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Christmas spirit alive in Xenia: Officer helps family targeted by thief

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 6:21 PM



Kate Bartley
(Kate Bartley)

A thief took some clothes and towels from an unattended dryer inside a laundromat, threatening to ruin Christmas for one family. But Xenia Patrol Officer Rob Swihart made sure that wasn’t the end of the story.

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On Saturday Gena Storer left towels, washcloths, her baby girl’s clothes and other items in one of the three dryers at the Xenia Laundromat on Charles Street, she said.  

Storer said she planned to return later that day to retrieve the items after they had dried.

“We went to get our clothes and everything was stolen,” she said. “We were completely devastated.”

The thief took new pajamas, pants and other items that she had recently bought for her toddler-aged daughter, Storer said.

Xenia officer Rob Swihart and family

“It was stuff that we had just gotten her for Christmas that we went ahead and gave to her because she had outgrown all of her pajamas so fast,” she said.

Storer said they planned to return Christmas gifts that were already wrapped and under the Christmas tree to help pay for replacing the items.

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Xenia Patrol Officer Rob Swihart responded to Storer’s home to take the theft report.

Storer said Swihart took her daughter’s clothing sizes and other specifics of what was taken and left, promising to check with local charities to see if there might be help available. 

"He came back within less than two hours with Walmart bags of stuff that he had gone out and got with his own money and a $50 gift card on top of that,” Storer said. 

Swihart said it was a busy night, but he told his shift commander what happened and asked for permission to go to Walmart to help the family out.

Swihart, who is a new father of a 4-month-old, said he couldn’t bear the thought of the family going without during the holidays.

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“This isn't something that just goes on during the holidays,” he said. “I know that if I would have contacted any of the six other officers that were working with me that night and said, 'hey I need money for this,' they all would have ponied up money for it." 

Swihart added that it’s important for people to realize that "we're people too." 

"If we have the ability to help somebody out then that's what we want to do," he said. "In our line of work there's a lot of negativity. For us to be able to influence something in a positive manner that's important to us as individuals and us as a department.” 

Storer said she’s excited about Christmas this year. She can’t wait to see her daughter open the present that has Tickle me Elmo inside.  

“I'm still in shock,” she said. “It's like all the Christmas movies that you watch only it happened in real life for us."

Shooter who killed man during sex act to be sentenced

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:15 PM

UPDATE @ 7:49 a.m. (Jan. 23):

Sentencing is scheduled Tuesday for the man convicted of killing a man while a teen performed a sex act on the victim.

Michael J. Wood Jr, 19, is set for sentencing at 9:30 a.m.

Wood killed Elroy Facey on Hoover Avenue in May 2017.

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INITIAL REPORT (Jan. 18):

The man accused of shooting a 41-year-old man, ultimately leading to his death, was convicted of murder and felonious assault.

Michael J. Wood Jr., 19, of Dayton, shot and killed Elroy Facey on Hoover Avenue on May 3, 2017, according to prosecutors.

“The victim attempted to run away, but the adult defendant chased the victim and shot him a second time,” the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office said in a prepared statement.

Elexus Dawkins, 17, was convicted of murder in October 2017 and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for her role in the shooting.

Wood and Dawkins planned to rob Facey, prosecutors said.

Dawkins was in a vehicle performing a sex act on Facey when Wood shot him, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Sentencing for Wood is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m.

Rough winter brings potholes ‘worse than normal’ to Miami Valley

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:11 AM

Local officials say potholes are worse this year than the past two winters. A Dayton crew patches a pothole on Gettysburg Ave. MARSHALL GORBY
Local officials say potholes are worse this year than the past two winters. A Dayton crew patches a pothole on Gettysburg Ave. MARSHALL GORBY

The worst winter weather in recent years also has spawned the worst potholes on area roads in some time.

“Some counties are saying the potholes are worse this year,” said Ohio Department of Transportation public information officer Mandi Dillon in a statement.

Fred Stovall, director of Dayton public works, said there are more potholes than the past two winters. Those previous winters were milder and resulted in much fewer potholes, he said.

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“We’ve seen colder temperatures, freezing temperatures, snow and salt in the street. That all gets in the cracks and makes (conditions for potholes) worse,” Stovall said.

Potholes cost American drivers about $3 billion a year in vehicle repairs, or $15 billion over the last five years, a AAA study revealed, according to AAA spokeswoman Kara Hitchens.

The cost to repair a vehicle can vary because of tire size and the extent of the damage. Jason Brown, store manager at AAA Auto and Tire store in Huber Heights, said replacing a tire can cost anywhere from $80 to $250. And replacing an entire wheel can cost more than $200.

“Today alone, I’ve seen five people come in with damage from potholes,” Brown said. “They’re everywhere.”

Riverside City Manager Mark Carpenter said his city has also seen an increase in potholes this winter.

“The potholes are worse than normal, over the top this year,” he said.

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Potholes form when water soaks into the pavement, then freezes and expands as temperatures change, according to ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning.

Bruning said ODOT has spent $726,000 on patching potholes statewide so far this year, most of it in recent days. The vast majority of that number is labor costs.

“This season ODOT crews have spent 21,669 hours— the equivalent of two and a half years— just patching potholes,” Bruning said.

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ODOT already this year has used the second highest amount of salt that it has used in the past 10 years, Bruning said. This is usually an indication of how bad the winter is, Bruning said.

“Kudos to our men and women on the roads. They are definitely earning that money they make,” Bruning said of the ODOT crews patching potholes and clearing snow and ice this season.

Local crews are also working every day to patch potholes. Stovall said that the city has 48 hours or two business days, not including weekends, to patch potholes after they are reported.

“This is certainly filling our time. And we haven’t even gotten to the residential streets yet,” Riverside’s Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the city appreciates citizens calling and alerting the service department to potholes in the area.

Stovall agreed, urging Daytonians to call (937) 333-4800 or use Dayton’s smartphone app to report potholes.

Drivers can report potholes to ODOT via an online form or if the pothole needs immediate attention, by alerting the highway patrol.

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Bruning also stressed that ODOT crews prioritize potholes in high traffic areas, like interstate 75 over residential roads.

“Just like when we’re clearing snow and ice, we try and make sure the main roadways get taken care of first, and I think most folks understand that,” Bruning said.

Board to rule on Dayton police sergeant accused of lying

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:27 AM

A city of Dayton board that is reviewing the firing of a female police sergeant accused of lying and falsifying official documents is expected to release its decision soon.

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Dayton police Sgt. Tonina Lamanna challenged her termination with the Civil Service Board, claiming it was in retaliation for her filing a federal lawsuit alleging the city and police department engaged in sexual discrimination. 

Lamanna did not knowingly make false statements, said her attorney Vince Pop, but the city was desperate to fire her. 

Dayton police officials claim Lamanna lied multiple times, which they say is unacceptable from a sworn police officer and requires discharge. 

“Dishonesty is incompatible with public trust,” said Mark Ecton, a Dayton assistant police chief, at Lamanna’s civil service hearing. 

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Last month, the Civil Service Board heard testimony from a variety of witnesses from the police and human resources departments about the circumstances that preceded and resulted in Lamanna’s firing on Oct. 3.

Employers to recruit at Springfield job fair

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 8:05 AM


            FILE
FILE

Local employers like CareSource and Assurant will be recruiting in Springfield this Friday.

CareSource Life Services is holding a job fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Faith United Methodist Church at 102 W. High St.

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Life coaching, job readiness training and resume support will be available.

Some of the employers who will be there include:

Assurant

CareSource

Interim Healthcare

Mama Rosa’s

Ohio State Highway Patrol

RTA

Vocalink

I-Supply

The Greentree Group

Klosterman Bakery

Securitas