Horse manure left at Democratic Party headquarters

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 @ 9:05 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 @ 9:05 AM

A large pile of horse manure left outside the Warren County Democratic Party headquarters is being investigated by the sheriff’s office.

A worker for the democratic party reported the incident to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning after coming to open the building, located at 1975 U.S. 42, Lebanon.

The man filed a criminal damaging report, and told authorities when he’d closed up the building the night before around 10 p.m. there was no horse manure, according to the sheriff’s office. The manure was dumped in the parking lot near the front door.

The sheriff’s office reports no suspects or leads have been made in the case.

Nunchuck assault sparked Piqua standoff

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 11:08 AM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 11:47 AM

Possible standoff in Piqua

UPDATE @ 3:45 p.m.:

Police have identified the suspect in this morning’s standoff as Lenvil Persinger,  43, of Piqua.

Persinger was booked into jail on suspicion of felonious assault, criminal damage and obstructing official business.

According to police, Persinger busted into a neighboring apartment after hearing a boyfriend and girlfriend arguing and assaulted the 26-year-old man in the head with nunchucks.

After making contact with Persinger, police said he refused to talk to investigators.

Persinger is a “self-identified sovereign citizen,” which means he doesn’t believe laws apply to him and he doesn’t recognize the authority court system, said Piqua Police Chief Bruce Jamison.

Due to previous dealings with Persinger and his beliefs, the department dispatched the Piqua-Sidney Tactical Response Team to assist in his arrest, police said.

In October 2017, when officers responded to the same apartment on a noise complaint, Persinger was waiving a firearm as an officer tried to investigate the incident, investigators said.

UPDATE @ 11:46 a.m. 

A standoff situation has ended and a man is in custody. 

Police on scene told News Center 7’s Steve Baker that a male neighbor with nunchucks reportedly assaulted another male of the apartment building. The man assaulted was involved in a domestic dispute at the time.

The male in custody is the one who had nunchucks, police said.


An apparent standoff is actively underway on Park Avenue in Piqua this morning.

Officers and a heavily armored police vehicle were in the area of the 1000 block of Park around 11 a.m.

We’re working to learn more.

Battle heats up over how Ohio should draw congressional district lines

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 4:17 PM

Grassroots groups seek to end gerrymandering

Rather than fix a broken system, a plan backed by Republican state lawmakers will make certain Ohio voters get gerrymandered congressional districts for years to come, according to grassroots groups that are pushing a vastly different reform package.

The groups — Common Cause Ohio, League of Women Voters of Ohio and the Ohio NAACP — came out against the lawmaker’s plan Monday, saying it is unfair to voters.

“It does not provide relief from the current situation of partisan gerrymandering and it does make things worse,” said Ann Henneker of the League of Women Voters.

She said it’s possible under the lawmaker plan to draw districts so that Ohio has a dozen GOP-held congressional seats and just three Democratic-held seats. The current makeup is 12 GOP districts and four Democratic districts, but Ohio is expected to lose a congressional seat after the 2020 Census.

Related: Groups rebuke redistricting plan

State Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, couldn’t be reached for comment, but previously has said that the lawmaker plan would “ensure that the process for drawing congressional district lines is fair and equitable no matter which party is in the majority.

“We are committed to reaching a reasonable solution in a bipartisan manner,” he has said.

Lawmakers are working to hit a Feb. 7 deadline to put the congressional redistricting proposal before Ohio voters in May. Huffman’s proposal is scheduled for hearings in Columbus this week.

Fair Districts = Fair Elections, a grassroots coalition of 35 groups including the League of Women Voters and Common Cause, has 200,000 voters’ signatures of the required 306,000 to put a different constitutional amendment before Ohio voters in November. It is facing a July 4 deadline for collection of the signatures.

Related: Ohio voters may change the way Congressional district lines are drawn

Ohioans could end up voting on both proposals this year. Henneker said if both pass, the Fair Districts = Fair Elections’ plan would trump an earlier-adopted measure.

Ohio redraws legislative and congressional districts every 10 years following the U.S. Census. For generations, the party that controls the process has drawn districts in its favor.

But grassroots groups have fought party control over the maps — often termed gerrymandering — in a number of states, including Ohio.

In November 2015, 71 percent of Ohio voters approved a reform plan for drawing legislative districts. It set up an expanded redistricting commission that gives the minority party more power and discourages partisanship, requires compact and competitive districts and adds transparency to the process.

But that new system only applies to legislative seats in the Ohio Statehouse — not congressional seats. The Fair Districts = Fair Elections’ plan would set up a system for drawing congressional lines that is similar to the ballot proposal on legislative districts.

Related: Former state Sen. Tom Roberts elected Ohio Conference NAACP president

The Huffman plan is different. It would initially leave redistricting in the hands of the state legislature but require support from one-third of the minority party. If the legislature couldn’t reach agreement, a seven-member Redistricting Commission would get involved under rules that specify some minority party input.

Former state lawmaker Tom Roberts, a Dayton Democrat and president of the Ohio Conference of the NAACP, said just because gerrymandered districts have been the norm for decades doesn’t make it right.

“What’s going on in Columbus and what’s going on in Washington right now shows us what the problem is when it comes to not having fair districts,” Roberts said.

Schumer’s ‘cave’? Shutdown deal puts spotlight on Dem leader

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 4:17 PM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 4:36 PM

            Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks at a news conference about the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 20, 2018. Congress appeared to make little headway early Sunday toward ending a two-day-old government shutdown, trading blame as lawmakers reconvened for another rare weekend session. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
            ERIN SCHAFF
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks at a news conference about the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 20, 2018. Congress appeared to make little headway early Sunday toward ending a two-day-old government shutdown, trading blame as lawmakers reconvened for another rare weekend session. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)(ERIN SCHAFF)

Republicans tried to make Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the face of the government shutdown. Now, he’s becoming the face of the Democratic retreat.

For two days, Schumer, perhaps the most powerful Democrat in Washington, succeeded in keeping his party unified in a bid to use the government funding fight to push for protections for some 700,000 young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But as the shutdown moved into its third day, the New York Democrat and his party buckled as several Democrats backed a deal to end the shutdown in exchange for a Republican pledge to address the immigration debate in the near future.

Schumer quickly became a punching bag for the right and left.

“It’s official: Chuck Schumer is the worst negotiator in Washington — even worse than Trump,” said Murshed Zaheed, political director for the liberal group CREDO.

“Schumer caved,” tweeted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an ally to President Donald Trump. He added, “Lessons learned — Schumer burned.”

Schumer had little margin for error in this first major test of his muscle and maneuvering as leader.

The pragmatist was balancing the demands of a liberal base eager for a fight with the president and the political realities of red-state senators anxious about their re-election prospects this fall.

As liberals embraced the fight, some vulnerable senators met with Schumer on Sunday morning and urged a compromise to end the shutdown.

“The question is, how do we get out of here in a way that reflects what the majority of the body wants to do,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who is among the Democrats on the ballot in November. She added: “It is critically important that we get this done today.”

The Senate voted Monday to advance a bill that would extend government funding through Feb. 8. In a bid to win over a few Democratic holdouts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also pledged to take up legislation on immigration and other top Democratic priorities if they weren’t already addressed by the time that spending bill would expire.

McConnell’s pledge was enough to sway the handful of Democrats he needed to pass the spending bill.

Democratic aides said that while Schumer, who spent the weekend calling members on his flip phone, initially appeared to be holding the party together, the desire to end the shutdown won out.

Liberal leaders across the country hosted a conference call before Monday’s vote to encourage Schumer and other Democrats to oppose any deal that excludes protections for the young immigrants.

“To anyone considering such a move, let me be clear: Promises won’t protect anyone from deportation,” said Greisa Martinez Rosas, a so-called “Dreamer” and the advocacy director for the liberal group United We Dream. “Delay means deportation for us.”

Despite controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, Republicans pinned the blame for the shutdown squarely on Schumer, accusing him of being captive to liberals and advocacy groups which opposed any spending package that didn’t result in a solution for the young immigrants. The White House and GOP officials branded the funding gap the “Schumer Shutdown,” spreading the phrase as a hashtag on social media.

Immigration advocates hoped Schumer would see that as badge of honor, but there was anxiety about his resolve.

“He went to the mats,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of the immigration advocacy group America’s Voice. “He had the backbone to lead his caucus into a high-stakes, high risk battle. It thrilled progressives.”

Should Democrats blink first, he predicted, “The era of good feeling quickly will be replaced by anger and disappointment.”

Schumer isn’t the most natural fit for the role of champion of the left.

The energetic, four-term senator is viewed as more of a pragmatist than an ideologue. He has long faced skepticism from some liberals, thanks, in part, to his Wall Street ties. He frustrated many Democrats with his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal championed by President Barack Obama.

In 2013, Schumer was part of a bipartisan group of senators who worked on a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s fractured immigration laws. The package, which would have created a pathway to citizenship for millions of people in the U.S. illegally, was narrowly approved in the Senate but never taken up by the House

Just last month, immigration advocates, including members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were furious with Schumer and Democratic leaders for not forcing a fight over the young immigrants. Democratic aides said despite the pressure from some of his party’s most energized forces, Schumer knew his caucus would not hold together at that point. Indeed, 18 Democratic senators ultimately voted for the short-term spending bill that kicked both the budget battle and the immigration fight into the new year.

The dynamic shifted in January. Democrats began the year hopeful that Trump, who has expressed sympathy for the young immigrants, would be willing to make a big deal. When those plans collapsed, Schumer found more enthusiasm even among moderate Democrat senators to withhold support for a spending bill that didn’t address immigration, even if it meant forcing a shutdown.

He was helped along, according to multiple Democratic aides, by revelations that Trump had told lawmakers during a private meeting that he wanted less immigration from “shithole” countries in Africa and more from places like Norway.

Schumer experienced a sea change after the remarks, according to one aide, who like other Democrats and Trump advisers, insisted on anonymity in order to describe private deliberations.

Some liberals fear the sea change is over.

“Today’s cave by Senate Democrats — led by weak-kneed, right-of-center Democrats — is why people don’t believe the Democratic Party stands for anything,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “These weak Democrats hurt the party’s brand for everyone and make it harder to elect Democrats everywhere in 2018.”

Amazon debuts cashier-less Amazon Go store in downtown Seattle

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:57 PM

Amazon's New Grocery Store Skips the Lines

More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon opened its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store in Seattle Monday.

The store on the bottom floor of Amazon’s headquarters billed itself as grocery shopping for the future. It has no registers and no cashiers.

>> Read more trending news 

Shoppers have to download the Amazon Go app to scan to get in the door. Once they are inside, the store tracks what they buy through cameras and shelf sensors.

Anything a shopper takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything put back is taken out of the cart.

Once shopping in finished, you just walk out the door. You will get a receipt in your app about five minutes later.

The system works by combining computer vision and machine-learning algorithms and sensors.

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 22: Shoppers enter and check out with purchases at the Amazon Go, on January 22, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. After more than a year in beta Amazon opened the cashier-less store to the public. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The Associated Press reported there are people there making food, stocking shelves and helping customers. The store offers ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, as well as some grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese and chocolates. It'll also have Amazon Meal Kits.

KIRO spoke to some of the shoppers who were among the first to experience the store and they seemed to like what they saw.
“It will make it a lot quicker. The biggest reason you don’t want to go to the store is waiting in line so it’s pretty great," Betty Paschke, who lives in Seattle, said.

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 22: Shopper Ela Ustel walks through the Amazon Go store, on January 22, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. After more than a year in beta Amazon opened the cashier-less store to the public. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Tech expert Todd Bishop with Geekwire said the success of the store is yet to be seen and depends on how much the public is willing to let the business track their spending and accounts virtually.

“It basically treats people walking around a physical space exactly like people are tracked online currently,” Bishop saud.

Amazon Go had been open only to Amazon employees since December 2016 to test out the technology.

Acording to Amazon, there are no plans to open up more stores like the Seattle location.