Charlottesville attack: Homicide case against Ohioan heads to grand jury

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 8:46 PM

Ohio man charged with plowing car into Virginia rally crowd

The case against James Alex Fields Jr., the Ohioan and suspected driver in the deadly Charlottesville car-ramming, is headed to a Virginia grand jury. 

Fields initially was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, of Charlottesville in the incident in August that left more than 30 people injured. 

After a preliminary hearing in Charlottesville Circuit Court on Thursday, Judge Robert Downer Jr. granted a motion to certify the following in the case against Fields and three others: 

  • One felony count of first-degree murder,
  • One felony count of hit and run, 
  • Five felony counts of aggravated malicious wounding 

OTHER NEWS: News photographer shot by Clark County deputy files suit

The judge also granted the commonwealth attorney's request to certify felony counts against three other defendants. The charges are discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school and malicious wounding. 

A counterprotester holds a photo of Heather Heyer on Boston Common at a "Free Speech" rally organized by conservative activists, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. Heyer was killed last Saturday when a car, allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr., that plowed into a group of people during protests in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)(Michael Dwyer/AP)

Fields's case -- and the cases of three other defendants in the Charlottesville riot incident -- will be presented to a Charlottesville Circuit Court grand jury on Dec. 18. 

The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for the city did not comment on Downer's rulings.


Charges filed in deadly Charlottesville attack

Dayton officer who spoke about police shootings under investigation for OVI

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:31 PM

25-year-old Jermar Rayford was pulled over in Greene County last week.

Dayton Police Officer Jermar Rayford appeared in court this week on an OVI charge stemming from a traffic stop in Greene County just after 2 a.m. on Jan. 12. 

According to documents from Fairborn Municipal Court, Rayford, 25, was driving a black 2017 Dodge bearing Florida license tags when he was stopped by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper on eastbound Col. Glenn Boulevard near Presidential Drive in Beavercreek. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police searching for suspect in shooting

He was driving 69 mph in a 45-mph zone, according to the court document, and refused a blood alcohol test. 

Rayford was summoned into court on Tuesday morning. 

He is the police officer who performed the Superman in 2015 while dancing to Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) at the Taste of All Things Oregon.

RELATED: Meet Dayton’s whipping, nae-naeing cop

The 2010 Chaminade Julienne graduate became a local celebrity when several people posted videos and photos of his dancing to social media. 

Rayford also gained local attention in July 2016 when he posted a video to social media, offering an emotional plea to the Dayton community focused toward police-community relations.

RELATED: Dayton officer’s plea - ‘I bleed just like you’

At the time, he said he posted the video in reaction to the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both of whom were killed by police. The video surfaced hours before five Dallas police officers were shot and killed.

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Rezabek to seek judgeship, opens up hot race for Ohio House seat and Dan Foley confirms he’s running

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:39 PM

Rezabek seeks judgeship

UPDATE: Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley has confirmed he will run for the Ohio House 43rd District seat.

State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election and will instead run for Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Juvenile division judge.

His decision will likely lead to one of the hottest Statehouse races in the region as the Ohio 43rd is one of the most evenly divided politically in the Dayton area.

Thursday night Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley confirmed that he will run for Rezabek’s seat. Foley, a Democrat, had earlier announced that he would not run for re-election but will serve out his term  on commission through the end of this year.

Democrat Ralph Dean Brill of Brookville, also took out nominating petitions from the Montgomery County Board of Elections but could not be reached for comment.

On Friday Clayton Councilman Kenny Henning will formally announce he is running  in the Republican primary for the seat, and Stephanie Garrett of West Alexandria has also confirmed she is running in that primary.

RELATED: Dan Foley won’t run again for Montgomery County commission

Foley declined to say more about his candidacy but said he will hold a formal announcement news conference soon.

Dan Foley, Montgomery County commissioner, speaks at the Engineers Club in Dayton. FILE(Staff Writer)

‘We made an impact’

Rezabek said he wants to use his experience as a lawyer and a legislator to bring change to the juvenile court.

“We made an impact in the legislature,” he said. “But the real impact is directly on the community and directly with those kids and with those families.”

RELATED: Rezabek bill would give judges more say on trying juveniles as adults

Rezabek, an attorney specializing in juvenile cases, is running for the seat being vacated at the end of the year by Juvenile Judge Nick Kuntz, who cannot run for re-election due to age limitations for judges.

The race for Kuntz’s seat has attracted a lot of attention, with at least five other people taking out nominating petitions.

They include Democrats Julie Bruns of Miamisburg, Greg Scott of Dayton, Steven Wagenfeld of Centerville and Cynthia L. Westwood of Farmersville. Republican C. Ralph Wilcoxson II has also obtained a petition.

Rezabek ran unsuccessfully for the job in 2012. First elected to the Ohio House in 2014, he won a bitter re-election battle in 2016 against David Sparks of Clayton.

RELATED: Race for 43rd House district has turned ugly

Henning said he will make the formal announcement that he is running for the seat at an 11:30 a.m. news conference Friday at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center’s adult center, 6801 Hoke Road, Clayton.

RELATED: Donald Trump is the new president and local residents saw it happen in person

“I’m 100 percent invested in the community and I want to ensure that our 43rd House district has a strong champion to advocate for the district in Columbus.” said Henning, who is a judicial assistant to Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Erik Blaine.

Kenny Henning, Clayton councilman(Staff Writer)

A Clayton native who has served on the council since 2012, Henning said his campaign will focus on farming and agriculture, the concerns of small business owners and trying to restore Local Government Fund revenue slashed by the legislature. He said he also wants to address the opioid addiction crisis.

Garrett is president of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau and assistant treasurer of the Ohio Republican Party.

Stephanie Garrett, president of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is running as a Republican for the Ohio House 43rd District seat.(HANDOUT)

“I wanted to teach my children that they could make a difference. So I got involved in my community and started working with candidates and the Republicans.”

The filing deadline for the May 8 primary is Feb. 7.

Mark Owens, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, said the 43rd House district is about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans and can be won by a Democrat like Foley.

“If he’s willing to get out and roll up his sleeves and work I think he can win it,” Owens said.

The district covers parts of Englewood, Clayton, Trotwood, western Montgomery County and all of Preble County.

RELATED: Ohio could have two redistricting proposals on ballots this year

County commission

Multiple people have pulled petitions to run for Foley’s county commission seat. Democrats include Montgomery County Treasurer Carolyn Rice and Daryl Ward, senior pastor of Omega Baptist Church in Dayton.

RELATED: Candidates seek to replace Foley on Montgomery County commission

Both Rice and Ward have turned in their nominating petitions.

Republicans include former Miami Twp. Trustee Bob Matthews and current Miami Twp. Trustee Doug Barry, both of whom have turned in petitions. Petitions have been obtained but not submitted by Greg Hart and Joshua Smith, both Dayton Republicans.

Other stories by Lynn Hulsey

Kucinich enters governor’s race with call to “reclaim” the state, bring back Democrats who voted for Trump

U.S. Senate candidates Renacci and Brown spar over Trump’s comment about immigrants

Husted wants new voting machines in every county in Ohio

Americans projected to break credit card debt record

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:32 PM

Americans projected to break credit card debt record

Americans are projected to break the record for credit card debt once 2017’s books are closed. 

RELATED: See more trending stories on

WalletHub projects an increase of $50 billion for last year for a total of $1 trillion dollars of credit card debt.

The finding was a shock to Marie Giffen of Liberty Township- who doesn’t use credit cards. 

“I can’t believe that. That is a lot of debt and it is very surprising people are spending that much on credit cards- that’s crazy,” said Giffen.


Trotwood’s James Shells wasn’t surprised.

“I’m an accountant, I see it all the time.  People want things and don’t have the cash so they get credit and simply borrow,” said Shells. 

WalletHub released its “2018 Cities with the Highest and Lowest Credit Card Debt” analysis today which breaks down median debt for hundreds of U.S. cities. 

Darien, Connecticut had the highest median credit card debt at $7,100.

The lowest median credit-card debt was in Forest Park, Georgia, at $1,100.

For cities in the Miami Valley, WalletHub estimates it will take someone in Beavercreek eight months to pay of the median debt of about $2,646, in Miamisburg it would take nine months to pay of the median credit card debt of $2,323 and in Dayton it would take 13 months to pay of a $2,138 debt. 

“Credit card companies are there to make a profit and people forget that the profit is at their expense,” said Dolly Warren, a credit counselor with Graceworks in Dayton.

To start paying down those balances, Warren says you should: 

-set a goal

-create a budget

-examine your statements

-consider “snowballing”

“Snowballing” is the tactic of making the largest payment to your most expensive credit card and once it’s paid off put all the money you were using to pay off that balance toward the next highest card, etc.- until your credit cards are paid in full. 

Get started as soon as possible because WalletHub estimates the December interest rate hike will cost Americans over a billion dollars in additional finance charges this year.

Middletown school bus involved in three vehicle accident

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:10 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:12 PM

Bus crash in Middletown

UPDATE @ 6 p.m.

According to sergeant Matthew Keener of the Ohio State HIghway Patrol, a white Ford Fusion was attempting to turn left and was struck by a green Buick sending the Buick into a Middletown school bus.  Both the driver of the school bus and the driver of the green Buick were sent to the hospital for injuries. 

Three children were on the school bus and they were all uninjured. A citation was issued to the driver of the white Ford Fusion for failing to yield while turning left. 

UPDATE @ 5:45 p.m.

Three vehicles were involved in a crash Thursday afternoon in Middletown, one of the vehicles was a Middletown City Schools bus. Three injuries were reported and one person was transported to the hospital, but no students were injured according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

MIddletown School officials notified parents and at this time we are unsure of how many children were on the bus.  

Marlon Styles Jr., superintendent for Middletown, said “It was a bad situation but the good news is no kids are hurt and they are all now in the care of their parents.”


A school bus was involved in a crash at the corner of Dixie Highway and Coles Road according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

Crews are just arriving on scene and we will update you with the latest details as we receive them.