Celina worker took cover in break room during tornado, ‘glad we’re still alive’

Published: Sunday, November 05, 2017 @ 5:30 PM
Updated: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

Celina weather Video

UPDATE @ 11:58 a.m. (Nov. 6)

Storm damage clean up is underway at Schafer Dairy Farm today in Russia. News Center 7’s Steve Baker is there.

UPDATE @ 10:59 a.m. (Nov. 6)

News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy is in Celina today as the National Weather Service is conducting its survey of tornado damage.

Dunham’s Sports on Havemann Road was heavily damaged. Zach Short, an employee of the business, said last night he had to take cover in the employee break room during the storm. 

“No one was really screaming, they were pretty calm,” Short said.

And after he saw the damage outside, Short said, “Glad we’re still alive. Couldn’t really fathom it.”

Dunham's Sports in Celina, Nov. 6, 2017. SEAN CUDAHY/STAFF

PHOTOS: November weather system spurs tornado, storms


A tornado touched down in Mercer County Sunday afternoon, causing multiple injuries and what witnesses said was “horrific damage” in Celina, according to the National Weather Service and callers to our newsroom.

The National Weather Service and local officials said as many as eight injuries and “significant” damage were reported near Celina and Coldwater. A WHIO TV crew in Celina saw that a portion of the roof to Crown Equipment Corp. on Grand Lake Road was missing and an exterior wall has suffered significant damage.

None of the injuries were initially thought to be life-threatening, but local officials said it was too early to offer specifics.

“We’ve had significant damage to a number of industries and retail shops,” said Celina Mayor Jeff Hazel. “At last count, I did hear that we had at least eight injuries.”

One immediate issue Sunday evening was there was no power in Celina. Residents were being encouraged to stay home.

“The message is ‘Stay home,’ and if you’re out, ‘Go home,’” Hazel said.

RELATED: Injuries reported in Celina

Hazel said some roads needed to be cleared and power needed to be restored. It was hoped that at least some of the power would be restored by morning.

There were reports of at least two people injured at the C-Town Wings restaurant in Celina. A caller to our newsroom said the eastern side of Celina saw significant damage, with power lines down at one point near Ohio 29 and Havemann Road at about 3:45 p.m. A Dollar General store near Havemann was also damaged.

Another caller said a barn had been lifted from its foundation on Carmel Church Road in Mercer County.

An additional injury was reported by the National Weather Service on Ohio 29 after a power pole fell.

“Today was a dangerous day,” WHIO-TV Meteorologist Brett Collar said. “Multiple injuries, a lot of structures down, and that is something we were able to see on radar. We were able to actually see debris on radar.”

When “debris signatures” — trees or building structures aloft in heavy winds — are visible on radar, that’s a sign of substantial damage, Collar said.

Sunday afternoon saw multiple hazards in effect across the area. A tornado watch had been in effect for Auglaize and Mercer counties until 3:15 p.m. Sunday, and for much of the Dayton area until 7 p.m.

>> Reports of heavy damage, injuries at Celina restaurant

Showers and thunderstorms across the region had been expected Sunday afternoon. Flash Flood watches had been issued for Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Delaware, Franklin, Greene, Hardin, Licking, Logan, Madison, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, Union counties until Monday at 4 a.m.

Inch-sized hail had also been reported in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Celina raw Video

Overnight, lingering showers were expected but the overall threat level was expected to dissipate by early Monday. Temperatures were to drop through the 50s overnight.

On Monday, more showers are expected, with highs by the early morning hours in the upper 50s. Temperatures will fall during the day through the lower 50s and 40s.

On Tuesday, which is Election Day: More clouds will linger, but it looks to be a mainly dry and cooler day with highs in the lower 50s.


GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Off-duty officer responds to crash into building in Kettering

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 3:41 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 4:31 PM

Vehicle crashes into building in Kettering

UPDATE @ 4:31 p.m.

The vehicle that struck the building was part of a four-vehicle crash near the intersection. 

No major injuries were reported by police on scene.


A vehicle has struck a building in the area of Bigger and Rahn roads in Kettering. 

An off-duty Xenia officer called in a “serious injury crash,” according to emergency dispatch traffic. 

A person was reportedly trapped. 

We’ve got a photographer on the way and will update this report. 

Multiple injuries after two crashes at Dayton intersection

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 3:39 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 4:05 PM

Jarod Thrush/Staff
Jarod Thrush/Staff

UPDATE @ 4 p.m. 

Two separate crashes at the intersection of South Gettysburg Avenue and Nicholas Road have sent at least four people to area hospitals. 

The first crash occurred between a black sedan and a white SUV. A Good Samaritan pulled over to check on the people involved in the first crash, when a blue Chevrolet SUV slammed into the back of that vehicle. 

Nine occupants were inside the blue SUV in the second crash, including three people sitting on the floor where the third row of seats normally would be. 

One woman has been placed in a police cruiser after she became irate after the crash, police said. The woman will not be arrested or charged. 

The severity of the injuries sustained in the crash was not immediately known. 


Four medics have been requested to a crash at the intersection of South Gettysburg Avenue and Nicholas Road in Dayton Thursday. 

A unit responding to a different call reported the crash at the intersection around 3:10 p.m.

Initial reports indicate occupants of the two vehicles were fighting after the crash. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Quiet and cold tonight

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 4:53 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 4:00 PM

More clearing is expected for the rest of the day today in the Dayton area.


  • Clearing and cold tonight
  • More sunshine and milder Friday
  • Slight chance for rain early Saturday

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Tonight: Skies clearing into the night. Turning cold with lows back into the upper 20s.

>> Storm Center 7: Thanksgiving travel weather outlook

Friday: A cold morning followed by a mild afternoon. Mostly sunny skies expected with highs into the lower 50s.

>> WHIO WEATHER APP: Have it for your Thanksgiving travel

Saturday: Clouds return in by morning with the slight chance for a few passing showers early as a cold front moves through. Most areas will likely remain dry. Highs will be in the lower 50s early on, then falling through the 40s most of the day.

>> Christmas tree farms get healthy on good weather

>> How to watch NewsCenter 7 if you’re traveling

Sunday: Partly sunny skies are expected with highs in the lower to mid-40s.

Reunions, friendships, gratitude highlight 49th annual Feast of Giving

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:09 PM

Feast of Giving held in Dayton

Every year for the past several, Marquita R. Robinson sits at a table at the Feast of Giving inside a massive room at the Dayton Convention Center to have Thanksgiving dinner with several thousand of her neighbors.

It’s also a homecoming of sorts.

“This is the place where a lot of my friends (meet) to see each other and we haven’t seen each other throughout the whole year,” the 32-year-old Dayton resident said before standing up and shouting and waving at a friend.

More than 8,000 people were expected to stream through the convention center’s doors Thursday. Marking it’s 49th year, the Thanksgiving Day tradition draws people of all ages and backgrounds who come together one day as a community, many interacting with strangers they have never met.

Richard C. Jones, 50, of Dayton, stopped in for his first trip to Feast of Giving since moving to the Gem City from Atlanta.

“I didn’t have any plans and I’m relatively new to Dayton,” he said.

Last year, he said he spent Thanksgiving alone. That changed this time once he found out about the dinner.

“I’m hoping to meet some of my Dayton neighbors,” he said as a band played on a stage near his table. “I’m not really an outgoing person. This is like something brand new and hopefully becomes a tradition.”

RELATED: Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping: Best deals we found today

The gathering had 500 volunteers — and turned away another 700 — to prepare and serve free meals to throngs of attendees, said Stephen Levitt, one of the event’s organizers.

“There’s always a few hang-ups, but we make it work,” he said.

Stephanie Richardson, 53, of Dayton, and Amy Schmitt, 59, of Beavercreek, set out place mats and prepared decorations in a room set aside for children.

The Thanksgiving spirit of giving “just spoke to me,” said Richardson, volunteering for the first time at the dinner since she recently moved to Dayton from the Virgin Islands.

Schmitt, a self-described “people person” and a public health nurse, wanted to work with children.

“It’s fun,” she said. And it gave her a sense of appreciation. “You come in here and serve today and you walk out with no complaints.”

Carol and Roger Ober of Beavercreek, volunteered for the first time, working as security monitors.

Carol Ober, a 71-year-old retired school teacher, said they wanted “to be part of something bigger than yourself and this is definitely big.”

The community dinner is so big it takes days to cook food for thousands.

Thursday started with a very basic ingredient that was the hardest to manage: Boiling water, said Sous-Chief Andrew Payne.

“Probably close to 1,000 gallons of water we had to get to a boil to be able to make the stuffing, to make the gravy, to make the mashed potatoes,” he said. “It’s constant. We started boiling water at two o’clock this morning.”

Payne also was one of about a dozen who spent seven to 10 hours Monday slicing 3,000 pounds of turkey.

The shopping list this year included 2,600 pounds of mashed potatoes, 2,000 pounds each of green beans and breaded stuffing, and 100 gallons of gravy. For dessert, the feast rolled out 900 pies of all sorts and 8,000 servings of ice cream.

Vanilla is the most popular flavor, said Joe Hartenstein, 62, of Trotwood. The long-time event volunteer and retired school truant officer also hands out chocolate and sherbet ice cream.

RELATED: Thousands enjoy friends, good food at Feast of Giving

For Robinson, a restaurant cashier, the mashed potatoes are the best on a filled Thanksgiving plate.

“I always get double mash every time I come down here,” she said. “Because it’s all silky. You add some butter to them and they’re awesome.”

Organizers stepped in nearly a decade ago when the Beerman Foundation, which had sponsored the event since 1969, announced plans to end the Thanksgiving tradition in Dayton.

The event costs about $180,000, half of which represent purveyors who donate food and equipment and the rest represents monetary donations, Levitt said.