Hamilton man identified as pedestrian killed in St. Clair Twp.

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 12:01 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 4:21 PM

            The pedestrian killed Wednesday night on Ohio 128 in St. Clair Twp. after being struck by a semi tractor-trailer has been identified as Zachary Alan Songer, 27, of Hamilton. CONTRIBUTED
The pedestrian killed Wednesday night on Ohio 128 in St. Clair Twp. after being struck by a semi tractor-trailer has been identified as Zachary Alan Songer, 27, of Hamilton. CONTRIBUTED

UPDATE @ 3:20 p.m.:

A Hamilton man has been identified as the pedestrian struck and killed Wednesday night in St. Clair Twp.

Zachary Alan Songer, 27, died of multiple traumatic injuries, according to the Butler County Coroner’s office. His death was ruled an accident.

The crash remains under investigation by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

MORE: Police investigating after bullet found at Middletown High School


A pedestrian is dead after being struck Wednesday night by a semi tractor-trailer in St. Clair Twp.

The accident occurred about 6:34 p.m. in the 1400 block of Ohio 128, according to Butler County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers.

The person was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim’s identity will be released today after an autopsy is completed, according to Martin Schneider, administrator for the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

Man taken to jail after he breaks into his own, nuisance abated home

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:56 PM

A 67-year-old man remains in jail on charges accusing him of breaking into his own home - a home police and neighbors said has been placed on a nusiance abatement list.

Harry Clinton Wright was arrested just after 6:30 p.m. when Dayton police were able to get him to come out of his house in the 2900 block of Kingston Avenue. 

Harry Clinton Wright (Courtesy/Montgomery County Jail)

Police had been dispatched there just after 6 p.m. after neighbors called 9-1-1 to report that Wright had removed wood used to board up the structure to get inside. 

Wright was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on a felony charge of breaking and entering, and misdemeanor charges of illegal occupation and obstructing official business. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Jury makes its call in jail civil rights case

His bail is $2,750 or 10 percent of that and he's due in court Wednesday. 

Police at the scene told us that Tuesday night was not the first time Wright has broken into his own home. He has been arrested before. 

Dayton's Use Nuisance Abatement Program is a legal process by which a structure can be declared a nuisance by virtue of evidence of certain illegal activity. The illegal activity consists of crimes in the following categories: drugs, gambling, illegal liquor sales, prostitution. Only the police can refer a property into the program. 

Why Wright’s residence has been nuisance abated was not made clear.

WHIO-TV reached out Dayton police for comment on this report, but police did not respond to our request for an interview.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Mom blasts school board for comment on lynching

Kyle Savoie, who lives in the neighborhood, said neighbors have been dealing with drugs and prostitution around that address. He said they have spoken with Dayton police about the situation. 

"Getting these kinds of houses out of the neighborhood is definitely going to be better in the community," said Savoie, who is raising a family. 

He admitted that the neighborhood seems to be improving. 

"It's kind of sickening.... If we can just get this house out of here, it's be much better," Savoie said.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Pulse Trial: Police body cam, surveillance video allowed in trial of alleged gunman’s wife

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:50 PM

A view of the Pulse Nightclub sign on June 21, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. A shooter killed 49 people and injured at least 100 in a shooting rampage on June 12, 2016.
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
A view of the Pulse Nightclub sign on June 21, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. A shooter killed 49 people and injured at least 100 in a shooting rampage on June 12, 2016.(Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

A federal judge ruled Tuesday on what evidence will and will not be allowed in the Noor Salman trial.

>> Read more trending news 

Salman is the wife of Omar Mateen, who authorities have said killed 49 people and injured more than 100 at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. Mateen was killed by police the night of the shooting.

Noor Salman is the wife of alleged Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen. Authorities believe she knew about the attack that killed 49 and did nothing to stop it.(Facebook/ WFTV.com)

Prosecutors believe Salman knew about the planned attack, came up with a cover story and did nothing to stop the shooting.

Salman faces charges of aiding a former terrorist organization and obstruction of justice.
Judge Paul Byron ruled evidence that involves police body-camera video and surveillance video from inside the nightclub will be allowed in court.

>> Related: Who is Noor (Salman) Mateen, wife of Orlando mass shooter?

The surveillance video shows Mateen walking around the club with a gun.

The evidence also included cellphone video inside a restroom where Mateen fired at several victims and survivors. In the video, multiple rounds of rapid gunfire can be heard. 

Body-camera video from officers showed law enforcement outside of the club giving medical attention to gunshot victims.

Byron ruled last week that a terrorism expert will be allowed to testify about Mateen’s Facebook posts on the Islamic State group.

>> Related: Pulse trial: Terrorism expert allowed to testify

A psychologist has also been allowed to testify.

Salman’s trial is set to begin March 1.

Mom blasts Mason school board for mishandling comment about lynching

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:24 PM

Mother of Mason student speaks about “lynching” comment

The mother of a black Mason Middle School student blasted school officials Tuesday night for “trying to silence me” in her response to the incident involving a white teacher who told her son his classmates would “lynch” him.

Tanisha Agee-Bell was among the speakers in a standing-room-only crowd of mostly black residents at the first Mason school board meeting since the racial incident that drew national attention was unveiled this month.

 MORE: Mason school officials respond to racist remark by teacher

“What has shocked me is the cavalier way those racist statements were shared and the lack of urgency in which the district responded,” said Agee-Bell, who teared up at times during the meeting as other black residents voiced their complaints about the racial climate in Warren County’s largest school system.

She told the board her early efforts in following district procedures for complaining about the teacher’s remark were largely ignored.

After three weeks, Agee-Bell said, she came to the board in late December and asked for its help in mediating her complaints against veteran teacher Renee Thole.

Thole was initially reprimanded. Then -- after public outcries about leniency, led by Agee-Bell – Thole was ordered on paid administrative leave that includes racial sensitivity training.

MORE: Mason teacher in racial incident now placed on leave after mother complains

“Instead you tried to silence me, to save your image, under the guise of a personnel issue,” she told the board.

“I had no choice but to engage the (news) media,” she said of her choice to go public. 

“Your refusal to listen and the superintendent’s refusal to acknowledge the racist nature of the incident made clear you had no intention of living up to your mission of providing a safe and nurturing environment for all students.”

The Mason School Board meeting on Tuesday night, Jan. 23, 2018, was well attended in the aftermath of a controversial comment by a teacher to a student. (Nicholas Graham/Staff)

“You broke a sacred trust between us. While I appreciate that you finally did the right thing in my case, we will all forever wonder if it was because you recognized it was right to do, or if you were forced by a greater community that knows that right is always right,” said Agee-Bell.

She told the five-member board she hoped the members too would participate in the district’s ongoing and new racial sensitivity programs “so you can examine your own implicit bias and its impact on how you govern the district.”

Mason Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline and Board President Matthew Steele started the meeting with apologizes on how Agee-Bell’s complaint and the teacher’s initial punishment were handled.

Mason officials had earlier vowed to boost existing racial and cultural education programs as well as create new  diversity outreach efforts in the 10,400-student district.

Black students comprise 4 percent of Mason’s enrollment with 23.5 percent Asian, Pacific Islander the largest minority group of students. White, non-Hispanic students total 63 percent of enrollment.

MORE: Mason Middle School hit by another racial incident

Fellow African-American school parent Andrea King called on the board to measure its policies regarding racial sensitivity and determine “if they are implemented fairly.”

Jill Gorley, also a black resident, told the all-white board “we always talk about student diversity and inclusion but I think we have to talk about what our school board looks like. What do our teachers look like and who are we hiring?”

Board members said they heard the messages delivered.

Connie Yingling, in a reference to long-standing board policy not to address personnel issues during public meetings, said, “my intention was never to silence anyone.”

Fellow board member Courtney Allen said, “I appreciate those who spoke here tonight. It’s hard to hear of the difficulties some have had in the district.”

District Spokeswoman Tracey Carson was part of a board presentation at the meeting on how district officials are “accelerating” and adding to required racial and cultural sensitivity training for teachers and school staffers.

New programs will be installed with “an increased sense of urgency,” Carson said.

After the meeting, Agee-Bell said, “I was very pleased with the community support” from African American residents, whites and Asians in attendance

As for the district’s response so far, it “still has a lot of work to do.”

“A plan is great right, but we need to have the right people implementing the plan. It’s not that I expect them to not make mistakes but I expect them to handle them better,” she said.

“There’s this misconception that if you call out a racist behavior, you are calling somebody a racist and that’s not true. We’re saying racism exists … and we have to get rid of the systems that allow racism to exist,” she said.

No more free checking for Bank of America customers with low balances

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:42 PM

Charlotte-based Bank of America has eliminated a free checking account popular with lower-income customers. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Charlotte-based Bank of America has eliminated a free checking account popular with lower-income customers. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Charlotte-based Bank of America has eliminated a free checking account popular with lower-income customers.

>> Read more trending news

The bank is now requiring customers to keep more money in their accounts to avoid a $12 monthly fee.

A national petition on change.org has more than 52,000 signatures from people begging the bank not to end its free checking accounts.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the bank switched its e-banking customers into the new accounts this month.

E-checking, which launched in 2010, had a monthly fee of $8.95, but customers could avoid the fee by using online banking and not using a teller.

Now, those customers will have to pay a $12 monthly fee unless they maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500 or make a direct deposit of $250 or more.

Jessica Wassman said her boyfriend just learned about Bank of America’s plan to end its e-checking accounts and transfer those customers to core checking accounts.

"It did seem a little unfair,” Wassman said. “If you don't make a certain amount of money, you get penalized for it. It was a little insulting. The cost of living is going up, but poverty is still big and people can't afford simple things.”

Economist John Connaughton said checking accounts cost banks money and, with the economy improving, said customers can expect higher bank fees.

"When you start to see 4 percent unemployment, those are the types of things that happen,” Connaughton said.