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.

Roof reportedly collapses at Greene Count

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 1:12 AM

The roof of a Greene County house has reportedly collapsed as fire crews battle a house fire Sunday morning.

Crews were dispatched to the 3800 block of Wilberforce-Clifton Road outside of Clifton around 12:55 a.m. 

The fire was originally reported in a garage shortly before flames were reported coming from the roof of a house. 

Initial reports indicate the roof of the house has collapsed and crews encountered heavy flames upon arrival. 

We will continue to follow this developing story.

Harrison Twp. fires crews battling fully engulfed house fire

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 12:33 AM

Harrison Twp. fire crews are battling a fully engulfed house fire Sunday morning. 

Firefighters were sent to the 600 block of Syracuse Avenue around 12:22 a.m. 

Initial reports indicate crews arrived to find a house in the area fully engulfed in flames.

A portion of Syracuse Avenue remains closed as crews work the scene, according to scanner traffic.

We will continue to monitor this developing story and post updates to this page.

2 West Carrollton women killed in Miamisburg crash

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 5:22 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 11:10 PM

UPDATE @ 11:10 p.m.

Two West Carrollton women were pronounced dead at the scene of a crash early today in Miamisburg.

It was dark when police say a woman driving lost control on King Richard Parkway and drove up onto the curb and crashed into a tree in the yard of a Merry John Drive home. 

"Can you send an ambulance and police?" a caller tells a 911 dispatcher. "Uh, somebody just ran into our house with their car. The people in the car, I can't tell if they are moving or not." 

On Saturday evening, friends huddled around the crash site to remember 27-year-old Carol Pressell and 23-year-old Courtney Morgan Cole. Friends said the women were coming back home from a night out. 

The house was not damaged, but police said alcohol and speed were believed to be factors. 

Residents say speeding is a common problem in the 25 mph zone, where the road signs also say "Thank you for not speeding." 

"I see (motorists) speeding up and down the street all the time and I'll holler because the kids play up and down on the sidewalks," Aaron Collins said. 

Funeral services are still being planned for the two West Carrollton friends, and the crash also is still under investigation.

FIRST REPORT

Two West Carrollton women were pronounced dead at the scene of a crash early today in Miamisburg.

Crews were called around 2:15 a.m. to the intersection of King Richard Parkway and Merry John Drive.

Officers found a 2009 Ford sedan, occupied by Carol Pressel, 27, and Courtney Morgan Cole, 23, had apparently lost control, left the roadway and struck a tree, according to the Miamisburg Police Department.

According to 911 calls, the car struck a house in the 800 block of Merry John Drive.

Speed and alcohol are suspected to be factors in the crash, which remains under investigation, police said.

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Demonstrators march for science on Earth Day in downtown Dayton

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 7:42 PM

Demontrators took to the streets of Dayton today in the name of science.

These marches happened across the world as people defended science on Earth Day.

Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton was packed with 1,200 to 1,500 people of all ages. They chanted "save our planet," "know all the facts" and "science not silence" as they marched. 

"It's kind of upsetting to see how our government has been treating science," said Jessica Spanger, a local organizer. 

Some wanted to promote the fun side of science. 

"People don’t realize how interesting it is," said Ned Rasor, a physicist. 

Others said it's a politically charged event following recent changes in Washington. 

Organizers said the March for Science is bipartisan, and that they hope to get attention from both sides of the aisle. 

"We start influencing our policymakers to make evidence-based decisions rather than making decisions off of opinions or based off of what their lobbyists tell them to do," Spangler said.

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