Back from shoulder woes, Indians' Brantley gets 2 hits

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 7:58 PM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 7:57 PM

            Back from shoulder woes, Indians' Brantley gets 2 hits

For most teams, seeing an All-Star get two hits in a spring training game would be no big deal. For the Cleveland Indians, watching Michael Brantley swing back into action meant something.

Coming off a year almost totally lost to shoulder trouble, Brantley singled twice, drove in a run and scored once Monday for the Indians in a 14-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I am excited," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He's worked so hard. I know that playing in a game isn't the end of the road. I'm excited for him. I'm excited potentially for us."

"I think we have to temper that this is not the destination. It is still part of where he's going. He's come an awful long way. Everyone around him has kind of been raving about how he looks. He feels good so, heck yeah, we're excited," he said.

The 29-year-old outfielder is cautiously optimistic about his return to the starting lineup for the AL champions.

"I feel good," Brantley said. "I have more time this year to rehab, build strength and try to get back on my feet. It's been a long process. This is another step in the process."

It seems like an eternity for Brantley since he was 100 percent healthy.

Brantley dived for a ball in Minnesota on Sept. 22, 2015, and strained his right shoulder. His recovery has taken longer than most anyone imagined and required two surgeries.

Around this time last year, Brantley hit a home run and threw out a runner at home in his first Cactus League action.

Brantley was activated last April 25 last year, but could only play 11 games. He was finished by May 9, hitting .231 with seven RBIs, and could only watch Cleveland's run to the World Series. A tough time for someone who hit .310 for the Indians in 2015 with 15 homers, 84 RBIs and a major league-leading 45 doubles.

"The biggest question last year was playing back-to-back in multiple games," Brantley said. "I've been able to down in the minor leagues" so far this year in camp, he said.

"Hopefully, I'll be able to accomplish that on the major league level soon, but it's one day at a time," he said.

The Indians have been deliberate with his recovery this spring. They set up a program in which he had to accomplish certain goals before he graduated to the next goal. During that progression, he took live batting practice and played in two minor league games, going 1 for 6 with a double, a walk and two RBIs.

The Indians are still taking a long-term approach.

"It is one day at a time," Brantley said. "I'm going to talk to (head trainer) James Quinlan tonight and tomorrow morning and we'll make a decision from there. I was fortunate and blessed enough to be out there with my teammates today. That's what is most important to me right now."

Around the clubhouse, the consensus is that Brantley's personality was returning to normal after struggling with the long rehab process.

"Personality-wise, I don't feel I'm different," Brantley said. "Maybe I'm a little more mature now, that I've learned something. I just try to have fun and enjoy the moment. It's a fun game. It's a team game."

"We have a great group of guys that I love playing with. Hopefully, I can continue to play with them for a long time. You may not always see it on my face, but I love playing this game," he said.

Miami Twp. man gets 30 years to life in prison in child sex case

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 5:45 PM

Miami Twp. man gets 30 years to life in prison in child sex case

A 61-year-old Miami Twp. man likely will spend the rest of his life in prison in a child sex case involving multiple victims.

David G. Mattox was sentenced today to 30 years to life in prison following his conviction in January of seven counts of rape of a child younger than 13; two counts of gross sexual imposition of a child younger than 13; two counts of kidnapping; and nine counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

RELATED: Man indicted in child sex case faces more charges

Mattox was arrested July 16, 2015, on his 60th birthday, following an investigation after one girl in October 2014 reported sex abuse to police. The abuse went back to 2008, prosecutors said, and the investigation revealed two more victims.

Mattox also was designated a Tier III sex offender, which is the highest level.

Middletown police officer involved in 2-car crash

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:10 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 5:20 PM

            Middletown police officer involved in 2-car crash

A Middletown police officer was transported to the hospital after a two-car crash today in downtown Middletown.

The crash occurred about 3 p.m. at Central Avenue and Clinton Street.

Officer Becki Leukhardt was transported to Atrium Medical Center for evaluation.

MORE: Middletown police see spike in officer crashes to start 2017

A 2008 Lexus driven by Patricia Schaefer, 84, of Middletown started to change lanes on Clinton Street when it struck the police cruiser near the intersection, according to Middletown police Sgt. Andy Warrick.

“It appears she didn’t see the cruiser in her blind spot,” Warrick said.

Schaefer was also taken to the hospital to be evaluated. She has been cited for improper lane change.

Leukhardt is “very sore” from the crash, but does not have any major injuries, according to Warrick.

There have been at least five other crashes involving Middletown police cruisers since Jan. 1.

Warming trend getting underway

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:56 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:06 PM

Plenty of sunshine through most of the afternoon with near normal temperatures rising through the 40s. 

  • A passing shower possible overnight
  • Temperatures jump above normal the rest of the week
  • Rain chances increase this weekend

RELATED: County-by-County Forecasts  


THIS EVENING: Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast with increasing clouds through the late evening. Temperatures will hold nearly steady or slowly rise through the 40s.

TONIGHT: Skies will become mostly cloudy with a slight chance for a quick shower between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Temperatures will hold in the lower to middle 40s.

RELATED: Flooding: Know Your Risks

FRIDAY: Expect a mix of clouds and sunshine with much warmer air arriving. Highs will climb into the middle 60s by afternoon.

SATURDAY: Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with a chance for a shower or thunderstorm, especially towards evening. Highs will top out in the upper 60s to near 70 degrees.

RELATED: WHIO Interactive Radar

SUNDAY: Showers and thunderstorms will be likely, especially through the first half of the day. Highs will be a bit cooler, in the lower 60s.

MONDAY: A brief break in the rain is expected through midday with more showers and a few thunderstorms returning late. Highs will be back in the upper 60s.

TUESDAY: Morning showers will give way to clearing skies and a bit cooler temperatures. Highs will be in the lower 60s.

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Woman charged in shooting of fiance in Harrison Twp. home

Published: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 @ 6:42 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:16 PM

HARRISON TWP. — A woman has been charged in a shooting Tuesday evening that left her fiance dead. 

  • The victim, 32-year-old Peter Underwood, lived in the home on Claggett Drive where the shooting occurred
  • Jessica Lynn Grieco, 33, has been charged with reckless homicide 
  • Emergency crews were dispatched to the residence on a report of a shooting
  • A woman told a 911 dispatcher she accidentally shot her fiance while she was attempting to unload a gun 


Six hours after a Harrison Twp. woman frantically told a 911 dispatcher she accidentally shot her supposedly suicidal fiance, she was arrested.

The next day, she was charged with reckless homicide. 

Jessica L. Grieco, 33, called 911 at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and told dispatchers she shot Peter Underwood, 32, at their home on Claggett Drive in Harrison Twp.  

“He’s shot in the chest. Get here now!” Grieco yelled. 

“He’s going to die!”  

Underwood died of a shotgun wound to the chest, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, which completed the autopsy Wednesday morning. The coroner ruled Underwood's death a homicide.  

Grieco repeatedly yelled, “Oh my God!” and said: “I tried to unload it. It went off because he was trying to commit suicide earlier. I had to take a rope from him earlier,” she said in the call, which the Dayton Daily News obtained through a public records request.  

Grieco said the shooting was an accident and that the gun was sitting still on scene. The dispatcher told the woman to keep pressure on Underwood’s wound. At one point in the call, there’s a noise that sounds like dishes being knocked on the floor.  

Grieco remains in the Montgomery County Jail.  

Emergency crews were dispatched to the single-family home at 6:27 p.m. Tuesday after the 911 call. She was booked into the jail at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. 

“It’s totally shocking," said Shawn Kauffman, a neighbor in the area near Northridge High School. “This neighborhood is quiet.”  

A woman later was seen crying in a police cruiser.  

“You hear occasional arguments but you don’t think something like this is going to happen,” Kauffman said.  

According to the incident report, photos, a projectile bullet/casing, blood and a weapon were among the evidence from the shooting.  

“It scares me because, like I said, you never know in this neighborhood,” neighbor Ronda Williams said. “I’m scared to even come out at nighttime.” 

At the end of the five-minute 911 call, the woman can be heard telling a deputy, “I was trying to take the bullet out of his gun …”