6 local school districts reach national academic competition

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 12:11 PM
Updated: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 12:11 PM


            Miamisburg High School seniors Blake Boyd (left) and Brady Timpe compete in the scientific challenge at the 2017 state Destination Imagination tournament. Their team, also including Owen Clayton and Eliza Gauthier, won first place. They had to create a story — including a self-made gadget and a disguised character — about a secret mission, applying methods from cryptography and steganography to reveal secret messages. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
            CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Miamisburg High School seniors Blake Boyd (left) and Brady Timpe compete in the scientific challenge at the 2017 state Destination Imagination tournament. Their team, also including Owen Clayton and Eliza Gauthier, won first place. They had to create a story — including a self-made gadget and a disguised character — about a secret mission, applying methods from cryptography and steganography to reveal secret messages. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO(CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Fifteen teams from local schools have advanced to the global finals of the Destination Imagination team challenge, a competition where students research, design and execute a solution to a problem.

All but one of the 15 local teams advancing are from Dayton’s south suburbs — four from Centerville schools, three each from Miamisburg and Oakwood, two from Springboro, and one each from Kettering, Incarnation Catholic School, and Tri-Village in Darke County.

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Those 15 teams first had to advance out of a regional tournament, then finished in the top three in the statewide Destination Imagination (DI) competition earlier this month. Cinda Weisgerber, Ohio affiliate director for DI, said Ohio had over 700 teams compete this year, split between elementary, middle and high school levels.

The local students will join about 8,000 others from at least 15 countries to compete at the global finals May 24-27 at the University of Tennessee.

“We are so proud of all of the teams and the hard work and creativity they displayed,” said Miamisburg schools gifted coordinator Haley Moore. “Miamisburg Destination Imagination has had an amazing season so far.”

RELATED: Teachers’ pension plan takes a hit

The national DI organization releases challenge topics in seven categories — engineering, technical, scientific, fine arts, improvisational, service learning, and the early learning challenge. Student teams generally spend a few months working on their projects under parent and teacher managers before presenting them at tournaments.

The technical challenge called for teams to design and build a stage that can move performers, then present a show featuring an opening act and a headliner, with special effects. The improvisational challenge had teams create three improvisational skits from a single story prompt, presenting each one in a different performance genre with a different stock character and props in each skit.

Five local teams came in first place in their categories and age levels at the state tournament — Springboro Junior High and Miamisburg High School in the scientific challenge, Incarnation Elementary in the fine arts challenge, Miamisburg Middle School in the improvisational challenge, and a Centerville middle school team in the service learning challenge.

RELATED: Teacher pay varies dramatically by local district

A team from Southdale Elementary is Kettering’s first-ever team to reach the global level. Their service learning challenge combined work done earlier — a schoolwide food drive that collected 2,883 items and $157 for a Kettering food pantry — with a fable-style skit about hunger’s impact on the community.

Destination Imagination officials call their tournaments “the ultimate celebration of creativity and innovation,” using project-based learning to teach students problem-solving and perseverance skills needed to succeed in school, careers and life.

School winners by grade level

Centerville, middle – 2

Centerville, secondary – 2

Miamisburg, middle – 2

Miamisburg, secondary – 1

Oakwood, elementary – 1

Oakwood, middle – 1

Oakwood, secondary – 1

Springboro, elementary – 1 (Five Points)

Springboro, middle – 1

Kettering, elementary – 1 (Southdale)

Tri-Village, secondary – 1

Incarnation, elementary — 1

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