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.”

Police searching for 2 ‘people of interest’ in mother of nine’s death

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:14 AM
Updated: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:16 AM


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Middletown police are searching for two “people of interest” in the death of a Middletown mother of nine.

RELATED: Police: Drug dealers let Middletown mother die in front of her 9 kids

Middletown Police Lt. Scott Reeve said officers are looking for two “people of interest” in the death of a 31-year-old mother who was found by her children lying on the kitchen floor late Wednesday night.

Reeve declined to name the “people of interest.”

Police are looking for two white males, possibly a father/son team. One man has gray hair and gray facial hair and was wearing a red and black coat. The other man was thin build and was wearing a brown jacket, the children told police.

The Butler County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death of the Middletown woman.

According to Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw, “known drug dealers” were in the house in the 1400 block of Yankee Road on Wednesday and they left the woman to die.

US Marine helicopter window falls from sky, injures child

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 7:47 AM

Helicopter.
Keyur Khamar/US PGA TOUR
Helicopter.(Keyur Khamar/US PGA TOUR)

A 20-pound window of a US Marine Corps helicopter fell off in mid-flight onto a school playing field Tuesday, slightly injuring a child on the Japanese island of Okinawa, CNN reported. 

>> Read more trending news

US Forces Japan said in a statement that the window of a CH-53 transport helicopter fell onto a sports field at an elementary school outside Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

"We take this report extremely seriously and are investigating the cause of this incident in close coordination with local authorities," the statement said. "This is a regrettable incident and we apologize for any anxiety it has caused the community."

The child was not seriously injured, CNN reported.

Juror’s emergency halts Miami County child rape case verdict

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 1:05 PM
Updated: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:16 AM


            Charles Hiser, right, seated at the defense table in Miami County Common Pleas Court earlier this year. STEVE BAKER/STAFF
Charles Hiser, right, seated at the defense table in Miami County Common Pleas Court earlier this year. STEVE BAKER/STAFF

A Miami County jury’s deliberations in the child rape trial of Charles Hiser of Troy were interrupted today by a family emergency of a juror.

The juror left the deliberations, and Judge Christopher Gee told the 11 remaining jurors attempts were being made to contact an alternate juror to join the deliberations. The jury had deliberated 4.5 hours Thursday and around 90 minutes today.

Gee told jurors in Common Pleas Court they could not deliberate further until an alternate joined them.

EARLIER: Mistrial declared in case against man accused of child rape

“I know it is going to be frustrating for all of you to retire to the jury room and not be able to do the work you are here for,” Gee said.

Three alternate jurors had been seated in the event a problem arose with one or more of the 12 jurors who weree to decide the case. The alternate jurors were dismissed before deliberations began.

Hiser, 37, faces eight felony rape charges for alleged sexual contact and sexual conduct with a person under age 10 and then under age 13 between February 2012 and late 2016 in Piqua and Troy. He is being held on $550,000 bail.

A trial in October ended in a mistrial after some jurors said they had seen or heard about media accounts of the case.

Jurors, in a written question sent to Gee after around 3.5 hours of deliberations Thursday, asked what would happen if they were unable to agree. They were told there was no specific time line for deliberations and the focus should be on trying to reach a verdict, if possible.

One defense witness, Hiser’s wife, testified earlier Thursday before closing arguments and deliberations. Stacy Hiser testified she did not observe anything inappropriate or suspicious about her husband.

EARLIER: Victim says sex abuse happened more times than she could count

In closing statements, Janna Parker, assistant county prosecutor, said the girl may have said she assumed why the sexual acts began and could not provide specific dates and times for alleged c acts, but that is not unusual for sexual assault victims.

“There were no assumptions as to what happened between her and the defendant. She was very clear it happened too many times to count,” Parker said.

Public defender Steve Layman said there was not an objective fact finding process followed in the investigation by police, who he argued displayed a lack of effort.

“Charles was assumed guilty from moment of disclosure. Why didn’t they dig deeper?” Layman said.

He questioned why corroborating evidence was not sought about allegations that he said could have been fabricated.

Parker said the girl’s account, if believed by the jury, told the story. “She is worth listening to,” she said.

Watch: He’s going to Harvard, and Louisiana student’s reaction is priceless

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 1:33 AM

VIDEO: Student’s Priceless Reaction to Harvard Acceptance Letter

It has been quite a week for two Louisiana brothers. Both were accepted into big-name colleges, and separate videos of their reactions have gone viral.

>> Read more trending news

On Tuesday, 16-year-old Ayrton Little and his classmates at T.M. Landry College Preparatory waited as he opened his email to see if he had been accepted into Harvard University’s 2019-2020 class, WAFB reported. The junior’s reaction is priceless when he gets the good news.

His classmates shout “three-peat,” as it is the third consecutive year that a T.M. Landry student has been accepted to Harvard, WAFB reported. 

Ayrton said he plans to major in applied math and computer science.

HARVARD THREE-PEAT!!!! TM Landry gets an acceptance from Harvard three years in a row! HARVARD SAYS YES TO GRADUATING JUNIOR ARYTON LITTLE!!!! Here’s his acceptance video!

Posted by TM Landry College Prep. on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

His celebration came on the heels of a joyous day for his older brother, Alexander Little. On Friday, Alexander got the news that he had been accepted into Stanford University.

Alexander said he plans to major in physics with a minor in computer science.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY SAYS YES TO TM LANDRY SENIOR ALEXANDER LITTLE! Here’s his acceptance video!

Posted by TM Landry College Prep. on Friday, December 8, 2017