Active shooter training factor in West Liberty-Salem HS shooting

Published: Saturday, January 21, 2017 @ 11:15 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 21, 2017 @ 2:21 PM

The scene outside West Liberty-Salem School following a student shooting Friday. Marshall Gorby/Staff

A flood of panicked calls started pouring in to the Champaign County Sheriffs office at 7:36 a.m. Friday, reporting an active shooter on the premises at West Liberty-Salem High School, but little else, according to Senior Dispatcher Robin Ballard.

RELATED: West Liberty shooting rocks community.

Ballard said she and two other Champaign County dispatchers, as well as their supervisor, were suddenly and unexpectedly deluged with pleas for help dripping with fear and despair.

“We had calls from teachers, staff and several of the children inside the school that called 911,” Ballard said. “The kids were all upset. They told us there was an active shooter, but they didn’t know if there was more than one.”

Ballard said dispatchers remained on the line with callers until police arrived at the school, where one student, identified as Logan Cole, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and is in critical but stable condition. A 17-year-old student, who was not named, was hit with part of a shot that discharged but was not seriously hurt. The 17-year-old suspect, identified as Ely Serna, was armed with a shotgun, according to authorities.

“We were busy getting help there to them, and trying to keep them calm, but we didn’t have to give the much direction because they all had had ALICE training,” Ballard said, referring to a civilian active shooter response training program adopted by many schools and other institutions.

The program acronym stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate,” and West Liberty students and staff did exactly that, Ballard said.

“The kids did what they were supposed to, and so did the staff,” she said. “They did a very good job.”

Much more active weather develops over next 24 hours

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 11:00 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 12:15 AM

Several storm systems will cross the region beginning this morning and continuing into early next week, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.

The first round of showers and storms of this much more active weather pattern developing over the next 24 hours is expected to push across the Miami Valley during the first half of today. The Storm Prediction Center said there is a marginal chance for a strong storm, which could include damaging winds, hail and/or an isolated tornado.

RELATED: WHIO Interactive Radar

Storms should exit the area by early afternoon with a period of calm weather tonight into much of Friday. However, another storm system will bring storms back to the region by Friday evening, Elwell said.

The Storm Prediction Center said severe storms could spread into southwest Ohio by late Friday. This weekend system could bring locally heavy rainfall, Elwell said.

"The Gulf of Mexico will be open for business," Elwell said, "which will mean any storms could be very proficient at generating heavy rain.” 

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

The weekend storm system is expected to stall to the west of the region allowing storms to briefly diminish Sunday, but return late Sunday into Monday as the system finally lifts northeast into Canada. More heavy rain and strong storms could be likely to end the weekend as the storm system lifts across the Great Lakes, Elwell said.

FBI conducts investigation at Montgomery County apartment

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 10:04 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 10:39 PM

DAYTON -- (UPDATE @ 10:30 p.m.) The FBI conducted an investigation at an apartment in the 3800 block of Lakebend Drive. 

A man who identified himself as a security guard for the Northlake Hills Co-Op apartment complex said he was told not to allow our news crew near the address where the investigation is occurring. 

Todd Lindgren, spokesman with the Cincinnati FBI office, confirms only that the FBI has been at the address since late this afternoon.

“The FBI is conducting law enforcement activity in that area,” Lindgren said. He noted that he could not say anything about the focus of the investigation.

We’re told the Dayton police has had a one-unit detail at the address since just before 3 p.m.

A check of the Montgomery County auditor's online records indicates the address is part of the Northlake Hills complex. 

>>RELATED: ‘Substantial’ fentanyl operation busted by sheriff’s task force

The man and others working with him are turning traffic around on Lakebend Drive. There are people standing along Lakebend Drive, watching. received a phone call just after 9 p.m. about the FBI being on the property. 

At 10:30 p.m., an FBI agent asked our Center 7 first responder to leave the area.

We'll keep working to find out what's happening at the complex. 

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>>GOT A TIP? Call our 24-hour line, 937-259-2237 or send it to

WATCH: Do you recognize the people who set fire to this truck?

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 11:10 PM

DAYTON -- City arson investigators are hoping you can help them identify two people, recorded on video, who set fire to a truck about a week ago. 

The Dayton Fire Department recently was given the video that shows a man pouring gasoline all over a truck parked behind a home on Sheridan Avenue. 

Arson Investigator Bryan Adams told News Center 7's Natalie Jovonovich the pair appear to set fire to a piece of paper and then toss it into the truck. 

The suspects were believed to have come to the scene of the crime in a Chevy Astro minivan, he said, noting, "the owner doesn't recognize the individuals and is kind of unsure as to what prompted this." 

If you recognize the man and woman in the video or know anything about the incident you believe will help in the criminal investigation, you are asked to call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 222-STOP. 

>>RELATED: Dayton police make 2nd public appeal for help investigating fatal 2016 crash 

GOT A TIP? Call our 24-hour line, 937-259-2237 or send it to

Dayton Schools renew contract for athletic director amid controversy

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 10:19 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 10:19 PM

Dayton’s school board approved a two-year contract renewal for district athletic director Mark Baker, in the wake of major state penalties imposed on Dayton Public Schools athletic programs.

The vote was 5-1, with board member Joe Lacey strongly objecting and Hazel Rountree absent. Baker declined comment after the vote.

Last fall, Dunbar’s football team used an ineligible player in two games, causing them to forfeit those games and be knocked out of the playoffs. The eligibility issue was missed by coaches, athletic directors and the principal.

WATCH: Video emerges of controversial play

RELATED: Dayton Schools react after reprimand, fine

But during the final game of the season, there was a back-and-forth debate over the star player’s eligibility. Once it was established, after he had already played, that he was ineligible, Dunbar officials told players to lose the game on purpose, believing they might still have an avenue to make the playoffs.

The Dunbar coaches said that directive came from Baker, but Baker denied it during subsequent investigations.

Lacey argued that DPS was not taking the issue of “throwing the game” seriously, calling it an unprecedented violation in Ohio high school sports, and saying the district appeared not to want to investigate it.

“It looked like there were attempts to not investigate the decision of this district to throw a game, to instruct students to cheat,” Lacey said. “The rallying around the people responsible for this really disgusts me.”

Board members Adil Baguirov, Robert Walker and Ron Lee argued that the focus should be on the new policies the district was putting in place to make sure this never happens again, saying it is time to look forward, rather than back.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association placed all DPS athletic programs on three years of probation, fined them $10,000 and ordered administrators to undergo training, citing the district for “a lack of administrative responsibility and institutional control.”