$2M bond set in kidnapping, rape case

Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012 @ 6:34 PM
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 @ 8:37 PM

A 32-year-old Englewood man is charged with five felonies including rape, gross sexual imposition and kidnapping after police say he tied up several juveniles, held them at gunpoint and raped at least one of them.

Jason Johnston Sr. is in the Montgomery County Jail on $2 million bond.

Trotwood police were called to a home on Berry Drive early Wednesday where Johnston was allegedly threatening the children’s mother at gunpoint after assaulting the kids at his home in Englewood and then taking them to their mother’s residence.

Officers were able to get Johnston to put the weapon down and took him into custody.

Trotwood police alerted Englewood police to the situation and Englewood officers obtained a search warrant for Johnston’s home, according to Englewood Sgt. Mike Lang.

“Physical evidence recovered from the home was able to easily corroborate the horrible ordeal these kids went through in the early morning hours yesterday,” Lang said.

Based on that evidence, Montgomery County prosecutors approved four counts of kidnapping and single counts of rape and gross sexual imposition.

Johnston is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.

Lang said Johnston has no prior criminal history. “He went from 0 to 100 in a short amount of time and created an incident which will certainly have a lasting impact on everybody that was involved,” Lang said. “It’s absolutely tragic.”

It is the policy of News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News not to report details that would identify the victims of sexual assault.

Author J.D. Vance returns to Middletown for grads, reveals plans

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:17 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:19 PM

            Middletown High School graduate and internationally famous author J.D. Vance closed a highly personal circle in his life Tuesday when he delivered the commencement speech to graduates from his old school. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Middletown High School graduate and internationally famous author J.D. Vance closed a highly personal circle in his life Tuesday when he delivered the commencement speech to graduates from his former school.

But before he took the stage in front of the overflowing audience at Princeton Pike Church, Vance talked exclusively with the Journal-News.

The best-selling author of “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” shared some details on the Hollywood movie of his life — directed and produced by Academy Award winner Ron Howard — and his hopes of bettering the white, working class Americans depicted so poignantly in his seminal book.

MORE: Middletown native J.D. Vance talks upcoming Hollywood movie

He also weighed in the recent controversy surrounding a dean from his graduate school — Yale University — who blasted “white trash” in a racist social media rant.

And he revealed his optimism in bridging the chasm surrounding the often ignored but sizable portion of America’s demographics.

A college commencement speaker in much demand since his book rocketed him to stardom, Middletown was his first high school graduation speech and it got to him emotionally.

MORE: J.D. Vance speech at Miami University Middletown brings home best-selling author

“It’s a pretty special thing to do. It’s sort of amazing to think that 14 years ago I was graduating from Middletown High School and obviously quite a bit has happened,” said the 32-year-old who now lives in Columbus. He has formed Our Ohio Renewal, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing high-quality employment and educational opportunities to Ohioans and addressing the state’s destructive opioid crisis.

“I couldn’t help but to look at the kids and think to myself what will they be thinking about in 14 years? What will they have done? What will they have accomplished? It’s a pretty exciting opportunity to close that circle for me,” said Vance.

Vance has said he was surprised when his best-selling book was embraced as a primer for national political pundits leading up to — and especially after — last year’s presidential election. It proved popular as sort of a Rosetta Stone for the country’s news media in deciphering President Donald Trump’s support among America’s poor working class.

STORY & VIDEO: Middletown author’s book helps explain President Donald Trump’s popularity

Vance has since made the national TV media rounds, expanding on one of the book’s key themes: The controlling governmental, business, entertainment and academic elites of America have little if any understanding of the significant demographic composed of this often overlooked segment of our society.

Moreover, the divide continues.

Just last week at Vance’s former college — Yale University — Dean June Chu of the school’s Pierson College was placed on leave after posting Yelp reviews calling customers at local restaurants “white trash” and “low class folks,” according to media accounts.

Vance shook his head recalling the incident.

His years at Yale were marked by persistent reminders that his poor Appalachian roots made him an anomaly there.

“When I saw that story I just thought it is unfortunately an attitude that exists a little bit too much in elite institutions. This idea that people aren’t worthwhile (or) they are not good because of where they came from, or maybe because of their accent or their approach to thinking about the world,” he said.

“That’s one of the reasons I wrote the book, because I think that attitude is very real. And it’s unfortunately something I really do think drives a divide between educational institutions’ so-called elites and a lot of folks who are just working and trying to get by. I was pretty disappointed when I heard those remarks,” said Vance.

Though he understands the media’s focus on the darker sides of his memoir — and has freely discussed his own and his family’s personal challenges — Vance said there are other, more positive pieces to the puzzle of his life he wishes would get more attention.

He was wary of running into similar prejudice among the well-documented elitist attitudes of some in Hollywood.

He turned down other movie producers for those reasons until meeting with Howard, a two-time Academy Award-winning director, whom he said understood the importance of portraying key figures in his life story beyond a two-dimensional scale.

“I was definitely worried about that. But what I really liked about Ron Howard is that he seemed to take a really compassionate and a really sympathetic eye to the problems I wrote about,” Vance said.

He hopes some of the movie will be shot in Middletown.

Which Hollywood star does he want to play him?

“Chris Pratt,” he said, laughing in reference to the popular star of the recently released “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” “So people will think I’m better looking than I actually am.”

Memorial Day weekend means ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign in full force

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:07 PM

The Ohio Highway Patrol is enforcing the "Click It or Ticket" program heavily this holiday weekend.

To combat the increase in the possibility of accidents because of heavy traffic brought on by Memorial Day, seat belt focus will be emphasized by troopers until the end of May. 

"Troopers see the deadly results that follow when motorists decide not to buckle up," said Col. Paul A. Pride, OSP superintendent.

"We want everyone on the road to get home safe, and that's why you should buckle up every trip, every time," he said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide in 2016 were not restrained. 

Troopers will be on Ohio roads encouraging drivers to monitor their speed, designate sober drivers and particularly to wear their seat belt. 

"We prioritize safety belt enforcement because of the clear evidence that buckling up saves lives," said Pride. 

>>RELATED: Crash in Springfield leads to OVI arrest

From now through June 4,  OSP will be engaged in friendly competition with Michigan and Indiana, to top them in increasing safety belt usage in the Midwest.

Ohioans can participate by using #ClickOnOhio on all social media platforms to show their state pride. That competition is part of the national Click It or Ticket enforcement program. 

From now through Memorial Day (May 29), OSP also will take part in a Six-State Trooper Project prioritizing seat belt safety. This enforcement effort includes state police in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

Motorists are encouraged to dial #6-7-7 to report to OSP any type of impaired driver or drug activity.

Council approves purchase of 305 acres of research park

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 4:04 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 8:41 PM

            City of Kettering will purchase 305 acres of the Miami Valley Research Park for $1.5 million. FILE

UPDATE @ 7:50: Kettering City Council has approved the purchase of 305 acres at Miami Valley Research Park on a 7-0 vote.

Steve Johnson, president of Sinclair Community College and chairman of the Miami Valley Research Foundation, was in attendance and thanked council for their consideration of purchasing the land.

“It’s very important to us that good steward ship continue,” Johnson said. “We are so pleased that Kettering is considering this action tonight.”

EARLIER REPORT: Kettering city council is expected to vote tonight on the purchase of 305 acres in the Miami Valley Research Park.

RELATED: Kettering to purchase 305 acres of Miami Valley Research Park

Friday, the city announced its intentions to buy the land. If the purchase is approved, it could cost the city up to $3 million dollars.

The city has said acquiring the land could lead to luring new businesses and help current businesses expand within the city.

The business park spans over 1,200 acres in Kettering and Beavercreek and is home to some of the Miami Valley’s largest companies. In October, the Dayton Daily News reported that the Miami Valley Research Foundation was looking to sell four buildings and more than 700 acres of undeveloped land valued at $30 million.

MORE: Mass casualty exercise planned in Kettering

Kettering’s council meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Government Center, 3600 Shroyer Road.

4 Miami Twp. businesses busted for alcohol sales to underage customers

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 8:35 PM

(Courtesy/Kevin D. Thompson/The Palm Beach Post)
Kevin D. Thompson

Four retail liquor establishments in Miami Twp. have been accused of selling alcohol to minors, the Miami Twp. Police Department said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

The names of the businesses have not been released, but police department officials said a supervised compliance check of 11 "places that distribute alcohol" turned up the four in violation. 

The remaining locations were found to be in compliance and refused to sell to underage persons, according to the department. 

GOT A TIP? Call our 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send to our monitored email, newsdesk@cmgohio.com 

More checks will be made, according to the department.