Church leaders: Lean on loved ones in wake of tragedy

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2012 @ 8:02 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2012 @ 8:02 PM

Area church leaders on Sunday said the best way to deal with a tragedy like Friday’s shooting at a movie theater in Colorado which claimed the life of Springfield native Matt McQuinn is to spend time with loved ones and remember that God has a plan for our lives.

“There’s no better a reminder than an incident like this that life is short,” said Fellowship Church youth and campus pastor Jeremy Hudson, who developed a friendship with McQuinn while they were both members at Maiden Lane Church of God.

McQuinn, a Vandalia Butler High School graduate, his girlfriend, Sam Yowler, formerly of St. Paris, and her brother, Nick Yowler, also formerly of St. Paris, all attended a midnight screening of the “Dark Knight Rises” on Friday at a suburban Denver cinema in Aurora where a lone gunman entered the theater, threw gas canisters and opened fire on the crowd. He killed 12 people, including McQuinn who spent his last moments shielding his girlfriend from the bullets. There were 58 peole injured in one of the deadliest shootings in United States history.

In a time like this, Hudson said, it’s best to not let things go unsaid or unresolved with family members.

“There’s unsettled business in each one of us where we could stand to pick up the phone or go knock on a door and clear the air,” said Hudson, who had just run into McQuinn at Chipotle in Springfield a few months ago.

Tim Cary, worship pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church, said residents should rely on God in these times of need.

Cary also had a small connection to the shooting. He recently started following Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring sportscaster who also went by the name Jessica Redfield, on Twitter and saw her tweet about going to see the midnight showing. The next morning, he was shocked to hear she was one of 12 killed in the shooting along with McQuinn. Ghawi had recently survived shootings at a mall in Toronto last month.

Cary said hearing the news about Ghawi, who he only knew through social media, was an eye-opener.

“It was one of a bunch of tweets (about the movie), probably hundreds,” Cary said. “I remember reading that, and for me personally, you have to stop and realize that life is a vapor. We have plans and ideas and hopes and goals and dreams of what our lives are going to be, and we never really know where our next breath is going to come from.”

Two of McQuinn’s former band mates and friends said he exuded a lighthearted spirit even in the midst of having a bad day. Mark A. Robey, 29, of New Carlisle, and Aaron J. Snow, 29, of Springfield, said they all met at a youth study group at Maiden Lane Church in Springfield where they played together in a worship team band. McQuinn played bass guitar. Robey and Snow played the drums.

“He was always a happy guy,” Robey said. “There wasn’t a time where we got together that he wasn’t laughing. Even on bad days, when he was having a bad day, he would find the joy and laugh and lighten the mood.

“He was always thinking about other people,” Robey said. “He would drop anything he was doing to spend time with his friends.”

Aaron J. Snow, 29, of Springfield, similarly described McQuinn.

“Matt was a goofball,” Snow said. “He always had something funny to say, (he was) a guy to laugh with. One of those people to lighten the mood regardless of the situation.”

The two would spend hours talking and stay up playing video games into the “wee hours of the morning,” Snow said.

“He was a very good guy,” he said. “One of my closest friends. I don’t have very many, and he was definitely one of those.”

“That’s just where our friendship between all three of us got real solid,” Robey said.

Robey and Snow said they weren’t surprised by reports McQuinn used his body to shield Samantha during the tragedy.

“Matt definitely died a hero protecting Sam,” Snow said. “That’s definitely Matt, too. Didn’t surprise me when I heard that. He’ll drop everything if you need (him) to be with you.”

“I think when Matt had his mind set on something, he would do it, and if it involved a friend, or family member or someone he cared about, he would step up to the plate and help out,” Robey said. “I would say he definitely died a hero.”

Hudson said church officials from all walks of faith are ready to help area residents make sense of the tragedy.

“All it takes is the effort to reach out,” Hudson said.

Driver injured in single-vehicle accident in Miamisburg

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 7:24 PM

Driver injured in single-vehicle accident in Miamisburg

A 54-year-old driver has been taken to a hospital after slamming his sedan into a utility pole in the 700 block of North Heincke Road in Miamisburg.

LOCAL: Driver chases Dayton police cruiser through parking lot

Police said the man's injuries appear to be minor. He has been cited for failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle. 

Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be factors in the crash, police said. 

Police and a medic unit were dispatched about 6:25 p.m. on the report of an injury accident.

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3rd arrest in a month at popular Beavercreek night spot

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 5:11 PM

3rd arrest in a month at popular Beavercreek night spot

Police in Beavercreek responded to another disturbance at Caddy's Tap House early morning Friday, and the subsequent arrest is the third in a month at the popular night spot.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

Jonah Lernon Bryant Fugate, 21, of Englewood, was taken to Jail around 1:30 a.m. and is facing a misdemeanor assault charge after a fight broke out inside the bar, at 2760 Towne Drive in Beavercreek. 

RELATED >>> VIDEO: Caddy’s Tap House security guard charged with assault

The 19-year-old victim told officers some guys were "messing with his girlfriend" and when he said something to them, the group attacked him with punches and kicks, according to the police report. 

The suspect denied hitting the victim and told police it was somebody else, but he was arrested after the victim's girlfriend identified him as the one who threw the first punch.

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It was the third incident at the bar in recent weeks that's hit the news. 

About the same time last week, police responded to a fight at Caddy's and ended up arresting one of the bouncers, 39-year-old Dale S. Williams, for an alleged assault on an 18-year-old female. 

Williams, who was charged with misdemeanor assault, remains on suspension from working at the club. 

MORE >>> See who’s booked into the Greene County Jail

Earlier this month, former University of Dayton Flyers' player Sam Miller was arrested at Caddy's for disorderly conduct. Police said Miller is accused of pushing a female bartender and acting belligerently in the back of a Beavercreek police cruiser while on the way to jail. 

Police said they don't consider Caddy's to be a problem spot, but there are increased patrols and responses to disturbances during what's considered college night on Thursdays, when patrons 18-and-up are welcomed.

Xenia police issue arrest warrant in abused puppy case

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 11:53 AM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 6:09 PM

Willow Xenia Animal Cruelty

UPDATE @ 6:02 p.m.: Xenia police have issued a felony arrest warrant for Matthew Bolen.

He is wanted on a charge of "causing serious harm to a companion animal.” 

Matthew Bolen (Courtesy/Xenia police)


An 8-week-old puppy is recovering from serious injuries suffered in an alleged abuse incident in Xenia and police said criminal charges are pending. 

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

The female pup is named Willow and has been adopted by Leah Lind, a victim's advocate with the city of Xenia. 

Xenia police found Willow early Sunday morning on Colorado Drive. A neighbor had called 9-1-1. 

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"One of my neighbors is throwing a dog around and he's like swinging him around and banging him on the ground," the 9-1-1 caller said. "The dog is crying like crazy."

Officers responded and arrested the alleged abuser on an outstanding warrant and a criminal charge of animal cruelty is pending.

The suspect's identity has not been released. 

The suspect's girlfriend, whom police referred to as the original owner of the dog, agreed to give Willow away to Leah. 

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Willow's injuries were significant — A broken knee, displaced hip and a fragmented bone that goes into the hip socket. 

The dog is recovering after emergency surgery and more procedures will be needed. Lind said there's still a chance Willow will lose her leg to amputation if it doesn't heal properly. 

"She's very sweet and loving," Lind said. "It's amazing what she's been through, how trusting she is. She doesn't act like anything is wrong. She hops around and plays. We're actually trying to keep her calmer." 

Xenia police posted information on Facebook showing support for the fundraising effort to cover veterinary costs for the female pup named Willow. 

As word spread this week around the community about Willow, donations poured in to cover vet expenses. Lind said enough funds were raised to cover the cost of the first surgery. 

"I think her story started off tragic and when the love started pouring in, it completely inspired people," Lind said.

Tipp City Seniors group finds new home

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 4:59 PM

            Tipp City Seniors Inc. plans to buy and renovate the Evans Title building on North Hyatt Street to use for a new seniors center. The group was considering new construction but changed plans because of costs. CONTRIBUTED
Tipp City Seniors Inc. plans to buy and renovate the Evans Title building on North Hyatt Street to use for a new seniors center. The group was considering new construction but changed plans because of costs. CONTRIBUTED

TIPP CITY – Tipp City Seniors Inc. has found an existing building it plans to call home after hopes of building a new seniors center were ended when bids exceeded resources.

The organization soon will close Friday on buying the Evans Title building on North Hyatt Street, just north of the city post office.

Voters in Tipp City and Monroe Twp. agreed in fall 2015 to support a 1-mill, five-year levy to raise money for a new home to replace the current South First Street structure that organization leaders said was too small, not accessible and lacked parking.

Before the seniors can complete building renovations and a move, the Tipp City Council is being asked to approve an amendment to the city zoning code to add fraternal, charitable and service-oriented clubs as a permitted use within the OS-Office Service Zoning District.

Council previously approved two similar requests that would have allowed the center in two locations – off North Third Street and further north on Hyatt Street – that later were abandoned. The first location was dropped because of issues with the Miami Conservancy District restrictions and the second because of the growth in project cost.

Plans to build a new facility a short distance to the north of the Evans Title building on Hyatt Street had to be dropped after bids for the proposed new building came in at around $2 million, or $240 to $280 per square foot. When prices first were sought, the seniors were told they could build for $140 per square foot, and the 1-mill levy was based on those numbers, said John Berk, who is chairing the seniors building committee with Gordon Pittenger Sr.

“I guess we were old fashioned or something, but we thought that (1-mill levy) would build us anything we wanted,” Pittenger said.

The levy income will be used to pay off a loan to buy the building and leave some money for building alterations, which initially will include a sprinkler system and a warming kitchen. Other desired changes would be done as money is available, Pittenger said.

The seniors hope to move into the building in the spring.

Berk said a new home was needed for existing membership along with a planned larger membership the organization thinks would be possible with more space, parking and added activities. The organization has around 185 members.

“We are really trying to reach out to people in their 60s and 70s. They pretty much say, ‘When you get your new building, we’d be interested in joining,’” Berk said. “They won’t come to this building where there is very limited parking,”

After buying the Evans Title building, the seniors will place for sale the existing South First Street home and the five acres it purchased off North Hyatt Street for the center whose were abandoned.