Jury to view house where Hamilton firefighter died in fire

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 10:47 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 11:18 AM


            William “Billy” Tucker is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting the fire at his uncle’s residence at 1310 Pater Ave., where Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman died. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
William “Billy” Tucker is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting the fire at his uncle’s residence at 1310 Pater Ave., where Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman died. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Jurors will view the Pater Avenue residence where Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman died in 2015 during the trial next month for the two men charged in connection with the fatal arson fire.

Last month the defense attorney for William “Billy” Tucker filed a motion for a jury view.

Tucker, 46, of Richmond, Ky., is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting the fire at his uncle’s residence at 1310 Pater Ave., where Wolterman died.

EXCLUSIVE: Burglar alarm sent police to Hamilton home where firefighter died

The uncle, 66-year-old Lester Parker, who is the home’s owner, is facing the same charges.

Prosecutors say Parker solicited Tucker to light the fire. Parker and his wife were in Las Vegas when the fire broke out during the early morning hours.

In the motion, defense attorney Tamara Sack indicated there may be a witness who can place Tucker near the scene before the fire.

CLOSER LOOK: Why 2 men charged in firefighter’s death aren’t in Butler County Jail

In the motion, Sack said jury view of the scene is material to facts of the indictment specifically “regarding the location of the fire … leading to Grand Avenue at the location where the State’s witness alleges the defendant (Tucker) left the vehicle and headed on foot to the 1310 Pater Ave. location.”

During a hearing Wednesday, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the state did not oppose the jury viewing the scene.

MORE: Attempt to move Hamilton firefighter death trial fails

A three-week trial for both Tucker and Parker is scheduled to begin Nov. 6 in Butler County Common Pleas Court. Both men have court-appointed attorneys.

Wolterman died when he fell through the home’s first floor while fighting the blaze on Dec. 28, 2015.

Wright-Patt organization recognized for hurricane support

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 2:09 PM


            A fuel tank truck is loaded onto a C-17 aircraft, for delivery to Puerto Rico, to assist in the hurricane recovery efforts. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Air Transportability Test Loading Activity office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, ensured the aircraft was able to carry the fuel truck and that it was properly secured. (Courtesy photo)
A fuel tank truck is loaded onto a C-17 aircraft, for delivery to Puerto Rico, to assist in the hurricane recovery efforts. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Air Transportability Test Loading Activity office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, ensured the aircraft was able to carry the fuel truck and that it was properly secured. (Courtesy photo)

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the deadliest in history, resulting in hundreds of lives lost and billions of dollars of infrastructure destroyed.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Air Transportability Test Loading Activity office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was recently recognized for the crucial support it provided for hurricane rescue and recovery efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and countries in the Caribbean.

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The office provided support by ensuring that approximately 45 vital pieces of equipment, including trailers for carrying food and water, as well as a mobile air control tower, large generators, a 9,500-gallon fuel tank, a mobile field hospital and satellite communications vehicles were safe for flight and compatible with the Air Force aircraft.

Essentially the team made sure that aircraft delivering supplies could carry the cargo and that proper restraints were used to secure the load and prevent damage before arriving at their destination.

In addition, hundreds of items certified prior to the hurricane season were delivered to areas impacted by the storms.

These efforts were crucial because in many areas impacted by the hurricanes, airlift was the only way to bring in supplies and equipment, said Mark Kuntavanish, lead engineer for ATTLA.

He added that the team worked day and night, often from home, to support the relief and repair efforts.

“I’m convinced that the ATTLA folks and their work saved lives,” said Col. George Vogel, chief of the mobility division and director of the North American Aerospace Defense Command/U.S. Northern Command Deployment Distribution Operations Center, which coordinated the Department of Defense’s delivery of supplies to the islands. “There were pieces of equipment that had never flown on DOD aircraft before, and ATTLA certified all of it in less than 24 hours, which was absolutely huge.”

Vogel went on to add that the mobile control tower that was certified by ATTLA and delivered to Puerto Rico was able to increase the volume of planes delivering supplies from three to four planes per day to three to four planes per hour, ultimately getting more resources to survivors.

“I wanted to tell them (ATTLA) thanks for everything that they’ve done during the hurricane relief,” Vogel said about his trip to Wright-Patterson. “I also wanted to see what we can do to help each other and be more efficient in the future.”

“It was an honor to be recognized and that our efforts helped so many people in need,” said Kuntavanish.

Members perform military funeral honors, range of extra events

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 2:04 PM


            The Honor Guard’s primary mission is to provide military funeral honors for active-duty members, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the Air Force within their six-state, 210,000-square-mile area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mark C. Lyle)
The Honor Guard’s primary mission is to provide military funeral honors for active-duty members, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the Air Force within their six-state, 210,000-square-mile area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mark C. Lyle)

The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard is one of the most tasked honor guards in the Air Force and the Department of Defense.

The Honor Guard’s primary mission is to provide military funeral honors for active-duty members, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the Air Force within their six-state, 210,000-square-mile area of responsibility. States include all of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, half of Indiana and West Virginia, and two counties in Pennsylvania.

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“I love the Honor Guard,” said Staff Sgt. Isabella Allen, an education and training NCO from the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, who is currently serving a six-month rotation with the Honor Guard. “Every time you hand off the flag to the next of kin is a special moment.”

Military funeral honors is an Air Force tradition.

The Honor Guard began in 1948 as a single guard responsible for ceremonies in the Washington, D.C., area. In 1972, the current Honor Guard system was formed and bases throughout the United States received training. In 1998, the Air Force standardized training for all honor guards, and in 2000 the Wright-Patterson Honor Guard was fully recognized and accepted.

“It is a very humbling experience,” said Airman 1st Class Melissa Domingues with the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. “The service member that passed away is ending their Air Force journey and I am taking their place and giving them a proper send off and thank you.”

The Honor Guard has 32 personnel who are assigned on a rotational basis, 12 Air Force Reserve and National Guard members on orders, and six staff members. They average approximately 300 details per month and more than 4,000 per year.

“The Honor Guard teaches you direction while learning new movements,” said Airman 1st Class Jeremy Riviere, a communications specialist with the 88th Communications Squadron. “It can be a struggle but after the ceremony your confidence builds.”

The Honor Guard also performs color guard events, which include retirements, promotions and change of command ceremonies.

In addition, more than 400 community events are performed each year.

“I recommend this job to any military person,” said Master Sgt. Keith Watson, superintendent of the Wright-Patterson Honor Guard. “It gives you the opportunity to broaden the leadership and management skills you learn in Professional Military Education because of the diversity of active, Reserve, National Guard members you encounter within the unit. I believe this is one of the most rewarding ways to serve and give back to the Air Force and those that paved the road for us.”

Despite the long hours and occasional severe weather, each member of the Wright-Patt Honor Guard lives by their creed of representing every member, past and present, of the United States Air Force.

To schedule the Wright Patterson AFB Honor Guard, call 937-257-8964 and request a funeral honors request form.

Big breakthrough: Google helps NASA discover an 8-planet solar system

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 1:32 PM

With help from Google--and their machine learning computer software--scientists analyzed thousands of data points captured from this NASA planet hunting space telescope, the Kepler. The new planet is Kepler 90-I.

In the never-ending search for life beyond planet Earth, NASA scientists have uncovered the only other 8-planet solar system they know of that circles a sun.

With help from Google--and their machine learning computer software--scientists analyzed thousands of data points captured from this NASA planet hunting space telescope, the Kepler. 

That data helped researchers discover this new planet, Kepler 90-I.

Like Earth, Kepler I-90 is the third planet from its sun.

Unlike Earth, the temperature on the surface of this planet is about 800 degrees Fahrenheit -- far too hot for life to develop, as we know it.

Astronomer Derrick Pitt says it’s the way the new planet was discovered that has scientists buzzing and makes their jobs easier.

"The Google AI system has been able to search through that pile of information much faster that humans have been able to dig through it.,” Derrick Pitts, astronomer and Planetarium Director at Franklin Institute, said.

“If you think about the analogy of the number of stars in the galaxy being like the number of sand grains on a beach, it's as if we've been asked to search through all the sand grains on the beach to find just the red sand grains." 

With our current rocket technology, it’s estimated it would take us millions of years just to reach Kepler 90-I. The new planet also orbits its star about every 14 days, which means you’d have a birthday there just about every two weeks.

Ohio 4 lane closure Saturday in Butler County

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 1:59 PM


            Pavement inspection work requires closing the right lane of northbound Ohio 4 (Hamilton Middletown Road), just before and after Kyles Station Road in Liberty Twp., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.
Pavement inspection work requires closing the right lane of northbound Ohio 4 (Hamilton Middletown Road), just before and after Kyles Station Road in Liberty Twp., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.

Pavement inspection work requires closing the right lane of northbound Ohio 4 (Hamilton Middletown Road), just before and after Kyles Station Road, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.

Arrows and/or signs will be in place to alert motorists of the upcoming work zones and restrictions. All work is contingent upon the weather, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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