenville Monday night. 

A large tree fell on DP&L power lines around 6:30 p.m. on Jaysville-St Johns Road north of US-36, according to dispatchers.

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The scene has been cleared but DP&L is working to restore power, according to DP&L spokesperson Mary Ann Kabel.

DP&L expects power to be restored around midnight but could change as progress is made, Kabel said.

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Country music personality Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 10:35 PM

Country music personality Hazel Smith has died. She was one of the first female journalista to cover the genre and was also a publicist and cookbook author.
Country music personality Hazel Smith has died. She was one of the first female journalista to cover the genre and was also a publicist and cookbook author.(Wikicommons)

There are many who have played a part in the landscape of country music, many who have added their talents to the tapestry of the music genre that has had an impact on so many lives. many who have affected the history of Nashville and country music and many who have left us sooner than we would have liked.

>> Read more trending news 

One of those people is Hazel Smith.

According to “The Tennessean,” the longtime Nashville media personality passed away at her home on March 18 following “a period of declining health.” She was 83.

Declaring herself country music’s mother hen, Hazel was a fixture on Nashville’s Music Row for decades. She was a journalist when female journalists weren’t a common thing. She was also a songwriter, a publicist, a cookbook author and a television personality as host of CMT’s “Southern Fried Flicks.”

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Yet, one of her most meaningful and lasting contributions to country music is the fact that she coined the term “outlaw music” while she was working as a publicist back in the early 1970s for the Glaser Brothers’ Hillbilly Central office and studio.

“Now, it doesn’t say this in mine or any other dictionary I’ve seen, but it said that ‘outlaw’ meant virtually living on the outside of the written law,” Hazel told “The Nashville Scene” in 1997, as reported on by “The Tennessean.” “It just made sense to me, because [record producers] Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins were doing marvelous music, but this was another step in another direction.”

Soon after the news of her death was released, many in the country music community headed to their social media accounts to express their sadness over the news, including producer Buddy Cannon.

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Very sorry to hear of the passing of Hazel Smith,” Buddy said.

Hazel was a wonderful lady who was a great friend to many of us. She was a colorful, tell it like she saw it kind of a person, and you never had to wonder about her stand on something. Willie Nelson credits Hazel with connecting the term ‘outlaw music’ with himself, Waylon, Tompall [Glaser] and all the musical renegades that broke out of the Nashville music factory prison back in the 1970s. We all loved Hazel, and her presence will not soon be forgotten. Rest easy Hazel Smith,” Cannon said.

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Confessed Parkland school shooter’s brother arrested for allegedly trespassing at Stoneman Douglas

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 8:40 PM

West Boca High School students walked to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., February 20, 2018. 
Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post
West Boca High School students walked to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., February 20, 2018. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)

The brother of confessed school shooter Nikolas Cruz was arrested Monday afternoon for trespassing on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas campus in Parkland, according to the Broward County Sheriff’ Office. 

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Zachary Cruz, 18, told deputies he went to the campus to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in,” according to the arrest report. 

The sheriff’s office said he rode his skateboard through the campus, passing all locked doors and gates. Deputies said he was previously warned by school officials to stay away from the campus. 

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The sheriff’s office said Zachary Cruz has no connections to Broward County at this time. Before the shootings, he lived with his brother and family friend, Rocxanne Deschamps, in a Lantana-area mobile home. 

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Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged in a 34-count indictment with killing 17 people and wounding 17 others. He is being held without bail at the Broward County Jail after the Feb. 14 school shooting that left 14 students and three adults dead. 

After the fatal shootings, Zachary Cruz was put under a mental-health evaluation. He told investigators that as he drove home with Deschamps after he heard about the shootings he said, "I don't want to be alive. I don't want to deal with this stuff."

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He has denied wanting either to kill or harm himself. 

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Latest Austin explosion has experts tweaking bomber profile

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 9:30 PM

Austin Mayor Steve Adler talks to reporters in the Travis Country neighborhood on Monday after a bomb exploded seriously injured two men. 
Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman
Austin Mayor Steve Adler talks to reporters in the Travis Country neighborhood on Monday after a bomb exploded seriously injured two men. (Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman)

Law enforcement and others seeking clues into the mind of what now appears to be a serial bomber say the latest explosive incident on Sunday night, the city’s fourth over 17 days, provided more trail crumbs than definitive signposts pointing toward a potential suspect.

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Austin interim Police Chief Brian Manley has said preliminary indications are that the newest bomb is similar enough in construction to be connected to the previous three. That doesn’t necessarily mean all were manufactured and planted by the same person.

But if that does turn out to be the case, experts said, the latest attack would slightly alter their profile of the serial bomber’s methods and motive.

Police on Monday said it appears as though a trip wire was used to trigger the latest blast in Southwest Austin, revealing two new important pieces of information about the bomber.

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The first is that the new form of detonation indicates the person making the explosive has a higher level of skill or sophistication, said Fred Milanowski, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ special agent in charge of the Houston field division.

The earlier bombs, which were hidden in packages, appear to have been detonated by movement devices, which would complete a circuit when the package was lifted or tilted, experts said. The latest incident means that investigators now must contemplate a bomber capable of using multiple methods to start an explosion, perhaps even by timer or remote control.

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A trip wire, which typically works by stringing a taut string across a pathway, detonates a bomb when a person pushes into it. Stringing a wire across or near a route used by multiple people could introduce a new element of randomness to the attacks, said James R. Fitzgerald, a former FBI profiler who worked on the Unabomber case.

Employing a detonating device that doesn’t target any particular person would indicate a dangerous capriciousness and callousness, he said — the bomber “wants to strike out at some perceived wrong, and anyone 

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By mixing his targets — from specific people who receive a package on their porch to anyone who stumbles by — the bomber could be trying to spread general fear and unease throughout the city, Fitzgerald said.

Or he might be purposefully trying to distract from his real intention.

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That was the case when, in December 1989, an Atlanta attorney named Robert Robertson was killed when he opened a brown package he received at home. Investigators at first thought his death was connected to a virtually identical fatal bomb detonated at the house of federal Judge Robert Vance two days earlier. But they later learned Walter Moody had killed Robertson as misdirection.

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