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Lawmaker slams WSU for email warning of anti-abortion activists

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 9:30 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:56 AM

WSU protest

A local lawmaker is criticizing Wright State University’s handling a planned anti-abortion event on campus today.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miami Twp., said Gary Dickstein, WSU’s interim vice president for student affairs, should not have sent out a campus-wide email warning people of the event. In the campus email, Dickstein said that the public university must allow the activists on campus, even if they express views that some might find offensive.

“I’m saddened it seemed as if he were taking a position on this protest when he said it ‘must’ be allowed, that it might be ‘offensive,’ and that he will ensure the group ‘behaves,’” Antani said. “This is disturbing when university campuses already seem to be a bastion of liberal ideology.”

RELATED: Wright State adds rules sign to rock that caused controversy last fall

The campus-wide email speaks to an ongoing issue of free speech on campus that has bubbled up in recent months.

Republicans such as Antani and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana have criticized colleges for not allowing speakers with conservative or controversial views from hosting events on campuses.

Approximately 10 anti-abortion activists from the group “Created Equal” will be in the WSU quad from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, according to a press release from the group. The group will set up 4 feet by 3 feet placards of “very graphic images,” according to the email.

“As an institution of higher education, it is imperative that we embrace diverse thoughts and ideas. Moreover, as a public university, Wright State must allow individuals or groups who wish to exercise their First Amendment rights on its campuses the opportunity to do so. This is true even when individuals and/or groups express views that some in our community find offensive,” the email states.

RELATED: Ohio State denies white supremacist’s request to speak on campus

Wright State encouraged people uncomfortable with the event to avoid the quad altogether or to seek support from the school’s counseling and wellness center, something Antani also criticized.

“I am disappointed Dr. Dickstein decided to send this email in the tone that he did. Students do not need counseling services because of a protest,” Antani said.

Wright State spokesman Seth Bauguess declined to respond directly to Antani’s comments. But, moving forward the university plans to notify students, staff and faculty every time an off-campus group plans to hold a demonstration on campus, Bauguess said.

“We had people in our community wanting to know about when these types of things were happening,” Bauguess said. “We decided we’re going to be more committed going forward to telling our campus about these things.”

Officials also see the demonstration as a learning experience for students who may not have realized that because Wright State is a public university, it is required to allow demonstrations and protests on campus, Bauguess said.

RELATED: Wright State may outsource Nutter Center management to boost finances

Other colleges across the country have turned down controversial speakers recently. Earlier this month, Ohio State announced it would not allow known white supremacist Richard Spencer to host a campus event because of safety concerns.

In August, Wright State posted a “rules sign” near a campus rock that caused controversy a year ago. In September 2016, the rock was painted by students to say “Black Lives Matter.” Shortly after, the word “black” was changed to “white” and later to “all.”

ELECTION 2017: 4 running for Kettering School Board

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 1:05 PM
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 1:05 PM

4 running for Kettering School Board
4 running for Kettering School Board

There are four candidates running for three seats on the Kettering School Board.

Jim Ambrose and Julie Gilmore are running for re-election to the board against challengers Edward Breen and Darren Cooper.

We asked all four candidates what they would do if elected. Here’s some of their answers:

Q: What are the 3 biggest challenges facing the school district? How would you deal with them?

Jim Ambrose: School districts across Ohio are dealing with the continuing problem of funding public schools and balancing the budget in light of dwindling State funding assistance. Both the state and federal government have limited sources of funding over the past 5 years or so in such a fashion that districts are compelled to do more with less financial support.

Voters guide: Your best local resource for Election 2017

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I, as a present board member, have seen first-hand how difficult it is to initiate some programs while de-emphasizing others. There are no easy answers, only challenges to be confronted and we are doing well at that by implementing creative and unique funding/levy efforts. Addressing the educational needs of our children in a forever changing technological and socio-economic landscape has been a high priority of this board. The dynamics of Kettering families have changed over the last several years, so therefore our teachers and administrators are confronted with addressing those changes in order to assure a solid educational basis for those students.

These goals are being met with collaboration and planning. Measuring student success and teacher effectiveness on an annual changing “State scale” is akin to hitting a moving target. School boards are being challenged to predict what next will be required by the State of Ohio almost on a yearly basis. This causes much stress and uncertainty with students, staff and administrators. The board must provide the tools and training to assist our teachers and administrators.

Edward F. Breen: The first is funding for future needs in a fluctuating economy. The state legislature is giving less money to school districts. The school district therefore must come up with alternate ways to maintain the high level of education that the city has become known for. The second is to keep our students safe from the encroaching violence and danger that prevails in our society today. The third is keeping the educational experience up to date and in sync with modern technology and cultural changes. I will work with the board to overcome any of the problems and challenges that the district faces.

Darren Cooper: After 30 years of volunteer service to various school districts, I have learned about the dangers of the distances between Kettering, Columbus and Washington. Governmental mandates make for bad government, not good education policy. Kettering citizens should decide what is best for Kettering students, not some Washington bureaucrat! We must be able to meet the current and future fiscal challenges in running a quality school district. Maybe the most important challenge of all in Kettering is to produce good students and good citizens.

Julie Ann Gilmore: Working to maintain continuous voter support is essential. As a board member I push for a varied and challenging curriculum that meets all student needs in a fiscally responsible manner. We must be aware of changing socio/economic conditions within our student body. Dealing with changing issues is a challenge, but we have set up support groups (Partners for Healthy Youth, Back-Pack Program, Special Counselor knowledgeable about the many county programs, working closely with the City in establishing summer and after-school programs and activities) Assessing, identifying and selecting locations of facilities needed to provide all-day kindergarten and expanded Career Tech programs for the district. We are currently involved in a Strategic Plan process for the district in which I am directly involved.

RELATED: Learn more about the candidates for Kettering School Board

Q: What makes you qualified to be on the school board and gives you an advantage over other candidates?

Jim Ambrose: I have been on the Kettering School Board since 2012, serving on several standing committees including the Insurance Committee, the Athletic Board of Control, the Safety Committee, and the Curriculum and Instruction Committee. Each committee brings with it a unique understanding of core issues and the need to “think outside the box.” My experience as a trial lawyer for more than 4 decades representing people who have been or will be directly impacted by the effectiveness of their education, and in particular reading, makes me qualified and passionate about education. The difference between a “good citizen” and one not so good, is quite often the degree of educational success and achievement one obtained. Those who can read and comprehend are far more likely to perform well in society than those who do not. We, as a board, have a duty and a reasonable expectation to provide a free, effective, and relevant education to every child in this district. It is my desire to continue to serve our taxpayers and make a difference in the lives of our children.

Edward F. Breen: After teaching 23 plus years I want to stay in the education community. I understand what it means to be a teacher in this changing educational climate and will represent their viewpoints. I enjoy working with students and their families. I also will be their voice on the school board. With my strong political background I can help facilitate issues and values and bring city and school together. I have a strong desire to maintain our current excellence in education status and to strive for continued excellence in the future.

Darren Cooper: My strong background in finance provides an advantage in dealing with budgets and other fiscal matters. My financial planning practice had nearly 1,000 state teachers and administrators as clients. Over the years, I listened to them carefully and I learned a lot. This gives me a great advantage in understanding the needs of the personnel in our district, as well as the needs of our students.

Julie Ann Gilmore: In my role as a current Kettering School board member, as an experienced Kettering classroom teacher, and as a volunteer in the Kettering community, I have contributed to the improvement of educational opportunities for all Kettering students. It is my hope to be able to continue making a difference.

Q: What is your top priority if elected?

Jim Ambrose: My top priority is to continue to work toward providing an excellent school district for our children. Over these past 5 years, I probably have learned more about public education demands than I ever thought possible. I believe I am making a difference in our district and have grown to not only appreciate our employees and their vision and passion, but also the mechanics of growing, developing, and nurturing a truly excellent school district. We are fortunate to have teachers, administrators, and staff who collectively care about our district’s children and the community as a whole. I believe I have more to lend to our schools and look forward to serving again. We need, now more than ever, individuals who truly care about what is best for our educational system and what action needs to be taken to implement this goal. Presently, our board’s enactment of a long range strategic plan is the most prudent and logical approach to operate an effective and dynamic school district. This method involves people/citizens from all walks of life willing to come together in a collaborative spirit to address challenges confronting our educational system. Their collective experiences and wisdom broadens the choices and approaches that will be utilized over the next 5 years or so.

Edward F. Breen: School board members have needed to become more involved and familiar with the community and its changing needs. With the evolving dynamic of our city’s population and the rift in some of our student’s family support system, elected officials must be more compassionate and open minded, as they deal with issues that were not common in the past. Problems such as cyberbullying, drugs, and guns are a part of our school district and school board members must become more aware of these problems and come up with methods and solutions that will keep these types of behaviors out of our schools.

Darren Cooper: Our top priority in Kettering Schools is producing good students and good citizens. This includes preparation for the work force, as well as for college.

Julie Ann Gilmore: My top priority has always been involvement in curriculum committee work, and knowledge of the school district by attending many functions at all schools. With this in mind, my priority will be to continue to make a difference in the educational opportunities of all our students.

Fox offers Bill O’Reilly big contract after $32 million settlement, Gretchen Carlson reacts

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 12:57 PM

Inside Bill O'Reilly

Fox News offered Bill O’Reilly a $25 million contract even though O’Reilly had agreed to settle a sexual harassment claim for $32 million, according to The New York Times.

>> Read more trending news

The Times reported that O’Reilly settled out of court with former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl just months before he was dismissed from the network.

O’Reilly categorized the Times piece as a “smear article” about him and defended himself on his website.

“In its latest diatribe against Bill O’Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace,” a statement on O’Reilly’s website said.

“In the more than 20 years Bill O’Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the human resources department or legal department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline,” the statement continued. 

The New York Times has copies of two letters written by 21st Century Fox lawyers attesting to that fact.”

>> Related: Recently released details put a new spin on when Bill O’Reilly and Fox News parted ways

After O’Reilly tweeted a link to his post, former “Fox & Friends” host Carlson responded.

“Nobody pays $32 million for false allegations – nobody,” Carlson wrote.

Carlson settled out of court in 2016, after she left Fox News amid her own allegations of sexual harassment against then chiarmen Roger Ailes.

Jim Carrey accuses dead ex-girlfriend of elaborate extortion scheme 

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 9:38 AM

Jim Carrey Fast Facts

As the wrongful death lawsuit against him plows forward at full steam, Jim Carrey is claiming his late ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, contracted the STDs that made her suicidal before meeting him, not after as her family alleges.

>> Read more trending news

White’s mother and estranged husband contend that White started experiencing suicidal thoughts after the actor gave her Herpes I, Herpes II and gonorrhea. However, documents filed in court by Carrey accuse White of an elaborate plot to extort him for millions “through smears and threats of public degradation via false allegations” and by faking her medical records. White allegedly told Carrey that she would lie and tell people that he gave her the diseases.

“When the threats were met with silence, White asked and obtained a copy of her friend’s Planned Parenthood records,” the motion says. “White’s intent in obtaining these records was clear — she cooked the records, creating forgeries with altered information, phony tests, and fictitious dates. A ruse, needed to support her lie, in July 2013, White and her attorney Marchino used the counterfeit records to extort money from Carrey.”

Carrey’s team points to text messages between White and a friend, which allegedly pertained to the scheme.

“This motion seeks an admission of the truth; namely that White had multiple STDs before meeting Carrey or nonforged copies of December 28, 2011 records of White, records that do not and have never actually existed,” the motion continues. 

>> Related: After months of delays, Jim Carrey finally has to answer questions about his ex’s suicide

“Recognizing that Carrey was conned before, White’s green-card husband, Mark Burton, and her estranged and emotionally abusive mother, Brigid Sweetman, decided to get a second bite at the apple by filing a lawsuit claiming Mr. Carrey caused White’s death, exploiting the judicial system with fraudulent ‘evidence’ in a continued effort to extort Carrey.”

>> Related: Jim Carrey’s ex made serious accusations against him in a note years before her suicide

Related

Hippo photo bombs engagement proposal

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 8:42 PM

Fiona The Hippo Photo Bombs Special Moment

Fiona, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s beloved baby hippopotamus, helped celebrate the engagement of #TeamFiona fans.

>> Read more trending news

The couple were in line to snap a picture on their one-year anniversary earlier this month when Nick Kelble surprised Hayley Roll by getting down on one knee and proposing while Fiona photo-bombed the special moment at the zoo’s Hippo Cove.

Kelble, a University of Cincinnati student, and Roll, a recent Bowling Green State University grad and radiology tech at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, have loved Fiona from the start, our media partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported.

“We are huge #TeamFiona fans and have been following her since she was born,” Roll said, WCPO reported. “We’re so happy Fiona could be there on our special day. Here’s to many more years of going to zoos with you,” Roll posted on Instagram.

One zoo staff member cropped the photo and quipped that Fiona thinks she’s the one getting engaged. Another said Fiona would need a much bigger ring for one of her toes.