Changes promised at local school district in wake of racially insensitive basketball jerseys incident

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:31 PM

Change coming to Kings School board

Changes are being promised for Kings Schools in the wake of last week’s racist incident that drew national attention, but Tuesday evening district officials said details about those changes will come later.

That was the message from Kings’ leader and school board members, who took the resignation of their board vice president in the wake of some white, local teens wearing basketball jerseys that displayed racist slurs.

 MORE: Kings and Mason schools facing outcry in wake of racial incidents

The Kings Board of Education voted 4-0 to formally accept the resignation of member Kerry McKiernan, who previously cited his own failure in stopping some of the boys on the recreational league basketball team – not affiliated with Kings -- from wearing jerseys with names that appeared to slur African-Americans.

The names on the backs of the jerseys included "Knee Grow" and "Coon." The team played in the Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League.

McKiernan, whose son played on the now banned team that used Kings’ facilities, did not attend Tuesday’s board meeting and has not responded to requests for comment.

Last week McKiernan emotionally announced his intentions to resign, citing his failure to stop the team from wearing the jerseys during its first four games.

 MORE: Kings board member and father said he shares responsibility for failing to report racist jerseys

Superintendent Tim Ackermann told this news outlet he will soon be proposing systemic changes design to raise student, school staffers and community members’ awareness of the importance of racial and other diversity for the predominately white Warren County district.

“It’s really important to move forward and sustainable change is extremely important to us so that we can work to create a more loving, acceptable tolerant society,” said Ackermann. “We believe this is a community and societal issue around racism … intolerance, hate and bigotry and we all need to work together to make Kings the best place for all of our kids.”

He declined, however, to give details as to what district efforts are coming, saying the changes are still being studied.

“I don’t want to create something just to create something. Sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight,” said Ackermann.

Tom Squires, an African-American parent at Kings, was among the more than a dozen residents who attended the board meeting.

Afterward, Squires said the jersey incident, which has drawn national media attention, was “unfortunate.”

“We didn’t pay that close of attention as parents and we should have. We have to react swiftly and we have to make sure that people understand that this is not a district that condones that kind of thing,” said Squires, who has lived in the Deerfield Twp. school community for more than a decade.

“When you make a mistake you have to make sure you correct that mistake. Sometimes it’s not always fast but we have to make sure we make the right correction,” he said. 

“This thing (reaction to the incident) is still evolving so it’s kind of hard for me to be critical of the district. They are still trying to make the correction and I think we should give them the opportunity to do so,” said Squires.

Under Ohio school law, the board now has until Feb. 9 to appoint a new board member and agreed during its meeting to accept applications until 4 p.m. on Jan. 24. 

Applications will soon be available on the Kings Schools website.

The board will then vote at its Jan. 31 meeting – after interviewing all applicants – on who will fill McKiernan’s seat through his term, which ends December 2019.

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Heavy rain moves out tonight but flood alerts continue

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:32 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 10:05 PM

Both strong winds and heavy rain are likely this evening in the Dayton area.

The heavy rain threat will come to an end overnight as the storm system moves to our east, but a few lingering showers will be possible through daybreak Sunday, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. Temperatures will be steady in the middle to upper 40s overnight.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Flash Flood Warning until 2:15 a.m. for part of Warren County
  • Flood Watch until 10 a.m. Sunday for entire region
  • Flood Warning for parts of Greene and Warren counties along the Little Miami River
  • Along Great Miami River, Flood Warning from 11:18 p.m. to 7:32 p.m. Monday in Sidney in Shelby County; from 4:36 a.m. Sunday to 8:30 p.m. Monday near Middletown in Butler County

>> Weekend brings more rain, threat for strong storms

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist Brett Collar

>> Great Miami River expected to crest this weekend; where will flooding occur?

Sunday: A pre-dawn shower is possible early, but aside from that clouds will decrease to allow for some afternoon sunshine with highs in the lower 50s. It’s also going to be a windy day with winds gusting over 30 mph at times.

Severe Weather Threats(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

>> WHIO Live Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

Monday: Mostly sunny skies are expected with highs in the lower to middle 50s.

Tuesday: We get back into the upper 50s with mostly sunny skies.

A Flood Watch is in effect until 10 a.m. Sunday for the entire region(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

Wednesday: The chance for rain returns in the afternoon and evening. Highs will be in the upper 50s.

Thursday: Rain showers are expected with highs in the middle 50s.

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Swollen waterways prompt flood watch, warnings along Great Miami R, other spots

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:27 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 9:55 PM

Swollen waterways prompt flood watch, warnings along rivers

As a Flood Watch remains in effect for the southern Miami Valley counties through Sunday morning, creeks, streams and fields will likely flood, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

“Creeks and streams, if not already, will likely be out of their banks through the weekend,” she said. “Fields will also be flooded with the heavy rains that arrive Friday and Saturday.”

>> Kasich declares emergency over Ohio flooding

A Flood Warning is in effect through 5 p.m. Monday along the Little Miami River in parts of Greene and Warren counties. Along the Great Miami River, a Flood Warning goes into affect at 11:18 p.m. and lasts through 7:32 p.m. Monday in Shelby County; and from 4:36 a.m. Sunday to 8:30 p.m Monday in Butler County near Middletown.

There’s a lag between the heavy rain and water levels rising, which is why creeks, streams and rivers won’t recede until the start to the new week, Zontini said.

>> Flooding: Know your risks

The Great Miami River is expected to crest, or hit its highest levels, this weekend. 

In Troy, the Great Miami River is expected to crest at 13.6 feet Sunday, and in Dayton, the river is expected to crest, also Sunday, at 32.3 feet. And in Middletown, the Great Miami River is expected to crest at 12.4 feet Sunday.

The Stillwater River in Englewood is expected to crest Monday at 33.6 feet.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

When the river does crest, here are the areas that will see flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

ENGLEWOOD (Stillwater River)

  • 23 feet: Martindale Road, Old Springfield Road and the road to the MetroPark are all closed
  • 25 feet: Martindale Road, old Springfield Road and the road to the MetroPark are covered by 2 to 3 feet of water

DAYTON (Great Miami River)

  • 27.5 feetBike trail will be flooded
  • 30 feet: Flooding occurs near Rip Rap Road between Bridgewater and Little York roads near Huber Heights

SIDNEY (Great Miami River)

  • 10 feet: The river approaches the bank on the west side of Custenborder Field. At stages above 10 feet, city officials begin flood operations.
  • 11 feet: Custenborder Field has some flooding of perimeter areas, along with flooding occurring in low spots on Miami River Road
  • 12 feet: The river reaches the bank on Riverside Drive, with flooding of Custenborder Field at the east river intake. Homes and properties will experience flooding along the river on Riverside Drive from the BK Root Beer stand to the city limits
MIDDLETOWN (Great Miami River)
  • 11 feetSome flooding occurs on private property areas along either side of Ohio 73 from the east side of the river approaching Excello. Middletown is protected by levees and floodgates to 24 feet.

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Daytonian shares Muhammad Ali’s favorite title belt and legacy

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 3:39 PM

Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC President Jessie Vargas and Zab Judah
Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC President Jessie Vargas and Zab Judah

The decorated green strip of leather was the first WBC title belt custom-made for a boxer, and that boxer was Muhammad Ali, according to Tony Shultz, a Daytonian who shares the belt with everyone he meets. 

The 39-year-old who lives in the Dayton View Triangle neighborhood is a former boxer who trained with the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Roy Jones Jr. 

Shultz said the belt was given to him at Ali's funeral by Ali's wife, Lonnie.

MORE >>> One of our writers prepares to step into the ring | GALLERY >>> Riddick Bowe, Shane Mosley, more sign Ali belt

"This was the first belt created for a champion," Shultz said. "It was created to divide all the weight divisions. This was the heavyweight championship belt and named the "Ali WBC Belt" because it would always have his image on it as the division's greatest champion." 

The belt has the signatures of many famous boxers — including Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns and Neon Leon Spinks, who defeated Ali in 1978 in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. 

Shultz said the belt was Ali’s favorite and he often wore it around the house. 

"After he passed away, Lonnie (Ali's wife) decided that she wanted to keep the Ali legacy alive and the best way she could do that was having a belt in circulation," Shultz said. "All the other belts are either in the Ali Center, they're in the museum or his kids have them. This is actually the only Ali belt that's in circulation, outside of the 'Rumble in the Jungle' belt which just sold at a private auction." 

Shultz said he was given the belt on the condition that he share it with people and thus share Ali's legacy. 

>> 3 unforgettable moments in Dayton’s boxing history

"Lonnie gave it to me, said 'Tony, here's the deal. I want you to have every champion that you know, every champion that you meet, sign it … have their story told. I want (to continue) Ali's legacy of humanity, his spirit of equality, fairness, and most importantly that of conquering any challenges," he said. 

At the last sparring session for Dayton Fight Night competitors at the Brown Institute of Martial Arts, Shultz brought the keepsake and let anybody who wanted to have a photo taken with it draped over their shoulder. 

Shultz will be sharing the amazing keepsake tonight at Memorial Hall at Dayton Fight Night. Tickets are $20. The doors open at 7 p.m.

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Hundreds join annual heart walk at Upper Valley Mall

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 4:12 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 7:20 PM

Clark Champaign County heart walk at Upper Valley Mall

More than 300 people, mostly in red, participated in the annual Clark and Champaign Counties Heart Walk today at the Upper Valley Mall.

The local walk joins efforts by the American Heart Association to fight heart disease and stroke. The annual event also featured vendor booths and a health fair, and was sponsored by Springfield Regional Medical Center.

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